iii) Shyan lowers her fists

Shyan lowers her fists, straightens her stance. “Horton,” she says, exasperated. “There is nothing you can do about this.”

“Well, well,” he says, stammering. Though the gang is without weapons, he’s still quite alarmed. “I’ve got friends, too.”

From the shadows emerge a handful of burly, greasy thugs. “Hey, we saw you at the blacksmith’s,” Fassn says. “You came in for your armour! How are you guys?”

The head thug spits. “Y’all are rude,” he says. His forearms are as big as Fassn’s thighs. He and his buddies are wearing the armour they’d previously been missing. Truncheons and daggers hang at their belts.

“It’s rude to ask how friends are doing?”

“These rough fellows are not your friends,” Horton says. “I took a substantial hit on my fee to employ them, so they’re actually my friends.”

The head thug rolls his eyes and spits again. “Let’s do this,” he says.

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