i) “Hey,” Cang hisses from the back

“Hey,” Cang hisses from the back. “I have not agreed to this.” He lets his wooden spoon sink into the pot of molten gold and steps to the front of the wagon. “Already we’re sharing one pot four ways. Now we are to make it seven?”

The man and his wife drag their unconscious companion toward the wagon. Fassn spots them and asks, his mouth toothless, whether they have any soft food to share. He holds up a lip to show them his gums. “See? I lost my teeth.” Tiny points of white show periodically among the bright pink of the tissue. Fassn flexes his shoulders sadly. “I also lost my wings.”

The road people glance at one another, trying to decide between confusion and alarm, before hoisting their friend onto the wagon. Larry whinnies at the excess weight.

“We’re heading to the town of Gabjeoš,” Shyan says. “Know it?”

The woman nods the affirmative, while her husband’s jaw falls slack at the sight of an iron cookpot, full and bubbling with a fortune in liquid gold.

Cang spots the lecherous look in the man’s eye, recognizes it as the same in his own. He speaks clearly, not bothering to hide his disdain. “Shyan,” he says. “I don’t like this.”

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