v) Cangette

“Cangette. Real believable, Cang,” Shyan murmurs. “Any coin you get for hawking this stuff is going right into the Cang Fund.”

“No more noble a goal exists,” he says, scanning the objects. “They do all look valuable, do they not?”

They do. Upon the shelves rest twisted crystals, amazing vases, copious coins, from the old world, the new, and the new-new. Cang’s gaze runs lovingly over each piece, assessing its worth — and convenience for fencing. At last, he reaches up and takes down an iron rose set with emeralds that match the tiny one sewn into his vest’s lining.

“Found your souvenir?” asks Ulxurix.

“Indeed, madam,” Cang says, beaming.

“Just in time, then,” the wizard replies. She bids Fassn to sit up and smile. His mouth is full of fresh and shiny teeth.

“Old Ajralan,” he says, his words no longer muddied. “May you have your fill!” Fassn wraps Ulxurix in a bear hug.

She laughs, and when he lets her go, she says, “Now, as to the matter of my fee.”

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