“Oh,” said Hector. “I should tell you, uh. Abolish is, er--they’re using invisible soldiers. To harass your people. Trying to spread your forces thin.”
Abbas just kind of squinted at him.
The boy trudged onward through explanations, though he seemed to grow increasingly worse at it. Mercifully, however, the boy’s apparent reaper arrived, and things began to make a little more sense to Abbas. Hector pulled out a familiar crimson shard, and Garovel clarified numerous details, particularly about hailing from Atreya, as well as meeting Haqq, Asad, and... Rasalased?
Admittedly, that part was still rather confusing, but Abbas at least knew that there were more pressing matters to attend to right now.
He allowed Hector to assist him in finally freezing Ivan’s skull so as to cease all brain activity. To do so meant venting one of the suit’s supercoolant packs, but that was fine. In its current state, the suit wasn’t about to be flying anywhere. The lingering effects of Ivan’s power would take a few days to wear off, at the very least. Perhaps longer.
Hector had to help Abbas walk. The boy seemed to be having trouble using his own ability. Garovel said it was probably because of something Rasalased had done, but Abbas was too exhausted to ask for clarification on that subject, too.
Together, they dragged themselves back toward Moaban at a pace that would have rivaled a very determined tortoise.
‘By the way,’ said Garovel during the intervening period, ‘I am terribly impressed that you were able to achieve victory over the Salesman of Death. As far as feats go, that is not one that the world is likely to forget anytime soon. Congratulations, Sunsmith.’
And maybe it was because he felt so battered and weak, but for whatever reason, Abbas wasn’t in the mood to let such unwarranted praise stand.