They had been approaching the Victors’ Arch— a ponderous marble monument, installed after the Empire’s conquest of the Southern Isles, and carved with elaborate scenes from the war. It had been intended to instill Imperial pride among the common people, but instead the common people made a game of guessing the expense and saying how they would have spent the gold instead. Marta had heard everything from extending the sewer system into the Valley, or recobbling every street on the south hill, to draining the bay and refilling it with wine. Eventually, “an arch” had entered the lexicon— at least in the Valley— as shorthand for a vast amount of money.
Here is Chapter Seventeen, in which Marta receives a surprising offer.
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The project to date, in pdf format:
Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17