Biting winds rolled in with the grey. Wrest and Emaria huddled behind a boulder to keep warm. It offered a good vantage point across the valley, toward a large gathering of incensed lobsters.

“Who’s that?” Emaria asked. “Xander?”

“No,” Wrest said. “It’s Staever.”

The lobsters had Staever backed against a short cliff circling into a rocky culvert, leading up. He was saying something while backing away.

“He’s in trouble. I’m going down there.”

“Wait!” Emaria pinched Wrest’s tail. “We should get the soldiers. They can control the crowd.”

“Absolutely not.” Wrest walked on.

“You’re going to risk Staever’s life because you’re–”

She broke off.

“I’m what?” Wrest asked from the crest of the hill.

“Was that a drop?”

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