Chapter 8:

The Villain Saves The Day (Part 2)

My Cute Kohai is Actually My Archnemesis?!

White flames trailed behind Reyna as she burst from the building and came to a quick stop. Gently, Reyna toned her flames down and set Linna on the ground. Brushing Linna’s hair with her hands, Reyna smiled weakly at her. “Do you know where everyone else is, Linna?”Bookmark here

Linna leaned into her hand and whimpered. “I don’t know. We were playing before going to bed when bad people came. Miss Dune told us to run, but I don’t know if anyone else made it…” she began to sniffle, and Reyna quickly made to wipe her tears.Bookmark here

“It’s okay, Linna. It’s okay.” Reyna gave lopsided smile as she brushed Linna off and spun her around. “No, go to the nice reporters there, okay? They’ll take care of you. I’ll get your friends out of this fire.” Reyna eyed the the reporters and saw them filming her almost exclusively, and when she turned her burning eyes towards them, they seemed to flinch. Bookmark here

The sound of sirens then rang just around the corner, and Reyna knew she didn’t have too much time to get everyone else out. As Linna looked at her one last time, Reyna turned and ran back in. Rushing into the next few rooms, she didn’t find anyone, but that didn’t deter her at all. If anything, Reyna started to panic even more. More and more, she felt despair taking over. Her flames roared in response to her distress and her corona grew brighter. “HELLO?” screamed Reyna. “IS ANYONE HERE?!”Bookmark here

“…h-here!” Bookmark here

The voice came from one of the last five doors in the hall and she burst through the closest one. There, she saw a huddle of kids in the corner of the room that watched in terror as the fire encroached on them. “K-kids!” Reyna cried. None of them were the voice she had heard, but it didn’t matter. “S-stay right there!”Bookmark here

They all wailed as they saw her. Admittedly, Reyna must have cut a striking figure being an embodiment of their current terror, but Reyna’s focus was solely on them. Then, Reyna thought of what the current state of her Powers were, and she hoped it would be enough.Bookmark here

Cold flames. That was what she called it, and it was after stumbling across some articles on the internet that described the phenomenon in various tones of actuality and disbelief. In theory, Reyna had a lot of control over her Power. She had the ability to only emit heat, only emit light, emit both in varying intensities, and even spread it out over a random or specific area. What she had never tried until recently was to regulate her temperatures… or the actual properties of her fire itself.Bookmark here

Reyna thought specifically about the properties she wanted, and what she had already thought of earlier: the safety of being able to touch and handle her fire without danger or fear, and the ability to consume any other flame and convert it into her own. Gritting her teeth, Reyna tried it first. She created a fireball of this specific brand of fire and tossed it at the floor around her. For a moment, it seemed to splutter and shrink until the fire around it began to perpetuate the same brand of blue. The process quickly began to feed itself, and Reyna pursed her lips. Turning her Power off around her foot, just for a moment, she threw it into her flames on the floor and nodded.Bookmark here

Within the span of a few seconds, Reyna confirmed it would work. Assured in her Power, Reyna threw her arms out and flooded the room with her sea of flames, and it spilled out into the hallway. In an instant, even the smoke dissipated as the flames reached ceiling and crashed into the kids’ corner. Reyna grieved for just a moment as the children screamed, but rushed over to them as they realized they were fine.Bookmark here

“W-woah,” one of them whispered, trying to grab at the blue fire. “It… it’s warm, like, like a blanket!”Bookmark here

“It doesn’t hurt…?” wondered another. Bookmark here

They then saw Reyna coming close and grabbed onto each other. Crouching low, Reyna spread her hands out. “Hey there!” she said gently. “It’s safe now, see?”Bookmark here

“F-Flare?”Bookmark here

“Flare saved us…”Bookmark here

Reyna nodded quickly. “You’re safe now, okay?” assured Reyna, “And everyone is waiting for you outside. The hallway is blue too! Blue means good. Blue means safe. You can go outside as long as you follow the blue, okay?”Bookmark here

