Akeya waited for Hana to give the signal that she was ready for the half-dragon to begin the procedure of submerging her in shadow magic. The girl's enthusiasm was most likely partially why she hadn't realized that when Akeya asked for the best spot to use shadow magic, but it also meant that she could expect Hana to make a determined effort. As long as her student managed to channel that enthusiasm instead of allowing it to take control of her she should be capable of doing whatever Akeya asked of her (well, within reason). So instead of worrying or giving advice the dragoness just waited. With some other humans she might have felt inclined to guide them through the process of preparing themselves, but from Hana's behaviour it was clear that the girl knew what to do and that she didn't need the help. Akeya idly wondered if this was what it was like to have a talented student, one who needs little guidance and quickly gets a grip on whatever challenge posed to them. Granted Hana was somewhat exceptional in that she had used this magic in the past and was just trying to relearn it, although the very fact that her magic was from nature shadow based would have made her a very talented student to begin with. If Akeya was the type to easily form connections or be affected on an emotional level she would most likely have been proud.
Instead she merely nodded when Hana declared that she was ready, studying the girl with her usual intense scrutiny before judging it good enough. Even if Hana's resolve wasn't strong enough and she faltered she could remove the shadows with little issue. The half-dragon closed the open hand she had been pointing towards Hana, turning it into a fist covered in scales of midnight. On her command all the shadows that she had been gathering, amplifying and multiplying quickly approached Hana, swirling around her until the girl was completely covered in shadows, the dark form becoming larger and denser until where Hana had been standing there was naught but a man-sized sphere of utter darkness. Akeya kept her fist closed, narrowing her eyes as she focused. Her job now was to keep that sphere stable for as long as Hana needed to realize what she had been doing wrong so far in her attempts to return her ice magic to shadow magic. Since she could see through even the thickest darkness she could still see Hana inside the sphere, which meant she could keep an eye on her student and see how she progressed. Still, gathering such a large amount of shadows and condensing them like this would take some effort, especially if Hana took a while.
While Akeya was busy on maintaining the sphere of darkness Hana's perspective would be a bit different. Once she was completely engulfed in the shadows she would find that she had ended up in some kind of void. There was no light anywhere, but beyond that all her other senses were muted as well. She was no long standing on solid ground. She could not feel anything. There was no sound. There were no smells for her nose to pick up, or her nose was no longer working. Even her tongue could no longer make out any taste. There was nothing for her to sense, no way for her to sense. In fact she could not even feel her own body any longer. It was as if she was no longer a physical being, instead being a mere consciousness in a space of absolute nothingness. When Akeya said that being engulfed by her shadows could be unnerving she did not say that without cause. Shadows were but a creation of darkness clashing with light, and darkness was but an extension of the void. Shadows were the hiding places of the creepy and the deadly monsters, creatures that would hunt you down and appear in your nightmares. Darkness robbed the creatures of the light of their confidence, their determination. Void made everything you possessed disappear, including your own senses and your own body. Darkness was created by gathering enough shadows that the light was no longer able to drive them away. Void was created by amassing enough darkness that the world could no longer keep the void at bay. Humans had a tendency to believe that there was a difference between shadows and darkness. Akeya felt that honestly they were pretty much aspects of the same concept. Humans believed that shadows were merely the result of an object blocking the light so it could not illuminate the shadowy area. Akeya knew that shadows were not a mere absence of light. It just so happened that shadows (and in extension darkness) could not occupy the same space as light, and since this world was primarily a world of light the shadows could only exist in places where the light could not banish them. The reason why sharp shadows were stronger than large but vague shadows wasn't that shadows were but a mere representation of contrast, but because a sharp shadow was a more solid extension of the darkness and the void. A vague shadow was weak, easily dispelled.
Akeya created this void world for Hana by gathering and condensing as many shadows as she could, exposing her student to the true nature of those shadows she sought to control. The only things that Hana could sense in this place was the darkness that surrounded her utterly, and Akeya's magic which saturated the darkness. Sensing that magic should tell Hana a lot, both about shadow magic and about Akeya herself. For one thing, while Akeya's appearance and biological nature was still of a half-dragon her magic didn't have a single human trait in it. Her magic was the same as it would have been if she had been born a shadow dragon. A vast magic, ancient, suffused with Akeya's alien mind and intent. Magic which belonged to an ancient and powerful creature, a creature which was far beyond all those inferior animals and entities. A creature for whom power and intelligence were a natural gift, one which they didn't even need to question or be grateful for. A creature of a cold and cunning intellect, still capable of feeling but wielding those emotions with a grip of steel, who saw humans and all those other animals as primitive beasts who were controlled by their instincts and emotions. A creature of pride and confidence, for whom an obstacle was never anything more than a momentary challenge, and respect was something which they deserved merely by existing. A creature who, at its very core, was more majestic and impressive than any human of royal blood could ever hope to compare to.
