Crow sighed. "You ever going to fire that thing?"
The crack of the sniper round rattled off the tree line. Crow squinted at the small sapling he'd pointed out as a target. Devrim's shot had split it in half.
"Nice shot!" Glint said cheerfully.
Devrim gave the ghost a polite nod. Crow rolled his eyes.
"All right," Crow said, ignoring Devrim's amused smile. "One more for you."
The two of them had agreed on this rocky plateau for their little competition. They began with makeshift target dummies, posted out at various distances. When that quickly became monotonous, Glint helpfully agreed to transmat the targets into the air. Eventually they simply started calling out challenges to each other. Devrim took ages to line up his shots, but he hadn't missed yet. The man was frustratingly efficient.
Devrim stepped down from the boulder he was using as a perch.
"I don't know that you're the best marksman," Devrim said, "but you make a fine spotter."
"Ouch." Crow grinned. "Try to pick something difficult this time, old-timer."
Crow crouched into a firing position, bracing his rifle against his shoulder. He heard footfalls on the gravel nearby and felt at once that peculiar sensation of stepping sidelong into an old recollection. The past superimposed itself over the present like a veil: another hillside, another target.
Crow glanced aside to find Devrim watching him silently. Patiently. If Crow decided not to explain, he suspected Devrim wouldn't say a word about it. They could just get on with the game.
"In… my past life, I had a friend who could give us both a run for our money. We did this sort of thing all the time." Crow smiled to himself. "I think I missed it."
"I didn't think Prince Uldren had many friends," Devrim said. "But then again, you're not terrible company at present, so I suppose it follows."
Crow let out a startled laugh. "As compliments go, I'll take it."
Devrim turned away to face the rocky slope. "There's a House Dusk symbol on that scrap of metal out there. Just shy of the old transmission tower."
Crow thought for a moment.
"First one to land three shots gets two points?"
"Playing to your strengths, Sir Crow?" Devrim was already lining up his sights.
"Just keeping things fun, Sir Kay."
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