v) “Well, mushroom man, we’re listening”

“Well, mushroom man, we’re listening,” Shyan says, her face a flat mask.

“But not for much longer,” Cang adds.

The full weight of the threat seems to crash down upon Mr. Jashenzizok. He swallows.

“The compound most commonly known as dipyetrodranhar can be found in the tear duct,” he exclaims. Involuntarily, he throws his hands up.

“Of ugobok,” Abia says.

“That’s right,” Mr. Jashenzizok says, stammering. “That’s right, the tear duct of the ugobok.”

“Gods, what is that?” Shyan asks.

“Big snake,” says Abia.

“Let us take the mushrooms themselves and move on,” Cang says.

Shyan wipes her hand across her filthy brow, suddenly feeling the weight of exhaustion. “So we get the ugobok tear duct, you get the chemical, we get the gold?”

The alchemist, Burbaloo, nods hurriedly along, as though Shyan were purposely including her.

“It’s just that easy,” says Mr. Jashenzizok.

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