Ivan took the picture and then tinkered with his phone for a bit. “Let’s see. You told the Monster your name was Hector Goffe, right?”
“...What are you doing?”
“Nothing. Be with you in a minute.”
Hector tried to think. What would Ivan want his picture for? Ah. No. That could be bad if Ivan found out--
“The Darksteel Soldier,” the Salesman said.
Hector had to keep himself from wincing.
“And--oh? Lord Darksteel? Of Warrenhold. Well, well. You didn’t mention you were nobility.”
“...It’s a recent development.”
“Ah, indeed. A self-made man, I see.”
Hector wasn’t sure that was true, but he didn’t see much point in contesting it. In fact, maybe he could use this.
Ivan wasn’t done reading from his phone, though. “You fought some of my men. And only a couple of them reported back.”
Reported back? Hector had thought Ivan was just consulting the internet. Was that not the case?
“Mm, perhaps I’ll have a talk with this Desmond Grantier fellow.”
So Desmond survived. That was news to Hector. This was really weird, though. Somehow, he’d managed to pump a morsel of information out of the Salesman. Dare he try for more? No, he didn’t give a shit about them. He had to stay focused. He had to get ahead of it. “I’d like to take credit for that,” he said, “but, uh... I wasn’t the one who wiped out your men.”
There was no sense in lying about that part, Hector figured--not when Ivan apparently had firsthand reports from other people who were there. “That was the Vanguard’s doing. Not mine.”
“Ah. I see.”
And Hector sensed a plan forming. In the back of his mind. Maybe. There was something. A lifeline to latch onto. Possibly. It wasn’t all there yet. “Actually, that whole thing... um. It was a very complicated... misunderstanding.”
“Oh? How so?”