Garovel laughed. ‘Not just yet, but give it a--’ And that sentence’s abrupt ending brought them both to a halt, though Hector was the only one left skidding across the sidewalk. Garovel tapped his shoulder, and Hector felt the familiar surge of vigor course through him. ‘This way,’ the reaper said, phasing through the stone wall next to them. ‘And hurry.’
Hector bounded up and over and hit the ground rolling. It was a large yard, he discovered, leading up to a three-story house among a crowd of trees, but this didn’t seem to be their final destination. Hector cut across the manicured lawn in pursuit of Garovel and leapt over the next wall at the other end. Another yard now, and another full sprint across it until they reached the next property over, where Garovel finally slowed.
‘Armor,’ the reaper told him, hovering up close to envelope himself around Hector’s torso. ‘Not sure what we’re running into here.’
He crouched next to the small staircase that lead up to the house’s rear patio. He reached for full iron plate with his mind, and it started clapping around his body in segments.
‘It seems to be a family,’ said Garovel. ‘They’re just sitting together, presumably at a table having breakfast. But they all have the aura. I don’t sense any--’
‘What the--? It’s gone now.’
‘What’s gone? What do you mean?’
‘The aura. It went away. None of their souls are in danger anymore.’
‘Why? What changed?’
‘I... I don’t know. I’m scanning the house... but I don’t sense anyone else inside.’
Hector looked around the backyard another time. A bunch of trees, a swing set, an inflatable pool. It all seemed normal enough. ‘What do you want to do?’