Freezy, stuck between Ili and Wise. Can’t imagine why she’s nervous. 

***

"Alright, now prick your finger and draw a circle with the blood."

"WHAT?"

"It’s… fire magic. From the warmth of the blood."

"That seems like it would hurt, Illy."

"Pain is merely a tool, Freezy". Ilithia bent over and touched a rune on the floor of the inn. Green light lept up, pulsing through the dustmotes of the abandoned cellar.

"No, I remember this one. Pain is the body reacting to misuse of the arcane. I think I’ve read that. It’s a warning. Isn’t it?"

"It is a warning to our enemies." Cynwise slammed her book shut and glared at me through slit lids. 

"Maybe that’s what it said.  It’s been a long time."  I knew that wasn’t it, though. I had read Arcanorum Sanationem et Reparandam countless times. Pain is the mindkiller, and the arcane requires our minds to be sharp at all times. Pain is the body teaching us lessons our mind has not learned yet. I shook my head and took a step back. 

Do we not have enough enemies? Desperate times call…”

"…For desperate measures."  Ilithia finished. I felt my ears pull back and goose bumps form on my arms as Illy and Wise laughed in unison.

We did have enemies I could never have imagined.