A part of Hector wanted to get genuinely upset at Garovel. It was still a sore spot for him, to be sure, but he knew the reaper didn’t mean anything ill by it. So instead, Hector merely sighed. ‘I don’t want to trick people, Garovel.’
‘Excuse ME?’ the reaper said. ‘You don’t want to trick people? YOU? The guy who tricked the Salesman of Death into sparing hundreds of Rainlords?’
Hector opened his mouth to argue, only to realize that he couldn’t.
‘Oh, I get it,’ said Garovel. ‘You’re trying to trick ME now. Well, it won’t work! I’m too smart!’
‘That’s not--I don’t--’ Hector didn’t have the words and just ended up laughing.
‘Don’t play games with me, young man.’
‘I’m not, uh--I mean, ah... aha... I don’t know what to tell you...’
An awkward silence arrived.
Hector wasn’t sure how to articulate what he wanted to say. He’d already told Garovel that the whole deal with the Salesman had felt like some kind of crazy fever dream, but he didn’t know what else to say beyond that. And Garovel was as much in the dark about it as he was, apparently.
The prolonged quiet brought Hector’s mind back to Rasalased, to what the ancient Sandlord had done to him. “Tempered” his soul. Whatever that meant. It had to have been connected to what happened with the Salesman. Didn’t it?
‘Hey, are you meditating?’ said Garovel.
‘Uh... well, I was thinking about it.’
‘Alright, then I’m gonna go talk to Qorvass. Let me know if you make any progress.’
Hector gave a nod and watched the reaper float away. He certainly envied Garovel’s ability to make friends so quickly. The reaper made it seem so easy, like it was the most natural thing in the world. Then again, perhaps it was.