Under the microscope, the red blood cells looked normal. Erkan had seen blood under a microscope many times- both others and his own. However, what he was interested in wasn’t the normal function of the blood cells. He concentrated on a particular cell and tried to get it to move. However, nothing happened.
Erkan wondered if the solution he had mixed with the blood to prevent it from coagulating was interfering with his control. It probably was, but it was hard to say for sure. There was a bit more he had to try. After all, the energy had to come from somewhere- moving around a single blood cell might not be possible. More importantly, he hadn’t tried anything on that scale before.
Erkan tried again, gently nudging an area. This time, the blood cells moved in a group. Erkan slowly formed a circle with the same blood rotating around it. That would allow him to observe the effects on the actual cells. It was hard to catch the effect with any particular cell at first, but overall Erkan saw a slight twisting and warping in the cells. Then some of them burst and shrivelled up into almost nothing. They lost their red color, and along with it were almost impossible to see under the microscope. The process continued as he swirled the grouping of cells around until he only had a few dozen. At that point, it was difficult to control.
Feeling a bit dizzy, Erkan went to sit down. He wondered if he’d actually used some of his internal blood to power the movement, but only for a moment. It wasn’t that easy to do on accident. Instead, it was just the concentration that had gotten to him- looking through a microscope and performing very precise control over blood was mentally taxing. All magic came with some degree of mental fatigue, and controlling blood required direct effort on his part. It was actually easier to control a larger amount, since he didn’t have to worry about moving any part of it a few extra millimeters. However, he did think it was good practice. Without the microscope, he couldn’t tell exactly what he was doing- so even if he achieved control that precise, there was no way to know. He might have to recommend that to Nico.
Training blood magic with Savina wasn’t a date, but going into it Erkan thought it felt like one. Maybe that was because he’d spent so much time not going anywhere with anyone… but he’d been busy with work and had other priorities. However, it wasn’t a date. Erkan wasn’t even sure he wanted to date a vampire. When he said it to himself like that, it sounded bad.
Erkan was the sort to break things down into a practical list… so he did. First of all, vampires couldn’t go out during the day- at least not comfortably. He usually didn’t either, but he could and there was the practical side of meeting family or other daytime activities to consider. That was important. A second much more distant concern was children. His parents wanted him to have children more than he did, but that didn’t mean he didn’t also want it to happen. At some point. He didn’t know whether he could even have children with a vampire, though Savina had mentioned that they could be born. If it was possible, he wasn’t sure if they would be vampires or humans or something in between, whatever that was. He could ask Savina… but he decided he had better look it up himself.
Training with Savina for a couple of days helped Erkan get a much firmer grasp on some of the basics of blood magic. One night, they went over various runes, meanings, and how they were used. It was just an overview, but it let Erkan see why some things worked. Nico hadn’t gotten to that part yet- with one day a week to teach, starting with practical applications to make sure Erkan could actually do blood magic was a logical thing to do. However, now he had some chances to learn during the week, and even some ‘homework’ to study in his free time.
It quickly became clear that Savina knew what she was doing. Not that Erkan had ever doubted that, but her knowledge of the subject was quite deep. Then again, that made sense. If she’d been training most of her life- or even since she was a teenager- then she could easily be at a doctorate level of understanding. Not that they gave doctorates in blood magic, but she would be a master or… “What do you call people skilled in blood magic, or any magic? Are there titles?”
“Generally, magic has neophytes, mages, and masters,” Savina explained, “Of course, different sorts use different terminology. I’m a bit away from being a master of blood magic… though of course there are differences between beginning masters and those who have practiced for longer. Uncle Nico has another twenty years of experience on me, and he’s one of the top mages on the west coast.”
Savina nodded, “It is a fine accolade, even though there are probably only perhaps a few thousand mages on the entire west coast. He could be considered in the top fifty, perhaps. It’s hard to say more concretely than that, since there isn’t an effective way to rank people.”
“Then I’m very lucky he’s teaching me…” Erkan hadn’t realized it right away, but of course not everyone in the supernatural world practiced magic, so mages would be an even smaller part of the population.
“You are,” Savina nodded, “Though he’s had a number of apprentices before. Most of the time he dismissed them after a week. That includes my brother.”
“Really? Why? He seemed pretty easygoing to me.”
“He said they didn’t devote themselves to learning, and that it was a waste of his time.”
“Well… I’d better work hard then. After all, we haven’t really done that much yet in our few sessions…”