Chapter I

Lucy ran and ran, trying to escape him, though she still felt the dark magic behind her. She had to get away - fast.

Unsuccessfully thinking of a way to escape, the blonde decided to keep running. She hoped there would be an opening in the brick-shaped stone walls around her. Her brown eyes darted from one side of the long hallway to the other, searching for anything that could aid her.

"You can't run forever . . ." a voice that seemed to be in her head kept whispering. Each time, cold shivers went up Lucy's spine.

"Go away!" she shouted, gasping and breathing heavily. She lost count of how long she had been running. All she knew was that she had to find a way to escape.

Suddenly, something snagged her foot. Her eyes went as dark as the hallway around her.

"No!" she screamed, wishing she could teleport somewhere safer. The cracked, mossy stone around her seemed to edge closer and closer. The girl felt suffocated. Just when she thought it couldn't get worse, unwanted magic wrapped itself around her leg, then the other, then it slowly made its way up to her lower back.

She screamed again, but it was cut short due to a hand over her mouth. Her eyes widened as she stared up at the man. She couldn't see what he was wearing due to the lack of light, but she guessed it was black with a yellow collar sticking out, facing forward.

"Hush," the black wizard suggested.

Lucy bit his hand. "Never! Let me go!"

"Feisty, I see," he commented. "We can fix that. Come along quietly and I won't hurt you . . . Yet."

"Like I'd agree to something as ridiculous as that, Zeref!" the blonde retorted, struggling to free herself.

Zeref created an orb of magic in his hands with ease. "Quiet," he repeated. He was about to throw the orb at the struggling girl when a burst of bright flame washed into the room, extinguishing the black wizard's power.

The fire seemed to hurry over to Lucy. It burnt the evil magic off her legs and lower back, careful not to scorch the poor girl. Her eyes were closed, but when she opened them, she had to squint to see anything.

"What's with all this light all of a sudden!?" she exclaimed, trying to shield her eyes with her hand.

"Follow me," a new voice said. It felt warm and welcoming. Lucy glanced at Zeref before getting up and looking around, letting her eyes adjust to the new change in lighting.

Spotting a glow towards her left, she noticed how it seemed to wait for her. She also realized that it was in a different passageway instead of the unending hallway that she'd spent so long running in.

Not wanting to waste time and risk getting caught again, Lucy followed the flickering light. Soon enough, she was briefly blinded as the western sun welcomed the girl.

"Outside?" she murmured, confused. She pushed away the thought, just relieved that she was alive and safe. She quickly spun her head around, looking everywhere for the brilliant flame that saved her life. Unfortunately, she never found even a trace of it anywhere, as if it never existed.