The darkness has a gaping maw for a mouth. She has heard her ah-ma and aunts call this type of darkness a “hunger”. They prey on emotions, almost like the jiang shi who eats blood.
She draws her athame, sweeps it in an arc, keeping it in front of her. She made Kim teach her the basics of dagger play and even then, she has probably messed up all of them.
The dagger cuts a vivid red curve in the air and power rushes up her right arm, like fire, like ice. With a roar like an earthquake, the red form of a ti lung emerges from the dagger, claws out and fanged jaws bared. Its beard flows like the back-draft of fire. She is filled with immense power.
“Come at me,” she challenges the darkness and her voice resonates. Her grandfather bolsters her strength.
The darkness screams. It wants to eat her, but is wary of the fire and magic. It knows who she is and what she is capable of.
She doesn’t wait for it to react. She launches herself at it, all black, night given form, her dagger slashing downwards. Its tip pierces it and burns its way through. The darkness’s howl fills her ears. She doesn’t care. She feels as if she is on fire, a huo lung in flight.
When she hits the ground, the darkness dissipates. The howl of pain lingers in the air. There is the smell of burning and ash.
She breathes hard, trying to stop the vertigo and the sudden weakness in her limbs. Her head throbs, slowly transforming into a migraine.
Her phone beeps. Iron Man, by Black Sabbath. Her favorite ringtone. It is loud in the silence.
“Yin Tian. Come home. Very urgent.”