iv) “Scarcely as valuable, my impetuous friend”

“Scarcely as valuable, my impetuous friend,” says Mr. Jashenzizok, making a calming gesture.

Shyan lowers her weapon by a degree. “You’ve offered us nothing of value at all, mushroom.”

“Indeed,” Cang adds. “First, we are accosted and robbed by your rakish, if attractive, alchemist, here. Next we aid in your transfiguration, to resounding success. Last, we are to walk away, our pockets emptied by your nervous stooge, Burbaloo?”

A note of paternal authority creeps into Mr. Jashenzizok’s voice. “Burbaloo, did you really rob these fine people?”

“Of course not,” Burbaloo says. “I bought these crates of them, willingly.”

“Willing,” Fassn spits. “We were under tasty magic. Anybody else’s teeth feel loose?”

“Friends,” Mr. Jashenzizok begins. “If only I had enough dipyetrodranhar, I could transmute this entire field of puffball mushrooms into hard, gold coins.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Shyan says, her weapon raised anew, held steady, with purpose.

“But friends, take pause, for I know where to get it.”

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