Thursday, May 24, 2018

Page 1776

Oh, indeed,’ said Garovel. ‘And I’m afraid it was also my idea to venture down there. I must apologize again for putting your family in harm’s way.

“Nonsense,” said Asad. “We chose to go with you of our own volition. Why, I even said--”

Yes, but you chose to do that because you are so fiercely kind,’ said Garovel. ‘I fear that perhaps Hector and I have taken advantage of that kindness, in some ways.

Asad merely frowned and exchanged glances with his wife.

If you are ever in need of our help, I hope you will allow us the opportunity to repay you for that kindness,’ said Garovel. ‘For the moment, however, we’ll leave you in peace. Hector and I have several pressing matters we must attend to. Good day, all.

Hector followed the reaper’s lead, and they left the robed family alone. Hector had hoped to talk to Asad more about various things like Rasalased and materialization training, but he supposed there was no rush.

Hector also wanted to ask Garovel if he knew something about the Najirs that he hadn’t mentioned yet, but there wasn’t time. Before Hector even finished climbing the stairs up to the second floor, he encountered Horatio Blackburn.

Ah,’ said Garovel. ‘Just the man we were hoping to see. Do you have a few minutes to talk?

The flat-faced man had been descending the staircase and now began going back up it without turning around. “Is something wrong?” he asked.

No, no,’ said Garovel. ‘But we would like to take stock of things. We’re checking up on everyone.

The man stopped. “You needn’t worry about us.”

Well, we do anyway,’ said Garovel. ‘Come on. Let’s find somewhere we can talk in private.

Horatio looked reluctant, but he acquiesced nonetheless. They found a vacant room near the stairs. It was small and lacking furniture, but it would do. Hector materialized a couple chairs for them while they waited for Horatio’s reaper to join them.

When she did, Hector encased the room in iron and empowered it with his soul. Apparently, this would prevent any outside reapers from overhearing what the two reapers in here were saying.

Of course, it also created a vacuum seal in the chamber, limiting the amount of breathable air left in it. That wouldn’t be a big problem, but Hector was made to wonder if he would still be able to speak if there was nothing but carbon dioxide left in the room.

Garovel started things off. ‘So. How are things?

Horatio seemed almost reluctant to answer. “Things are... difficult but adequate.”

Garovel’s next words were private. ‘Ask him something.

Like what?’ said Hector.

Whatever you want to know.

Hector had expected a more direct, instructive answer. Maybe Garovel wanted him to think for himself on this. The way a lord probably should.

“...How is the Lady Nere doing?” asked Hector.

Horatio’s frown deepened.

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