Jenny: A Crocus-Flame Alight

Artos let out a soft whistle. Ambrosius admitted that he felt rather the same. The Guttersnipe who had flared with silent objection when she had been brushed aside, stood completely still, dumb-struck - she recovered in time to flash a triumphant look at Cunorix.

He would never admit it to anyone, not even Artos, but Domitia's words had dug deep into his soul and clenched him tight like Champion's talons in his shoulder: like water in a dry place, like strains of heaven's music in a land without harmony. He knew what the Guttersnipe felt in that first few hollow moments after Domitia's speech: something wholly other than the pale little Erin-chit had erupted into bloom before them, giving no preamble, and vanishing with all the notice of a departing angel. The girl had finally found her wick and had begun to burn.

Then he saw Cunorix's face, and neither of them were smiling now. The Attacotti was looking grim, his eyes glacial in a drawn face. He met eyes with Ambrosius and nodded, his lips parting to show his teeth. Ambrosius gave him no gesture back.

"Kill him," Artos murmured. "If you do nothing else, kill him."

"Oh, I will."

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