5 i) The preacher on the floor is an older man

The preacher on the floor is an older man with sallow skin and a neat but wiry beard. His open, staring eyes are pallid with that “no one’s home” kind of look.

Shyan prods him with the end of her boot before Abia bends to close his eyes.

“Is he dead?” Fassn asks as he clumsily climbs to the floor to lay beside the preacher.

“No, not dead. Out.”

“We too should be ‘out,'” Cang says.

“Yes, please,” the princess says. Her eyes, in contrast to the preacher’s, are bright and excitable. She rubs at her wrists where she’d been bound and tests the springiness of her grey limbs. “The sooner we return to my people, the sooner you may have your antidote.”

Shyan, supressing the urge to vomit, offers a shaky thumbs-up.

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