Monday, December 2, 2019

Page 1946

((The Mon/Wen/Fri Double -- page 2 of 2))
Zeff carried them both back over the lake on a mobile platform of ice while Axiolis kept apace.

Along the way, Hector was reminded of the buildings in the water there. He hadn't forgotten, exactly, but he wondered when or even how he might be able to restore them to use. It seemed like a waste to just let them sit there.

Zeff had more to say before they reached the other shore, however. "Before I forget," he said, "there is an important lesson I should teach you. Or perhaps you are already aware of this, the fact that you still have a critical vulnerability."

Hector just listened.

"When you are fighting a materializer who is significantly older than you, such as myself, they can simply do this to you." He flicked his wrist.

Hector's mouth and nasal passage felt suddenly and blisteringly cold. It was painful, and he couldn't breathe, but after a moment, it was gone.

"If that ever happens to you again, you're dead," said Zeff. "They can grow a spike straight up into your brain--or worse, they could carve it out of your skull and capture you."

Hector wasn't entirely surprised by this revelation. He remembered pondering similar techniques a while back.

Zeff seemed amused. "This isn't a very common problem for most servants, which is why I hadn't thought to tell you about it sooner."

"Er... what do you mean? Why wouldn't it be a common problem? Everybody's soul sync is weak when they start out, right?"

"Yes. I am saying that it is not a common problem, because most servants don't put themselves in such situations to begin with. But the more I've come to learn about you, the more I've come to think that you and I are kindred spirits, in this rather unfortunate way." The man spared him a look. "We both always seem to end up fighting opponents well above our station."

Hector wished he could argue with him.

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