ii) Shyan wheels on the alchemist

Shyan wheels on the alchemist, anger clouding her face. “Listen,” she says, in a sharp voice. She pauses to see everyone watching them, takes a breath. “We’re not paying you for some stupid horse.”

“Larry,” Abia says.

“For some stupid Larry,” Shyan says.

Burbaloo blanches. Mr. Jashenzizok wears a peculiar, appraising look. Burbaloo puts a protective hand on Larry’s neck, who stares ahead impassively. “But he’s worth a fortune, and–“

“You don’t remember when you stole from us? Every copper penny?”

Cang, on his toes to look over the edge of the cookpot, between steady stirs, calls out, “Time to go. This soup certainly is not becoming any hotter.”

“Remember to keep a reasonable temperature, and stir frequently,” Mr. Jashenzizok says. “You don’t want any of that to burn and stick to the bottom of the pot.”

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