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The Legacy of Androva Series

Living Magic (Six Disciplines)

There are six disciplines taught at the Seminary of Magic on Androva: Combat, Remedies, History, Living Magic, Physical and Manipulation. Today's post is about Living Magic.

Old Living Magic was during the time of the treaty, prior to the events of Stealing Magic. New Living Magic is almost an entirely different discipline. I think the best way to illustrate the difference is with a couple of extracts. The first is brand new ☺. It's set one year before the first book. The second is from Seeking Magic, the third book.

Extract One - Before
“Welcome to the foundation course for Living Magic. This is the single most important part of your Seminary training. In order to make the contribution to Androva that your Council requires, it is essential you master these spells.”
Professor Roband surveyed the small class of underage magicians. His eyes narrowed when they reached Jax, who stood next to his friend Darius at the back of the training room. Jax had his arms folded and was staring back at the professor with a bored expression.
 “The course is split into three elements,” Professor Roband continued. “First: portal travel to Terra. Second: the Harvesting Spell. Third: how to transport your living magic back to the Repository in one piece.”
He gave them a brief smile. “Achievement of the monthly harvest quota depends on you. I am sure no-one wishes to come to the attention of the Council for the wrong reasons, hm?”
Jax tilted his head so that his mouth was next to Darius’s ear and whispered, “Different day, same problem.”
“Yes, Jax?” asked the professor. “Do you have something you’d like to share?” He raised his eyebrows.
“No, Professor.” Jax’s green eyes looked back steadily. “I was simply agreeing with you. In my experience, the Council’s attention can be… trying.”
A few muffled sniggers could be heard. The professor subdued these with a scowl. Jax’s father Revus was one of Androva’s twenty elected Council representatives. Jax did his best every day to prove he had no intention of following in his father’s footsteps.
The professor sighed. “Magic-taking is an art, Jax. If you have any pride in your ability as an underage magician, you will master it.”
Jax gave him a glare. He decided right there and then to be the best magic-taker Androva had ever produced. Darius, after a sideways glance at his friend, suppressed a smile. Professor Roband was no fool.
“When you come of age, many things will be revealed,” said the professor. “However, this knowledge comes at a price. You will no longer be permitted to visit Terra and walk amongst its abundance of living magic.” He smiled. “It’s quite something. I advise you to make the most of it while you can.”
He waited to be sure his words had sunk in.
“Alright, then. Get to work. The sooner you can demonstrate your ability to calculate Terran coordinates, the sooner I will allow you to open a portal to a destination of your choosing. Then we will find out if you possess any real skill.”
Jax and Darius opened their maps. “I want us to be partners,” said Jax in a low voice.
“All right,” agreed Darius.
“You help me with the coordinates, and I’ll help you with the harvesting. Deal?”
“Deal,” said Darius. “I’m nervous, though. Aren’t you? Even though we’ll be going to Terra at night, it’s still creepy.”
“Why?” asked Jax.
“The Terrans, of course,” said Darius. “I don’t trust them. Who lives in a world full of magic and doesn’t use any of it?”
Jax huffed a laugh. “They’re probably just stupid. But don’t worry, I’ll protect you.”
He gave Darius a mischievous grin. Darius rolled his eyes.  The two boys studied their maps, determined that their partnership would go down in Androvan history.

Extract Two - After
They started with Living Magic. The Universal Spell of the morning was about irrigation. Extracting water from the air and using it to water plants was something that would only be necessary in an emergency drought situation. But Androva’s reliance on its crop growing to feed everyone meant that most Cultivation Spells were on the Universal list. Any magician would then be able to help if ever there were a crisis.
Professor Lenora created some heavy looking grey clouds that drifted in the space below the ceiling. Her intention was to make the Irrigation Spell quite easy at the beginning, with plenty of rainclouds to work with. As the morning went on, it would become more and more difficult when she reduced the intensity of the cloud cover.
Most of the underage magicians figured out the mechanics of the spell quite quickly. But the difficulty wasn’t in removing the water from the clouds. The difficulty was in removing it gradually and directing it accurately towards the plants on the floor. It was important to make every drop of water reach its destination, to avoid wasting any.
Shannon and Jax looked at each other and burst out laughing. They were both soaking wet, as if they had been standing outside in a rainstorm. Jax’s eyelashes were stuck together in spikes with the water, and Shannon’s ponytail was dripping down her back.
Darius, who had had better luck with his first attempt and was still almost completely dry, started laughing as well.
“If you could see what you both look like!” he told them, gazing complacently down at his own dry clothes. “You do know you’re supposed to get the water on the plants, right?”
Shannon decided that Darius was far too pleased with himself.
“What did you say?” she responded, putting one hand behind her ear. “I couldn’t quite hear you. Let me just get this cloud out of the way…”
She raised her hands, and two seconds later torrential rain poured from the cloud above onto Darius. Almost immediately, he was soaked. He gave a yell of protest, trying to dodge the water, but it was too late.
“No, I still can’t quite make out what you’re saying,” said Shannon with a smirk.
Darius pushed his dripping hair out of his eyes and glared at her. Then he raised his own hands. It quickly turned into a water fight, with Jax, Atticus, and Hadrian joining in with enthusiasm. The clouds above rained heavily as they competed to pour as much water on each other as possible.
Once Shannon realised she could create a small pool of water in mid-air and then use her force field to throw it in someone’s face, things got a bit out of control. There were shouts from the boys and the odd scream from Shannon as the fight progressed.
Professor Lenora was at the other end of the training room. As soon as she noticed what was happening, she intervened, but by then there was a great lake of water on the floor, and the underage magicians were soaked to the skin.

And as for the idea of living magic itself... If you've ever walked in an ancient forest when the air is still and there's hardly a sound to be heard, it's easy to believe there might be something magical about it. What would you do if you found an open portal? Would you walk through it, or not? Thank you very much for reading!

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