The hand-drawn, coffee ring-stained map depicted a box canyon several miles away. A team of art thieves had made the canyon into their home. They had a painting that didn’t belong to them, and Xavier’s crew had ridden all the way to Drehana to relieve them of it.
Your chest burns, your breath comes in ragged gasps, your feet are bleeding, and your legs are soaked from splashing through puddles of street water. You don't care about any of those things. Your singular purpose is to keep running. You cannot stop, for you are being pursued by death.
As I sat upon a mountainside, with all the world before me, I observed the sun, high in the sky, running its daily course. And I thought to myself, Isn't this the way things are supposed to be? And the answer came easily, without any doubt, without remorse.
That had been Xavier’s dream. And then the dream had become reality. And then life had happened. A hundred things beyond Xavier’s control had come and punched hole after hole in his dream. And Xavier’s idyllic vision of being lord of an estate began to crumble, as slowly but surely as the deteriorating mortar between the stones of the castle walls.