As the guard wanders over to investigate the harmless stone, Cang darts through his blind spot. He gets his back up against one the great twin trees, feels its rough bark through his thin vest. He calms his breathing, keeps his mouth shut firm.
Before the black-eyed guard returns, Cang tosses a loop of rope up past the lowest of the large branches. He feels the hair on the back of his neck rising as the soft crunch of boots grows louder, the grey creature returning to its post. Still, Cang stays calm, sets the loop, and scampers up to the branch.
He’s now a half dozen feet off the ground, and he peers silently up through the mass of branches above and the palace set within. He resets his position until a telltale cracking under his feet draws the creatures’ attention.