Until now, I had been through numerous near-death situations. So I was pretty used to the routine already.

The uneven thumping against my chest and up my throat, the adrenaline rush, the heavy gasps released through my quivering lips, the uncontrolled trembling, the feeling of death...

And finally, the appearance of my saviour.

I had suffocated in a whirlwind before, I was almost killed by a vampire once, I nearly got assassinated...

I had seen my life wasted many times before.

But it was totally different witnessing your own life being wasted and watching someone else die in front of you. The depth of helplessness could not be compared. Watching someone die because of you and yet you couldn't do anything about it was an absolute excruciating experience.

Especially if that someone was important.

As the blazing flames transformed into a scorching hell, I stayed rooted to the ground, weak and struggling to stay conscious. Lifting even a finger seemed like an impossible task now. I wanted to save everyone, but I was already rendered useless by the demon who had set the raging fire in an attempt to bury everything along with me.

My vision blurred as the tears poured out like a never-ending waterfall. Perhaps it was a good thing that I couldn't see clearly. Then I wouldn't have the image of the carcasses in front of me imprinted vividly into my memory.

The choking smoke was getting thicker, entering my lungs and poisoning it. The flames made their way towards me, engulfing everything else that came in their way. They seemed as determined as the demon in getting rid of me. The structure of the building was weakening and the ceiling was beginning to give way. There were minutes, perhaps even seconds left before everything collapsed.

But I didn't care.

My mind was a blank. Every detail, every warning sign about the danger I was in, that entered the neurons in my brain just dashed in and left like a passing stranger. At that instant, I couldn't seem to remember what my name was or why I was here. I only knew that my view was clouded by the sea of fire that I was currently situated in.

All of a sudden, the angry red and orange in my vision was covered up by a shimmering white that was too bright to be gazed at directly.

And then..., there was a familiar velvet voice.

To be continued...