That was a very solid carved wood staff, Alibaba thought, eyes watering. Ow.
“Calm down.” Aladdin sounded as unruffled as if a whole snarling empire at their doorstep was just another bunch of slime monsters. “We’ll talk, and we’ll find a way. You got this far already. If we do it together, I know we can save Balbadd.”
“Hmm.” Jahan rose, ostentatiously stretching a kink out of his back. “You youngsters should do that, yes. Without glossing over that little detail you left out of what you told Ja’far.”
Morgiana’s eyes narrowed. “He offered to help you, and you left something out?”
“It was a sensible decision, young lady,” Jahan said practically. “Ja’far may wish us well, terrifying as that is, but he is Sinbad’s General first and foremost. Until we have a better idea what sort of aid Sindria is willing to give, the young prince needs a card up his sleeve-”
“Don’t call me that! I’m not-” Alibaba cut himself off, suddenly exhausted. “I just want to keep Balbadd whole, Jahan. That’s all. I’m not… what King Rashid wanted for an heir. I’m not.”
“I wish I knew what he’d said to convince you of that,” Jahan murmured. “Well. I should leave old friends to catch up.” He winked at Aladdin. “Your young friend has an interesting story to tell.”
For a graying merchant constantly playing up how creaky he was, Alibaba thought, the man moved almost as quiet as a mouse.
Morgiana listened to the inn below a few moments after the trapdoor shut, then gave him a look. “What did you leave out?”
“When we left the dungeon, we got scattered.” Alibaba swallowed hard, and made himself draw his sheathed knife from his belt. “Aladdin, I think… this really belongs with you.”
Curious, Aladdin grasped the sheath-
Amon formed from heat and aggravation, looking down on Aladdin with a sigh of relief. “Magi. It is good to see you well.”