A cream-and-emerald blur from the right of his field of vision hurtled across the sky and slammed against the Rukh, knocking her spiraling. Afrit! And on his back, wielding the wall of her wards like a battering ram, all in black armor—rode the Wizard Samarkar.
Suddenly, Hong-la rose beside Samarkar, his petaled skirts blowing wide in the wind that lifted him. One big hand slapped, as if he issued a challenge—and a buffet of wind hurled the Rukh back, wings trailing, as if a giant had punched her in the breast.
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