ii) When she breaks the surface, Shyan shouts

When she breaks the surface, Shyan shouts, “He’s down there. Weeds got him.” She’s panting, desperately treading water, as the thumpers circle the craft and begin again to butt the gang with their bodies, their long tails drifting. Shyan idly smacks them away.

“Well then?” Cang says.

Shyan crawls into the boat, grabs up an oar, and swiftly sends a kick through it that shatters a shard that she holds aloft: about half a metre of wood with a jagged end and vicious point.

“That might have been valuable if we intend to leave this place some time,” Cang says. It’s in vain, though, as Shyan first cuts the rope around her waist, turns and dives deep into the river.

Cang and Abia share a glance as the boat is swarmed by water thumpers and Shyan disappears below.

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