Aelvyn looked at his student, who leant on her weapon and breathed a small sigh of amazement. He, too, was wonderstruck at her power. Never, he knew, had he taught one to whom such things came so easily. Never had he taught one who was so Gifted, who picked up instinctively what others spent months on.
After all, he decided, it’s probably just as well. She is the one who is supposed to save us all from the tyranny of the Celryn, or so it’s said. Anna looked at him expectantly, awaiting instruction.
What can I teach one who is better than me? Aelvyn pondered for a moment, and then looked up, a light in his eyes.
“Put the sword down,” he said. Anna followed his instructions without question, her skin still glowing with power and happiness. “Now, let’s see what you can do without a physical weapon.”
She stood still only a moment, and then from her fingers streamed a bolt of lightning which seared the grass, burning a hole almost half a metre deep. Aelvyn was impressed, more so than he had been before. What most students lacked in these cases was imagination, but Anna was different. She had no shortage of such a vital component, and as for Gifts to make those dreams reality, well.
A second later, avalanches of ice were added to the snow that already made a thick layer on the hard ground. Closely following this, fire appeared and burned away all of the frozen water, thawing the snow for ten metres away.
“And Earth, Anna? You have forgotten one element,” said Aelvyn, noticing that this was what she always left until last.
A mini volcano shot up near their feet, complete with noxious clouds and running lava. Anna coughed, and the lightning still streaming from her fingertips stopped as she bent over, her body wracked with coughs.
“Did I do okay?” she said, smiling slightly. Her teacher nodded, awestruck. He had never felt this way, not about a pupil.
“More than okay,” he told her. “That was pretty darn incredible.” It was the first time the ghost had used such modern words, and Anna laughed. The very sound brought flowers bursting into bloom all around them. “Just one thing, though. Can you get rid of all this damage?” Aelvyn gestured to the volcano, the water, and the fire that still burned. Anna nodded, and snapped her fingers. Instantly, these perpetrators of damage vanished, but the evidence remained. She thought for a moment, then replicated the Earth around to fill in the holes and brought new grass shooting up from underneath.
“Is that better?” she said, adding a cluster of daisies for final effect. Aelvyn nodded.
“How do you do that?” he asked her. “How can you do, so readily, what others strive for years to learn, without even being taught? How can your powers, though you are just fourteen years old, rival those that I possess, though I am old and have had centuries of ghost-hood to hone them?”
“I don’t know,” said Anna, and she didn’t. “But I’m glad. I see now that we have a chance against the Celryn, and I’m going to make the most of it. I’m not going to let them escape.”