Light Seekers #3 - Licht

I can use magic, it’s the same magic my father had. I never met him, at least I can’t remember ever meeting him. My mother said he was a soldier who died due to injuries fighting in a battle; he barely made it home before dying. The only thing he left me was his mask, it isn’t like he had much. I never wore the mask. It’ll increase my magic ability, but I always hated my magic. Not because it reminded me of some man that I barely know, but because I get sick every time I use it. If I’m going to track down the sorcerers, I’ll need to learn to use it.

I take the key from the string around my neck and open up the battered trunk holding the few items I own. The mask is the most valuable thing, the only valuable thing, buried beneath the rest of my stuff. I pull mask free, it’s heavier than I remember. Each mask is different, the new mask Levi got is a dyed leather with symbols of different colors. My father’s mask, it’s a combination of some kind of metal and maybe glass. The mask comes in two parts. The metal frame that covers my neck, and the back of my head. The black glasslike piece that snaps on the front. I never figured out how to do it consistently, but it’ll let others see my face if I want them to. I used to play with this mask a lot when I was younger, when I thought I might be a real sorcerer and martial artist. After mom died, I had to accept that no matter how much training I did back then, it wouldn’t help me survive. I stopped practicing my punches, kicks and spells. Learning to plant, harvest and prepare crops was much more important. But there are no more crops or harvests, just me and this mask. I place the pieces in a sack and lock the trunk.

I follow the flickering street lights and generator hums as far as I can, to the far end of town. Here, there’s and old abandoned building. Nobody ever goes here except Levi and I when we skip work on occasion. I can practice without any interruptions, just me and the magic. I’m still pretty confident in my fighting skills, they’ve kept me from getting robbed a few times. If I can combine that with magic, I’ll be unstoppable. The problem is the magic.

I take seat cross-legged in the dirt. I assemble the mask without any trouble, but think twice about putting it on. I just sit it in my lap and close my eyes. I take some deep breaths through my nose and breathe out slowly through my mouth. I can feel the magic flow through my body, almost as if it’s all rushing to my head. I always wondered if other people feel the same way when using magic, I’ll ask Levi if he ever figured out how to actually control gravity. I’m getting sidetracked, I’m not afraid, I just know what’ll happen when I open my eyes.

I open my eyes and the darkness fades away within moments, everything is crystal clear. Even in the dirty and dingy building I’m able to see more colors than people have names for. More importantly I’m able to see everything around me, left, right, front back, above, it’s all the same now. The ordeal makes it feels as if my brain is about to jump out of my head but I just fight through it, trying to keep my eyes open as long as I can. If I can’t handle this, I won’t be able to handle the mask. I stretch out my legs and place my hands on the ground preparing to stand. I push myself up and the familiar feeling of bubbling in my stomach begins. I swallow hard trying to the contents of my stomach where they belong. I take a few steps but the view is disorienting. The acidic stomach acid fills my mouth as I close my eyes and vomit trying not to get any on my shoes.

“What are you doing,” Levi asks walking into the building.

“Practicing,” I say as I take a seat away from the vomit. I lay back and close my homes hoping the world stops spinning.

“For what?”

“I’m going to find the sorcerers on Phaethon, try to bring the light back.”

“Wow, I know you didn’t finish school, but you’re an idiot,” he laughs. “There’s no sorcerers up there.”

“How do you know?”

“Because it’s unrealistic.”

“That doesn’t mean impossible.”

“How are you going to get there?”

“Walk.”

“Through the uninhabited lands? The lands filled with bandits and rogue sorcerers?”

“Yeah, I guess so,” I sit up.

“That’s stupid, you’re just setting yourself up to die,” Levi responds coldly.

“I’d rather die out there than here, or in some war.”

“Chasing children’s stories?”

“It’s better than doing nothing.”

We don’t speak, or even look at each other. The two of us rarely fight. We disagree a lot, but I know that his family has kept me fed more than once even if his mother thinks I’m a parasite. I usually defer to whatever he wants, but I’m fighting back now. I’d rather fight for something I believe in than fight for whatever the Elders want.

“There isn’t anything out there,” Levi starts to head for the door.

“You ever been up there?”

“No.”

“You know anyone that has?”

“No.”

“Then how do you know there’s nothing?”

“Because I’m not foolish.”

“I want to go there, try to bring back the sun. At least see if it exits. I’m not asking you to come with me, but at least wish me well. I’m going to set out and try to find something that makes all of our lives better.”

“Good luck, try not to die too soon.”

The sorcerers are there, I don’t have proof but I believe it. I believe in the sun. I’ll bring it back, that’s my goal. I’m not going to die out there, not until the sun is back in the sky. I hope to my feet and stretch before closing my eyes again. I open them, once again it’s as if a different world fills my eyes. The problem is everything below my head, I get nauseous seeing my feet move. That’s the part I need to figure out.

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