10 v) The moon rides high above the dense jungle canopy

The moon rides high above the dense jungle canopy when Shyan rolls her master’s body into his grave. She’s streaked with dirt, sweat beading at her brow, but her breathing is controlled, steady. When Davit’s form hits the soft earth below, Shyan blinks, then begins filling the hole. She makes short work of this, and soon a mound of fresh soil rises from the centre of the clearing. Shyan stands with the spade at her side, observing the grave a moment. She feels for a moment the urge to speak, to say something, but she swallows it and slips into the jungle’s shadows.

Back at Old Mossy’s cabin, Shyan awakes from her spot on the floor with a gasping cough and wild eyes. Cang, Abia, and Old Mossy watch her carefully, while Fassn is splayed beside her. “I was in Waiiaz,” she says. There’s a ringing in her ears.

“You got the antidote,” Old Mossy says.

Shyan falls back, panting. Her eyes unfocused, she says, “That was the cure?”

“It was for you. Now,” Old Mossy adds, turning to Fassn, “for him.”

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