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Taking the Leap

Getting the dragons from the riverside meadow to the bridge had taken more time and much more effort than anyone had expected. Sedric stood beside Carson and watched the last of the large dragons go down the steep slope to the old road below them. They had eroded a trough in the steep bank, setting off slides of mud, rock, soil and branches that now spattered out in a fan across the old road below. Tinder was the last to go. By the time he reached the road surface, Nortels lavender dragon was dirty brown from his shoulders down.

Only the two smaller dragons, Relpda and Spit, remained. Nasty cold wet mud, Relpda complained.

I tried to get you to go first, before the others loosened the slope, Sedric reminded her.

Did not like. Do not like. Its too steep.

Youll be fine. Youll slide down and then youll be at the bottom, Sedric tried to reassure her.

Youll roll like a rock and be lucky not to break both your wings, Spit suggested spitefully. His silvery-grey eyes were tinged with red as they spun slowly. He seemed to relish the distress he was triggering in Relpda. Sedric wanted to hit him with something large. He smothered the thought before Relpda or Spit could react to it and tried to suffuse his thoughts and voice with calmness.

Relpda, listen to me. I would not ask you to do anything that I thought would hurt you. We have to get down from here, and theres only one way. We need to slide down the hill, and then we can join the other dragons on the bridge.

And once youre there, he wants you to jump off the bridge and into the water and drown. Spit sounded absolutely enthused with the idea.

Dragon, Carson warned him sternly, but the little silver was unrepentant. My keeper wants me to drown, too, he confided to Relpda. Then he wont have to hunt as often to feed me. Hell have more time to jostle around in his bedding with your keeper.

Carson didnt respond with words. He simply lunged forward suddenly, his shoulder striking his dragons haunch with the full force of his weight behind it. Spit had been loitering too near the edge, peering with disapproval at the long, steep drop. The small silver dragon scrabbled wildly to regain his clutch on the hillside, but succeeded only in loosening more earth. He lashed his tail, knocking Carsons feet from under him, and then they were suddenly both sliding down the hill, fishtailing in the muddy chute, with Carson lunging and getting a grip of the top of Spits wing. The dragon trumpeted wildly as they went, but it was only when Carson added a whoop of his own that Sedric realized neither of them was truly upset at the abrupt descent.

They like it? The being dirty and going fast down the hill? Copper Relpda echoed his confusion.

Apparently, Sedric replied dubiously. Carson and Spit reached the bottom and rode a spray of loosened earth out into the road. Getting to his feet, Carson brushed uselessly at his clothing and called back up the hill, Not so bad, really. Come on down.

I suppose theres no help for it, Sedric replied. He scanned the hillside below him, trying to see if there were not an easier, safer, cleaner way to descend. The other dragons and their keepers were already making their way out onto the broken bridge. Carson waited for them, looking up at them. Spit had opened his wings and was shaking them out, heedless of how he spattered his keeper with mud.

Dont take all day! Carson called up good-naturedly.

She is always the slowest, Spit complained.

Im coming! Sedric shouted reluctantly. He turned sideways to the slope, resolving to walk at a slant across the steep face.

No dirt! Relpda replied stubbornly.

My copper beauty, I dont like it any better than you do. But we must get down. He didnt even want to think of the upcoming challenge hed face when he tried to persuade her to leap from the bridge in flight. He thought she could do it. All of the dragons had practised so earnestly of late, and most had shown some skill at gliding at least. He was almost certain that she could take flight and safely reach Kelsingra. Almost. He pushed his worry aside. Carson had been warning him about that. He could not doubt Relpda without making her doubt herself.

Moving to one side of the mud chute the larger dragons had created, he began a cautious descent, cutting across the steep face of the hill at a slant. He had gone perhaps five steps when his braced lower foot abruptly slid out from under him. He slammed hip-first to the ground, rolled onto his belly and made a frantic grab for some nearby coarse grasses, only for them to tear free from the earth in his grasp. He was sliding. The suppressed guffaw from Carson and the wild trumpeting of amusement from Spit did not ameliorate his predicament. Twice, his body almost stopped, but as soon as he tried to come to his feet, he slid again. By the time he reached the bottom of the slope and managed to sit up, Carson was at his side, offering him a hand up.

