v) They camp for four days beside the gargantuan, apoplectic bird-thing


They camp for four days beside the gargantuan, apoplectic bird-thing. Unable to right itself, or even control its devastated form, it boiled with anger. “Poison, poison you sold me,” it said.

“It was a free sample,” Fassn replied.

They saw no other people in the desiccated city, until the fifth day, when they hear the undeniable sound of a wagon, drawn by a beast or burden. A grasshopper, Cang’s height, with an untamed beard and yet-wilder eyebrows, calls his horse to a halt.

“Howdy,” he says.

“Hi,” Fassn replies.

The grasshopper nods to the crates. “Thought I smelled liquors. Y’all sellin’?”

The gang shares a look. Fassn is least able to contain his delight.

“Perhaps,” Cang says.

“Well why not load ’em all up onto the cart and old Wilbur here’ll drive us back to the Jewel Farm. I’ll buy ’em pots off ya, and maybe you can gets to pickin’ a gem or two off the vines for yourselves. What do you say?”

“Old Ajralan,” Fassn says, and hops on. “May you have your fill.”


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