“If anybody’s stuck as king here when the sun goes down, a lot of these bastards have to die,” Cassim said lightly.
“Cassim!” Alibaba hissed.
“Brother. You’re good. You’re not an idiot.” Cassim shrugged. “They stay in charge, Balbadd gets caught back in the same trap. Just slower this time. They’ve got to go.”
Judar snickered. “And that bothers you?”
“Not a chance,” Cassim smirked. For a moment. “But I know it bothers you, Alibaba.”
Damn right he knew that. If Ali had to do it himself? He might never sleep again.
Alibaba braced himself. “I’ll… think of something.”
“Yeah, you always do,” Cassim allowed. “But you need time to think. And someone’s not going to let you have it.” He let his gaze flick to white, purple, and gold, keeping the hate to a low simmer. Sinbad was a king. He had to know how much blood it’d cost to make Balbadd safe. And he was still pushing Alibaba into this.
You? I don’t like you.
The blond winced. “He’s trying to help us save Balbadd.”
“Yeah. Because it helps Sindria. And maybe he even likes you.” Cassim glared at his brother. “You’ve got people who need you, idiot. Jahan. That crazy redhead. That crazier kid. You going to let them go down in that shark’s cove of a court just because Sinbad thinks he can make you a king?”
Alibaba opened his mouth… and closed it, glancing Morgiana’s way. Gold eyes hardened, determined.
Good. He’s thinking. “So, crazy Magi,” Cassim went on. “You know the Idiot of the Seven Seas. How do we screw with his plans?”
Judar’s eyes lit, red sun-warm and happy. “I’m absolutely keeping you.”
Yeah, they were going to have to have words about that-
The magi lifted his head, and his wand, grinning in a way that would have made lions turn and run. “Testaments, heirs – Balbadd’s customs can stay in Balbadd!” His free hand waved, bringing any too-brave guards to a quick halt. “The princess needs someone who can stand on his own feet in the Empire. So….”
The ruby wand gleamed, and the whole plaza went berserk.