Every year, the empire administers the rite of passage into adulthood. That rite serves to identify those blessed by Aether to become magi. The new magi are shipped to the academy to learn the arts of magic.
The academy is a dangerous place; the tournaments held twice each year can cripple or kill the students, and the clans of the empire will go to great lengths to recruit the students they want.
Gregory had one dream: to become a magi like the legends of old. Though he was ridiculed by the residents of the village and his unsupportive father, he never wavered from his dream. Would his age day bring the fruition of his dreams, or would reality come crashing down on him?
Gregory’s life changed when his aether sparked to life during the Age Day ritual. He left his old friends and his old life behind, and was taken to the Magi Academy to start training to serve the Vela Empire. Suddenly alone and out of place, he prepared for the worst.
When the beautiful novice, Yukiko Warlin, asked if they could be friends, his life changed again. After six months of duplicity from the people who they had thought of as friends, Gregory and Yukiko isolated themselves from all the other novices.
Gregory chose a path considered impossible for his training, Yukiko followed, pushing each other to strive ever harder. When Yukiko’s betrothal was annulled, the two friends were free to express the deeper feelings that had developed between them.
The first tournament for the novices was brutal on the two young lovers. Both of them were pushed to the absolute limit, but they endured. When they took the top two spots, their fellow novices dropped the pretense of friendship when neither would bow to the machinations of their peers.
Now, the rest of their first year stands before them. It’s become clear that they should join a clan, but where can they find one that would treat them both fairly and equally?