Chapter 3:

Chapter 3: License

Your Healer

Chapter 3: License


Two weeks passed after Kayla signed the contract, making her a member of our guild. Since then, I have seen her only twice because she had to cram a lot for the theoretical part of the exam that would give her the license to legally use and work with magic.

This test was exactly what an outsider imagines it to be. A huge query of useless knowledge about the history of mages, witches, and a few safety regulations. I still get a feeling of anxiety every time I think back to my own exam. I was eleven years old when I took it, and I am still convinced it was a miracle that I passed it on my first try.

I wasn't sure how well Kayla would do. I just met her and had no idea of her performance back when she was in school. You definitely don't have to be a genius to pass this exam, but you do have to be able to memorize quite a bit.

Lilith ordered me to support Kayla with her studies, but after I tried to do exactly that last week, Kayla said that I was no help at all… in fact, she told me that my presence alone was very distracting. That did hurt my feelings a bit. Still, I told her that she could message me anytime, but she never did.

It was not like I wanted to see her, but we had nothing to do in the guild, so I was a bit bored, and my "witch-raising project" was very unsatisfying when I played no active part in it.


"How is she doing?" Lilith asked the next day while we were eating breakfast together.

"Who?" I asked gingerly.

"Kayla, of course." Lilith sighed and shook her head in disappointment.

"I'm sorry. I will call her when I finish my cereal." To be honest, I wrote Kayla at least one message every day, but Lilith would purposely misinterpret that if I told her about it.

"Call her now." Her voice was soft, but I clearly understood the command. So, I immediately took my phone from the table and called Kayla.

It rang for about twenty seconds before she answered it. Okay, answering was a stretch because she wasn’t speaking at all.

"Hello? Kayla?"

After saying her name, I heard her moaning like she was stretching. "Good morning." she finally answered. I never thought about the possibility that she was still asleep.


"Did I wake you up?"

"Yes, but it is fine. I can imagine worse things than hearing your voice first thing in the morning." She chuckled, and I almost choked.

"You're welcome," I said, blushing slightly, curious if she was like that with everyone.

"Should I leave the room?" Lilith asked, showing me a very punchable smug face. I quickly placed my finger in front of my lips and hissed at her.

"Is someone with you?" Kayla asked, sounding sleepy as hell.

"Yeah, Lilith."

"Ah, say hello to her from me!"

"I will… um, I wanted to ask you how your studies are going?"

"Okayish, you said I just need to reach 50%, so I am still optimistic to pass."

"That's the way to go. Actually, this was everything I wanted to talk about... sorry again for waking you." It felt super awkward to call someone for such a simple question.

"Wait…" she said with a much clearer tone than before. "Would you like to come over? I need some help."

I did not expect that, but there was no need to think about my answer. With Lilith sitting next to me, I absolutely had no chance to decline Kayla's request, not that I planned to do that anyway.

After finishing breakfast, I quickly got dressed and went to the office to get some old study notes from our file cabinet.

"Where are you going?" asked a voice behind me. I was startled and turned around. The person standing at the door frame was our secretary, Eliza. She started working here around three years ago, shortly after the guild was founded; unlike Lilith, she looks like an adult, so outsiders often mistake her for the guild leader.

"I visit Kayla, help her study," I explained.

"Why isn't she coming here instead?" her voice sounded disinterested. Why was she asking anyway?

"I don't know... maybe she's shy." That was not really a guess. I knew for a fact that she was too shy, but who am I to tell that to anyone?

"Ah… too bad, I would love to meet her already. Lilith told me that you are checking your phone all the time, awaiting a message from your new friend," she giggled.

Just because she looked like an adult didn't mean she acted like one because if you ask me, I was the most mature person in this guild, even though I was the youngest.

"You will meet her when she passes the exam." With the documents I needed, I walked past her. Don't get me wrong, I really like Eliza a lot. These little teases were our way of showing affection.

Today, I walked to Kayla's place. We had around 15°C in the middle of March, and the sky was clear. I enjoyed the fresh air, and in the end, it felt like just a minute until I arrived at her apartment pressing the doorbell.

