32 ii) The glowing sphere dances into the apple seller’s face

The glowing sphere dances into the apple seller’s face. He’s perplexed, swats it away like an annoying fly, but it dodges and weaves without effort, leaving him flummoxed. Peasants in tunics thread by, oblivious.

“I guess now’s your chance,” Shyan says.

Cang sighs and darts over to the cart, keeping his footfalls quiet. He holds wide the pockets sewn into his vest, and scoops a half dozen apples into them while the merchant is distracted. When Cang rejoins the gang, and sphere disengages from the merchant, who looks around for some explanation.

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