ii) Fassn says “Ah.”

Fassn says “Ah.” Nubs of white show through his mottled pink gums. Ulxurix draws a slender implement with a tiny triangular head, and taps at the nubs. The contact makes a flat tkk.

Shyan and Cang lean in to watch, but Cang backs again. “Your breath, Fassn,” he says.

Fassn speaks with his mouth wide. “Maybe you can fix that, too, Madam Wizard?”

As she taps at the nubs with one hand, she rummages her robes with the other. She withdraws a long-handled tool with dense bristles at one end, and offers it to Fassn. He sticks it behind his ear.

Meanwhile, Abia slowly wanders the room. Her eyes fall upon the arcane implements of the wizard’s abode, and continue to fall upon the bookshelf’s empty space. With an effort to ignore it, she makes her way to the cookpot. By all indications, it’s the same one they brought on the wagon — in fact, the liquid appears to be the same, as well. Abia dips a pinky into the gold soup, and as she brings it to her lips, Ulxurix’s voice cuts across the room, saying, “Don’t taste that, please.”


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