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Taurin slid his sword blade along the stone in slow, deliberate strokes. Shards of light reflected off the specks of mica in the surrounding rocks. Taurin adjusted the turban shading his eyes and scooted a little closer to the rock that shaded him. From his position partway up the mountain, he could see the desert sprawled before him, seemingly endless sand and withered, prickly plants.
The caravan was due that day, but it couldn’t get to his location from the city before midday.
The sun beat down, climbing higher, shrinking his patch of shade. Far in the distance, a dust cloud formed along the road.
Taurin whistled a long, sharp note. His crew slithered out of the crack in the rocks that led to the camp, like the lizards that lived there, creeping down to join him behind the boulders that lined the pass.
“Guards will be at the front and the rear,” he said. “So we strike at the middle. Teams of two, take what you can carry and get away.”
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