Fikhos led me to a long hallway that had been positively smothered in sunshine-colored paint. I assumed that the doors lining the cheery corridor led to each of his staff member's quarters.
The Director of Housing nodded to the door in front of us. "That one there is Rathros's room."
"Excellent," I said. "I'm just going to hop back to your office and retrieve my aides, if you don't mind."
"Would you like me to stay here, your Lordship?" Fikhos asked. He angled his head downward just a little in an odd but not entirely unwelcome sign of respect. Deference, maybe. "I understand if you can proceed on your own, but I don't want to leave you hanging if there's anything else you need."
"No, that's okay," I told him. "You don't need to worry yourself with all this kidnapping crap. If I need anything, I'll give you a call. Or teleport back to your office. If Rathros isn't in here, just let me know when Jashon tracks him down."
He nodded curtly. "Yes, sir. Best of luck with rescuing your aide."
"Thank you," I said. Feeling like that wasn't quite adequate, I added, "And thank you for all your help, Fikhos."
"It was my pleasure," he said, making direct eye contact and holding steady. "Truly." He seemed genuine. He'd been helpful. Maybe he was one of the demons worthy of my trust. Assuming it turned out that he wasn't involved with Torvin's kidnapping, maybe I could rely on his loyalty the way I did with the other demons in my inner sanctum.
I reappeared in Fikhos's office only long enough to grab Jaelin and Sylnie and teleport them to the happiest hallway in Hell.
Jaelin looked around. "Huh," she grunted mildly.
"This kind of hurts my eyes," Sylnie said. "Where are we?"
"We're outside Rathros's quarters," I announced, pushing the door open and letting it swing inward to reveal the room.
It was a bleak gray space that contrasted sharply with the color scheme behind us. It contained hardly anything at all except for two threadbare cots against opposite walls. Someone was seated on one of them, but the lighting was so dim that I couldn't recognize him.
Then he looked up at us and I saw his face. It was Niven.