Saturday, February 6, 2016

Page 1171

It was another man, Emiliana saw. He dropped out of the sky in a flurry of wind, stopping in mid-air, just above the ground. A gusty wave passed over Emiliana, rustling her hair and clothes and stealing the breath from her mouth for a few moments.

“Kind of you to wait up for me,” the man said in two voices.

Gohvis hadn’t bothered to turn around and look at him. He remained crouched in front of Emiliana as he said, “Why are you following me, Vanderberk?”

“You don’t already know? I figured that was why you stopped. To clear the air.”

“Clear it of what?”

Vanderberk paused to look at Gohvis’ guests, and Emiliana observed him in return. He seemed normal enough. Perhaps too normal. His flip-flops, tie-dyed shirt, and knee-length shorts didn’t exactly make him look like a typical member of Abolish. Assuming he was one, of course--but Emiliana was reasonably certain about that, considering the way he and Gohvis were talking to each other.

“You must know how this looks,” said Vanderberk. “Ivan having just been captured, you coming from the direction of Sair--where, apparently, you attacked some of Ivan’s men. Until you stopped to talk to me, I was worried that you might be fleeing the scene of some foul treason you’d committed.”

Gohvis still didn’t turn around. “And?”

“Hmph. And... I’m just wondering what you’re doing out here. Where you’re headed. And why.”

“It doesn’t concern you.”

“No? I’m not sure about that. See, the report is that Ivan was captured by one Abbas Saqqaf. One of the Sandlords. Curious thing about that, though, is that according to our intelligence--the Salesman’s own teams--Abbas Saqqaf should not be capable of such a thing. Supposedly, he was using some type of suit of armor, but even still. It’s quite the unexpected development, wouldn’t you agree?”

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