After everything that had took place all we could do was wait to see if he had taken the bait.
We had found his mansion to be extremely close to the boarder of the Renal and Edgeland which meant we were in sparsely populated Plaines and had to travel a long way to be out of sight.
We needed a way to view the front of the mansion while being as hidden as possible. This wouldn’t be too difficult for a human, since we could lie down and blend in, however our horses would need a bit of work to conceal.
We could either walk around the perimeter to find some kind of hill to hide behind or travel such a far distance that it didn’t matter if we left them. If we took the latter option it would mean walking forward towards the mansion until the first point where it was in sight.
We chose the latter option which meant going in a straight line and finding a tree or something similar to leave our horses attached to. We had to be quick since he could leave in the time between us finding a place and returning.
It took far too long to find a tree. It was far enough away to be out of sight of the mansion which meant it was convenient but that was about it. The tree was small and dying, thick enough to hold horses but not for long. It would have to do.
When we stopped Brian was in sudden action. He was already tying the first horse by the time I had stopped.
“Run on ahead” Brian said loudly “We don’t need two of us to hide everything!”
I went off my horse and dropped my bags.
“Alright then.” I said walking off.
“Run” Brian cried urgently. He didn’t need to tell me twice, I ran as fast as I could.
“I’d just slow you down” he shouted as I ran.
Running was exhausting work despite how enjoyable it was. I slowed to a jog and then to a walk. As the mansion dawned in sight I crouched and then crawled along to a point where I dared not go further. Every so often I would turn my head to look for Brian but he hadn’t arrived yet. It occurred to me that there might be some confusion, Brian being a bigger person wouldn’t be able to get as close.
Sure enough a far distance behind me I could see Brian sticking up from the ground slightly, and I began to slowly crawl backwards because a terrifying idea had occurred to me.
“Why?” Brian asked
“I’ve had a thought. I won’t get the stone out but I still have it with me.”
“Yes” Brian responded obviously.
“What if this stone isn’t real?”
“Well we know it’s real because of that spell.” Brian answered.
“No that’s not what I mean. That stone was definitely real but how do we know he’s not replaced this stone with a fake one?”
“Well we don’t, but I don’t think there was a time where he could have swapped the stones out.”
“He’s a magician!” I responded “Of course he could do it! Do you remember how his previous stone spell was an area of effect; he could have cast it again in the same way here on a fake stone while taking the real one.”
The fact that he could have stolen the stone from us was now a real possibility; however with that information what could we do about it?