“What's the matter, can't handle a little pain, you FUCKING PUSSY?!?”
Oy, her abs are up there.
At first glance Lyren is a raging asshole, ruled by a fiery temper that lashes out at nearly everything and anyone close to her. How she, and others like her, somehow manage to be functional adults is an eternal mystery.
Lyren is not, however, ruled by her fiery temper. It is a deliberate choice to be antagonistic, to claim social and physical territory by rendering no one else willing to contest it. She's still a raging asshole, but it's deliberate. She doesn't lose herself to rage, she deliberately stokes the flames. She's quite capable of playing it cool on occasion to find a better time to explode. Lyren practices meditation in a very different way than most, where rather than silencing her emotions and thoughts, she trains herself to bring them forth on the command. Would just a little bit of pain tolerance and ruthless lack of concern for others help her win a fight? Bring out the anger. Would showing some sadness and remorse get her opponent to drop their guard? Bring out the tears. To her, the mind, the emotions, and the chemicals they induce are another tool of physical perfection. Rage, and the power it gives, is another weapon to be wielded.
Lyren cheats, at pretty much anything but her body. She is an awful person to play cards with unless you've quicker eyes than she has hands. She doesn't care about the sanctity of sports, only her victory. She's underhanded whenever she thinks it'll give her an edge, and then raw brute force to seal the deal so that they'll never think of crossing her again. The only thing she seems to respect is her body, and only then because she's concerned about long term health. And maybe a little narcissism. Regardless, she won't take any sort of supplement or steroid or experimental exercise regime even, unless it's been rigorously tested for safety. What book learning Lyren does have is probably tangentially related to her exhaustive research into better fitness methods.
Lyren cheats, but that doesn't mean she doesn't work hard. Cheating, in her mind, is a way to tip the scales in her favor, but it won't turn a kitten into a tiger. The ultimate reason why she cheats is not laziness, but the burning desire to win. So she definitely puts herself through hell to maintain what she believes is peak physical condition. If she's not training, there's a very real possibility she's researching better ways to train, or purposefully resting for the sake of better training.
The reason Lyren wanted to join the Valkyrie program is simple. The pilots of the Valkyries are the ones who are above all others in sheer personal power. She might have to share that power with one other person, but it's better than being a politician, whose power is only the sheer number of idiots following him. She doesn't want to lead a team or inspire her fellows, she wants to be a goddess of destruction who terrorizes everything that stands between her and proving her superiority. She's a bit surprised by her assignment to the TC rather than PC program, but she'll take it, figuring that the TC basically gets to be a giant fucking huge superpower robot, and that's fine.
Lyren also enjoys studying and writing character poetry.
Lyren's life does not start with some awful tragedy, abuse, poverty, or neglect. She seemed to have everything going for her, being reasonable well read and educated. She may have grown up in a rather poor part of Terra Nova, but it was still Terra Nova, and she practically lived the high life compared to plenty of other kids on frontier worlds. She was active and social, absolutely crushing children years older than her in playground games of basketball. It wasn't until the "crushing" started to get literal, that people started to get worried.
Lyren was generally the villain of many a sports anime as she grew up, and unfortunately for the poor underdogs, no plot armor or secret skills was going to let them win after Lyren broke their legs in a particularly viscous clash. Lyren got eventually banned from more or less half the leagues she joined, after the strings of accidents proved a little too hard to believe. That didn't bother Lyren though, it just proved they couldn't handle her, in her mind.
Eventually, she sought out the military, because no pussy university or sport could hold a true competitor like Lyren Periwell. And the Valkyries were the best of the military, so that's where she went.
Lyren was chosen for the TC position for mostly experimental reasons. She doesn't have the exceptional intellect, awareness, or instinct frequently expected of them. She was chosen because she resembles a "Riding the Fire" PC, who has extreme aggression and a confrontational personality, to see if that will enhance her compatibility with her PC after they start Riding the Fire, and stave off the emotional problems of other TCs by starting as far away from them on the personality spectrum as possible. Her meditation and control over her emotional state to such a conscious level was viewed as an useful guarantee of a minimum baseline of usefulness for this wild experiment in TC selection. Her extreme physical ability and G-Force resistance was considered a good match for Ryner, as there were no other TC candidates who could withstand the same acceleration he could, potentially wasting one of his most exceptional traits.
