Standing by the magi’s bed as Aladdin’s breathing slowed, Alibaba wondered. How thick did the rukh have to be for him to see it, like he had in Amon’s Dungeon? Right now he felt a pressure, and he thought he saw flickers out of the corner of his eye – but both of those could have been his imagination. He didn’t know anything about magic, not really-
Morgiana’s hand brushed his arm. “He’ll be fine.”
“We don’t know that.” Alibaba swallowed dryly. “We don’t know magic, all we’ve got is stories. And I know Aladdin trusts Ugo, but he said this was going to be dangerous, and… I just wish I could get him away from here!”
“I doubt he’d go.” Sinbad lounged in the doorway, eyeing the still form on the bed. “Magi tend to either drop you in the middle of trouble and vanish, or find someone they like and just keep showing up. Whether or not they’re wanted,” he added, half to himself. “Aladdin likes your company. And frankly, he could do much worse. I wonder how old magi have to be before they start raising Dungeons?”
Alibaba tried not to freeze. He can’t know. No way. “Oh no,” he said out loud. “Not a chance. The last thing Balbadd needs is a tower of death and destruction in the middle of it.” He shrugged. “Besides, the Kou Empire has Dungeon Capturers, right? They’d know what a Dungeon showing up might lead to. If I were them, and I were trying to take over Balbadd – if someone raised a Dungeon, I’d call it an act of war.”
Which was a thought that had hit him about two months into his fight for Balbadd’s trade, waking him up in a pure cold sweat of fear. It was one thing for agents of the Kou Empire to know they were fighting bandits and smugglers with Magic Tools. If they realized someone fighting them had a Djinn-
They wouldn’t have any reason to hold back, Alibaba thought, chilled. They could just flatten us all, and as long as they left Abhmad alive, they could look innocent and say they were taking out a challenge to his throne. Because everyone knows Dungeon Capturers become kings.