1-2: Light Magic Cultivation
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I close my eyes. Darkness. I can’t see anything. I try to visualize my magic centre. Still darkness. Lights slowly fade into my view. There are white lights everywhere. In the centre of my view there the big white one. That’s my magic core.

I concentrate on gathering the small white lights around the big light. Slowly, the lights move one after another. I have to check each one. If I ever find one in another colour, I need to sort it out. If I make a mistake and one of another colour my core might collapse and I have to start building it from scratch. If I have enough of the same colour I can make a secondary core. It doesn’t happen that often you find one of another colour, so you have to be careful about it — every single time you cultivate.

Aunty Martha says cultivation is something only the people of Islesbury do. People do eventually reach their peak without it. But cultivation helps you reach it faster. Reaching it faster means having more time to get used to magic. Especially if you can reach it before coming of age. That’s why we’ve started our magic lessons at age 7.

My mind is wandering. I need to concentrate on the cultivation!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, X (ten), E (eleven), 10 (one dozen), 11 (do-​one), 12 (do-​two), 13 (do-​three), 14 (do-​four), 15 (do-​five), 16 (do-​six), 17 (do-​seven), 18 (do-​eight)… 19 (do-​nine), 1X (do-​deca), 1E (do-el)… 20 (two dozen).

This… keeps getting harder. What can I do? Should I ask Aunty Martha? No, she’d tell me to discover a way myself. Can I fuse two small lights to a temporary core and fuse that centre into my core? Let’s try. Yes, that works. So let’s fuse cores made from a dozen of lights into my core!

10 (one dozen)… 20 (two dozen)… 30 (three dozen)… 40 (four dozen)… 50 (five dozen)… 60 (six dozen)… 70 (seven dozen)… 80 (eight dozen)… 90 (nine dozen)… 100 (one gross).

This is easier than I thought. Let’s continue.

110 (one gross and a dozen)… 120 (one gross and two dozen)… 130 (one gross and three dozen)… 140 (one gross and four dozen)… 150 (one gross and five dozen)… 160 (one gross and six dozen)… 170 (one gross and seven dozen)… 180 (one gross and eight dozen)… 190 (one gross and nine dozen)… 200 (two gross).

I don’t think I can add in temporary cores of 100 (one gross) yet… My concentration is fading. I disconnect from my magic centre and open my eyes. I can see my brother. He’s turning off light balls. So he finally gave up on Light Magic!

The magic he uses… it doesn’t feel familiar to me at all. Usually, I can tell by the feeling I get from the people using magic. So it must be magic the other villagers don’t use? So it’s either Space Magic or Dark Magic. He’s turning off the light orbs. So it’s probably Dark Magic.

“Congratulations on finding your magic affinity, little bro!”, I say.

“You knew, didn’t you, big brother?”, Ethan grumbles.

“No, I didn’t. I’m just guessing. Is it Dark Magic?”

“Yes, I swear, sometimes I’m certain you’re just faking to be guessing.”

“That’s just your imagination!” We both laugh. “I’m really glad you’ve made strides with your lessons. You’ll catch up in no time.”

CC-BY 4.0 Thai “0xReki” Chung