20 ii) As the stones clatter into place

As the stones clatter into place, Fassn begins singing a low, plaintive dirge in his native tongue. Cang falls silent to listen, and soon only Shyan’s ragged breathing undergirds the melancholic melody. She moves to stand, but Fassn shushes her, keeps her still within the outline of stones.

Only Abia and Fassn himself understand the words, though both Shyan and Cang catch the mention of “Ajralan” sprinkled throughout. Fassn waves his open palms about Shyan’s body, centimeters above the jagged ends of the barbed darts sticking out from her skin.

As Fassn’s song intensifies, the bone darts begin to shake and quiver.

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