The clouds were unnatural.
Yesterday had been bright and sunny. Not a cloud for miles around. Eva wasn’t in the habit of watching the news, but she imagined the forecast would have been sunny for the next several days.
The sheer level of overcast hanging over the school’s campus–and only the school’s campus–had several students skipping school. It was far too ominous for their tastes.
Eva might have agreed had she not known the cause. While she hadn’t specifically asked for clouds, it could only be Ylva.
It was for the best. She had no idea what madness took hold of her when she scheduled this meeting for Monday morning. Nighttime, or a weekend, or not at school at all would have been better. At least with the clouds, people wouldn’t be starting rumors about her walking around with a skeleton.
She would have rumors about the giant instead.
Students on their way from the dorms to the school stopped to gape. Ylva was gathering glares, stares, looks of awe, and plenty more. Several of those looks shifted towards Eva, often turning to confusion at some point. Eva even caught the eye of Des who stopped to glare for a moment, though that glare was aimed undoubtedly at Eva.
Let them try to figure out a connection. What is a blue-lipped giant of a statue doing walking next to the monster girl? What Eva wouldn’t give for a peek into their thoughts.
Though only those that were early to school would see them, Eva held no doubts that the rumors would spread through the entire school by lunch. They would likely explode into full-blown conspiracy theories by the end of the day.
Maybe some of those theories would even be right.
“We gather an audience.”
“Don’t worry about it. It isn’t your fault.” Partly. “I’ve been drawing plenty of attention on my own lately thanks to my hands and eyes.”
“Change your form. Become human-like in appearance.”
Eva glanced up at the demon. She didn’t appear to be joking. Though she had to wonder if she would even recognize an Ylva joke. If Ylva knew what a joke was.
“I can’t,” Eva said with a hesitant shrug. “I’m stuck like this.”
Ylva managed to look down at Eva while keeping her head straight. A faint smile touched her icy lips. “We will teach.”
“While that might be nice,” Eva said slowly, “I can’t say that I am interested in being a slave for hundreds or thousands of years.”
“We treat Our property well.”
“And I can see that with Nel. She appears very… content.” For the most part. Any time Eva was around and Ylva wasn’t, Nel became far more skittish. “It just isn’t the life for me. Perhaps I’d take you up on the offer eventually. Not in the foreseeable future.”
“You repeat the mistakes of your companion. A disgrace.”
“Like I said, in the future. You would be my first choice, especially over someone like Zagan.”
“Surely I’m not that bad, am I?”
That silky smooth voice appeared right in her ear. She felt the hot breath caress her ear. Eva jumped. Her claws raked through empty air almost of their own accord. She couldn’t help it.
“Calm yourself, embryonic one.” Zagan stooped over with a smile on his face–his nose was a mere millimeter from the tip of Eva’s claw. “Lashing out in fear makes you look weak, yeah? Look at this one,” he said with a wave towards Ylva. “Her composure didn’t waver for even an instant despite being equally startled by my presence.”
Eva clenched her fist. She had half a mind to step forwards and punch him in the face. A mere glower would have to suffice.
“You are one of the ten kings, Great King Zagan.”
Zagan managed to move in front of Ylva, sweep up her hand with his own, and press his lips against it all in the time it took Eva to blink. She didn’t move or even acknowledge his actions. Ylva just stared with her usual dead gaze.
“I am. And you are a daughter of Hel. Tell me, how is the old woman?”
“Busy. Liches plague the mortal realm.”
“Ah,” Zagan said with a nod. “The more humans multiply, the more will attempt to stave off the machinations of Death. But, what of you? Dithering here when your sisters and mother require you elsewhere? Surely the only hel with free access to the mortal realm has more interesting things to do than babysit.” His eyes flicked over Eva for just a moment before returning to Ylva.
“We have Our own mission.”
“I see.” He pulled himself up to his full height–still two heads shorter than Ylva–releasing her hand in the process. Despite Ylva towering over him, he still had several inches on Eva.
This must be how Juliana always feels.
Looking at Zagan all but confirmed that Carlos had been correct. Eva was shrinking. The distance between them hadn’t been so great even as recently as the first day of school. It was too bad. She rather liked her newfound height. Hopefully it wouldn’t shrink too much.
She needed to surround herself with more people of Juliana’s stature. At the very least, Eva would still be taller than her.
