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Too late. Her braid was on fire. Another young soldier ran at her with a bucket of water and tossed it over her head.
I winced. “Try not to get them too crispy.”
Mal bowed. “Moi soverenyi.” He jogged back to the troops.
That title. He said it without any of the rancor he had seemed to carry at Os Alta, but it still hit me like a punch to the gut.
“He should not address you so,” complained the Apparat.
“It was the Darkling’s title and is unfitting for a Saint.”
“Then what should he call me?”
“He should not address you directly at all.”
I sighed. “Next time he has something to say, I’ll have him write me a letter.”
The Apparat pursed his lips. “You’re restless today. I think an extra hour in the solace of the archives will do you good.”
His tone was chiding, as if I were a cranky child who had stayed up past her bedtime. I made myself think of the promise of the Kettle and forced a smile. “I’m sure you’re right.” Distract, disarm, disable.
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