Elodin danced shirtless under the starless sky. His companions, the shadows cast from the lanterns on each corner of the courtyard, danced with him in perfect harmony. His moves were fluid like running water and his momentum never halted. The swish of his pants registered with each turn as the loose fabric brushed against itself.
A thousand scraps of paper spun around Elodin, caught in a whirlwind. Short sentences written on each should have been indiscernible in the light and at that speed. However, the words were not simple literature; they were magic. And Elodin had a connection to magic so that he knew what each handwritten spell said without focussing upon it.
Breath. Decrease. Air Pressure.
The weaving crossed into his field of view as he dipped with sweeping arms and his fingertips brushed the cobblestones. He acted upon the spell and with his upward momentum looked towards one of the lanterns, careful to ensure that he focussed inside of the glass enclosure that contained the flame. Enacting the command to utilise breath his heart rate spiked as the air inside his body was sapped.
Taking anything vital from the body was always dangerous. Without setting the spells parameters to contain the effects he would have been drained until he could no longer provide the energy. Many amateur weavers had fallen folly to ill planned spells. Elodin was an amateur, but he wasn’t a fool. He was always careful to ensure his spells had the desired outcome. He retained enough similar spells that he could always find a spell to fit the situation.
With the energy taken from his body, the weaving located its target – the lantern’s glass enclosure that Elodin had made sure to close before he began training – and completed the command. The flame was doused instantly as the rapid decrease in air pressure starved the fire of the oxygen it required to burn.
The spell words glowed and then as quickly as the spell had begun the ink on the paper disappeared. Everything had happened in an instant; between the space of two heart beats.
The whirlwind of spells fell out of the air as if the trance that had controlled them had suddenly been snapped. Elodin felt a slight strain on his muscles as the energy, in this case lactic acid, that had been used to keep the whirlwind spell active was no longer utilised.
Spinning and taking his eyes away from the lantern he tilted his head downwards so that he could follow the fluttering cascade of paper. The speed of his move allowed him to observe almost all of the notes before any touched the ground. There were so many varieties of what he required that he was able to survey them all until he found the one that required the least valuable resource.
Fat. Rotate within reach for a sustained period. Air currents.
The fat stores in his body, minimal that they were, started to burn faster. His heart rate settled, not that the increase had affected his graceful movements. The spell flashed and disappeared imperceptibly as the notes caught the newly formed wind and began to dance with Elodin again.
Pushing his body harder and faster, adding more complex movements to his dance, Elodin rigorously worked his body. Rippling muscles, taut and powerful, gleamed with a sheen of sweat.
Elodin danced until his muscles began to cramp, but he ignored the pain until his left leg buckled. He stopped his dance and was forced to make an unnatural transition between moves breaking his free flowing motions for the first time since he had begun. He turned his palm towards his face as he jerked his right arm and it shot out in front of him.
Lactic acid. Rapidly expel. Air currents.
The words were painted on his forearm so that he didn’t have to wait for the right scrap of paper to come into view. Unlike the spell to keep the currents rotating around his body he wanted the store of energy to be burned all at once and not over time.
Immediately his muscles relaxed and an explosion of wind burst outwards from his skin. The weavings took flight as the air currents that had been circling Elodin surged away in all directions. The glass lanterns rattled and the two exposed flames were extinguished; the third remaining closed and alight. Fallen leaves and dirt joined the fluttering weavings as the wind continued its momentum. It crashed into the walls surrounding the courtyard and shook the glass panes in their wooden frames. Wrapping through open doorways and windows, along the clay bricked walls and upwards towards the sky the air searched for an outlet.
The air currents returned to their natural flow not far above the roof as the energy given to the spell reached its limit. Everything that had been collected rained down into the courtyard like falling snow.
Elodin stood up straight with a look of satisfaction, feeling fresh. If it weren’t for the sweat and his slightly elevated heart rate there would have been no way to tell that he had been exercising. Let alone that he had actually been danceweaving for almost two hours.