Completed Rupture

Alistair continued to keep it simple moved over to the rune he had just created, and added three simple lines to the creation.

"Runes are easily adaptable and once they are made then think of it like you are filling a bucket of water. Once it is full, then it will begin."

They would ignore the whole mana issue for now, and just have a little bit of fun. This time, when Rhidian would power the rune, the sound would come out at a higher pitch, but equally as forceful. The sound likely would not harm the wall, but it would have been more detrimental to normal human hearing.

"It is a fun skillset."

Rhid wasn't sure if he knew anyone of his friends that knew how to use Rune Magic, but the idea of him having yet another edge? It appealed to him, made him want to achieve something greater. Perhaps this would be his distraction, he true goal of achievement.

"Do many Dreadlords learn rune magic? Say... Archons, for example. What level of power we talking about there?" Of course, the idea of all that work put him off, but Rhidian knew his magic was a bountiful one. If he was to set his course to something, he did deep down want to make his father proud, to do the Vaughn family proud.

Alistair Krixus
This was the part that usually turned people away. Practicing rune magic was also accepting a life of near-constant study. The time requirement was far greater than most other forms of magic that were largely more about feeling.

"I am not away if any Archon's practice the art, but if they do then it is not their primary form of magic...Rune magic requires a lot of time and study. I told you that this art has an unrivaled adaptability and control, but to gain that it can take years of study. I have been a practitioner of rune magic since I arrived at the Academy when I was five. Since then I have only devoted my time to this art and basic college magic."

It wasn't the best selling point, but it was the truth.

"While you may not be want to devote such time, I still encourage you to learn the basic Anirian runic language. It generally helps with understanding magic in any form."

Rhidian appreciated the understanding Alistair had on his own work ethic, but glad he did not try to turn Rhidian away from his off and on again way of commitment.

"Then I will study what I need to. Go at my own pace." To start small, like he had with his magic. Once he understood it, became aware of it, his training progressed quicker. He was not unintelligent, no. He simply lacked a forceful work ethic.

"These runes are in a book? Something in the library, I take it?" Surely, as Alistair would have read it. "Or am I going to have to write home and ask my family to send coin to buy a book of my own?" Rhidian had time and leisure, something he was sure to not utilise properly, but would make that change to dedicate himself to something he would promise to do.

Alistair Krixus
"Oh, the library here has books on nearly all the runic least the basic ones."

It will be a good place to begin with all of that information. For all of Alistair's belief that the Academy too often was just creating muscle heads with nothing between their skulls, it actually had a decent collection. It was where Alistair had spent most of his time during his years here.

With his demonstration done, Alistair moved over and began to remove the rune from the wall. A lot of trouble could come from leaving a rune-like this in one of the experimentation rooms.

Rhid watched Alistair reset the space, removing the rune too.

"Any runes that come to mind that could play off of my magic? Something in tandem, perhaps?" He wasn't going to skirt around his learning, but he wanted to know what else there was to look forward to. "Enhancers? Similar to what you did when we were sparring. You're quick, Krixus, but not that quick."

He smirked as he spoke, amused.

Rhidian liked how Alistair went about his teaching methods, and perhaps it was because they were closer in age than the Proctors that had seen to his training. Besides Proctor Urahil of course. Her young age worried him at first, but after seeing how easily she could heal broken bones, he knew to place some trust in her.

Alistair Krixus
You're quick, Krixus, but not that quick."

Alistair offered a raised eyebrow at that comment. And just how quick did Rhidian think he was? He was a swordsman who took some level of pride in his footwork and speed. Oh well, kids these days were so hard to impress.

"Most enhancers are helpful for anyone. Although, I would stay away from ones that reinforce your skin. Given your ability to blow up and stitch yourself back together, I would hate to unknowingly mess with that talent."

He motioned back over to the rune that he had just cleaned away with a shrug.

"For you, I would stick with runes that show...sudden displays of powers or bursts in abilities. Those tend to translate well to volatile mana signatures like your own."

He paused for a second, his mind going back to their battle and then the comment a moment ago before a small smile tugged at the corner of his lips.

