Journal of a teenage wizard: Year 1 (September 2nd 1932)

Friday, 2nd September 1932

I got lost in the dungeons today while looking for my potions class. I wonder why Qimengdian would even schedule classes down in the dungeon, to begin with. In my opinion, it’s the least conducive place to learn in the entire academy. It’s cold and there’s a funny smell which permeated the air. Actually, I wonder why a magic academy like Qimengdian would even have a dungeon? I mean, it’s not like we keep any dangerous creatures or people on campus. Or do we?

Getting lost in the dungeons, however, was not entirely bad. I got to befriend Mia, a fellow first-year student who had also gotten lost in the dungeons while trying to find the potions class. This was not my first time seeing Mia, actually. I had first seen her during enchant class. She was one of the few students Professor Kingsley had called upon to demonstrate the levitation enchantment to rest of the class, as she had managed to successfully cast it by the end of class. As we searched for our ever elusive classroom, I got to know her a bit better. I found out that she has an older sister who attends Qimengdian as well and that she too was from Singapore. What a small world!

As we continued to search for our ever elusive classroom, we started to hear the sound of sobbing. Curious, Mia and I followed the sound. We ended up coming across one of our fellow students, an ork. He was sitting down on the floor, crying. I must say I was rather taken aback. I never expected to see an ork crying. Not at all. They always looked so fierce with that two lower canines which protruded from their mouth. I approached the young crying ork. I asked him what was the matter. Between sobs, he told me he got lost trying to look for his class. Mia asked whether he was looking for the potions classroom. He nodded. I told him that we were lost as well, and that were looking for the potions classroom as well. I told him he could follow us as we looked for our class. The young ork stopped sobbing. I asked him what was his name. He said his name was Duncan. I then introduced myself to Duncan. Mia did the same. Duncan got to his feet. We then began to start looking for our elusive potions classroom again.

After an hour of walking through the hallways of the dungeons, we finally found our elusive potions classroom. But we were too late. We arrived just when class had ended for the day. I was expecting our potions professor, Professor Horatio Mallard to give us an earful for being tardy. But he didn’t. Instead, the hefty-built professor told us that it was common for first year students to get lost trying to find his class during the first week of classes, and that he does not punish students for being tardy on the first and second week of classes as we had yet to familiarise ourselves with the layout of the academy. He did say to us, however, if by the third week we were still tardy, he would begin issuing demerits, as we should be familiar with the layout of the academy by then. Before letting us three go, Professor Mallard let us know what reading we needed to do to catch up with the class.

Although I was disappointed that I was not able to attend my first potions class, I was nonetheless happy. I got to make two more friends here at Qimengdian. Though I hope that I don’t meet all my friends this way. Anyways, I can’t wait for tomorrow, because tomorrow is the day of the where we first year students will be finally sorted into one of the twelve clans of Qimengdian. I wonder which clan I’ll be placed in.


© 2017 Y.Z. Tan


Journal of a teenage wizard: Year 1 (September 1st, 1932)

Thursday, 1st September 1932

Today, we were finally given our first real taste of magic after spending nearly an entire week on nothing but orientation. Today, during our first actual enchant class, we were taught our first spell, the levitation enchantment. According to our enchant professor, Professor Desmond Kingsley, a jovial human man of African descent, the levitation enchantment is one of the easiest enchantments to learn and master as it requires very little magical essence to cast. However, I beg to differ. I found it extremely hard to cast it. But I was not alone. Many of my fellow classmates also found it difficult to cast the levitation enchantment. Benjamin, one of the first friends I had made when I first arrived at Qimengdian , had already given up trying to cast the levitation enchantment after failing multiple times to make the feather in front of him levitate. I could see the look of defeat and resignation on his face. I tried to cast the levitation enchantment again. And again. But I failed each and every time. By the end of the class, only a handful of students had managed to levitate the feather placed in front of them. I was not one of them, unfortunately. As Benjamin and I left the classroom to go to our next class, I told Benjamin that we should not give up and continue practising the spell. He agreed with me.

Journal of a teenage wizard: Year 1 (August 31st, 1932)

I don’t understand why we still have to take English classes while attending a magic academy like Qimengdian. Or even arithmetic for that matter. I mean we’re at a magical academy! There’s no use teaching us those two subjects here. We were already taught English and Arithmetic while in primary school. I don’t think any other magic school or academy in the world makes taking English and Arithmetic mandatory. Anyways, the only reason why I’m actually writing down these thoughts in the first place is because of my English professor, Professor George Wordsworth, who made writing a journal as part of our English assessment. I hope reading out of entries would not be part of the assessment as well. I really do.

Now, what were we suppose to write about again? Oh yes, we had to write something about myself. Well, my name is Zachary Tan. I’m just an average human Chinese boy from Singapore who has two older brothers, one of which is a professor here at Qimengdian. Anyways, I think that’s all I have to say about myself. Hope its enough

© 2017 Y.Z. Tan

Escape from Hong Kong

Late 1931,

Hong Kong

“Come back here! Don’t try to run away!” yelled an angry voice in Cantonese.

