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51 Blood Magic Practice

    The next morning I awaken finding myself feeling like I'm suffocating. I open my eyes to see Eden and Aponi have moved in closer overnight. Aponi's arm now covers my nose while I seem to have inhaled some of Eden's hair. I toss Aponi's arm to the side and raise myself up quickly. I glance to the side to find Annie gripping Eden's legs tightly.

    Gazing at Eden, I think about our conversation with the Congressman, 'According to him, he'll need a week to make the necessary preparations to bring Jacob here. I expect he'll probably figure out Eden's true identity when he investigates Jacob's background. As for the people I want, I'll check in with him again in a few days.'

    Hearing a noise, I look toward the back room where I can hear loud snoring coming from within the racks where Sam is sleeping. Along with Sam, everyone else seems to still be asleep, so I stand and plan to use this opportunity to check our current situation.

    I stretch my body and slip on my mask along with a fresh hoodie. I silently begin to make my way toward the hallway.

    Suddenly I hear a whisper, "Where are you going?"

    I look back to find Aponi now sitting up, staring at me suspiciously.

    I sigh quietly, "Just come on. You'll wake everyone else up."

    Aponi gets up and follows me out of the room.

    "I'll come to." A deep voice says.

    Recognizing Terry's voice, I don't bother looking back and instead just motion for him to follow as well. Together we enter the stairwell and begin to make our way toward the ground level of the hospital.

    "So, what are we doing?" Aponi asks.

    "I'm just checking up on our situation. We need to know if there's going to be any problems." I reply.

    Aponi continues, "Yeah, that makes sense. By the way, what did you and Eden do last night?"

    I stop and turn to Aponi and Terry, "We talked to the Congressman, Eden wants to bring one of her relatives here. Anyway, why are you trying to keep track of me?"

    "Because if we don't, we don't know what you'll do," Terry says.

    "Exactly, and if you do, it might be something that will result in a lot of people getting hurt," Aponi adds.

    I frown and begin to scold the two, "So? We've had this discussion several times already. To be honest, for most of humanity, their best chance of survival is to cling to the Goddess's thigh. Also, as I've told you, neither of you are human anyway."

    "Yeah, believe us, we both know it's almost disconcerting how our views on humankind have changed, but that doesn't mean we want them to die," Terry says.

    I snap back immediately, "It isn't about them dying; it's about giving us the best chance. We aren't them, and it's them who contributed to putting us in this position in the first place. If it weren't for them, the blood race would just be temporarily sealed away like everything else waiting for the return of the cosmic mana stream...probably."

    Terry steps forward, "We understand, but...!"

    I hold up my hand, "Shut up. You can't save everyone. This isn't about race; it's just the nature of the catastrophe to come. Worry about the people you can save like your relatives and friends. If you want them to live, you should drag them here."

    Terry frowns and breaks eye contact, "Ye-yeah."

    I also break eye contact and stare off into space, "Sorry. You two just need to understand. Anyhow, we are supposed to be checking the situation. After this, we'll have a talk with everyone at the same time. That way, I don't have to keep going through this same conversation."

    After that, we make our way around the hospital. This hospital is supposedly Anchorage's largest and holds around 400 beds. The bottom two floors have been almost completely abandoned, and everyone seems to be on the upper three floors. Finding these two bottom floors empty, we try to make our way into the upper floors, but find them to be barricaded off. Thinking for a moment, I decide breaking down the barricade might not be the best idea.

    "It'll probably be a while longer before they come out," I say.

    "What is it you're worried about anyway?" Aponi asks.

    I motion for the two to follow as I begin to speak, "I don't know if the police have been told to be on the lookout for me or not. That's mainly what I'm worried about. If that's the case, they may have already alerted the army that they've spotted me recently."

    Terry scratches at his scraggly beard and begins to speak, "Hmm, I don't know what they would have told the public about you. They would definitely keep your magic a secret, but as far as being on the lookout, it's possible they've told them to keep an eye out for you."

    I nod, "That's what I thought. Anyway, speaking of magic, let's get back to the morgue. It's time we all had a talk on that subject."

    They both glance at one another, and I can see a hint of excitement from the two. Making our way back to the morgue, we find a few people still asleep. I use the opportunity to sort through my thoughts until finally, Sam, the last person, awakes.

    "I've never slept so good in my life!" Sam bellows.

    Hearing Sam wake up, I gather all the vampires around in a circle and begin to lecture them. I first run through the basics of magic, mana, ranks, and other such information. I then follow that by getting the blood race members to cut their palms, making a small puddle on the floor. Getting them to slice their palms took a few threats and coaxing, but they eventually did it. I then have them try to manipulate the puddle of blood on the floor.

    I look at Eden, who has managed to get a drop of blood to float slightly above the puddle. Then Aponi, who is making tiny little ripples in the blood. Terry and the soldier are trying to see if they can push their puddles together very slowly.

    Then finally, Sam, "Sam, what the hell are you doing?"

    Sam blinks at me, "What?"

    "Why is your face absolutely covered in blood?"

    "Oh, I forgot that my palm was bleeding and went to scratch my face."

    I sigh and give him a pitiful look, "Just go wash your face moron."

    Things continue like this for a while, and I start thinking about my own blood magic and essence problems. Pondering this, I begin to practice my own blood magic.

    'There was a spell I've been trying to get the hang of for a while now, but it's a bit dangerous.'

    Reflecting on this, I move closer to one of the racks and begin to practice. Out of curiosity, the others begin to watch me. I cut my palm and begin to channel the blood into a sphere. The sphere is at first somewhere between the size of a baseball and soccer ball. However, I begin trying to compress the blood. The sphere begins to shrink, and the blood begins swirling chaotically within the sphere. Again I try to compress it further, but I continue to fail. This goes on for a while, and the others get bored and go back to their own practice.

    Beginning to get frustrated, I can feel myself quickly losing patience. I pump a bit more mana into the spell and push even harder. With a loud bang, the ball instantly shrinks to a size smaller than a baseball. Just when I'm about to giggle in excitement, I notice the ball is acting strangely.

    "Uh, oh." I murmur.

    "Is something wrong?" Eden asks.

    I cough and shake my head, nervously, "Uh, no. Nothing to worry about."

    Eden raises an eyebrow, but I ignore it and quickly stand. I throw open one of the racks doors in a panic. I notice this particular rack contains a body, but there's no time to worry about that. I hurl the ball in quickly and see it stick to the belly of the body. I slam the rack door shut and jump to the floor.

    **Boom!**

    A loud explosion rings out from the rack, and I lift my head, checking my body for any shrapnel. I stand and open the rack door exposing a gore-filled mess along with shards of crystalized blood sticking to the walls of the rack.

    I turn to find everyone standing around, looking at me with horrified expressions.

    I cross my arms and give them a confident look, "Ye-Yes, let that be a lesson to you all. Magic can be very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing...that's why I demonstrated this for all of you."

    They all nod obviously unconvinced, and things continue on like this for a while. While they practice, I sit and tell them the stories I told Eden of the blood races past. I also go into detail about things such as the blood race's wedding ceremonies. We also once again had a discussion about humanity and how I plan to treat them. This went on for most of the day until the five of them began running out of mana. I take out the snacks I've had stored, and everyone eats.

    I look between the five before stopping on two, "Terry and Aponi, you two are going to go up and gather more information on current affairs. As for me, I'm going out tonight, and no, none of you are coming with me."

    The five give each other nervous looks and again nod.

    'Great, tonight I'm going to see what I can do about my essence problem.'
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