Derrick followed Vilki closely, Delta Typhaeus sticking behind him in an almost parasitic manner.
They were in a sort of maze with walls made of odd-colored stone blocks, which stood at least twice as tall as a man. There was no way to climb over them and bypass the maze, or find a way out. Vilki had rolled her eyes when the suggestion was put forward, daring them to try it.
"This can't go on forever." Delta whispered to Derrick as they walked. "The closer we are to the end of this maze, the more likely we'll come across something."
"Any idea what we're up against?" Derrick asked, veering a little to the left.
"No." Delta sidestepped to keep in line with him. "I can't read this place properly. It's like breathing in smoke. I can only guess that it's something intimidating and-"
"How long until we're through, healer?" Artorius demanded loudly.
"-big." Delta finished, shooting a glare at his comrade.
"Soon enough." Vilki replied. "This part is a test of will. We've backtracked enough times through this that something should appear soon. Be a little more patient."
"If she were royalty he'd be a little more polite." Delta muttered. "Proud fool."
As a test, Derrick decided to pick up his pace a little. "At least he's on our side, right?"
"Better a proud fool than a proud enemy." Delta agreed stonily, matching his speed to Derrick's.
Derrick smirked, then shook his head. Delta seemed very dependent for someone burdened to know the horrible traits of human nature.
"Derrick." Roland called. "It feels like we've been walking in circles for hours now. Any idea when Nox's mind will start fighting us?"
Now Roland was getting bored, too. Derrick sighed. "Don't ask me, I'm not the expert."
"In real time it probably hasn't been that long." Vilki informed them. "Perhaps half an hour. Time drags on in this place. But we should be reaching the end soon enough. We should communicate that we're near the end of the first maze, but the trial isn't over."
"Or perhaps not." Delta moved away from Derrick and began speaking to Vilki.
"What is it? What's going on?" Uther Elhawk demanded.
"Just wait!" Derrick held up a hand to silence the teacher. "Let them talk. Nothing's happening yet."
"Yes it is!" Delta argued, urgency in his voice. "The mindscape is adapting. Since there are six of us, the battles will be harder."
"The air is different from the last time I was here." Vilki said. "But that might not mean anything. I think he's just paranoid."
Delta groaned in frustration. "But it's clearer now!"
"Delta, calm down! Tell us what you sense." Derrick did his best to sound reassuring.
"Something is coming and it's-"
A large roar was heard.
"-big." Delta finished, annoyed.