“You are faced with a decision. If you take the gem for yourself, you will gain wealth like a king, but you will have nobody to share it with. Should you take the prize for your country, you will be removing our town’s identity. We will search long and far to gain it back. The noble decision we have prepared for you will benefit both sides.”
“I can’t imagine what alternative you have developed. If I fail in my mission, they will just send another team in the future.”
“We propose that you do the following. We have made an identical copy of C247. It has every similar quality and it is not detectable by anybody. We will send you home with the fake. You shall tell your rulers that your mission was successful. Then warn them of getting too close. They must never discover the gem is a fake. Now is your time to be a coward. Head back to your people and save our culture.”
With this, Kraybold spun around and knew what he must do. At least if he went home empty-handed, it would be better than living with the knowledge that he selfishly kept the prize for himself. He quickly headed back through the tunnel. He was moving at a much faster pace now, because he hoped to get back before anybody noticed that he was gone.
To be continued…