"Just so we are clear. In a battle of just swordsmanship, no magic...I would still win."

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He had been listening with serious attention, noting the advice Alistair was giving him as if he would surely be tested on it.

But then the last thing said by Krixus brought a large grin to his features.

"Well, I would love to see that myself!" He knew his last comment would strike a challenge, but after Alistair spoke of magicless combat, Rhidian had to dampen his excitement. Was he always so eager to show off? At least he was not the type to be bitter if bested. It was the most valuable lesson his father had taught him, to reflect on the mistakes and learn from them.

Alistair Krixus
Alistair grinned, but then shook his head in a dismissing way. Already putting his sword away, back with all his other supplies.

"Not today, maybe some other time."

As much as Alistair loved being a little cocky, and he enjoyed swordplay, Alistair had realized that fighting without magic was now a bit harder for him. Fighting a mage of any sort was fine, but regular soldiers brought with them new challenges. To fight them, Alistair had to constantly spend his own magic just to see them.

"I no longer know who the Proctor is, but go and find whoever is in charge of rune magic now. They should be able to assist you while I am not here."

Rhidian shrugged. Perhaps another day, indeed.

"I think I can manage finding out who the right Proctor is. No harm in asking around, now is there?" He knew some Initiates that hesitated to ask a simple question sometimes, choosing to wait until opportunity came up and they saw a Proctor to ask their question, instead of going to find them. Was the fear still there for them? What they endured at this Academy before change came and made a better life for them?

"Am I to study some runes and demonstrate to you the next time we meet?" He asked, curious to what the instructions were this time around for Rhidian to work on in his own time.

Alistair Krixus
Alistair turned to him and looked at him for several seconds before shaking his head in the negative. As much as he would love to just turn this into rune class, that was not what he had originally been asked to help with.

"No, if you have questions then you can ask me, but let that be learned on your own time. Our meetings will continue to focus on your own magic. Still focusing on control for the time being."

He was also giving Rhidian a way out if he did not truly want to learn the subject. Alistair knew that his own excitement towards the subject might make it difficult for him to say no.

Rhidian smiled.

Alistair was proving to be a valuable resource, and a reassurance of his path here within the Academy. It was clear Rhidian needed better coping mechanisms, but he always looked forward to his next training day with Krixus.

"Done deal." He grinned. "Where are you off to next? Got a mission lined up?" He was eager to go on more missions himself, but still had plenty to prove here. He was to present his process to the Proctors in a few day, but was confident he would impress them with his dedication over the past month. Now having a little more understanding on his magic, it made it easier to recognise just how it manifested in him.

Alistair Krixus
Alistair took a long look at Rhidian as his face fell into more of a scowl. He moved to finish packing up his equipment before speaking.

"Yes, I have been assigned a minor mission...Just going to go visit an old friend."

He had received his orders yesterday, he and Salak were scheduled to move east to pick up on sightings of Edric. It was rare to find tracks of the rogue Dreadlord without Gilram and others around. It was an opportunity to tempting to miss.

"I'll be out of the city for several days, if not weeks."

Rhidian crossed his arms, watching the other male's face turned to a scowl. It was a change he had not really seen on Krixus in his short time working with the Dreadlord.

He would not ask questions about the mission, that he knew would only be met with another scowl, and Rhid was not in the business to piss off his mentor. "I should be on mission by then. Vel Cirak and back, should be easy." Transferring a fugitive, how hard could that be? "Silas is going with me. Maybe fuck around and see what our magic can do together in combination..." In his head, could be a lot of explosions. Thank Kress they will be far from the Academy and in more open area to experiment.

"Need a hand with anything to pack up?" He offered, gesturing to the weaponry Alistair had brought, or the papers he had been rifling through at the beginning of the session.

Alistair Krixus
Alistair winced at Rhidian's mission assignment. Vel Cirak was not the easiest place to deal with...and missions were not the place to go experimenting with magic. One wrong move and someone loses an arm...or dies. He remained silent on the matter, as the hardships of a mission were best left to experience.

