112th Trial of Ashan in the arc 719
16 break, Bit 0
Hina had rarely used her magic in combat when she had been in Rharne. It wasn’t a secret that she was a mage, but she definitely lacked the control and mastery of her abilities to be trusted with them in battle. There was also a negative attitude towards mages so that limited her rune usage even further. It didn’t matter that she had the ability to help people if nobody was willing to accept the help. So, how was a mage supposed to practice their magic if people were unwilling and scared? This was a question that had plagued her ever since she had started learning runes. She always had Mac as a test subject, but it was a little different placing runes on someone who was already resistant to hone magic. She sought out a test subject that would be willing to put up with some potential pain while she worked out some of the kinks. She had only placed amplifying runes on others a handful of times, most notably once where she helped lift a wagon. It hadn’t been very efficient then, especially if she hadn’t even progressed in skill level because of it. Thank the heavens though, as she found a rupturing mage, after her duel earlier in the day, that was willing to let her practice her magic on him if he could practice on her. This would be the start of Hina's journey to learning how to push the limits with her runes and see just how powerful she could make her body.
Hina hadn’t had the foresight to ask what kind of magic it was before sealing the deal and now she thought that this was probably something she should care about. They met together outside of Yaralon and took a walk away from prying eyes so that they could practice in peace. Along the way, Hina learned that the guy’s magic was rupturing. The tests would be simple. He would make portals and Hina would go through them, at least partially. Hina in her naivety didn’t recognize the threat such foolishness posed to her, but neither did her partner. Her partner, let’s call him Jim, created a small, finger sized portal and Hina stuffed a pinky into it. She pulled her pinky out and it looked fine to her. She didn’t notice, but the portal led to somewhere that Jim could see. Satisfied, he let Hina have her turn.
Today, Hina was going to work on pushing her limits to see just how powerful her runes could be. Jim kept on creating portals, mostly small ones as Hina worked. He waved around enthusiastically which made it hard to draw at times. Hina had to put pressure on his leg to make sure it didn’t move too much. She carefully scratched the rune of strength into his leg using her fingernail and carefully throttled up the amount of ether she flowed into the rune. She made extra sure she was putting as much detail into the rune as possible, working specifically on making the V point of the rune stand apart from the more curved edges. The longer she spent scribing the rune, the more energy she could put into it. She retraced the rune a couple times to make sure she had stuffed as much energy into it as possible and upon activation, the rune shone brightly through Jim’s pants. She debated throwing in a trigger, but she decided against it. There was so much ether already packed into the rune that there was no sense in wasting more adding an annotation.
“Wait, don’t move!” she shouted before Jim could test out his leg. Hina went to his back and hurriedly drew in a resistance rune so that his body would be granted some level of immunity to the rune’s effects. “Okay, you should be good now. Take it very easily please.” She helped Jim to his feet and he stomped into the ground lightly. There was a noticeable imprint of his foot in the ground now. He stomped more forcefully, and his foot disappeared into the earth. His leg went down so deep that everything up till his shins were buried. Hina worked with him to pull his leg out and then they sat down again. “Do you hurt,” she asked worriedly. She hadn’t even given herself such a powerful rune in the past. “Just a little,” he said with a shrug, “I wasn’t even going at full force, and I’m lucky I didn’t. I could have very easily twisted my body and dislocated all my lower body parts.” For someone who had nearly broken something, Jim acted like it was no big deal. Hina couldn’t help but think about what kind of dangers existed with his magic.
It was Hina’s turn again to be the test dummy. This time, Jim created two portals that Hina could see. One right next to her and another right next to him. All she had to do was walk in one and come out the other. Hina walked through the portals a couple of times and that was that. She didn’t feel any different, but Jim buried his nose in his notebook and wrote for a solid five minutes. He also had her perform a series of kicks through the portals which was very strange. The sensation of seeing her foot disappear and reappear somewhere else was weird. At least it gave her a chance to practice her jump kicks and vertical kicks. After that practice, Hina turned her attention back to Jim. The rune in his leg was still active and probably would be for another half hour. Hina decided she was going to push it even further this time and make an even stronger rune on his other leg. Yes, she had already tried making as powerful rune as possible, but maybe there was a way to force in more magic than the rune was willing to accept.
Hina sat next to the leg without a rune and concentrated on building up energy into her fingertip. She held Jim’s arm for support and slowly made the motions necessary to draw out the rune of strength. She didn’t realize it, but she was pressing into his leg with full force, guiding her spark to demonstrate just how much power she wanted to put into the rune. She felt energy she didn’t even know she possessed leave her body and fill up the rune as she drew it. Her hand trembled with the sheer amount of power she was transmitting and had to use her other hand to keep it steady. She pushed so forcefully with her magic that she blew past the cap for how strong she could make the rune. The rune was overloaded to a point that Jim pushed Hina away just as she finished the rune. His leg was shining so brightly that it hurt to look at.
“Did I hurt you,” Hina asked with genuine concern. There had to be some consequence for packing in so much ether. “It hurts a lot actually,” he said as he hissed and gripped his leg with both hands, “what did you do?” “I put a lot of energy into it,” Hina said, “maybe too much… can you stand?” Jim stood up with assistance and didn’t even want to put his foot down. “I feel like if I even take a step it’s going to hurt my body. I’d really rather not…” Hina couldn’t bring herself to ask him to try so she bent down and absorbed the ether from both his overloaded rune and the rune from before. “Sorry about that,” she said, “what else would you like me to do?” Jim had her go through a couple more portals and hurried to rush through his testing. He was eager to get through his tests so that he could go home and rest his legs. Hina ended up having to fly him home since he refused to walk. He claimed his leg hurt, Hina wasn’t sure if it was serious of if he was just being a crybaby.
Back at her rented room, Hina decided to overload a rune for her own body. She hadn’t overstepped yet, and the goal was to use enough power to do so. She wanted to see whether or not her own body could handle such a powerful rune. She had built up resistance, so what if overloading runes was the answer to get more power? She sat on the floor with her back against the grimy wall. She laid her legs out straight and started with her left leg. She felt the ether flow and she pressed hard enough to draw blood if she wasn’t wearing any pants. She drew out the strength rune and let her ether fill into the voids it made. The glimmering gold color of the runes lit up her room and she forced in power even after it was too bright to see with her eyes open.
She worked off of muscle memory to finish the rune and let her body get some rest after she finished. She etched a resistance rune right next to her rune of naming to get some extra resistance and then she got up. Jim had been right, it did hurt. It was a dull pain all along her leg that told her that she was going to have to be careful. If it hurt this much with her double resistances, she couldn’t imagine how he had felt with only one. She practiced lifting it slowly, feeling as though she could very easily kick her leg out of its socket if she wasn’t careful. She raised her leg higher so that she was doing a vertical kick and then backed out of actually using her leg to kick something for real. This was way too much power for her to play around with and she’d need some divine intervention to avoid getting punished by her landlord if she kicked down a wall. She would save this technique for only the direst of situations.