Deathwalker 3.4

              “It is tempting, isn’t it?” the deep cultured tones broke the silence. Ter Dryst couldn’t have surprised me more if he’d hit me. Well, maybe a little. When I gawked at him, his lips quirked again. “Don’t look so surprised. Any true deathwalker would feel the pull.”
            “I was more surprised that you talked without prompting.”
            The words were out before I could think to stop them. Then, it was too late. The cold eyes widened, and then, Ter Dryst did the last thing I would have expected: he laughed. He threw back his head and laughed. At that moment, the dead of nine undiscovered planets could have paraded by, and I would not have noticed.
            “My apologies, Deathwalker Sephtis,” he said. “Ter Fless requested that I be terse with you until we arrived here.” He walked to me and held out his hand in an ancient, long-forgotten gesture. Blinking, I reached out my hand and shook his.
            “So you were testing me?”
            “Somewhat, yes, and again now,” he gestured at our joined hands before releasing me. “Many of our best read deathwalkers would not know this tradition outside of books.”
            There was a question hidden there, but I blurted the question bouncing around my head instead.
            “Are all deathwalker jobs like this here?”
            “No, Sephtis.” His almost paternal use of my first name raised all kinds of alarms in my head. “This job is rather special.”

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