Walking around Cosmos Market can be quite hectic. With constant yelling from the stall owners and the rumbles of customers looking for a bargain, the noise was deafening at times. And oh the sight, what a sight it is. The shuffles of people alone were sight to see. The many brilliant colors of rare exotic items and food brightened up every corner of the market. People from all over Gaia came to take a glimpse of things that they have never experienced. The exotic fruits of Thalassa were popular for its particularly sweet taste. The rich sought multicolored birds of Ouranos that sang melodies of heavens. There was something for everyone here.
But Cosmos Market was truly famous for one reason. After all it was one of the only places to buy purified magic! It may cost a fortune to buy a tiny bottled up water, air, and fire, but many sought after them. They didn’t do much. Without experience and talent it was useless to most people. Still people filled the Market everyday for them. And today was no different.
Two customers bickered and yelled while the stall owner looked at them with glee. Why wouldn’t he? With the way the two were fighting he would be making almost triple the amount he had placed on that particular item. And it was gathering a crowd of people. More customers for him!
“I’ll pay you 800 vis for it!” A young boy who was sitting at a café across the stall observed them curiously. The customer who yelled was a tall man dressed very nicely with fine silk robe. The boy could see the man had other magic vials on his belt every time the man flared his arms around in the air.
“I’ll pay you 850 vis. You should only sell precious items like this to people who know how to use them!” The second customer spat out with a scowl on his face. He was short and definitely looked poor compared to the first customer.
“Know how to use them? Of course I know how to use them! I am quite a gifted magician if I say so myself.” The first man huffed and flicked his robes to proudly show the other vials.
“Magician? Ha! You think carrying around those bottles make you a magician? Rich guys like you think these are precious collectables but they are more than that! It’s people like you that makes it hard on magicians like me to buy these damn things!”
“Now, now gentlemen. Please. I’ll have more air vials coming in from Ouranos in just two more days. Won’t one of you come in then?” More people gathered around the stall when the tension between the two men didn’t die down. Some couldn’t hide their excitement in hopes the two of them did fight. It was quite a rare sight to see two magicians fight with magic after all. The young boy leaned closer when he saw the rich man reaching for one of the vials on his belt. It was blue. Water magic.
“I don't have time to come back in two days! I need that vial now. If you won’t back off willingly I’ll make you back off!” The first customer growled and opened vial with a big whoosh of his hands. The water inside the bottle gently floated out and circled around his wrist. The crowd’s murmuring grew louder. The second customer visibly flinched, for he had been certain that the other man carried the magic vials for show.
“You- you think you can make me back off?” he stuttered. The crowd and the young boy held their breath as the second man made motions to grab something from his faded coat. It was a white vial. Air magic. “I’ll show you what real magic is like!” He made wide motions similar to the first man as he opened up his bottle. But unlike the first man’s water that visibly circled his hand, air magic was invisible to the eyes. It looked much less threatening.
“You’re going to be sorry for this!” the first man yelled while wildly flinging his arm. His beautiful silk robe fluttered around him. The water rushed from his hand and towards the other customer. The second man screeched in fear as the water came closer to him and blindly swished his own hand.
For exactly one second everyone held their breath. Then everyone hollered with laughter. Both customers’ face turned red as neither of their magic did any damage to the other. All the water did was splash his hair. And all the air did was give a light breeze to the other man. Even the young boy couldn’t stop his chuckle as the two duelers made fun of themselves with their show of magic. With their faces hidden in their hands both tried to run away from the jeering masses.
“Wait! Wait gentlemen what about this Air Vial?” The stall owner yelled out after the rushing men with grief. “Please I’ll take 400 vis for it! Come back! Stupid wannabe magicians. It was such a perfect chance to make a profit!” the owner grumbled as he put the small white bottle away in a secure case.
The crowd dispersed within seconds but the young boy remained on his chair.
“What are you looking at?” The sudden voice behind the boy startled him, though he quickly turned around with a big grin.
“Dad! I was just watching that stall with the magic vials.” He answered. “There were two magicians who wanted to buy air magic and got into a magicians duel.” He continued to tell what he observed as his father took the seat in front of him.
