The most disappointing thing about flying was the clouds, and it wasn’t even close. Clouds always looked so light and fluffy, like giant pillows in the sky, and through her life, Mizuki had often lay on the grass looking up at them, wondering what it would be like to land on one of them. She had pictured them as being springy and soft, pushing gently back against her.

The annoying thing, the thing that no one had told her, was that clouds were really just batches of fog that floated high up in the air. If you dove down into a cloud, rather than landing in a mountain of feathers, you would just shoot right through, getting cold and wet in the process. It wasn’t even an interesting kind of wet, like diving into a lake or submerging yourself in a tub, it was just a dampness that kept building until you were soaked.

What was tough about the disappointment of clouds was that no one seemed to care about this deep and personal betrayal. Mizuki had always liked clouds, and it turned out that they were just wet mist, and no one else seemed to think that this was as much of a bummer as she thought it was.

Still, she loved flying. The helmet was like a gift just for her, and she used it whenever she could, including while they were in Plenarch. She wore it while going about her day to day, since it was faster than even a dead sprint — or her dead sprint, anyway — and she loved the feeling of leaving a store and then launching herself into the air at maximum speed. It was a strain on her body, and the wind tried to rip at her clothes, but it was so fun, and sometimes she could see people below her looking up in surprise.

She’d had the helmet for long enough that she’d made some changes to her wardrobe to accommodate it, mostly so that she wouldn’t lose clothes in the air, wouldn’t flash anyone, and wouldn’t lose her bag or any of the things in it. She was secure in her setup, and could happily take off into the sky once she’d gone through all the things that needed to be done before the flight. The dramatic exit from a store was a regular occurrence and it hadn’t gotten old yet.

Plenarch from the sky was amazing, with the stark blue of the lagoon, the darker blue of the ocean beyond, and the city below. Ships passed, mostly for fishing, though a few for long distance travel or shipping. The freight ships tended to be pretty small, with entad storage on board to safely handle whatever was being transported: their garden stone had a comparatively terrible entry method and restrictions on its contents, but the size was pretty good. There were thousands of entads like it out there, almost all of them in use by cartiers or freight ships or through more esoteric transport. Far in the distance, poking up from the water, was one of the moving mountains of the dwodo, its path through the ocean taking it within view of Plenarch. She hadn’t noticed it on the way in, but they moved so slowly that it must have been there the day before.

Mizuki carefully extracted a sandwich from her bag and unwrapped it from the paper, then began eating it while she watched the ships going by on the water and the people walking past far beneath her feet. When looking far out at the water, she could almost delude herself into thinking that she could see the shore of Kiromo, but it was another hundred and fifty miles to the west at the narrowest point between continents, and she was pretty sure that Plenarch wasn’t at the narrowest point. Still, some of the ships below were probably headed that way, sending goods the slow way.

She was mildly surprised when a woman came flying up from the ground. She had a vest with wings attached to it, giant bird’s wings with pure white feathers. The wingspan was enormous, dwarfing her, nearly twenty feet across, and she moved slowly as she made her way to Mizuki.

“Hey!” she called as she approached. The wings were oddly noiseless, and Mizuki wondered whether that was because of some magic on them or because huge wings just weren’t as loud as she thought they’d be.

“Hello yourself!” said Mizuki. “Nice day for it!”

“You can’t be up here!” the woman called. She finally got into position, and whatever magic was happening with the wings, she was holding in position by beating them rapidly. Mizuki was glad that it wasn’t too loud.

“Why not?” asked Mizuki. She hung in the air some fifteen feet away from where the woman had ended up.

“It’s dangerous,” the woman said. “You have to come down. Follow me.”

“I’m fine,” said Mizuki. “I’ve used this helmet a lot.”

“There have been some dragon sightings lately,” said the woman. “It’s not safe to be up here, even less safe than using an entad to go above street level normally is, so you’ve had your fun, but it’s time to get down.”

“Um,” said Mizuki. “Are you part of the city guard or something?”

“I am, yes,” said the woman. She reached into her pants pocket and pulled out a gleaming tin and copper badge with a little arch on it, among other embellishments. “Marli Barker, of the City Guard of Plenarch.”