This time, Kayla looked way better than the first time she opened the door for me two weeks ago.

"Come in," she said cheerfully.

"How are you?" I asked as I put my backpack on the floor so I could take off my jacket.

"Besides the trauma this studying awakened in me, I feel pretty good," she disappeared into the kitchen and returned with two glasses and a bottle of ice tea.

I felt empathy. The thought of doing the exam again and having to study on a daily basis instantly triggered a slight belly ache.

"You want some?" Kayla asked me, shaking the bottle around.

"Uhm, yes, please."

I was not the biggest fan of sweet stuff, but it may help to activate my brain cells. I sat down on the bed, watching her pour me the drink.

"Here you go," she said while handing me the glass.

"Thanks," I replied shortly and took a small sip. My taste buds started to contract... that is what I would call a sugar rush.

Kayla sat cross-legged on the bed, her feet just some centimeters away from my thighs. She was not wearing any socks, so I noticed her blue-colored toenails. I caught myself staring at her feet. It's not what it looks like, I swear.

"So, what do you need help with?" I asked, smiling a bit awkwardly, looking her straight in the face.

"It is the part about dungeons. I don't really get it… the explanations in the books are way too vague," she explained shyly, looking around the room. I could count the moments she really looked into my face on one hand.

But back to her problem, she definitely hit the nail in the coffin. While we mages entered and cleared the dungeons for centuries, no one really knew what they were and why they appeared in the first place. I suspect that the higher-ups know more than they are telling us, but it's not really worth worrying about.

I sighed. "I'm really sorry, but I can't tell you more than the books in that case." I scratched my nose and looked into her disappointed face.

"I almost expected that, but can you at least tell me what a dungeon looks like? From the inside, of course, since I already found plenty of photos from the gates online." She smiled proudly.

Normally, there should not be any photos of dungeons online. Still, some mages sell insider information for a quick buck, not like a photo from a dungeon gate would do any harm.

I guess I can answer her question... no, I definitely should answer her question. Not far from now, she will be a witch, and the chance she needs to enter a dungeon will be real. But first, I was a bit curious, so I asked her, "What do you think a dungeon looks like?"

She snickered. "You are asking someone who plays RPGs... of course, the first things I imagine are dungeons like the ones from *The Saint Scrolls* or *Dungeons & Goblins* Something that looks like a dark cave."

"There are dungeons that look exactly like that," I said, nodding. "But there are also dungeons that look like deserts, forests... some are covered in snow. They are whole different worlds." I continued telling her more of the pretty memories from my dungeon days.

Kayla's eyes started shining. Her gaze was fixed on my lips while I explained things that were just wild fantasies for most people. Getting stared at made me a little uncomfortable, but I understood the fascination. Witnessing magic, using magic, that was already something incredible, but being teleported to a whole other world was simply inconceivable.

Sometimes, I thought that dungeons are designed so beautifully that you forget all the dangers you encounter there.

"Could we visit a dungeon?" Kayla asked after I finished my monologue.

"No, definitely not. We need a request note to do that."

"Are there any dungeons nearby?"

"Yes, we have two active dungeons in the region right now."

I pulled my smartphone out of my skirt pocket to show Kayla the app the guilds use to share information about the dungeons.

It was basically another version of Google Maps. There are clickable icons where you can find details such as the date of discovery, which guilds are working in the dungeon, what creatures they have encountered so far, what resources they have seen, and the mana source that was responsible for creating the dungeon gate.

In roughly 9 out of 10 cases, a mostly random object consisting of concentrated mana was the dungeon's core, hidden somewhere. Still, it was also possible that it was a living creature possessing that much magical power, so it had to die to close the dungeon for good.

Sometime during my explanation, Kayla took a small notebook from her desk and started scribbling in it.

"If you have any more questions, please ask."

Kayla looked at me, baffled. Her breathing was a bit uneasy... she was very excited, and her imagination was surely running wild. The shine in her eyes was something beautiful to look at. I hoped that she would never lose that curiosity.

