His lungs felt fit to burst, burning with every labored breath. The ground offered him little comfort to ease his struggles, the dirt unwilling to share whatever wisdom it had to offer. The Sage took great pride in his abilities, and he wouldn’t have traded them away for anything in the world. But at that moment, he envied the rest of his party, all of them infinitely more experienced in the great and horrendous misery that they called sprinting.
When the Blade had called a halt, the Sage had been absurdly grateful; asking for a reprieve would have been unimaginable, embarrassing. At least if their tracker called for a break, he could rest without his pride being wounded, maybe even act disappointed at the delay. That would have been the ideal outcome anyway; when they stopped, his legs had decided now was a good time to take a break, and he’d fallen flat on his back, huffing and puffing like a man thirty years his elder.
I need to get a familiar. All the great wizards in the old tales have familiars. Something nice and big that I can ride. A bear would suffice. Yes, I think I’d rather like having a bear. The thoughts were disconnected, absurd, but at that moment the idea of riding about on the shoulders of a giant cave bear had an irresistible draw. I wonder if the Guard would let me ride a bear. He’s shaggy enough to be a bear himself.