Chapter 4.1: Crashing the Party
Again, Alice sent you a dove carrying coordinates to a location and a meeting time. No pomp and circumstance. No other explanation.
But you trust Alice, so you show up.
You find yourself on the top of a hill, overlooking a valley containing various buildings. However, there was no Alice there. No Robert. No anyone.
On the plus side, Chester appeared back in your pack just as you started to climb the hill, so you aren't entirely alone.
Just as you start to wonder if you are at the wrong place, you feel a whoosh of air behind you.
"Hey Robert," you say, knowing who it is without turning. His teleportation causes a natural disturbance in the wind that has become familiar to you now—kind of like how you can recognize someone by the sound of their footsteps. You hear his laugh.
"Good one! Can't sneak up on you, now can I?"
"So, what's the plan?"
"Oh yeah... so, I don't know if you remember… but Gemini was meditating today in preparation for a giant gathering of Marcana tonight—for the Celebration of the Celestial Alignment. It's… a pretty big deal and the whole space will be essentially locked down from any Illuden or…non-desirables from entering." You know Robert is talking about you. "Also, pretty much all of the prominent Marcana families will be there…including some you have already met and impressed. With their help, we can gain access to the Celebration—and by extension Gemini."
Robert proceeds to take a deep, exaggerated breath in, preparing to ramble some more.
"Sooooo… even if we have access to the Celebration, we need to have backup to have Gemini take us seriously. That's where your work in the Illudo territory comes in. Alice is gathering up all of the Illuden families that support you and they are all coming here to back you up. With a large gathering of Illuden and Marcana that support you, Gemini and Edwin have to start taking this issue seriously. So yeah, that's the plan."
Robert seems giddy and jittery at the same time, shifting his weight side-to-side waiting for your response.
And you start feeling the weight of all of this. These families, Marcana and Illuden alike, believe in you and have their faith in you. What if you are wrong about this? Can you really be this person that solves something this big? You wonder if this is why some people don't accept the Mark of Merlin or just think it's some myth.
But you did accept the Mark of Merlin, so you need to do this, for better or for worse. A swell of energy pulses through you—trying to lead you on, trying to alleviate your hesitation. You hear Chester buzzing with excitement inside your bag.
This is a thing, you know it. You know that Alice and Robert are right. You know that you are right.
"Let's do it."