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So soon to depart?

Lysana felt as if she’d only just arrived. In truth, it had been about a week, perhaps two. But she’d rapidly realized she wasn’t home so much as visiting due to necessity. And those traces of home she’d clung to were vanishing. The Brass Bottle’s staff was busy packing and storing everything. The news of Ereh’s succession reached her ears, though.

She went looking for Piper, hoping she wasn’t too late to catch a lift. She saw him near the coast where they’d landed before. And she saw him on the barge.

“Oh, sweet constants, he’s split himself,” she muttered. “He’d better remember what happened the last time.” Far louder, she called out, “Ahoy the barge!”

Barge-Piper turned and spotted her, managing to slow the barge’s progress away from shore before the gap between the two became too hard to cross. She gauged the water’s height, started down the slope at a dead run, and made the leap to the lower level with a thump and a roll.

“So, my friend,” she said once she’d climbed up the stairs to join him as he sailed, “The world has changed again.”

She caught him up to the news, closing with, “I wonder what it will be like with a djinn in charge.”

“I guess we’ll find out.”

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