iii) Abia drives the wagon

Abia drives the wagon. She doesn’t speak with Larry, though they seem to have an ongoing understanding. She nods, murmurs, rests a gentle hand on his neck. Shyan sits up front with her, scanning the forested landscape for threats. Fassn rides in the back, keeping an eye on their rear and smacking his gums together. Cang sits in the body of the wagon proper, with an improvised bellows, pumping away to ensure their cookfire isn’t extinguished. This is exhausting, and by the time evening draws on, and the gang has left the mushroom grove of Mr. Jashenzizok and the alchemist Burbaloo far behind, his muscles ache.

Shyan spots movement in the underbrush, signals Abia for a halt. The wagon creaks to a stop and Cang complains. “Best to keep moving, friends, no?”

Shyan doesn’t reply. Squinting at the brush, she throws a stone. A man’s surprise grunt precedes his prone form stumbling out of the bushes and collapsing in the road, his eyes agape and vacant.

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