Well, anyone could read about something in a book and feel smugly superior for it; this was, in fact, Mikal's favorite pastime, but as far as actual practice went...Yesterday:
Mikal slowly turned the old, wrinkled pages of the Grimoire until she settled upon something she recognized; Fire Spells. She glanced down the pages until she found it: the Fireball, the first step of any learning Mage class character. It was good to know that real-world magic operated similarly to video game logic.
Mikal took a deep breath, leaving the book open beside her. This shouldn't be too hard. She wondered briefly if she should ask her parents to watch-- Oh right, they'd been the ones to go and enter her into a deadly magic tournament behind her back along with bringing in a dangerous hooligan into their home. Yeah, she was still a bit upset about that, as the fingernail marks in her palm and bits of blue hair littering the usually pristine floor showed. But, regardless... If this was all real, and she really was about to be fighting for her life... She needed to know.
Grimoire wrote:Colloquially known as a 'Will o' Wisp', 'Hinotama', or 'ignis fatuus', this magical flame is standard fare for most Magi, and a decent starting point for any beginning spellcaster. The actual intensity or power behind the flame varies depending on the amount of mana used to create it. Basic flames may be used for simple light and nothing more, while a more skilled Magus can easily whip up a deadly inferno with a snap of their fingers. The color of the flame can be changed depending on the user, but many experts agree that this in no way affects the power or heat of the fire and simply serves to look really damn cool. To create the flames, the user must concentrate their mana through the Circuits to a single point, and then create a "spark" of energy to ignite it. The user must then use their thoughts to quickly mold the explosion of mana into a flame, which can be achieved through diligent practice. Eventually, this process will become as reflexive and simple as throwing a ball. Be warned-- Control of the flame must be maintained, lest it burn too much of the user's mana and run wild.
Mikal held out her hand, doing as the book had said. It was still bizarre to think about, but to a degree, she sort of understood. She'd read about something called "Magic Circuits" and Thaumaturgical Theory and Equivalent Exchange... She didn't fully understand it, but at the same time, she kind of did. Perhaps this was just in her blood? Regardless, she would see in a moment.
Suddenly, her hand began to tremble, and her heart quickened. Oh god. It was real. She could feel it, the energy surging through her... It was both exhilarating and terrible and she could hear herself begin to giggle in delight. It was not long before the collected energy burst into flame, and into her hand exploded a small, harmless blue flame. Incredible.
"I don't believe it..." Mikal whispered, a hand over her mouth. She reached into the fire, and yet felt no heat nor pain. It was a mere light, no more. Incredible.
Suddenly, the flame began to grow, flaring up rapidly as it began to fizzle and burn wildly, Mikal's concentration having broken in her awe.
Ahhhh! Focus! Focus, focus, focus! She clenched her hand shut, and the flame fizzled and died in a wisp of bright blue. Just like that, it was over. Mikal took a moment to gaze at her hand, the energy still tingling on her fingertips.
"...So it's all real," She whispered. She was smiling, but she had no idea why. It was all real. This wasn't a joke. Not a dream. They really had done it. "...Ha ha. Ahahahahaha!"
It was at that moment, just as she'd finished laughing insanely, that the door suddenly burst open, and a young man in a Hawaiian shirt stepped into the room...
Mikal's eyes widened as she suddenly remembered her goal. "Oh! What am I doing here!?"
She had to find Lancer. As much as she hated to admit it, she was defenseless without him, and who knows what trouble he'd get into if he was left on his own? He might start the whole war on his own. But he didn't seem to be at the park, so where else would he go? Mikal had a slight hunch, and though it might just be a guess, she had nothing better to go on, and wasn't particularly interested in waiting around until a sailboat went flying into the air to find him.
"Oh boy..." Mikal muttered. "What should I say? 'Lancer, I know we got off to a rough start, but...' or maybe... 'Lancer, I understand that you...'"Mikal walked off, muttering to herself as she headed towards the Harbor.
--The Double Down Bar:Aaaaaaaaaaand... Done.
The Lancer kicked back the last few drops of his pina colada, savoring the sweet artificial flavors before letting out a contented sigh. He glanced over at the other man, who had started questioning the Bartender more about the woman in the back-- Something he could care less about. But his drink was done and his opponent apparently distracted; It was time at last.
He remembered it well-- The thrill of the ambush. That moment of brief calm before his prey was pulled under, screaming and futilely gasping for air. It would be over in mere seconds.
Lancer placed the empty glass on the counter. Then, in the span of brief second, a devilish, shark-toothed grin spread across his face; a last-second tell to his violent intentions. It was visible for only a second before the Lancer swung his right arm in a mighty punch, packed inhuman force and power. One hit would end it all. Definitely.