43 iii) “Hey, lemme go,” Fassn protests

“Hey, lemme go,” Fassn protests, his feet scrabbling against the smooth stone wall of the pit. “There’s something smelly down here.”

As though his comment makes it real, the gang is hit by a repugnant stench emanating from the pit. Something sweet, like decay, but with a sour tang of vinegar that’s altogether unpleasant.

“Hear that? He wants to go down,” grunts Cang, caught in the middle of the human chain.

“Up to you to let him,” says Shyan, dragging Cang’s ankles back from the pit.

Cang’s crumpled, reddened face furrows further. “Why do I bother?” he mutters, straining against Fassn’s weight.

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