“So there’s some law about me being up here?” asked Mizuki. She very pointedly did not give her name, and wouldn’t give it unless asked.

“It’s dangerous for you to be up here,” the woman replied. “But no, there’s no law about it, not yet.”

Mizuki had dealt with this sort of thing before. She’d been chased off all kinds of places in Pucklechurch when she was hunting for new and interesting magic, and sometimes she understood, because she was on private property, and other times she didn’t, because it was a public space. Eventually she’d realized that sometimes when people said ‘you have to go’ what they really meant was ‘I want you to go’, and if you said ‘I have to go, or what happens?’ the answer was that they would keep making a fuss about it but didn’t actually have the authority to move you.

Normally Mizuki wouldn’t have made a fuss about things, but she wasn’t doing anything, she was just having a little lunch a few thousand feet above the ground. That she was getting the boot for this seemed utterly absurd to her.

“If it’s not against the law, I’m staying up here until I’m done with my sandwich,” said Mizuki. “And if there’s a dragon flying around, I want to see it.”

“If you fall, who has to patch you up or clean your body off the pavement?” The wings were still beating rapidly, but the woman had her arms folded across her chest.

“I don’t want to make this into a thing,” said Mizuki, though she kind of did. “I’m just up here, minding my own business, and clearly I wouldn’t be having lunch in the sky if I was risking death. So if it’s not against the law, then I guess I’ll just say thanks for thinking of me and telling me to be on the lookout for a cool dragon.”

The woman frowned. “Please come down?”

Mizuki laughed. “Well, I can’t say no if you’re polite about it.” She wrapped her sandwich back up and put it gently in her bag, then winked at the woman and dropped.

The helmet was fast, but letting gravity work was approximately a billion times faster. The acceleration was insane, the whipping of wind unparalleled, and this was exactly why she had an outfit for flying, because it would have been easy to lose a shoe, or to have a dress pushed up to her armpits. Instead, everything fluttered around her, and she screamed with the thrill of it, glancing briefly at the winged woman who was rapidly becoming just as tiny as the people down below had been.

Slowing down took some doing, and Mizuki tried to time it just right so that it would look cool, as if she was an acrobat making a perfect stick. Instead, she hit the ground a bit too hard, and the shock went straight up her legs to her spine, which stung hard but didn’t seem like it had caused any real damage. Still, she wasn’t able to stride away like she’d planned on doing, and the woman with the wings landed next to her, far more gracefully, not long after.

“So, dragons huh?” asked Mizuki.

“You’re not from around here?” the woman asked.

“I’m from four hours east by flying helmet,” said Mizuki. “If you consider that ‘around here’.”

“I don’t,” the woman replied. “And yes, there have been a few reports of a dragon, a quite large one, especially in the last few months. You should plan to stay on the ground while you’re here. A dragon could snatch you out of the sky.”

“Seems really unlikely,” said Mizuki. “Dragons don’t like people.”

“We’ve had a rash of missing persons,” the woman said. “We think it’s related.”

“What do you mean missing persons?” asked Mizuki. “People just … vanishing?”

“Hard to say, and not something we’re discussing with the public,” the woman replied. “But it’s not out of line with what we know about dragons. Please don’t tempt fate by going up in the air again.”

“We’re leaving tomorrow,” said Mizuki. “I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. And I have always wanted to see a dragon.”

“They’re terrifying,” the guard replied. “We’ve tried to track it — we think it’s the same one across multiple sightings — but to no avail. I’m very serious that putting yourself up in the air makes you significantly at risk.”

Mizuki shrugged. “Thanks for the advice, I guess, I’ll find somewhere else to eat my sandwich.”

She left without saying goodbye, still faintly annoyed by the whole thing. There was something that Alfric often alluded to, which was that the world was too ordered and safe, and she had never realized just how right he was. Dragon or not, a person should be able to fly through the air like a bird without getting called down. Mizuki guessed that there had been some busybody who complained, which was exactly the sort of thing that might have happened in Pucklechurch, but at least the complaints would have had to wait until she was on the ground.

