Hector wondered what they thought of him. Maybe they thought they’d be better off without him. And maybe they’d be right. These people obviously knew what they were doing. Of course they wouldn’t need him.
No. He couldn’t fall into that old thinking again. That wouldn’t help anything. He wasn’t here to prove himself to a bunch of people he barely knew. He was here to help Garovel’s sister. He just had to remember that. After all his meditating, his practicing and studying, his fighting and struggling and winning and losing--after all of that in the last eight months, he wasn’t the same person as before. And he knew it. Even if it was easy to forget, he knew he was different.
He just hoped that difference was for the better, meager though it might be.
The party continued on, listening to the destruction users burrow their way through the mud. And it was slightly weird, Hector realized. He’d heard it before, of course, but he’d never really stopped and listened closely to the actual sound that destructive paths made. It was a kind of faint piping noise, almost musical even, like a brief gust of air through a tube.
He also noticed that their tunnel had a gradual slope to it, taking them continually deeper underground, probably to avoid the city’s utility lines and ensure that the soul net would run below any basement levels that Marshrock possessed. It would’ve been more convenient if there were some type of subway network to work from, but Hector doubted such a thing existed anywhere within the Rainlords’ domain. If it did, it’d probably be more of a submarine network or something, he figured.
At length, Hector noticed the reapers all stop at the same time.
‘A number of unfamiliar souls are heading our way,’ announced Qorvass.
‘Eighteen by my count,’ said Garovel.
Asad took that as his cue. “Keep going,” he told the four Rainlords, who voiced no objection. Then he turned to his sister. “Imas, protect them and construct the tunnel in my place.”
Imas and her reaper both nodded and moved into Asad’s previous position.
“Jada, Hector, you’re with me.”
Jada and Hector nodded as well.
“A vertical hole, please,” ordered Asad, and one of the Rainlords punched a path through the roof of the tunnel. Asad lined the walls with quartz as Jada and Hector gathered around him, and then the Lord Najir pushed the three of them up on a crystal platform.