“Martina asked me to escort the two of you. I think the presence of someone uncontracted is making her somewhat nervous.” He glanced down at Eva and added, “she gets like that sometimes.”
Eva frowned. He had said something similar on the rooftop while trying to find a summoned demon. “So long as she doesn’t bother me, I don’t care what she’s doing. I’ll not interfere unless her plans bring harm to me or anyone I know. If that is what you’re wondering.”
“I will let her know,” Zagan said with a sneer.
Was that the wrong answer?
Eva’s frown deepened as Zagan turned back to Ylva. Did he want interference? She let out a soft sigh. Between regular school, her own studies, and this demon attack on Zoe, she just didn’t have time to dedicate to snooping around Martina Turner’s plans.
Though, if Zagan wanted her to interfere, not doing so was probably the correct choice.
“Let’s get you two into Martina’s office and away from all the gawkers,” he said with a wave towards two students who were standing just far enough away to not hear them talk.
With Zagan leading the way, nothing really changed. They might have even gathered more stares than they had before. Whether on account of Zagan being an authority figure or Zagan being Zagan, Eva couldn’t say. The students who weren’t interested in Eva or Ylva made note of their professor walking around.
A few even greeted him by name. Zagan would return their greetings with a few words or a wave. Although he never mentioned names, he was polite. There was the barest hint of disdain in his voice, but it was well covered.
Ylva walked with her head straight forwards, apparently not taking notice of the peasants walking beneath her. That was just an appearance. She was noticing. She wouldn’t have mentioned their stares otherwise.
Zagan brought them through Brakket’s lobby and into the adjacent offices.
“Morning Catherine,” Zagan said to the lesser succubus sitting at the front desk. “We still on for tonight, yeah?”
Catherine’s eyes flicked over the group. They started with Eva, narrowing as she looked over Ylva and stopped at Zagan. There was a brief flash of red as her eyes reverted to a more demonic state. It passed as quickly as it came.
“In your dreams,” she said with a snarl before looking back to her makeup compact.
“I certainly hope so.” He flashed a bright smile before turning his golden eyes back to Eva and Ylva. “Well, best not to keep Martina waiting.”
He pushed open the door labeled with Martina’s nameplate.
The room was dark, lit by a single desk lamp and a standing lamp just behind Martina Turner. All the chairs had been moved to the far corner of the room, save for the one behind the desk. Paper stacks covered her desk, save for one corner that was occupied by a pair of boots.
Forcing her guests to stand? How rude.
Though Ylva standing might backfire somewhat.
Martina Tuner’s eyes widened as Ylva had to duck slightly to enter the room. If their meeting went on for any length of time, it would be Martina’s neck that would be in pain.
The dean set aside a manila folder she had had in her hands. She had to recline as far back as her chair would allow in order to keep Ylva in sight as they neared the desk. Zagan moved up to stand behind her. His polite smile turned somewhat sinister the moment he moved behind Martina.
If Eva had to guess, the chairs and Martina not getting up were his doing. He advised for this petty power play knowing exactly how it would turn out.
Martina realized at least part of that. Enough to slowly move her feet to the floor. She still did not stand.
Eva cleared her throat. If they wanted to play their little power games, they could do it without her. She had better things to. Namely, anything. “Ylva, this is Martina Turner. The dean of Brakket Magical Academy. Martina, this is Ylva. The daughter of Death’s goddess, Hel.”
“So you told me over the phone.” Martina’s eyes glanced over Ylva again. “And you’re wanting to assist in our little rogue demon problem?”
“We do as We will. This meeting is offered as a courtesy.”
Ylva’s tone was harsh. Angry even. A few steps away from the booming voice she occasionally used in her domain.
And Eva couldn’t blame her one bit. Martina had no idea how to handle meeting with powerful entities. Or trusted in Zagan’s advice far too much. Eva was betting on the latter. After all, she somehow wrangled Zagan into a contract.
That was scary enough on its own.
Zagan looked to be suppressing a laugh behind Martina. His eyes met Eva’s glare. A shrug of his shoulders was the only answer to her unasked question.
Martina looked unperturbed. “While here, you are to remain away from Brakket Campus. There will be other guards stationed around the school on Saturday. You are free to wander the town so long as you do not draw undue attention to yourself. Something I see you might have problems with.”