That wasnt funny, Sedric began indignantly, but the merriment dancing in Carsons eyes above his tightly pinched mouth could not be denied. Sedric came to his feet grinning, and spent a few moments brushing gravel, burrs and mud from his Elderling tunic and trousers. When he had finished, his hands were dirty, but the garments gleamed deep blue and silver just as much as they had before. He looked up at Carson. The hunters stained leathers were still streaked with mud.

I told you that you should try these garments. Rapskal brought back plenty of them.

Carson shrugged sheepishly. Old habits die hard. Then, at the disappointment in Sedrics eyes, he added, Perhaps after we all transfer to the city. I feel a bit awkward, calling attention to myself in bright colours.

You dont like them on me?

Carson smiled wickedly. I like them better off you. But yes, I like them on you. But its different. Youre beautiful. You should wear beautiful things.

Sedric shook his head to the compliment even as it warmed him. Carson was Carson, and in the greater scheme of things, Sedric had no desire to change him. If pressed, he would have to admit now that there was a special rough attraction to Carson in his coarse clothing. There was something comfortingly competent in the way he wore the product of his hunts.

I like them, too, Spit observed abruptly. They make him smell like killing and meat. A good way to smell.

Sedric turned away from the knowledge that the silver dragon sometimes seemed a bit too aware of his innermost thoughts. He looked up the steep hill at Relpda, who had ventured to the edge and was looking down at them, shifting her front feet nervously as she did so. Save for Carson and Spit, the others had gone on without them. Make haste, my copper queen, or we shall be left behind!

And you will be the last to leap, as youve been last at everything else! Spit mocked her unfairly. Come, copper cow, find one straw of courage and tumble down the hill to join us.

Make him stop mocking her, Sedric complained angrily to Carson. Hell make her angry and then I cant persuade her to do anything. Even at this distance, Sedric could see red anger sparking in Relpdas whirling eyes. She lifted her head, her neck arching and the frills along it standing erect with fury. Her colours grew brighter; her whole body gleamed with her anger like a copper kettle on an overheated stove.

The last? she cried out. You shall be last, and mateless forever, you shiny toad! She transferred her angry gaze to Sedric. No mud! she proclaimed, and abruptly whirled away from the edge and vanished from his sight.

Now see what youve done! he rebuked the unrepentant silver. Shell go all the way back to the village and it will take me another whole day to bring her

He never completed his sentence. He heard her thunderous tread and looked up to see her race up to the edge and leap into the air.

Run! Carson bellowed; but Sedric couldnt. He stared upward, fearful for her and for himself.

Relpda snapped her wings open and he cowered, hands over his head, as the little copper dragon fell toward them. Her wings spread wide and as he peered up at her in sheer terror, he saw her beat them frantically. He closed his eyes.

A moment later, uncrushed, he opened them again. Carson was looking up, his mouth opened in astonishment. Spits triumphant shout penetrated his brain. She flies! The copper queen flies!

Sedric strained to see what Carson watched. Then the big man put his arm around him and pointed out at the river. It took Sedric a moment to make sense of what he was seeing. His dragon. The day was overcast but still she glittered, copper against the dull pewter of the rivers surface. Her wings were stretched wide and she was in a glide. She was losing altitude and Sedric could predict exactly where she would contact the rivers surface, well short of the middle. Fly! he shouted, his voice a hoarse roar. Beat your wings, Relpda! Fly!

Carsons grip tightened on his shoulders. The hunter was silent but Sedric knew he shared his agony. Down by the bridge, he could hear the voices of the other keepers raised in anxious questions. Dortean trumpeted wildly and Veras echoed him more shrilly.

FLY! It was a roar of command, full of fury, and it came from silver Spit. The silver dragon capered up onto his hind legs, opening his own wings and beating them in futile frustration. Fly!

Sedric could not watch and yet he could not tear his eyes from her. He could feel Relpdas terror and her excitement at how the wind swept past her. He knew how she struggled to pull her body into alignment. Then, beat and beat and beat, she began to work her wings. Her leap from the embankment had thrown her into a long swoop, and she had had to do little more than outstretch her wings to ride the air. But now ancient memories were stirring. She had been a queen and once she had ruled these skies.

Dont think! Just fly! Spit roared at her. And then he took off in a lumbering run.

Spit! Carson shouted and set off in pursuit. Sedric could not stand still. He raced after them, feeling the wind on his own face and the rush of air past Relpdas outstretched neck and how the air over the moving water buffeted her. He forced himself to halt. He closed his eyes tightly.

