Chapter 1:

Why is shaved ice so expensive? Isn't it literally just ice that's been flavoured and cut up? Why am I being charged so much for a cup of crunchy water that tastes vaguely of fruit? I mean it's pretty good but I feel like I'm being scammed

Magical Reject Society

Magic powers were a rarity across the world. The incredible abilities they granted were second only to the incredibly low likelihood of them manifesting. Countries with large populations would generally have a team of 4 or 5 at most, while smaller countries would be lucky to have 1 or 2.

So as Pedro looked at the sign above the clubroom door, he was immediately sceptical.

“Magic power Awakening Club.”

He scoffed at the idea. High schoolers, manifesting Magic powers? Ridiculous. The youngest person to ever become a superhero was 23, and she lived in London, so her body likely thought it was closer to 30 or 40 due to stress.

Not to mention the fact that magical awakenings seemed completely random. No one had ever managed to brute-force an awakening before. The very idea of the club was absurd.

That being said, the school’s AC had been out all day, and he felt a cool breeze coming from under the door. Wanting to get out of the awful humidity, he opened the door to the clubroom and stepped in.

Inside the small room, there were three students, all of whom seemed to be the same age as Pedro.

The first to catch his eye was a pink-haired girl with a surgical eyepatch, who seemed to be practising superhero poses in the corner of the room. Between the pink hair, eyepatch and weird poses, she reeked of chuunibyou. Not to mention the presumably fake snaggletooth that was just visible over her lip.

Next to her was an unassuming boy with tanned skin and messy brown hair. He was rolling his eyes at the girl’s antics while sipping from a white mug. Judging by the smell, Pedro assumed it to be some sort of herbal tea.

The final member, a taller boy with shoulder-length blonde hair, approached Pedro with a smile.

“Hey there! Come to check out the club?” he asked, sounding somewhat excited.

“Uh, yeah… I saw the sign and wondered if you guys really knew how to awaken magic powers.”

“Great! Most people write off our club as nonsense at first glance, so it’s nice to meet someone more open-minded.”

“Haha, yeah…” Pedro didn’t have the heart to admit that he’d have done the exact same if not for the fact that this room seemed cooler than the others. “So… do you guys actually know how to awaken magical powers, then?”

All three of them looked at Pedro awkwardly.

“Well… kinda?” the tall boy didn’t seem very confident as he spoke.

“Kinda? How can you ‘kinda’ awaken magical powers?”

Pedro though the idea seemed absurd. I mean, once someone can use magic, that’s that, right? How did it make any sense to ‘kinda’ awaken?

“Let me explain, bro.” The voice came from the boy who had been sipping his tea. Putting the mug down on the table beside him, he walked over and introduced himself. “Names Carlos. Me and Lucas here founded the club a little while ago, when we discovered something new about magic.”

“Something new? What does that mean?”

“In short: there’s a way to force awakenings, but it doesn’t exactly work out amazingly well for those with low aptitude.” Pedro raised his eyebrow at the proclamation. A way to force awakenings? Something like that would be worldwide news. And apart from that…

“What do you mean by ‘aptitude?’” It had seemed like Carlos had skimmed over some vital information there.

“Basically, there’s a genetic component to magical power. If you have the right genes for it, the powers you can manifest are incredible. Otherwise they’re a little… mundane.”

Pedro was now completely ready to write them off as a group of lunatics. A genetic component to magical power? As if a group of high schoolers would know that when years of research had come to no such conclusion.

“I get that this sounds far-fetched. Everyone we tell thinks the same. In fact, the only one who believed us blindly was that chuuni over there in the corner.” Lucas pointed his thumb over his shoulder at the pink-haired girl, who seemed to take that as some sort of cue.

“Name’s Ana, but you can call me Destroyer Of Souls!” she said, putting her hand over her eyepatch and posing dramatically. If he were fourteen, Pedro would have found it very cute. But as he was now fifteen, she was cringe.

“I will do no such thing,” replied Pedro bluntly, before turning back to Lucas and Carlos. He still didn’t believe a word they were saying, but if humouring them meant he got to stay in the one room that wasn’t swelteringly hot, he was happy to oblige. “So, these ‘mundane powers,’ got any examples?”

The first one to speak up was Lucas, who awkwardly said “I… have the power of flight…”

“What? That’s not mundane at al-”

“In my left hand.”


As Pedro watched on in amazement (and simultaneously, bemusement), Lucas’ body slowly began hovering a foot or so off the ground. The catch being…

“The only part of myself that can actually fly is my left hand, so the rest of me just kinda… hangs there.” Yes, his left was raised up above his head, while his body dangled limply below it.