Eva took a casual step away from Ylva as the demon narrowed her eyes.
“You presume to order Ourself?” The wall shook as Ylva’s voice thundered out.
“If you cannot abide by my terms, Zagan will be force–”
Said demon cleared his throat. “It would be unwise to antagonize the hel, Martina.”
Martina’s calm expression shifted into a frown. “Explain.”
“As the little embryo said, her mother is dear old Hel. One-sixth of Death’s deities. Not the strongest of the bunch, but Hel has the others’ ears at the very least. I’m sure the Baron would be happy to wipe this town off the map for her.”
“And you can’t simply snap your fingers and turn them nonexistent?”
“I could try, but those six have been touched by Death Himself. They break several rules. They’re able to kill the unkillable, for instance.”
“And you’re afraid.” Despite being told that her current course of action would lead to ruin, Martina grew a wide smile with that statement.
“Nonsense. Nothing to be afraid of so long as I don’t do anything to anger them, yeah? Something that hurting one of Hel’s daughters would surely do.”
“I see.” Martina turned back to Ylva with a genuine smile. “Well, Ylva, I do apologize. Someone,” she said with a glance towards Zagan, “was under the impression that a firm hand would be required in dealing with you.”
Ylva simply stared, though some of the anger seemed to have fled. Her eyes returned to their base, unnarrowed state.
“I see now that I can’t order you around. Though I do ask that you attempt to keep a low profile. As a side note, I wonder if you wouldn’t consider a contract of mine when your task is complete.”
“We are unable to accept further contracts. Our current contract may continue for some time.”
“You are already contracted? I was under the impression that you weren’t.”
Eva blinked. So was I, she thought.
Devon? No. Not likely. He didn’t trust demons enough to do anything other than use them, and they didn’t get along very well in the first place. Perhaps Nel? Eva shook her head. Nel was property. If she was contracted, their relationship was far more complicated than Eva could work out in her mind.
Eva dismissed Zoe almost immediately. She hadn’t been as afraid of her since the whole demon attack thing, but not enough to want a contract. Juliana spent time around the demon, but she would have mentioned something as big as contracting with Ylva, right?
Someone else then. Yet another thing for Eva to add to her plate.
“Well,” Martina said after Ylva failed to respond, “when you complete your current contract, I may have use for you.”
“We shall keep your offer in mind.”
Ylva spoke in her usual commanding tone. There was something more to it–a certain flatness. Eva had never heard the demon do anything resembling sarcasm. At least not before now.
“That’s all I ask. I’d ask Zagan to see you out, but I find myself needing to have a few words with him.”
“She’s going to be with Zoe for the day before heading home with her,” Eva said. “I’ll show her where to go.”
“Is that wise? I mean, the students…”
“Ylva will be disguising herself. The cover is that Zoe will be caring for a friend’s daughter, Ylva being that friend. She came in today to clear it with you. Zoe asked me to show her around because she was too busy.”
A pillar of fog erupted in the office. It dispersed into tiny-Ylva.
“I see,” Martina said. She leaned over the top of her desk with a frown. “Is she going to be wearing that dress?”
— — —
Devon snapped his tome shut. With a flick of his rings, the enchanted bindings activated. He placed it in his desk drawer and turned on similar enchantments.
And he waited.
It might have just been his imagination. Eva wouldn’t knock. Neither would Arachne. The eyeball girl couldn’t leave Ylva’s domain and Ylva wasn’t here at all. That meant it was one of their ‘guests’ or he was finally losing his mind.
He was hoping for the latter.
For a long moment, nothing happened.
Three rapid knocks broke the silence.
Devon sighed. Maybe if he pretended not to be–
“I know you’re in there.”
With a groan, Devon stood up. The voice belonged Janice’s mother. Julie? Maybe Jean. Whatever.
Best not to keep her waiting. She had been fighting with Arachne every day. And, while not winning, she was not losing either. Probably not wholly human. I wonder if she’d submit to an examination.
“What do you want?” Devon asked before the door had fully opened.
Jean stood there with a smirk on her face like she had won something. “I’ve spoken at length with everyone else here. Except you. I’d actually forgotten you existed until Eva offhandedly mentioned you.”
“I’ve got just the thing.” Devon turned to the potion cabinet just next to the door–always keep potions easily accessible–and rummaged through the drawers until he found the foggy gray vial. “Here. That will fix your issue.”
