40 v) By the time the sleep has cleared from her eyes

By the time the sleep has cleared from her eyes, the charred, broken streaks across Abia’s flesh have dissipated. She feels their warmth, still. The gang shares a quiet breakfast and it’s clear no one feels rested. Abia is silent, as usual, but there’s a quality to the silence that prompts Shyan to ask what she’s thinking.

“Thinking of return,” Abia says, a world-weariness to her tone though her eyes sparkle.

“Last one, huh?” asks Shyan, doubt heavy in her voice.

“Superb,” Cang says. “There are indeed several valuables I would love to acquire.”

“What about all that?” Fassn asks, jabbing Cang in the ribs where he keeps a pouch of coins secreted in his vest.

“Never you mind,” says Cang. “After all, this is for Abianarin!”