32 iii) The gang’s eyes go wide at the mention of a dragon

The gang’s eyes go wide at the mention of a dragon. Abia is first to speak. “Which dragon?” she asks.

The drummer frowns. “Our damn client, the boss.”

“The dragon must have a name,” she says calmly.

“Yeah, maybe,” the drummer snaps. “You don’t need to know it.”

“Why so rude, Rufus?” asks the flutist of her companion. “‘Tis a perfectly reasonable question.”

Rufus grumbles. “I don’t like these ones.”

“Luckily, you don’t need to,” the flutist replies. To Abia, she says, “Our boss’s name is Xoxxithraxix,” her voice grating and harsh as though she’s swallowing rocks.

Shyan, Fassn, and Cang turn to gauge Abia’s reaction. She replies with a single word: “Shit.”

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