Instead of soft silks and beautiful music, Abia finds knowledge. The darkness is banished behind flat light, less illumination than the absence of dark. There are no gems and jewels, no dead martial arts master, no fine textiles: only the knowledge that all that is a lie, a broken promise, an illusion.
Abia looks about for her companions, finds them. Cang on his knees, scooping rocks and stones into his pockets. Shyan pleading with a gauzy shadow upon the rocky wall. Fassn splayed out in the dust, talking happily to the ceiling. Each unaware of her, unaware of one another. Abia turns to find the stone door they’d come through closed, its outline faintly visible in the cave’s wall.
She wonders how she’ll get through it.
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