“I mean… that could still be pretty usef-”

“It also means all of my weight is pulling down on my left shoulder, which means I get tired quickly and might dislocate it if I’m not careful.”

“Ok, so the flying boy’s a dud, what about you, pinky?” writing Lucas off as useless, Pedro then turned to Ana, who was waiting anxiously for her turn.

“I have the most powerful ability of all, the power to slay mine enemies with a single clap of my hands!”

“What, that sounds incredi-”

“So long as my enemies are no more than a few centimetres long!”

“So you’re a glorified exterminator. Fantastic.” Losing his hope that any of these powers would be useful, Pedro finally turned to Carlos, as if pleading ‘please say you’ve got something good.’

“As for me, I can teleport myself and up to 4 other people any distance I want.”

“Woah, that sounds super coo-”

“Due north.”

“Okay, now you’re just making shit up.”

Carlos grinned at Pedro, before disappearing into thin air and reappearing at the other side of the room, picking his mug back up from the table and drinking from it smugly. Pedro pulled up the compass app on his phone and, sure enough, due north.

“So none of you have powers that are actually useful?”

“Hey, I can at least avoid mosquitoes and wasps, that’s better than anything you can do.”

“Well you’ve got me there, I guess.” Pedro rolled his eyes, completely disappointed that the most practical application of powers in this club was avoiding insect stings. “By the way, where exactly did you learn to awaken these powers?”

“4Chan.” Replied Lucas.

“Should have guessed.” Pedro was ready to call it quits and leave the room of magical rejects, when Carlos made an interesting proposal.

“Y’know, we could always try to awaken you too. You might have higher aptitude than the rest of us, after all. And besides, the worst that could happen is you gain a useless ability that you won’t use.”

“Hmm… that does sound tempting…”

“Or it could kill you. But that almost never happens.”

“Nope. Fuck this.” Pedro turned to leave the room, but as soon as he opened the door he was rudely reminded of how uncomfortably humid it was outside of this room. Sighing, he closed the door and turned back to the club members. “Okay. How do you awaken, then?”

“It’s simple.” replied Lucas, stepping forward until he was just a pace away from Pedro. “First, close your eyes.” Hesitantly, Pedro did so. “Now, spin in a circle three times.” He once again obliged. “Now jump.” Pedro followed the last order, and as soon as he hit the ground, he felt a powerful impact in his liver.

“Gah- what the fuck, man?!” he opened his eyes to see Lucas with his fist raised.

“Sorry bro, that’s just how awakenings work. Look at the back of your left hand.”

After waiting a few seconds for the pain to alleviate, Pedro stopped clutching his side and looked at his hand. On the bag, there was now a red tattoo of snake. As he looked up at the others confusedly, they all showed their hands, each having a similar tattoo.

For Carlos, it was a bird.

For Ana, a wasp.

For Lucas.

“...a portal gun?”

“God plays a lot of steam games.”

Pedro didn’t want to think too hard about whether that response was a joke or not. Instead, he was wondering about the meaning of his tattoo.

“So you guys all have tats that relate to your power… what power relates to snakes?”

“Maybe you can slither real fast on your stomach!”

“Bite me, pinky.”

Ignoring Ana’s remark, Pedro started thinking about powers a snake might have. Putting his hand to his mouth, he found that he hadn’t suddenly grown fangs. He also didn’t think he was able to wrap himself around a large animal and squeeze it to death. The only other thing he could think was that some snakes spit venom.

“Here goes nothing, I guess.” He looked away from the three club members and opened his mouth wide. Just as he had guessed, something shot out of his mouth. What he hadn’t anticipated, however…

“Did… did that snake just come out of your mouth?” Ana was so shocked that she momentarily dropped her chuuni shtick.

Yes, it wasn’t venom that shot from Pedro’s mouth, but an entire snake. One that must have been nearly 150cm long.

Before Pedro could really process what had just happened, Lucas got down next to the seemingly docile snake and held his phone up to it.

“Hmm… looks like it’s a rare species called ‘round island boa.’”

“You just… have an app on your phone that identifies snakes?”

“Brother, look where we live, there’s snakes everywhere. Anyway, what you’ve got here is an endangered boa species, one that only has a thousand or so left alive.”

“Is it… is it useful at all?”

“Well it’s completely nonvenomous and harmless to humans, so unless you’re planning to fight lizards or birds I doubt it.”

