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Seoul Academy for the Dark Arts

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"This is the alchemy room, and right next to it is the head witches office. I know. Weird placement, right? But it actually isn't. One time I remember this one witch, he used a sleep fog spell as a prank on some new kid and the whole class was knocked out. Him included. Crazy right? Yeah well the alchemy room used to be on the 6th floor, and the head witches office usually takes care of these sorts of things. But guess what? The office is right here! On the first floor. So they couldn't help out in time. Oh yeah and this is administrations. Okay bye."

Jaehyung looked at the other male he met at the gates with a mix of gratitude and slight judgement. It was six in the morning for Satan's sake. No one should ever be that energetic.

The administrations office was a room full of records and files with a lone desk in the middle. The lady writing on what looked like application forms glanced up at Jae and raised an eyebrow.

"I don't have all day. Come on. Application form."

Jaehyung gives her his form and she reads through it and signs the bottom. She hands Jae a piece of paper with his schedule and coven assignment.

"Oh great. Another Park. You behave yourself."

Jae nodded, not really understanding and not really caring much.

"I uhh excuse me. What's a coven? Is this like my room?"

The head of administrations doesn't spare Jae another glance. She answers as if she weren't talking to someone there.

"A coven is defined as a group of witches who gather regularly. Here, we use it to group students up in what is commonly termed in the mortal world as 'a dorm system'. You will find 5 or more people in your coven. For more questions and concerns you may ask your own coven or come back here during six in the morning up until twelve midnight."

Jae nods. His eyes still transfixed on the piece of paper "666" written in bright red ink. Coven 666 on the seventh floor.

The moment Jae steps in front of the door it opens to reveal a kid with a paper bag that had a smiley face drawn on it. The kid opens the door for Jae. He muttering a timid "Hi" and gestured to the living room.

As soon as Jae was inside he saw the mix of modern and antique feel of the room. It was like living inside a huge tree but with a lot of sleek modern elements. There's a sleek black sofa in the room as well as a black marble kitchen countertop. The several plants littering random parts of the room along with the warm lighting gave a very homey feel to it. Creepy 80's murder house type of homey, but homey nonetheless.

"I'm Dowoon." The kid with the paper bag was still there standing right behind Jae.

"Oh uh hi. I'm Jae. Park Jaehyung."

"I know." Dowoon says. Jae could hear the smile in his voice. Or maybe it was the smile on the paper bag. Definitely the paper bag.

"Hey, Dowoon have you seen the vials of blood I took yes- Oh. Who's this?" A guy with a buzzcut walks in. Dowoon walks past him and starts heading for the stairs going down.

"New guy. He's in our coven. I'm calling Younghyun." The peculiar boy shouts.

"Wait why? Hey! Don't disturb him. Yah!" Dowoon doesn't answer.

"Well at least call Wonpil as well, so we can all meet the new guy."

Buzzcut shakes his head at the boy's weird behavior. Seems like this is rather normal, Jae thinks.

"I'm sorry about him. He's a very lax person actually. There are just times he gets this way. I'm Sungjin. I'm the head of this coven." Buzzcut extends his hand for Jae to take, so he does. Well, at least buzzcut is normal.

"I'm Jaehyung. It's nice to meet you. This place looks real nice."

"Thanks. She's a real personality. Sometimes, I like to think she's the sixth well now she's the seventh member of our coven."

Jae smiles at that. He hasn't been here long, but he feels like what buzzcut said was true. He also kind of feels like this room is alive in some way.

Loud footsteps could be heard coming up the stairs. Seemed like Dowoon brought some friends.

"Speaking of the other members of the coven.."

Dowoon comes up the stairs with another boy who was probably as young as he was. The boy had one light brown eye and another blue one. It was oddly beautiful. The male had a blank expression, as if he was listening to something. The blank expression morphed into a thoughtful one and he smiled at Jae. He ran up to Jae and hugged him tightly.

"Hi! I'm Wonpil. It's nice to meet you, Jaehyung."

