Breaking out of Balbadd’s royal palace was a lot harder than Alibaba had made it look.
…Sure, it’d taken Alibaba three years to get back to the slums, Cassim knew. But the blond had been a kid, and maybe a little stupid, and definitely not as good with bribes as a skilled Fog Troupe thief. Of course it would have taken him a while to figure things out. But Cassim was older, wiser, and a lot more willing to hit someone over the head. Whether he left them breathing or not. It had to be easier for him to get out.
So far, though, he’d barely gotten out of Judar’s suite. And counted himself lucky to have done that. This place was creepy.
Guards all over the place, Cassim thought darkly, trying to lurk in a shadow of the Kou delegation’s rooms. Servants all over the place. And you can’t throw a brick without hitting a noble.
And Judar was a noble, even if he snickered about leaving King Abhmad as a grease spot for Kougyoku’s Djinn to wash away. He had that same casual arrogance, that assumption all the world was going to go his way, that Cassim had seen in the worst of them. Granted, for now all that power seemed to be on his side, but Cassim had seen people like Judar switch allegiances whenever the wind blew. So long as Judar thought he was an asset to Princess Kougyoku, the crazy magi would help. If he happened to stray over that line… bam.
Worst of it was, he might actually owe the magi a favor, assuming Judar was telling the truth about the Fogblades. Alibaba was an idealistic idiot, but he didn’t want to kill the kid.
Only when he’d had the Fogblade on him, he’d come a little too close to doing just that, too many times.