The Dark Magi (Part 6, page 3 of 84)


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Part 6

‘You’d better not keep Akhmed waiting,’ one of the gatekeepers told him after a moment. ‘Those merchants from Torruk are here, paying him a visit. Your timing couldn’t have been better.’

Ali noticed a sharp look in his friend’s eye. A warning? With a subtle salute to the gatekeeper, that was actually a private signal of affirmation, he said his farewells and began making his way towards the Court of Nine, and hence to Akhmed, his patron.

With more than a little amusement, he bedevilled the messengers whose job it was to keep ahead of him, to forewarn Akhmed of his coming. He ran swiftly, all the way to the doors of Akhmed’s court. Once there, the messengers overtook him, and passed inside as the guards let them in, one of them glancing at Ali in irritation and fear. Though the guard’s faces were impassive as stone, one of them gave Ali a surreptitious wink, which he acknowledged with a barely perceptible smile.

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