The cave was blazing.
Cave walls, the ground, and everything in there were all burning ferociously.
The sounds of collapsing stones where mixed with the sound of boiling water.
Lighting up the night sky, that intense blaze shouted out far from the cave's mouth.
The cave was almost filled with smoke and it was as good as completely dark. In this smothering darkness, were only the flickering of the fire provided some light.
The girl was depending on this faint light to see anything.
After a while, her expression slowly became less tense.
The smoke around her was not thick anymore, and she could clearly see where it was going now.
As long as she passed the same way, she would be able to see the exit and be saved from the complete darkness.
She was wounded, but still able to walk; she suddenly stopped.
She could see by the light of the blazing fire that a figure walked slowly towards her.
It was a woman, wearing old and burnt clothing.
"So you are still alive, mom," she said as her gaze followed the woman who was walking towards her.
"You have become strong..."
The woman smiled; holding her left hand on the bleeding wound on her stomach.
Her right hand was completely broken.
"It won’t be long before I am going to lose my consciousness again, so remember everything I told you."
She was smiling, with tears in her eyes.
"What are you doing, mom? Let's escape together."
The words of persuasion from the girl to the woman stopped, because she noticed as the woman approached her, the woman’s hand started to rise.
In her hand, there was a small fire that was growing in size.
Then the fire, that was made to kill, shot towards the girl.
Feeling the impact on her right shoulder, the girl couldn’t help but scream.
She looked at the burned skin on her shoulder.
The singed skin gave off a nauseating smell, the pain causing her to fall to her knees.
The girl looked at the woman with an expression of fear.
But the woman didn`t reply, she only raised her hand and a new fire came out.
The girl barely managed to block it with a small wall of water that she controlled from the ground.
The woman`s expression did not change.
"I am sorry, mom."
With her remaning strength a ring of fire opened around the woman, and from that ring a wall of fire rose from it.
As the woman`s body started to burn, some last words got out from the woman's mounth.
"Thank you my daughter. Continue to live, and never forget who you are..."
There was only black dust remained of the woman’s body as the fire stopped.
She picked up some stones rolling on the ground and laid it on the remaining dusts, crying.
The pungent smell of burned skin started to permeate the air as the girl left the cave without looking back.
Then she disappeared into the darkness of the night, while holding her left hand on the wounded shoulder.
The night air was rent with the smell of smoke.
He could hear the sound of horses walking on uneven ground, girls laughing and and a faint voice calling.
It was a soft sound.
“Are you okay?”
She was examining Yuuki`s face. The ground was moving under him, as he was in some sort of a carriage.
She seemed to be a teenager.
She wore a dirty brown dress with many holes in it. She knelt down and looked, worried, at his face.
She had dark-green eyes, black hair and her white skin was covered by dirt.
Yuuki was lying on some sort of a floor, face up, though he was unsure of how he had got there.
He raised his head to look around.
A small crowd of four other girls were curiously examining him. They all wore some dirty old dresses; even their faces and their hair were all covered by dirt. It was hard to tell what they really looked like.
Yuuki did recognize the place, as it was a risky mountain path covered with wild grass where not many people would go.
The path was surrounded by a thick forest. Hoof marks left by horses could be seen if a person scrutinized the path carefully.
He had traveled this path many times.
“What am I doing in this prison carriage?”
Yuuki sighed as he tried to rise up, holding the bars of the carriage.
He then noticed that the girl that woke him up was different from the others.
“Shut up you good for nothing!”
One of the two people that was steering the wagon cried out while looking angrily at Yuuki and the girls.
He was wearing some old brown skin jacket and pants. He looked like some middle-aged man.
Yuuki looked intensely at the man in front of him.
“I won’t ask again, so tell me. What am I doing in this prison carriage?”
The two people steering the carriage started laughing.
The two horses pulling the wagon stopped at the command of the man steering the carriage.
Both of them then turned around and looked at Yuuki with a big smile.
“We found you lying in the bushes, and decided to give you a helping hand.”
The other man laughed as he was speaking.
He was wearing the same clothing as the other one, but he had many scars in his face.
They must be brothers… They looked like brothers, as they both had dark brown hair. And their bodies were similar in build.
Actually, the only way to tell them apart was that one man had scars.
“And now we want you to pay us back as thanks for helping you.”
The man with the scars on his face laughed while looking at Yuuki.
Yuuki gave out quite a tense expression.
“… So you are going to sell me to some rich noble?”
