It wasn’t long before William was a big brother. The little fellow was named Stefan, and it was the first time William had a brother… that he cared about. As Yu Hui’Lam he’d had some half-brothers, but didn’t really have interest in even remembering their names. In this case, William had no reason to be biased against Stefan, so he found himself eagerly waiting for a time when his brother could call his name. That name would be Josef… but he was already used to that, no matter what he thought of himself.
When he was eight years old, William figured it was about time to bring up his desire to go study magic at the academy. He found both his parents and carefully breached the topic. “Mother, father, I was thinking about trying to learn real magic, at the academy in Ducson.” There were several branches, with Ducson being the closest.
His father showed a rather pained expression. “Josef… I don’t want to hold you back from your dreams, but you know we need you here to help out with the farm.”
William nodded. “I know… but in a dozen years, Stefan will be old enough to help.”
“Well, that’s true.” Barend’s expression softened slightly. His older son was very smart, and thought ahead. That was part of the reason why he didn’t want to disappoint him. “The problem is… even with that being the case, we can’t afford to pay for you to attend.” Barend spoke hesitantly, not wanting to see his son’s look of disappointment.
William nodded again. “I also know that.” Though his life this time was not lacking in food or other resources, he knew that his parents couldn’t afford many things not related to improving the farm. Any extra money was used for expanding… or saved in case of a bad year of crops or accidents with the animals. “I can make some money for myself.” William didn’t know how he would make money yet… but he had some ideas.
His parents looked at each other, before his mother spoke. “Alright. A dozen years is a long time off yet. We don’t want to stop you, if you really want to go. You can think about whether that’s what you really want and be certain by then.”
William had thought about what he really wanted. Much more than they thought he’d had time for. It was just that what he really wanted had previously been unobtainable. Now, he had the chance, and he was going to take it. Going to the academy was just the easiest way to accomplish his goal. As for waiting a dozen years… well, it still felt rather long, but William considered that he could live for a very long time, so it wouldn’t be a problem. He had heard that gevai could indeed die of old age… but nobody had made it clear what exactly caused it, and they certainly didn’t all become old after a certain amount of time like humans.
William couldn’t wait for when he was old enough to go to the city on his own. Never mind that he was perfectly capable of managing himself, but his parents weren’t entirely certain. Though he was responsible, a trip to city of Caister took the whole day. If it were closer, William imagined he would have been allowed to visit on his own already. As it was, he had to wait until the end of the month for the regular trip.
Inside the city, William was allowed more autonomy. As long as he promised to meet his parents at the gates at the right time, as well as stayed on the main roads, they trusted him to be safe on his own. William had no problem with those promises. Though he was much stronger than a human child of about his age, that didn’t mean he was stronger than other gevai… especially those who were older. Though he could likely win any scuffle he got into using magic… there was no reason to invite trouble. Everywhere William wanted to go would be in the better parts of the city.
As William Stevenson, he had learned about various kinds of mana reactive materials. That meant he could look at various metals and gems, among other things, and differentiate them, for the most part. Closer examination was often required for more detail, but that had been the same for his peers. While in their case they concentrated to view how the mana flowed, William had used other details such as density and color to achieve similar results. As a demon- gevai- it was rather easier. The same physical details were still true, but now he could see mana. More importantly, unlike a human, he didn’t have to concentrate to see mana, but instead it was more of a natural state. It still took some learning to get useful information from what mana was doing… but anything that had particularly different concentrations of mana near it told you something.
William was looking for some of these mana reactive materials. Although that was what he wanted them for, they had other purposes as well. Though gevai could all use magic, to some extent, technically all humans could engage in body training or ki cultivation. Even so, most humans weren’t knights or martial artists. Similarly, among the gevai, most of them weren’t wizards. Still, it wasn’t too hard to learn a few “spells” helpful to a particular profession, so many people did. Beyond that required a larger investment of time than most were willing to devote.
William had noticed that, regardless of the fact that everyone could use magic, the streets weren’t overflowing with magical items. William wasn’t thinking of magical staves, armor, or weapons… but more practical things. In Eclea, any affluent shop had at least one or two magical light fixtures, among other things. Here, he hadn’t noticed anything like that, so he was wondering if that could be remedied. Though he’d never had the chance to make a magical items himself, he knew the theories behind it. For something simple, he thought he could, now that he could actually direct mana as necessary to make things work. If not… well, he could learn from failure.