World of Mana > Rain Within Her Hands
Rain Within Her Hands
She was supposed to be with her tutor at that particular moment, a tedious old scribe whose beard was as long as his proclamations on how wonderful the new Doric script was. Ayiana, being a resourceful lass, wiggled her fingers and put the old man to sleep, then slipped out of the palace library. Her mother would surely disapprove--the Gift of the Goddess was not to be used to do harm upon another, save in the instance of preventing harm in its use. Ayiana, however, would have pointed out that "harm" was a rather vague concept, and the old goat was surely harming her sense of fun, and that was why he deserved it.
Mother didn't have to know everything, Ayiana thought, even if she thought she did. She might have been Queen, but she wasn't the Goddess.
The window in which Ayiana sat presently pondering magical ethics was her favorite in the whole palace. It was high atop the dome, in the palace's central tower, and provided one with a magnificent view of the entire city. Sitting there, looking out at the buildings below, made her feel as if she were atop the whole world. She stared down at the palace courtyard far below, with its magnificent fountain and pools filled with fish, newly renovated at the behest of her mother. Cypress trees imported from Krace lined the broad plaza, a rather nice touch, Ayiana thought. She'd always loved trees, as long as she could remember. Greenery of any sort, really. They were so alive, so filled with mana that sang in her ears.
It may have simply been her imagination, but out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a ripple in one of the pools far below. Then there was another, and another, and finally the drops on the window pane confirmed it: it had begun to rain, and Ayiana grinned from ear to ear. She could smell the rain, feel the energy of the coming storm, and it made her blood race. She carefully unlatched the large window, and quite casually stepped outside it, into the thick moist air, and almost absently realized she was standing several dozen feet above ground. Giggling to herself, she effortlessly summoned the flows of mana within herself, and floated gently towards the cobblestoned ground, her waist-length tresses streaming above her in a waterfall of red-gold waves barely distinguishable from the saffron silk she wore. Oh this was going to be fun, she thought.
Touching down upon the ground, Ayiana kicked her sandals off and hummed to herself, an old tune she'd learned from her music tutor, tracing brightly colored patterns of light into the stones with her equally brightly painted toes. Almost there...
Quite suddenly the sky opened up, and Ayiana laughed and laughed, spinning like a dervish as the torrential downpour swept down upon her, the palace, and the city. The droplets felt so good stinging her bare arms as she danced, flicking off her dozen or so gold bangles as she shook her wrists in time to her song. Her exposed midriff rippled with the waves in the fountain, and she shook her hips, making her own percussion with the coin belt that hung off them. Suddenly, she leapt into the great fountain--onto would be a better word, for she danced effortlessly upon the surface of the water as if it were solid ground. Her beautiful hair and silk clothes plastered against her lightly tanned skin in the rain, and she probably resembled nothing so much as a very pretty drenched rat, but Ayiana paid it no heed. Nor did she pay heed to what any ordinary person would have felt as the chill of a January rain.
Needless to say, Ayiana Lalasa was no ordinary person.
The princess' Undine-blessed reverie was cruelly and suddenly interrupted by a shrill, piercing yell that echoed throughout the vaults of her mind, causing her to clutch at her head in pain. When she looked up, Auntie Shirin stood in the covered entryway to the courtyard, draped in blue silk, her silver-rimmed spectacles perched perilously upon the tip of her sharply pointed nose, and her full red lips pulled back in one of the meaner scowls Ayiana could remember. Her piercing green eyes were glaring at the girl, and she involuntarily flinched.
"What in the Goddess' name do you think you are doing? Have you gone completely mad?" Shirin demanded, this time aloud. Ayiana shrugged a bit sheepishly.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time?" Ayiana giggled nervously, flashing the angry Grand Vizier her most charming and winsome smile. Sadly for Ayiana, it did not seem to work. Then again, it rarely did on Auntie Shirin. She wished she was more like Auntie Pari.
"Come inside before you catch your death of cold, you silly rabite!"
Ayiana sighed and bid farewell to the storm, trudging toward the grand covered archway, following her aunt back inside. Of course she was bound to get a stern lecture from her mother on any number of things. She smiled silently, on the inside, though, stroking her rain-soaked cheek.
By the Gods, it was worth it.