~Lightning and Wind~ Chapter Three
In a bit of a surprise, a bolt of lightning was shot from the magician. It had a dark, reddish hue, as if laden with blood. It was a sharp contrast to Mikoto’s light blue bolts. The bolt was directed towards Mikoto with lethal intentions, meant to kill her with a single hit.
Mikoto concentrated on the bolt and willed it to change direction, forcing it off course and into the ground. A fountain of loosened sand sprayed into the air. She held out her arm and returned the favor, firing a blue bolt of streaking lightning that would merely render her incapacitated. Pel waved her hand and the bolt was dissipated by a wave of hot air.
Like I thought, her opponent is someone with command over lightning, Lessar thought. If it were a match between just lightning users, then she’d have a pretty good shot of winning. But if that girl has Pele’s abilities, then she also commands the wind, fire, and volcanoes. All of those affect lightning.
Mikoto kicked off the ground, charging the magician. She fired a stronger bolt from her bangs, one that wouldn’t be easily brushed aside. Pel, fired another bolt as well, housing even more lethal intent.
The bolts clashed in midair, splitting into countless branches of lightning that dominated and destroyed the landscape. Spouts of flying sand and the dirt beneath littered the sky and rained down from above, yet the clashing lightning didn’t break. They remained deadlocked.
Mikoto put more effort behind the bolt, maintaining it at level that wouldn’t be fatal. Her blue lightning began tearing a trail through the red bolt and tracing it down to the magician. Pel had a brief look of shock—ironically— before the bolt hit her, dropping her to the ground.
“Well, that was anti-climatic,” Mikoto sighed, turning toward Lessar to check on her and the driver.
“Don’t think it’s over yet!” Lessar tried to tell her, as a red bolt struck Mikoto in the back of the head, knocking her forward. She turned to see the magician, now standing and wiping the sand off her clothes.
“It would seem that unlike me, you’re completely immune to your abilities.” Pel estimated. She was right of course, as the highest class of Electro-master, she completely immune to electricity. “I only have partial resistance.”
“Are you sure you should be telling me your weakness?” Mikoto asked, raising her hand to her hair and running electricity through it. “So, all I’ve got to do is hit you with a big enough charge?”
Mikoto didn’t hesitate in releasing a larger charge, sending it directly towards the magician. The magician merely closed her eyes and muttered something in a language that Mikoto didn’t understand. The wind howled, as a dome of air redirected the bolt around her, forcing the lightning into the ground, turning the sand into fulgurites.
“Block this!” Mikoto roared, creating her vibrating iron sand whip-sword. The dome of air was torn apart by the construct, and Pel moved to avoid the sword, which chased her like a snake. It eventually coiled around her, with Mikoto ceasing the vibration and focusing on compressing it to a near solid state.
Pel muttered another phrase under her breath, and the air around her began shimmering and burning. The iron sand fell apart, as all traces of magnetism were ripped from the grains.
I can’t manipulate the iron sand around her, Mikoto silently cursed. Did she make it reach the Curie temperature?
All things have a temperature at which they can be stripped from the effects of magnetism. Iron sand has a curie temperature of 585 Degrees Celsius, at which point it can no longer be magnetically charged. By creating a wall of heat around herself, Mikoto’s control over the iron sand shattered near her.
Pel slammed her hands into the sand and commanded the winds to blow. The sand rose like a tidal wave and threatened to bury Mikoto alive. She pulled out a coin, using her signature Railgun to blast through the sand wave. Before she could take a deep breath, she noticed the sand beneath her was glowing red.
Mikoto couldn’t react when a heavy metal object slammed into her and sent her across the beach, just as the ground ruptured, spilling out lava like a geyser. “Lessar’s rules for fighting magicians #3: Expect more than what’s shown,” a voice told her. Mikoto looked to see Lessar, armed with various shells, rocks, and bottles of spices that must have been in her bag. “You okay?”
Mikoto rubbed her ribs where the Steel Glove had hit her. “Fine, just didn’t expect an eruption to form under me. And then, if she can control the heat in the air, she can stop my iron sand.”
“She can manipulate the heat directly around her, but she can’t extend it further than a few feet. Otherwise, she would have simply ended the battle by incinerating you.” Lessar explained with a calm face. “Lessar’s rules for fighting magicians #2: Observe, Analyze, and Counter. Observe the technique, draw an analysis, and counter the technique, before the opponent does the same.”
Lessar jumped into the air as lava erupted from under her. Pel controlled the wind and drove it with force towards Lessar, whose fingertips were glowing with a bluish hue, as she wrote a rune script that read: “Njord, offer this devout sailor your protection and calm the winds that blow over your shore.”
Scattering the seashells into the air, they rang and the wind died down to the surprise of Pel. She quickly regained her senses and sought to protect herself. Since she couldn’t use the wind, she summoned the power of volcanoes instead. Lava erupted and poured around her.
Lessar, however, scattered the container of herbs into the air and chanted, “Exorcism. Fire of the right and wind of the front, mix the colors of your directions with the wind. The wind of the front right which also indicates the active becomes that which indicates attack and change!!”
The container exploded in a flash of green light, blinding Pel and distorting the heat surrounding her with a gale. The lava cooled into stone and Lessar put her entire weight into a kick that found itself at Pel’s center of gravity. The magician buckled, but leapt back to avoid another strike. Lessar lept back to Mikoto’s side.
“Was that really lava?” Mikoto asked.
“No,” Lessar told Mikoto, “it has the ‘destructive properties of lava’, but it’s not like a true lava flow. The temperature is too low, there are no poisonous gases, and it became solid too easily when my spell hit it. She can generate lava, but she has to strip it of most of its properties since she wouldn’t be able to survive being so close to it with a human body. She may be a Descendant, but she’s still human.”
Plus she can only control her abilities one at a time, Lessar concluded. The enemy had indeed inherited the abilities of her ancestor, but not the control to use them all at once. The power she could put behind them was limited as well.
With her abilities analyzed and the battle falling out of her favor, Pel called forth the power of volcanoes once again. Lava geysers began forming all around them, flowing towards Lessar, who took off running along the edge of the water with the Steel Glove, scooping it up as she moved. With a shove, she directed a water spout towards the mouth of a lava vent.
When the water met the flow of lava, an explosive release of energy sent Pel flying backwards and broke her control, stopping the flow of lava completely. She could block the heat of the explosion, but not the force. Lessar began the next spell to finish things up.
“Exorcism. Wind of the front swallows the earth of the left and indicates the defense of the land and offense of the wind!”
Wind and sand became one, forming a twister that bombarded Pel, who was lying on the ground, in layers of thick sand, imprisoning her. She couldn’t manipulate the wind with another element mixed in so thoroughly, so she couldn’t stop the twister. Lessar signaled Mikoto, who released a large scale electrical attack at the spiraling mass. The twister became a fulgurites prison, with the coating on Pel hardened into a solid cocoon for her body.
“Is she…” Mikoto struggled to ask if the magician was dead.
Lessar sighed. “It’d be simpler, that’s for sure. Considering she has a natural resistance to heat and electricity, your last attack didn’t probably even faze her that much. However, that thick layer of hardened sand is too hard for her to break out of, and the sand under her was heated as well, so she can’t simply dig her way out. There’s enough air to allow her to breathe for the next few minutes, by then the Dawn-Colored Sunlight will have arrived.”
“So, it’s over?”
“No,” Lessar twirled her Steel Glove around, “Lessar’s rules for fighting magicians #1: As long as a magician is conscious, they’re a threat. It’s just that once the others arrive, she won’t be our problem.”