Monday, March 13, 2023

Page 3249

Hector had to think. What a fucking conundrum he was facing, all of sudden.

On the one hand, the Vanguard getting involved could prove quite problematic where the Rainlords were concerned. Warrenhold was supposed to be a safe place, away from the Vanguard's influence.

But on the other hand, if Bloodeye and his men stormed into Atreya, it wouldn't just be Hector and Warrenhold at risk. The entire populace could very easily become subject to the same horrific reality that was already happening to Sair.

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of helpless civilians being slaughtered at Abolish's whim. Hunted down in the street. Homes invaded, looted, and burned.

Ugh. When he thought about it like that, it seemed like no choice at all. Hector couldn't gamble with the lives of so many, just because he was afraid of a complicated situation once the dust settled. There was too much at stake here. Maybe if he hadn't already gotten his ass handed to him by Banda Toro, he would be thinking differently right now, but there was no way he could simply ignore this.

"If you're offering help, then I won't refuse it," said Hector. "But from the sound of it, I shouldn't hold my breath."

'Sadly, yes, that is the case,' said Xander. 'We are already being stretched beyond our limit. I do not know if anyone will be able to help you, but I will ask.' And there was a pause. 'Actually, if you would like to plead your case yourself, then I could bring you to me so that you may do so.'

Hector might've blinked if his eyes weren't already shut. "Didn't you say that you didn't want to bring me to you? That it would be too big of a risk?"

'Yes. But if you wish it, I am willing to take that gamble for the sake of saving your country. Either way, an enormous risk is being taken. If given a choice, I would rather choose the one that banks on you being the honorable friend that you currently appear to be.'

Wow. Hector had to admit that he was flattered. Xander didn't seem like the kind of the guy to say a thing like that without genuinely meaning it. But he still couldn't say yes here. "Thank you, but I can't spend that kind of time away from home, right now. I need to get back as soon as possible. I feel like I've already wasted too much time in this place, as it is."

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