It is best to start off this narrative with the delivery of crucial information: Hime could not swim.
Yet, from an early age she had been enamored by the idea of pirates and sailing on the wide seas. It was a concept completely at odds with her personality and zone of comfort; the slayer enjoyed tight blocks of city space with thousands of people and plenty of nooks and crannies to get lost in or escape through. On the ocean, there was an abundance of space. The scene went beyond that of a sprawling countryside in room to maneuver. Rather, the completely open expanse left one's head either spinning with confusion of how to navigate and reach any sort of destination when there was naught but space in front of him.
Hime dropped the now empty stick of her finished lollipop without any consideration, as she strolled down the pier. The miniature dowel slipped through a gap between two slabs of wood and was promptly forgotten, assuming the peach haired mage had even paid it a moment's notice in the back of her consciousness in the first place. Her primary attention had focused on the figure up above, clothed in billowing ivory garments and facing away and towards that unreadable, dark Eastern Sea. Biting her lip to resist a smile, Hime sped up and stretched her left hand forward in an expression of outreach even as the person could not see. "Hey! It's been a while..." But her boots, thundering against the dock, came to a halt when the pale form dissipated moments before the tips of her fingers might have snagged the silken folds of whatever coat it had seemed to wear. It was as though the figure flickered away and blew into dust on the wind all at once in the blink of an eye.
The slayer licked her lips and stared at the blank space and the black Eastern Sea for a long time.
After another breath of nothing happening, the mage coughed roughly into the crook of her right elbow and fished a new lollipop out of her skirt's pocket. "It's not good for you to go running off the end of a jetty. What- or I guess with your history, who did you see?" Hime whirled around and dropped in surprise the candy she had just unwrapped.
It was Vassa, a cream furred Exceed who had hatched from an egg that the slayer had encountered as a child. But after her experience with Elegancus, so though the feline was well aware of what had transpired during the time Hime was under the dragon's care, she did not actually have first hand memory of the events. That was one of the main topics the two had found plenty to argue about, and the mage wondered offhandedly if that might have changed over the time they had spent apart, courtesy of their estrangement after that one argument- "It wasn't her, was it? the Exceed's tone left no room for argument about the identity of that female entity. In conversation with the feline, a capitalized or loaded 'her' undoubtedly referred to the dragon who had left Hime with a fear of water and any sort of lizard-like creature for years.
"No, it wasn't Elegancus," the slayer muttered under her breath. She bent to pick up the fallen lollipop, unwrapped but dry and having fallen on one of the sun-bleached planks. Thankfully, there didn't seem to be much dirt on it but even so Hime would have just been grateful that the candy didn't topple into the water. Her temporary, sweeter-toned - literally - diversion from stiffer conversation was interrupted when the Exceed flew up to a height above Hime's head and sent her as lofty and skeptical of an expression as the feline could probably manage. "So then who was it?" The slayer snorted at her companion's persistence and continued to stare at the candy stick she in the palm of her hand. She dusted it off one final time and shoved the sweet in her mouth before stalking back down the dock, away from the end of the pier and instead moving back to solid ground.
"It was just someone else from my past," Hime responded curtly, shoving past the Exceed when the feline flew to block her path away from the docks. "Get out of my way," the mage warned Vassa flatly, but the winged cat folded her arms and set her expression into a more serious resemblance of a disappointed stone carving. "You want to do this now?" Hime asked rhetorically, moving her hair behind her shoulder on her left side; it had fallen in front of her collar bone due to her brisk strides. The mage wrinkled her nose as she just now recognized the awful stench of fish and algae blooms of the harbor. Vasilisa was ridiculous. There was almost no place she would less desire to have a troublesome confrontation than here, surrounded by a disgusting stench and a lot of water. As much as the slayer was comfortable with the fluid, she much preferred wet climates, not straight up oceans. "Get out of my way."
The moment the Exceed shook her head, Hime pressed her lips together and flung her hand out towards her former best friend, fingers crackling with sparks and glowing with a white-hot light. "I said, get!!" As soon as she had moved even a fraction of a centimeter with that fiery, aggressive energy, Vassa had flitted back out of reach. "What's wrong with you, Rionsa? Where is this temper coming from? Elegancus-"
Immediately the slayer's movements stilled, and her chin dropped slightly towards the ground, her hair falling around her in peach waves and concealing her expression from the Exceed. "... so I can't help but think you're being ridiculous! Tell me who you saw at the pier, if it wasn't that old dragon! And where are you even going? I've been looking for you for what, four years? And you're trying to run off again! That's no way to treat an old friend, if you'd acted like this years ago I wouldn't have bothered with you at all. What, now you suddenly think you're too good to be nice?" the feline finally paused in her berating, having noticed that Hime was no longer trying to move away or escape the scene.
Hime's tone wasn't cold or emotionless. Rather, it held a boundless fury and plain rage, no feelings concealed as the slayer reigned in her temper enough to make a reply before lashing out completely. "You really need to learn when to shut up!" She suddenly snapped up her head and lunged at the Exceed, her fingers replaced by razor-sharp claws that trailed raging flames. When the slayer saw that her first swipes had missed, she stomped her foot furiously and broke right through the boards, sending her body crashing into the shallow waters.
Despite the girl's above average height, Vassa still couldn't see any part of Hime poking through the water, not even any floating strands of hair or the top of her head. The Exceed cursed the dark waters of the Eastern Sea, so opaque that even midday with the sun shining down nearly directly, it only looked like a black expanse, a reflection of a night sky. Did she learn how to swim in that time we spent apart? the winged cat wondered to herself, but the answer seemed to be plain as day as Vassa was left staring at still waters. Well, she couldn't swim, either, so there was no way she was going to dive in after the ungrateful brat and try to drag her out. The Exceed had barely been able to carry Hime when she was a little girl, so it was doubtful in Vassa's mind that she could lift the stupid clump when she was flailing, drowning, fully grown, and soaked with water.
