James is top of the class in Mathemagics, which doesn’t impress Shakti at all.

“It’s numbers,” she tells him over ice cream on the Roving Tower.  “That’s it.”

“That’s not it.  It’s the underlying principles that govern-”

“Bullshit.  It’s a license for me to beat you up.”

“Really?”  The tower turns so he’s backlit by the sunset.  “Wanna try?”

“Anytime, anywhere.  I could outduel a Mathemagician eyes closed.  This is what I do.”

They find a spot in the gym, and she tells him not to conjure himself into a locker.  Then he beats her three matches in a row.


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