And this creature was a creature of the shadows, the darkness and the void. Rather than seeking the light it avoided it, knowing that it didn't belong under the sun. Shadows were tendrils of darkness encroaching onto the world of light, which is why those who belonged to and used the shadows and the darkness could never rely on being strong enough, because the world of light would always oppose them and eventually drive them back. Because of that shadow creatures and shadow users had to be sneaky, they had to be cunning. Rather than fighting straight on they would stalk, hide, observe, wait for the perfect opportunity, the perfect method. The phoenix, a creature of light, would proudly display its power and channel the power of the sun to smite those it deemed evil. The dragon of shadows, on the other hand, would hide. It wouldn't target everybody who happened to be evil. A shadow dragon would use its power sparingly, always keeping an eye out for possible drawbacks and future plans. A shadow dragon would only target those it needed to target for its own goals. It would keep its power hidden, either not being noticed at all or appearing as something harmless and hardly worth noticing. It would wait, it would gather information, it would plan, it would apply every part of its being to make up for its shortcomings. It would apply its very being to achieving what it set out to achieve, not letting anything get in its way even though as a creature of shadows it was always outnumbered in the world of light, always the weaker side.
All this and more would flood Hana as she was trapped inside that void world, the darkness and the magic engulfing her and practically forcing her to accept them and learn about them. She might not be trying to learn about Akeya herself, but the technique that Akeya had chosen to use didn't give her much of a choice. Her ankin might appear as a half-dragon, but Hana's current experience would make it clear that her ankin was truly a shadow dragon, a creature of shadows, and that the reason why she was so instinctively good at using shadows was that they suited her own personality, her own core so well. The reasons why humans usually didn't have significant traits in their magic, that they had to learn how to use every type of magic from the very beginning, was that the vast majority of humans at their core weren't that different from one another, and what they all shared was that they were rather neutral, all things considered. Humans weren't particularly noble, courageous, cruel, cunning, or any of those things. Sure, they could display those traits, but the reason why a shadow dragon could use shadow magic so instinctively and a human couldn't was that for a shadow dragon all those traits which belonged to shadows and darkness were as natural as breathing. They were, by definition, cunning and sneaky. Humans might also be cunning and sneaky, but it very rarely was an actual fundamental part of their being. Humans tended to be a whole lot more diverse, made of a whole lot of different aspects, which is why all in all they turned out to be rather neutral.
Of course, this experience might also cause Hana to think more about herself. Why would she, in contrast to most humans, have such a strong affinity with shadows that using shadow magic came naturally to her? What kind of person was she that she could grasp the concepts of shadows so easily, even if they were still to some extent clouded by her limited knowledge and point of view? Akeya hadn't intended for it to, but for Hana the half-dragon's test could be as much a road to discovering more about herself as that it would help her understand shadow magic and how to use it once again, as well as learning more about her teacher and the very nature of shadows and darkness.
Akeya meanwhile had closed her eyes and stopped moving, only breathing very slowly and allowing her body to keep itself going. The amount of magic she was using to keep Hana submerged in darkness like this was quite an impressive amount. Akeya certainly wasn't lousy when it came to magic power and stamina, but this was still something which she wouldn't be able to do on a whim. However now that she was committing to it she might as well try to get something out of this experience herself. By concentrating and focusing on maintaining the sphere she would give Hana plenty of time to learn what she needed to learn about shadow magic, thus hopefully allowing her to regain control over her own, and Akeya would have the perfect opportunity to get some extra practice when it comes to controlling a large amount of magic and shadows and maintaining that control for extended periods of time. Using her own energy like this would also help expand her pool of energy that she could use, and improve her efficiency at using that energy.
Akeya might be one of the most focused people Hana would ever encounter, but that didn't mean that the dragoness didn't recognize and utilize an opportunity when she saw one.
((My apologies if this post seemed a bit over the top, but I felt the muse.))