‘You are just full of dissenting opinions, aren’t you?’ laughed Garovel. ‘Usually, when I hear people talk about the Jungle Wars, it’s about how the big, bad Melmoorians annihilated the peaceful, nature-loving Cannites and eventually consumed most of the region with their industrialist greed.’
‘Yes, we have heard that many times as well,’ said Orric. ‘It really gets on Melchor’s nerves.’
“Only when people who did not live through it speak as if they did,” said Melchor.
Garovel laughed again. ‘I know the feeling.’
“Many reapers seem to,” said Melchor. “As I grow older, I find myself appreciating the work that the Archivers do more and more. If Orric decided to become one tomorrow, I would not be terribly upset.”
‘Maybe one day,’ said Orric, ‘when there is not quite so much work yet to be done.’
“I have my doubts that such a day will ever occur.”
‘If that is true, then perhaps my life as a glorified bookkeeper was simply not meant to be. What a terrible shame.’
Melchor gave the reaper a dry look.
Hector was curious now. “Archivers?”
“Have you not heard of them before?” The man seemed surprised.
Hector just shook his head.
‘The grand historians of all humanity,’ said Garovel. ‘Paragons of impartiality, with integrity that is beyond reproach.’
“Yes,” said Melchor. “In truth, I am not sure Orric would qualify.”
‘No offense, but he probably wouldn’t,’ said Garovel. ‘Anyone can start archiving independently, of course, but to receive recognition from the Prime Archivers as one of their own? I wouldn’t get your hopes up, if I were you.’
“Yes, I have heard that they are notoriously reclusive,” said Melchor.
‘That is an understatement,’ said Garovel. ‘The Prime Archivers are all very old, very paranoid reapers. And unless something’s changed with them recently, then it has been about fourteen hundred years since they allowed anyone to officially join their ranks.’