Blood Chapter 21

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Nico held up a small but sharp knife, “Now, before we do anything unwise, it’s best to think about what we want. First, how much blood do you need? A drop is easy to get from anywhere. If you need enough for combat… how much? Opening a vein when you don’t need to is unwise, to say the least. Especially for you. Until you learn how to coagulate blood in an instant, we won’t do more than a little poke. Of course, you must also learn how much is required for the desired results. You can use more, but that can result in a larger effect than intended and collateral damage… or just a waste of blood. It can take a month or more for humans.” Nico handed over a printout with notes and a drawing of the circulatory system, “Ignore anything related to the neck there. It’s suicide for a human, even if you know how to seal off blood vessels and coerce them to heal.”

Erkan took the notes and looked them over. At each point it showed how easy it was to get a large flow of blood, and how much you could expect. Of course, most of the spots were large veins. “This is kind of weird.”

“It’s just basic stuff from an anatomy class- but nobody much cares about how quickly you’ll bleed to death there. Not until medical classes anyway.” Nico shrugged, “Not as relevant for a vampire since we can regenerate naturally and can survive with very little blood if necessary. Now then,” he held the knife meaningfully, “Where do you think a good place to get just a small amount of blood is?”

“Umm… the palm?” Erkan remembered testing blood types in a high school science class.”

“Really?” Nico raised an eyebrow, “Now why would anyone want to do that?” He pulled out another paper, “The hands contain some of the most nerve endings in the entire body. It’s quite painful. There are better options. Like the back of your forearm. Doesn’t hurt too much, doesn’t bleed too much… overall, it’s not bad. You might need to wear long sleeve shirts, however. If you have time, like today, you can use the calf. It’s not especially convenient, but easier to cover up.”

“Oh, right…” Erkan nodded. It was probably better if he didn’t show up to work with cuts all over his arms. They might think he had a problem. Though, he supposed finding out he was practicing blood magic wouldn’t go over any better. Even if it was perfectly fine, it certainly seemed problematic.

“Now then, it’s time for practice.” Nico held up a shot glass, “You’ll need somewhere to store the blood. If you can already control it then it’s not necessary, but we’ll start from the basics. You’ll want to work quickly but carefully, or the blood will lose its potency.” He threw one leg up on a table and pulled back the leg of his pants. “Maybe start wearing dark pants until you can clean out blood.” Then he held up the knife which tapered to a sharp point, “See this here?” He squeezed his fingers around the blade near the point, “If you hold your fingers like this, you can control the depth…” He stabbed into the side of his calf and blood flowed out in a steady trickle, “You don’t want to stab slowly, since that extends the pain, but of course you also don’t want to go deep.” He pressed the shot glass against his leg and the blood trickled into there. Then he waved his hand with it about halfway full, and a scab formed nearly instantly on his leg, then the wound disappeared. “For today I’ll be stopping the blood flow. Obviously you won’t heal instantly after.”

Nico quickly dipped the brush in pig’s blood and drew out a circle. It was small and simple, relatively. His practiced hand made it look much easier than it would actually be once Erkan started trying. “Concentrate on your blood. That is fairly simple, since you have a connection, but this is a targeted spell. It’s important to not be distracted as you finish.” The circle shimmered slightly, and the blood in the shot glass, which was placed in the center of the circle, floated up into the air and into a ball. It continued to float there. “For this amount, pig’s blood can last about a minute.” Nico furrowed his brow in concentration as he moved the ball around, stretching it out into a ring and even having it form into his name. “Just holding it up is good practice. Eventually you’ll get a hang for it and not even need a circle. In that case it uses your own blood, but it’s much more efficient. Depending on various factors, human blood has ten times or more potency.”

Erkan saw the pig blood in the circle shrivel up until there was only crusty traces remaining, but the blood remained floating. However, after another minute he noticed it was shrinking in volume ever so slightly. Then Nico lowered it back into the shot glass. “My blood could probably last half an hour or so there. No point in using it all up.” Nico pressed his finger into the shot glass, and the blood turned into tiny little tendrils that latched on, then the mass slowly disappeared as it flowed into him. “As a vampire I can reabsorb my blood without much issue. It will be much harder for you, especially without an open wound… but you also have to worry more about contaminants. At least, outside of here.”

“Right, right.” Erkan looked nervously in front of him. “I guess it’s time to actually do this.”

“Now’s as good of time as any. However, you don’t have to. It’s a big step.”

Erkan shook his head, “No, I’m fine. I’m not afraid of blood or a little pain… you can seal the wound, right?”

“Absolutely. I taught Savina everything she knows. Stopping a little bleeding is nothing.”

“Right. Okay, then.” Erkan put his leg on the desk. It was an awkward standing position. He held the dagger between his fingers. “Is this the right amount?”

“Maybe a bit less, for a start. Don’t hesitate.”

Erkan nodded, took a deep breath, and jabbed the tip of the dagger into the side of his calf. The blood flowed out so smoothly he almost forgot to gather it with the shot glass. Once he had enough, Nico reached over to touch his leg and the flow stopped within a few seconds.

“Better get started.”

Erkan nodded again. That was about the limit of his communication ability. He looked at the template drawing and started drawing with pigs blood, as quickly as his hands would work as they trembled nervously.

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