She saw the brightness of the Azahar desert sun through her closed eyelids. Her ears rang. She tried to slowly open her eyes, squinting at the brightness. She couldn't remember much of what happened, just blurs: a spark, an intense heat from the explosion hitting her face, a shadow being cast over her, and being pushed aside. Trying to turn and push herself up, she felt a weight of an arm across her chest pinning her down. She looked to the right to see Balthazar, a man much older than she was, laid beside her. He had strong square jaw, tan skin, and dark hair. There was blood flowing slowly from the side of Balthazar's head. She reached to touch his head. She tried to seep into his mind to reach his consciousness, but his mind was dark. He was still breathing, and she was alive so he has to be alive.

The wizard, wanted for war crimes, stood there with a smile plastered on his face as he watched the small girl attempts to crawl out from the protection of the large man on top of her. "She lives. Come here, I'll take care of you from now on."

Rozalee narrowed her eyes, hidden under her dirt-colored, hooded cloak. She wiggled her way out from under Balthazar's arms and stood her ground. The desert wind began to pick up. The cloak clasped around her neck and covering her face flew wildly to the current of the desert wind.

A large black like tattoo that was burned onto her skin covered almost half her upper body. Its mouth circles her left eye as if planning to eat it. The tattoo continues down her neck and spread its wings on her shoulders. The long black tail coils around her arm and goes all the way down to her wrist. Her long, dark hair started to turn to a deep crimson from the root of her hair to the tip as her anger took root in her. Rozalee's light brown eyes changed to the color red like red wine being poured into a clear rounded glass. She gritted her teeth, nearly growling, like a wolf in full rage. Her black, dragon-shaped tattoo burned as much as it did the first time it slowly etched itself onto her skin about a hundred years ago as the rough and hot desert wind hit against it.

"Fire is a source of energy that feeds on the living and air, to be simply put. You are the living with a natural sensitive to air. To bend wind and fire to one's will, giving it a physical form, can consume and often will consumes one life. Even if you cannot die, you should never take magic lightly," the nagging memories of Balthazar's lecture echoed in her mind. SHUT UP! her inner anger yelled at the nagging voice of Balthazar, who was now still unconscious behind her. The desert sun bared its overwhelming heat above, and her bounty still stood several yards ahead of her unmoved. She clutched her hand into a fist as the blood from her tail of the tattoo started to drip from her arm down to her fingertips and onto the sand below as if the tail has tightened its grip around her arm until it drew blood. Rozalee's blood pumped quickly through her body and leaked out of the tattoo as her anger and adrenaline ran her body and actions. The blood crawled below her as if having a life of its own, drawing a incantation. Upon completion, it glowed. The blood dissolved into red light The sky turned black, no stars or clouds. The air began to thicken.

There was no time to prepare. The wizard felt the air thicken, unaware what is to happen. "A barrier?" he asked himself. Before he knew it, air was being pulled out of his lungs. He couldn't just stay there doing nothing. If he let this continue he would die. The wizard tried to throw every incantation and spell he knew at her, but not a single one touched her. Sparks he sent would fly at her, but withered out to nothing, protected by something. "Wind magic," he thought to himself. A strong wall made of whirling winds protected her from attacks while pulling all the air it. There was no hope. He turned to run, but his body refused to move. He looked at his hand and noticed a fine thread as thin as spider webs bound him. "She can create thread from wind? Impossible!" There was no escape.

She lifted one of her hand as if reaching for the bounty and squeezed it into a fist.

His eyes grew wide as he felt pressure against his chest. Something had pushed all the air out of his lungs. The wind thread tightened around every inch of him. He tried to create a skin barrier around himself, but the treat cut through. His legs lost their strength but the threads held him as it began to cut into his skin. The pressure went to his head and his eyes felt as if they would pop out. Seconds went by like hours. Death could not come soon enough. The thread around his neck slowly dug into his skin. Blood gushed out as the thread cut through. It didn't take long for the strings to make their way through his skin and cut through his bones. Soon there was nothing left of the bounty but a head with bulging eyes and a stain on the golden brown desert sand.