How typical of my luck, Pedro thought. Extreme liver pain, and the only reward is the ability to spit snakes that don’t do anything.

Just as he was lamenting his poor luck, however, the club was interrupted by the panicked arrival of a teacher.

“Everybody out of the school, quickly!”

“Teach? What’s happening?” asked Lucas calmly, in contrast with the teacher who looked on the verge of a panic attack.

“Someone’s attacking the school, and he can use magic! He’s controlling an enormous swarm of mosquitoes!”

Everyone’s heads suddenly snapped to Ana, who looked like a child on christmas day.

“Take me to him!”


The teacher pointed the four to the front of the school, but booked it as soon as the man came into view. Very noble, teach. Jackass.

Sure enough, there ahead of them was a man dressed in all black, surrounded by tens of thousands of mosquitoes. Pedro would normally have been completely terrified, but he happened to be with someone with an absurdly conveniently timed ability.

“Hey, dickbag!” Shouted Lucas, grabbing the man’s attention. “Why are you attacking the school?”

“Ten years ago, when I graduated from this school, they gave me a B+ in maths, even though I deserved an A!”

“Completely reasonable, carry on.” Lucas turned to leave, but Carlos stopped him.

“I’m afraid we can’t let you destroy the school. The pizza they serve at lunch actually kinda slaps, and I don’t know anywhere else I can buy it.” said Carlos, his voice full of conviction.

“Hmmm? And I suppose you kids are gonna stop me?”

“Too right we are. Hit ‘em with it, Ana.”

At our proclamation, the man in black gestured to his army of mosquitoes, ordering them to attack us. However, as a single clap rang out in the air, the tens of thousands of flying bugs all dropped dead, creating a rain of black.

“A magician! I had no idea there was one here!” the man in black seemed incredulous. “But no matter. The mosquitoes were a mere convenience. I can handle this myself. After all, the closer I am to the equator, the more powerful I become!”

“Drat! If only we didn’t live in the far north of the Amazon rainforest, a fact foreshadowed by our Brazilian names and constant high humidity!” said Carlos. Fortunately, one of the gang had a way to deal with such a problem. Lucas simply snapped his fingers, and the scenery around the five of them instantly changed. To be specific, it became an area of pure white. It was freezing cold.

“Lucas, where the hell are we?” Pedro asked, his body being shocked by the sudden temperature change.

“Devon Island. An uninhabited island in northern Canada. Luckily our school happens to be at exactly 81.8512° W.”

“How incredibly convenient.” Pedro rolled his eyes at the lazy writing, before turning his attention back to the man in black.

“Ngh- my power! It’s reduced to almost nothing when I’m this far north! You leave me no choice, I must use my ultimate attack! Meteor strike!”

With those overly dramatic words, he began flying straight upwards over our heads.

“Oh no, he’s gonna fall with enough force to blow us all up!” Yelled Ana.

“What is he, Ultron? Oh, whatever, Carlos, you can deal with this, right?” Pedro said, completely fed up with this nonsensical plot.

“Yeah, I got him.” Carlos lifted off even faster than the man in black, to a chorus “Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!” As his entire body was pulled behind his arm.

A few seconds passed, and a loud boom sounded out as Carlos dragged the man in black back to Earth. Somehow they were both okay, other than Carlos’ horribly dislocated shoulder.

The man in black looked thoroughly pissed off that his plans had been foiled.

“I would have gotten with it if it wasn’t for you meddling kids, and your damn chuunibyou!”

“Save it, villain. We’re taking you to jail.” Said Ann, enjoying this all far too much.

“I’ll just escape again! And next time you won’t stop me, for I can only be killed by the bite of the rare round island boa snake!”

Pedro wasn’t even fucking surprised at this point.

“You mean the harmless snake that’s not even venomous?” He asked.

“Indeed. Only that can kill me.” The man clarified, stupidly.

Pedro seriously considered just finishing him off here and now, but he wasn’t sure if his conscience would let him kill someone.

“My plan was flawless, too. Even down to sabotaging the school’s air conditioning to make everyone uncomfortable!”

Pedro immediately sicced ten snakes on the man, killing him violently. No one protested.

“Well, now that we’ve murdered a man in cold blood, you guys wanna head home?” Asked Lucas casually.

At those words, something came to Pedro’s mind.

“Lucas, you can only teleport north, right? Not south?”


“And Carlos, your arm is too damaged for you to fly right now, right?”

“Seems that way.”

“…how are we supposed to get home?”

“…oh fuck.”

And thus, Pedro and the Magical Awakening Club died of hypothermia.