The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

Author:Roshani Chokshi
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group

“Why does it look like a lion with a glass?” She squinted. “And … an urn?”

“Because it is a lion with a pot … and a wineglass,” said Enrique. “It’s showing an Egyptian god that I haven’t seen depicted in ages.”

Behind them came the sound of metal on ice. Zofia whirled around to see the leviathan close its jaws and slide back into the water. She glanced at the Forged moon in the grotto.

It was exactly on time.

The moment it slipped back into the water, a new sight came into view: Hypnos and Eva, standing in the entrance. The redheaded girl was holding a platter of food in her hands.

“I was looking for you both!” said Hypnos. He cast a glance at the oval of water where the creature had disappeared. “But then I was waiting for that”—he gestured in the direction of the leviathan—“to leave. What are you doing? Why didn’t anyone invite me?” He tilted his head to one side. “Why is that lion holding a wineglass? Also, Eva brought food.”

Eva gripped the platter so tightly that her knuckles looked white.

“Ruslan asked me to check on everyone’s progress,” she said, glowering. “I won’t leave until that is done, so don’t waste your time asking.”

Zofia was still mentally sorting through Hypnos’s questions and only nodded at Eva. Beside her, Enrique rubbed his temples.

“Yes,” he said.

“Yes to what? To the food? The questions?” asked Hypnos. “Because ‘yes’ does not explain why that lion is holding a wineglass.”

“Definitely yes to the food.” Enrique gestured them over, and they crossed the grotto to stand before the ice wall.

Hypnos smiled at Enrique, and Zofia noticed that he did not return it. Instead, he turned toward the shield, his face blank.

“See how the symbols stretch across all three shields? They represent a god.”

Hypnos frowned. “There’s a god of lions and wineglasses? That seems incredibly specific.”

“This god is Shezmu,” said Enrique, rolling his eyes. “He’s seldom depicted, perhaps because he’s at such odds with himself. On the one hand, he’s the lord of perfumes and precious oils, often considered something of a celebration deity.”

“My kind of god,” said Hypnos.

“He is also the god of slaughter, blood, and dismemberment.”

“I amend my original statement,” said Hypnos.

“Technically, the ‘blood’ translation might also stand in for ‘wine.’ I’m not quite sure,” said Enrique. He eyed the platter of sandwiches and started to reach for one. “Either way, I’d bet he’s critical to understanding how to open these Tezcats.”

“Opening them?” repeated Eva.

The platter dropped from her hands and hit the floor.

“The sandwiches!” moaned Enrique.

“Why would you open it?”

“We’re here to find the Fallen House’s treasure,” said Zofia. “That means opening things that are closed.”

Eva narrowed her gaze, while Hypnos rubbed Enrique’s back.

“Now about the treasure, mon cher,” said Hypnos.

“You can’t eat treasure,” said Enrique, staring mournfully at the sandwiches.

“Yes, but we can still find it.”

Zofia touched the metal shield once more. Through her metallurgy affinity, she knew the artist had fused together the properties of corkwood and metal … but there was a specific metal that affected the shield most.


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