The old Matron hissed at his pronouncement.
“Well,” Ystävä said after a beat. “That is quite the conundrum you’re in then, isn’t it.”
“Yes, and made more difficult by the fact that the boy is either an idiot or hopelessly naive. If that’s the way you bargain, boy, I’ll wash my hands of you.”
“Now, now. I appreciate the candor – and I have reason to want to keep him alive, as well.”
“I can’t very well perform your morally unobjectionable favor if I’m dead, after all.”
Saetild shook her head, her expression that most terrifying of grandmotherly looks: disappointment. “So really what you’re saying is you’re bad at negotiation? And it’s okay this time because of the bad deal you got last time?”
“The alfr demand payment in kind, do they not? That was the way with the Oracle, and that is the way in the legends. In exchange…
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