Featuring new cover art: “New Land,” by Rado Javor
On the face of the matter I had to agree. While the estate would technically belong to the Imperial Family, I had been assigned the position of steward—quite a handsome income. “Security is the greatest illusion of all, Kenji-san. As for my poverty, it was more of a problem when I was drinking. Don’t mistake me—I am not ungrateful. I am merely puzzled.”
“She wasn’t my opponent when I executed her.” I accept mortal commissions; I’ve killed before. Those deaths were honest. Magdalena’s was a waste, and my hands are filthy with it. With a casual nod, from a cleric who knew nothing about the sword-edge of truth, I have been made to feel like a heretic.
Dr. Benjamin, he was running, running through the rain from one tent to another, trying to save his Story Eater and those pasty wax circles he’s spent so long collecting and, once, he looked up. Mala was sitting there on the top of the sea wall. She wasn’t wearing a rain slicker or even shoes and she was just looking at him like he was a rat, like he was a bug. Like he was something with too many eyes and too many legs and all she wanted to know was what ridiculous thing he was going to do next.
A Seraph approaches me with two brands, red‑hot from the coals. The first is Adultery, and it blackens my right cheek. I bite my tongue to swallow the scream. The second is Death, and it sears my forehead. This time I do scream.