The Apolsi Crest: On to the Next Delivery

Citri kept her gaze pinned on Kylun as she signaled to the messenger. Leave us, Tannah. Be about your route.

Tannah saluted and scampered up the stairs, holding her breath as she crossed the garbage-strewn courtyard behind the house and headed into a shadowed alley. Overhead, berry-pink dawn glowed on Kirel’s spires and towers. Her first dropzone lay a half-kilome away, and the client did not like to wait.

She began to jog, her wrists throbbing. The manacle scars under the skin hurt every day, though glamours and magicks had smoothed them from the surface. Perfect beauty was the coin that bought her passage from the slave pens—beauty, a quick wit, and absolute loyalty. Oh, she knew that well.

“Citri, what are you doing?” Tannah murmured. That mead-soaked Government guard was not the usual sort Citri summoned, at dawn or any other time. “You’re up to something. As well you might be, I guess. You know all the city’s secrets.”

But so, said a small part of her mind, do the Messengers.

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