Claire felt coldness wrap her in its familiar embrace. It became a sort of frigidness she was used to. The slow, numbing, kind. The kind reminiscent of the day she was left under a silver moon, alone and freezing within a park as her cries welcomed her and rain made its presence known.
'I suppose I have always been attuned for water and ice,' In a state where she was weightless and time seemed unimportant, she thought somewhat cynically.
It was a memory that she had continued to stamp down.
Abandoned by crazed parents.
Picked up by an officer.
Adopted by a loving mother that took her due to their resemblance.
And living a life where she had disallowed anyone but her parents from her heart.
As someone who had hyperthymesia, any pain would forever be etched in her. Physical. But, most importantly, emotional. It was the first rejection from the person she loved that closed off her heart. And she thought it would remain that way.
Claire took a breath, sucking in the cold air around her. Or, at least, that was what it felt like.
She couldn't feel her current body.
In fact, she was unsure if she even had one at the moment.
She merely floated in a space where coldness guided her and she calmed herself to its temperament.
'Of course,' She thought.
There existed warmth as well.
Her heart had long been unlocked by an unlikely force. Once, she had thought the prospect of entering another world a ridiculous notion. She had even argued with the person sending her. Yet, here she was now, eager to return back.
Out there was a partner waiting for her. Alicia would surely, even now, be by her side. That thought alone kept even the frigidness of the world around her at bay. The memory of a night under a silver moon was stamped down until it became insignificant.
Claire was not wrong at all.
Alicia stayed in front of the ball of water. She couldn't see the form of her companion within, but she stayed, seated and cross-legged before the thing as if she had become a statue.
[I've been meaning to ask but you can hear me, right? I had changed to speaking to you both, after all.] Igris Neihime's voice echoed in her ears.
The vampire nodded absentmindedly. "Hum. I can."
Claire's ghostly mentor sighed.
[That's good.] He said. [Excuse my curiosity but. . .] He muttered. [You won't destroy this world, will you?]
Sometimes it was almost easy to forget that this vampire seated in wait for her lover would one day bring destruction upon the world.
"The world?" Alicia tilted her head in confusion. "I don't care about the world. I don't care about the gods. I don't care about the heroes. I don't care about you or anyone else. Only Claire."
There was silence for a moment.
[To devote all of yourself to one person. . .] Igris Neihime muttered. [. . .I can't say if that's a good thing.]
Alicia Fraught chuckled. Crimson eyes staring at the bubbling ball that held her companion. Her partner. The only thing she felt any sincere love towards. She smiled, a fang poking out of her lips.
"I only need Claire. Nothing else." Her eyes were soft as she placed a hand upon the structure. "Don't worry. Whether or not I become a Demon Lord, as long as she's safe and happy, this world will be fine."
Igris did not feel comforted by that statement. Rather, since the years he had become a mere residual spiritual being, Igris Neihime felt a chill for the first time in his ghostly life. [Yikes. . .] he thought. [That's a dangerous thing to say.]
And, just like so, time trickled on like an ever-present hourglass. Alicia, however, remained before Claire's evolving form. Although she couldn't see anything, she still sat and watched like a hawk.
It was nothing to her.
She had waited hundreds of years in darkness for her before. A few days to weeks of time's clutches felt like child's play.
"She's awakening," She said on one particular day, eyes glued upon the ball, "It's over."
The ball of water dried as feet touched the crystal ground. Claire's presence was immediately made known. Her hair wafted behind her, white as snow. Her eyelashes of the same color trembled. Every breath she made frosted the air, chilling the immediate area around her. She stood there, skin pale and unblemished, a beauty that captivated even Alicia's eyes.
Claire sucked in a breath and shifted on her feet. She looked at her naked body, plumper chests hidden beneath white strands of hair, and placed both hands to her hips, grinning.
"Would you look at that," She spoke to her partner, azure eyes glazing gold, "You're right."
[Name: Claire Hill
Race: Elemental Lord
Water Seed: 25%
[Water Seed: As the rightful owner of an elemental seed, your body has been rebuilt and your skills amplified and evolved. In addition, you also gained a natural resistance to some effects from other seeds.
[Elemental Lord (Water): As an elemental spirit that lords over the element of water, you are in permanent form. Immune to both the water and ice element, as long as you touch either of the two, you may consume them to heal your wounds.
As long as mana exists in the world, you are unaging and untiring, forgoing any need for sustenance.
<Lord's Glance> Innately, you are able to perceive the strengths of others through peeking at their status screen.
<Drop> You can summon and control water to your whim, including lowering its temperature to form ice. You can also touch anything to simply freeze it. Finally, you may drag any frozen object into your <Elemental Realm> and call it back at any time. Power over the strength and control of your element is based on your assimilation percentile.
<Switch> With this ability, you can switch locations with any piece of ice or body of water that has been previously summoned or made.
<Override> You may override and make yours any magic, attack, or effect that has to deal with water or ice in your immediate area as long as the caster's overall rank is below that of your mana's.]
[Elemental Realm: An endless ocean upon a world of a perpetual snowstorm, frozen. A land which you lord over and may enter and leave at will. Within this space, all stats are increased by 1 rank.]
Just like her new self, her status was a thing of beauty, akin to a masterpiece.