Lethe at his full speed was faster than the

“Lethe at his full speed was faster than the mutants, but they were not to be underestimated. They still possessed supernatural speed, and they were
small and agile, able to switch directions faster than a dragon. Lethe’s breathing was becoming labored.
“I know,” he wheezed.
“It’s the heat?” I shouted over the screeching of the mutants.
He grunted.
The prolonged exposure to heat. Even now, the mutants were continuing to breathe fire, and we could feel it from a distance.
“Okay,” I said, trying to maintain my calm. “We’ve got to shake them off.” I glanced at them over my shoulder. Clenching my teeth, I doused them
with more bullets.
The hunters shot back through the flames this time, and I was forced to duck down, shield myself behind Lethe’s scales to avoid being hit.
“Lethe, listen to me,” I said. His pace was continuing to lag. “You need to take a sharp dive, when I say.” I repositioned myself on his back,
making sure that I was holding on tight enough. “Three. Two. One. Dive!”
He dove abruptly, and diagonally, missing the mutants’ flames. The combination of gravity and Lethe continuing to beat his wings allowed us to
move faster, even if our direction was back down to the ground. I was too preoccupied with holding on to check behind me, but I could hear the
mutants had also changed direction and were following us. Lethe wasn’t the only one for whom gravity worked as an advantage. I felt the dragon’s
body vibrate as he let out an anguished groan.
I felt a sudden surge of heat, so close to me, it practically scorched my back.
I twisted my neck. Damn. One of the mutants had reached closer than I’d imagined. His fire had scorched Lethe’s tail. In our freefall, I couldn’t
maintain enough balance to hold on to Lethe’s back and shoot at the same time.
I was running out of ideas. And we had almost reached the ground. At least we had swerved around the brunt of the battle, where the air was
cooler. But it wouldn’t remain cool for long with these mutants on our literal tail.
Lethe grunted again. As I looked back this time, I caught sight of the fire climbing up his tail. His flight became unsteady. We careened toward the
roof of a skyscraper.
“No!” I yelled into his ear. “You’ve got to keep flying! Don’t touch down!” They would scorch the two of us alive.
The rest of the mutants caught up. And although Lethe valiantly continued his attempts to remain aloft, it seemed as though with each beat of his
wings he grew weaker. His scales were strong against many things, but not heat.
One more blaze of fire, and I was sure that he would fall. As the mutants screeched together, their chests sucking in, I braced myself for a fatal
tsunami of fire.
But instead, a violent gust of wind rushed over our heads. It had come from the opposite direction of the mutants. Although Lethe and I were not in
its direct path to receive the brunt of it, it caused him to stagger in the air. And as for the mutants who were in its direct path, they were sucked
backward, away from us, as if being pulled by a vacuum cleaner.
Lethe landed on the ground with a shudder. His legs collapsed beneath him. I slid off his back even as I tried to see where the magical wind had
come from. Then I spotted Corrine, in the sky, along with four other jinn. Thank God, they had returned from their final transfer of the humans to
The Shade. They must have spotted Lethe and I zooming down from the sky like a meteor.
The jinn’s focus remained on the mutants. They hurtled after them while Corrine descended to us. Her eyes bulged with concern.
“Lethe?” she said, touching him on the snout. “Are you okay?”
Lethe groaned.
I stood next to her to get a better look at the ice dragon’s face, and then I cast my eyes over the rest of his body. Corrine moved to examine his
tail. It was blistering. She ran her palms down the length of it and muttered something beneath her breath. Lethe flinched and twitched, shifting his
body across the ground away from her, but she maintained her grip.”