• Kyatsu watched in horror as the humans entered her room. Their weapons did not gleam in the candlelight as they should, their armor glowed with runes protecting against Elemental magic. She backed up against her bedroom wall as she fgured out what was hiding the shine of the weapons; blood.
    One of the humans lunged at her, and his face met with a thick wall of ice. At the last second she had put it up to protect herself. She knew she wouldn't be able to attack them when they had their armor on because it would reflect the water against her. The only things she could do were to sit here behind the safety of the ice wall, or risk turning into water and slipping between them. If she did the former, they could outlast her; the ice shield took up a lot of mana, even for an Elemental. If she did the latter, she risked being caught and/or killed.
    Taking a deep breath, she let the ice shield down. She took advantage of their confusion to slip, unnoticed as a harmless stream of water, out of the room and into the hall. When she was safely out of sight and earshot, she risked changing back... only to bump into another human.
    Her eyes grew wide as she thought of what he could do to her. She could judge from his attire that he was a hman Necromancer, and a powerful one as well. His hair was midnight black and free-flowing at waist-length, tied back in a low ponytail. His eyes were shockingly blue, but the softness of his gaze was negated by the thick black under them. His clothing, all black with red runes and patterns all over, consisted of a long cape, a lightweight robe beneath it, and undoubtedly the silken clothes of a highly-paid man were covered by the robe.
    Breathing heavily, she backed up one shaking step at a time. She only took three steps before she bumped into something solid. The wall? she thought. But when she turned around, it was the other humans.
    "Thought you could give us the slip, huh?" one of them said, grabbing her arm tightly.
    "Ow! Let me go!" Kyatsu cried, trying to pull away. She attempted to unclench his fingers with her other hand, but the strength of a fifteen-year-old girl was no match for that of an armored man.
    "What, you think that he'll let you go because you tell him to? 'Oh, I'm terribly sorry. I didn't mean to grab ahold of your arm. Here let me free you.' Is that what you expect him to say?" another man lauhed. He grabbed her other arm in a grip that surely would have broken her bone if she tried to move.
    Helpless, she looked over her shoulder at the Necromancer. He won't do anything... he's the one who led this raid in the first place... She tried to struggle against her captors, but nothing she did would loosen their hold. She couldn't use her magic on them, and even if they didn't have the runes she wouldn't be able to move her arms. Finally, she gave up and sank to her knees, but was jerked back up by the humans and led back to the Necromancer.
    "What do you want us to do with her, Azrael?" the human on her left asked.
    "She's got an awfully pretty voice. I'd kinda like to hear her scream," said the other. They both laughed, but the Necromancer stayed silent.
    Kyatsu let her head hang in shame. No doubt he'd leave her to these brutes and she'd become their toy. Tears overflowed her eyes and poured down her cheeks. Her body shook with silent sobs.
    "First, you must let go of her arms. She'll lose them if you hold her like that," he suddenly said.
    She could physically feel the blood flowing through her arms again, along with the pins-and-needles sensation that came with regaining feling in a numb limb. She rubbed her arms to continue the blood flow, but she didn't look up.
    "Oh, come on, look up," Azrael purred. He didn't sound threatening, but she knew that she could never trust a human in her lifetime. A gentle touch lifted her chin and her gaze. A vainly gloved hand wiped her cheeks dry and moved away the hair that clung to her face. "I know what you think, and this is not a raid on your village."
    "Wh-what do you want with me?" she whispered. Her voice shook.
    "I want you to come with me," Azrael whispered in return.
    She shook her head. "I don't trust humans."
    "Then you can trust me."
    He moved some of his hair out of the way so that she could see his ear. It was sharply pointed, exactly like an elf's.
    "...An elf?"
    "Yes. Sadly, I was cast out of my home. Not a lot of elves practice Necromancy, and the ones that do are banished."
    "And what led you to Necromancy?"
    "I'll tell you if you come with me."
    She paused to think as Azrael stood up. She could feel the humans moving closer to her, and she put up a ring of ice spikes behind her. "Don't touch me," she told them from behind clenched teeth. "If I come with you... what'll you do to me?"
    A small smile crossed Azrael's lips. "I've been looking for a companion for a while, now. The elves are not wild enough, the humans are too wild. Elves are vain, humans don't care about their appearance. I had heard about Elementals, and how their temperment matched that of their element. I've gone from place to place, seeking them out. I can honestly say I've never seen a race with such beautiful people as the Elementals."
    Kyatsu blushed. No one had ever called the Elementals 'beautiful' before. Not even her parents had told her that.
    "I'd been searching rather well, even if my results turned up nothing, until today. I told these idiots to negotiate with the parents of the girls here, to let me see them and speak with them. I had done it just fine everywhere else, talking with the girls and getting to know them. Of course, these brutes did exactly the opposite of what I wanted them to do. They brought the girls out, as I had asked..."He paused, a look of anger settling on his face. He lashed his hand out and a bolt of darkness hit the guards he was referring to. "But, they had killed everyone in the house! Idiots! I wanted to speak with the girls, not scare them out of their wits! You fools, you're lucky I knew a friend who will take care of them... Another Elemental, such as yourself, my dear. But, back on track... I came in here just as they were stalking down the halls to your room. I knew they had done it again, and I wanted to see if there were survivors.
    Sadly, I was too late..."
    Kyatsu said nothing. He could be lying, but he could also be telling the truth. If he was telling the truth, then that meant...
    "My brother... is he dead, too?" she whispered. Her voice was slmost inaudible except to the sharpest ear.
    "Your brother? I don't believe I saw more than one man... He could still be alive," Azrael said. "Do you know where he would be hiding?"
    "Yes... but these humans have to stay out here if I'm going to look. I don't trust them."
    "I will come with you. It would be a shame if another girl was too terrified by the idiots here and ran away..."
    Kyatsu stood. "Fine," she said as she headed for her brother's room. Azrael was close behind her. Her brother's door opened too easily for her not to be suspicious. Someone came in here... She cautiously stuck her head in the door, scanning theroom. It had no blood in it, which was unusual considering what had just happened. She took a step through the door. "Noah...?"

    To be continued...