‘Do you remember the last person you talked to?’ asked Garovel.
‘I remember everything,’ said Rasalased. ‘Al’raml yatahmmaluh.’
‘Ah,’ said Garovel. ‘“The sand endures.” Indeed, it does.’
‘A petulant whelp, the last one was. Believed the blessing alone made him worthy. But I learned my lesson after the three. I looked into his soul and saw him truly. Saw his dreams. His intentions. His secrets. Just like I am doing to all of you now.’
‘Oh,’ said Garovel. ‘Is that so? Well, then. I would say that such a thing is impossible, but... aha, for you, it probably isn’t, is it?’
‘My spiritual kin,’ said Rasalased. ‘Both of you. Very old, indeed.’
‘Mm, you can sense that, huh?’ said Garovel. ‘Chergoa and I were born Lyzakks, yes.’
‘Very troubled, as well,’ said Rasalased. ‘Very concerned. Very earnest. Selfless, in many ways. Ambitious, in others. Deceptive, too. Hungry for power. As all reapers are.’
‘And the two young ones, let me see. Emiliana Eirwen Elroy. How anachronistic. Ha! A Rainlord! All is explained, then.’
‘How do you know my--?’
‘You, too, have a troubled spirit. Aching in all aspects. But also still being forged. Burning away remnants of selfishness. Of naivete, too. And there is deep worry. For yourself. For your kin. A terrible homesickness. You, child, have my sympathy.’
‘And the last one...’
And Hector couldn’t stop himself. ‘Aw, shit,’ he thought aloud.
‘Hector Alexander Goffe,’ said Rasalased. ‘The mixed heritage of a common mongrel.’
‘What the fuck do--?’ tried Garovel.
‘And such an incredibly weak soul. Troubled even by its own existence. Twice broken, now mending. Desperately reforging itself. And angry at its own workmanship. In dire search of purpose and fortitude.’
Well, that hurt even more than he’d expected.
‘However,’ said Rasalased, ‘therein dwells supreme selflessness. And a curious strength in weakness. Almost indescribable. How strange, you are.’