Gaston held his hand over his mouth. “Alfano was a good man but father always said he was the worst of the lot on patrol. I’d bet he was sent this way to keep from fouling up the search in the west wing.”
Arlin dipped his finger in the pool. “I was right, his blood is still warm which means the Ildonians are close. My powers can do nothing for this man. We should move on before it is too late.”
Thothen picked up the dead man’s sword. “He was vigilant enough to draw his weapon. Too bad all it earned him was a painful death. Dwarven weapons would have killed him quickly. Slicing flesh without much pain.”
“We still doing this on our own or will we summon the guards?” Gaston closed Alfano’s eyes.
“Losing faith in your own abilities, my friend? I’m sure your father would be proud of you protecting the kingdom. There is no time to warn the castle guards and return with reinforcements. The Ildonians would be in the tower already.” Arlin smiled. “This mess can be cleaned up later. Come on, we aren’t far behind now.”
After a few additional twists in the halls the three found themselves at the base of the wizard’s tower. So far there had been no more signs of the Ildonians. This wing of the castle was completely silent. Even the guards searching for assassins in the west wing couldn’t be heard.
The always locked door at the base of the wizard’s tower was ajar. Inside a staircase circled into darkness. Magical torches that lined the stairs, which had been lit every time Arlin entered the tower, were extinguished.
Arlin held out his arms, stopping the other two in their tracks. “We should tread even more carefully now. They are Mandel’s tower, I can feel it.”