auspex_caelo: (By your side)
Once they’ve picked up Felix, Stratos leads the way back through their door. It’s left to his little brother to unseal the wards and stay back to set them back in place before following. The tribune-turned teenager conjures a light – that he can do, still – and shows Jim up the sloping tunnel beyond. The stone walls look like a mix of natural erosion and worn masonry, lit by intermittent torches mounted along the way.

It looks like a straightforward path, bending this way and that but leading steadily upward. Stratos, however, is well aware of the illusions laid to give that impression and he keeps Jim close. He’s frowning deeply as they climb, trying to ready himself for what’s to come. Trying to convince himself that all will go well when he presents himself to his subordinates.

It feels like a much longer climb than usual, though his legs can’t be that much shorter.

“Are you hungry?” he asks Jim over his shoulder abruptly. That’s one thing he can be sure of remedying anyway.

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Stratos Caelus

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