‘Bah,’ said Iziol. ‘Dimas just doesn’t know anything about comedy. He and I have been together for more than twenty years, and I’ve only heard him laugh four times. Four! Can you believe that?!’
Dimas made no retort.
Chergoa spoke up for the man, though. ‘He’s not wrong, Iziol. That joke was horrendous. In fact, if comedy were a human being, you would have just committed murder.’
Iziol hesitated a moment. ‘Darn it... Ah! I’m sorry. Please excuse my language. I’m just frustrated.’
Hector saw the other two reapers exchange looks.
‘Don’t feel bad,’ said Garovel. ‘Chergoa and I will share our secrets with you.’
‘Better just leave it to me,’ said Chergoa. ‘Garovel will only teach you how to insult people.’
‘That’s not even remotely true. Hector, tell her how hilarious I am.’
Hector opened his mouth but no words came out.
“G-Garovel is... very funny...”
Chergoa busted into a laugh. ‘What an endorsement! Clearly, you’ve awed him with your comedic genius!’
‘That’s just Hector’s personality! You already know he has trouble speaking!’
‘Oh, sure, blame it on Hector.’
‘Alright, fine. Hey, Emiliana, how funny is Chergoa?’
‘Oh god no. Em, you know that I--’
“She is quite awful.”
‘Agh! How could you?!’
‘Thank you for your honesty,’ said Garovel.
‘I just haven’t had enough time to win her over!’ said Chergoa. ‘She’ll appreciate my humor eventually!’
‘I’m sure that’s it,’ said Garovel.
‘Em, we are gonna have a long talk about this later.’
“I will look forward to it.”
As they walked, Chergoa and Garovel soon returned to their bickering, and Garovel had to privately remind Hector to be sociable again. ‘Talk to Emiliana.’
Hector wracked his brain in search of a topic. When nothing immediately sprung forth, he tried taking a step back and thinking about everything that had happened, and then the most pressing question in the world smacked him in the face. “Emiliana,” said Hector, abruptly sterner, “please tell me more about this... aberration that you were with.”
That grabbed Garovel’s attention. ‘Wait a minute, what? You were with an aberration?’
‘Oh yeah,’ said Chergoa. But she didn’t elaborate, perhaps wanting to let Emiliana participate more.
“Yes,” the young woman said. “Lord Ibai Blackburn. He is... quite different.”
“Go on,” urged Hector.