7 i) Ruthless, her vision spinning, Shyan grabs the princess’ shoulder

Ruthless, her vision spinning, Shyan grabs the princess’ shoulder, whirls her around. Shyan’s eyes water as she blinks hard to focus. “Antidote,” she says. The princess’ eyes are sad, but she nods. The celebration around her mellows, as the cheering creatures fall quiet.

“There is an antidote,” the princess says. “But it is far away.”

“You don’t keep any on hand, in case you shoot yourselves?” Fassn asks, staring up at the sky.

“We are immune,” the princess replies. “The poison comes from within us.”

Cang shudders.

“Great,” Shyan says. She hiccoughs, bile rising in her throat. “How far away?”

“Deep underground,” says the princess. “And that’s not all.”

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