With you, Relpda. Fly, my beauty. Nothing else. Only flying.

Ever since he had drunk her blood, he had shared her awareness. Sometimes it had been merely distracting, and at other times it had been overwhelming. He had not stopped to think that being linked to him might be not just a distraction but a source of doubt for her. No doubts now. Nothing but a copper queen and the free air and Kelsingra in the distance, calling to her. He poured himself into her, willing strength to her wings and confidence to her heart.

Spit, NO! Somewhere in the distance, he heard Carsons voice. With steel resolve, he kept his focus as it was. Wings beating steadily now. The sound of the water rushing by below him was only a sound; it could not pull him down and under. Ahead, the gleaming stone walls of Kelsingra beckoned him. There would be warmth there, he promised her, warmth and shelter from the endless rain and wind. There would be hot water to rest in, to ease away the endless ache of cold.

I come, copper queen. We rise in flight together.

The thought pushed into the mind they shared. It was Spit. He had leapt from the bridge, pushing past the larger dragons to be the first to make the jump. I have caught the wind itself beneath me and I come to you. We rise together!

The beating of Relpdas glittering wings suddenly surged to a new level. The rhythm was slower, the downward push more powerful. She rose, the river receding beneath her, and for a long giddying moment, Sedric shared her view of the countryside that spread out below her. He had never imagined that any creature could see such a distance in such detail. A human standing upon a mountain might see such a panorama, but could never detect the elk drowsing on the hillside, or the movement in the deep grass of a meadow that was not wind but the passage of a herd of small, goatlike creatures. Abruptly he could smell them, the musky male that led them and five, no, six females that followed him. Detailed information poured into his mind in a way he had never experienced. When he abruptly broke free of his contact with Relpda he was not sure if she had pushed him away or if he had fled.

He stood, blinking at the day around him, feeling as if he had just awakened from an extraordinary dream. His vision seemed hazed, and he closed his eyes and then rubbed them before he could accept that his problem was merely a return to ordinary human sight. He gave his head a shake and looked around. The other dragons and keepers were all gathered at the end of the road on the bridge approach. Carson was running back toward him, a strange look between joy and terror on his face. Motion on the bridge caught his eye and he saw orange Dortean suddenly gallop up the bridge approach, pause for a heartbeat and then leap off. As he did so, he snapped his wings wide open, revealing markings like large bright-blue blossoms on them. He pulled his body into perfect alignment, making himself an arrow. As Sedric watched, he did not drop at all, but rose on powerful strokes of his wings. On the bridge approach behind him, Kase capered and danced in wild joy at his dragons triumphant launch. His cousin Boxter raced out to join him, pounding him on the back and laughing wildly as Kase pointed up at his dragon. Then they abruptly halted their celebration and fled to one side to be clear of Skrim as the long, skinny dragon made his own dash for the end of the bridge. He did not hesitate, but flung himself out, a second orange arrow in flight. His long narrow body undulated like a snake as he fought his way higher and higher into the sky.

Sedric! Carsons shout distracted him from Skrims successful launch. Sedric, did you see him? Do you see them now?

His partner was suddenly in front of him, seizing him and lifting him off his feet, to whirl him joyously about. Did you see our dragons? he demanded by Sedrics ear.

NO! Put me down, what are you talking about? Sedric asked. But when Carson dropped him back onto his feet, he had to hold onto his arm to keep vertigo from felling him. What? Where?

There! Carson declared proudly, and pointed to the distant sky over Kelsingra.

Sedrics highest hope had been that Relpda would manage to land safely on the far shore. He had never imagined her spiralling up above the city. She tilted and tipped into each wild turn, and if she was not as graceful as a skylark she was still as joyous in her flight. Below her, beating his silver wings hard in a frantic bid to match her ascent, was Spit. He flew more heavily than she did and his effort was obvious, but so was his achievement. As the two men watched, Spit gained on her and then surpassed her. Abruptly, he dived down on her, and Sedric gave a useless cry of warning to his distant queen. But Relpda had seen Spit coming. At the last moment, she tucked her wings tight to her body and plummeted toward the ground, only to smoothly level out to a glide. She opened her wings and gained speed, shooting toward the distant foothills. But Spit had copied her and was not far behind her. He trumpeted wildly as he pursued her. As Relpda dipped from sight behind a far ridge, Sedric cried out, Why does he harry her so? Carson, call him back! Do something. I fear he means her harm!

