Chapter One Hundred Seventeen: ‘Riddle in the sand...’
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‘So what do we know?’ said Garovel, addressing the full audience of investigators, which now included the three Najirs and their accompanying reapers. ‘We don’t have the luxury of a DNA test to confirm whose blood this is or even if it all belongs to poor Fuad here, but we are all in agreement that these blood patterns seem strange, at least.’
‘It’s difficult to tell,’ said Qorvass. ‘Given the extent of mutilation, one would assume that there would be plenty of blood on the walls, counters, and ceiling, but it is only on the floor.’
‘Which suggests that Fuad was not killed here in the south kitchen,’ said Atalim.
‘But that could also be consistent with Ibai’s story,’ said Qorvass. ‘He said he teleported AFTER colliding with the body. We assumed he meant from one end of this room to the other, as described by the two separate blood stains, but he could have just as easily teleported twice. The first teleport would have been from wherever the murder took place.’
“Can any of you corroborate that?” asked Asad. He was staring at the group of reapers who’d been close enough to sense Ibai.
They each shook their head.
‘He was too difficult to follow,’ said the one bound to Lorenzo Delaguna. His name was Marosso, Hector was pretty sure.
Garovel decided to move on with the summation. ‘Pretty much everything we’ve found points to Ibai. He was also the only one in here just prior to the disappearance of the soul that we can only presume to have been Fuad’s. That’s fairly strong evidence that he consumed Fuad’s soul, even if we DO assume that he didn’t actually murder him.’
“However, the position he was found in was also odd,” said Carlos Sebolt. The thick lines of his middle-aged face deepened as he spoke. “His foot was stuck inside the body, as if he had decided to stomp the boy to death, but this is inconsistent with the extensive mutilation. He would’ve had to tear the body to shreds in a matter of seconds before suddenly resorting to stomping. Why would he have done that?”
“Because he’s an aberration,” said Lorenzo Delaguna. “It’s no use trying to understand how they think.”
Hector had a pretty good idea whose side that guy was on. Not that he completely disagreed with him.