“There is no sign of him to the east,” one man said while shaking with fear.
“He has not been seen headed west either, My Lord,” the second officer decreed.
Mandrean was furious. “How could he just vanish?” Mandrean yelled. “There is nowhere left for them to run.”
The first officer spoke again. “It is possible they have found some storage facility or root cellar where they intend to hide until we have given up the search?”
“That would require us to search every building in the Province,” the second officer noted. “To do a proper search will take time.”
“Then do it,” Mandrean ordered. “If they are indeed hiding then time is on our side and not theirs. Also, send units back in both directions. This time, however, have them travel along a more northern route. He may have tried to slip past you and flee to the border that way.”
Necromancer sat in the corner with his arms folded and listened to the commentary with great amusement. He entered the conversation with his usual brand of cynicism. “You say he is not where you expected him to be?” Necromancer asked rhetorically. “That is a surprise, to be sure. You set such a masterful trap and Linvin evaded it. To think he has the unmitigated gall to not wait for us to come and collect his party. What bad form he has displayed.”
“He will not evade us for long,” Mandrean boasted.
“It seems that I heard those words only a short time ago,” Necromancer reminded. “Yet here we sit with no trophy to display. Now your plan is to sit here and hope he appears. I marvel at the way you make doing nothing sound like hard work. By the time you realize he is gone, he will be at home in his tree drinking to your foolishness.”
The first officer was deeply offended, as he was not accustomed to Necromancer’s brand of commentary. He grasped his sword and stomped toward the magician. “You think this is funny, do you?” The man snarled as he began to draw his blade.
Mandrean put his hand on the man’s chest and prevented his progress. “Keep your weapon sheathed,” he ordered. “That is a hornet’s nest in the corner you do not wish to disturb.”
“That was the most intelligent thing you have done in some time, My Master,” Necromancer said with disappointment. “Your action just saved that man’s life. Then again, your inaction is also saving Linvin’s. How ironic.”
Mandrean put his hands on his hips and sighed. “Speak plainly and end your games. You clearly have an opinion and you feel it is of greater merit than ours. So tell us where you think Grithinshield has gone.”