‘Er, uh,’ Hector tried, ‘you, um... you mentioned someone earlier. Someone you thought was unworthy of your help?’
‘W-who was that?’
Rasalased took a moment to answer. ‘Ease your mind. It was not the Lion you know. It was his predecessor.’
Hector couldn’t deny that he’d been thinking about that. He’d only known Asad for a few days, but in those few days, Hector didn’t think he’d seen anyone show more strength, compassion, and integrity than that man. Remembering it all made Hector worry for him now. Asad hadn’t been doing too well the last time he saw him.
‘I would like to meet the new Lion,’ said Rasalased. ‘I hope you will help him live long enough.’
‘Uh--I’d like to, but I’m not sure, uh... I mean, how can I help him?’
‘Hold true, see, and understand.’
‘Uh...’ Hector wasn’t too big a fan of these vague instructions, either. It was funny when Garovel was the victim of them, but not so much now. ‘Are you, um... are you really able to see the future?’
‘Do you believe I am?’ said Rasalased.
The question caught him a bit off guard. ‘Uh. I don’t know. Er. I mean, that’s why I asked...’
And the Dry God chortled. ‘So it is.’
Hector didn’t know what was funny, but he was more surprised that Rasalased could even laugh in the first place. Everything the Dry God said sounded so serious. Apart, perhaps, from that moment when he’d realized that Emiliana was a Rainlord, but even that hadn’t been laughter.
‘In truth,’ Rasalased went on, ‘no, I do not see the future. I see only the present. But I see it clearly and thoroughly. And the present knows the past. Combined, this knowledge may predict the direction of the world, if only briefly.’
‘...I don’t understand,’ said Hector.
‘Unsurprising. It is not for the young to perceive.’
‘...Does that mean I’ll be able to see the future when I’m older?’
‘It is not seeing the future.’
‘...It kind of is, though, isn’t it?’
Rasalased laughed again.