“It all tastes funny,” said Dimas, sounding rather unlike a lord--or even an adult person, Hector thought.
Hector kept that opinion to himself, though.
‘So unreasonable,’ said Iziol. ‘He was like this even before I became his reaper, you know. When he was a child, he would stay awake for days upon days and eventually just pass out from exhaustion. One time, he collapsed in the middle of a track race, and another child tripped over him and broke a tooth.’
“Uh, wow...” Hector checked Dimas’ expression, but the man just looked out the window.
‘It was quite bad,’ said Iziol. ‘At one point, Lady Amaya resorted to having his dinner laced with soporifics.’
Dimas turned back around. “...Is that true?”
‘Oh indeed. You never talked, so people could not tell that, in actuality, you were a spoiled brat who rarely ever did as he was told.’ Iziol gave a faint laugh. ‘And that, I would say, has not changed very much.’
Dimas exhaled a short breath, and Hector saw him crack a tiny smile.
After that, Iziol offered to knock him out, but Dimas refused, citing the fact that Xuan and Duvoss were still unconscious. Iziol argued, but not very fervently, and soon drifted back to sleep himself.
And Hector just sat there in silent awe of this person next to him. He barely even knew the man, but his respect for Lord Dimas had already grown by leaps and bounds. He could imagine the weight that Dimas must have been feeling upon his shoulders after hearing the news of Rheinhal. This man was one of the strongest remaining Rainlords. So many people were relying on him to protect them.
Of course, Hector had felt that kind of pressure before, as well. A few times, in truth. And it had never stopped being terrifying, especially after seeing just how badly things could go wrong.
But that was also the point, he was realizing. Yes, of course, the worst could happen. Everyone could end up dead, and everything could be for naught. That was why people needed someone to protect them. Things were not going to just be okay on their own. Someone had to make them okay.
And that was why he wanted to keep living. To be that someone.
He’d felt all of these things in the back of his mind for some time already, but it was somehow different here. Making them explicit. Asserting his own sense of purpose to himself.