While the others were out trying to make a deal for selling a bunch of the theater stuff, Mizuki was enjoying Plenarch. They had a fish market there, and she’d spent some time in it, looking at the bounty on offer. Normally if she wanted fish, it would be either small river fish or something from Lake Gornorian to the east, but the ocean was a different beast, absolutely filled with shrimp, eels, sea snakes, crabs, clams, and all sorts of other things. This was the basis for much of Kiromon cooking, and a part of Mizuki wanted to take it all to a kitchen and whip something up, but things were always harder to make the first time, and she wasn’t even sure that Penelope’s house had a proper kitchen, let alone whether it was open for strangers to cook in.

After the market, she found herself a few blocks away from a large domed building that Kell had talked about often. It was Ræðmcræfto, better known as Rayedhcraft, or The Rayedhcraft School, one of the largest schools for wizards in the region. The dome was a teal blue, the tiles that coated it visible by the way each reflected light in a slightly different way. The dome was topped with a spire which pointed straight up to the sky, one of the tallest things in the whole city. The actual Rayedhcraft was a large campus that spread across several buildings, but the dome was their main auditorium, used for assemblies and sometimes as a wide open place for sparring and training.

She made her way to it, feeling a bit nervous.

The way Kell had put it, wizardry was actually pretty easy once you got a handle on it. The biggest thing was drawing wizardly energy from a stone and then shaping it, and that took six months of really monotonous work, or a lot more if you didn’t have the ‘aptitude’ for it. Then you just worked on three or four things, and one day you’d be able to shoot giant laser beams out of your hand — or more likely out of your staff or necklace.

Mizuki felt like she could do it. She had a better understanding of magic than most people, and didn’t need anything special to see a wizard’s work. Both Kell and Josen seemed to think that being a wizard didn’t get a sorc all that much, though Kell’s way of phrasing it was better. The real benefit was being able to produce custom aetheric disturbance, which could be used as fuel for sorcery, but if there was nothing else in the aether, it was almost always better to configure wizardly stuff for whatever purpose you would do with sorcery. The energy for a sorc came from inefficiencies in the wizardly process, and it was better to just be a better wizard.

If you wanted to go to Rayedhcraft, you submitted an application, paid a fee, and then there was an interview, then maybe more interviews, then eventually you got in. If you did well, you’d be given room and board, encouraged to stay until you were a fully trained wizard who could go out and work. And if you didn’t have the aptitude or the diligence or whatever else, you’d be denied a spot, having soaked a year or more of your life into the pursuit of something you weren’t actually good at.

There was absolutely no way that Mizuki was ever submitting an application, and if she did, she probably wouldn’t be granted an interview, and if she did get an interview, she would probably flub it. She still thought about being a wizard though, and what that might be like. Kell had gently said that she was a bit old to be embarking on a new career anyway, which felt both mean and untrue, though he hadn’t meant it that way. If it took something like six years to become a proper wizard, if you were good and put your nose to the grindstone, then she could be a wizard starting at the age of twenty-eight, and it felt like she’d still have most of her life ahead of her then, though she’d hoped that she’d get married and have some children, and wasn’t sure how attending this school would work out for her.

She ended up in a courtyard of the campus, where tall trees shaded most of the area and short grass gave people a place to lay in the sun. She had taken the helmet off and stuffed it into her bag, but that left relatively little room for her to shed layers into. When not up in the sky, exposed to the winds, it was much warmer. She found a place in the shade, a pretty tree with broad leaves, and sat beneath it, trying to picture what it would be like to be a wizard at Rayedhcraft. Soon she’d get word on how the sale had gone over the party channel, and the flight of fancy would be done with.

It wasn’t too long until a girl sat down next to her. “You don’t mind, do you?” she asked.

“Not at all,” said Mizuki.

“This is the best tree in the place,” the girl said. “In my opinion.” She reached into her bag and began pulling out bits and pieces of magical equipment, including a handful of rings and a small pair of glasses. Once that had all been spread out on the grass, the last thing to come out of the bag was a small metal pot which had been latched shut, which the girl set carefully to one side. “Just getting some practice in while I eat.”

