Lawrence didn’t see the point, though. It was one thing to conceal skill from enemies; it was another to conceal it from allies. But then again, given Parson’s rank, perhaps the right people already knew all they needed to.
Lawrence marveled at how young and stupid he could still feel after all these years. He would have liked to stop being the ignoramus that he knew he’d been in his youth, but it seemed that was not yet to be. Dergoz didn’t have that excuse, though. The reaper had several hundred years on him, which admittedly made him younger than most other reapers, but the point remained. If Dergoz couldn’t see through their ruse, either, then Lawrence didn’t feel quite so bad.
It did give him pause, however. If he could be so thoroughly wrong about Parson, then perhaps he was also wrong to continue holding onto his faith in Sermung. Dergoz and Parson both seemed so certain, and Lawrence knew that--for Dergoz at least--it wasn’t a personal matter, either. Dergoz simply believed Sermung and Tenebrach could no longer handle the burden of leadership. And indeed, Lawrence would be lying if he said he didn’t see some merit in that belief.
But still, it was hard not to worry about what would happen if Sermung ever fell. The Crystal Titan was a name that carried so much weight behind it. In some places, its mere utterance was enough to prevent war. And as long as those other names were out there--names like the Mad Demon, the Living Void, the Monster of the East, and the Salesman of Death--as long as those existed, the Crystal Titan seemed entirely needed. Lawrence could hardly imagine anyone ever being able to step up and fill those enormous shoes.
But he supposed one day, someone would have to.
Ismael Blackburn sat with his face in his hands. The Black Hall was deep enough into the castle that he could no longer feel the muffled quakes of the battle. He thought it would help him think, coming here, but all it did was make him mindful of the complete silence.
Three days had passed since the siege began. It wouldn’t be much longer now. According to his scouts, the Sebolts and Delagunas had completed their underground net. It was only a matter of time until they launched an assault with their full strength.