32 ii) “‘Course we have,” Shyan says. “Not like we’d trade this for a bath and a haircut,”

“‘Course we have,” Shyan says. “Not like we’d trade this for a bath and a haircut,” she adds, showing off a glimpse of the precious metal.

The musicians take in the gang’s collective appearance. They do appear groomed, with scrubbed faces and short, trimmed hair. “You actually don’t clean up so badly,” says the flutist, who wears a stylish doublet and feathered cap.

“Too true, now can we meet your client already?” Shyan asks. “We’d like to get paid, and, you know, eat something.”

“Something besides apples,” Fassn says, one finger in his mouth. He flicks a seed from his teeth.

The drummer abruptly slams his fist on the table. “None of that,” he says in a growling voice, holding Fassn’s startled gaze. “Not in front of the dragon.”

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