Jada hesitated visibly at the inquiry, then deferred to Atalim.
‘I am afraid we cannot tell you,’ the reaper said.
‘Oh, come now,’ said Garovel. ‘We’re all friends here. And besides, Hector and I have met the Dry God. AND he trusts us. That must lend us credibility, right?’
‘Your trustworthiness is not in question,’ said Atalim. ‘The real problem is that one can never know who may be listening. It is for the best if--’
“Plutonium,” Jada whispered, having stepped closer.
Hector’s eyes widened.
“Materialization,” she added.
Atalim growled lowly. ‘Jada. Your father shall hear of this.’
The young woman was not deterred. “In truth, it is not as dangerous as it sounds,” she went on quietly. “Even normal people would not be harmed unless they were exposed for a long period of time. Or unless I used certain isotopes. Or soul-strengthening.”
‘Wow,’ said Garovel. ‘I’ve never heard--’
Jada held up a finger. “It is too easy for reapers to be overheard,” she whispered.
‘Mm,’ said Garovel. Then, privately, he relayed his thoughts to Hector.
“...Garovel has never heard of someone having a man-made element as their ability,” he said softly.
Jada paused, seemingly listening to Atalim. “...No element is truly man-made. Only discovered.”
Hector listened to Garovel again. “...Even so, they do seem to be rarer.”
“...As they are in nature.”
Hector had a question of his own now. “Ah... but if it’s not that dangerous, then why all the secrecy?”
“Because,” said Jada, “if the wrong people discovered that I can create something so valuable, they will come for me. Or simply try to kill me.”
“I am very grateful that I did not need to use it today.” She glanced at Atalim. “My father will be grateful as well.”
Now Hector didn’t understand. “No offense, but... if that’s the case, then why did you come with us? You could’ve stayed at the inn with the Rainlords.”