The fact is, Yuuki was quite good looking, and at the same time somehow cute.
All the girls thought so.
He seemed to be around 16 years old. Underneath a brown jacket, he wore a white shirt and black pants.
He was also a little shorter than other boys at his age.
Yuuki grabbed the girl that woke him up on her shoulder. He felt mana running thought her.
As I thought, she was a Witch…
“Why are you not breaking free from this carriage?”
Everyone looked strangely at Yuuki while he tried to talk to the girl.
“I… I don’t know what you mean.”
She somehow looked nervous at Yuuki`s face as she tried to hide something.
Yuuki sighed as he got closer to the girl and whispered into her ear.
“Tell me, why are you hiding your power?”
She gave a disappointing look at Yuuki, but said nothing.
Yuuki knew that she wouldn’t speak and looked seriously at the girl.
“… So what you’re saying is that you want to pretend to be something else than what you really are?”
She could no longer hold in her tears and sat down, crying.
“What do you want me to do then…? I don’t want to die, but I can’t harm humans.”
The two men in control of the carriage looked strangely at the girl. They had no idea of what was going on.
Yuuki gave a big smile to the girl and suddenly a sharp light came out from where Yuuki holds the girl on her shoulder.
After a short silence their surroundings suddenly start to change.
One could see the trees starting to move, as well as the ground starting to vibrate.
They could no longer see the path they were on, as it was covered with branches from the nearby trees.
The roots from the trees suddenly shot up from the ground around the carriage and surrounded it.
The 4 girls were already passed out from the shock.
They were both completely white in their face, as they had just seen a ghost. They jumped off the wagon and ran into the forest.
You could hear the sound of the steal break when the roots twisted around it.
The left side of the prison carriage was bent open by the roots as if it was nothing.
It was hard to see as the forest now covered the wagon; you could only see small faints of lights that passed the trees.
One of the small faint of lights was covering Yuuki`s face, causing him to smile.
“You can stop now.”
Suddenly a sharp light covered the area, making the forest around the carriage disappear in a blink of an eye. Like everything was just an illusion.
Even the two horses pulling the wagon didn’t look scared at all.
A small sky of soil dust opened around Yuuki when he lands on the ground; he was free.
He walked towards where the two men were sitting, as he was looking for something.
He grabbed under the seat and apparently found what he was looking for.
It was a brown leather belt with two small daggers and a small purse attached to it.
After taking on the belt turned he his head towards the girl, she was in a state of shock.
“H…. h…. Ho… how…?”
She looked intense at her hands, shocked.
“So… so… so much power. I could for some seconds feel an extreme amount of mana running through me.”
She had never felt that much power before, not even close.
Yuuki looked strangely at the girl, scratching himself on the head.
“I don’t have any answer on that… but my name Is Yuuki, and yours?”
The girl looked at the Yuuki for some seconds, stood up and jumped out of the carriage.
She was still a little sad, but the shock of her power had almost made her forget that part.
“My… my name is… Hitomi.”
Her voice was quite low, but Yuuki heard it.
“Glad to meet you, Hitomi-chan”
“So… so cute!”
Hitomi jumped over Yuuki and he felt to the ground, with Hitomi sitting upon him.
She thought that he suddenly became a lot cuter, so cute that she wanted him as her little brother.
“Wait, what happen to your hair…? It’s not black anymore.”
Hitomi was sure that his hair was black when they were in the carriage, so sure she could bet her own life.
It was now white, white as snow. The ends were blue, light blue.
“Why do all the girls jump on me when my hair turns out like this…?”
Hitomi jumped off, begging for forgiveness.
He got all the dirt off his clothes and looked at Hitomi.
“Every time someone use magic around me, and I get in contact with it, my hair color turns out like this. It turns back after a while.”
Hitomi looked at the boy with an evil smile.
“I will never stop using magic again!”
The sun was on its way down, and the night was closing by.
Hitomi noticed the empty prison carriage. The other four girls had already run off, most likely afraid of the witch. That’s what most people would have done, but not Yuuki.
He seemed untouched by the whole scene.
“Why… why are you not afraid of me like the others?”
She somehow looked more serious than she had before, looking intensely at Yuuki.
Yuuki turned around and started walking towards the forest.
“Where I’m from, witches and normal people live side by side. And that’s where I’m going now. So if you don’t want to be here alone, waiting for the two slave traders to get back, start walking and stop talking.”
The darkness started to fall over them, and you could hear the branches break as they walked into the forest.