Chapter 1:

Chapter 1. Sixteenth Year

Another Story [Hiatus]

Somehow, I remember everything, everything that happened yesterday, the day before, last week, last month, last year, and even, last life. From the day I was conscious about myself to the day of my death.

It’s a day I'll never forget.

A day that will be imbued upon my memories for the entirety of my whole life. The life before this life, the end of that life. That day, that event and that pain. That's unforgettable.

Maybe tomorrow, history will repeat itself, no, that history does not exist here. It's different here, everything is different. From the smell, the flow and the strength of the air to the waves that the trees make when it is hit by this air are different.

The air is imbued by a certain energy called mana. This mana flows through everything and anything; mana is me, mana is you. Mana is everything.

Starting tomorrow, it will be my sixteenth year in this world, a day of the year that is special. A day of the year that everyone around me will also try to remember. A day of the year that will change my life forever.

In this world, when people turn sixteen, they are able to manipulate this certain energy through incantations. The language of our ancestors, the grammar they used, the syntax, and the vocabulary are crucial as the power they hold is infinite.

"I know it's late, but can we talk for a bit?" a voice outside my door suddenly spoke, silently but yet clear.

"Come in, May" I reply, as I recognize who it is.

May is the person I started living with when I was abandoned by my parents when I was around two years old. She takes care of me on her own; I am forever grateful for everything she does for me.

We sit down together on my bed and she has a serious look on her face; I know where this is going so I silently sit down and kind of readied myself to listen to each word.

"Your sixteenth year is coming,” she says, ”you'll be able to manipulate mana just like me, I know this might sound boring to you. But I want you to use this power to help others, to have a purpose in life that is greater than yourself. To be able to change a life similar to what I did to you. I raised you on my own, I see you as my own son, and I see you as my motivation to keep up working hard no matter what I do. Please promise me. To not use the power you will hold against anyone but use it to create a cradle for people in need."

"I promise," I reply. It hit me emotionally to see May like this. I never hold a conversation this deep with her.

From tomorrow, I will be studying the language of our ancestors at the National School of Mana in the city of Dirya, the capital of this country. All people my age are obliged to attend this school as part of the government to give opportunities for everyone in the country, even for people like us. May and I live in a small town called Orma, around an hour by carriage away from Dirya. This town is not particularly special, we live off by selling fruits and vegetables we gather from the forest nearby, some hunt animals and sell meat and hide to traveling merchants. It's not that much, but enough to eat three meals a day and be able to have clean clothes.

"Aura, please visit me again as soon as possible. It will be a bit lonely without you here, but when you do come back, please tell me stories about your experiences at school. It's been some time since I left this town, we don't have much money to travel but I gathered enough to pay for your transport tomorrow. The carriage will arrive at sunrise, so sleep. It's getting late."

"Okay, May. Good night," she said while leaving the room, slowly closing the door.

As the day ends, I suddenly feel a shock through my body. I feel as if I was struck by lightning but left alive. As if God has had mercy on me, I know what this means, it gives me a lot of thoughts, but I don't know what to do about it. I can't speak the language of my ancestors, but I want to be able to achieve things that I did not do in my past life because, in my sixteenth year, my life there ended. It ended in a flash, I guess it was unavoidable. It’s as if God planned it to happen on that day.

My eyes, shutting slowly, the sounds of nature outside become clearer in my ears and the wind feels more apparent on my skin.

"Good night," I tell myself.