Jean accepted the vial. She turned it around in her fingers, letting the foggy goop slide around inside. “I don’t want to forget,” she said as she offered the vial back. “Especially not with that poorly brewed drivel. It shouldn’t be clumping and sticking to the glass like that.”
“Brewing isn’t the problem. Age is.”
“Poorly preserved drivel, then.”
“I’d like to see the state of your potions after thirty years.”
“Thirty years? Why?”
Devon shrugged. “Haven’t found much use for a memory altering potion. I brewed a batch thinking I could erase everyone’s memories of my work.”
“You decided to kill everyone instead?”
“No. Decided not to tell anyone.”
“Prudent,” Jean said. “Are you going to invite me in?”
“No.” Devon tried to slam the door in her face. A boot–steel toed if he had to guess–wedged in the crack. “You’re toeing my wards,” he said.
“I can feel them,” she said without even the slightest flicker of pain on her face. “Not the same type that Eva uses.”
“I’m no haemomancer. They’re standard thaumaturgical wards.”
That same winning smirk crossed her face again. “Ahh, thought so. The blood needed to key me in tipped me off. She wasn’t as successful at hiding the bloodstone as she might have thought.”
Devon rolled his eyes. Of course she screwed up. Eva thought she was a lot of things that she wasn’t. She’d gotten some unwarranted confidence since starting school. Likely as a result of having Arachne constantly around.
“So little Eva has killed people then?”
“No one who didn’t deserve it,” Devon said. It wasn’t even a lie, at least as far as he knew. He wasn’t the girl’s minder.
In retrospect, that was a mistake. He should have taken a far more heavy-handed approach in her upbringing. Too late for that now.
Jean just barked out a laugh. “Good. Good.”
Devon had to raise an eyebrow at that response.
“What. You think I’m squeamish about killing people?” She laughed again as she placed a hand on her hip. “You don’t get to retire as a mage-knight without breaking a few eggs. So long as she isn’t indiscriminate. She is a bit young though. I imagine a diabolist had something to do with that.”
“Demonologist. And I didn’t do anything. Pulled her off the streets when she was six. Taught her a little about channeling magic and working with it. Then she found and stole half my library. She took it from there.”
“She learned everything from a book? I find that hard to believe.”
Her foot was still in the door. It somewhat surprised Devon that she hadn’t pulled out yet. Eva must have hit her hard with her blood wards to get her screaming. Impressive though it was, that didn’t stop her from being annoying.
“I may have taught her more. Is there a point to this aside from inane chatter?”
“Oh, I’m here solely for the inane chatter. Need to get to know the old man who hangs around with my daughter.”
“I don’t hang out with anyone. I couldn’t give less of a damn about your daughter if I tried.” Unless… No. Too old. Far too involved with Eva as well. “Eva’s wellbeing is my only concern.”
Jean’s smile turned downwards before her face settled in a neutral expression. “And your relationship with Eva is?”
“Test subject. Go bother her about it. I have work to get back to.”
“I intend to.” Jean removed her foot from the doorway. “Tomorrow, I’ll stop by for ano–”
Devon slammed the door in her face. Tomorrow, I’ll add a pit of spikes in front of the door.
Today, he thought as he turned back to his desk and retrieved the tome. The new version of the transference ritual circle was nearly complete. It should drastically cut down time to completion. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t work on Eva. Not safely, at least. She would have to continue using the old version of the circle.
Subjects were another issue.
Arachne wouldn’t do. That much was clear. It was an excellent donor subject at the start. It agreed to the experiment almost immediately. Likely something that would remain unique to it due to its specific desires. Unfortunately, it grew attached. Disgustingly so.
Devon didn’t expect a similar event to affect non-Arachne demons, but keeping both subjects separate outside of the actual treatment event couldn’t hurt.
A nonsentient could work. A cerberus could be interesting. They wouldn’t have any of the same issues that Arachne had. The real problem arose in the need for domination. Devon doubted he would be able to convince a nonsentient demon to remain still while he jabbed them full of needles. If the demon fought the domination, it could break loose at an inopportune time.
Another problem with using bestial demons rested with the new circle itself. Devon had no hard evidence, but he suspected there would be drastic changes related to the donor demon in the recipient.
