ii) “She’s lying”

“She’s lying,” Shyan says.

“How can you tell?” asks Fassn.

Shyan looks defensive about this unanticipated follow-up. “Well, she’s lied before. I think we should knock her out.”

The colour drains from the alchemist’s face. “You definitely don’t need to do that.”

“Buyer in Almery?” Abianarin asks.

“Almery? No. Blasted place. Not worth the effort. Scary, too.” She winces back from Shyan’s raised pommel. “Not as scary as you lot, though.”

“Flattery will get you everywhere,” Cang says. “Do you like my new hat?”

The alchemist nervously swallows.

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