The past couple of trials had been filled with work. On the 32nd, Doran had discussed his thesis with Ocraloch. He had begun the first series of the experiments that would hopefully eventually lead to the discovery of a new aspect of Blood Magic and a major breakthrough in the field of alchemy, the likes of which had not happened in decades or even centuries. They had not been filled with enough work for him not to think about Llyr who had become his mentor in both dreamwalking and magic as well as something more and miss him though.
Within a few trials, the etherist had become someone that mattered. He had enjoyed their discussions, on everything from Emea over the arcane to such highly controversial topics as the nature of the Immortals themselves and the nights that they had spent together, perhaps too much. Everything had been so easy and effortless with him. Already, he began to doubt whether he would be able to uphold their agreement in their long run, but he couldn’t bring himself to turning his feelings off either. He wanted to hold onto them a little longer because they were so wondrous and extraordinary.
Fortunately, he had also begun to teach again though. When he was alone, in his laboratory, mixing reagents or analysing yet another volunteer’s blood, his thoughts inevitably began stray after a while, but when there were a few dozen mortals looking at him, he didn’t have a lot of time to think about the etherist and what a profound impact he had already had on his life – or the mutations that had appeared shortly after Llyr had left, a sign of his growing proficiency in his chosen magic and the way that the spark had begun to reshape his body and mind.
The classroom was already quite crowded when he entered it, dressed in an elegant bespoke suit of black wool with hints of crimson, a folder with his notes tucked under one arm. It was also rather loud. Quite a few students were chatting. On top of that, two students were kissing, another student was doing their makeup, and in the last row a girl was picking her nose, as if she expected to find some sort of treasure in it.
He looked at them for a few moments, furrowing his brow fractionally as he surveyed the chaos, before he set the folder down on his desk at the front of the room and greeted them in a loud and firm tone, “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.” As he had expected, they immediately stopped talking (or kissing and such) and looked at him instead. Even the girl in the last row removed her finger from her nose, quickly got her books ready and sat up straight.
“I have decided to deviate from my plan a little”, the Mortalborn continued. “Yesterday, I helped out at the Infirmary again. As some of you know, I am not only an alchemist, but also a doctor of some skill.” He said that in a calm and measured tone. He was not bragging; he was merely stating a fact. “A man was brought to me. He suffered from terrible acne. Instead of buying potions from a reputable alchemist or consulting a doctor, he got a book and brewed his own potion.”
“He wanted to save some money”, he explained and made a face.
“He used a little too much reagent and the wrong metabolizer though. While the potion did improve his skin a little, it also rendered him blind. His eyes may never recover. His case is not the worst that I have seen in my arcs as a doctor. This is the reason why I give you so much homework, and why I don’t forgive you your mistakes. “
“Contrary to popular belief”, he remarked somewhat dryly. “I’m not a sadist. I just don’t want to be responsible for any of you getting hurt or dying. To-trial, we will talk about backlash. I already mentioned that alchemy is dangerous at the beginning of the season. To-trial we will talk about that in more detail though as such is necessary in my opinion”, he informed them in no uncertain terms - only to stop talking as they had stopped paying attention to him and were staring at something or someone else now.
He turned around – and stared as well. His eyes widened, and then he smiled at Llyr as he was quite happy to see him. It had been far too long. He couldn’t help but wonder why he had appeared in his classroom rather than deciding to wait for him in the Obsidian Prism though. Had something happened or had he just missed him so much that he hadn’t been able to wait?
“You aren’t interrupting anything”, he told him, the tone of his voice a hint softer than before. “We just started.”
He noticed that some of his students were staring at him now.
He cleared his throat.
They stopped staring at him.
For a moment, they were completely quiet, and then they started talking again.
“I wonder who he is!” a young human man with blonde hair and brown eyes murmured.
“Maybe he’s a new student!” the Eidisi girl that sat next to him mused.
“The professor wouldn’t smile like that at a new student”, the Ellune boy behind them disagreed. “They must know each other somehow!”
“He has such nice hair!” Plia Yishnai Velanar, a young woman of mixed Eidisi and Ellune descent that occasionally helped the Mortalborn after class said and sighed dreamily. “I wish I had hair like that! It’s so shiny! I wonder how he could just appear like that though!”
“He’s probably a Rupturer”, her best friend Astrid, a human, who considered herself an expert on all things magic because her parents were mages remarked. “And a Becomer, because of the wings.”
The Mortalborn cleared his throat again, more loudly.
Finally, they fell silent for good.
He watched Llyr for a moment. When the etherist had taken a seat, he decided to focus on his students again rather than on the unexpected, but not at all unwelcome distraction though.
He couldn’t abandon his duties, even though a part of him was tempted, at least for a moment.
“As I said, we are going to talk about backlash today”, he reminded his students as it seemed as if they might already have forgotten what the class would be about – and maybe even that they were in class. “Mages are not the only ones that have to be careful – or suffer the consequences”, he told them, a fact that he was all too aware of now that he was a mage himself. “If you use too much of a reagent or the wrong reagents, your potion can become toxic. The negative effects are multiplied when you use domain magic and divine reagents. If you aren’t careful, you will be hit with the spell instead of your target.”
“The consequences range from physical and emotional wounds to death – and things that are much worse than death. Sometimes, there are negative effects even if you use the correct reagents and calculate everything correctly – but pick the wrong medium. You know that it is possible to create an item that opens a Rupturing portal once activated – we covered that in a previous lesson”, he reminded them somewhat coolly.
“There was a woman who decided to brew a potion instead. She thought she could bypass the need for an item if she drank it. She thought that she could avoid becoming a mage. She thought that she would be able to open Rupturing portals at will. What do you think happened instead when she ingested the potion?”