24 v) Abia cups her hands for the glowing sphere

Abia cups her hands for the glowing sphere, and it alights within. She laces her fingers loosely and conceals the near-daylight within her voluminous indigo robes.

The gang waits for hours, hunkering down in the thickets. Pressed up against one another, they smell the sour sweat of unwashed bodies and the damp, fecund earth below. The sentries seek, but do not find. The gang’s muscles ache from crouching by the time Cang skulks out to check their position. Finding nothing, he returns to the group.

“We need to find a town to unload this necklace,” Shyan says.

“Preferably somewhere that will not mind that we liberated it from a princess,” Cang adds.

Abia lets the sphere go, and Fassn prods at it as it bobs about the thicket. Soon it’s turning in circles, as though urging the team to get moving.

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