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Testing the Limits [Private/Training]

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Ariella sat near a pool in the Temple of the Magi. She found herself visiting the Temple frequently, the area serene and stimulating, all at the same time. The priestesses were always happy to have her visit, their entire purpose was to maintain this Temple should a Magi need use of it. This Temple probably had the largest number of tomes about the history of Magi in the world, topping even Magnostadt’s collection. While the books in Magnostadt were mostly conjecture and legend, the books here had records of Magi who had visited over the years, some even from before Ari’s time.

The priestesses were even recording her own adventure and it was another reason Ari visited so often, telling short pieces of her journey to a scribe, to preserve it for future generations. She found she was quite an anomaly, in terms of Magi, one of the few ever returned to life as a fully grown Magi and with her memories mostly intact. She still had difficulties recalling many things she had learned in the Sacred Space and relied on her Clairvoyance spells to fill in the blanks in her mind. With the help of the priestesses, Ari was able to construct a crude timeline of how long she had been gone, well over a full moon cycle, by their estimates. She still hated that she had been kept from Azix so long and that he had been made to suffer through her false death. Even worse was knowing Ayero had been forced to watch her taken from this world. Knowing her friend, the Fanalis woman had probably struggled with guilt. While Ari had sacrificed herself, Ayero tended to feel it was her job to protect everyone around her.

These were all ideas that had Ari carrying much guilt inside, knowing she had caused suffering to those she cared about the most. She wondered how her father and Adius had handled news of her death, knowing it would hit Adamus like a knife to the chest. She decided to take this chance to write a letter to both her brother and father about her death and subsequent resurrection, hoping to bring a bit of peace to their lives. While she could not afford to leave Kou yet, she could at least do this for them. Her hand flowed across the parchment, telling them that tales of her death had been somewhat exaggerated. She left out details of her being a Magi, not wanting that information to spread, if she could help it. She explained that she had been sent to Kou to recover from the grievous injuries she had obtained on the Shrouded Isle, claiming the Pirate Queen knew of a Temple with the most skilled healers in the world. She apologized for not writing sooner, wanting to make sure she would be okay before telling them she was alive, lest the healers failed and have to report her death once again. At the bottom of each parchment, a priestess wrote a quick note, confirming the details of the story. It was her way of trying to stress the truth of the words. She knew it was likely her father would want to travel to Kou to see for himself, when he did, she would reveal the full truth to him.

With the letters written, she summoned a messenger to send them, one to Magnostadt and one to Reim. It settled her mind a bit, knowing that the last of her most beloved people had been informed she was still alive. She contemplated writing to Garret, as well, but assumed Azix would handle the blue magician. While she trusted Garret, she and the other magician were not particularly close, so she doubted the man had lost sleep over the news of her supposed death, aside from possibly worrying how it might affect their King Candidate. Once the messenger had scurried off to work on sending the letters, Ari moved back to one of the pools around the Temple, meditating as she watched the ripples bounce across the surface of the clear water.

She knew Azix was helping Ayero to take on the dangers of a dungeon and knew he had chosen the woman for her strong sense of morals and eagerness to protect those around her. The man had a way of attracting those with great potential and she was glad he had deemed Ayero worthy of carrying a metal vessel. Everyone around him seemed to be getting more and more powerful and while she had gained quite a bit of power, herself, she had not done much with it, aside from damaging the landscape in her fumbling attempts to raise a dungeon. She wanted to become stronger, to help him, but she was still in a place of disbelief and uncertainty. She wondered if she was really meant to be able to handle this kind of power and responsibility, she was quite young, all things considered. It was true she had been through a great deal in recent years, but was it enough to give her the wisdom to point Azix in the right direction?

She sighed, knowing that it did not matter if she felt ready, she had been given this power by someone far wiser than herself. She had to trust that Ugo knew what he was doing, the man… djinn… creature… person was centuries old and had spent his time gathering more and more knowledge. If she could not trust his judgement, whose could she trust? Even the Contractor, as cursed as he was, had faith in her abilities, seeing her potential, or else he would not have helped her learn how to raise a dungeon in the first place. All of this gave her hope that she would be able to handle these new powers and responsibilities. Now she simply needed to figure out what, exactly, she planned to do with it.

With a determined look on her face, Ariella pushed to her feet. She would figure out the limits of her powers and try to do the best she could with it. There was more to being a Magi than raising dungeons, she needed to be able to protect and guide Azix. If she intended to protect her lover, she would need to expand on what she was able to do with her powers. For now, she would rest. First thing in the morning, she would see about finding her limits and pushing them.

