“Patience is a virtue,” the angel said.
“So’s chastity, but I don’t think it’s going to help me out of this particular situation,” the knight replied crossly. “How about, instead of spouting pithy idioms, you lend me a hand here?”
“Oh, I’m afraid that’s outside of my parameters, dear heart.”
“I thought you were here to protect me!”
“No, I’m here to guide you and offer helpful advice.”
“Helpful advice like, don’t step there, the ground may give way and send you plummeting to your death?”
“Did you plummet to your death?”
“No, but only because this root was sticking out of the side of the cliff and just happened to be within grabbing distance…”
“The Lord works in mysterious ways.”
“You could have warned me!”
“Mankind is at its best when learning from its mistakes.”
The knight pulled himself up and grappled for a handhold. A convenient rock sticking out of the ground offered that up. He wrapped his fingers around it and struggled his way back up onto the trail, puffing indignantly. He rolled over and lay on his back, looking up at the stormy sky and the not-so-helpful angel peering down at him.
“You’re a terrible guide, you know that?”
“Bit of advice?”
“Oh, now you want to offer advice!?”
The angel ignored his outburst. “Watch where you’re stepping from here on out. The trail can be treacherous.”
“I hate you.”
“And I love you. Shall we continue?”
“Give me a minute to catch my breath. Why are you in such a hurry?”
“Diligence is also a virtue and you are not the only person on this quest.”
The knight sighed, rolling onto his side and pushing himself into a sitting position.
“How many of us are looking for this Grail thing, anyway?”
“Enough. Shall we?”
“Do you promise to stop quoting the Proslogion?”
“Would you rather I sing?”
“Proslogion it is.”
Struggling into a standing position, the knight leaned heavily against the stone wall to his left and pushed himself forward, keeping his weary feet on the inside of the precipitous goat path leading god knows where.
“It’s true, he does,” the angel smirked.
“Stay out of my head,” Percival grunted.
The angel smiled and picked up where it left off. “Chapter 13: How He alone is limitless and eternal, although other spirits are also limitless and eternal.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“Don’t interrupt. ‘Anything that is at all confined by place or by time is less great than that which is not at all subject to the law of place or time…’”
Percival grimaced, silently cursing the Fisher King and hoping fervently that finding this Grail would be worth the effort. Holding on to that thought as he would a lifeline, the knight plodded forward, bone-weary and steadfast in his purpose, while the angel droned implacably on.