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Above, Quan-Ti doesn’t turn around. “I expected the blonde boy,” he says.

“I’m lighter,” Toe mutters.

“Do you even know anyone in China?” He does turn, now, tapping the bronze dagger on his lips. “Did they ask for your help?”

Toe glares.

“Where were you when they burned four thousand years of art? Tortured monks? Locked up authors? Where were you in Tiananmen Square?”

“Eating crayons.”

“Even if you could stop me, how do you expect to erase the past?”

“We’re fucking nerds, man,” says Toe, “our job is the future,” and Hugo’s sword falls smack in his open hand.