Harrumphing, the cream furred creature was about to fly away when she heard a sizzle from below. Vassa's eyes widened and she shot upwards just in time to escape the bubbling geyser that shot up from directly under where she was hovering previously.
Closer to the shore, Hime slunk onto the seaweed encrusted beach, bare footed with ratty, dripping hair. "Stupid cat, she muttered. Anyway, the slayer was in fact comfortable underwater; she could actually move rather quickly, like some kind of eel or wetland snake, but unfortunately swimming itself was not a skill. So it had taken a little bit to run-dash-walk out of the sea. "I won't bother." And with that, Hime's skin began to smoke, the waterlogged pores clearing out and the steam warming clothing until she was outfitted in a completely dry set of vestments. Then promptly, she flashed away in a spark of magic, leaving burnt seaweed and a few cinders on the beach where she had previously stood.
Now nearly in the port town itself, Hime smirked at a nearby timber cart full of muddy brown crates that had probably been comprised of clean wood planks at one point but were now grossly stained. The slayer reached out and poured fire magic into the boxes. She was pleasantly surprised to find that they weren't actually very damp, so they burned even more easily than expected. Hime laughed, a delightful, high sound of pure mirth as the flames quickly consumed the entire contents of the cart and then the frame of the transportation device itself. Her laughter only became more hysterical as the fire raged; it spilled over the sides of the cart and sought out anything flammable, crawling along the cobblestones like a living, breathing, hungry, starving entity and eating up everything in its path. Hime helped it to grow along. With another spark of magic she set fire to a nearby warehouse and locked the structure's contents inside by melting the chains and padlock on the single double door exit with one white-hot finger tip's flame.
"Hime! What are you doing??" Vassa cried out in distress, flitting around aimlessly. She wanted to help the people who were fleeing and screaming and being burned alive, but she had no idea how even to start- she felt responsible for the situation, almost... and yet, she felt hopeless, like she couldn't take responsibility for it even if she wanted to. "I'm burning a water city," the peach haired slayer giggled, swinging her feet as she sat on the rooftop of another warehouse, whose foundation was beginning to crumble as the wood and metal smoldered. "A water city. Think about that, Vassa."
She jumped off of the ledge and rolled easily to break the landing; not a moment later she was already scampering up and brushing herself off. The next frame saw Hime's fire serpent snarling before sinking its fangs into one of the many civilians who had come to Hargeon Town that day to see the wharf and the ship that might arrive carrying a package from geographically distant relations. The peach haired girl didn't even mind her serpent; she was too busy trailing fire through the air and bursting into every building in view that was so far untouched by fire. The slayer wanted the town burnt to the ground and even if she couldn't manage the feat logistically, the city being quite massive and accompanied by suburbs further mainland, she could definitely try her hardest to raze the port to the ground. So raze she did, torching general stores and artisans' shops, always locking entrances and melting closed escape passage ways whenever an opportunity presented herself. The slayer's consciousness grew hazy as she lost herself in the sensation of fire flickering on her finger tips, flames catching at the edge of her skirt and threatening to consume Hime herself but failing because it was her fire, and she was the one who was doing the burning. Everything here was happening because of her- "Stop! Hime, stop! How can you- what are you doing? All of this bloodshed! I..." The mage didn't even acknowledge the words of the Exceed.
Of course there was no bloodshed. It was like that myth about pouring molten gold over someone's head, boiling hot, it might strip off skin but it'd surely cauterize the wounds right after. Not a single drop of blood would be spilled. Here the same principle worked; Hime expected people to be burned alive, slowly, from the outside in- or maybe the inside out if she had personally shoved the blistering dragon magic inside of that civilian as she passed by. But no blood, no... that was too messy for the girl.
She stayed there, content to bask in the warmth from her own flames lapping at her face. Hime fanned the blaze when it was appropriate, ensuring that the inferno couldn't die down even as civilians tried to scramble into action, tried to tow buckets of murky sea water and dash them over the flames, tried to snuff out her magic- the female refused their attempts. It was a long few hours until enough water mages came to pour their magical energy over the blaze and exhaust themselves to surge against the raging flames. The slayer scorched V A N I T Y into the side of the last standing wall of the largest burned warehouse in the area, smiling at the mark before disguising herself in a thin layer of flames that bent the light and rendered her invisible. She slipped away as legals searched for survivors and tried to stomp out the vicious fire that so strongly desired to burn down this water town. It had already been a bit broken; vulnerable from that sea monster, even as residents had attempted to make repairs. Hime delighted in the scent of smoke and lack of fishiness that she could smell, hiding a smile with clumps of auburn-peach hair and invisibility as she swiftly fled the scene.
Tag @Rin Loves Mari
2328 out of 2000 Words
400 HP | Really No MP
2328 out of 2000 Words
400 HP | Really No MP
Job Title: Greetings From The Past
Job Location: Any Location in Fiore
Solo Word Count: 2,000 Words
Group Word Count: 4,000 Words
Additional Requirements: Can be done solo with an NPC confronter, or in a pair of characters. Maximum of 2 mages.
Job Description: A former acquaintance or friend has tracked the character down, and they've cornered them to throw the accusation of having changed too much, in a bad way.
Enemies: No expected extra enemies
Reward: 20K Jewels