Another two weeks passed, and Kayla proved to be a diligent worker. After questioning her from time to time, I realized that she would surpass me by quite a bit, at least in the theoretical part. I am not trying to brag, but in the practical part, there aren't many at my level.

I sat on a bench across the building of the Magic Ministry Branch of our state. Kayla and I had to take a 90-minute train ride to get here, and I wasn't sure which one of us was more excited right now... her or me?

Her exam started around half an hour ago, and the average time for taking it was around 45 minutes; the best part is that you get your result instantly after submitting your answers since it is a digital multiple-choice test with random questions out of a huge catalog.

The practical exam will be held later today, so we have time to kill if she passes now. I looked at my phone every two minutes... just some happy emoji from Kayla on my display would have been great, but I got nothing.

She really needs to pass it… the next chance to take the test is in three months, which means she could not start working yet, but why am I even worried? She has worked so hard, and I should put some trust in her. If she fails now, I am also failing! My job was to teach her and get her through this exam!

I noticed sweat forming on my forehead.

"Are you ok? You look terrible." A familiar voice spoke to me.

I jumped off the bench, and Kayla was startled. "How did it go? Did you pass?" I asked hastily.

"Guess what," she said, smiling from cheek to cheek, holding a document bag in her right hand. Since I was staring at her, she sighed and started to unpack it, exposing her theoretical exam results.

93%, my mind went blank for a moment. Why was I worried again? Because I expected her to fail? Maybe I was projecting my own flaws onto her.

Sorry, Kayla. I humbly thought.

"Congratulations," I simply said and smiled as well. I was happy for her, maybe even more than I was at the time I passed my own exam, even though the reasons for taking the exam and our past, in general, are not comparable at all.

"Thank you! So, what's my reward?" Kayla asked as she put her result papers in her bag. I had actually thought about how to reward her beforehand. Since I only knew her on the surface, I had to come up with something generally nice.

"How about Pizza?" I suggested, and she simply nodded.

"Sounds great!"

As smart as I am, I already checked online for places with good reviews and reasonable prices. You won't believe that many of these only open up in the evening, so our choices were limited.

We walked for about ten minutes without talking much. I just noticed Kayla looking at me occasionally with a happy smile. Even her walk seemed more cheerful and bouncy than before. Every time our eyes met, I couldn't help but grin a little.

"This is the place," I said and stopped right next to a food truck. There were a few tables with several chairs placed in front of it. According to the online reports, most customers ordered takeout, but I planned to eat right here.

"Take a seat. I will go and order the food. What do you want?" I asked Kayla, who was already studying the menu.

"A medium Pizza Hawaii and a Coke, please." She said, smiling.

Pizza Hawaii. I felt a shiver running down my spine. I never understood people who ate that, but somehow, it did not surprise me that Kayla was one of them.

"Got it."

Kayla sat down, and I walked over to the truck. They truly had a stone oven inside, just as it said in the reviews.

"Hello, young lady. What can I do for you?"

"One Pizza Hawaii, one Pizza Napoli, a Coke, and a still water, please."

I paid and walked over to Kayla with two ice-cold plastic bottles. "He said it will take around ten minutes."

"Wow, that's fast," Kayla said, already opening her drink.

"How much do you get for that?" she asked.

I sighed. "It is on me, of course."

"Thank you so much," Kayla said in an exaggerated tone as she bowed repeatedly.

"Stop that; it is embarrassing," I whisper sharply and perhaps a little too serious because Kayla started pouting like a little child.

"Come on, I am sorry. But please stop the fuss."

"You don't need to apologize; I am just a bit too hyped after that exam." She said, smiling, while her eyes looked kind of sad.

I can't figure her out, but I do not want to question her behavior right now, not today.

Because of our little argument, the wait seemed much longer, but in the end, our pizza was even brought to our table, so I wouldn’t complain at all.

To describe our meal in one word… delicious. At least visually, because Kayla had a pizza with pineapple on it, I could tell that the taste would not be comparable to the presentation.