As Kimura expressed her explanation for the wait, and expressed her excitement, Asami quickly took up position beside her, holding up the umbrella to shield them both, and of course, their partners. Asami nodded to Gūremaru's bark, acknowledging him with a gentle smile. The smile quickly turned more energetic though, as Kimura's excitement and theorizing rubbed off on Asami and set her overactive imagination alight.
"Ooooh! I dunno, that could still be fun. If we were kidnapped by Kirigakure, we could see mountains, and the ocean, right? And I hear they even have a mountain that shoots up fire from the ocean, called a volcano. Can you imagine how much fire a whole mountain could make? It'd be the best firework ever! FWOOOMF!" Asami gestures wildly with her hands to display what she imagines an erupting volcano must look like, resulting in the four of them getting showered with a little bit of rain before Asami quickly steadied herself and began properly holding the umbrella again. Momoko chittered a little at the unexpected wetness, swinging from one of Asami's shoulder's to another.
"On the other hand, Kumogakure sounds like they have the prettiest mountains, at least from what I've heard. And it sounds like it'd be a lot easier to get down from a mountain than it would be to escape across the sea. Even if it is supposedly so high up that it touches the clouds, I know how to climb, but I can't swim. But wouldn't that be fun, Kimura-chan? Getting to be so high up that you can touch the clouds?" Asami once again threatened to drench the four of them by reaching to the sky, but this time she stopped just shy of moving her umbrella out of the way to reach higher. Momoko had to hang on as Asami's head tilted, but Asami didn't seem to mind.
"The other two don't sound quite as interesting to me. What about you, Kimura-chan, which village would prefer to be captured by if it's all a secret ploy to kidnap us? I know you wouldn't want that, but, which one would be the least bad, for you?"
Süne had found himself listless after a few weeks in Toran. The Arena Challenge had been trifling, like the Gym Leader hadn't truly been trying. Or had simply given him the win because the first challenge was supposed to be easy? He had sent forth his weakest natrelmon, with a weakness to fire, and had not been hit. He didn't feel strong, he felt like no challenge had been given.
He was also mildly unsettled by the single use magical tomes he had acquired. Who made these, and why? But it didn't seem to be anything malicious. So he went ahead and used them to learn the art of Seedsowing. He wasn't quite as sure about this shadowy one. Darkness wasn't necessarily evil, but ghosts were a bit spooky sometimes.
There was a gathering where special devices was handed out, presided by a very important person, it seemed. But those there hadn't seemed invested in group efforts. Most were too busy with their own affairs, and Süne didn't blame them. It was a seriously difficult affair keeping track of everything as a Natrelmon owner.
Whether by whatever eldritch spell was cast over the night, or his own troubles, Süne found his way to the strange old man of crows, and his offer of special magic. Riding his Frallion, as usual.
"Mmm, thank you for the offer, sir. But I don't think I need supremely powerful magic to fulfill my life's ambitions. These random tome things I keep finding whenever I go to the library to research Natrelmon habitats seem to be a nice enough start to keep me safe." Süne offered a slight incline of the head, before passing. He briefly considered trying to capture one of the Yata-Garasu, but figured that they might be the old man's, and that it might be considered rude.
"Cover, down!" Süne ordered Sakura-re, as the final stage of his plan involved Sakura-re hiding behind every defense he could muster, while causing enough destructive mayhem to hopefully defeat Tibearius. Sakura-re hid in the absolute corner of the map, crouching down and creating a plant in front of herself with Dormant Life and Lifestream to take cover behind.