“A Magicians Duel? Was it fantastical?” the older man’s voice was filled with mirth as he asked his son.
The boy’s grin became larger “No. It was quite UN- fantastical.” And the two of them laughed. “Oh dad, have a piolab. I can’t believe there was a stall that had them. Don’t they usually grow around the summer?” As he spoke he took a bite of the purple fruit on the dish in front. The sweet salty taste filled his mouth. It was delicious.
“Thalassa’s oceans have been quite warm this year. I believe they are going to have a great harvest.” The dad explained as he took a piece his son was handing to him. “Yum. I can eat a ton of these!”
“They are terrible for your cholesterol sir. Please only eat one. You too Jae. The sodium content in that fruit is disgusting.”
The boy turned to the woman who said his name. “But Melinda! They’re so good!” Jae stated as he bit into another piece and tried to hand another piece to his dad.
“Jae. You’re young. But your dad isn’t. So unless your dad want to hand over the presidency to the vice president, I suggest he doesn’t eat it.” Melinda emphasized the last sentence with a glare.
“Now, now Melinda. A little piolab isn’t going to drive me into an early grave. Though I do have to admit Moss will do quite a job even if I do happen to drop dead from eating too much of this sweet and salty goodness!”
“Alas Melinda, you don’t have to make such a horrified face. I won’t eat another piece just for you. It’s also time to make our way back to the Hall right? Let’s go Jae”
As Jae and his dad stood up from their chairs the guards that were standing nearby stood in attention. Silently the men followed behind them as the three of them made their way to the car.
It should have been a sight to see for the people in the Cosmos Market. But Jae watched as everyone around them ignored them. People went their way unknowing of their President’s presence. Air and fire magic: Illusion. When Jae peeked behind his shoulder he saw the two magicians synching their magic that made this possible.
Soon the entourage entered the cars that were waiting for them. Jae took his seat besides his dad while Melinda took the seat in front of them. The car ride was peaceful, and Jae watched the window as the scenery passed by him.
Gaia was a beautiful country. Skyscrapers reached for the heavens as the cities grew with the population. As their car came to a stop at a light, Jae watched children rush outside from one of those buildings. Few of them held their phones out as they played a game even Jae loved playing. Gaians enjoyed a technological revolution that expanded the way of life. But most importantly Gaia boomed with open trading and welcomed both Thalassa and Ouranos. Tourist from both countries increased and Gaia benefited.
Jae glanced at his dad who was busy reading documents. He watched his father’s brow knit close together in a frown. Sometimes Jae will ask what’s wrong to only be reprimanded by Melinda for asking. ‘Jae you know Mr. President can’t tell you!’ So now he doesn’t bother. As more scenery passed them by, Jae’s eyes began drooping and quickly he fell asleep at some point.
It seemed like mere minutes passed when he opened his eyes and watched Melinda take out her tablet and frown.
“Mr. President, Emperor Sho has sent a message.” Melinda handed him her device. Whatever Emperor Sho must have written brought a smile to his father’s face.
“It seems like we are going to have a great time Thalassa! Emperor Sho has invited us to see the Challengers Competition. What luck.” Jae’s dad smiled as he clapped his son’s shoulder lightly.
“Really? But isn’t that event only for the people of Thalassa? I heard others aren’t allowed to watch?” Jae asked sleepily
“Well it looks like the present I bought for Emperor Sho today won’t go to waste. This is really quite something Jae. Quite something!”
“Mr. President, we arrived.” Melinda announced when their car reached the Hall. The guards opened their door and stood in attention as they got out of it. Jae’s dad nodded his head in greeting to the people waiting for him.
“Gentlemen, tomorrow is an exciting day. Gaia and Thalassa were once enemies. But our great leaders came together to end the war between us. How far we come! We opened our doors to Thalassa and gained benefit of trade between us. But Thalassa has always been closed to us. But tomorrow we make history. In celebration of our one hundred year of peace, Thalassa’s doors will finally open!”
Jae’s heart fluttered when the small gathering of people roared with cheer after his dad’s speech. Thalassa was finally open. And he was going to be one of the first Gaian in over one hundred year to enter it. ‘Thalassa here I come!’