37 v) “There appear to be no obvious discrepancies,” Cang announces

“There appear to be no obvious discrepancies,” Cang announces, after tallying their takings according to several nations’ standard accountancy procedures. The coins are now gathered into four equal piles, one for each member of the gang. The little glowing sphere races around and between the neat stacks, turning and twirling.

“What about the barber?” asks Shyan.

“His mistake,” Cang says, “was rendering his services before accepting payment.” With a subtle gesture, he moves his palm over his stack of coins, and they vanish.

Fassn’s finished with Cang’s drink and is busy licking the empty eggshells sprayed across the table. Abia looks wistfully past the red-nosed drunks, laughing into their cups, through the grimy tavern windows, and out beyond the alleys to the dragon on its throne.

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