Cherry Blossom Shower
It was a strange thing, to be considered to go out and take care of problems. Lyra didn't exactly see herself as much of a problem-solver, which was funny to her. She mostly considered herself to go and assist others to solve problems, given that she was content enough to shy away from the spotlight and help others to do the things that they needed to do. It was a bit of a change from what she'd anticipated, but her backseat driver Rhett was rather happy for this change of heart. Especially considering she'd picked up a few new tricks recently, Lyra was definitely happy to try and pick up a task every here and there for herself if she thought she could help it. Apparently, so the story was going, the nearby town of Rose Garden was having themselves an interesting little cherry blossom petal infestation that needed some work to get through. In the interest of sorting it out efficiently, Lyra had volunteered her time and effort. Surely some wind magic could sweep the petals away neatly and solve the problem for the locals, right? That was the plan, at the very least. Would the plan hold? Probably not.
You know, it's not a great plan you're walking in here with, kid, commented Rhett in the back of her mind. She hadn't picked up something quite like this for a long time, but Lyra was eager to try it out regardless.
"First comment: technically not walking," came Lyra's reply, and she was right in that particular regard; she was floating off the ground using her brand-new, rose-coloured wings. She needed to practise their control, so the small pink wings had to be exercised as best as they could so she could get used to it. It was the best she could do for now. She moved upon the air almost effortlessly, thanks to the brand-new blessing of her new lacrima; having become both a wind and flame slayer was paying off for her in spades. Now it was time to test it.
As she approached the edge of town, it was plain to see that the cherry blossoms were picking up around them. Now, Lyra was a fan of sakura petals; her new home was Sakuramori, and she was a member of Luminous Rose. Heck, she had a freaking aura of cherry blossom petals. In theory, she fit right in here. However, the more she looked at the blossoms piling up, she could really see that there were lots of them. Too many of them, in fact. The petals were piling up high enough that they were starting to become a nuisance. And, bonus points, if she had touched the ground with her feet, she would have realised that these things were slippery.
Actually, someone just went butt-first over there trying to push past the petal barricades. That was a thing. Poor guy. He didn't deserve that.
However, dancing in the middle of the mysterious trees that were shedding their petals was a small copse of planet monsters; three of them were tall, thin and danced beautifully amongst the falling blooms. The other three were smaller, almost human-looking, but covered in vines and bark that ran little circles and cackled maniacally as they did so. One of them looked over at Lyra as they chased each other to and fro and squealed - she had in fact been spotted. Oh no. This was bad.
Immediately, Lyra called upon her pledge of fire, the defensive barrier that would shield her from danger, and realised that the three small ones were already converging on her. Wings beating hard, she pushed herself up into the sky; in that wingbeat she pushed back an entire swathe of the petals on the ground to give herself some clearance to fight. The slayer knew that she would have to take on these little petal monstrosities one way or another. Would it be wiser for her to engage them from the safety of the sky, or come down to their level?
An immediate barrage of razor-sharp petals answered that question for her; one of the little monsters had attacked her and was calling upon its friends to do so with a chatter of some kind of noise that she simply couldn't understand. Air it was. Just like that, the fight was on.
Her hand swept through the air, three times; three strikes of her brand-new offensive weapon, the cutting blade of her air slash reaching out to take on its targets. The poor little creatures could not withstand the sheer power of the scything invisible blade and were knocked back towards the dancing creatures as if they were nothing. Two of them decided to stay down. One of them, in its rush to engage, called forth the slicing barrage of petals once more. Three petals cut into Lyra's skin, before another push of air sent it flying into the distance - blasting off again, poor little guy. The blood trickled down her arm, and she noticed that. It was going to have to be dealt with eventually, but the fact remained: she had enough strength to fight off three opponents. Little weird opponents, but opponents.
Huh. She was stronger than she thought she was.
Not bad. How are you feeling?
"Won't lie, a little tired. That was a lot," she commented, still high up in the air and watching the petals fall faster and faster. Out of the corner of her eye, she took stock of two things; one, the weird dancers, especially at this range, were still doing their dance. And second...
There was a person, waving their hands, pink rings of mystical energy flowing forth from them. One of them blossomed forth a whole tree, which she noticed rather immediately. This was the source of them. A beautiful woman, hair white as ash, her green dress almost reminiscent of vines as it bloomed with petals. Was the dress itself organic?
"You can come down now, winged one," said the mage, calling forth a tree. Her voice was so soothing, so lilting. It was enough to distract Lyra for a second.
"Are you going to stop calling these trees? The people can't leave their homes. We can't have this."
"I'm sorry, but no, I cannot. The people must see this splendour for themselves."
A pause, and a sigh. "Is there no other way to resolve this?" Lyra asked, sadness evident in her voice. She did not wish to fight another human. It was the last thing she wanted.
However, if there was no other way, then a fight had to be considered as an option. Both of them seemed to think of that at the same moment. It was the cherry blossom mage that made the first move; the petals on the ground whipped themselves up into streams and made to engage Lyra, who found herself bludgeoned by one as she flew sideways under the sheer force of the impact. This floral fighter was not messing around; it was enough to knock the wind out of her.
She was not the only one who could play that game, though.
Drawing in on her inner powers, Lyra drew upon the duality of fire and wind; the petals around her began to blaze brightly as she conjured the powers of the demons that she had signed pacts with. Now, she was the hybrid of the elements, and her cherry blossoms blazed with holy energy. If it was a fight that was going to be necessary, then Lyra would channel her energies into defeating her opponent. There was nobody else here to help her; if she did not, there was no help coming. Lyra had to challenge the rites of battle and find herself victorious. There was no other way, for the good of the people of Rose Garden.
The floral mage took a moment of pause. What had she gotten herself into now?
Lyra slashed her hand out; striking her opponent with the first blade of air was enough to reduce her ability to harm her, which would be absolutely mission critical if she wanted to engage. Fire would be a weapon of choice here, for burning away the petals would be a better solution than hitting away with wind constantly. In the next instant, she shifted; teleporting her way directly to her opponent to engage her head-on rather than fighting at a distance. Her shield of flame was starting to buckle, especially under the whipping winds of petals that she found herself buffeted in during the next moment - an idea to consider later - but in Lyra’s hands appeared a whip of flame, striking long arcs through the air. Petals disintegrated into nothingness as holy flames singed, then removed them from existence. The lash struck once, twice, three times, as Lyra found herself pushing into the aerial barrier with every strike; her shield flashed away into nothing, as her face, arms and legs found themselves being scratched by the raging tornado of flowers. The burning incandescence roiled high as the flowers, flames and wind bloomed into a single, perfect flower.
Only for the flower mage to find herself on her knees before the rose angel of fire. The whip, coiling carelessly towards the ground, was a beacon of brightness. The loose blooms fell still. The trees stopped perpetuating petals. It was the silence after the storm, as Lyra stood over her opponent. Battered, bloodied… but victorious.
”Fine. We’re done here. I’m going home.”
”I’m sorry it had to be like this,” was all Lyra could manage as her energies shut off. Her slayer force vanished, her wings vanished too; her feet touched the dirt beneath her and she felt solid ground for the first time in what felt like forever.
The flower mage waved her hands through the air, and just like that, the flowers vanished from existence. Moments later, she was gone.
Lyra wiped both blood and sweat from her brow. There was a need to patch herself up - but first, a moment of remorse for the hurt she had caused.
TAG: --- WORDS: 1720 TOTAL: 1720/1000 JOB: Link