Friday, April 20, 2018

Page 1701

Soon, everything was moving. The warehouses were bustling with dozens of servants working together, and there was a feeling that they were finally making good progress. The pods were only being removed from the buildings and placed on the other side of the layer of brown dirt, but it was a start.

He eventually spotted Asad and his family moving among the crowd. They were especially noticeable because of their robes, which Hector was surprised to see were still intact, unlike almost everyone else’s clothes. He would’ve liked to say hello, but they already seemed pretty invested in helping with the evacuation effort. The Lord Najir did take notice of him, however, despite how many other servants were wearing armor similar to his; and when the tattooed man offered him an acknowledging wave, Hector was quite pleased to return one of his own.

As the work continued, Hector also thought to ask Garovel about the threat potential of boron, but the reaper just said it wasn’t a particularly volatile element, as far as he was aware. Then he asked Garovel if anyone present might have some sort of elemental advantage against it, but the reaper didn’t think so.

Maybe if someone here could materialize pure hydrogen,’ said Garovel. ‘Though, that might be more of a double-edged sword than an actual advantage.

The closer they got to completing the evacuation, the more Hector worried that bad news would arrive at any moment. Maybe it was just his natural pessimism, or maybe it was an entirely rational adaptation to his lifestyle, but whatever it was, he kept expecting to hear Voreese suddenly tell everyone that Leo was on his way or that a feldeath was about to rip Capaporo to pieces or something.

But to Hector’s immense surprise and relief, that didn’t happen.

They finished removing all of the climate pods safely from the warehouse--by which time, Zeff and Axiolis had already begun leading a trail of Rainlords back towards Warrenhold. Manuel and Lorios led another entourage shortly thereafter, followed by Diego and Yangéra, and finally Hector and Garovel.

And since he was bringing up the rear, Hector ended up with perhaps more than his fair share of some of those powerful Rainlords in his group, including Melchor and several of the top Blackburns, Dimas and several of the top Sebolts, and Evangelina Stroud by herself. The rest of her family members were still captives of the Vanguard, after all.

The woman seemed to be in relatively high spirits, however.

“I have never worn armor like this before,” she said, clad head to toe in full iron plate like pretty much everyone else in their party. “It is a bit restrictive, but I can see why you appear so fond of it.”

Hector wasn’t sure what to say. Materializing armor that fit the female form had easily been his most harrowing experience today, but he was glad that she seemed to like it. She was even carrying one of his shields.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Page 1700

Oh, I doubt you consider it as much of an honor as I do,’ said Voreese. ‘If I’m being completely honest here, I’m a bit of a fangirl of yours.

Melchor just raised a thick eyebrow at that.

I’m an admirer of a lot of the ass kicking you’ve done, especially against Abolish. I remember hearing news of your exploits a few times over the years, and they were usually pretty damn cathartic. If I still had tits, I’d totally ask you sign them for me, right now.

The man looked briefly at the young Lord Darksteel, but Hector didn’t have anything for him. “Ah... um... I see,” said Melchor. “Thank you for those... kind words.”

Yeah, no problem,’ said Voreese.

The pleasantries didn’t last much longer, and Melchor soon joined the rest of the servants in trying to free everyone. For a second, Hector thought the guy and his reaper might use pan-rozum to aid in the process, but they didn’t. No doubt, they didn’t want to deal with the exhaustive consequences of it, in case they ended up needing to fight soon.

The last few weeks must have been especially crazy and confusing from that guy’s perspective, Hector figured. Melchor Blackburn had probably spent the majority of it unconscious and been continuously woken up just before another fight broke out.

Hector hoped everyone would be getting some well-deserved rest once they finally made it back to Warrenhold. There would still be plenty of things to be concerned about, of course--not the least of which was the other large group of Rainlords who’d been captured by the Gargoyle of Korgum at Rheinhal--but at least they wouldn’t have to worry about being attacked at Warrenhold.

Probably.

The notion of Warrenhold coming under siege, too, had not really crossed his mind before. But it was definitely something that he should’ve been giving some thought to, he now figured.

Lord of Warrenhold, huh? Protecting it was on him. No doubt about that. And with the kind of enemies that could end up knocking on his door, combat strength alone probably wasn’t going to be enough.

At least, not their current level of combat strength.

Hmm.

And of course, there was still the matter of what the hell he was going to tell the Queen. This probably wasn’t something he should try to keep her in the dark about. Hell, she’d been looking for strong allies to help her protect Atreya in the future. Maybe he and Garovel would be able to convince her that this was a positive development in that regard.

There was also the restoration of Warrenhold itself to consider. The glimpse he’d gotten of its repairs had been nice, but he knew there were still quite a few places in total shambles.

Ugh. So much to take care of. He was pretty sure he was forgetting a few things at the moment, too.

Whatever. For now, it was nice to be able to just assist the Rainlords in extricating all these climate pods from the warehouses. The pods were still covered in the myriad of shields he’d made when he had arrived in the Undercrust. Maybe a few had fallen off here or there, but the pods still looked pretty well-protected, all things considered, and the Rainlords weren’t bothering to remove the shields, either, despite how much more unwieldy they made them.