Today's lesson was taking place under an irregularly shaped gazebo in the back garden of the home of Saylie's mentor, Magister Herotus Zallack. There was a collection of stools scattered around the covered over space and a small table sat in the middle of the room. A hammock was strung between two of the supports so that it occupied the length of one wall. Magister Zallack was wearing his usual outfit of a toga over a kilt, all of it undyed, while Saylie was wearing a greenish-blue sari over a dark blue bodice constructed of silk, knots, and firm twists.
Magister Zallack cleared his throat before he started speaking. "I've constructed an artefact for you to practice suppression on. You've had a lot of practice on entirely the wrong target and I want to see what you can do to a legitimate target. I could get you to practice on me but not only is suppression an unfriendly act, we don't know yet whether you're accidentally mixing something else into it that could have longer term effects."
Saylie sat on her stool, processing that for a moment. "Does that mean that if I did it to someone else, then I might hurt them?"
"If you were doing an enhanced version, yes. Enhancements are normally brought into a spell with words, but as you've been working hard at this for most of a decade there's a chance that you've managed to develop something unusual." He shrugged and added, "I could do without having my magic permanently suppressed, thank you."
"And I would have no idea because I can't do suppression on myself." Saylie corrected herself matter-of-factly with, "Sorry, Magister, no-one can do suppression on themselves."
"The first is correct enough for the purposes of this exercise," her Magister Zallack told her. "As your mentor I am interested in you grasping salient concepts and attaching them to relevant examples. Not in whether you could pass an academic theory examination. As we are talking about you using suppression, then it is relevant that you cannot cast suppression on yourself. It is less relevant for the purposes of today's exercises that no-one can do that to themselves."
"Yes, Magister." Saylie composed herself on her stool again.
"Now, this is the artefact we'll be using today." He unwrapped a bundle of undyed cloth to display something that looked like a box kite but was only the length of two hands long. "It doesn't do a lot. Just radiates light, noise and detectable magic, and its output can be adjusted so we can judge the power levels you can deal with." He put the artefact on the table and clicked his fingers. The object started glowing and making a humming noise. "Now, you should be able to detect a source of magic that isn't either of us."
Saylie looked at him blankly and asked, "Am I supposed to do that by some method other than looking at the thing you told me is a magical item? I mean, if I'm supposed to be seeing glowing sources of light or something when I close my eyes, that's not been happening."
Magister Zallack took a deep breath. "So, you haven't learnt how to detect magic yet, either?"
"I haven't," confirmed Saylie. "Sir, I did tell you that I hadn't managed self-control. I really haven't been taught anything else."
"Oh, my. My mistake. Because you can do suppression, I've mistakenly presumed you can already do detection." He gave his head a rueful shake. "Let that be a lesson to us both to not run on with our assumptions. So, to step back, let's work on detection first. You can use your eyes to choose where you target your spells, and if you're trying to affect a purely physical object, that's fine. However, misdirection is a well employed strategy, so if you need to target a magical source, first you need to make sure that you have found it before you start throwing magic at it. The way we do that is detection. We'll start this exercise by having you close your eyes."