"Sure, if you could gather all of those papers on that desk." He motioned to one of the tables, that held the majority of Alistair's notes on Rhidian's abilities. They were not just his magical abilities either, personality traits, combat abilities, critical thinking skills, everything.

Rhidian paid no mind to the papers, not until his eyes fell on the words Known Associates.

"Should I be flattered?" He chuckled, holding up the paper before adding it to his neat pile. He only had a file with the Guard, a small one. He imagined his one with the Academy was similar, but Alistair seemed to have accounted for a lot, things Rhidian never thought would matter in the end.

"Do you and the Proctor talk about me when you go on your check ups?" He asked, curious. Flattered? Oh, that and concerned. Did he do something wrong to warrant such attentive details of his person?

Alistair Krixus
Alistair raised an eyebrow at the question before understanding what he meant, as Al turned and saw him holding the paper.

"Oh, no...though I suppose that I would if she asked. No, I just wanted a firm understanding of what I was working with. Every little detail tells me something about how we can help train...Like, your history with the guard, means I can push you harder than the average person the Academy might just pick up. You show an above-average social demeanor and...brighter disposition compared to others in the Academy, which means I don't have to be so serious all the time. You respond better to working with peers than higher positions of command, thats because you feel like you can speak on equal footing and ask questions to actually understand things."

He stopped with his examples. That was enough to show Alistair's train of thought, the detailed notes were just demonstrating more how Alistair thought about things in general. Every little piece of information was another piece of the larger puzzle as a whole.

Remembering what some of his classmates had said to him, back at the Academy, about his social etiquette.

"Why? If you are uncomfortable with my notetaking, then I will stop."

Rhidian gave Alistair a concerned look, "Kress, no! I have never felt so... seen." And he grinned at that. Made him feel as if he was selected for something based off of these details about himself.

"And, I'll be honest... It is nice to hear someone else see the positives in me when I haven't been focused on that." He shrugged, lightly tapping the pile of papers on each side to keep them tidy. "What I see as weaknesses... alright, insecurities... you make me sound like I am quite the candidate. For what, it doesn't matter."

Vaughn smiled, lifting the papers for his next instruction.

Alistair Krixus
Weaknesses? Alistair had not been around Rhidian to experience many of these weaknesses. His lack of control had been one, but that was what they were training for so that was obvious. His lack of understanding of magic in general, but that was common among new entries into the Academy.

"No, so far, you have represented yourself rather well why I have been around." The obvious implication there was that Rhidian could be a completely different person when Alistair was not around. If so, then he may need to add that to his notes.

"The weaknesses I have seen are largely based on lack of experience and not any sort of flaws, which is a good sign."

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Rhidian let out a nervous chuckle.

"You are sharper than the Lieutenant they stuck me under when I was a cadet." Dammons was known for creating soldiers that would walk in lockstep, in training and in mind.

"I never thought of them all as... advantages compared to the Initiates that have been here longer. Different perceptions, you know? Here I thought I would stick out, but... I guess I am starting to see things in a new light." He didn't want to say something about the hindrance to his eyesight gave him greater clarity, not when he was sure Alistair may pay him back with harder swordsmanship their next lesson.

Alistair Krixus
"New perceptions are good...especially in the Academy at this day in age. We just have to make sure we tie them to effectiveness, otherwise it is just debris in the flow."

Alistair vaguely remembered having a conversation like this before and how he had advocated for Dreadlords' changing their narrow-minded ways of thinking. His beliefs still held true on the matter.

"Trust me, when you spend most of your life in the Academy surrounded by powerhouses, you learn to pay attention. It's usually the things that keep me alive."

Alistair was by no means a slouch, in fact, many considered Alistair one of the better Dreadlords when it came to leading teams and quick reaction adaption. However, Alistair had grown up in what he considered to be one of the golden classes of the Academy, while many of them were now rogues, it was undeniable of the power that many of his classmates held. Therefore, he still tended to think less of himself when it came to abilities. That's what happens when your classmates are monsters, which was ironic because, with Al's new eyesight, he might be considered one of those monsters.

