These ardor weapons had everyone on edge, Hector included. Thankfully, they didn’t seem to be that common, but the mere idea that even non-servants could pose a serious threat... It was just more fuel for the Rainlords’ rapidly growing distrust of everyone else.
He could see it in their ranks. The way they talked to each other. The way they stuck so close together all the time. And especially the way they looked at other people. He supposed he should just be glad they didn’t look at him that way.
‘Keep a close eye on them,’ Garovel told him privately. ‘This kind of behavior is only natural, and it might very well save our lives, but it can be dangerous, too.’
‘You’ve seen people act this way before, I take it?’
‘More times than I can count. The power of groupthink. In the grand scheme of things, it’s just an evolutionary trait. Hugely beneficial toward protecting the “tribe,” as it were. But it also makes it that much easier for someone to overreact, and that’s how innocent people get killed.’
‘But... the Rainlords wouldn’t allow that to happen... I mean, they’re...’
‘I know what you’re trying to say, but don’t be too sure of that. They’re still human. Right now, they’re hurt, and I’m sure they’re feeling vulnerable. And in this world, there exists no better justification for doing something extreme.’
Hector tried to take those words to heart. As much as he’d grown to care for these people, as much as he understood what they were feeling, Garovel was right.
In the end, their party decided to settle on a pair of small inns they found adjacent a large, open area--a kind of rocky park, seemingly. Even with both inns together, there wasn’t enough space for everyone, but that was deemed agreeable, because a large group needed to stay outside and keep watch, anyway.