Mizuki watched. She was burning with questions, especially since her magical education with Kell seemed to be moving at a glacial pace. At Rayedhcraft they were big on fundamentals, making sure that at every step a wizard had proper constructions and was in full control of everything before the next step could be added on. There were safety reasons for doing this, but Mizuki felt the need to rush ahead and ask about more exotic things. What she really wanted was to chase some elusive aetheric moods, particularly the one that would allow her to create some lasting spells with sorcery, but Kell wasn’t entirely sure what would cause that, and it was slow and labor-intensive for him to switch his configurations around.

“Sorry, I’m a novice,” said Mizuki. “Why rings?”

“Oh,” said the girl. “Well, it’s for a study I’m taking with Hollingsworth, with a focus on interoperation of independent anchors. I can show you really quick, if you’d like?” She handed the glasses over to Mizuki, who put them on. It did help to show the magic, but she didn’t really need them. “Okay,” she said, picking up a ring. “This is just a super simple converter with an attached well, which isn’t filled at the moment, so it’s completely safe. The converter is light, green spectrum, pretty weak with a strong limiter, again for safety. But if you see at the rim of the anchor, there’s a bracket? That links up with a different bracket in each of the other rings, which in theory form a failsafe conduit between them, allowing mana flow, with mental valves. So in theory, the result should be that no matter which order the rings go on, I should be able to use all the mana from each of the wells for expression from each of the anchors.”

Mizuki frowned. “But … why?” She hadn’t understood everything, but she still thought she should have been able to see the point of it. “What’s the practical application?”

“Oh, no, it’s just principle work,” said the girl. “And it’s not working right now, because something is wrong in how the brackets latch, or maybe how the conduits line up, or … any thoughts?”

“No,” said Mizuki, shaking her head. It was well past the point where she should have said that she wasn’t a wizard, but she handed the glasses back and said nothing about it. She looked at the latched tin, which contained the lunch. “What’s that?”

“Just lunch from the commissary,” the girl replied. She undid the latch at the side and it suddenly became clear that it was a little tower of dishes, three of them in total. The bottom one was rice, the middle one was meat, and the last was roasted vegetables. A small fork and spoon were pulled from a clip under the lid.

Mizuki was immediately in love with this method of lunch on the go. She wanted to ask how a person went about buying one of these little stacks of dishes, but didn’t want to reveal ignorance, just in case this was something that any student would have known. This was exactly the sort of thing that got a person into trouble when there was some misunderstanding that needed to be cleared up early and wasn’t, like someone calling you by the wrong name and then you getting to be friends while they remained wrong about the most basic fact of you.

“Anyway, the practical application, once you’ve got the technique down, is mostly power transfer, nothing all that flashy,” said the girl. “It’s a neat way to save on either mana, time, or both. And it’s not quite foundational, but if you want to talk about artisanal applications, it’s considered necessary.” She squinted at Mizuki. “You’re a bit new?”

“Uh,” said Mizuki. “Prospective student.”

“Ah,” said the girl. Immediately the mood grew awkward.

“I should get going,” said Mizuki. She hurriedly put on her helmet. Maybe she could just fly away and then never come back.

“Wait, you were looking at the rings though?” asked the girl. “The glasses are only an enhancement. You were just pretending to see?”

“I’m a sorcerer,” said Mizuki. “I can see all of it, just, uh, haven’t had any education yet.”

“Wow,” said the girl. She put her rings away and stood up. “That’s — you’re going to be a student here?”

“I don’t know,” said Mizuki. “We’ll see.”

“There’s a professor who studies sorcerers,” said the girl. “He might be interested in helping your application go through, if you’re waiting on it.”

“Oh,” said Mizuki. “Well that’s — I was going to just fly off.”

“I’m not sure it’s a good idea for a sorcerer to be around so much magic,” said the girl. “But — if you were interested, could I show you to his office?”

Mizuki hesitated. “Sure.”

“My name is Ingrid,” said the girl, holding out her hand.

“Mizuki,” replied Mizuki. Their handshake was weak and slightly damp, mostly because Mizuki was nervous.

“Here, this way,” said the girl.

Mizuki followed, though she kept her helmet on, just in case she needed to make a quick escape. She wasn’t expecting that she’d be led to an execution, but you never did know, and wizards had once been mortal enemies of the sorcerers. It wasn’t that way now, but the way Ingrid had put away her bits of magic definitely felt defensive.

