Sunday, July 1, 2018

Page 1854

((Belated Triple Saturday -- Page 2 of 3))
The Rainlords had also put up something of a fuss about letting him go to the Gala alone. They’d repeatedly told him that he should take a team of servant bodyguards with him, but the obvious issue with that was the Rainlords’ infamy. As much as Hector might’ve liked to bring Diego Redwater or Dimas Sebolt or someone else along, it wouldn’t do if the Vanguard saw their faces on camera. Sure, the Gala was not an international event, but it wasn’t like it was a national secret, either.

But the Rainlords had nonetheless been insistent. And the solution that they’d come up with was to simply avoid sending anyone recognizable. Hector had outright refused a full team of bodyguards, believing that would be more intimidating than protective, but he did decide to accept one Rainlord bodyguard, at least.

Matteo Delaguna was the chosen young man’s name. Hector had seen his square face and heavy gaze a few times before, but that was it. The guy couldn’t have been much older than him, probably not even twenty years old. His reaper, Ernivoc, accompanied them as well.

Matteo seemed to be taking his role as a bodyguard pretty damn seriously, too. He even dressed like one, complete with a dark suit, black tie, and sunglasses. He’d barely said anything since they’d left Warrenhold, though that was just fine with Hector. Ernivoc and Garovel talked plenty in their stead.

But it was weird, having this extra body around, following him like a shadow. He’d just been starting to get used to Jamal’s frequent presence, and now there was this guy.

Hector felt like maybe he should’ve asked him some questions or something. Tried to get to know him better, maybe.

He felt that way. But he didn’t act on that feeling, which ended up just making the feeling worse.

Agh.

Baby steps, he supposed.

It didn’t help that that he had about a thousand other things on his mind, as well. In between conversing with Ernivoc, Garovel had privately been explaining to Hector about all of the intel he’d been gathering recently about the various Atreyan nobles, and even now, as they were walking down the greeting carpet toward the palace, Garovel was still coming up with new things to tell him.

Ah, see that guy?’ The reaper pointed subtly forward with the tip of his scythe.

Yeah?’ said Hector, noting the well-dressed, gray-haired gentleman whom he was referring to.

That’s the Lord of House Vollier right there,’ the reaper said. ‘Domitrus Vollier. Important guy. Arguably the richest man in Atreya, right now.

That name caught Hector by surprise. ‘He’s named after the first king?

Yep. Heh. Surprised you picked up on that. I’m proud of you.

Even first graders know who King Domitrus was,’ said Hector.

Exactly my point. That’s very advanced historical knowledge for you.

Shut up.

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