"Oh haha hi uh wha- what the hell?" Jae screams because he felt something slither on him. There were also these hairy legs and fuck. Fuck. Jae really hates spiders and snakes.

Jae stares in horror at the small snake on his arm and the turantula on his shoulder.

"Unholy shit. Where did these come from?"

Wonpil laughs at Jae happily, clapping his hands in amusement. "Sungjin! Look! They like him! They really like him!"

Jae looks to Sungjin for help, his face the same pallor as ivory.

"Okay okay. Tell them to stop scaring the new kid. This must all be new to him."

Wonpil frowns at that. His pout directed at Sungjin now. "They're only making friends, Sungjin! Stop being mean."

Wonpil looks at the cause of Jae's mental breakdown like they were precious little gems. Okay. So maybe buzzcut's the only normal one. "Acid. Karma. Come on. Come back to papa."

The small snake and the spider move around Jae's body some more, not really showing any signs that they were leaving.

"I know. But he's scared. He's new."

"What? No. You can't stay with him tonight."

"No it's bec-"

There were footsteps coming up the mahogany stairs. They weren't as boisterous as Wonpil and Dowoon's but they were eerily quiet in a loud way that leaves a ring in your ear. Karma and Acid chose this time to finally show signs of wanting to come back to Wonpil, so Jae obliges and awkwardly tries to have them crawl over to Wonpil.

Jae is starstruck. The male that came up the stairs is gorgeous. Ears adorned with several black piercings, skin rivaling the pallor of his own, eyes that had a chilling depth to them, and there was an air about him that made Jae's stomach go up in flames.

"You too, Younghyun! Stop scaring them! They just want to play with the new guy and that almost never happens." Wonpil was out for blood. It seemed like his little pets don't get playmates quite as often.

Younghyun's eyes were transfixed on Jae. Jae felt almost violated by how intimate the looks he was being given were. The male's eyes swirled a million different emotions. Shock, fear, lust, hunger, greed, affection. It was scary how much Jae saw in such a little gesture.

Jae tries to break the ice a little. He extends his hand out for the other male to take. "Uhh hi. I'm Jaehyung."

Younghyun stares at him for a bit more before meeting Jae's hand and breaking whatever weird spell there had been between them. The only thing Jae sees now is a facade of indifference and smugness.

"Younghyun."

It was awkward. Very awkward. Younghyun's blank expression paired with the fact that he had still not let go of Jae's hand made Jae feel very weird. Again, the pits of fire in his stomach were going berserk.

"Yeah okay. Break it up you two. Don't eye fuck each other just yet. We should all head to bed. Assembly tomorrow is going to be early. Younghyun, take care of Jae. Jae, Younghyun's your roommate."

Jae blushes at that, but also, thank Sungjin for having the coven call it a night. Jae wasn't sure how many more surprises he could take for tonight. The problem now was that he had to share a room with this weird Younghyun guy.

Their room was pretty spacious. And wait. Holy shit. They were on the seventh floor and they have a dorm room that as large as a small mansion. Oh wait, yeah. Magic. They had separate beds with a small lamp in between them, a bathroom for them to share, two separate closets and study desks. Younghyun's side was mostly bare with the exception of a few books and some cans of energy drinks.

The Younghyun guy already had his back to him, and was more or less already trying to sleep. Whatever.

Jae tried unpacking some of his stuff, but ended up just changing into his pajamas and fiddling with his phone before dozing off.

.

.

.

.

.

.

It was still dark. Jae's eyes slowly opened to see Younghyun staring at him from the foot of his bed along with Wonpil who had even more animals on his body. Jae was so confused and terrified because it was fucking three am on his clock."Oh no. God no." Jae passed out from exhaustion and fear. Yep buzzcut's the only normal one.

"Nah. See? I don't think he's anything special."

"But Dowoon says he can feel things about him."

"Must be gas. Or maybe Dowoon's finally gone crazy."

"I'm not crazy." They both look behind them to find Dowoon staring at Jae as well.

