Sunday, June 24, 2018

Page 1843

The storm of water around Hector subsided, giving him some room to breathe, but he knew it wouldn’t last long. Zeff would no doubt get mad if he didn’t seize the opening and attack.

He rushed in from the front and decided to flank Zeff with a trio of materialized lances, all bearing a velocity state.

A small castle of ice froze everything in place, including Hector.

He struggled, but without the undead vigor, the ice was way too strong to break through. Hell, it might’ve been too strong even with the vigor.

Well, shit.

Zeff opened a hole in the ice so that Hector could hear him. “That was better,” he said. “You almost managed to hit me that time.”

Hector just kind of sighed.

“It was impressive that you could materialize something under my feet without even looking in my direction. I suppose that, too, is thanks to that scarf of yours?”

Hector didn’t answer him. Zeff probably knew that he wouldn’t. Everything that the man knew about the Scarf had come from the past few days of observing Hector wearing it. Hector hadn’t even told him its name.

“You have very good agility and spatial awareness, even for a materialization user, but neither of that really matters if your opponent is able to seal your movement, now does it? Preventing precisely this situation should be one of your top priorities.”

“...I’ll try to keep that in mind,” said Hector. Damn, this ice was cold. His teeth were chattering, and he was already losing sensation in his extremities.

“Good.” Zeff folded his arms and stood there. “Now. Try and get out of it.”

Hector could barely even move his neck. “...How, exactly?”

“There are only two choices. Force or heat.” A rare smile found the Lord Elroy’s face. “Hmph. Or you could try to talk me into undoing it, I suppose.”

Heat it was, then. Hector focused on his armor. It was stuck in the ice just as thoroughly as he was. But he could still dematerialize it and remake it from scratch, hotter.

So that was what he did.

It didn’t do much.

Some sizzling and cracking noises permeated the ice, but that was about it. No breaking free, and certainly no melting.

“Mm. Wow. Another thirty minutes, and you might be out of there. Assuming I don’t just make more, of course.”

Hector didn’t want to spoil one of Zeff’s anomalous good moods, but he was getting annoyed. “Yeah, you’re stronger than I am.”

“Yes, I am,” said Zeff, frowning again. “Why don’t you do something about it, then?”

Hector squinted with one eye. What was this supposed to accomplish? Was Zeff trying to make him achieve emergence? Because there was no fucking way that was going to happen.

“Alternatively,” said Zeff, “you could tell me what you’ve been hiding from me with regard to Emiliana. I might be persuaded to let you out, then.”

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