The ground below the demon shook violently, twigs and branches that had otherwise lay still now coming off the ground from the tremors. He had no time to prepare, no time to plan time ahead or to regret his decision.
Kei was running.
Behind him, the predator chasing him was picking up speed faster than he had ever imagined it to move, the wings on it's back deceiving him as it now barreled through the forest after him tearing down tree after tree in its path.
The dragoness stood taller than the trees overhead, pitch black scales like armor, talons, and fangs capable of crushing him lifeless. Having once been sleeping soundly, she was no longer. Whose fault was that I wonder? He stumbled only once as he tried to escape, feeling the heat of the dragon's nostrils singing the hair on the back of his neck as he ran from what was now clearly inevitable.
A surge of pain went through his nerves as his tail was crushed between the dragon's ivory fangs, ripping her head back to throw the demon into the air, sprawling. Within the next moment, Kei would have screamed horribly for mercy if it weren't for the intensity of the flame, which swallowed him whole leaving his remains to fall as ash.
In the next few minutes, said bits of ash would collect together slowly, returning to the original particles they had been as he begun to regenerate. However, just as his heart sent out it's first few pulses of life, they would last less than a second as his unconscious body was crushed by the beast's heavy footsteps.
Kei would spend the next several hours, bones repairing slowly as his heart attempted to jump-start itself once again. This time, when the demon awoke, the rest of the process would be felt- bone after bone cracking themselves back into place.
Just as he had healed enough to move,
The beast did it again.
And again. And again.
In the end, the only reason Kei was allowed to live likely was that he wouldn't die.
It was this death, in particular, that would affect him the most, even waking up midst sleep certain he felt that excruciating pain in his rib cage again.