Alice’s face was paler than a white sheet. Her skin complexion was already rather light to begin with, but with the earth shaking roar and the knowledge of what’s to come, she had became horrified.
“W-we must flee!” Alice screamed.
“And to where? The villagers?” Entri asked back.
The original plan Entri proposed was to lay the satchel of mana crystals as a trap to lure their quarry to step over it unknowingly. If their target didn’t trigger the satchel by stepping on it, then it was up to Alice or Talia to become the catalyst for the explosion by unleashing their magic. This was their plan A, but it was a fragile plan because it required silence and coordination to ensure that the three knew where the satchel was hidden. Unfortunately, thanks to Alice’s outburst, Entri had to resort to plan B.
Entri took the satchel from Talia and sprinted towards the roar. “You know what to do!” Entri screamed without looking back.
Entri ran as if he had been spirited away, and by the time Talia had come back to her senses, Entri had melded into the foliage of the forest. Then it was Talia, and Alice was all alone. She was still in shock.
I…caused this? I foiled the plan? No, Alice thought to herself. It wasn’t me. It was Entri. It had to be Entri. Alice took off running, but quickly tripped after her skirt got caught on a low hanging branch. For the first time ever, Alice cursed her long and beautifully woven dress. She was now covered in a mix of mud, dirt, and something she hopes was just more mud. As she got up, she hesitated for a moment before she took out a decorated knife her father gave her and ripped apart her dress.
Alice cursed as she took off running once more. Although she had trained with Entri as per Talia’s instruction, she had slacked in cardio. Why must I exert myself when the need does not exist? Alice complained towards Entri’s suggestion. He had created an exercise routine to keep his body as physically fit as possible. Even though Entri lacked any and all traits or talents to benefit from having a fit body, such as the usage of handheld weapons, he continued his routine to maintain his physique. Without having maintained her cardio, she was already breathing roughly. Her chest was burning and her heart may as well have been next to her ears, but she kept running. Her legs felt as if they were on fire and her body felt as if it was ripping apart, but she kept running. She wanted to quit, she truly did, but for some reason she couldn’t let herself do so.
Dammit, Entri, Talia thought to herself, how am I supposed to keep ahead of you? Plan A wasn’t supposed to fail before it started, but now that it has, everything was in disarray. Talia was had a longer stride than Entri, but because she slacked off on fitness as a whole, she couldn’t catch up to Entri even get a glimpse of Entri. Plan B was to be enacted in the case that they were caught as they were setting up. They were supposed to have a rough estimate of where the other members were, and since Talia couldn’t spot Entri, she had to hope that she could find Entri before he got hurt, or worse, died.
Why can’t you be more cautious like Alice? Talia cursed in her head. But she knew the answer. Entri was cautious, more cautious than any other person she knew. He was cautious to the point of paranoia on a daily basis. He was the person who suggested that Alice should carry spare clothes for occasions requiring heightened movement, such as running or combat. He was the person that came up with plans that no one else would, especially in situations deemed impossible by any and all sane people. Then everything suddenly came to a stop. There was another loud roar, and then everything was in flames.