Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Page 1647

There was a minor problem with Manuel Delaguna, however. Just like Hector, the man had lost his lamplight in the fall, and so he would have difficulty trying to navigate one of the paths on his own. Apparently, he didn’t think that his argon materialization ability would help him in that regard.

...Maybe I should lend him the Scarf,’ thought Hector.

Absolutely not,’ said Garovel privately. ‘You’re not lending that thing to anyone, you hear me? You’re not gonna explain what it does to anyone, either.

Hector could understand the reaper’s concern, but at the same time, Manuel was an ally in need, and if Hector was in a position to do something about it... But then again, there was no telling if the Scarf would even help Manuel that much. This cave system was way too huge, and the Scarf’s sensory range wasn’t even enough for this one chamber that they were all standing in.

Thankfully, Diego intervened with an apparent solution. He handed his lamplight to Manuel. “Here,” he said with a sigh.

Manuel took it hesitantly. “Thank you, but... are you sure?”

Diego nodded glumly. “Yeah. Technically, I don’t need it.” He held up a hand and ignited his own flesh. His face went taught, and his clenched jawline became painfully visible.

Yangéra hovered forward and grabbed the man’s shoulder.

Diego’s expression relaxed again, and he breathed a sigh of relief. “Whew. This is gonna sting in the morning.”

Sooner than that if you don’t return to me within half an hour,’ said Yangéra.


Manuel gave a grateful nod. “Thank you very much, Lord Diego.”

“No sweat. Well. Okay, maybe a little sweat.” He doused his hand, and its distorted and charred flesh began to regenerate. “How ‘bout you come up with a good nickname for me, and we’ll call it even?”

Manuel smiled. “I’m glad you brought that up, because I already have.”

“Oh yeah?” said Diego. “Go on, then. Hit me with it.”

Manuel pointed at Zeff first. “The Dragon of the Rain.” Then he pointed at Hector. “Darksteel Wormsbane.” Then at Diego. “And the Red Hunter.”

Hector’s face scrunched up inside his helmet.

“Huh,” said Diego, rubbing his chin. “Red Hunter, eh? Yeah. I like that. Good job, Mannie.”

“If you keep calling me that, I will make sure you are never known as the Red Hunter.”

“Alright. Geez. Manuel it is, then.”

Manuel turned to Zeff. “And you? What do you think of yours? I think the Dragon of the Rain has a much nicer ring to it than simply the Water Dragon, don’t you? And it’s much more in-tune with the Lion of the Desert, don’t you think?”

Zeff’s face might as well have been stone. “I could not possibly care less.”

Manuel bit his lip. “Oh. I see...” After another moment, he rounded on Hector. “And what of you? Do you like the name I came up with?”

“Uh...” Hector figured he probably shouldn’t lie to the man. “I... don’t, actually.”

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