ii) Cang stretches his tender fingers

Cang stretches his tender fingers. “I suppose I must give you that,” he says. Fassn nods, a jaunty smile on his face.

“Good, good,” Shyan says. “We’ve all got fingers. Let’s not forget we don’t have any money.”

“Don’t let the barkeep hear you,” Cang says. He quickly gulps down the last of his beer. Then, fishing around in the lining of his vest, he feels the tiny emerald, and with it, a false coin — made of wood, but enough to pay for the gang’s round so they don’t get chased out of the tavern again.

Seeing this act of benevolence, Shyan raises an eyebrow.

Cang shrugs. “May Old Ajralan have his fill, it seems.”

“He always gets it,” Fassn says. “Are we going to the castle now?”

Abia, heretofore staring out the window at the imposing black structure, nods simply.

Shyan quaffs the dregs of her beer and stands. “You heard the lady.”

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