Chapter Text

Sungjin was definitely not kidding about waking up early for assembly. Jae never wakes up before nine AM so being woken up by Wonpil at five freaking AM was not a pleasant first day of class experience.

"We need to go in a bit. You should change."

Jae buries his face in his pillow and groans. So maybe eating and bathing are out of the question? He starts getting dressed in a plain black shirt and a pair of black ripped jeans.

The living room was already pretty alive at that point. Wonpil playing on the counter his spider, Sungjin packing things in his bag, and Dowoon occasionally nodding off back to sleep. Oh uhh weird.. his roommate wasn't the-

"He went on ahead. Says he wanted to chill before the semester officially starts."

Jae squints his eyes at Dowoon's groggy response to a question he doesn't remember ever voicing out.

"Uhh okay."

The coven started heading for the main hall where everyone would gather for an orientation. Witch schools do orientations differently right? They must not be boring like all the ones he's gone to. Also there's the matter of his classes and who we would go to them with. And also will Jae even understand and grasp the concepts they were going to learn. And-

"Dear satan, fuck. Shut up! It's too early to freak out. Fuck. You guys take care of him. I'm done." An angry Dowoon storms ahead of them. Jeez, where was the weirdly cute and enthusiastic kid from yesterday.

"Told you he isn't always as enthusiastic as he was yesterday." Sungjin comments.

"What did he mean when he told me to shut up? I didn't say a word." Both Wonpil and Sungjin look genuinely shocked at Jae's query.

"Oh. We thought you already knew about him. Is this really your first time here?"

"Yes. Yes, it is. I have no idea what's going on most of the time. All I know is that some kid picked me up from my home after.. after uhh some accident and he told me I was going away to a school for people like me. I don't even know what my people are supposed to be."

Yikes. So much for trying to keep his cool on his first day. Wonpil offers him a small smile as if to say 'it's alright'.

"Dowoon is clairvoyant. He reads thoughts and sees visions. Well, not really willingly sometimes. The paper bag isn't just so he'd look quirky. It blocks out most thoughts from people, but it can only protect his mind from so much."

"Wha- I- I'm still so confused." Jae deflates at the answer because that is a load of bull.

Sungjin pats him on the back and walks ahead, leaving him with Wonpil. "It's okay. You'll get used to it. We're in almost all the same classes. I can stay with you and eat lunch with you as well."

Jae offers him a weak smile. Today was going to be a long day.

 

×

 

Turns out witch school orientations are just about as boring as human ones. Jae is currently headed to the cafeteria with Wonpil beside him. Do witches not eat breakfast at all? He's famished from an early morning of listening to non stop babble about the school's history and guidelines.

Lunch was just your standard kimchi stew, rice, fish cakes, and a pack of chocolate pudding. No. Witches don't feast on raw goat meat or blood or humans or whatever the mortal world thought they would've. Hey, witches are people too apparently.

Wonpil tugged on Jae's sleeve, leading him to a table by the far left of the cafeteria. A floor to ceiling glass wall lit the whole cafeteria with a bright glow that was weirdly welcoming instead of blinding.

"Agh, you let Wonpil choose the seats. Okay, Jae next time you choose anywhere but here." Sungjin grumbles as he sets down his tray, Dowoon and Younghyun following after him.

"Sorry for earlier. Not a morning witch." Came Dowoon's soft apology.

"I-" Jae stopped mid sentence and thought his answer instead.

/It's fine, Dowoon./

Dowoon sprung up at that.

/You can willingly send in your thoughts?/

Jae seemed surprised as well. He could hear Dowoon's thoughts very clearly. Almost as if the world was muted and their thoughts were the only things that could be heard.

/I guess so. Wow. I can read minds too?/

/No. I'm sending you my thoughts, but I usually can't do this without weaving you into my thread of thoughts. It took me months for everyone else./

Jae smiles at Dowoon. The kid wasn't as bad as he thought.

"Uhh, Jae? I thought you were already in some weird sexual thing with Younghyun? Why do you have to eyefuck Dowoon too?"

