Chapter One

"I think that's enough, don't you?"

"But master, I need to get this right?"

"Don't push yourself."

The boy sighed, letting his hand go limp. His magic wasn't working like it was the other day, and he hadn't the slightest idea why. His master kept saying he was pushing himself too much, but the young mage wouldn't have it. Instead, he grew frustrated at his magic, but perhaps today, he'd listen.

"Look, it's fine," his master said. "Believe me, you'll get it. Just don't rush. I'll see you next week."

The boy sighed, agreeing and nodding his head.

In the south center plaza, Ariela's Tavern was hopping with endless business. All the festivities were for the annual Fall celebration. Lady Calista and Zeal were past married, and all his friends were awarded jobs in the castle. For Mirania, that meant working as a researcher for the castle team. For Lowell and Syrenne, it meant that in addition to knighthood, they were put out on guard duty together.

And for Yurick, he was training the future magicians of Lazulis.

"Master Yurick!" Ariela exclaimed, holding a tray of empty glasses. She walked slowly, but it did her no good.

"Ah!" she yelled, tripping over a man's stuck out shoe. Yurick's eyes widened as he extended his hand, stopping her fall in mid air as he dove to catch the tray. Ariela gave a deep exhale, looking up as he set her straight. She was shaking.

"Yurick...thank you," she said, taking her tray.

"You should be more careful with that."

She laughed. "Yeah, I suppose so. What brings you here?"

"Just, taking a break. Kids wear me out, ya know?" He walked slowly into the tavern, leaving the barmaid to her services. He took himself upstairs where he sat down on a bed in guest room there. Closing his eyes, Yurick found himself in a sleeping trance for the next three hours. The only thing that woke him was the sound of smashing bottles on the first floor.

"I'm so sorry!" he could hear the voice of a girl, and he got himself out of bed to see what was going on.

"Can you control that?" that was Ariela's voice!

He leaned over the railing upstairs, staring down at the scene before him. The floor was washed in water! There were brawls breaking out and the girl was being backed up against a wall by another mage.

"Here goes!" Yurick said to himself. His magic was second to none, so whatever was going on here should be anything he couldn't handle.

He took a shot at the two of them, turning the water on the floor into steam. Jumping from the second floor, Yurick drew his dagger between them.

The mage backed off and the girl backed herself against the wall. He took a look at the mage, then back to her, then back at the mage.

"What's going on here?"

"Master Yurick," the mage was from the castle. "We caught her running from the knights on Lazulis Road. Someone from the Arena reported her missing."

Yurick nodded, looking at the girl. "I'll take it from here."

"Get her back to where she belongs," the mage said.

"I'll be the judge of that," he replied. "Now get."

The mage took off on foot as Ariela stared in awe as the steam rose out of the windows. The girl who was backed against the wall let down her green hood, revealing her crystal white hair and green eyes.

"Thank you," she said.

"You're not from here, from where do you hail?" Yurick asked. the girl stood silent, turning her head away from the question.

"You can use magic," Yurick stated. "Water?" Still, she ignored his question.

"You can't take me back!" she yelled. "I won't go back."

"Who said I was going to do that?"

The girl stopped, looking at Yurick fully. She recognized him as the mage whose name and face everyone around the island was talking about. His name and Team Zeal was all over the Arena. Of course, she'd never seen them for herself. Their names were already on the rise by the time she rolled into town.

"You. You're Master Yurick," she said, covering her mouth. Her hair fell from its pinned up state, and she let it unravel down to her back. The expression she held transformed into sorrow.

"Great. Just what I need," she scoffed. "I'll find my own way out of this. Just let me go."

"Not if your going to sink the island," Yurick said with a smirk. The girl drew her hand up, letting a flame rise from her fingertips.

"Both fire and water?" he asked.

She smirked, shaking her head, saying he wouldn't understand even if he tried, but he wouldn't let her leave.

"Can at least have your name?"

"Yumi," she said. "Don't worry, you'll never see me again."

She slipped past Yurick and charged out of the tavern, avoiding the guard. Yurick never found out where she came from or why she was hear, but he knew better than to get caught up in another mage's business.