The heat from Abraxas's fire stream didn't harm Seraphine, but she was careful to shield Torthai from it. She thought of flooding the area with her own fire, but her allies were too close. She couldn't risk it. "AARGH!" Serapine snarled as a bola tangled around her wings. The female hunter from before stood behind a rock, sword drawn. Eyes darting back and forth, Seraphine sought an escape.
A second hunter jumped off Abraxas's back. This one had two little swords in her hands. Humans could throw them with great accuracy, Seraphine recalled. "Surrender, dragons!" she said.
Seraphine regretted coming here. She should have kept flying and not stayed in this region. She should have found a nice cave on a secluded mountaintop where hunters would never find her. Abraxas and one of the twins—Seraphine couldn't tell which—rolled past in a tangle of wings and claws, snapping her out of her thoughts. Stop moping, she told herself. There's a way out somewhere.
The other twin—Levreshar—summoned the heat from Abraxas's fire and redirected it at the red dragon. That gave Seraphine an idea. She couldn't use her own haphazard, uncontrolled fire, but perhaps... "Stay close to me, but not too close!" she instructed Torthai. Squinting her eyes, she concentrated hard. Her scales glowed faintly, brightening every moment. The heat made her stomach queasy. She had always released the fire before this point. What would happen if she didn't? Would her scales melt? Would she burst like a berry? Both were unpleasant images.
Seraphine still held the fire, her golden scales shining almost pure white. The cord around her wings snapped suddenly, falling away in charred pieces. The dirt under her feet glowed a dusty red color, and the air around her shimmered. Terrified of what might happen next, Seraphine prepared to let the fire go. Don't. The single word reverberated through her mind, warning of something worse than melted scales if she acted rashly. She regained control and stopped the increase of heat. No hunter would dare touch her with her scales burning like the sun, would they?
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