"Wha? I'm not in anything with anyone. Dowoon and I were just talking."

Younghyun and Sungjin quirked an eyebrow at said boy, while Wonpil was.. Wonpil was feeding Karma some fishcake.

"He's in. I don't know how, but he got in." Dowoon replied, taking off his paper bag to eat his lunch.

Sungjin and Younghyun seemed unconvinced, but dropped the topic. Younghyun handed Dowoon a pair of black earrings, which the younger proceeded to wear.

Lunch was pretty uneventful after that. They were free for the rest of the day, so there wasn't any need to rush. Jae ate in silence, only glancing up and smiling at something Sungjin would say.

Jae checked beside him as Wonpil stood up, staring outside at the rather large oak tree. The male brought his tray with him and walked out of the cafeteria. Everyone seemed unfazed.

"What's up with Wonpil?"

"He's always like that, because the school has a one familiar per student limit inside the main parts of the building."

Jae's eyes were still on the big oak tree Wonpil had now knelt in front of.

"Go. It'll be good for you to meet his main familiar. He'll explain the whole familiar thing to you."

Jae nods, still in a daze from all the bits of information painting an incomplete picture. He makes it half way through the cafeteria before he feels a tap on his shoulder. It was Younghyun. A calm-looking Younghyun. Still an alabaster skin, sharp eyed Younghyun, but with a much calmer presence.

"Tell Wonjin I said hi."

Younghyun retreated back after handing him a pudding cup.

Wonjin.. Who's Wonjin?

 

×

Wonpil was gone. He wasn't kneeling in front of the oak anymore. Jae looked around, the wind paired with the shade the oak provided made him feel drowsy. No wonder Wonpil ran out of the cramped cafeteria.

Jae circled the big tree, finding Wonpil behind the huge trunk. Jae's eyes bulged at the sight in front of him. Wonpil was surrounded but owls, ravens, squirrels, a few more turantulas, and a few hummingbirds.

One detail Jae couldn't stomach as easily as the plethora of animals around Wonpil was the huge pure black snake circling him. The reptile was the same girth as Jae's thigh. Jae was skinny, but still. It was as thick as someone's thigh.

Wonpil's head turns towards him, probably hearing Jae's steps causing the dried up leaves to rustle. Wonpil smiles at him, his hazel and sapphire eyes highlighted by the small streaks of sunlight coming through the gaps of the great oak.

Jae returns the smile, timid yet good natured. He walks over warily to Wonpil, handing him the pudding cup.

"Uhh, Younghyun says hi. To Wonjin." Jae's voice is kind of shaky. He felt concerned and intrigued at the same time as to who Wonjin could be.

Wonpil gives him another toothy grin.

"Waaah, Younghyun is always so nice to you, hyung." Wonpil opens up the pudding cup and places it in front of the huge snake.

"This is Jae. He's new to our coven. Yeah. He's cool."

"Jae this is my hyung. Wonjin."

Jae still seemed unconvinced, but he smiled and said hello.

Wonpil kept laughing at whatever the animals were saying. Could they even talk? Fuck. Magic again?

"We're not really brother by mortal definition." Wonpil says, as if sensing all the questions in Jae's mind.

"Oh. Okay."

"He's my familiar. A spirit of the forest."

Jae nods. More pieces. Not enough to paint the whole picture, but it was progress.

"Pil, what's a familiar?"

Wonpil's eyes grew in size, realizing all this was very new to Jae.

"Ah, sorry. I forgot you didn't grow up in our world. Familiars are like companions for witches. They protect us, help us out, and watch after us. And in return we provide a home for them. Food, shelter, companionship, and in some cases other needs."

Jae nods again. This seemed to be all Jae could do, but this time at least he finally understood.

"They're typically spirits, demons, or goblins. They take the shape of animals to blend in. I got really lucky with Wonjin hyung. I sort of fell in love with him. I thought he was like a witch that didn't go to the school. Turns out he was the spirit of the forest."

