Claire understood her words had gotten the man's attention. Why he reacted in this way, she didn't know.
"Sure, what do you want to know?", she asked him.
"Just tell me about magic. Why did you think I'd be worried about it?"
Claire decided to tell him what was usually common sense. Magic use wasn't officially prohibited by law in the kingdom. In reality however, it was looked down upon at best and punished severely by the government at worst. That had always been the case as far as Claire was concerned. It was what her parents taught her growing up.
Magic was utilised by the government as an instrument to keep the public order and to wage wars against the neighbouring countries. Claire knew that at some point, magic was widespread but that was a matter she had learned about through history books. Almost a hundred years ago, the country had dealt with a large scale war against the neighbouring country Keldor.
After a war spanning almost an entire decade, Liduania was able to subjugate and attempted to integrate Keldor into the country. For the most part, both countries had been exhausted completely by the war and while animosity between the two peoples were directed at eachother at the beginning of the war, that animosity was mostly directed at the two respective governments the longer the conflict went on.
After years and years of constant war, most people simply wanted to live in peace again. Even if it meant doing so as a part of another country. Of course not everyone agreed with that sentiment. Small scale uprisings were par for the course and Liduania cracked down onto these without mercy.
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Keeping the now almost twice as large country united and under control turned out to be very difficult. Doing so while the populace could make use of magic made it even more difficult. As a result, the King issued a decree to disincentivize the use of magic under the guise of public safety.
Many decades later, magic was almost exclusively utilised by government sanctioned forces and outlaws. As a result, meeting magic users meant they were most likely part of either of those two groups. Running into either spelt misfortune most of the time.