“Sorry about misleading you,” said Mizuki. She glanced back at the tree as they went into a tunnel through a building. Ingrid had left her meal there.

“It’s fine, I just assumed,” said Ingrid. “Besides, there’s something absolutely wonderful about someone else having made a social mistake, no offense. I get to be magnanimous and wave it off as though it was nothing, and if I make a mistake, then it’s nothing for me to worry about. It’s very freeing, don’t you think, to be able to drop any formality?”

“Um, sure,” said Mizuki.

“Right through here,” said Ingrid. She held a door open, and again, Mizuki felt like there was something threatening about that, because it meant that once she was through, there would be someone at her back. She decided that this was just paranoia though, and moved through.

The office was practically a library, with bookshelves covering each wall. A ladder on rollers allowed access to the upper levels that couldn’t be reached from the floor. Light came in through a tall, skinny window behind the desk, but also from ectad lighting studded like jewels around the place. Sitting at the desk was a ridiculously tall man with a long beard and traditional wizard robes with the sleeves tied back to keep them out of his way.

“Professor? This is Mizuki, she’s a sorcerer, she’s a prospective student, I thought you might want to speak with her.” Ingrid smiled in a forced way.

“Oh?” asked the man, finally looking up from a letter he was penning. He took his hand from the quill and it kept going of its own volition, an entad of some kind. She wondered how it worked, but tried her best to pay attention to the professor.

“Mizuki, this is Professor Arturo, Professor, this is Mizuki — um.” She paused.

“Yono,” said Mizuki. She held out a hand to the professor, and he took it as though afraid of it.

“Fascinating,” he said. He spared only a brief glance toward Ingrid. “You came for the bounty?”

“Er, yes,” said Ingrid. She cast Mizuki an apologetic smile. The professor reached down into a drawer of his desk as the quill kept on going and pulled out a small badge, which he looked over for a moment, then tossed toward Ingrid, who made a deft catch and then slipped out of the room with a thanks that was so swift and soft that it lingered in the air.

“A bounty?” asked Mizuki.

“If Ingrid didn’t explain it, I have a standing arrangement with the students,” said the professor. “If someone brings me a sorcerer, they can eat from the commissary using my badge for a month.” He sighed. “But I see that she didn’t explain much. You are interested in enrolling as a student here?”

“Um,” said Mizuki. “Well, uh, I have a friend who’s a wizard, and he’s been talking about wizardry, and — there’s some stuff about aptitude so it might be that I don’t have that, I guess, and I wouldn’t stay at the school if I wasn’t able to make the basic cup thing.” She swallowed. “I thought that this place covered room and board? Why does anyone need your badge?”

He looked at her. “That’s your question?”

“Yeah, I guess,” said Mizuki. “I kind of don’t know what I’m doing here.”

“There’s food at the commissary,” said the professor. Mizuki tried to drill his name into her head so she wouldn’t forget it later, Arturo, no first name given. “But it’s all made in bulk, with the dishes picked out by our cooks. There are other, better options for someone with a badge.”

“And you can just hand it out?” asked Mizuki.

“Professors are given a wide allowance here,” said Arturo. “For example, I can offer you admittance to this institution right now.”

“What?” asked Mizuki. She was startled by that. “I mean — are you saying that you could, or that you are?”

“I am,” said Arturo. “Obviously you can take as much time as you’d like to think about it.”

“But … why?” asked Mizuki. “I mean, normally there’s an enrollment process or something, right?”

“I have an interest in sorcery,” he replied. “I’ve had a few sorcerers enter the school on my request, but none that have stayed in the long term. At the start of every semester, I tell my students that I’ll offer a bounty for whoever brings the next sorcerer to me, and it appears that young Ingrid has taken it, whether you join up or not. If you’ve no interest in joining the school as a student, I could compensate you for your time as we go through a series of interviews and tests.”

“Um,” said Mizuki. “Can I think about that too?”

“Of course,” he nodded. “I do have to warn that the compensation will be rather nominal, no more than you’d likely get paid for a few days of work.”

