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“Do you think they can see us?” Hok asked.

“If we can see them, they can see us,” Charles said. “However, I didn’t see anyone on their deck with a spyglass. I suppose it’s just a matter of time before someone picks one up.”

“What are our options, then?” Ying asked.

“We could disguise ourselves as best we can and follow them from a safe distance, out of cannon range,” Charles said. “They might stay on the water for days or even weeks, though.”

Ying thought about his mother, pinned inside the cave. He didn’t have that kind of time.

Ying pointed to the spyglass. “Let me see that.”

Charles handed the glass to Ying, and Ying raised it to his eye. He scanned the junk’s deck and saw the armed soldiers and the piles of treasure, just as Charles had said. Tonglong was there, too, standing beside a soldier. They were examining the large white sword. Three more white swords and a suit of flexible white armor lay at Tonglong’s feet.

Ying spat. He was about to put the spyglass down when he noticed something move behind the largest of the treasure piles. It was small and fast and darted underneath an old tarp the moment Tonglong bent down to pick up a different sword.

Ying burst out laughing and lowered the spyglass. He slapped Charles on the back. “Perhaps we still have a little luck left!”

“What is it?” Hok asked. “What did you see?”

“Not what,” Ying said. “Who.”

He handed the spyglass to Hok.

“It’s ShaoShu.”

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