4 v) Shyan coughs and spits

Shyan coughs and spits, wipes the perspiration from her brow. Fassn is heaving, his hands on his knees, bent double. He murmurs something to Old Ajralan. Abia appears more composed, but she too is coming down from her body’s stress response. After just a few moments of rest they each dart into the church to find the preacher with his broken arm. Cang’s loosening the fastenings that bind the grey princess to the dais.

“Hurry, hurry,” the princess says.

Shyan carefully kicks the preacher to roll him away from them, and scoops up his knife. “Nice to have steel in my hand again,” she says, before a wash of lightheadedness comes over her and she has to lean against a pillar.

“Looks like you need the antidote,” the princess says.

“Some more than others,” Cang says, as Fassn crawls down to the floor and lays out flat like a starfish.

And just like that, the princess is free.

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