"Want a bite?" Kayla asked as she examined my food. I could see the disgust written all over her face when she discovered the olives on my pizza.

"No thanks, I'm not exactly what you'd call a pineapple fan." Very diplomatically phrased if you ask me.

"Do you want to try mine?" I asked politely, knowing the answer already.

"Just… if you feed me."

No, never, not in your dreams.

Did she actually ask that? What is wrong with her? I understand that some people enjoy such things, but our relationship is not even close to the level that I would feed her.

Aah, now I get it. She suggested it on purpose because she didn't actually want to eat my pizza. She hates olives, I'm sure, but what if she uses reverse psychology just to get me to do it?

"Ok, sure," I answered after my inner monologue.

She grinned happily and brushed her hair behind her ear. For the first time since I met her, I took the time to study her facial features. I remembered her whining that Lilith and I were far too pretty and that she felt inferior.... but this idiot has a pretty attractive face herself.

Still leaning over the table, she opened her mouth and waited for me to feed her. So, I quickly shoved a piece of my pizza into her mouth. She took a small bite, and it was all over.

In the end, it wasn't as awful as I had imagined it to be.


Oh God, focus, Kayla! You can't throw up now! That would destroy the atmosphere.

I never liked olives, and I remember why that is. You can hardly call this food! So disgusting! But it was worth it. I would do it again, 10 out of 10 for the experience of being fed.

The embarrassment on Miko's face was priceless, but I never intended for this situation to turn out the way it did. Everything was much cuter in my mind, just a sweet moment between two friends…

After chewing for what felt like an eternity and a big sip from my Coke, I managed to swallow the monstrosity I let Miko put in my mouth.

"Delicious!" I exclaimed jokingly before eating some of my own pizza. The sweet sensation of the pineapple quickly restored the taste in my mouth, and I began to enjoy my life again.

We spent the rest of the meal without another word, neither of us knowing what to say... unwillingly, I imagined what the whole scene must have looked like from the outside. Actually, quite harmless, so I could not understand why she was so against the idea of feeding me.

"Let's head back," Miko said after we threw away our trash.

"Yeah, let's do that." I agreed with her, so we started walking back to the ministry building. I still had some time left before taking my practical exam.

I wasn't nearly as excited as I was before the theoretical test because Miko said that the practical part was just a check to see if I could control my mana flow and use actual magic in the end.

Since Miko was worried that they couldn't properly test healing magic because they needed someone injured or drunk… she taught me another simple form of magic just to be safe.

During the small lessons, she called me the opposite of talented because although I could use healing magic, which was apparently very difficult and rare, I could not create something as simple as a small fireball in the palm of my hand.

But I have managed to manipulate wind with my mana. I can make small things fly with it or push something light away. Nothing special, but definitely enough to pass the exam, at least that's what Miko said.

Back at the building, we planned to go our separate ways, but why should we?

"Do you want to come inside with me? Maybe you recognize someone?" I asked, smiling in anticipation. Her expression changed instantly. Maybe she had bad memories or was just as unsocial as I am and did not want to meet anyone.

"Alright, I'll go with you." She said and added a big sigh at the end.

A surprised "Nice." escaped my mouth, so we walked together.

I couldn't help but observe Miko as she looked around cautiously, perhaps hoping not to run into anyone she knew.

"It still looks the same. Nothing changed at all." Miko talked more to herself, but I still nodded, agreeing with her.

"And have you already discovered someone familiar?" I asked quietly.

"Yes, someone I worked with some years ago, but it seemed like he did not see me." She answered, relieved.

"Stop! Miko-Chan, stoop!" a male voice called out behind us. It seemed like he did see her!

"Call me like that once more, and I will kill you here and now," Miko shouted furiously, turning around to face a middle-aged man. From his looks alone, he could easily be my father. His physique resembled a rectangle; some muscles were hidden under his suit, and he had pretty long eyelashes. His short brown hair also reminded me of someone who regularly hits the gym.

"Don't shout... everyone is looking already," I whispered.

"Who is that?" the dude asked, looking skeptically in my direction.