Jae took another good look at Wonjin. The snake has the same eyes as Wonpil. One hazel and one sapphire.

"Ah, so that's why.." Jae gestured to their eyes awkwardly.

Wonpil nods.

"Yeah. It's not exactly familiar territory. The witch-familiar contract is simply an unwritten agreement, but this.. what we have is different. It's like a lifelong bond. Almost like the witch equivalent of marriage."

"And are all the other animals yours too?" Jae asks meekly, not wanting to sound offensive, because what if they didn't like the term 'owned'

"Not exactly. It's just a perk of being bonded to the spirit of the forest. It's his way of being there without exactly being there. The forest slowly dies without him, so he can't stay with me." Wonpil shrugs. Like he's come to terms with that small detail.

This was more complicated than Jae initially anticipated. Who knew there were so many small details that go into being a witch. He thought it was just casting spells and sacrificing goats.

"Oh oh, Do you want to see something cool?" Wonpil excitedly stands up and grabs Jae's hands.

"Uh sure."

"Okay so I'm going to teach you to astral project."

That sounded.. kinda easy? Something basic probably.

"Do you know what that means?"

"Not really. Haha." Jae laughs. Wonpil rolls his eyes.

"I'm not surprised. You're such a mortal. Astral projection is willfully having your astral body exit your physical one. Some people like to call it soul surfing. Under normal circumstances this would be very dangerous, but we're in a meticulously guarded place. The forest is run by Wonjin so nothing gets by without him and the guardians noticing."

Okay. Maybe this wasn't as easy as he initially thought. Anything that needed a warning can't be all that easy.

"Close your eyes. Free your mind of any thoughts. Breathe in and out slowly. Your first lesson as a witch is that spells aren't about the words. Witches cast the exact same spells in different ways. Some use phrases, some just words, some whole paged paragraphs. Your intent is the most vital thing. You need to will your spirit to walk out of the confines of your physical body."

Jae follows every word Wonpil says. It takes Jae a few minutes before he feels himself floating. He feels weightless. Like he's riding clouds.

His eyes open and he sees Wonpil and another beautiful male, which he assumes is Wonjin, a few meters away from him. He makes his way over to them, gliding through the forest freely.

It feels so surreal. Every detail of the forest was not covered in a glittery sheen. Every leaf and every branch now barely tangible as Jae zooms past a few of the trees. He realizes this feels exactly like how he felt when he'd have those dreams when he was a kid. Maybe he had been astral projecting, but hadn't known.

One thing is for sure though. Jae is in too deep in this witch business to back out now. Wonpil taught him to astral project within minutes. He was sure everyone else could show him the ropes and maybe just maybe he'd actually feel like one of them.

Wonpil is grinning so widely at how much Jae seemed to be enjoying the experience. His arms are a mere foot away from connecting to Wonpil's when everything went south.

One minute it was all sunshine and easy breezy floating, the next all he sees is a wall of fire. Everything around him turning black. There's only him and the wall of fire, and a voice telling him to stay away, another one shouting for him to come back.

Jae gasps and writhes in Wonpil's arms. He's soaked in sweat. His body feels so hot, but it weirdly isn't uncomfortable.

"Wha- what happened, Pil?"

"I- I don't know, Jae. I've never seen anything like that before.."

Jae coughs. Feeling like his body was drained of energy. What the hell was that?

Wonpil is looking at Wonjin. Listening. Looking concerned. The seconds in between each look they exchange feels like hours. Jae feels lethargic- like the last few minutes of his day were expanded into hours.

"Jae. We need to go back to the coven. Now."

He hears Wonpil, but he also kind of doesn't. It's like the first few seconds of him astral projecting, but this time he doesn't feel weightless. He feels shackled.

"What's wrong?" It was weak, but audible. He was starting to fade out of consciousness again.

"You have a very strong seal on you. Something or someone doesn't want you to use any magic. Jae, stay with me we need to tell Sung-"

It all starts to fade. The image of Wonpil fades, his voice slowly dissolves into nothing. Jae sees black flames and hears his mother's voice just before he passes out.

