Mae could feel the tension beating under her skin. She felt the way her breaths quicken, counted the pulses of her rapid heart. She was so close, and all she had to do was waltz into this deadly poison to finally get what she wanted. Lochan was going to go, was going to get far, far away from this, so it would just be little wanderer Mae and her idol. Fascinated, the mage looked out on her legend, watched as the creature he resurrected walked with purpose through the town. She could finally taste this. Maybe, finally, she could get what she wanted.
But she was snapped away from her thoughts by Lochan. His tone, the look in his eyes, the quake in his feet; there was a nervousness there stronger than Mae would have assumed. Lochan had seen the Dark One before, had had a serious run-in with him, she could tell. He was terrified and determined, but what did he want to do? The terror in his movements brought pause to Mae's excitement. She couldn't do this, couldn't talk to him now, not with Lochan so terrified. She thought to that time in the barn, or just earlier, when Lochan was there for her when she had been scared. What kind of person would she be to not return the sentiment. Stealing one last glance towards the Black Dragon, Mae grabbed Lochan's hand and started running away.
She was going to regret this. She would regret this for a long while. Her dream was so near, but... Would she have even succeeded anyway? Would she have gotten past the fog to even manage to get to the Dark One? She was foolish for thinking it possible, and yet... The irrational side of her still wanted to turn around and charge in there, to reclaim what she knew she needed. Regardless, it wasn't time for that now. Now, they had to go.
Mae's legs felt wobbly. She wondered briefly if the little bit of poison she inhaled was responsible, but she decided speculating would only cause paranoia. She shook the thought and turned away from her. "I don't think anyone saw us," she said. "I think we'll be safe if we keep moving. But... Those people." She slowed and turned back to the now distant poisonous cloud. "All those people are going to die, and there's nothing... We... I could have saved them, but now they're all going to die." She hated the thought. An entire town was so easily disposed of, and she felt responsible. If she had charged in there, would she have been able to make a difference? She shook her head and started walking again. She couldn't waste her thoughts on the things she could have done.
As they continued, voices within Mae's mind chirped about all the dead spirits now in that village. Attempting to ignore them, Mae glanced at Lochan. "You have emotional stakes in this," she guessed. "You wanted him. You wanted to end him. He hurt you." She faced forward again. "I suppose we touched on this before, but... I think we're both seeking him, aren't we? I think you want him to pay." Would that work in her favor? She didn't want to agitate Lochan further, but if she could bolster his confidence, maybe he would help her find him again, when they were more prepared. "What if... What if we teamed up, became as strong as we could... to end him?"