Each step was more agonizing than the last, each breath revealed another inner demon. The Blue Forest was so majestic during the day, but under the shadow of night, its true nature was revealed. This was the only portal that all the sorrows of the world were released, in so much that even the flowers themselves grew blue from the tears of the Earth.
He wasn’t sure if the howl was from the devil’s beast that the villagers warned him about or if it was the sound of his own damned soul crying out in torment that he was hearing; in either case he had come so far and sacrificed too much to turn back now. The sorrows of this forsaken place swept through him as though they were draining all the life out of his body leaving him as cold as the grave itself. Was it courage or fear that compelled him to keep pressing forward?
There was no promise of a future on the path that lay before him and nothing behind him worth returning to; this was all he had left. The Pillar of Truth that rests in center of the Blue Forest had to exist.
The sleet was beginning to cut through his clothes like shards of glass being driven by a precision wind, the branches of the trees reached down trying to push him closer to the ground. The further into the forest he went the undergrowth began to reach up around his legs like hands trying to drag him down to hell.
Another howl.. This one was much closer; he had to pick up the pace.
Nobody had reached the Pillar of Truth in over a century. Legend says that whoever reaches the Pillar, that at dawn’s first light, they could ask one question and they would receive the absolute true answer.
Behind him he could hear the trees cracking as though they were being pushed to the side like twigs. With all the strength he had left in him, he started running, dodging and dipping under the limbs that were so desperately trying to slow him down.
This time what he heard over the wind was not so much a howl as it was a scream. This did not sound like the beast that had been pursuing him all night, this sounded more like a cry of fear instead of the roar of hatred. Was this yet another trick of the forest trying to slow him or cause him to stray from the path? Time was running out, it would be dawn soon and he knew that he was getting close to the Pillar, he had to be.
He paused for a moment, slipped around the backside of a tree just off the path. He crouched down and quietly listened. Between the tempest and the beating of his heart, he could barely make out the sound of the footsteps that were only a few feet away…..