i) “That god of yours really works, Fassn,”

“That god of yours really works, Fassn,” Shyan says.

Hawkhead staggers back, reeling from the energy within his wounds, feeling the flesh knit itself together. He can sense Old Ajralan within and around him, and it humbles him. “Thank you,” he stammers, looking up to the sky. “Thank you, Old Ajralan!”

“Who?” his leader says.

“Old Ajralan, may he have his fill,” Fassn says. “Let me tell you a story—”

But the leader cuts him off. “Listen,” he says. “If you go up to the castle, you’re gonna get killed. Think about what you want for your lives. Go back and be turnip farmers. You’re no more cut out for this than Wainsley over here,” he says, gesturing to hawkhead, on his knees in private obeisance.

“We just need to get paid,” Shyan says. “Turnip farming won’t cut it.”

The leader lifts his helmet just enough to spit upon the earth. “Then get the fang. Horton’s got it, or he did. You saw it?”

Abia nods. “We saw it.”

“Then bring it with you. You’re gonna need it.”

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