The children looked around them in wonder before refocusing on Flare and nodding softly. “Okay, kids. Be careful, okay?” She then watched carefully as they slowly got up before running into the hall. Rushing after them, she eyed them as they made it to the doorway and burst out to safety.Bookmark here

Reyna then rushed the last two rooms. The first was empty, but the moment she opened the second she crossed her arms to stop the wave of pressure that blew past her. When she uncrossed, she saw a glimpse of what she assumed was the remaining group of kids and caretakers before she noticed the people surrounding them. Bookmark here

Clad in fireproof material, three figures turned to look at her with their guns still trained at their hostages. Without a second thought, Reyna shot two beams of hot air before crashing into the nearest one one. Grabbing their gun, Reyna immediately superheated it to the point of it turning into slag. The person screamed as it melted onto their suit before she grabbed them and threw them at next nearest assaulter.Bookmark here

She then used her flames to propel her over the group and went into a spinning kick into the last person still recovering. They fumbled for their rifle before she stomped down on it and irreparably flattened its barrel with her burning foot. They then caught her by surprise, tackling her in the side she had been kicked in earlier and she screamed in pain before bursting into flame. The person started screaming as their suit began to melt from its heat before Reyna grabbed their head and propelled it into the wall.Bookmark here

The minute she realized everyone was safe, she turned on the hostages and pointed at the door. “Go! Quickly!”Bookmark here

They stared at her in terror, their eyes flicking at the blue flames still dying in the room and the blue sea of fire still roaring in the hallway. “The blue fire in the hall is safe!” They stirred, but didn’t move. Hating herself for what she had to do, her head burst into a corona of azure and she roared, “RUN!”Bookmark here

That startled them enough to get the caretakers rushing the children out. She heard cries of wonder and shock as they found the flames barely tickling, and as the last child made it to the door, they turned to her and said, “Th-thank you!” Quickly, they were herded out by the last caretaker, but they too gave her a grateful nod.Bookmark here

Soon enough, the only sounds Reyna could hear were the ragged breaths of the person she held in her grip and the crackle of fire. Laughing quietly in hysteria, Reyna, turned to the person in her group and pulled it from the wall. The person grabbed weakly at her hands, but she merely lit the area above her grip in raging heat that immediately dissuaded them. She then dropped them unceremoniously onto the ground next to the piled bodies of the others.Bookmark here

Crouching close, Reyna smiled as she tore the melting helmet off of the person she dropped. The light danced wickedly in Reyna’s eyes, and the person quickly realized it was a smile filled with malice.Bookmark here

Reyna brushed the woman’s matted hair to the side and looked her in the eyes. “What made you decide to attack this orphanage, hm?” said Reyna calmly. “I don’t recall there being anything special about this place.”Bookmark here

The woman’s reactions were delayed. First, she frowned, and then she began to shake her head. Suddenly, her head snapped into place in Reyna’s grip and she came face to face with the snarling visage of Reyna.Bookmark here

“WHY?!” Reyna screamed.Bookmark here

“…We were….intercepting a large shipment today…” the woman gasped. “And…it happened to come here…”Bookmark here

“You burned down an orphanage because you wanted to steal from it?!” Reyna asked incredulously. “How low can you get!?”Bookmark here

“We…couldn’t leave any evidence—hrk!”Bookmark here

Reyna immediately pulled them closer. “Evidence? What do you mean evidence? Are you working for someone?”Bookmark here

The woman stared at her with wide eyes for just a moment before they rolled into the back of her head. When Reyna realized she had passed out, she scrunched her eyes and screamed as she dropped the woman’s body. “You’re lucky I counted everyone,” Reyna gasped angrily. “You’re lucky they all made it out. I don’t even know what I would have—“Bookmark here

A torrent of water slammed into her and she blacked out.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.