Carson tightened his arm around Sedrics shoulders and then seized his chin to turn Sedrics worried gaze from the sky to meet his own. He smiled down at him. City boy, he mocked gently. Spit means Relpda exactly as much harm as I mean to you. Then he turned his head and lowered his face to kiss Sedric hard.

Hest was surprised. The tea was hot and excellent, spicy and warming. The shopkeeper had given him a little table near a fat blue pottery stove. He had served Hest pastries with the tea, some filled with peppered monkey sausage and others with a soft pink fruit that was both tart and sweet. Hest did not hurry his repast. He wished to give Redding plenty of time to complete his encounter with the Chalcedeans, and lots of time afterwards to contemplate his foolishness in pushing him. He suspected that by the time he returned to the dismal little room, he would have achieved two goals. The nasty messages would have been passed without Hest dirtying his hands with them, and Redding would be very submissive to his will once more.

Hest had extended himself to be charming and witty to the shopkeeper. As it always did, it had worked well. The tea man had proven affable, but busy. Hed passed a few pleasantries with Hest, but Hests gambit that Ive just arrived on one of the impervious boats; I think they will transform travel on the river, had led to nothing. But a young woman with a tattoo of four stars on her cheek had been attracted to him, and she had proven very chatty. It had not been too difficult to steer the conversation. Hed taken it from impervious boats to liveships to the Tarman and the Tarman Expedition. Thered been no lack of gossip. She knew all about Captain Leftrins visit to Cassarick and his abrupt departure and even that he seemed to have formed a partnership with one of the daughters of Trader Khuprus. The daughter had not been seen since the Tarman left the docks and some speculated she had fallen in love with the captain and run off with him. There was gossip, too, about Reyn Khuprus and his pregnant wife Malta. Rumours said that they had come to the Rain Wild Traders meeting about the time that Leftrin appeared, and then he had given Malta Khuprus some sort of secret message and possibly an extremely valuable treasure from the Elderling city of Kelsingra. Neither of the so-called Elderlings had been seen in Cassarick since then. By the curl of her lip, he deduced her prejudice against Reyn and Malta, and once he implied that he shared her disdain they got along famously and she was very forthcoming with all she knew. The Khuprus family matriarch had been reticent about their whereabouts or if the pregnancy had culminated in a viable child. The lack of information had become very noticeable, as had the haggard and anxious appearance of Jani Khuprus. The girl suspected the birth of a monster, kept hidden from all lest it be destroyed.

It had taken some little time for him to steer her away from the internal politics of the Rain Wilds and back to what interested him. He wanted gossip about Kelsingra and specifically his wife but could not ask for it directly. At last he manoeuvred her back to the first time Leftrin had spoken to the Council about the Expedition. She had not been there, but she went on at length about how that Elderling Malta had pushed her way into Council business, all on the claim of representing her missing brother Selden, who in turn was supposed to speak for the dragons, as if the dragons had any right to representation before the Council! She suspected Seldens claim to know the dragons will had simply been another Khuprus Elderling ploy to seize more power. All knew they dreamed of being King and Queen and lording it over everyone else in the Rain Wilds. Her diatribe had become dreary to him long before she tired of it. Still, she did not leave until she had eaten the last of the cakes. It had cost him an afternoon and several coins to discover that no one seemed to know just what the Tarman had discovered up the river.

He glanced out of the small window. Dark. But as it had seemed dark to him since he had arrived, he concluded that it was a poor way to estimate the time. The dense canopy of the rainforest stole what little sun the late winter had offered. It was better to go by his personal inclination, and he believed it was now an appropriate time for him to return. He stacked silver coins in a short pile by his cup and then rose to leave. Outside the snug little tea room, the wind had come up substantially. Old leaves, brown needles and bits of moss rained down through the branches. It took him a few moments to get his bearings and make his way to a smaller tree, up two stairways and then out on a limb to the tatty swinging structure that held his room. As he reached it, the rain that had been battering the upper reaches of the canopy worked its way down to his level. It fell in very large collective drops, laden with the twigs and earth it had picked up along the way. He was glad he would not be spending the night here: he suspected the swinging of the chamber would be just as bad as being on a ship at sea.

