• The men snickered, and began to close in on her. Charlotte growled, and Kia rubbed her hand along her neck. The dark, damp, mud brick wall of the alley was getting closer and the market place farther away. Kia’s long strawberry-blonde hair was coated with mud, and Charlotte’s coat was bloody from the last battle. Kia gasped when her back finally hit the wall.

    A dark, bulky man stepped out of the crowd. Half of his face hung limply from its bone. His dark hair was unwashed, and uncombed. It looked greasy from where she was standing. He was ugly, and disfigured, but strong. Which Kia soon found out. He must have been in his late thirties. But he advanced on sixteen year old Kia, anyway.
    She struggled against him as he pinned her to the wall.

    “I get the next turn.” Someone from the crowd murmured.

    “I wanna play with her.” A deep voice whined. Kia thought she would scream. The dark man’s face was getting closer. His eyes sparkled with mischief.

    Kia struggled, and tried kicking out at him, but it didn’t work. A scream finally ripped from her throat when a dagger was plunged through the dark man’s neck. A firm arm grabbed her and pulled her out from under the dying man. Kia found herself lying at the feet of a boy about her age, maybe older. He couldn’t have been more than eighteen. The boy looked down at Kia, and surveyed her. His cold black eyes traced over her. Kia shivered. After what seemed like hours the boy made his announcement.

    “Listen up, low-lives. Since you fools were dumb enough to involve this girl, we’ll keep her.” There was cheering. Kia was insulted. She was no one’s to “keep”. The boy continued.

    “But she’s mine. Touch her, and I guarantee you, you’ll be joining him.” The boy made a motion towards the dead man. Blood flowed from both his mouth and his throat. The man’s dark skin was becoming paler, almost a beige color now. And he had lost so much blood that is was beginning to look more like kool-aid and less like plasma. Kia was horrified. But there was no emotion in the boy’s eyes, save for an entertained spark. This could be nothing more than a fun game. What have I gotten myself into? Kia thought, while the boy was thinking something along the same lines.

    “O-of…of course lord Riachu.” An incredibly large man muttered. Kia instantly recognized the name. Riachu, lord of blood, it was a name that made people shake all over the country.

    This seventeen year old kid was Raichu? Not possible, maybe he was Raichu’s son. The sword hanging from his waist begged to differ. It had a beautiful sheath, with a golden R carved in. It was also studded with an assortment of jewels. If that sword was the Kaypachu, the blade would be red. The Kaypachu was a demon sword.
    Kia felt ridiculous laying on the ground like some weak-willed, spine-less princess so she stood up. Only to be shoved back down again. Angrily, she stood back up. And starred this
    “Riachu” in the eyes.

    He was impressed, and was begging to like the wench. The stupid cows his tribe usually had enough sense to capture were such weak little things. And their constant wailing annoyed him.

    This girl stood out from the others. She couldn’t be described as pretty, She had various numbers of scars all over her body. This girl had a fighter’s stance, and fighter’s eyes. She would challenge him, and he loved a good challenge.
    Slipping his hand into his pocket his fingers closed around a pendant, a witchling’s pendant to be more precise.

    A wild spirit made the girl attracting to him, but he had no ambition but to break it.

    “Tell me your name,” he coaxed. “If I like it, you can keep it.” Kia shuddred, she was no stranger to the type of magic one could do with another’s name. And those spells could be very dangerous.

    “Kia.” She lie was short, and simple. Like she would ever confess her real name to anyone, especially this boy. He probably knew magic, and he could easily claim it, and use it to control her.

    For a moment Riachu believed her. But if she was the girl he thought she was, she wouldn’t be so stupid. Her title was well-known. Kia tamer of beasts, and if her traveling companion wasn’t a lion Riachu would take his own life. She was not stupid, but his men were. They muttered things to themselves about how idiotic it was to confess a name. Even small children were not so stupid. Everyone had a false name.
    Kia waited for a response, had Riachu bought it? She did not plan on being a captive for long. Charlotte growled, and came closer to Kia.

    “I see,” Riachu nodded. He looked over the girl again. She was dressed like a peasant. He needed to test her. Kia gasped when Riachu grabbed her arm, and pinned her against the wall. Charlotte had enough. She lunged for the boy’s throat. His hand flew to the Kaypachu. AS he pulled it out, Kia saw the famous red blade.

    “NO.” She yelled. He still had hold of her arm, so she twisted around and kicked at his hand. Kia couldn’t help but smile when she heard a sickening crack. He swore, and dropped the Kaypachu back into its scabbard. But for Kia, that wasn’t enough, she shoved all her weight against him, and they toppled into the mud. Riachu cussed again, his clothes must have been worth thousands. Charlotte sailed over them and tore out the throat of another man. Charlotte’s black eyes were angry, that had not been her ideal outcome. Charlotte turned, ready to try again. For the sake out their safety, Kia had to take control.

    “Charlotte! Rrowlf...” She barked the order, and a special word that the lion could easily understand. Her body loosened, and she nearly sat down.
    Riachu was impressed by Kia’s control over the lion. And the fact that she trusted her human partner to go as far as disobeying basic instinct. These two alone could probably take out at least half of his tribe, and it would be a bother finding replacements. He couldn’t risk it. Throwing Kia off of him, he stood up.

    “Enough!” He yelled, all became quiet. He grabbed Kia’s arm and tugged her to her feet. I like that beast, give her to me. I might just let you go free.” He wagered. Riachu, and Kia both knew freedom was not a possibility at this point.

    “No.” Kia cried sharply. He could never control Charlotte.

    “She’ll only listen to me, now let us go. Or I give the attack order.” To finish her threat Kia started that order.

    “Well, we cant have you doing that now can we?” What happened next was a blur. Riachu grabbed Kia with incredible speed, and plastered his hand over her mouth. Blood dripped from his knuckles. Charlotte began to roar, but was cut off due to a mass of men flinging themselves on her. Quickly, both Kia and Charlotte were bound. Riachu panted a little.

    “You’ve caused a bit of trouble here. Injuring my hand, killing two of my men, we’ll just have to take you as a replacement.” He sighed.
    Richu pulled from his pocket the witchling’s pendant, and hung it around Kia’s neck. A gag prevented her from protesting. Then he muttered an incantation and the pendant snapped to her neck like a chocker. He had one for Charlotte as well.

    And while that was going on, Kia planned on how to take advantage of this boy and his men.