Chapter Text

"I still don't fully understand what happened. Jae astral projected like he'd been doing it for forever."

"Are you sure nothing got through?"

"I was there, Sungjin. I felt him with me the entire time. Wonjin was there as well. Nothing gets past the spirit of the forest and his guards undetected. We weren't attacked."

"Then we don't really have anything to work with."

"It.. it wasn't like something got through the forest.. it felt like Jae just shut down. No hits, no interferences. I tethered my own astral body to his. I felt him cut the tether."

"Then wh.."

Jae started to gain back his consciousness. The voices around him slowly roused him from his deep slumber. He was back inside the coven. The warm soft glow of orange enveloping the entire room.

His voice is raspy, only decibels above a whisper, and his mouth felt like the Sahara.

"Guys.."

Everyone's attention was immediately on Jae. Dowoon's paper bag-shielded face was looking straight at him from where he stood by the door, Wonpil and Sungjin now beside his bed, and Younghyun sitting on his bed right across Jae's.

"Are you okay? What the hell happened out there?" Sungjin asks, applying whatever weird smelling liquid he had on Jae's temple.

"I.. don't know." Jae answers. He honestly had no clue what went on out there. He remembers floating, then nothing. Nothing but black flames and his mother's voice.

"No.. there.. there were flames. Pitch black flames that were only warm. Not scorching hot or anything. And my mom's voice. I heard her."

Everyone grew quiet. Their eyes going comically wide. For some reason Jae felt like Dowoon looked the same as the other three in the room. Younghyun sprung up, eyes looking straight into Jae's eyes as if scanning his soul.

"The black flames. Hellfire. How.. why would you have seen hellfire?" Came Younghyun's soft yet eerily steady query.

"I don't know. I told you I don't know anything. I didn't even know I was a witch until a few weeks ago."

Jae's eyes grew wide as Younghyun shoved both Sungjin and Wonpil aside. He straddled Jae's hips and started sliding his shirt up to expose his soft flat stomach. Younghyun's fingers were ice cold. At first they glided experimentally above his belly button, then down to where his happy trail starts. Jae was blushing profusely at his roommate's sudden need to explore his body.

"Pil, you said Wonjin felt a seal, right? A strong one?"

Wonpil looks at Younghyun confusedly, but nods nonetheless.

Younghyun nods and slowly slides himself down so that his body would fit in between Jae's legs. His face now impossibly close to Jae's stomach. Fuck. It felt oddly intimate.

Nothing could ever have prepared Jae for what Younghyun did next. One moment he was wishing Younghyun would get off him, lest he pop an uncalled for erection. The next he feels Younghyun's soft cherry tinted lips kissing the skin where his happy trail starts up until the above his belly button. Jae's stomach is doing somersaults. The volcano inside him warming up his insides. The worst thing about it all was that Younghyun's lips were pleasantly warm.

"What the fuck?" Younghyun stands up in a flash. A look of concern and disbelief crossing his face.

"Yeah, no. What the fuck? Was that? I feel like that was soft porn. I could hav-"

"Stop joking around. This is serious."

Sungjin shuts up and returns the look Younghyun gave him and Wonpil.

"Somehow, for some reason. This new kid has a Sixfold Fire Seal on him. Whoever placed it on him must either really not want him to be a witch, or is afraid of something. The seal is in between his root and sacral chakras. Explains why he's been all over the place and why he's still not feeling anything from being here."

Wonpil looks distraught, and Sungjin looks like he's having a war in his head. The silence ensues for several minutes, until Younghyun speaks up again. He was being awfully chatty for someone who didn't even acknowledge his existence whenever they see each other just hours ago.

"I think we should retire for tonight. Let him rest and we can figure things out tomorrow."

They all nod and start filing out the door, each telling Jae to feel better. Wonpil hugged him tight before following behind Sungjin and Dowoon.

Jae is lying down all wrapped up in his bear fur blanket. His back facing Younghyun's.

