"Bigot!" Sonorhc grumbled. Not for the first time had she been prematurely and unfairly judged because of her less-than-savory magic.
"What was it this time?" Reaper asked with an amused smirk. Unlike Sonorhc, she found this magical-based discrimination amusing.
"They won't even let me into hospitals now!" Sonorhc replied, pouting as she glared up at the hospital building in front of her.
"I would call that a blessing!" Reaper snickered, elbowing her friend. "Hospitals are creepy. Who would ever go into one willingly?"
"But what if I get sick?" Sonorhc demanded.
"Just die and resurrect," Reaper replied with a shrug.
"And what if someone I love gets sick?"
"Just kill and resurrect!"
"Well fine. If you don't do the deed, I will!" Reaper cracked her knuckles playfully. "You can bring 'em back once I send 'em away!"
"Reaper!" Sonorhc cried again, pinching the bridge of her nose. The two of them had been best friends ever since they started training under death-based magic together, but they were still very different. While Reaper was almost obnoxiously cheerful, Sonorhc was the grumpy one.
"Ok, ok, I'm sorry, I'll stop," Reaper promised, trying to reign in. She knew that Sonorhc could be a bit self-conscious at times.
"Honestly, you think they'd consider Necromagy a Life Magic! Not a Death Magic!" Sonorhc continued to glare at the hospital. "We don't kill, we resurrect! We don't end lives, we return and save them! We don't send souls away, we bring them back! Yet still! They hate and fear us! Such are the woes of a Necromage, I guess…" she sighed in annoyance and defeat.
"Well, it's because you only work with those who are already dead," Reaper said. "And you don't always bring them back very well…"
"Hey!" Sonorhc snapped. "It's harder than it looks, you know? Not only do I have to get every body part back in the right order, but then I have to reactivate everything correctly so that no personality traits or mental faculties become changed, lost or warped!"
"I know, I know!" Reaper promised, trying to calm her friend down. "I just mean that since you start with and from death, that's why Necromagy is considered a Death Magic even though you are right that you bring people back to life rather than expel them from it. It's like Shadow Magic!"
"What?" Sonorhc snorted. "How can controlling shadows and darkness compare to, oh, I don't know… creating zombies and working with the DEAD and bringing them back to life?! I'd say that Necromagy is a bit more extreme than Umbramagy!"
"Well not that," Reaper said. "I'm not about to go into which magical art is the most oppressed. I merely mean that Shadow Magic is another "Gray Magic", you know? It's something that Nevermore was trying to tell me about a few days ago. She essentially said that because shadows cannot exist without light, Umbramagy ought to be considered a Light Magic rather than a Dark Magic in the same way you believe Necromagy should be considered a Life Magic rather than a Death Magic."
"Yeah, but it would look silly to see an Umbramage working alongside a Photomage," said Sonorhc. "Even if shadows do rely on light!"
"And that's exactly the point you were trying to make about Necromagy," said Reaper and Sonorhc finally saw her point. "Nevermore was trying to argue that the way we categorize things is, at its core, arbitrary. Sure, we claim that certain things belong in certain groups, but can we know for sure? Of course, I'm not saying every category is arbitrary, but when we hit things like shadow and resurrection magic, that's when it gets messy."
"Ha, yeah. It's like the "Featherless Biped" problem," Sonorhc gave a dry smile. "You fit one category, but totally mess up another."
"And then you have to re-sort the entire thing," Reaper agreed. "And it's also like the Pyromage problems. You know how some of them prefer to focus on the flames while others focus on the smoke. And you know how fire can be used for both harm and healing. So it's hard to classify, would you consider Fire Magic a 'good' or 'evil' magic, when looking at it in that particular binary?"
"Ugh. You're making my head hurt," Sonorhc joked tiredly. "Just call it "Gray Magic" and leave it there."
"I thought you liked philosophy!" Reaper defended herself.
"I do," Sonorhc admitted. "Just not when I'm moping over not being allowed into a hospital," she said, looking back up at the towering building.
"If it makes you feel any better, they probably wouldn't let me in either," Reaper said, trying to be empathetic.
"Well your powers are expressly for causing death!" Sonorhc shot back. "You decay things with a single touch! But me? I bring people back! And besides, it's not like people don't die in hospitals anyway! Regardless of who is on the scene, a hospital is a place of death, just as it is a place of life, yet here I am being told that I am bad luck to this place!" Sonorhc continued to vent. The woes of a Necromage were endless.
"Ooof man," Reaper shook her head. "Maybe this is just a bad hospital. I once worked as an anesthetist in a hospital in another country. I used my death-skills to essentially kill nerve endings and pain receptors. And yes, I have been used as euthanasia before," she added, grimacing slightly at the end of her remark. While she didn't mind that line of work, she knew it was a very controversial one and not a lot of people were always comfortable with the idea of a human using their magic to kill, even if it was totally legal and safe. But it was cheaper than injections. While those chemicals cost money, using Death Magic was free. It only took a bit of energy, which was easily recovered with food and rest.
"But I mean hey, like I said, you need someone to put people out of their misery and clean up the bodies!" she joked a second later, trying to lighten the mood. She gave a goofy grin and even Sonorhc stopped pouting for a moment.
"You're terrible!" Sonorhc laughed despite herself. Reaper's morbid humor never ceased to amuse her, no matter how messed up it was. Besides, she wasn't wrong. There were other hospitals that accepted those with Death Magic, but unfortunately, they were usually the creepier and grosser hospitals. They were sanitariums, sanitoriums, asylums and other "deathlier" places. That was Sonorhc's real problem.
Even if hospitals were also places of death, they had an air of life and hope. Only the places that were truly like "living tombs" welcomed Death Magic users unconditionally. This meant that quality of work was subpar. While the "Doctors of Life" were hoity-toity jerks working in high-end hospitals, the poor fools working funeral homes and autopsy rooms were much lower down on the hierarchy. But those were considered places of death rather than of life, hence why a Necromage could find a job as an anesthetist or euthaniaist, but not necessarily a surgeon.
"Never mind. Let's just go," Sonorhc finally sighed. "I'd rather not stare up at a hospital all day and complain."
"Sounds good! Let's get something to eat! I'm starving," said Reaper, looking excited as she and Sonorhc finally turned away from the hospital.
"Pig," Sonorhc snickered despite herself.
"What can I say? I love demolishing!" Reaper gave a wicked smile, winking mischievously. Sonorhc only rolled her eyes in return, but in secret, she was glad to have a friend like Reaper. It made the woes of a Necromage so much easier to handle.
AN: Just me rambling about different types of magic and magical discrimination in a world I will never fully flesh out (sorry y'all).
And yes, I changed the suffix from "-mancer" to "-mage". You'll find out why later.
And I've made other edits to the other chapters too.