See chapter one for disclaimer.
Yukinari took a deep breath and focused before bringing his arms up and having the water around him follow it obediently he then concentrated and opened his eyes and the water surged around him in a spiral collecting into a large orb floating a foot above his hands he took aim and brought his arms down and the condensed water rippled before massive ice spike shot out and arced towards their target hitting the bullseye on the shooting range in every target.
"A perfect attempt... again. Are you even able to miss?" Serena asked and Yukinari chuckled a little. He was ten now and was fully integrated into Siren. He now ate as much as one of them and didn't cause as much of an uproar in public due to his gender anymore. He still did but having Maharu who was hit like a ten ton sledgehammer by puberty was almost always clinging to him like a lifeline, and whispering things in his ear that often made him blush had often kept other girls at bay. The temple was one of the few places he was able to get some peace and concentrate.
He wore the same dark blue outfit he had years ago and had actually compressed a small pools worth of water into his bracer making it a very useful tool, that and it was on his right arm now. His hair had grown out a bit and was down to the base of his neck and his left ear had two sapphire stud earrings in it with a silver chain connecting them. He had grown tall and thin but he still had yet to hit a growth spurt.
"Alright a quick quiz before our next exercise." Serena said and Yukinari nodded signalling the go ahead. "Name the four forms of water, their uses and ease of use." She said and Yukinari smirked, easy money.
"First is water itself, this is the easiest to use. It forms defensive shields that disperse energy instead of blocking it, pummels enemies, erodes defensives, may be used for healing, can be ridden upon for movement, grasp objects at a distance like a limb extension, and is the source for the other three forms. Ice is second and second easiest, it is a solid and strong form that is also slick and can be used for multiple food dishes."
"Miharu wanted shaved ice for dessert again didn't she?" Serena asked and Yukinari nodded then continued
"It is a strong solid defence and a piercing or bladed attack, it can create platforms, be formed into weapons and armour, change a solid surface for skating, flash freeze an opponent and area and create constructs and golems. Fog and or mist is the third and second hardest, it is used for subtle attacks where you can constrict your opponent crushing them, block sight while using water sense to find your opponents, aura's of healing, and stealth. It can also be used for creating improvised 'wind blades' that wind users love so much by compressing the mist down into a cutting edge and sending them flying."
"I never thought of that... very good."
"Finally steam acts just like fog, it's the hardest to use and it will boil your opponents alive, as such it has less practical use but is brutal in combat. See mist for details minus healing and stealth." He finished and Serena raised an eyebrow.
"Do you even sleep at night? Seriously, there's skilled and gifted then there's creepy. You are almost there." Serena said and Yukinari snorted.
"Can't help it, I love magic it pounds in every part of me, it... feels amazing and I use it for all sorts of little things in my spare time. Builds up good control." Yukinari said and Serena rolled her eyes.
"Alright a quick match but we're sticking to water alone no ice, mist or steam." She said and Yukinari nodded before bringing his arms up to start a large wave towards his teacher, he used it as a visual block to race forwards and as she parted the waves with ease he launched a spinning kick trailed by water and knocked her backwards but she caught herself and landed like a cat as she stood up three pillars of water shot towards Yukinari and he spun them into one larger stream as he sidestepped them and slingshot the whole pillar towards her giving it the shape of a Chinese dragon as he did so using a bit of energy to make the eyes glow. This was a distraction as he sent a small pillar towards her abdomen as she was focused on the charging dragon.
Unfortunately she was onto him and caused a twister of water to rise up around the tile she was standing on by spinning a little then focusing on the water. "Bingo." Yukinari said as he figured out how to beat her. "Let's see how much you can control." He said as he fed the defensive typhoon until it was bloated and barely able to spin as he kept pumping more water into it at an insane pace until it collapsed inwards slamming into Serena and washing her backwards. "Oh crap." He said then breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that she had grabbed onto a tilestone and moved the water away from her so she could breathe as the wave was broken by the tiles themselves leaving the rest of the water temple unaffected by the match.
"Did you just make that up off the top of your head?" Serena asked as she pulled the water out of her hair and clothes and let it fall in between the tiles.
"Yea, what do you think? Good counter defence?" he asked and she nodded.
"Yes it was just too much water for me to control before it crashed down. And congratulations you've moved from genius to creepy." She said causing both to chuckle a little. "You can go home now, I'm exhausted and I think I sprained my ankle catching myself. Tomorrow though you begin training in the underwater portions, you wanted to learn combat so you shall." Serena said and grinned as Yukinari gulped.
"Aren't I couple years off from doing the temple gauntlet?" he asked thinking to all the aquatic monsters that dwelled in there from slimes that only multiplied if you did anything, to the boss monster the Beast of Many Eyes Morpheel. Each temple had a gauntlet designed for combat mages to use all forms of their art but no one younger then sixteen was allowed in without an instructor of at least intermediate level escorting them, and even then it was risky. Fire mages had to deal with the Dragon Volvagia and his ilk including the Flare Dancers. Earth mages dealt with the Spider Queen Gohma and all of her spawn as well as possessed statues. Air mages had to deal with the Wyvern Prince Argork who was armour plated as well as flying lizardmen trained as knights. All four temples were also prisons for the worst criminals of Siren who used magic to pervert the world around them into a twisted mockery of life. They were marked with Tattoos that branded them as criminals and kept locked them away in the temples for the rest of their unnatural lives.
"You may be a few years off, but you're doing things with water that in four thousand years of water manipulation have never been considered. You're still not running the gauntlet any younger, but you will be ready for it." Serena promised. "Now get going." She said and he walked out of the temple. He walked over to the side of the stairwell where there was a great deal of water running down them. He smiled and stood on the water and let it carry him down and as he approached the water he caused it to surge up and he rode the wave a few blocks before turning it into a large pack of ice and rode that through the streets and up hill to his house.
