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TS35: Magic Concerns

“He’s dead. You killed him.” South was pale and shaking. “You said you killed him.” He went back to silence, looking at Magus Azarias.

Jove was thankful that Magus Frost had taken over the last bit of the class. This allowed him to meet with Azarias away from the rest of the students. Only Chris had been allowed to follow.

Magus Azarias tried to comfort his friend. “We’re going to stop him for good this time. I cut his head off last time. We’ll just have to make sure nothing catches his soul.” He drew a few runes in the air around South. “Calm yourself. It’s over for now.”

Jove watched as South ignored Azarias’ spell. He asked, “What’s wrong?”

Azarias sat back and looked at Jove thoughtfully. “Tell me, what do you see?”

Jove nodded and concentrated. The concept was simple enough, his magic knew what was going on, he just needed to listen to it. Vague impressions followed, slowly taking form. “There’s a tapestry of energy woven into South, and it’s trying to pull itself in all directions.” Jove squinted, “There’s a tear, and it seems to be caught on something. It looks painful.”

“That’s his magic.” Azarias explained, “Merlin ripped it the last time we saw him. We’re not sure how he did it or why is hasn’t healed”

Jove looked at the tapestry. “Maybe if I asked it to be calm.” He reached out to South, and ran his hand over the insubstantial fabric. “It’s okay. He’s gone. You’re safe now.”

South shivered then calmed. Jove watched the tapestry of magic calm and stop fighting itself. Then he remembered Aden’s words, magic was like an external subconscious. Jove gasped, and backed away, “I’m sorry. I should have asked.”

“It’s okay.” The bear smiled, “You just healed more in a few moments, than I’ve managed to do in years.” He laughed, “I knew you were special.”

Chris interrupted, “South, remember your training. That’s your magic talking, not you.”

“Yes, of course.” South looked thoughtful. “This definitely feels different. It’s not an emotional or intellectual response. It’s like the fear I was feeling, it feels natural. Yet, I’m aware it’s changed.”

“Desire 2: Calm the Wounded Mage,” Chris added.

Azarias nodded. “That makes sense. Jove, if you are able to interact directly with another mages magic, it could cause effects like this. It would fail on an Animus though. You’d have to override the control they have over their own magic.” He put a hand on South’s shoulder, “For now, Jove, you can’t do that again. Not until we understand what happened.” He cleared his throat, “But that’s not why we need to talk. I need to explain what I got you into.”

“Alterius non sit qui suus esse potest.” Chris said, “Let no man be another’s who can be his own.” The wolf looked at Jove then Azarias. “You said it to a Vorax. Only other Vorax are people.”

Azarias looked at the ground, “It was all I could think of. If Dominus can use magic in the Abyss, there’s no way I could fight him there. I said you were going to be a Vorax.”

“But he can’t,” Chris objected.

“I don’t want to kill anyone.”

The wolf shook his head, “Only Venator can be Vorax. Your last line was white.”

“He’s right.” Azarias said, “Praeda cannot be Vorax, regardless of their desire to kill. The spells simply will not work for them. Although, we haven’t determined if Jove is Praeda or Venator yet. The thaumascan failed in that regard.”

Jove thought for a moment. “Is there another test we can use?”

Azarias looked at Jove. “There’s no need. After you gain a basic understanding of your own abilities, it will be obvious to you.” He shrugged and drew a deep breath. “The other issue is that you seem to tap a fifth element. It is possible that you represent a third facing. If your magic taps into a more primal element than the four we use, it might have a facing above or beyond predator and prey.”

“Like what?” Jove had no idea what that could be.

“There’s the obvious idea of a hybrid of predator and prey, maybe a symbiont that preys and protects at the same time. Or something completely different. A tulpa perhaps,” the snake replied, “or a thoughtform that is created and sustained by itself.”

“That doesn’t sound like what I’ve done.” Jove cleared his throat. “So, about me becoming a Vorax. How much time do we have before Merlin figures out I’m not actually going to eat anyone?”

The snake pondered, “Jove, how sure are you that he was not the mage that possessed Mark?”

“Fairly. I’m still not quite sure how I know it though. His magic just felt different.”

South spoke up. “Then we have about two months. This whole scene was a show to make us stop looking for the Vorax that actually used Mark and Julius.”

“That’s likely.” Azarias said, “It seems like a lot to go through to keep an ally hidden.”

Chris offered, “Maybe he wanted to see Jove use magic in the Abyss.”

South went pale again. “You don’t think he’s like Jove do you?”

“If he is, it means we will be a lot better prepared to deal with him this time.” Azarias hissed slightly. “Jove, I think it would be best to explain what I know about Vorax. And explain my previous experience with Dominus. Comparing what you can do with what he’s capable of will help you understand yourself better. For example, both of you can evade divinations.”

“Do we have time now?”

“No. Now, I’m going to notify the Animus Council that Dominus may have returned and is calling himself Merlin.” Azarias let his wings droop at that thought. “They’ll probably forbid students from entering the Abyss for the Summer. They might send a representative to talk to you. Someone with broad power to evaluate you on their behalf.” He took a deep breath, “I will do what I can to make sure they don’t overreact.”

An uncomfortable thought occurred to Jove. He thought about what prevented Azarias from killing him. “Regarding what you said yesterday. Are you concerned that my abilities stopped you?”

“My magic did want to stop me.” Azarias answered, “But we have an agreement. My actions were mine and mine alone, and neither my magic nor I will have it any other way.”

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