"Someone like you, who gets his magic license a few years too late," Miko said.

"You know that I was a special case." He muttered.

"Definitely something special, but look at you; after seeing the inside of a dungeon once, you've managed to turn yourself into someone who sits in an office all day."

"As far as I know, you did not see a dungeon from the inside for some time, either."

I don't know what their relationship is, but the mood of the conversation changed very quickly from joking to unsettlingly tense.

"If you are so well informed, you would know that I was simply banned from doing so, but the sentence expired last month, so you don't have to worry about me anymore." Miko seemed pissed, so I grabbed her hand and pulled her with me.

"I don't want to know what is going on between you two, but I definitely don't want to ruin the vibe right before my exam." I turned around and gave the guy a death stare. He just stood there, smiled, and raised his right hand to give me a thumbs-up.

From that single interaction, I knew that I couldn't stand him. And I really hope that I don't have to see him again.

We ended up before a gym in the center of the building.

"You should go. The other participants are probably already inside," Miko suggested. "Don't worry, you'll be fine," she tried to calm me down.

"And you can wait outside the building if you want to. I guess you don't need another encounter like before."

"Kayla, don't get discouraged when you see the other contestants." Miko put a hand on my back and stroked it lightly. It may sound strange, but I really like it when she touches me.

I tried to remember her words not to get discouraged after I entered the gym, but it was harder than I thought. In addition to the various testing stations, the gym was filled with a bunch of children.

The youngest looked about ten years old. The oldest was maybe fourteen. I was looked at as if I were out of place... even the judges gave me one or two disapproving looks.

I went to the testing center with the number I had been assigned before the theoretical test. At exactly 5 p.m., the exams began. Most of the participants finished within two minutes, others took a bit longer, and some candidates even failed. Miko told me that the practical part was much easier than the theoretical part... I'm starting to get a little worried.

Finally, it was my turn. And can you guess who my judge was? Exactly this old companion of Miko, whom I could not stand. I definitely jinxed that, so I was to blame. The moment he saw me, he grinned over his whole face.

"How do you know Miko?" he asked with a soft voice, looking at some papers.

"We are in the same guild," I answered shortly.

"Miko is in a guild? Who is the leader?" he seemed surprised.


He chuckled and glanced over at me.

"You don't know anything about the world of mages, do you?" he asked, chuckling. Yes, it's true. I don't know anything, and of course, I'm curious to know what Miko was saying earlier. She was no longer allowed to enter dungeons… she was no longer allowed to work. What went so wrong that she was punished like that?

"That doesn't matter. Could we start the exam, please?" I acted uninterested, but in all honesty, I just didn't want to hear anything from him… if I wanted to hear something about what happened, then from Miko and Lilith themselves.

"Of course, sorry for drifting off." He said as if nothing had happened and smiled.

"So, what kind of magic have you got for me today?"

"I am experienced in healing magic," I stated, looking at him in expectation.

"I understand."

His eyes turned red, and small clouds of black smoke rose from his right hand. The smoke gathered and began to take on a shape that looked less and less like smoke with each passing second until it formed a long, pitch-black, thin needle. Without hesitation, he cut his hand with it and opened a long slit in his palm that immediately started bleeding.

"Would you please," he said, reaching his injured hand in my direction.

Since his wound was open, I had no intention of touching it, so I imagined my magic taking the form of a small sphere. A warm, burning sensation crept through my body and finally reached my eyes. That was the sign that my body was ready to use magic, so the image from my mind took shape, and a small bright green orb appeared, hovering above my palm.

"That's different." He suddenly said.

"From what?" I asked, placing my magic on his wound where it disappeared, closing the cut instantly.

"You passed." He said, ignoring my question. I was still perplexed when he handed me a paper he had just stamped. "Take this to the entrance desk, pay the license fee, and you are done. Congratulations."

"Thanks," I said briefly and walked quickly to the exit of the hall. Outside the door, I saw some of the kids crying, some out of joy, others because they had to retake the exam in three months. Somehow, my head could not celebrate my passing… it was full of questions that I probably won't get answered anytime soon.