Eva displayed minor secondary demonic characteristics–sharpened teeth, elongated tongue, and altered eyes–but no major mutation into anything Arachne specific. She never developed anything coming close to Arachne’s exoskeleton or unique biology. Even with her transplanted hands and legs, they had yet to display any indication that they would spread to cover her body.
The new circle was different. There remained a very real possibility that a human would gain heads, a tail, and fur if a cerberus were used as a donor. Possibly lethally in that case. What effect the heads would have was unpredictable without further information.
No. A willing, sentient, and humanoid demon would be best. Devon had a few ideas, but he would need to interview the demons. Willingness was almost necessary. If the demon bailed half-way through…
Devon scratched a few notes on a blank page. It would require a brand new circle to be drawn up, but a new demon every treatment might even further decrease the time to completion–with unpredictable mutations.
Multiple experiments occurring at once would be best. Placing all of his eggs in one basket with Eva had been a failure.
That was another issue. Demons could be summoned up. The human half of the experiment had to be looked for. Physically.
What a pain.
Surely it wouldn’t be that bad. Some orphan kids must be ready to jump at the opportunity to be locked into a prison for a few years if they’re guaranteed meals.
Perhaps he would go on a vacation come summer.
But first, Devon thought as he turned towards a preservation jar. The contents had been recovered from that professor’s house. It was a risk, but it was free. No wording loopholes to keep track of.
Eva could work Arachne’s fingers with no issue despite their extra joints. This shouldn’t be an issue.
It was nerve-wracking nonetheless.
— — —
Zoe collected the final stack of essays from her desk. She was ready to bunker down for a long weekend of grading. Bunkering down was somewhat more literal this time compared to other weekends. Ylva had erected wards that she couldn’t begin to identify around her new apartment.
Not that a lack of knowledge prevented her from trying. In fact, Zoe wanted to get home and rush through the essays in order to get back to studying the wards. She wouldn’t, of course. That wouldn’t be fair to her students. But the thought had crossed her mind more than once.
Near as Zoe could tell, the wards did not use any of the six thaumaturgical elements. They operated purely on Ylva’s will. Almost as if she had turned the room into a part of herself. Though Zoe hadn’t had an opportunity to study Ylva’s domain, she suspected that place would appear much the same.
It was somewhat concerning. The only assurance she had that the area would go back to normal was Ylva’s assurance that she would take down the wards when the threat had been dealt with. As… nice as Ylva had been, Zoe couldn’t understand her motivations.
“Your students request an audience.”
Zoe started, barely managing to keep the essays from falling to the floor. Ylva stood in front of the transparent door to the classroom. Whatever Eva had said to convince her to wear a tee-shirt and regular pants couldn’t be appreciated enough. It had been disturbing to look at a child barely wearing anything.
Inside the classroom, two students stood right in front of the door. Had they knocked? Zoe was so absorbed in her thoughts, she hadn’t noticed anything.
“Mr. Anderson. Mr. Weston,” Zoe said as she opened the door. She put on a polite smile and gestured into her office. “Please, come in.”
The two students nodded and walked in. Both smiled at Ylva, though Max Weston’s smile was slightly strained. Jordan actually gave her a slight bow.
Even in her tiny form, Ylva managed to unnerve most students. Part of that was likely due to her sickly appearance. Her deathly features were less pronounced while small, but there were still little things that disturbed the subconscious. She didn’t breathe. She didn’t blink. She didn’t speak while the students were around.
Her presence, or perhaps that of her mother, had students treating Eva different. Differenter. Their story had Eva only knowing Ylva through Zoe, yet rumors had already started going around that Eva was a crossbreed daughter of a giant royal. Or a dragon priestess. Or any number of other theories.
None of the ones Zoe had heard were at all accurate.
“So,” Zoe said, “you caught me just as I was leaving. What can I do for you?”
Jordan gave a sad smile and said, “I hope we aren’t being a bother. We were wondering about Professor Lurcher’s condition.”
“Professor Lurcher is doing well. I had contact with the head doctor at the hospital. He required several skin grafts, but should be fine with the elves’ help. There might be some scarring.”
He might be wearing a wig as well.
“Is there a general time frame for when he will return?”
“He will be out of the hospital in four to six weeks, though he’ll need to return periodically for check-ups. He won’t be returning to teach for another few months. I believe he’ll be back after the new year starts. Mr. Bookman will be filling in for his class until then.”
