Sageman Reedl was startled by a pounding on the door of his home. Setting down the dishes in his hands, he went to attend the front door. He found Captain Bailen wearing a scowl so deep it was rarely seen, and Master Sergeant Rihan accompanying him.
“What is it now?” Reedl asked.
Bailen stepped inside uninvited. “They’re gone. They are both gone, Aton and Valkyr. They ditched my guards in a narrow alley, evidently on purpose. They turned into a shop and by the time my guards got inside, the two had gone out the back. Now—on my way here to see you and sort out what might have happened before the jump to Grendhill—I receive reports that two people looking like the prince and princess were seen vanishing from the Thallenrose. How on Tasala can that be?”
Reedl started. “What?”
“I’m saying two separate things that seem connected. First, that we are now missing four Farellas instead of two, and second, that according to what has been reported to me, there was apparently a young Sage in Grendhill not twenty minutes ago, who oddly looked strikingly like Aton or Valkyr, and was traveling with a companion who looked like the other one. Would you like to help me out here? Do you have any answers for this?” Captain Bailen was a reasonable man but did not appear very patient at the moment.
“Well, no,” Reedl replied. “I mean it’s possible there could be another Sage in town—we don’t have to register our whereabouts here like we do in some countries—but it looking like Aton or Valkyr? The Farellas are not Sages; this is well known. And the Sage’s gift does not run in the Tormi family, either, for their mother’s side.”
“Whatever,” Bailen said, seeming unconvinced things were so clear. “More importantly than explaining those two, we need to find the two we are missing. They must still be in the city—not even the Farellas are that fast—but I have sent word to all gate sentries to be watchful for their passing, especially inspecting wagons. I hope my runners reach the gates before the royals. If they were abducted their abductees would be traveling slower for it. I have also sent runners to gather the Council. Again,” he added darkly. “I apologize that I must have interrupted your meal after bringing the princess back home. I came myself to speak with you about the two travelers who just jumped. I will see you in half an hour. We have things to discuss.”
Bailen turned without waiting for a reply from Reedl, and he and Rihan walked out the door.
Reedl watched them go in shock. Captain Bailen would have started a search of the city as well. He probably locked down outgoing platform travel.
What if we do not find them? What does that mean for them? And for Grendhill?