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MERCY

 

At the first scream, they all looked up, bored but hopeful. Close, Rab thought. Might be able to get there before the black-caps. He set down his tankard. A chance, at least. Better’n small-ale on an empty belly.

A year back, he wouldn’t have dreamt of robbing the homes of people who had fled into the streets to escape a chimera. A year back, there’d been no chimeras. A year younger, he hadn’t known how much you could get away with if you had the guts to try.

More screams needled into Venn’s, and they were all jumping to their feet, jolting the table. Just across the bridge. Drum Lane, maybe Blower’s Street, and rat-faced Yoel caught a tankard that was toppling, not his own, and drained it… Blower’s Street.

Davy.

My brother,” Rab shouted. “My brother’s over there, you turnipskulls. Run!” He loosened his dagger in its scabbard as he sprinted down the street. Not that it would do him much good against a chimera, but it was a sturdy pigsteel blade, stolen from a drunken equerry up Salthill way. They strung out behind him: Yoel the thief, Bren the ex-carter’s boy, True Tim, and Hoppy who could outrun a man ahorse, so he claimed, but he couldn’t outrun Rab now. Not even an avistrider could have overtaken him on the way over Wandless Bridge. Davy was on the other side of that canal, and Rab held no treasure dearer in the world.

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