[1081/3000]


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The next morning dawned clear and almost chilly. The Temple was high enough in the mountains that even in the height of summer, it was never sweltering and, in the early morning hours, it could be close to cold. She enjoyed a small breakfast with the priestesses before heading out to the large field nearby. She had used the field before, during her initial stay at the Temple, and it served as an excellent testing ground for spells. There were no people to harm and if she were to accidentally rearrange the terrain, it would not cause any structural damage.

She sat and stared across the field for a bit, contemplating what exactly she was trying to do. With the expansive variety of magic types now available to her, she wanted to experiment with different possible combinations. She had always favored lightning, her first magic type. It was the type which came most naturally to her and while her most powerful spell was a simple lightning bolt, she wondered what else she could do with the magic if she combined it with others. Water was the element which acted almost as a sister to lightning, the conductive properties could help expand the reach of lightning with almost no effort, the liquid carrying the electrical charge over distances. Considering this, Ari’s mind drifted to something much more natural and primal in relation to her preferred element. In nature, Lightning was most common during a storm, a vicious show of power from the heavens that produced blinding light and making your hair stand on end, even if you weren’t struck. The static charge carried its own smell, almost like burning ozone, and had always excited Ari. Harnessing lightning was like holding pure power at the tip of her wand and made her heart pound and her skin tingle with sensation.

Ari began the process of breaking down what a storm composed of. While she had read books about storm magic before, the magician who had created it was very limited in their view of the possibilities, using only lightning and wind to produce a natural shove along with damaging lightning. There was much more to storms than lightning and wind, though. Those two magic types alone could not produce the torrential downpours or the deafening boom of thunder. All of these were part of what made a storm so enchanting and dangerous. First, she would need to figure out the best way to combine all of these elements. It was difficult enough to combine two, let alone three or four, magic types. She would need to be able to control each portion of it, balancing it out and making sure not to lose her grip on each type.

With a deep breath, Ari focused her mind inward, calming her heart rate and bringing her attention to the flutter and tinkle of rukh around her. She decided her first step would be to start with water, the most basic element of a storm. Her eyes slipped open and she raised her staff. In the middle of the field, she began to draw on the water in the surrounding to create a cloud, the mist forming and growing until it covered a large portion of the field. She maintained her hold on the cloud, a small smile gracing her lips as the cloud seemed to roll around inside of the area she had determined appropriate. Once certain the cloud was stable, she took another deep breath, this time calling upon the rukh to summon wind, a breeze dancing across her skin for a moment before pushing out to join with the cloud. The introduction of wind to the cloud made it swirl and boil in front of her, no longer a serene mist simply resting above the field.

Ari found herself getting lost in just watching the way the wind and water danced together to create nature’s purest form of art. Her attention was brought back into focus when the cloud began to disperse under the pressure of the wind and Ari made sure to keep feeding magoi into both aspects of the spell she was forming. If she did not take care with the spell, it could trigger a more natural event and while she had isolated herself here, she had no desire to see the effects of an out of control storm right now. The cloud stabilized before her eyes, interacting with the wind without dying out or blowing away.

As fascinating as this was, she knew she needed to do more and chose to try adding her personal favorite magic type to the mix. With a blinding flash, lightning struck through the middle of the cloud, branches of it spreading out as the water carried the charge to the outer edges of the mist. When the lightning reached the end of the water vapor, it reached for the ground, singeing the grass and flowers as it grounded itself. She repeated her request to the rukh, grinning broadly as another bolt of lightning spread through the cloud, but this time, she did not allow it to fizzle away and instead focused on maintaining the charge. The lightning danced and bounced between the water droplets, the electrical charge growing with each passing moment. It took most of her focus to sustain the lightning without letting the wind or water to die down.

This left only one magic type to include in the growing storm before her. A storm was not complete without the crack of thunder that was a vocalization of nature’s wrath. When Ari felt certain she had a grasp on the existing magic types, she murmured a command to the rukh and the field was suddenly filled with the echoing sound of thunder. It was loud enough that Ari’s ears were ringing, even this far from the storm, but her smile grew larger. The boom of thunder and crackle of lightning had bumps raising on her arms and she could practically feel the power dancing in front of her. It filled her with awe that she was able to control so many magic types and create something so natural in appearance. She had succeeded in creating a Perfect Storm. Now, she needed to push her limits and see how much she could expand this spell.

