“How are you feeling?” I asked, offering Jemal a hand to stand.
“I’m good. I’ll get this.” he insisted.
“I have no doubt.” I assured him. “You and your sister both seem to be fitting in well here.”
Emma was working with Kayla on how to do some simple acrobatics, though Kayla was obviously cheating a little, given that she jumped off thin air a few times. Well, I could feel her magic whenever she did.
“Ready to start on a little magic work as well?” I asked.
“Sure thing, boss.” he replied.
Using residual energy was a struggle for Jemal and Kayla, but I had hope for them. They were doing well enough for now. Alma was helping them learn to harmlessly use their natural magic to draw energy for spells in case they ever found themselves with not enough on hand.
“Master, you have a visitor.” announced Mila.
“Who?” I asked, not remembering anything on my schedule.
“Dejon Powers. I’m still verifying a few things, but I believe he wants to work here.” she replied.
“Has he applied?” I inquired.
“No, master. Shall I walk him through the application for now?” she questioned.
“Sure.” I agreed. “I’ll see him after I finish if he’s done with the application by then.”
As I continued with today’s lessons, I was curious who this brazen person was, marching in here and demanding to see me without any notice. I started worrying over Alma taking notice of him a little while later. I’d hate to see what she does to someone she found to be discourteous. I doubted she’d actually leave her work just to see who’s calling, but Mila might inform her. I ended the lesson a little earlier than normal, giving in to my curiosity.
I used magic to clean myself and quickly changed into something a bit more formal. Then I perused through what Mila had found out about him before going to join him. She had escorted our visitor into one of the first floor rooms I rarely entered. Judging by the furniture, I could only guess this was meant to be a type of sitting room.
When I entered, Dejon was facing away from me, quickly pointing to answers as they appeared with questions on the wall. He had blonde hair, was of average height, and seemed fairly well dressed. I watched for a time before pointing out a mistake.
He turned, looking angry for a moment, but he then seemed to recognize me. “Mr. Somerset, I am here to work for you.” he stated. “I am Dejon C. Powers. I realize you probably haven’t heard of me, but you want to hire me.”
I felt magic flowing from him as he spoke, attempting to affect me.
“Sorry, Dejon, but using magic to gain employment is a poor tactic at best. If you can’t even manage to fill out an application, I have little need for you.” I informed him.
His shock was amusing, but I did my best to keep the amusement from my face.
“M-magic?” he asked.
“What you just attempted to do there.” I replied.
“How did you know about my gift?” he asked, stepping away from me.
“I have my ways. A background check has already been performed on you, and I now believe you’ve used your magic a bit frivolously, perhaps to slack around in school.” I suggested.
“Of course not!” he protested, but he was lying.
I allowed myself a smile as I said, “Sorry, but your lies are wasted here, Dejon. Get out. You can finish your application from home if you are sincerely interested in joining us, though I do hope you’ll write a proper apology as well.”
“Master, he’s being evicted today.” stated Mila.
“I’m certain he could manage to apply from a library if his Internet service has been disconnected.” I replied. “He also seems to have a phone in his pocket.”
Dejon was staring between us, looking completely baffled.
“The phone’s been disconnected, but he could make use of free Wi-Fi.” she informed me. “Look at this, master.”
I felt my phone buzz and pulled it out. Dejon had been fired from his last job for absenteeism, but I couldn’t fault him too much. He had been trying to bail out a local charity. Unfortunately for him and the charity, Alma was behind shutting it down. I recognized the man in the video I was watching as one of her employees in the area. He had a decent singing voice as he had demonstrated at the karaoke event I attended with my parents and friends. Dejon’s magic had likely failed due to protective spells on the man.
“Did Mila send this to you as well?” I asked, turning to see Alma.
“Yes. This pest has been causing some problems for a while now.” she stated.
“A charity though?” I asked.
“As well as a front for some illicit activities.” she replied. “Portentia’s the one who had turned me onto it.”
Nodding, I said, “I didn’t realize you were aiding her now.”
“I’m not. Our goals just happened to coincide in this matter.” she told me.
“Who are you people!?” demanded Dejon.
“You should have looked into us before applying. Why were you trying to help that charity?” I asked.
“My girlfriend volunteers there.” he replied.
“No, she doesn’t. Try again.” I told him.
“Fine, she’s a co-… was a co-worker.” he told me.
“And?” I asked.
“I just wanted to help out.” he admitted.
“Good. Let’s grab your stuff. I’ll let you stay here tonight, though I’m still not certain I’ll hire you.” I told him.
“James, is that really such a good idea?” asked Alma.
“Who knows?” I replied with a shrug. Then I kissed her head as I walked past her. When I heard Dejon catch up to me, I said, “If you attempt to use your magic on any of my employees, I will be most displeased.”
Mila had pulled our company truck around to the front, and I let her do the driving as we headed to Dejon’s place. He seemed a bit disturbed by the sight, less so after I explained about Mila.
“Do you really believe what I can do is magic?” he asked, perfectly serious.
“Yes. I know many people with many sorts of magic.” I informed him.
“But… why do you call it magic?” he asked.
“Manipulation of energies drawn from other dimensions through acts of will seems magical enough to call magic.” I replied. “My teachers all seemed to feel the same.”
“What can you do?” he asked.
“I can teach my friends, those in my employ at least, and try to make this world a slightly better place through my company.” I replied.
“So if you hire me, you’ll teach me?” he asked.
“Teach me what exactly?” he inquired.
“Martial arts and ways of manipulating what we call residual energy, a type of excess energy brought to this world by use of gifts such as yours. You may not realize it, but you sparkle to the eyes of anyone who can see the energy.” I stated.
“Sparkle?” he asked, looking at his arms.
“The energy sort of clings for a time before drifting into the air. Every time you use your magic, you also give yourself away to others.” I explained.
He stared at me for a moment, and then asked “What precisely can you do with magic?”
“Many things, such as blocking yours.” I replied with a smirk. I couldn’t possibly explain the number of things I knew how to do in a reasonable sort of time.
Something still put me off about Dejon. He always seemed to be hiding something just behind his icy blue eyes, and I couldn’t say what precisely. I considered for a time as we continued to chat. If I were to be reasonable, I probably seemed to be hiding things from him as well, since I was. I didn’t feel any obligation to reveal precisely what sorts of magic were common in my household, and I wasn’t going to start demonstrating what I could do here in the open. If I decided to hire him, Dejon would learn plenty in due course.