Journey To Chaos part 1: A Mage's Power Chapter 7: The Joust, a fantasy fiction - FictionPress.com
Chapter seven is a pivotal chapter. It is the start of the secondary conflict. Though it is secondary it is of great importance to the plot and the nature of the world. I need this plot to accomplish my most important goal with this book: for the reader to accept Tariatla as a 'real world with magic' instead of a 'magical world'.
Magical Worlds are always less real to the reader because they are magical. They contain things that don't exist in reality and the default notion is that they aren't real even inside the world of the story. Tvtropes describes this tendency in detail but the gist of it is the idea that only 'present day Earth' counts as real and anything else is by default 'not real' and instead some kind of metaphor. The purpose of the secondary conflict is to avert this.
The primary conflict is Eric's lack self-confidence and his trials to overcome it, but that is an abstract conflict. If I wanted to make that the front and center conflict than the story would have to be metaphorical. The world itself would be different; not a real place but subconscious taken form. A secondary conflict that exists apart from Eric is needed to ground the action in 'reality'. Until now that conflict has been Eric settling into his new world (finding a job, a home, etc) and while that was useful for world building one cannot 'settle in' for two hundred pages. The real danger begins now.