iv) The lock hangs, inert

The lock hangs, inert, as the colour fades from the runes. Abia breathes heavily, spent. She sits cross-legged on the floor and lets the book fall closed in her lap.

“Will you demonstrate for me how to do this?” Cang asks.

Shyan prods at the lock with the end of her spear. With dextrous movements, she knocks the strange-coloured metal aside and it thunks to the floor. “Thank you, Abia,” she says.

“Well, what’s in it, what’s in it?” Fassn asks. He shifts his weight from foot to foot, clacking his teeth together.

“Keep quiet,” Shyan murmurs, her attention on the lockbox. She uses the spear to trip the box’s latch and presses the lid open.

Within, a fang glows with an unearthly purple light.

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