The next night, Nico took Erkan back to his apartment to get his clothes and some of his other things. “Not that I don’t appreciate you watching out for me… but don’t you have police work to be doing?”
Nico raised an eyebrow, “Do I? We have a few dozen officers. We don’t hand out traffic tickets or anything like that, and there aren’t really that many people to police. The numbers are just for safety in case there’s some kind of event… such as the Nervetti family deciding they want to take control of the entire city. If they need me, they’ll call… but in the past few months the only major incidents have been related to Justin. There were also some minor issues determined not to actually be supernatural in origin.” Nico stood in front of the apartment building for a few seconds, closing his eyes. “Nobody’s watching. No supernaturals around, at the very least, and few others awake. Let’s go in.”
When they arrived in Erkan’s apartment, it was just as bad as he remembered, minus some bloodstains. He checked his computer and found that some of it was still good, even if the case was wrecked. He salvaged the parts that didn’t look physically damaged and then gathered some clothes and other necessities. “You guys really cleaned up pretty well.”
“Blood is easy,” Nico grinned, “But Justin took care of the body. Best not to ask how. The Nervetti family will probably be upset, but their grudge with me can’t really grow any bigger and they should know better than to step foot into this part of the city. That doesn’t make you perfectly safe, of course.”
Erkan continued stuffing garbage bags full of clothes, “About that… is it safe to go to work?”
“We’ll see. As far as we know they are unaware of your name and place of work. I’d avoid going in for another few days until we can be sure, however.”
“What about my family?”
Nico shrugged, “Even I don’t know about them. I’d avoid going to see them in person for a while- say that you are sick, if necessary. That’s close enough.”
“That might just make them want to come visit… and with my apartment like this…”
“You can tell them there was a structural failure in your apartment and you’re staying with a friend. You can’t have anyone over.” Nico paused, “That’s true, by the way. Don’t order pizza or invite friends over. You should understand why.”
“It’s dangerous and gives away my location… and there are magical defenses at your place.”
“It’s mostly the second thing. It likely won’t be long before they know you are staying with me. You are able to go wherever you wish except my room, but that is not true of any random person passing through.”
“Well, I wasn’t really planning on inviting anyone over anyway.”
“Good. I don’t mind you staying for some time, if necessary. There is still much for you to learn about blood magic… and you have some practical experience in why it’s best to avoid using your own blood. At least, you need to get a feeling for how much you are using.” Nico scratched his chin, “I suppose the next lesson should be how to recover blood more quickly, or you won’t be doing much learning at all. It’s not an area I’m exactly practiced in- vampires merely need to drink enough other blood. Obviously you will be eating meat, but there’s a bit more that can help. I just have to find the right tome…”
Nico carried Erkan’s dresser out so easily Erkan wondered if he could have done the same when it was full of clothes. He wished he could be that strong… but on the other hand he could go out in daylight without trouble, if he chose to.
Erkan set up a little room in Nico’s living room, behind some standing curtains. It made him realize how little stuff he actually had. The only thing he’d really had behind his computer and clothes were some books. Beyond that, it had been going to work and back. Now at least he had a hobby… if one could call blood magic a hobby. It was more like work… and that made Erkan once again think that he should probably do more things outside of work.
Nico came to the training room with a very dusty tome that crackled when he opened it. It was thin- the covers were each as thick as the total amount of pages.
“Whoa… how old is that book?” Erkan asked.
“It was written in the ‘20s,” Nico replied.
“Like… 100 years ago?”
“Of course. When else would it have been written? I doubt you speak ancient Greek or anything.” Nico held up the book, “It’s clearly printed in English. Anyway, I inherited it from someone but it’s just been collecting dust.” Erkan looked at the title, “Blood magic for humans”. It was pretty straightforward. “Anyway, I don’t remember where exactly, but there were techniques to recover blood more rapidly. It’s not that long, so you should be able to find it. As a form of practice, why don’t you try it on your own? I’ll be here to answer any questions.”
Erkan looked through the tome, carefully. It did have a table of contents, and he found what seemed to be the right section. ‘On the regeneration of blood in the human body’. He carefully turned to the right page and began to read.
“With the recent discovery of vitamines, the importance of red meat in the diet of the blood mage has never been more clear. In fact…”
Erkan was going to be very disappointed if the only advice given was to eat red meat. However, the passage continued for some time and went into more depth.
“The body may not necessarily absorb all vitamines and minerals necessary for blood regeneration. Likewise, it may not produce blood at the desired rate, even if blood is lacking and materials are sufficient. Thus, it may be desirous to increase the production rate. Be warned that this is dangerous without sufficient intake…”
Finally it got to a description of how to actually do what he wanted. In a way, it was the same as clotting blood. At least, it was controlling his own body- at least a small part of it. However, instead of taking place in the bloodstream he needed to control the marrow. That made sense, as it was responsible for the production of blood in the first place. It was suggested that the optimal time was while the body was partway through digesting food, as the body would only store so many ‘vitamines’. That was true to some extent, but of course many problems were caused by too much of certain vitamins or minerals. Regardless, with iron and vitamin B12 freshly ingested the whole process would likely be easier.