Sunday, November 12, 2017

Page 1399

Zeff tried to steady his thoughts, knowing he shouldn’t allow himself to get too distracted. Axiolis was here to warn him of any incoming danger, of course, but even so, it never hurt to be vigilant. And besides, there were few things more terrifying than being lost in the deep darkness of the Undercrust. Any of these people following him were liable to start panicking if he didn’t fulfill his role as the apparent leader.

Even Diego, potentially.

It wasn’t likely, sure, but Zeff had known even more brazenly confident men than him who had broken down in similar circumstances. There was perhaps no clearer example than in Lyste, some twenty years prior, during what would later be known in that country as the Great Right Turn.

It had been a quiet war for public opinion, until the very end, when all hell broke loose. They had faced overwhelming odds for five days straight, fighting such famous names as the Bloodeye, the Man of Crows, the Raider, the Liar, the Silver Devil, and even the Mad Demon himself.

That was the battle in which Field Marshal Kent and many other Vanguardians lost their minds and began attacking their own allies, including one another.

It was also the battle in which Field Marshal Lamont earned the name Iceheart, for killing Kent, his closest friend, in addition to every other broken traitor.

Zeff might not have believed that story if he hadn’t been there to witness it with his own eyes, if he hadn’t gotten to know Kent a little beforehand and seen the man acting seemingly normal up until then... and if Kent hadn’t been mere seconds away from killing him and Axiolis both.

It was doubtless to Zeff’s mind that in those few short days of fighting, the entirety of Lyste would have been consumed by Abolish were it not for Lamont. The man’s reputation had suffered from it, as he’d previously been more widely known as the Judge of Intar, but having been there himself, Zeff could never truly fault the man for what he had done.

And now it was strange, because as much as he hated the Vanguard, there were still those within it whose strength, both of body and of mind, he aspired to.

In a way, though, that made him even angrier. At the Vanguard and himself.

Zeff,’ came Axoilis’ echoing voice. ‘We’re almost there.

As they walked, the increasing incandescence all around their small party was a welcome change, even though the magma from which it came was less so. He could finally make out the rough silhouette of the cavernous passage that they were using, as well as various branching paths along the way.

When the young Lord Goffe came into view, Zeff stopped. The boy was apparently practicing his materialization over a broad river of magma. And not doing very well, it seemed, as parts of his iron bridge were already white hot and beginning to bend downward.

What a ridiculous sight. With everything he’d seen the boy do, this should have been child’s play by now. Had he not been doing as Zeff and Asad had instructed?

How irritating. Zeff really did not need anything else to be annoyed by, right now.

No comments:

Post a Comment