33 iv) “The boss is exacting,” Abia says

“The boss is exacting,” Abia says. “But he loves gold.”

The attendant observes from his vantage point atop his long nose. “This one has sense, at least,” he says. “But, alas, the boss is not receiving visitors right now.”

“Right,” says Rivera, rolling her eyes. “Don’t mind him,” she tells the gang. “He’s just lazy. He’ll say whatever it takes to get rid of us.”

“A most scurrilous accusation,” says the attendant, entirely unphased. “Truly, the boss is absent, on a walkabout, of sorts.”

Shyan gives Abia a questioning look. Abia replies with a look that says “don’t worry.” Sure enough, Rivera and Rufus push past the attendant and ascend an ornate staircase. The gang wastes no time in following, leaving the attendant blinking calmly in the foyer.

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