“Magistrate, can you hear me?” Kasita touched Thane’s shoulder. “How many fingers am I holding up?”
He groaned. “Jethan, is that you? It hurts. I’m just…” His eyes fell shut, but his breathing steadied.
“We need to get this man to a temple.”
“What about the last tower?”
“I can fly there on Charon, and — wait, Cordwynn is an ogre. Even a giant raven can’t carry her.”
Wildflower & Vinnie
Wildflower stood up from the trophy-goblet of ambrosia, still burning. Cordwynn met their eyes from the ring. “Do we keep wrestling?”
The referee raised her hands, unsure.
“No matter. I concede.” Cordwynn bowed to Wildflower. “I have faced you, now. You know my strength now, and I know yours. I shall be glad to test you again — another time.”
The referee lifted the kylix, and held it out to Vinnie. “This is somewhat irregular, but — I declare you tournament champion! Hail Wildflower!”
Still somewhat dazed, Wildflower carried the trophy into the city.
It was about then their shirt caught fire.
The silver glow faded, and the room was dark. Vinnie could barely make out the shape of the now-dry pool — and was that a metal ring around it? Silver? Gold? He leaned in closer.
It was lead. Worthless.