He tried the door, but found it blocked from the inside. Redding? he called out in annoyance, but got no response. How dared he! So Hest had played a bit of a prank on him, giving him the grisly rebukes to deliver. That didnt merit him barricading Hest out in the wind and rain. Damn it, Redding, open the door! he insisted. He hammered on it, but got no response. The rain began to fall in earnest. Hest put his shoulder to the door and succeeded in pushing it a hands breadth open.

He peered into the dim room. Redding! His cry was cut short by a tanned and muscular hand that shot out to seize him by the throat.

Quiet, commanded a low voice that he knew too well.

The door was dragged partially open and he was pulled into the darkened room. He stumbled over something soft and heavy, and fell to his knees. The hand released its grip on his throat as he fell; he coughed several times before he could drag in a full breath. By then, the door had been pushed shut. The only light in the room came from the coals in the small hearth. He could just make out that the object blocking the door was a mans body. The Chalcedean stood between him and escape. The body on the floor was still. The room stank.

Redding! He reached out to the body, and touched a coarse cotton shirt.

No! The disdain in the Chalcedeans voice was absolute. No, that is Arich. He came alone. Your man did not do too badly with him, at first. He delivered the parcel, and Arich understood its significance before he died. That was necessary, of course. For him to have died with hope would have been intolerable after his terrible failure. Of course he had questions that your man could not answer, so I had to intrude on their meeting. He was so surprised to see me, almost as surprised as your man. Before I dispatched Arich, he said several things that make me believe that Begasti Cored is no more. A shame. He was cleverer than Arich and perhaps would have held more information. Not to mention that the Duke had so cherished the idea that Begasti would recognize the hand of his only son.

What are you doing here? And where is Redding? Hest had recovered himself slightly. He staggered to his feet and moved back toward the wicker wall of the chamber. The flimsy room swayed sickeningly under his tread, or perhaps that was vertigo brought on by the horror of the situation. A dead man on the floor of a room he had paid for; would he be blamed?

I am doing here my mission for the Duke. I am getting him dragon parts. Remember? That was the whole reason I sent you here. As for Redding your mans name, I take it? He is there, on the bed where he fell.

In the gloom, Hest had not noticed the mound on the low bed. Now he looked and his eyes showed him details a pale hand dangling to the floor, the lacy cuff dark with blood. Is he hurt? Will he be all right?

No. He is all dead. There was absolutely no regret in the mans voice.

Hest gasped unevenly and stepped back until his hands met the woven wall. His knees shook and there was a roaring in his ears. Redding was dead. Redding, a man he had known his whole life, his on-and-off partner for bed-play since they had discovered their mutual interest; Redding, who had breakfasted with him this morning. Redding had died here in sudden violence. It was incomprehensible. He stared and his eyes gathered the moment and burned it into his mind. Redding sprawled belly-down on the pallet, his face turned toward him. The uneven light from the hearth danced over the outline of his open mouth and staring eyes. He looked mildly startled, not dead. Hest waited for him to laugh suddenly and sit up. Then the long moment for it to be some bizarre prank concocted between the Chalcedean and his friend passed. Dead. Redding was dead, right there, on a grubby pallet in a tiny Rain Wilds hut.

Suddenly it seemed extremely possible that the same fate could befall him. He found his voice. His words came out hoarsely. Why did you do this? I was obeying you. I did all you asked me.

Almost. But not quite. I told you that you were to come alone. You disobeyed. See what you caused? The Chalcedeans tone was the mild rebuke of a schoolmaster with a pupil who had failed a lesson. But not all was lost. You and your merchant friend lured them out for me.

So, you are finished with me? I can go? Hope surged in him. Get away from this. Flee. Get back to Bingtown as swiftly as possible. Redding was dead. Dead!

Of course not. Hest Finbok, fix this in your mind. It is a simple idea. Your man Sedric said he would get us dragon parts. We have not yet received what was promised. Your part is over when you fulfil his agreement, which in reality is your agreement, as he was your servant and speaking on your behalf. The assassin lifted his hands and let them fall. What is so difficult for you to understand about this?

But I did all you asked. I cant make dragon parts just appear! If I dont have them, I dont have them! What do you want? What else can I give you? Money?

