Saturday, March 31, 2018

Page 1642

((Triple Saturday -- Page 3 of 3))
Zeff shut his eyes, scratched his brow, and breathed slowly and deeply. “Rasalased. I see. Frankly, I wasn’t certain I believed that you had ever spoken to him in the first place, but now, I suppose I do.” The man sighed with irritation. Then he opened his eyes again and glowered. “Why are you only telling me this now? Why not immediately after we returned to the surface?”

Hector didn’t much care for the look the man was giving him. It reminded of their staring contest on the train. “I didn’t want you to worry any more than you already were. It wouldn’t have helped anything.”

“I would have gotten us to your Warrenhold much more quickly than you did. That would have helped quite a bit.”

“Not if someone snapped a picture of your ice flying through the sky.”

Zeff scoffed. “Unlikely. It was dark.”

“It wasn’t worth the risk. The whole point of going to Warrenhold is so that you guys can lay low there. We can’t jeopardize that just to save a few extra minutes.”

“Hmph. That was not your decision to make.”

“Yes, it was. I’m not going to let what happened at Dunehall happen at Warrenhold, too.”

Zeff glared at him but made no response.

“The reason I’m telling you now is because I thought if you have a faster way of getting us through this blockage, then you should just do it. Don’t waste time training me. Even though I--uh... ah, even though I appreciate the thought and... er...”

Zeff raised an eyebrow in the middle of his scowl, but he still wasn’t saying anything.

Hector had lost his momentum, though. Maybe it was a mistake to try to express his gratitude at that particular moment.

Shit.

Zeff’s displeasure seemed to diminish, however. “Fine. No training, then. Observe closely and try to pick up what you can. And provide structural support.”

Hector wasn’t sure what he meant. “Structural support?”

Zeff turned toward the blockage again. “Your iron is much more suitable to construction in this environment. Even if I soul-strengthen my ice, it will eventually melt after we leave the area.”

Ah. Hector felt like he understood, but Zeff didn’t wait for him to say so.

The Lord Elroy raised both hands in front of him and then pressed them against the rock. Jets of water materialized all around the man. They were small but so numerous that Hector almost mistook them for a single archway. They disappeared into the rock, leaving a visible cut behind, and after a moment, Zeff stepped back from the rock so that ice could push out a huge chunk of freshly carved stone.

And just like that, there was a tunnel, though it had not reached all the way through the other side. With the Scarf of Amordiin, Hector quickly came to understand its current, dead-ended shape.

“Support,” reiterated Zeff as he proceeded in to the tunnel.

Hector knew exactly what he was referring to. He could sense the instability in the rocks. There were cracks everywhere among the gigantic boulders and tiny pebbles. The slightest shift could collapse this tunnel in an instant.

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