"I didn't wish to voice misgivings where our hosts might take offense, but by all logic this journey ought to be fatal," Edmund said as Ginny leaned over the side of their borrowed skiff, trailing her fingers through the liquid fire that served Bism in place of water. "We should have long since scalded our lungs attempting to breathe this close to something hot enough to soften stone, let alone touching or drinking it, not to mention the air down here should have turned poisonous ages ago."
"I know," Ginny said with a delighted smile. "And yet here we are, sailing toward a volcano with a basket of rubies for lunch. Isn't it amazing?"
She cupped her hands into the swift-moving current and raised a pool of white-gold flames to pour over her head. Droplets clung to her hair and skin like shining jewels, and Edmund felt his breath catch in his chest with unexpected desire.
"Yes. Amazing." He turned aside to busy himself with the tiller and coughed to clear his throat. "Regardless, we should prepare for the upwelling that the salamanders promised would carry us back to the surface. I suspect that will be a difficult ride."