It's dead silent for a good few seconds until Jae decides to break it.

"Thanks, Younghyun. For uhh finding out something's wrong with me."

Jae's cheeks color at that, because he remembered 'finding out' meant Younghyun kissing his stomach. His heart is hammering inside his chest. He feels eyes on him, and not in the weird scary way most people would think. He feels a presence watching over him.

Younghyun looks at him from his side of the bed. He's already tucked in, body facing Jae's side of the room. The pale moonlight complimenting his alabaster complexion.

"There's nothing wrong with you, Jae."

"Then why would someone try to stop me from becoming something I'm inevitably going to become?"

"Because.." Younghyun stops after one word. He still wasn't entirely sure either.

"See? You can't even lie and give me an answer."

Jae bunches up his blanket and covers his face, turning his back to Younghyun. He had been physically exhausted when he lost consciousness, but now he was emotionally drained as well.

"Because. I don't know yet, Jae. Maybe it's to protect you. Or maybe it's to protect them. All I know is there's something inside you that's drawing me in like a moth to a flame, and it scares me. That first night we met I know you felt it too. So until the day we finally find out why someone put a seal on you please let the reason I'm about to give you be enough."

That was officially the most Younghyun has said to him in his two maybe three nights in their coven. Jae felt a flush creep on his cheeks. Damn it. He felt like a little virgin schoolgirl around Younghyun. A moth to a flame, Younghyun had said. Jae kind of liked the sound of that. It was without reason, but Jae found himself growing more and more interested in the pale skinned, mysterious roommate of his.

"What's your reason then?" Jae asks, body still facing away from his roommate. There's a small smile on his lips. He feels calm now. Was it Younghyun? Was it that weird healing salve Sungjin wiped on his temple? Was it the night finally claiming him again even after hours of rest? Jae might never find anything out tonight, but he's slowly drifting off, not even remembering the question he asked Younghyun.

Younghyun lays awake beside Jae, now hearing the soft snores coming from the male.

"Because, Jae, you might be an important piece of my puzzle. Because I can't lose you, and maybe that's the same sentiment the person who put this on you feels."

Soon after Younghyun lets the night take him as well.

 

×

 

Jae is in class with Wonpil. The days after he had awoken had been rather uneventful. The usual groggy, zombie like housemates that ran on caffeine and magic trying to navigate around the dorm room.

Today's lesson was about the reapers and the the man named Clavis. Reapers were a rather neutral figure in their society. They collect the souls of the dead and appear as harbingers for the dying. They all delivered the souls to the middle ground where they meet Clavis. Known to most as the key of the middle. Clavis was essentially the cab driver of souls. Whether a soul was to be delivered to heaven or hell was decided by their time with Clavis in the cab.

It was mostly history and examples, so Jae felt okay with dozing off until Wonpil poked his arm to get his attention.

He raised an eyebrow at the male as if asking 'what?' Wonpil showed him his notepad full of drawings. There were variations of circles with different elements like a circle of thorns, one connected by scorpions, one that had a web and a spider in the middle. The one that made Jae's stomach turning was one with six rings that started small and slowly got larger. Each ring adorned with spikes. The middle of the circle was a small fire.

"What are these?"

Wonpil handed the notepad over to Jae for him to examine them better.

"They're seals. Different kinds of seals. Some of them used for inhibiting magic, some used to seal away animals or spirits, some used to lock away anything the caster wants. Be it a great power, emotions, even memories."

The professors voice was muffled out along with all the chatter of the classroom. Jae concentrated on the illustrations Wonpil supplied him. He felt as if each thing Wonpil mentioned could be what was sealed inside him.

"Some seals are simple enough for even novice witches to cast. Some are so strong that they require the sacrifice of the casters life. I believe the one on you might be a case of the latter. Sungjin is still trying to figure it out as well."

Jae nods. "Thanks for everything, Pil."

And just like that Jae is once again lost in the images Wonpil had drawn. He remembers the flames, and he remembers his mother's voice. The only problem is he doesn't remember what this all means.