“I see,” Jordan said with a nod. “Will he be available for counseling during his recovery?”
“I can’t say for sure. I’ll ask him the next time I get a chance. If you need counseling, I’d be happy to fill in for now.”
“That’s alright. It isn’t anything that can’t wait. I’m glad Professor Lurcher will be alright.”
“Was that everything you needed?”
He shared a glance with Max. They both shrugged and started to leave the office. “Think so. We’ll see you in class next week.”
Zoe jumped. The papers tucked under her arm scattered into the air.
Neither Jordan nor Max reacted much better. Max actually tumbled to the ground and pulled his wand out. Jordan went completely still. A faint glisten of sweat formed over his skin as he turned back to face Ylva.
She moved up and put her face mere inches from his. Her gaze bore into him.
Zoe stood frozen in indecision. There was no chance she could fight off Ylva, but she had to do something. She opened her mouth to try to calm Ylva.
Ylva spoke first.
“Who are you?”
“Jordan Anderson.” The response came swiftly and without hesitation.
Ylva continued to stare for several seconds before she turned away. That earned a small sigh from Jordan.
“You may leave.”
“Thanks,” Jordan mumbled. He stayed just long enough to help pick Max off the floor before both of them fled.
Zoe shut the door behind them. She whirled to face Ylva. “What was that?” she asked far more harshly than she intended.
“He bowed. Twitches in his fingers. Suppressed fear and nervousness.”
“That’s it? He bowed?” Zoe sighed and shook her head. “There are rumors that you–the big you–belongs to some kind of royalty.”
“No. The other boy had a proper response to such rumors. Polite but uncertain. A few glances in Our direction.” Ylva shook her tiny head. “Jordan Anderson avoided looking at Ourself even once beyond his initial bow. He was scared.”
“That isn’t a good enough reason to shout at someone.”
“That is why We released him.”
Zoe blinked as she tilted her head. That seemed reasonable. “Except now he will be even more frightened the next time you see him.”
“We do not believe he attacked you. Should he prove otherwise, We will intervene.”
Biting her lip, Zoe said, “you can’t kill children, Ylva.”
Zoe shut her eyes and mentally prepared for the ‘you dare order US around’ that was certainly coming.
Nothing came after several silent moments.
Zoe opened her eyes to find Ylva staring up at her with a tilted head.
“You wish to spare his life, even if he was the one to nearly kill you and your companion?”
“I do.” Zoe answered without hesitation.
Ylva looked away, off into the classroom. She held her gaze steady for nearly a minute before looking back at Zoe. “We tire of this place. Let us return.”
“Alright,” Zoe said. “Let me collect–” She cut herself off as she looked down to the floor. All the papers were stacked in a single, neat pile. She reached down and picked it up. Leafing through, she found all the papers to be facing the right way.
I want that ability, Zoe thought to herself as she walked Ylva out of the building.
A cold, biting wind tore through the light jacket Zoe wore over her suit. Too cold for the end of September. She stopped and shuddered under the sunless sky. Five straight days of terrible weather and she had a feeling of who was to blame.
“Is it going to be overcast for the entire duration of your stay?”
Ylva stopped walking without even seeming to notice her platinum hair whipping around her in the freezing wind. She looked back with her cool, gray eyes.
“We are unable to control the revelation of Our skeletal form. Eva believes it would cause undue alarm among the students. We have expended great effort in concealing Ourself.”
“That is true. However, we could be in this situation for weeks. People will be suspicious–” not to mention depressed, “–if no sun shines at all. Would it be possible to remain at school past nightfall while keeping you away from windows?”
Ylva gave a slow nod before she turned and started walking once again.
Some part of Zoe had to remind herself that Ylva wasn’t actually a child. Watching her walk almost made her want to run up and hold Ylva’s hand. She looked innocent, especially from the back. Almost huggable.
Then, Zoe watched her walk. All the wrongness came out. Ylva walked with such certainty one would never find in a real eight year old. As if every step she made was a divine mandate. Wind curled around her–scared to get in her way.
Avoiding wind was perfectly possible for Zoe. But for an eight year old? Absolutely unnatural.
Another gust of wind sent further shivers down Zoe’s spine. She pulled out her dagger and cut the wind in two.
A class one aerothurge did not deal with the wind when they didn’t want to.