Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Page 1807

“Hmph. It seems these hundred cubes are not pushing you very hard.”

Oh, right, the cubes. He’d almost forgotten about them. Almost. They were still orbiting around him, all small enough that they didn’t obstruct his normal vision very much. He had relegated them to a background thought process while listening to Zeff’s explanation.

“Perhaps we should try increasing the volume,” said the Lord Elroy.

A thought occurred to Hector. Truthfully, it had occurred to him a while ago, and he’d been looking for an opportunity to bring it up. Now seemed like a good time, because he didn’t want to get lost in training and forget it later. “Ah--before that, there’s something I want to ask you. It’s about your, uh... your niece, I think? Selena Cortes?”

Zeff’s expression hardened. Somehow. “What about her?”

Aw, shit, maybe he was butting in where he shouldn’t. It might’ve been wiser to consult Garovel again before asking Zeff about it.

Well. Too late now.

“...Is she... ah... I mean, is she okay?”

“What are you talking about?”

“Ah... Well, uh. Maybe it’s nothing, but I kinda got the impression that she and her reaper weren’t getting along.”

Zeff turned back toward Warrenhold, thinking.

Hector tried to recall why he’d gotten that impression. Oh yeah. “Garovel and I overheard her reaper yelling at her. Pretty harshly, too, I thought. But, er, I could be mistaken. I don’t really, uh...”

Zeff was looking at him like he was contemplating murder.

“...I don’t really know much about them,” Hector finished.

“What was said, exactly?” said Zeff.

“I... don’t remember. It happened during the fight after the train derailed. It was super chaotic. I’m sure the reaper had reason to be stressed out. I mean, we all did...”

“Garovel overheard it as well, you said?”


“Please call him over to us, then.”

Oh, boy. Hector did as the man asked, and it wasn’t much longer before Garovel joined them.

Ah, yes,’ the reaper said after Zeff asked him about it, ‘I have actually been looking into this matter, myself, though I have been trying to be discreet about it.’ He glanced at Hector.

“Mm,” said Zeff. “And have you learned anything?”

Your sister, Joana, mentioned that Selena has been having a rough go of it. I couldn’t get any details out of her without tipping my hand, unfortunately--

“The girl has been suffering from depression,” said Zeff. “She has also...” He paused. “Well, suffice to say, she has indeed been having a rough go of it, as you said. What were the exact words that Ojarea used when you and Hector overheard her yelling at Selena?”

Her exact words to her were, “God, you’re so useless. I can’t believe I ended up with such a--” And that was it. I got the impression that the reaper hadn’t intended for us to hear even that much and so cut herself off before saying anything more. I could have been reading too much into it, though.

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