“Don’t you have, um, local sorcs?” asked Mizuki.

“Are you not local?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No,” said Mizuki. “I’m from out in Pucklechurch.”

“I’m afraid I don't know where that is,” he replied.

“Two hexes east of Liberfell,” she said. He still gave no sign of recognition. “Just west of Lake Gornorian?”

“Ah,” he said. “And you’re here as a prospective student?”

“No,” said Mizuki. “I mean, yes, I did come here to check it out, I have a friend that’s a wizard and he’s been talking it up, but we came to Plenarch to sell some stuff. I’m a dungeoneer.”

“Some people work other jobs while they attend the school, though we don’t prefer it,” said Arturo, frowning slightly. “But if you’re so far away, it would be a bit of a change for you.”

“Yes,” Mizuki nodded. “I was just looking into it. Kell seemed to think that if I had some aptitude, it might be worth it, especially since a sorc doesn’t actually end up doing a lot.”

“Kell?” asked Arturo, raising an eyebrow. “Your wizard friend? Not Kell Westing, surely?”

“You know him?” asked Mizuki.

“He made a name for himself here, a few years back, though he was never a student of mine,” said Arturo. “How did you know him?”

“He was a childhood friend,” said Mizuki. “Now back in Pucklechurch.” She immediately felt a rush of embarrassment.

“He did speak with me a few times,” said Arturo. “He’d asked me a number of questions I didn’t know the answers to, and I went digging into what books I could find, only to be dissatisfied with the depth of coverage. I took a greater interest in sorcery after that, seeing that our understanding was so underdeveloped. Odd, that he’s somewhere so … small.”

“But you never answered my question about local sorcs,” said Mizuki. She was trying to divert from what felt like an insult to Pucklechurch, though it was true that it was quite small when compared to Plenarch. “Have you done something to scare off the locals?”

“One of the outstanding mysteries of sorcery is how sorcerers are formed,” he replied. “We believe potentiality comes from bloodline, but actuality comes from something else. You find sorcerers more in rural areas, less in the cities. Plenarch has only three, and yes, I’ve spoken to them. I’m on good terms with them, but they have no interest in the sort of long-term collaboration I’ve been looking for.”

“Well, I’ll think about it,” said Mizuki. “With our current entads, it’s a four hour flight.”

“There have been a few dragon sightings,” said Arturo. “I’d be careful about flying through the air.”

Mizuki resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “When do you want to know whether or not I’ll be a student here?” asked Mizuki.

“There’s no rush,” he replied. “Classes are in full swing, and it would be better for you to not have to play catch up or sit around too much, though the first six months of magical education do tend to be the same tedious practice over and over again.”

“Making a cup for mana,” said Mizuki with a nod. “Kell told me.”

“Six months if you have the aptitude, mind you,” said Arturo. “It would be more if you had no aptitude, and normally we release those students that take too much longer, though I’d make an exception if I could have a sorcerer attending this school and collaborating with the grand pursuit of knowledge.”

“You know, we were mortal enemies,” said Mizuki. “Wizards and sorcerers? Would that … be a problem?”

“I would think not,” replied Arturo. “It’s somewhat common these days for a wizard to not know his own history, or to not feel any particular kinship for the wizards of old. If it becomes a problem, we would go to the headmaster for resolution, but that’s far down the road, if you decide you’re serious about wizardry. And it would go without saying that you’d be prohibited from using wizardly creations as fuel for your own magic.”

“Alright,” said Mizuki. She wouldn’t do that, and resented the implication that she just bumbled around destroying things willy nilly. “Well, look, I didn’t mean to stay here for so long, I was just passing through. But I’ll think about what you said, and if it’s something that I want to do — Kell said that if I got a mana stone, I could do the practice on my own? To make the cup?”

“Possible,” said Arturo with a pronounced frown. “But there are other things you’ll learn while you work your way towards that first step in wizardry, and we strongly prefer oversight. Beyond that, our techniques have been honed with time, and you’d have help here. Better not to embark on your own, if you can help it.”

“Alright,” shrugged Mizuki. She hesitated. She’d been lying when she’d said she had other places to go. “I can answer some questions now, if you’d like.”

