“So…you’ve got two angles of approach,” the efreet said. “And there’d better be something in this for me.”
Did efreet drink alcohol. Or were they too Muslim? There was always chocolate. “I think I can come up with something.”
“The first is that destroying them would, yes, return the fire where it belongs.”
“But there’s an entire armory of this stuff, plus whatever’s out.”
“Right. So, I don’t think you want to do that. The second thing you can do is…alter how the fire is bound.”
“Wouldn’t I still have to do that to every single weapon?”
“You can’t do it at all.” The efreet’s tones were grim. “Whoever has authority over the source of the fire can, and even then, it’s tricky.”
“Surtur has to do it.” I understood that. “Maybe I can convince him.”
“Maybe. From what I know of him he doesn’t listen easy.”
Zaid cut in, “And it would require some extended magic, probably a ritual. Probably one he’d have to design, or get one of his witches to design.”
“And he doesn’t know how. Or he would have thought of it.”
The efreet laughed. “He’s a giant. No offense, but they don’t tend to think in intricate terms.”
“None taken. I don’t think that way well myself. That’s why I hang out with witches.”
More laughter. “Always good to know your limitations.”
While he was behaving, I almost liked him. “But Surtur might be…he certainly could do it, with sorcerous help.”
Zaid nodded. “The question is whether he will.”
Or whether he’d have to be replaced by somebody who would. “Would this…rebalancing?”
“It would remove some of their virtue, but still leave good blades.”
“Then he’d do it. If we can convince him it would work.”
“And if he doesn’t get some stupid idea of sacrificing himself or somebody else,” Zaid grumbled.
“He couldn’t get much more stupid than his current idea.”
I had to come up with an appropriate bribe for the efreet. Perhaps more than one. I might end up needing his help.
Hopefully I could do it without having to consult a guy who always made me want to shower after talking to him. But I wasn’t confident. He seemed to know what he was doing.
I hoped he wasn’t lying to me.