With the deed done, the spell came to an end. The sun returned to the sky and the black nothingness turned back to its blue, afternoon hue. As the adrenaline slowly cooling down within Rozalee, she took in the hot desert breeze, which felt cool against her skin. Her lungs began to feel as if she was drowning, as if all the air was leaving her body and with each breath she tries to catch her lungs burned with a sharp stabbing pain like there were thousands of tiny daggers ripping at her lungs. The terms of the spell was taking effect. She fell to her knee, shivering and weak, and began to cough violently until a puddle of blood formed in front of her. The more air she tried to breathe in, the more violent her cough became. Her whole body shook and tears streamed down her face. If it wasn't for the ftehim, she knew what she had done would have killed her.

Rozalee waited for the cost to take its toll, since as a Kuntrattur she cannot die, but live in eternal pain. Her coughs finally subsided, but all she could do was lay on the hot sand. She could not lift a muscle as if she was completely paralyzed. A shadow loomed over her. He covered her with a dirt colored cloak, and lifted her into his arms. All she could see was Balthazar's shadow against the bright white sun, and the dark, crimson blood that flowed down on the side of his head, but they are connected so she knew it was him.

"We should go little one," Balthazar said softly. "Yes," She managed to say to him in thought before she rested her eyes and laid her head against his arm and chest. Rozalee wished she was back at home in her overly fluffy bed, which consisted of more cushion than bed. It is the only comfort that she could remember and hold onto. She can't even remember her own parents, friends, school, or even what her room looked like, but that soft comfortable bed that provided so much protection. Although, she knew the only end for her would be death.

Balthazar held Rozalee close and walked towards the stain to pick up the head for the bounty. Staying in his human form, Balthazar called forth his wings, each wing was four times bigger than he was, and took off into the sky as Rozalee slept in his arms.

The humidity clung onto her skin, and the air felt hot and stale even though she the tall trees had blocked the sun's light. Everything had a green hue. Where am I? She thought. Her heart quickens and she felt her hands began to shake as fear slowly creeped into her.

"Ow," she said as she felt something bite the back of her hand. There was a small black dot and it was burning. It dug into her skin and she tried to put it off with her other hand but it wouldn't come off. She panicked and cried. She tried to say get off, but her uncontrollable sobbing prevented her from forming words. The black dot spread up her hand and wrapped itself round her arm. Every inch it grew it bit harder and burned more. The pain built on top of each other, showing no relief. "Stop! Please!" She tried saying from her loud wailing. She lost strength to stand and laid on her back on the ground. She hugged her arm hopping it would stop the stabbing pain as if her skin was being ripped off of her arm. The black spread on to her back and up her neck, onto her face and engulfing her right eye. "Ahhhh!" She screamed.

Rozalee opened her eyes. Her breathing was heavy. Her head was buried under the covers. She saw the wooden door in front of her. It was only a dream. The tattoo that almost consume half of her upper body was still burning, as it had burned for as long as she could remember. It has been near if not over one hundred years. In fact she had gotten so use to the burning, it almost felt comfortable.

Rozalee heard the wooden door creak open, "You're awake," Balthazar's deep soothing voice said to her.

"Yes," she responded without moving an inch.

"How are you feeling?" Balthazar moved to sit on the edge of her bed.

"Fine." She still did not budge from where she laid, like a doll.

"Good, because what you did was completely idiotic. What were you thinking?" He asked. "Oh, wait. Right, you weren't."

"Shut up," She said irritated.

He did not continue any further, then asked her, "Hungry?"


"You should eat something anyways." Balthazar said to her. Rozalee stayed silent. "You are not upset with me for some reason are you, my Kuntrattur?" He asked looking at her unmoving body hidden under the cover.

"No," she said in the same unmoving tone, revealing nothing. They sat there in a moment of silence before she asked, "How long have I been sleeping?"

"Two days now."

"How long have we been in this town?"

"We will be leaving tonight."


He moved his hand to pat her head, but stopped. He got up and said, "I'll bring you some food and leave soon after; rest." She watched him walk to the door and close it behind him. She shut her eyes again trying to sleep a little more, hoping for a dreamless sleep.