Zachary Tan, not heeding the calls of the angry voice to stop, rushed down a flight of stairs as fast as his legs could carry him. As he exited the building he was in, he found himself in right the middle of one of Hong Kong’s famous and colourful street markets. The street was crowded with people both young and old going about their business. And the air was filled with the calls of street vendors and touts, urging people to buy the goods from their stalls. There was also the distinct smell of incense sticks burning and street food which permeated the cool night air. The young Chinese man, standing in the middle of the moving crowd in the hopes of concealing himself, closed his eyes for a brief moment, imagining the entrance to his friend’s antiquities store in his mind’s eye. He opened his eyes to find himself still in the middle of the street he was on and not in front of Wong’s store. I can’t blink out?

“There he is! Over here!” shouted someone over the already noisy atmosphere.

Zachary turned towards the direction in which the voice came from and saw the figure of a burly ork with Chinese features wearing a slightly bloodied white singlet. Next to him were two of his associates, both human. The ork’s large lower canines which protruded from his mouth looked much sharper than that of the average ork’s, giving him a much more dangerous look. Not good, not good, thought Zachary as he began to run again. He weaved his way through the large crowd of people of fast as he could, all the while gripping his finely carved mahogany wand tightly in his right hand and an orb the size of a cricket ball that was made purely out of jade in his left. “Sorry. So sorry,” apologised Zachary every time he bumped into someone as he weaved through the crowd to make his escape. I wonder why they aren’t blinking to catch me? Then it dawned on Zachary that the reason as to why he couldn’t blink out or why his enemy wasn’t blinking in to seize him was because there was probably an anti-blinking spell cast over the street they were on to prevent thefts. I need to get out of the market.

 Zachary looked back to see that the men pursuing him were getting closer, pushing their way through the crowd to get to him. He could also see that all three of them had their intricately carved wands drawn. This isn’t a place for a duel. I need to find a way to distract them and get away from here, lest innocent people get caught in the crossfire. Zachary quickly scanned his immediate surroundings, hoping to find something that could help him. That could work. Zachary lifted his finely carved chestnut wand and pointed it towards a stall selling newspapers.

“Etbulliet!” Zachary yelled.

The stacks of newspapers on the stand he was aiming at shot up into the air before swarming his pursuers like a swarm of angry bees, slowing them down and obscuring their sight. That should slow them down, said Zachary to himself, smiling while admiring his spell work briefly before making his escape.

Almost there, said Zachary to himself, seeing a large beautifully lit Chinese arch which served as the entrance as well as the exit to the street he was on. His joy, however, was short-lived as he soon saw the familiar figure of William Choo, the boss of one of Hong Kong’s newest triads, blocking his way. Flanking him were two of his bodyguards, a male ork and a human woman Zachary looked around his surroundings to try and find another way out, another exit, but there was none. He only could go forward, and it looked like he would have to fight his way out of this mess.

“Hand back the orb,” demanded William calmly, wearing an expression of extreme confidence.

Zachary shook his head. “You know I can’t do that. This orb belongs in a museum.”

“That orb belongs to me!” yelled William. “It is mine!”

Zachary could see that the people were starting to disperse in all directions, not wanting to be caught in the eventual crossfire if a duel takes place.

“If you don’t hand back the orb to me willingly, I will take it by force!” William along with his two bodyguards drew their wands from their belt holsters, readying themselves for battle. All three of their wands were intricately carved and ornately decorated, like all wands that have been crafted by wandmakers from the Asian continent.

There’s no way I can take on three triad members at once, thought Zachary, analysing the situation. He could feel sweat starting to trickle down his back. I’ve no choice. I’ve to give him the orb.

 “Fine, you win,” said Zachary in defeat. “You can have the orb back.”

Zachary lobbed the jade orb he had been holding tightly in his left hand towards William. The triad boss smirked as he caught the jade orb with his left hand. “A smart choice.”

“You have the orb back,” said Zachary. “So can I go?”

William smiled maliciously as he shook his head slowly. “I’m afraid I can’t let you do that. The other triads would think me weak if I let someone who’s stolen from me simply walk away with no consequences. I would lose face, and I can’t let that happen. You have to be punished. It is tradition.”

Zachary sighed. “I thought you’d say that.”

Zachary in one quick motion raised his wand and pointed it towards the orb William held in his hand. The jade orb immediately began to glow and pulsate before exploding in a brilliant flash of light that was as bright as the morning sun. Zachary who had been shielding his eyes from the flash of light could see that William and his two bodyguards were blinded, as they were feeling the air around them, trying to get their bearings. The jade orb that was previously in William’s left hand was also nowhere to be seen. Now’s my chance.

“Debilito!” yelled Zachary. A blue bolt of pure magical energy surged out of his wand and hit William, causing the triad boss to fall back, unconscious. Zachary then proceeded to do the same to his two bodyguards, knocking them both unconscious. That should keep them off my back for a few minutes.

Not wanting to waste any time, Zachary immediately made his way for the large archway which served as an entrance and exit for the street he was on. As soon as he passed the archway and onto another street, he reached into the inner right pocket of his dark brown leather jacket and pulled out the real jade orb. Time to get you to a museum, said Zachary to himself, smiling as he looked at the beautiful jade orb. He closed his eyes and in a flash of blue light, disappeared, leaving only a faint trace of white smoke behind.

© 2017 Y.Z. Tan