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As Morgan and Aja trudged up the great sand hill outside of the gates the girl began to chatter again.

“How long will it take to get to this town of Kishmurg?”

“Four hours,” Morgan said.

“What are you going to do with me there?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know?”

“A man named Rorick will take you and then I’ll leave, so I don’t know what you’re going to do.”

“You don’t know. Are you kidding me? You seriously don’t have any idea why you’re taking me just to hand me over to some guy?” she said incredulously. “What if he’s going to hurt me or feed me to some monster or something?”

Morgan glanced at the girl in annoyance and said, “Well, that’s none of my business.”

“None of your business?” she cried. “What kind of horrible, mindless stooge are you?”

At this Morgan stopped and turned to the girl. “Look, I have a job to do and it’s none of my concern what The Council does. As long as they are keeping me equipped, fed, and housed, I’m happy to escort you little brats across this stretch of rock and sand with no questions asked. So why don’t you just shut up and keep up with me?”

Aja looked into Morgan’s eyes and there was a tense moment of silence before she said, “You’re a bad man who has no honor.”

“What?” Morgan said perplexed.

“You are a coward, aren’t you?”

“I am not a coward, little girl,” Morgan retorted and began to walk again.

Aja hurried to catch up and continued to badger him with questions and comments while Morgan tried to ignore her with cold silence.

At the top of the great sand hill Morgan stopped and surveyed the sky. Aja was in the middle of rattling on about running away when Morgan said, “Sandstorm.”

“Huh?” Aja said thinking he was answering her comments.

“There’s a sandstorm coming. Hopefully, we’ll make the old city in the canyon before it hits.”

Aja turned her gaze to the distant sky and beheld the storm in the distance. A vast blob of darkness obscured the horizon. “Why don’t we just go back to Dolmrung?” she said gesturing back down the hill to the city.

“That’s not an option. Come on.” Morgan said grabbing her arm and starting to walk again.

“Why isn’t that an option? Because your master Council says so and you’re too much of a coward to disobey?”

Morgan tried his best to ignore the yipping girl, but she was relentless.

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