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Ivan seemed amused at Hector. “You’re still trying to talk? These people are your comrades, no? The fact that you haven’t attacked me yet is proof enough that you aren’t as powerful as you claim.”
Hector’s jaw clenched.
“Don’t get me wrong,” said Ivan. “I admire your moxie. Trying to play me for a fool? Do you know how rarely people try to do that? To me?! It’s been ages!”
“You’re wrong,” said Hector, not yet sure how he was going to back that statement up.
“Am I? Oh, then please explain. I would love to hear this.”
It couldn’t end here. He had to keep this up somehow. He hated talking. He hated how much he sucked at it. But this was something else. This was bullshitting. And he could do that. Probably.
True, the stakes were a tiny bit higher than usual. But strangely, that only made things clearer to him. He had to bullshit like he’d never bullshitted before. And his mind was calm. Maybe it was Rasalased’s doing. Maybe he’d lost his goddamn mind. He couldn’t worry about that right now. Whatever the reason, in this moment, it was helping him. There was no panic. No anxiety. No distractions.
Only the knowledge that if he lost control or simply gave up, then everyone here would die.
Chapter One Hundred Twenty-Eight: ‘Hold true...’
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There was only one thing that Hector knew Ivan wanted. One thing that Hector could hold hostage.
“If you kill them... then I won’t fight you,” said Hector.
Ivan let out a laugh. “What?”
Hector knew he couldn’t let up. “Listen. My power. It’s too volatile right now. If I use it here... then... everyone will die, anyway. It would be... ah, it would be the same as just letting you kill them. That’s why I haven’t intervened. That’s why... I didn’t kill your Marauder, even though I could have. Obviously.”
The Salesman just kind of blinked at him.