Süne created a Wall in front of the plant Sakura-re was hiding behind, hoping that Anastasia would use her Counterspell upon the Wall to prevent it from deflecting the Flare Core and Lesser Fireball, hopefully only counting as two instances of damage. Then, Süne would launch his own Lesser Fireball into the path of Anastasia's, detonating them both, hopefully, in range to catch Tibearius that was chasing Sakura-re. He thankfully got to aim at a downward angle, so if Lesser Fireballs didn't interact with each other, his still had a chance of hurting Tibearius with it's absurdly vast detonation radius.
Süne didn't feel that the fight would last long enough for him to get another charged Searsinging spell off, so he began casting another Blizzard, to fill up everything but the corner Sakura-re was hiding in, in regards to that corner of the arena, to force Tibearius to stop approaching, or take some probably inconsequential ice damage.
"Incandescence, Collapse orbs, Fall Back!" Süne ordered. And a few things happened at once.
While Süne misjudged Tibearius' landing for aiming his blizzard, fortunately for him, he did so by less than the radius of the blizzard. As Tibearius was staying stationary and launching attacks from 5 feet away from where Süne had aimed the 8 foot radius blizzard, it would be caught in the blizzard and start taking some very minor damage, given its resistance.
The Echo of Rend would stop short before hitting Sakura-re. She had been moving directly to Süne's right, dodging to avoid Tibearius' landing which Süne assumed would be directly on top of her, and feared might have a vast radius, and also the blizzard Süne had been intending to cast there. Süne's blizzard was 8 feet in radius, and Sakura-re aimed to get at least a foot clear of that, which given Tibearius had stopped 5 feet of her initial location, gave the current distance between them to be slightly more than the 10 foot range of Echo of Rend. And this was assuming she stood still during the travel time, which she did not.
Meanwhile Sakura-re activated Incandesence, and began moving her Orbs at Tibearius. Sakura-re only had to move her LoI that was closest to her a single foot before it would start effecting Tibearius with its damage, which hopefully be easy to do with a blizzard currently sitting on top of Tibearius, and it would immediately interrupt channeled abilities, given it's 6 foot range for that. From behind Tibearius, Sakura-re recalled her other LoI to catch Tibearius if he backed away from the light moving towards him from within the blizzard.
Süne fired off a Frozen Sphere at Tibearius, cheating a little bit to the side Sakura-re was facing, but still aiming for a direct contact. With the current distance between them, the attack would land in just under a second, with a blizzard obscuring the launch from Tibearius' perspective. He continued charging whatever Searsinging spell he was charging.
And lastly for the group of things that happened simultaneously, Sakura-re started moving toward's Süne's edge of the arena wall instead of of the edge to Süne's right, so that if Tibearius did happen to want to give chase, he would either have a longer path through the blizzard, or he'd need to skirt its edge for longer. Süne didn't want Sakura to lose one of her potential dodging directions in going to the right, so currently she stayed at 6 feet away from that border of the arena.
Süne breath caught in his chest for a moment as Anastasia began summoning her fireball, which was in fact, Tibearius' method of summoning. For a moment he though she was just going to start blasting Sakura-re with Pyromancy before summoning any Natrelmon. But, fortunately for the pair, his wits returned to him a moment later as he remembered Tibearius' unusual nature.
"Orbs! One for you, one for her." Süne ordered, his intent being to move one of the Light of Ielle's to the other side of the field to attack, while keeping one on Sakura-re to power up Sakura-re's lifecharges. But then, rather unexpectedly to Süne, Tibearius was launched at Sakura-re.
"Dodge, Eclipse, Run!" Süne ordered Sakura-re, who belying her treelike appearance, was fortunately not as slow as trees generally were, and only had to get a few feet away. Tibearius was, unfortunately for him, being summoned directly on top of a Light of Ielle activating Total Eclipse, the most damaging light type move Sakura-Re yet knew, though she could only summon its power once per battle. While she would not shut down his moves, due to only one Light being present, hopefully it would deal damage. As soon as it completed activating Eclipse, it prepared to move again.
Meanwhile, Süne himself cast a blizzard directly upon the Tibearius' location, which would hopefully deal a little chip damage, while charging up a single Pyromancy spell himself.