Chapter 86: Whispers of the Fallen, Part II

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 380

Zidane pressed himself against the wall, beginning to sidestep the narrow path.

Lance followed slowly, hearing his feet knock over small rocks and send them into the firewater below. He leaned his head back against the wall, trying to keep his mind from floating away. "This guy really likes his fire, doesn't he?"

"It's probably some sort of message," Zidane mused, continuing on and forcing Lance to keep moving as well. "Flames are a basic teleportation, one of the weakest ones. So—"

"So, he's saying we're weak?" Lance cut in, unable to keep himself quiet.

Zidane nodded, focusing on the path ahead. "Yeah." His hand rose, finger gently pressing against Lance's forehead. "Try not to get too pissed about it. Let's do what we can to not get a reaction, okay?"

"Yeah," Lance said as Zidane's dropped his hand away. "That'd be pretty bad..."

He looked down, momentarily studying the rope around his waist. If he fell unconscious, and literally fell off this edge, both of them would go down.

Lance shut the thought away, holding his breath in his throat as he focused on copying Zidane's small steps to the left.

"What kind of music do you like, Lance?"

Lance stared at him, more than confused. What kind of question was that?

It took a moment, but he recognized what the crossbreed was doing.

"Oh." Lance said, turning his focus to answering. Not to the gorge below them. "Pretty much everything, I guess. Never really got into country, though."

Zidane nodded, understanding. "It takes a certain type of ear."

They moved in silence for a few moments before Zidane spoke again.


Lance looked to him again, confused for the second time. Zidane had stopped moving, his body blocking what was ahead. But Lance could see the path curving around, large spaces in between the edge.

"Fuck." Lance shot the word out from his mouth, the anger only giving him a small amount of relief. "How... How are we going to jump those?"

Zidane stayed quiet, turning his stare down below them. Thinking, but why he was thinking while looking down at that firewater was more than enough to make Lance's chest start shaking. Reality, the true reality of where they actually were and what they were doing, caught up to him. He focused on breathing, gathering air back into his lungs.

"I'll need to adjust the rope when we get to the first jump," Zidane began, continuing to move forward, "but this isn't anything we can't handle."

The confidence in his voice was enough to calm Lance down just a little bit, make his legs start moving again. He kept breathing, kept his brain focused enough for him not to slip.

A few moments later, Zidane had slowed down, running a nail across the rope and lengthening it with a tug.

"You gonna try to jump that?" Lance asked.

"I can make it," Zidane replied. "It'll take a little bit of energy, but afterwards you can drop off and I'll pull you up."

Great. Lance felt his face pale. Doing it with wide pathways was one thing, but only having inches of stability?

Zidane galloped and jumped, pushing off the wall and grabbing the ledge.

As he climbed up, Lance blinked, noticing a change in his surroundings. Noticing red splotches amidst the grey and blue.


Just calm down, he told himself. Cells react to fear; they feed off of it like God-forsaken leeches. I'm fine. I can do this.

At Zidane's command, he stepped off and felt the first spark of pain.

His eyes opened, when his body jerked and he was suspended in mid-air again. Half his vision was red.


"Hey, Zidane," he called softly, reaching for his arm. "How long does it take for a cleansing to kick in?"

Features blurred as he was pulled up. A worry face covered in red.

"Tell me you're not having one."

Lance gave one single, pathetic laugh.

"Wish I could say differently."

Another jolt of pain rocked into him. Lance gritted his teeth, feeling the path beneath his heels. Feeling the Epi-Pen slam against his leg before darkness overtook him.


Zidane shifted his weight to one foot, picking Lance up and carrying him with both arms.

This was going to be a long journey.

He made the next two jumps, trying to preserve the small amount of energy that hadn't be deactivated upon stepping into this place.

It was when his energy went critical, when he was faced with a ten-foot leap, that Zidane cursed his luck.

He ran sideways as quickly as he could, foot slipping out and staggering. He stopped at the ledge, breathing out to regain himself.

That was too close.

He backed up, trying again. At the jump, his foot pushed off the wall, a small breath allowing him more momentum and officially depleting his energy.

Zidane hung onto the ledge by his fingers.

He tried to pick himself up, feet scraping against the rock. But there was another energy now; something was holding him down. Quickly weakening his muscles.

His thoughts turned inwards. He hung for a long while, simply thinking. After everything, this was how they'd die.

So many had passed before them, and now they'd be added to the list.

I'm sorry, Lance. Zidane closed his eyes, feeling his grip on the human weaken. This was all my fault.

Lance trembled against him, quick shocks of pain flitting into his expression, his muscles.


He wished he could see her, just one more time. Enough to truly take in her beauty, her radiance. Like seeing the sun's light after being engulfed in darkness for so long.

She was that light. Always had been, always would be.

The fingers suspending him from the ledge weakened.

I can't...

His mind stopped there. Unable to finish the sentence. But slowly, it came crawling back. With it, a burning fire.

I can't let it end like this.

His foot rammed against the rock, boot slamming against the concrete-like surface. If he could make a step, he could save both their lives.

His foot rammed again. He gritted his teeth, slamming his toes and feeling a crack inside his nail, his bones. He continued, slamming his foot over, and over, and over, and over again until he couldn't feel it anymore. He could feel the split down his toenails, the warmth of the blood sloshing in his shoe. But the appendage was more than numb.

Finally, when tears blurred the view of the sky, he felt a step form. He pushed up, pain screaming at him and gritting his teeth further. He shifted his hold, pressing his arm across the ledge and hoisting himself and Lance halfway up.

Lance winced quietly, prompting Zidane's stare to him. Still lightly shaking.

Zidane looked back to the ledge. Now the next problem; getting both of them up.

He gripped the very start of Lance's side of the rope, gradually feeding it down until Lance was hanging freely again.

Zidane pulled himself up and turned, sitting on the ledge. He pulled the rope, walking it up and raising Lance up once again.

Zidane grabbed the human's arm, feeling it tremble in his hold, and slung him over one shoulder. Carefully, he turned around and stood, finally beginning the walk on this new path.

He moved on his heel, feeling the blood pool to the back of his shoe. Limping, Zidane continued on. 

It was then he heard something.

“With every outcome we face, we rise.”

A breath of a whisper. A voice long forgotten. Zidane paused for a moment, heel still leading his steps, waiting for the next moment to move. A voice called, and listening was all he could do. 

A power surged through him, and it was enough to paint a clear picture. 


A human word, spoken in a human language. With a brightening gaze, he was moving forward. No matter what. No matter how long it took, he was continuing headstrong.

Submitted: December 04, 2019

© Copyright 2023 Meaghan Kalena. All rights reserved.


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