The Chalcedean advanced on him. The scar on his face was not as livid as it had been but he seemed more haggard, both hair and beard gone ragged. What do I want? He put his face close to Hests and his hazel eyes lit with fury. What I do not want is my sons hand delivered to me in a jewelled box. I want to take back to my Duke the flesh and blood and organs of a dragon so that he will return to me my flesh and blood that he holds hostage. I want him to reward me richly and then forget that he ever saw me or my family. So that I and my family can live in safety to the end of my days. Money will not buy that, Bingtowner. Only dragons flesh.

I dont know how to get that. Dont you think that if I could give you that, I would have done so by now? Hests voice shook. His entire body was shaking. Not fear, but something deeper than fear rattled him. He clenched his teeth to keep them from chattering.

Be quiet. You are useless but you are the only tool I have. I have done here what could be done with these wretched fools. Sinad Arich and Begasti Cored had failed; I was almost sure of that when I was sent to see what delayed them. So, I have removed them from my path. I have also removed your Redding; you chose poorly when you selected him as your hands. He vomited when Arich opened his gift. When I entered the room, he very nearly fainted. Then he screamed like a woman when I killed Arich. This is the sort of man you choose as a companion?

I knew him all our lives, Hest heard himself say. He spoke numbly, scarcely able to comprehend that Redding was no more. Redding clambering up on a table to offer a toast. Redding trying on cloaks at their favourite tailors shop. Redding, one eyebrow lifted as he leaned close to share an absolutely scandalous bit of gossip. Redding on his knees, lips wet, teasing Hest. Redding on his belly, eyes going dull. All their lives, and now Reddings life was ended. No more Redding. I have no idea how to get dragon parts for you, he said flatly.

Im not surprised, the Chalcedean replied. But youll find out.

How? What are you talking about? What can I possibly do?

The Chalcedean shook his head wearily. Did you think I didnt ask questions about you? Do you think I dont know all about your wife? And your connections here as the future Trader for your family? I brought you here to use you, to find out all that can be discovered of the dragons and your dear little woman. When we know, we will follow them

No boat will carry us up the river! Hest dared to interrupt.

The Chalcedean barked out a laugh. Actually, it was all arranged before we departed from Bingtown. Did you think it all a coincidence that one of the new impervious boats should happen to be departing at such an auspicious time for you? That it had but one cabin left for a passenger? Fool.

Then you were on the same ship as we were?

Of course. But enough of the obvious. We have still a task here tonight, and that is to make things less obvious before we sleep.

Less obvious?

You have bodies to dispose of. First, you must strip them of all clothing, the better to destroy their identities. The Chalcedean paused thoughtfully. And it would be better if their faces were not easily recognized by anyone. He drew out one of his nasty little knives as he crouched by Arichs body. You can be stripping him while I take care of this ones face. He did not turn as he added, And we must be quick. This is but the first of our tasks tonight. Hest Finbok has some letters to write, notes offering a very profitable association with his family, but one of the most confidential nature. That, I think, will draw our hidden friends out of their lairs and to the edge of the precipice. Just where we want them.

Day the 26th of the Fish Moon

Year the 7th of the Independent Alliance of Traders

From Ronica Vestrit of the Vestrit Traders, Bingtown

To Whatever Incompetent Bird Keeper is accepting messages in Cassarick

The patron requests this be posted in the Bird Keepers Guild Hall

Once might be an accident. Twice might be coincidence. Four times is deliberate spying. You have been tampering with all messages sent to me from Cassarick. Messages sent to me from Malta Vestrit Khuprus have been received with seals damaged or missing, as well as a very recent message sent from Jani Khuprus. It is obvious to us that you are targeting messages moving between the Khuprus and Vestrit Trader families.

It is also obvious that you think us both stupid and ignorant of how the Guild employs birds and bird keepers. You will note that this message reaches you attached to the leg of one of the birds from your cote, birds you are personally responsible for. Although the Guild has refused to name you by name, I know that they now know who is responsible for at least some of the tampering. I have filed a complaint against you specifically, citing the leg-band marks of the birds that have arrived bearing damaged messages for me.

Your days as a bird keeper are numbered. You are a disgrace to the Rain Wild Traders and to the family that bore you. Shame upon you for betraying your oaths of confidentiality and loyalty. Trade cannot prosper where there is spying and deception. People like you do damage to us all.

CHAPTER FOUR Opening Negotiations | Blood of Dragons | CHAPTER SIX Dragon Blood