[2135/3000]


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Over the past several days, Ari had worked on carefully expanding the size of her Perfect Storm, gently increasing the flow of magoi to feed the storm into covering a larger area each time. At the same time, she worked on increasing the power behind the storm, wanting to create something that would be on par with the other people Azix kept close to him. She had no desire to exceed them, she simply did not want to fall behind and deem herself useless. If all she had to offer her King Candidate was advice, she feared his struggles would increase and she did not want to ever put him in a place where he had to defend her. The easiest way to make sure of that was to make herself capable of defending herself. She had found, since her return, her aim with the throwing knives and her handling of the chained dagger had suffered. While her magical ability had exploded, she had paid the price by having to sacrifice her other skills.

With every attempted cast of Perfect Storm, she increased the scale of the spell just slightly, making sure to cast it at the furthest reach of her capabilities. It was the easiest way to judge how much the spell grew, to see how much closer it spread towards her. It took nearly a week of practice, but she finally felt she was nearing the limitation of her control. Once more she settled in, murmuring to the rukh and asking it to summon the cloud. It took far less time now to go from the first stage into the final stage and she quickly began commanding the rukh to add the magic types needed, making sure she maintained her control of the spell. Once the initial mix of the magic types was achieved, she fed her magoi into the spell, a wide smile spreading across her face as the storm rapidly formed and expanded. With great focus, she fed more and more magoi into the spell, watching the storm expand and rage before her.

It did not take long for her to feel stray droplets of water splashing across her face and the static charge in the air, the hair on her arms dancing in anticipation of the lightning strikes. A loud boom echoed across the field of flowers and her ears were left ringing. If she moved even a meter forward, she would find herself surrounded by the punishing winds and violent strikes of lightning, but she made sure to remain just outside of the reach of the Perfect Storm. She grinned in accomplishment as she slowly released her hold on the spell, urging the rukh to dissipate and let the spell die. With a flutter and whispering tinkle, the strength of the storm faded. Little by little, the thunder quieted and the lightning flashes became less frequent. The winds eased their vicious whipping and the pelting rain eased to a soft drizzle before stopping completely.

In the wake of the dying storm, a perfect rainbow arced over the field as the sun bounced off the lingering evidence of the storm. Ari settled onto a dry rock nearby, simply enjoying the view. When she had first discovered her abilities with the rukh, she had been filled with wonder and excitement. However, through her years of studies, she had lost her wonder a bit. Especially in the past year, she had been pushing so hard to do better, to become stronger, that she had lost sight of why she had originally loved magic so much in the first place. She had forgotten what it was like to just take joy in what she was doing, she had lost the fun. She made a mental note to try and focus more on the joy of magic and less on the intricacies.

She knew she still had much more learning to do and as she returned to the Temple, she thought about other ways she could expand on her new capabilities but kept the note of joy present in her mind as well. Briefly, she thought of her mother and her studies of life magic. She knew her mother had been focused on trying to perfect the art of resurrecting a person already passed. Perhaps, if her father came to see her in Kou, she could ask about her research. Maybe there was something she could see that Evelyn had not been able to, simply because of her experience with being pulled into the Great Flow. She gently pushed the thought to the side for now, wanting to bring her internal focus back to the joy and pleasure of being a magician.

Once back in the Temple, she made her way to one of the bath houses, eagerly sinking into the heated water. Her mind drifted back to her spell. She knew it was capable of inflicting a massive amount of damage, but she could not forget how it felt to juggle such a tremendous amount of power. Even now, she could feel her skin tingling as she remembered the way the static in the air had felt and how the crash of thunder had resonated in her chest. It was a little frightening, to know people could control something so powerful, but that only amplified her wonder at it. She knew she would only become more powerful with practice.

[3035/3000 Perfect Storm trained]

Ability Trained:
Name: Perfect Storm
Tier: Ω
Cost: 50|25 magoi
Element: Perfect Storm [Lightning+Sound+Wind+Water]
Class: Offensive
Range: 50 meters
Cool-Down: Once per Topic
Description: Ariella directs the rukh to a Perfect Storm 50 meters x 50 meters x 50 meters at 30 m/s. Anything caught in this storm will suffer Omega-tier damage, while also finding themselves disoriented for a single post as a passive effect of the magic type.


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