With all obstacles either vaporized or severely reduced, Entri was now unfettered and he ran with all his might to establish contact with either Talia or Alice. A dark thought whispered in his mind that Talia and Alice had already been burned to cinders, but Entri could not exorcise it out of his mind. His natural pessimism was seeping through and the only cure was finding them alive.
Then Entri’s world turned upside down. The ground was the sky, and the sky was now charred brush and wood. He had been sent flying by a single footstep of the dragon. When Entri finally regained his bearings, he saw the dragon up close and wondered, is this what the hero’s of fiction saw when they fought a dragon? He just couldn’t fathom how a person could ever stand up to such a creature. Its damn eye alone was as big as Entri’s head!
Entri didn’t want to be tossed around again, so he pushed picked himself up and ran once more. His vision was still shaking from earlier. He had instinctively protected his head before he hit the ground, but there was only so much he could do with his hands occupied. He noticed his running was getting slower, and his already shallow breathing was now constantly being interrupted by uncontrollable coughs. He had unwillingly breathed too much toxic smoke, and the other forms of damage he took was starting to take its toll.
Unable to withstand anymore pain, Entri crumpled to his knees before falling to all fours. Entri dropped the satchel to avoid falling face flat. Thanks to already being low to the ground, the bag landed softly without harm, but Entri didn’t have the strength to pick it up anymore. Is this it? Is this all I’m going to do? Is this as far as I go? Tears started to stream down his cheeks as he started to submit to his fate, but before he did, he remembered he still had something he could do. Since Alice and Talia were nowhere to be found, then it was up to him to detonate the satchel of mana crystals. Entri had thought about the possibility during planning, but he knew Talia wouldn’t allow him to set the satchel had she known. He had forgotten about his hidden plan C, and with the dragon now above him and no more energy to move, he pressed his gun to the satchel and pulled the trigger,
Alice didn’t look, but she knew her boots were covered in mud and scratches. What would father say? she asked herself as she ran. Each and every article of her clothing was custom ordered and handmade. Her boots alone could have been enough to purchase a horse, and now they have are worthless.
She then saw what Talia and Entri would later see. A giant plume of flames melted the surroundings, effectively turning timber into coal and the dirt into glass. Alice felt a trickle down her thigh as she stood frozen from the realization that she was just a few steps away from where trees and shrub once were. A few more steps and the heat she felt on her face could have been the heat that reduced her body to its primordial elements.
A bright flash in the sky pulled her out of her self induced nightmare. She had completely forgotten about the other two. Alice understood that only Entri could have made that beam of energy, so she ran towards the source hoping that Entri would still be alive by the time she arrived.
“Entri!” Alice screamed. She hoped that he was at least close enough to hear her voice. “Respond! Now!” Her voice was becoming hoarse from her constant screaming. “Respond you useless roa-” She stopped herself before she finished her insult. A nearby explosion rocked the earth so violently that it knocked her off balance. She forced herself to look up despite being unable to regain her footing, but when she saw the red sky hover above her, she fell back slackjawed. What is that!?