Practice with blood magic had been going well. Enough so that Erkan was confident in doing any spell by the book. Or rather, he was confident that he could copy anything from a book. He had memorized the various runes, but as for whole spells there were only one or two he could reproduce from memory. Creating his own, except for something very simple, would be impossible.
Of course, that also only applied to things meant for a single person to accomplish. There were also magic circles that could encompass a whole room, and those were much more complicated and prone to mistakes. They were also the sort of thing that brought to mind the typical idea of blood magic- a big central altar from which blood flowed through gutters throughout the room. Usually it would be dark, with only a bit of candlelight flickering off of the blood. That was also the kind of thing that usually came to human sacrifices, which was the problematic part. Not that he needed to be told, but Nico informed Erkan that human- or werewolf, vampire, or any sapient- sacrifices for blood magic were at least twice as illegal as normal murder. It was still murder, but gross misuse of magic was at least equivalent to murder- depending on the circumstances, it could lead to immediate execution instead of any form of imprisonment. They couldn’t afford to be careless with people… and it wasn’t something you could do by accident anyway.
Nico nodded as he watched Erkan work, “I see the extra practice throughout the week has helped. I’d almost thing you’d spent more than a month at this.”
“I’ve had lots of practice learning. It’s not really something people think about getting better at unless they go through a lot of school…” Erkan shrugged, “So what are we doing today?”
“A very exciting subject. Blood clotting. Useful for you, at least.”
“Yeah…” Erkan thought about the several wounds he had from his practice controlling his blood. “It would certainly be useful. I just wish I could regenerate like you.”
Nico spread his arms, “Alas, that is not so easy to accomplish. Though in addition to making sure your tools are sharp and clean, there are some techniques to reduce scarring, at least. But one step at a time. Ceasing bleeding is useful even for a normal blood mage, and not just with those with your condition. It is another aspect of blood control. Likewise, that means it is much more easily accomplished with your own blood. When you had your… troubles… my niece chose instead to reintroduce your blood to your body, since controlling blood inside you was more difficult and likely to fail. A fortuitous decision, because with your affinity for magic it would have been even harder to control blood inside you.”
“She probably also expected that I would mostly stop bleeding on my own…” Erkan shrugged, “So, what do we do first?”
“First you watch me, again. I can show you a number of times with minimal blood loss… and my wounds will regenerate as well. That does take some energy, but it’s easily replenished. Pig’s blood, while not particularly appetizing, is plentiful.” Nico prepared his dagger, holding it up to his forearm, “Now, again, I’d not recommend using your arm for most beginner practice… but I will heal and it’s easier than sticking my foot up on the table. Make sure to watch the magic carefully.”
Erkan knew that while Nico would heal, he could still feel pain… so he didn’t want to have to demonstrate too many times. “Ok, I’m ready.”
Nico pierced his arm. Blood flowed out- a lot of blood, actually. Nico had cut a vein. However, that didn’t matter. What mattered was what was happening inside. Erkan could feel the magic. In a way, he could see it too. If he was later asked to describe what had happened, he would have had to cheat. It was blood clotting, obviously. He might even be able to reproduce it with magic. But explaining it with words? Difficult. “Sorry… could you do it one more time?” NIco’s blood had finished clotting, and the wound had even closed up. Saying it was healed would be an overstatement, however.
“Of course,” Nico nodded. “Just a moment. Pay attention to this, as well. Reintroducing blood isn’t as easy as you might think.” Nico had gathered the blood that had dripped down from his arm, and now he pierced a vein again. However, instead of letting blood flow out, he kept it inside. At the same time, he slowly reintroduced the other blood. “Try to avoid bringing any contaminants. Likewise, don’t be too fast. Also, when practicing clotting yourself… if you have the capacity, it is better to stop the blood from flowing out as well. However, watching two different magical effects is more difficult.” While Nico sometimes described particular things as difficult, he never make them look difficult. He was even able to carry out explanations while performing magic, while Erkan did good not to grunt.
After Nico’s second demonstration- clearly slowed down to make it easier to follow- Erkan felt confident enough to try. “I think I know how it works. I should be able to do it…” Erkan closed his eyes for a moment. “I can do it. Maybe not fast, though.”
Nico nodded. “Good. I will monitor your condition. If you appear to be in danger, I will take over. At that time, you need to stop attempting to control your blood, and let me do it. With me watching using your arm here is okay- it will be closer and easier to concentrate on.”
“Right. Okay.” Erkan nodded, taking a deep breath. This was different from before. Now, he would be bleeding until he could make it stop. That meant it had to be more than a tiny pinprick, because even with haemophilia those stopped bleeding on their own. Piercing a vein would be a bit ambitious, especially considering recovering afterwards.
Erkan carefully measured, chose a place, and stabbed himself in the arm- not deep, but certainly not a shallow stab. Now he was bleeding. He tried not to think about that. Blood didn’t bother him, but thinking about the fact that he would be continuously bleeding until he finished would only distract him from stopping it. He just needed to replicate what Nico did. It was just that his body didn’t have any clotting factor to work with in the first place.