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"Trust me, when you spend most of your life in the Academy surrounded by powerhouses, you learn to pay attention. It's usually the things that keep me alive."

Rhidian's face turned solemn, knowing that despite how friendly everyone seemed to be, how welcoming they were with him, they were all capable of killing. Weapons to be dispatched as soon as graduation rolled by. He heard there had been a disruption the previous year, the details not known to his class, but Rhidian now looked to Alistair.

"Even the one's you think are harmless are just... their strengths lie elsewhere if not their magic." Just like Alistair explained of himself. He had been seeing the rune magic as his magic. He was a skilled swordsman, no doubt about that when Rhidian met his challenges, and was observant of everyone it seems.

"A classmate of mine has Compass Magic. Sounds shit, right? But once you see her with a bow, or even throwing daggers, fuck... she always finds her mark. Ever heard of Thraah? That little thing pours out fire for days, I swear to Kress!" He could go on about each of his classmates, and Alistair may even be aware of some of them if they had worked together in the past. Rhidian ran a hand down his face. "Kress. Wonder if they think about that of me? That I am someone to watch..."

Alistair Krixus
Alistair laughed at his description of Rhidian's classmates, knowing the dark ideas that were likely accompanying them, such was the way of the Academy.

"Yes, I've worked with Ms. Quinnick. A rare magical talent." As for Thraah, Alistair had a friend who was similar during his time hear.

"I guess you can look at what I said in the negative. We had this one classmate named Bull who could expand and warp his body. We had to kill him when he went rogue...There will always be situations like that where you need to know your weaknesses..."

He paused for a moment not wanting to lose Rhidian on this important topic, so he wanted to gather his words correctly to make the best point.

"However, I also paid attention because I knew they would be my brothers and sisters in arms. There was Ralene smartest and toughest rune mage I ever met, Davi a skilled shapeshifter, and Sable a true knight if there ever was one. I knew when they took the front line that we were not breaking so I could look elsewhere. "

"There was Kalix, an idiot but powerful gravity magic. When he got going he was like a one-man wrecking crew. Partner him with Zael the fire mage and Henk a light mage and those three could carve through armies when they set their minds to it...but I had to keep an eye on them to make sure they did not push to far and get into trouble. Edric had the same problem, he secretly was always looking out for everyone, but he also always thought he was the only one who could solve the problems sometimes.

"Then came Everleigh and Liliana, with the two of them I knew I had to always watch my back except on the battlefield...That's because they were already stabbing someone else in the back."

Alistair realized he was rambling and froze as a sad smile spread over his face at some of the memories. Some of his classmates were still there, others were criminals, and others were dead. The sad smile disappeared from his face as he gathered himself.

"My point is, you can pay attention to people for yourself, but also for them..."

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The way Alistair spoke of his classmates, his friends, it made Rhidian remember the unit he was part of before coming here. He knew who excelled at what, who would come to his call, and who he knew would make awful dinner.

Rhidian relaxed, leaning against the table as Alistair spoke of his comrades. They sounded like quite the team, a force to be reckoned with. The Academy would have been elated by the products in which they produced. Unaware of their fates, Rhidian could not help but smile.

"I would not envy the enemies they would face." And he spoke of them as Initiates.

"Sounds like I need to get to know my class better..." He sighed, chuckling lightly. "Look at them and figure the potentials..." Rhidian shrugged, "I am far from being sent to high stakes missions, but I would like to go in, knowing how to work with others." It was possibly something his father would advise him do, to think like a Captain if he certainly wished to get to that rank somehow, one day.

Alistair Krixus
"Yes, we were a dangerous group." Maybe too dangerous, that's why it all went the way it went.

"Magic is a great deal at the Academy, but they also just want good soldiers. You are getting better with the magic, and that will take time to master as it does for everyone. I have a feeling that the soldiering part you can accomplish a lot quicker."

Alistair smirked as he straightened up from his packing. Everything seemed to be mostly in place.

"Dreadlords used to be used as one-man armies, but now, the majority of missions are team-oriented. You would be surprised at just how rare and valuable Drealords who can work within teams are."

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