chiaroscuro: the interplay of darkness and light.
“We’re called guardians,” Kuro says. “Over time, people have had different names for us, but it really all comes back to that. We’re shifters, shaper-changers… the name doesn’t really matter. What does is that we’re supposed to keep the two kinds of magical forces in the world balanced.” He rattles this off with a roll of his eyes, as though it’s something he’s heard many times over.
Kenma thinks back to the curling snake made of shadows, to Sugawara’s words: People who shine brightly attract a lot of darkness.
“Shadows and light,” he says, not quite a question.
Kuro nods approvingly. “Basically, yeah. There’s a bit more to it than that—shadow magic is born of independence, of isolation and loneliness. Light magic is connections, the relationships between people. Most people have a low dose of both, go through their entire lives not realizing there’s magic in the world.”
“But not you,” Kenma prompts.