Friday, June 22, 2018

Page 1839

So,’ said Garovel after a while of silence. Instead of attaching himself to Hector, he was flying on his own and keeping pace with him as they soared through the night sky together. ‘Got any idea why someone tried to kill that guy?

You’re asking ME?’ said Hector.

I’m just curious about where your mind’s at. I’m trying to keep track of how your critical thinking skills are developing. This is our second mysterious case we’re working on, after all.

Second? What was the first?

The mystery at Dunehall. You remember. When it looked like Ibai Blackburn had killed Fuad Saqqaf.

Oh, yeah.

Shame, too. I was getting really invested in trying to crack that case wide open. Then everything started exploding, and nobody really cared, anymore. I never got a chance to show everyone my unfathomable intellect.

...Unfathomable even to yourself, you mean?

Heh. Yes. Even I don’t fully grasp the enormity of my brain.

Your brain which technically doesn’t exist.

Oh, don’t start down that road. We’ll be busy for hours.

Hey, why does Dunehall count as the first case? Why not the, uh... all that shit with Colt and Rofal? That was a case, wasn’t it?

Eh, not REALLY. I mean, where was the mystery, huh?

YOU were the mystery, I think.

Hmm. I’m not sure whether to be flattered or offended. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. This is our official second case. I’m calling it now. Everything else was just build up to this.

Hector snorted a laugh. ‘Everything, huh? Even though we have no reason to believe that Mr. Lang is in any way related to anything we’ve seen or been through so far?

That doesn’t matter. Chronologically, everything has been building to this.

Oh, okay. Then I guess everything has been building toward breakfast tomorrow morning, too.

Heh. Well, maybe not breakfast but definitely dinner.

Hector knew what the reaper was referring to. He would be having dinner tomorrow in Sescoria. With the Queen and about a hundred other lords and ladies of Atreya.

The invitation had been delivered to him two days ago--in person, no less, by a sharply dressed officer of the royal court.

The Atreyan Gala of Royal Associates was an annual occurrence--one that Hector had heard about since he was a kid and had certainly never expected to be invited to. It was being held a month early this year, possibly because of the economic crisis, though Hector didn’t really know what the Queen was thinking in that regard. The news certainly wasn’t making light of the timing. With so much concern over money in the public consciousness, it seemed to him like a bad idea to have all of the wealthiest people in Atreya show off in front of a bunch of cameras.

According to Madame Carthrace, though, the Gala was more than just a fancy gathering for the nobility. It was an unparalleled opportunity for the nation’s most influential people to discuss policy and make decisions that could affect their own communities for many years to come.

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