Friday, November 10, 2017

Page 1397

He doesn’t seem like he’ll panic,’ said Garovel. ‘Just answer him honestly.

“Well, ah,” said Hector, “we’re safe for now.”

“That so?”

“But there are still worms everywhere.”

“Figures.” The man frowned and smacked his lips together. “Guess I have to ask you to look after me for a bit longer, then. Sorry for the trouble.”

Impulsively, Hector almost said that it was no trouble, but he stopped himself. Because, well... honestly? It was. It really was. And Mr. Sheridan would probably know he was just saying that to be polite or whatever.

Hector didn’t actually mind, of course. This was the kinda shit he lived for. But it was definitely trouble. In fact, that was kinda the point.

But then again, maybe he should’ve said it anyway, even if it was just to be polite. Being polite was a good thing, after all, wasn’t it?

Shit, he was putting way too much thought into this.

And perhaps Mr. Sheridan had grown uncomfortable by Hector’s deliberating silence, because then the man said, “I promise I’ll make this up to you.”

Crap, he was being rude, wasn’t he? He hadn’t been talking nearly enough. Thinking back, he’d kinda been ignoring or otherwise not responding to a lot of the things that this guy had been saying so far. Sure, he’d been preoccupied with bigger concerns, but still...

And now he really didn’t know what to say. How was he supposed to respond to a promise like that? Just say “cool”? No, that would be stupid. He didn’t give a shit if this guy ever paid him back or not. That wasn’t important at all. So maybe he should just say “okay”? Eh, it was more neutral, but not much better, really...

Argh, why was this so difficult? Where’d all the worms go? Wasn’t there at least one who wanted to come fight him, right now? He wouldn’t mind.

A faint, red-orange light caught his attention. With only the tiny lamp in Mr. Sheridan’s hand, they’d been walking through an all-encompassing wall of darkness up to now, so he had to wonder where this new light was coming from. It seemed to be emanating from around corner.

Is that Zeff and the others?’ he asked Garovel.

No, they’re still a ways away. I think that’s probably just lava.

Hector’s brow lowered from behind his misty helm. ‘JUST lava?

You’ve never seen lava before?

Not up close, no. Not sure I want to, either.

Sure enough, when they were close enough, a rocky corner revealed itself to their lamplight, and they peeked around it to find a rushing river of lava in their way. It burned so intensely bright and was such a harsh contrast to the darkness everywhere else that Hector couldn’t look directly at it without his eyes beginning to hurt.

Hmm,’ hummed Garovel. ‘We’ll wait for Zeff here.

You sure? I could build a bridge over it, no problem.

Big problem, actually. Heat convection is a bitch, Hector. And you still haven’t mastered temperature manipulation with your iron yet, have you?

Ah...

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