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Flickers of orange and yellow light threw themselves across the stone flooring, landing harmlessly at the bare feet of the girl.
The girl’s face was dirtied from her recently ended travels. Splotches of dried mud and a couple of spots of burnt skin disguised her freckles. Her blonde hair was tangled and brown with dirt. And yet she was beautiful. The radiance shone from her inner soul, spreading outwards, breaking the surface through her dazzling hazel eyes. She was thin and looked tired, but she was far from worn down.
The orange light reached her feet and she swallowed to hide the fear that now dwelled in her radiant hazel eyes. The light was harmless, its source was not.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” The man’s voice echoed throughout the hall, bouncing off of the uneven stone walls and ringing harshly in the girl’s ears. “I had it specially made. It is one of a kind. And deadly.” A cruel smile crawled across his pale face, bringing a wicked glint to his midnight blue eyes.
“It’s horrible.” The girl’s voice was cracking, but strong.
The orange light grew and burned a harsh red.
“Careful,” the man warned “fire can be hard to control. When it’s angry.” The man turned the glinting hilt over in his hands.
“Fire can’t be angry, it’s not alive!” she squealed.
“Oh, but it is. It breaths, grows with hot air, and can flare up at any moment! Remind you of anyone?” his midnight blue eyes darkened in anger.
“Don’t you dare compare him to that. That… that evil, dark magic!” her voice cracked painfully removing all volume and indignation from her tone.
“Oh tsk, tsk it seems someone’s voice has grown tired of yelling.” He leaned in close, his rank breath stinging the corner of her left eye and breathed heavily in her ear “but it’s just getting started.”
The girl’s face twitched in anger, but she knew it would do little good to try and speak. Her vocal chords were about as powerful as a wet cherry blossom petal at this point.
The fire danced, guided by its glinting hilt and cruel wielder, dangerously close to the girl’s cheek. She clenched her jaw and tried not to show the fear rising in her chest.
“A few third degree burns, singed hair and freckled burned to a crisp. My, my, fire does not like you.”
As if to prove its master thesis, the fire sword flared and barely licked the surface of the girl’s ear lobe. It burned no more than a finger does in a candle flame, but it proved its point. The magic was quite real. And deadly.
“I know red flames look menacing, but they’re not very hot. How about white ones?” the entire sword lit up a brilliant white with tinges of purple. The smell of burnt hair stung the girl’s nose and beads of sweat formed on the left side of her face. “That’s more like it.”
“I told you, he’s dead.” The girl whispered.
“Then why are you still here?! You would be dead too!” the man barked.
“We’re not those people.” She tried to speak louder, but not much sound came out.
“Your golden hair would beg to differ.” He remarked snidely.
“Burn in hell.” She spat.
The man lit up in rage. He swung the sword away from her face and prepared to strike, “you want to know what that feels like!?” the sword turned a threatening orange and yellow mixture with a bright blue center and grew to twice its size.
Soon enough her shirt was on fire, breasts underneath turning black. She stifled the painful scream as long as she could, but eventually her body gave in. A shriek louder than a banshee rang throughout the tower room.
It was hell.
The sword was long gone, reduced to a candle flame, tucked away in a belt strap designed for the dark magic it now concealed, and yet the heat of the blade was still consuming her body. Her shirt had stopped burning when it got to her sides, at her command, but the front was all but burned away. It left her exposed in more ways than one. She sealed her eyes tight to contain her anguish and shame.
The man began to whistle but stopped midway and trailed off. He stared in shock.
The girl’s eyes opened slowly, revealing the emotion she could no longer deny. She was screwed.
In the center of her chest, right where the worst burns should have been, the pale skin was a brilliant white surrounding a small shape. It was the shape of a candle flame, a yellowish red with a small white center. Slowly the skin surrounding the flame peeled away, blackened skin giving way to new raw, pink flesh. The candle seemed to flicker as it worked until all the burned skin had fallen at the feet of her captor. The periodic contracting of the girl’s muscles proved that the process was anything but painless. Then the ashy remnants of her shirt reformed, leaving scorch marks at the seams, but otherwise fully restoring the shirt, leaving her captor staring at the spot where the flame had been.
He shook his head in disbelief. Slowly at first, in minute motions, then once very quickly. He locked eyes with the girl “your name.” he said through gritted teeth.
Sadness filled the eyes of the beautiful captive. “Arcis DeSolice. The flame of the Sun” she said as loudly as her voice would allow. “And you thought he was the cursed one.” She grimaced.
She stared intently at the hilt of the fire sword. It leapt from the belt and swung itself, white-hot, at her chains, melting all but the cuffs. Then she stood. “I told you we’re not who you think.” The dirt fled from her golden hair as it became a white light more brilliant than the sun. The room became filled with a natural light that was too bright to be real.
The man and his guards tried to shield their eyes, but one flick of her hair and they all burned down to nothing. The grout in-between the stones of the poorly constructed building began to melt as Arcis raced down the long flight of stairs.
She emerged, unscathed, as the building crumbled behind her. The normal color of her hair returned, now void of dirt, as she looked towards the sun.
“What have you done to me?”