Garovel intervened again. ‘Why so curious?’
Melchor’s face became abruptly apologetic. “Oh. Forgive me. I merely wished to know if Hector is old enough to remember the Jungle Wars. I sometimes forget that age can be a sensitive subject where security and morale are of concern. If you would prefer not to tell me, I understand.”
‘Why do you bring up the Jungle Wars?’ said Garovel.
Melchor eyed the young Atreyan lord. “The way they talk about you... There is a mythos growing around you.”
Hector just returned the man’s stare, waiting for elaboration.
“I know what that is like,” said Melchor. “The Jungle Wars were when they first began to call me Darktide. It is a strange thing, is it not? Or am I mistaken in assuming that this is a new development for you?”
Hector needed a moment to consider those questions. He hadn’t been expecting them, certainly. “Ah... yeah. I’m not, um... I don’t know if...” He shut his mouth and clenched his jaw, wanting very much to not fumble over his own tongue right now.
Melchor seemed to take that as a hint. “Nevermind. It is none of my business.” He didn’t move, but he looked like he was ready to turn and walk away now.
And a surge of silent panic gripped Hector’s chest. This wasn’t what he’d wanted at all. “No,” he said almost involuntarily as his mind grasped for a way to follow it up.
Something. Anything. Maybe it would be easier if he didn’t talk about himself.
“...Tell me about yourself,” Hector ended up saying. And after hearing his own words, he wanted to bury his face in his hands. That was way too broad of a thing to say, and it hadn’t answered either of the man’s questions.