It took about an hour to get the preliminaries out of the way. There were mostly simple questions about when Mizuki could first remember doing magic and what it felt like for her, along with some family history, which Mizuki was happy to give. In a way, this was an ideal conversation, where someone was intensely interested in her life, and while the professor seemed maybe a little irritated by some of the answers she gave, especially by the things she didn’t know, they went along pretty smoothly.

They were interrupted by a distant ringing of bells, and the professor put down his quill with a sigh. “I have a class starting soon, but thank you for what we’ve been able to get done.” He reached into his large desk and quickly counted out rings, then slid them across to her. “Actually, I’m going to be late. You can see yourself out, it was a pleasure to meet you, and let me know when you can do this again, ideally with experiments.”

He got up and left in a hurry, apparently having overstayed, and Mizuki picked up the rings, adding them to her pouch. It was two hundred rings, all told, for an hour of talking about herself, which was more than she’d ever made from sorcery itself. She sat there for a little bit, looking around, then left and shot up into the air once she was outside.

Mizuki wasn’t sure how serious she’d been about becoming a wizard, but it sure was a shock to come to the wizard college and be instantly handed an offer for enrollment with very few strings attached. She was left questioning how serious she’d actually been about being a wizard, and how much it had just been a stupid flight of fancy that she’d been induldging. It was tempting to take the offer, to embark on some new adventure … but she had a house filled with friends, and a sort of career she was already working on. To use the professor’s words, the potentiality of becoming a wizard had become an actuality, something so close it could be touched, and needed to be considered.

She flew low to the ground, not wanting the attention of the city police again, and went to go find the others. She wasn’t sure how they would take it.


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Alexander Wales


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TenThousandSuns ago

That wizard was extremely lucky. Sure she sold out her ancient enemy/new friend. But it was for better food, which Mizuki will surely understand.

Nettles ago

Mizuki discovers the bento box <3 I felt much the same way!

I would absolutely read an alternate-reality story of "Mizuki Goes to Magic School".

    TwoChaptersAndADream ago

    Isn't it an indian stacked lunch box ("tiffin" lunch box?), given that its round, metal and three-tiered? They also have rice, and i usually think of bentos as being rectangles rather than round.

    Also, don't you hate it when a vague dream/skill you've "been meaning to learn" hits reality and you have to admit you like the idea of it better than actually doing it?

      Nettles ago

      Ah I guess it is, that's awesome too!

      Acube ago

      I'm pretty sure tiffin just means lunch box so "'tiffin' lunch box" is just 'lunch box lunch box'

      abn ago

      Yeah, so it's doing some other job than being translated literally, like denoting which cultural style of lunch box it is. Someone hearing "tiffin box" would have zero clue what you're talking about if they haven't been exposed to it before. Bento has the benefit of twee youtube videos making cute cats out of lunch meat to hang off of, which is why it gets away with being unspecific.

Jopling ago

Two things of note in this chapter, beyond the obvious events themselves:

  1. Mizuki followed a flight of fancy (visit wizard academy) while on a fanciful flight (flight hat)
  2. Mizuki mentioned freshwater fish (from river and lakes), and Kimono staple sea foods such as shrimp, snakes, eels, molluscs and "all sorts of other things", but not fish.

I would have suspected that she'd mention saltwater fishes and skimped on the other sea foods instead. This urges me to suspect saltwater fishes aren't a thing in TUTBAD'verse. It is admittedly only weak evidence, but for now it is there.

zoos ago

Edit suggestions:

She was left questioning how serious she’d actually been about being a wizard, and how much it had just been a stupid flight of fancy that she’d been induldging.

Joshtech ago

Thanks for the Chapter!

I wonder if there was a dragon around that saw Mizuki, sensed/smelled multiple dragons on her, and decided to leave her alone.

psenior ago

Thank you for the chapter

Abookbutler ago

I have a friend who I really see in Mizuki. Like if someone tells her that she should do something, it makes her not want to, even if she was already planning on doing it. I just wish she was into fantasy so I could introduce her to this book!

Fred ago

Great chapter.

… any thoughts?”

“No,” said Mizuki

Story of your life, eh ‘Zuki?

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