Everyone bowed to the Archbishop as he strode purposefully up the alabaster steps leading towards the Cathedral’s sprawling grounds. A light haze still lingered, ethereal fog clinging to the soaring spires. Janne couldn’t help but stare at the massive towers clawing at the sky.
“It’s funny, actually.” Janne turned to face Asgeir, who was looking at her with a wry grin. “A lot of these towers don’t have rooms or doors. They’re just sheer pillars of marble.”
“But why…” Janne stopped in her tracks as Valgard whipped around. His massive frame seemed even larger against the backdrop of the Cathedral grounds.
“It serves as a reminder.” He glared at Asgeir for a moment before turning back to Janne. “Only the Church can reach towards heaven. Those who defy the Church defy God Himself. You would do well to remember that as you are judged, heretic.”
Janne shuddered as Valgard turned his back to her and stomped forward again. His previously cold manner had turned glacial as they got closer to the Cathedral. Janne knew that a good deal of it was due to her duplicity, but there was something else – a feeling that there was something more to it than just that. Why hadn’t he just executed her when he had been perfectly willing to murder his own son? Why hadn’t he turned her over to the jailors when they first arrived?
And then the Archbishop turned sharply towards an unremarkable tower. He drew his sword and pressed the pommel against the smooth marble. The stone rippled before Janne’s eyes and parted like a curtain, revealing a twisting staircase leading down into impenetrable darkness. Valgard lifted the sword over his head, the harsh orange flames igniting along the blade’s surface as he stepped through the opening. Janne shuddered again, but she didn’t dare stay behind.