Then the rock stopped.
Titus immediately doubled over in excruciating pain, experiencing a flash of boiling heat in every nerve ending, so intense that he was paralyzed by the assault. Thankfully, Titus became unconscious, keeling over face first into the dust.
Unfortunately, it did not occur to him that the next event would be worse.
Consciousness came unbidden.
A bleary film seemed to cover Titus vision. No tears came to wash the gritty coat away and blinking seemed an insurmountable task in his weakened state. Every joint was swollen, an orchestra of inflammation yielding a discordant riot of pain. His throat felt like an open wound, desperately seeking the soothing salve of even a brief trickle of moisture.
"Why...are you...doing...this?", Titus croaked.
Titus was now able to stand erect.
Arms extended out from his sides, he slowly began floating several inches above the ground.
"Wherg...arg...yougah?", Titus throat gargled.
"One other thing. Your hunters, pathetic as they may be, can be clever from time to time. Beware the weakness of the past. I can see that you once felt love and that it hurt you, no?"
"Love is an illusion and has no place in your future. Seek out a place among the gods. Your test is nearly upon you. Do not fail."