The hunters thundered onto the scene moments later, but without a mage to guide them or a Golden to sniff out Fria’s illusions, they eventually gave the pair up as lost.
While the lack of a mage had kept them safe, Fria could feel the child’s disappointment resonating through the bindings. Even if the stockpile of magic had been large enough the town could afford to spend stones in the search, the Binder doubted they would have. Trin had only a weak taste for magic, and if Fria hadn’t been desperate to bind a partner the Binder would have passed over the boy as well. But Rilan was dead and Fria was hungry, and not every binding was meant to last.
The boy might last a half-season at best, but that would have to be enough.