--donation bonus day (Page 3/3)--
“Why?” asked Zeff, pulling his vest on. “Are you worried people will think I’ve gone mad?”
Axiolis paused. ‘Yes. Exactly that, yes.’
“Do you think I’ve gone mad?” Zeff considered wearing a tie. It wasn’t the most battle-appropriate attire, but a significant part of him didn’t really care about that right now. He was thinking more about what calming effect it might have on him. A certain sense of order and professionalism could help him keep a clear head. Maybe.
‘To be honest, I hope you have. A little, at least. Because I’m fairly certain that I’ve lost some of my marbles, too.’
“Oh? How so?” He decided in favor of the tie. He liked the blood red one on the dresser.
‘Well, for instance, I know we shouldn’t fight Lawrence. He and Dergoz have a good forty years on us in terms of both experience and soul-syncing. And they can use pan-rozum. In my mind, I know these things. Attacking them by ourselves would almost be suicide. And yet... I’d go with you to hunt them down right now, if you asked me to.’
Zeff nearly smiled. “That’s not fair. I wanted to be the unreasonable one.”
He stared at himself in the mirror, not able to see Ax reflected behind him but still knowing the reaper was there. “It’s alright. I just have to remember them. Francisco, Emiliana, Marcos, Ramira. And Gema. Any word on her whereabouts?”
‘No. I would’ve told you earlier if there had been.’
‘We’ll find her.”
Zeff straightened his tie. “Yes, we will.”
They left the room. His brethren had chosen one of Rheinhal’s nicer hotels for their headquarters, he noticed, and that was saying something in this resort town. If he were in a better mood, the luxury might have been appealing.
Axiolis led him out into the street, and Zeff immediately turned east in order to see the castle on the hill there. A few of its turrets were missing, and the red paint on its walls was rather heavily marked up, but Rhein’s Keep was still standing.
Zeff didn’t have to go any farther, however. Octavia Redwater found him before he could find her.
She smiled that tiny, wrinkled smile of hers. “It is so very good to see you again, Zeff.”
He hadn’t even thought about what he should say to this woman, and that seemed like a mistake now that she was in front of him. Too many thoughts stirred in his head at once. Gratitude, apologies, questions. Far too many.
He settled on a silent hug, instead.