The fire glowed like a ring around the circumcentre of the podium. It was not that easy to discern the black of the metal from between the rising flames. Heat lapped up in the small room, temperatures shooting higher as he tried desperately to wade through to the object placed securely in the midst of the orange inferno.
Oh the heat!
The hair on his arm singed black. His eyes, closed, lest the fire burn them up.
Oh the pathetic lust for power!
But he could not back out now. He would not.
He had come this far, journeyed the lands of old, retrieved the memories of his life before, only to hail this power in himself.
Only to control the inferno rising around him.
He will not back away.
Let the fire roast him.
He grabbed wildly in the air, his arm meeting layers of the flames and leaving red, angry burns.
One foot forward. Second foot forward.
It's there. Right there.
His hands pushed past the ring and launched into a startlingly cooler atmosphere.
Fingers curling on the metal, he attempted to pull it through. Pull it. Pull....
The black metal gleamed in the light of the dying flames. It was a round circular object with engarvings wrapped on it like wreaths. In the centre was the image of a flame.
This is it. This is the Crest. This is—
The pain slited through his abdomen like a grapling pull on his heart.
He could feel the wetness on his chest, coloring his burnt shirt a dark red. He looked down, his fingers slipping off the metal, to see the shine of a silver dagger.
"It was not you."
The voice boomed in the empty room.
" It was never you. You were never the Crest. "
The knife twisted in his body and was snatched out. The metal in his limp hand fell on the ground with a loud clank.
The last thing he saw before the light left his body were the jade green of the woman's eyes.
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