"Two O'Earth." He said remembering that the time of day related to what part of the world was visible. He currently had a very good view of Australia, this was the second time that day meaning it was nearly midnight where his parents were.
"Hubby!" he heard from behind him and was knocked clean over but caught himself with his raiment when Maharu nearly knocked him clean over.
"Hi Maharu. How was your day?" he said calmly.
"Lonely without you Hubby. You're home early." She said.
"What can I say? I'm just that good beautiful." He said and she gave him a kiss on the cheek.
"Hmm... can we have shaved ice again. It's so warm out. Don't know how you can stand to wear pants in this sort of weather." She said as he practically gave her a piggy back ride through the front door.
"So anything interesting happen?" Maharu asked.
"Hey Yuki's back early!" Amata said excitedly.
"Great just in time for second lunch." Miharu said walking in from the kitchen. "By the way... could you make some slush after dinner? It is rather warm out."
"Sure it's easy to forget how hot it is at the water temple. I'll actually be going into the gauntlet tomorrow." Yukinari said and smiled with appreciation at the large spread of foot long sandwiches.
"The gauntlet? Isn't that really dangerous?" Maharu asked shocked.
"Just the first room and Serena will be with me. There's a couple of slimes in there so that when I do go in I'll be ready for anything and will be able to come back to you girls safe and sound." He promised gently. "I'll get the drinks, I'll make sure they're good and cold." He promised and walked confidently into the kitchen, he took a couple lemons grown on the local fields and instantly drained them of their fluids with all the flavour and no pulp. He pulled out a small punch bowl and put the lemon juice in. He reached into the fridge and used liquid manipulation to get about a tablespoon of honey out and into the bowl and then a litre of water from the tap. He levitated it and mixed it in midair, brought it to boiling then chilled it quickly and had it orbit around his upper torso in the shape of a Chinese dragon. He grabbed enough glasses for everyone and carried it all to the table.
"Very nice. Honey lemonade?" Amata asked and Yukinari nodded and the dragon soared into the punchbowl as four globs flew out and into the glasses and the dragon itself solidified into an ice sculpture of a perched bird preening its right wing. "No matter what enchanted thing I create you show me up almost every single meal. I'm not sure whether to be inspired or affronted." Amata grumped while reaching for a sandwich.
"Well I think it makes a great centrepiece. Can we do grape juice tomorrow?" Miharu asked.
"Yea sure but it will be the store kind I suck at making it. And Amata, Glyph magic is supposed to be the most complicated type in existence. It's going to take time but it's also supposed to be the most powerful. Besides I can't help but use water magic all the time, so I get better all the time. If you find a way to use Glyphs all the time you'll get better faster too." Yukinari said and Amata thought for a second then smiled.
"Maybe... paper that reads itself... it'll need at least two Glyphs for every piece, and a third will make it so that we can modify the paper as much as we need..." Amata mused.
"Exactly! Make a bunch of those and your energy pools will get bigger too." Yukinari said.
"And that would help around the construction sites for the girls who never bothered to learn to read properly." Maharu said.
"It must be hard seeing your plans get screwed up because people don't understand what their supposed to do." Amata said.
"It would help with the groceries too if I am checking something and I want to hear just what or to help me remember." Miharu said sweetly.
"Then Amata would have to put a Glyph that makes it yell at you if you forget it." Maharu said grinning.
"Aww you're so mean." Miharu said sniffling a little.
"Now come on you two, we're all family here. Instead of ribbing each other for our faults it's best to help each other to overcome them." Yukinari said gently.
"Have you been reading those Marital books again?" Maharu asked.
"Is it that obvious?" Yukinari asked scratching the back of his neck.
"Busted." Amata said grinning.
"Aww come on I'm trying here!" Yukinari protested and a round of giggling broke out and he sighed and paid attention to his third sandwich. "So does anyone else have the rest of the day off?" Yukinari asked and got nods all around. "Well there is going to be an small meteor shower around suppertime just after sunset. I figure the best view is the hilltop we played at as little kids to watch it. A picnic in the evening light under a close moon." He said referring to how with Siren being in an oval orbit that once a month had the moon pass really close by reflecting a ton of light for a night bathed in silver light, it was supposed to be a night of romance.
"Oh that sounds wonderful! I'll get started right away." Miharu gushed.
"I'll dig up the blanket and baskets." Maharu offered.
"I'll go with." Amata said and quickly followed.
"I'm on drinks then. Not surprising." Yukinari said calmly as he stood up.
Timeskip 4 hours.
"Here we are, early nightfall. Silver Noon. Meteor shower. This is going to be a beautiful night." Yukinari noted just as they arrived. Almost everyone was watching from the rooftops. It was twenty minutes until Miharu spotted the first techno colour streak.
"It's starting!" Miharu said excitedly.
"Wow... this really puts your ice sculptures to shame hubby." Maharu said looking up at the sky streaked with all sorts of colours, some of them you could find no where else in nature.
"They say that meteor showers are what happens when the spirits of our ancestors come down to make sure were alright. They can't stay or do anything but they like to make sure. They care too much to sit still so they dance though the stars to watch and inspire us all." Amata explained.
"Beautiful." Yukinari said simply. All four of them stayed on the mattress for several hours watching the meteors in the silver light until they fell asleep in the warm summer air. Together.
Alright you've had a peak at Magic now. It's heavily inspired by Avatar and I openly admit to the monster and Gauntlet Ideas coming directly from the Legend of Zelda series.