Before long, the two reached an impassable wall; gnarled vines twisted high up to the misty sky, and they were faced with either turning back, traversing the outside in hopes of a door, or climbing their way up.
“I… I can’t do it…” Blake stammered, looking bashfully at his boots. “The height…”
Leon placed a hand on the young mage’s shoulder. “We’ll camp here for tonight,” he said. “May courage find your heart by the ‘morrow.”
While the swordsman slept soundly, Blake sat up in his blanket, transfixed by the knotted roots, and replayed the scene over and over. It was always the same: his father moved from handhold to handhold, deftly defying gravity as he scaled the marble cliffs, but for the leering, ragged crow that pecked feverishly at his very skin.
Of course, Blake had been but a boy, incapable of helping as his father plummeted to his death, but of all the dark forces in this world, heights still frozen his bones to the quick.
“You’ll fall,” an ominous whisper came on the wind. Blake looked up and swore he spied a crow against the dark emptiness of the abyss. “You’ll fall… You’ll fail.”
Blake frowned with resolve. “Mayhap,” he muttered. “But first, I’ll try!”
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