“My father will hear about this!” said Aldapin.

Don Greene tented his fingers, glittering with jewels. “You haven’t seen him in seventeen years, kiddo,” he said. “The goblin mafia has its own understanding with a few other dragons, too. Even if he did decide to come back, your old man would be outmatched. No, all he ever gave you was a birthday, and we’re not impressed.”

“My farm, then! Take my farm!” Aldapin’s slitted eyes–the only sign of Dad’s heritage that normally showed–grew wide with panic.

The goblin mobster, or gobster, grinned. “Your mom owns that farm and the grasslands besides. She’s not in deep with us. You are. If you want to go tell her as much, be my guest, but I’m thinking this ain’t the first time you’ve done something dumb.”

“What do you want from me, then?”

“You’re a paladin, supposedly, a holy warrior despite your gambling and your deadbeat dragon dad,” said Don Greene. “There’s something you can get for us. Something holy.”

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