Light Seekers #13 – Māmā

Masked Mystery still hasn’t told me his name, or taken off his mask. But, he’s shown me some kindness, that I’m not sure anyone besides Levi has. He bought me knives, a lot of knives. Different kinds, throwing knives, and of course knives for fighting up close. I’ve gotten new clothes, they’re similar to his, but I don’t hate them. They’re comfortable, and functional. I wasn’t a fan of leather pants but they allow for a lot of mobility. While his pants are decorated with lots of chains, my feature pockets and loops for knives, with a similar shirt. I’ve gotten a pair of new sneakers, the first time in my life. They’re comfortable, more comfortable than ever and also stylish. If he’s trying to get me on his side before betraying me, it’s working. Levi didn’t want to dress in black leather like the two of us, he doesn’t even want to leave the town or learn to use a weapon.

It’s too late for him now. We’re packed and waiting inside the tunnel we came through. Mask says they were called subways in the past. We’re supposed to pass two stations on the train, then exit and start climbing a mountain. He promises the train will be faster than just walking towards the mountain with no real direction, which was my plan. I didn’t even bother to argue, because he had a map, and I never did.

Inside the train is more luxury, things I’ve never seen before. Things Levi has never seen before. Where we’re from I consider Levi rich, but there’s so much he could never have afforded or even seen. Part of it is because we’re ‘bumpkins,’ as Mask reminds us. Our town had light for several seasons, but there’s so much stuff we lacked. We had been carrying fuel to light torches. They have these things called flashlights that can feed off batteries charged by your magic energy, and it doesn’t take a lot of energy. It’s amazing. The train is no different. Inside we have our own small room; two benches, a table and window. The train lets out a big roar before it starts to vibrate and the scenery outside our window starts to change.

“We should go over some information about sorcerers on the journey,” Mask says.

“What’s to know,” Levi asks.

“They’re not like normal magic users. If anything, magic users can be broken into four, maybe five levels,” he pulls a small blue notebook from his jacket.

I’ve seen the notebook before, he treasures it. The notebook seems to be filled with different ideas and notes he’s taken. He had notes on every person in our dojo; their strengths and weaknesses. I was only able to keep up with him because according to his notes I’m, ‘hotheaded and unpredictable.’

“I’d really like to look out the window, but this might be important,” I pull down the window cover.

“I’m starting to like you,” Mask says before opening his book. “Level D, these people have magic, but not enough for it to be useful. They can power devices that use magic batteries but beyond that, useless. Level C, these people can really use their magic in different ways. Some of them can use it for fighting, some can use it to make tasks easier.” He points at Levi, “You’re a C. You can use magic to make your life easier, and it has great combat use, but you’re terrible with it. You should practice more.”

“Well, we can’t all dress like psychopaths and pick fights in alleyways,” Levi stares back out the window.

“Me and you, both of us are probably level B,” Mask pauses for a moment. “Yeah, we’re level B. We’ve got plenty of magic to spare, we can use it in combat, we can use it in our daily lives. Your eyes are more useful outside of combat, but my ability to manipulate pain, will turn the tides of battle instantly. But level B also has scholars, people who can’t fight at all but come up with incredible ways to use magic. Éliane is a level B. She can’t fight, but she has a ridiculous amount of magic. She can light the entire city, every day without getting tired.”

I think about Sammy, probably a level B. I didn’t get the idea that he was a fighter at all, but I could feel the magic rolling off him. He also spent a lot of time studying, all of his friends did. They may not be able to win a fight, but if they can give you a lizard’s body they’re probably pretty strong too.

“Level A, those are people with large volumes of magic, rare abilities and great skill. We could probably be Level A one day. But, A level people have the ability to destroy your lives.”

“I’m going to guess S for Sorcerer,” Levi rolls his eyes.

“Yeah, S for Sorcerer. Their power can’t really be measured. They can do the impossible. It’s said that each has their own little world of magic. They can pull you in and it’s almost impossible to fight back. Only a sorcerer could stop a sorcerer.”

“Did you come up with this system on your own,” I ask once he finishes his explanation.

“No, my mother came up with the idea. I just fleshed it out and made observations.”

“What was the fifth level,” Levi interrupts.

“Oh, I guess you can call it level E. People who can’t use magic at all,” Mask responds.

“Where’s your mom now,” I bring us back to the topic.

“She’s,” Mask pauses and sighs. “She’s not able to get out much. I haven’t seen her in a long time, but I miss her every day.”

“Yeah, I miss my mom too.”

“I think everyone misses their mom,” Levi adds.

Now that we’re passing through the darkness the scenery isn’t so nice. Éliane light doesn’t come out this far, but I can still make out the mountains. I know that our destination is closer than ever, and I’m glad to be moving.