"Alright class now as you all know symbols that allow a user to cast a spell or a ritual, however only if the user has the will, strength and correctly drawn the rune to bring out the runes properties. So today we'll be working on bringing out rune properties instead of drawing them. So everyone take one and get to work. Full marks will be awarded if you bring out its properties in the first ten minutes. Good luck." He said staring down on me as he handed me a round stone with a wavy like symbol inside of a circle. What the hell was that supposed to mean?
"Oh bad luck that stands for shield and that's going to take a lot of energy for you do." Merone said over my shoulder gleefully.
"We'll see, who knows maybe I haven't tried yet." I said picking the rock up and holding in the palm of my hand. It was cold to the touch , but so smooth and soft, it was heavier than I expected. Much heavier it fit in the palm of my hand but felt like a five pound weight. "Its a lot heavier than I expected."
"Yeah they absorb physical energy when they are held in your hand making them feel heavier than they are, so I suggest you stop wasting your time and concentrate Mr. Varion." Changle responded to my observation.
"Alright, lets do this." I said instinctively holding the stone at arm’s length, I breathed in carefully and closed my eyes concentrating on the stone willing it to work. At first there was nothing just the weight of the stone. I stood there for a few more seconds before cracking an eye open, nothing.
"Lace, Imagine creating a field around you, imagine your making it." Alayna suggested already using a rune which had summoned dagger. I looked over to Merone who also had summoned light which emanated from his rune.
"Thanks." I replied closing my eyes again and drawing in a deep breath imagining that I was making a force field with pure will. Again there was nothing but I concentrated harder literally pressing against the stone then I had felt a shock run down my arms. I dropped the stone in surprise.
" Close, but try not to physically force it to much, it should be like breathing natural and smooth. This is not like wieght lifting persay." Changle called aross from the room."
"Alright again."I said, breathing in relaxing my muscles and imaging my will to create the force field. My arms started to feel funny as if air was running down them being absorbed by the rune. Something must have been happening I opened my eyes in shock as white shield was surrounding me. "Oh wow this is so cool!" I said excitedly loosing concentration and getting a heft shock that threw me off my chair and into Merone.
"Watch it!" He growled.
"Mr Varion the key to this exorcise is to train the mind to concentrate. Breaking that concentration by witnessing your success is a failure. In time you may be able to comprehend more than one task while using a rune but for now try sustaining it. Am I understood?" Changle said while the rest of the class laughed. I gazed at my shoes feeling uncomfortable but managed to summon the courage to say.
"Yes sir, completely sir."
"Good." He remarked and refocused his gaze on another student. Geeze I really must be the odd man out. ha ha wait I was the only man here so of course I would be.
"Hey, Lace you actually managed to grasp the concept in a few tries that's better than some students." She said looking over at Merone who was now shaking the rock saying " work damn you." Under his breath.
"It was working for him a moment ago."
"Yeah, but he gets flustered pretty quickly, and once that has happened we kinda lose him."
"You know him pretty well huh?"
"You could say that, he has taken a habit of spending his time after class with me whenever possible, but we've known each other before here to, not as well though. To be honest I think he is to shy to make anymore friends. Anyways try to create that sheild and sustain it." Alayna said now fooling around with fire on her hand like she had been doing this since she was three.
I returned to the previous position and went through the steps soon feeling that feeling of air being forced down my arms into the rock. The white shield had returned but this time I focussed on keeping it there which seemed to work but my arms started to become sore after a period of time, I lowered them carefully causing the shield to shutter but not fade. My concentration started to waver to the other voices in the room causing strange sensations through my arms forcing to reform my focus at least this time I didn't explode. A minute more passed on and started to feel my body ache even more as my breathing increased. Concentration was getting harder and harder but I refused to let the shield die.
"Alright class now try to focus on other things in the room while maintaining the rune." Changle instructed while Alayna yawned, and Merone frusteratedly tried to make the light brighter on his rune by cursing at it. Hang on I think I managed to something other than concentrate on the shield! Awesome! The shield faded and shuddered a bit, again another pulse of weird sensations shot up my arm. Sweat began to trickle across my body, the aching increased and my breathing became more laboured.
"Lace, you better stop, you look exhausted, there is no need to push yourself." Alayna said looking concerned. I winced under the pain but I stood my ground.
"No, I have a lot of ground to cover; I'm not giving up until I can no longer keep this up."
" I don't think that's going to be long now, come on you need energy to walk back home." She said unimpressed while returning back to her rune. Sweat began to drip off my face, and the shield began to shimmer and fade, my lungs felt like they were going to collapse, my arms were burning, Alayna was right but something told me that if I held on till the very last moment I will come back stronger than before. Strange sensations filled my arms as the air moving down began to reverse and move up, the shield was fading, and the rune became increasingly heavy. "Ahh." I said as the rune became so hot it burned my hand.
"Valiant effort Mr. Varion but that is your absolute limit, but I dare say 10 minutes of holding that is exemplary, for a human that is." Changle had said in his usual tone.
"Wait what’s a human doing here?" Several eager voice lashed out from the back of the room.
"Oh did I let that slip out?" Changle said," Yes Mr.Varion is a human, that the school has decided to take on because of an recent attack. I'm sure though that he is trustworthy." Changle said almost sarcastically as this feeling of dread, and discomfort my body however I was to tired to show signs of this. Alayna looked the teacher with discerning eyes masked by a glare. " Mr. Varion I recommend you call it a night there isn't much you can do for rest of class. See you next Wednesday I hope. It's been quite a treat having you here." Changle said. It was hard to tell if he was being sincere or mocking, but Alayna lead me out holding me up when I failed to stand on my own.
"What's his deal?" I asked her when we were out of the class.
"I don't think he likes teaching to be honest, don't take it to seriously." She said making it to the room with the bench while a set of footsteps followed us.
"Wait for me." Merone called out.
"Why are you coming?" Alayna asked him.
"Thought you might need help, besides I wasn't making much progress." He replied taking my other arm.
"Ah, no problem, sorry if I seemed a little uncivil back there, that guy makes me nervous."
"Yeah me to." I said, " But then again all of this makes me feel uneasy." They both laughed.
"Hey you seem to be handling yourself a lot better honestly when Alayna told me you were human you would be freaking out every step of the way, but instead you walked in maybe a little nervous but hey the class started a few weeks ago so its natural. If I didn't know any better I would think you were one of us." Merone encouraged.
"Thanks," I said feeling rather flattered and even more uncomfortable before, I looked back at Merone who looked back at me he still held that scornful look. Why? It didn't take long to make it back to my place and I had managed to recover some of my strength making the process altogether faster.
"Thanks guys." I said leaning against a wall.
"No problem its been nice meeting you Lace." Merone said being civil yet I could feel some form of hostility underneath it.
"Yeah, and it’s been nice meeting you." I replied," And thanks Alayna. Same time tomorrow?"
"Yup same place and I won't be late alright? Take care of yourself and see you tomorrow." She said her eyes beautiful violet eyes staring into my own eyes. I smiled.
"Yeah that should be easy to do just as long as no one else tries to make a meal while your not around, or you know something crazy." I joked.
"Goodnight Lace." She said turning around accompanied by Merone.