iii) The grasshopper doesn’t reply

The grasshopper doesn’t reply, which makes Shyan nervous. “Where are we going?” she asks again.

Cang catches on, puts steel in his voice. “Best to speak up, insect.”

“Back to m’ home village, ‘sall,” the grasshopper says. “Plenty of folks what’s willin’ to buy alchemic concoctions like ya’s have in them crates.”

“And who are these mysterious buyers?” Cang asks.

“Fellow bugs?” added Fassn.

The grasshopper’s compound eyes glimmer. “Plenty of odd folks about in the village,” he says. He dry-washes his humanoid hands, without letting go of his beast’s reins. “Best not to spoil the surprise.”

“Gods,” Cang says. “Can we never simply get paid?”

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