Bed, Bath and Beyond!
The sky, miserably dour and gray as it was, presented a challenge that no self-respecting wind mage could ever hope to pass up for themselves. A storm had rolled through the Magnolia region barely hours prior, and it had ravaged the landscape. Many homes had been devastated by the destructive power of mother nature; fences had been torn apart, windows had been shattered and houses had taken on excessive wind and water damage. This storm was absolutely destructive, and the consequences had been dire for so many people. There were millions of jewels' worth of damage to countless homes. This particular home that our story zooms in on, right now, was one of the worst hit. Some of the windows were gone, the roof had been partly torn off, and so much of the internal structure of the building had been damaged in some way. This place was an absolute wreck, but it was the last real possession of the elderly couple that inhabited it. For them, moving out of their home was not an option. Their stubbornness could be their undoing, if someone did not step in and intervene.
Enter Lyra Karant. While she was not a very physically powerful person, she almost felt right at home in the tempest of the storm. The winds bowed to her whims... Well, sort of. She tried. And she could always protect others as best she could. In the absolute worst case, Lyra had means to protect this home from the worst of the damage now that she was on site.
She'd already spent a few hours here with the couple, trying her best to help; with her wings, she could fly materials up and down from the roof and ensure a steady stream of things for the man, who-- with his failing health-- could only do so much. She was capable of taking direction at the very least and Lyra was willing to do absolutely anything to help them fix their home. With what strength she could muster - and this was magically blessed, too - she could at least help to break some of the smaller branches off the tree that had fallen over their front porch and get it out of the way so repairs could begin.
Truthfully, it was not the damage to the house that was already there that worried Lyra. It was the fact that her senses were picking up the slow but definite drop in the wind to indicate a low pressure system building. Another storm front was coming, absolutely guaranteed. She asked if they had anything to tie over the roof just to protect them from leaks for the time being when the storm blew over; there was one tarpaulin that Lyra and the old man could put over the hole in the roof and lash down so that if any water damage came through, then the worst of it could be redirected and hopefully reduce the impact to the inside of their home.
Once it was tied down, Lyra carried the old man down from the roof herself. On rose wings she brought him down, and despite his protests she had to insist. This was going to get bad, and it was going to take every ounce of her considerably growing powers to tame the storm and prevent this from getting any worse. She would not let the man and his wife come to further harm.
"Get inside, find somewhere safe and bunker down for a couple of hours," Lyra said in a rather confident voice. It almost didn't seem like it was hers. The elderly couple complied. She assured them of her best effort to safeguard their home.
Once that was done, she floated back up to the roof and stared off towards the horizon. There it was. She could see the form of a tornado building; its unmistakable shape and colour a distortion on the horizon. Storm clouds were darkening and building. This was the worst-case scenario. If nothing was done, she'd face losing this home - and Lyra was a protector. If she could not do this, she was a failure.
Are you sure you're ready for this? Rhett asked. Even he wasn't convinced she could handle this.
"I don't know," she said, a touch of melancholy in her voice. "But I have to do this, Rhett. I have to. I really do. I need to prove that I can."
To who? To me? You don't need my approval, kid. You're still learning, and besides, you're damn good as it is.
"I have to, Rhett. I'm sorry."
Don't be. I've got your back. If you need me, I'm ready, okay?
Lyra nodded. She had moments before the storm rolled in, the sky beginning to open up and sprinkle the first drops of rain on the house. The fight was about to begin.
First and foremost, Lyra reached a hand down and cast protective magic on the roof of the house; the pledge of fire swirled upwards, sheathing the house in a gusset of flame. The flame would evaporate the lightest parts of the rain and, if all went well with her shield, protect it from some of the damage that the wind was going to bring on. She knew that was not the only thing she could do. What else she was going to do was going to be a problem, but she knew that she had the ability to do so if she really tried.
Rhett hesitated - it was a jarring sensation in the back of her mind. Lyra, you're not thinking about-
She held up a hand. "It's coming."
The storm lashed up, and cast its powerful squall upon them; the rain was already coming down in spades, drenching both Lyra and the house. There was a constant sizzling noise, one that she was going to have to focus on maintaining. The shield that was picking up the rain would need to be a constant thing if the house was to be protected. Lyra's thoughts were only with the people inside of it, and not with her own safety.
The wind picked up, striking away at the house like a jackhammer, its repetitive force buffeting the mage's lithe body to and fro. She planted her feet. She was a wind slayer - this was her element! Over time, it built. The house creaked under the force, and with it came the symphonic crash of thunder and lightning, approaching rapidly - the lightning was something that she could not deal with, though if it struck she would be there for the worst of it to perform damage control in the worst case. Her stance widened, trying to hold herself in a martial artist's pose. Her hands were like water, flowing back and forth to control the tide of her shield. It was all she could rely on.
Then, as if an afterthought, the wind became a gale. The tornado - its leading edge - was coming upon them. This was it. All of this, the shield still holding, had been for this moment. Slowly, Lyra exhaled, her breath her greatest weapon in this moment of danger. The tornado threatened to throw her off her feet, but for the first time she now had the ability to test a slayer ability that she had yet to do so. It was her time. Her absolute finest moment. It was going to have to be now or never, for she was surrounded with the very thing she could control.
Lyra Karant, for the first time, breathed in the truth. The tornado found, very quickly, that it had met its match.
She breathed in. That breath in was slow but deliberate. Absorbing the essence of a natural disaster was no small feat, but Lyra was one of very few people alive who was uniquely suited to handling this exact situation. Well, that was untrue. There were plenty of people that could have fought the wind with pure brute force. However, at this moment, all she had to do was trust in her abilities, and just breathe.
The wind quivered under her touch. It had its own bite as it entered her body, but all of it fell to her overwhelming desire to protect the two people cowering in the house beneath her. The power she was absorbing was nothing like she'd ever experienced before; her veins pulsed fiery bright as she made the power of the tornado that spiralled around her become nothing less than her thrall. Coursing through her body was a sensation that she could not put into words. It was the first time she had ever done something like this. With so much raw energy in her body, the slayer was riding high. It was... invigorating. Was this how the most powerful mages in the world felt as they harnessed every drop of the mana that ran through them? This was absolutely incredible. This was unbelievable.
If this was raw power, she was addicted.
In that moment, the tornado paused, as if someone had pressed a button to stop it in time. With every sense firing at full speed, she could almost see the air particles rushing around her; it was like everything had just stopped for her. The wind was now a swirling vortex around her that seemed to not move. What was left of the tornado awaited her command. She pushed her raw, newfound power outwards, and the tornado broke.
In that instant, everything came rushing back to reality, and all that was left was the rain. There was silence in the air. The soft pitter-patter of rain on the roof was the only thing left as the storm lost every ounce of its impetus. The wind slayer had done her job, without question; with sufficient time, the rain began to die away.
Once the rain eased up and the sun began to peek out from behind the clouds, the older couple came out from their home which had almost entirely avoided damage; some water had gotten in, though it was nothing a mop couldn't handle. The wind had done almost nothing to the house other than move it a little back and forth on its foundations. It was strange that the woman that had arrived to help them hadn't come down after she was done - after all, she had wings, so it wasn't like she had to climb down or anything. The old man went up onto the roof to survey the worst of the damage, but...
There she was. Unconscious and unmoving. Lyra Karant, for all the exertion she had given her, had completely passed out from the strain that her body had gone through. The old man rushed back down the ladder to call the emergency services to come and collect her; their home had been saved, but at what cost?
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