“I accept,” Napota said. “My freeblades are at your command. But there is always a warning I give to every new employer, and I would give it to you now.”

“Is it about the so-called code of a freeblader?” said Vob. “All that sellsword swill about no allegiance, no masters, save to coin?”

“If you’re implying that we can be hired away, I think you’ll find that’s bad for business,” said Napota. “No, we are yours for the duration.”

“Then what?”

“Freeblades work for money. If we’re dead, we can’t spend it. So we will fight for you, but we will not die for you. My freeblades are my family; risk their lives needlessly, throw them away, or commit them hopelessly at your peril.”

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