The flames roared angrily, a beacon in the moonless night sky. The framework of the castle began to collapse.
He dived out of the door just as the fire descended upon him, clutching the small girl tightly in his arms. With one hand, he pulled his hood down over his face securely as the figures appeared from the shadows.
They each drew a black sword from their dark robes. So did the man, holding the terrified girl against him with his other arm.
The man quickly killed off the six figures that surrounded him with a stab through the heart. He only received a cut on his left cheek, below his eye. A scratch, to him.
He heard the crackling flames rise in volume; felt the searing heat on his back.
He ran forward, away from the castle.
The girl reached over his shoulder, tearful eyes wide in horror. "MOTHER!!" she screamed as the ruined building finally fell to its foundations, splaying ashes and flames in all directions.
Her cry echoed in the darkness.