With a final snuffle, the goblin quieted down, and followed James onto the trodden path.
“The manor is north of here,” he said. “I don’t expect any trouble along the way.”
The party started along the path, hardly more than a line of dust between the fields of grass. It looked like a lot of wagons took that trail, the way it was rutted more in some places by two lines with grass daring to emerge in the middle than by one wide line. As they crested the first hill, Cerys could see the beginnings of a forest in the distance ahead of them.
“So this is the Kingdom of Carawick?” she asked once they were well under way.
“No,” James replied. “Carawick is a barony within the Kingdom of Summerlay. My father is one of twenty-six barons in the kingdom.”
“Wow, so many!” Himeko said. “Are you using a peerage system, then? Do you have count and earls?”
“We do. I’m afraid. Four dukes preside over the land, bested only my the king and his princes. Under them are seven earls, and then fifteen counts.”
“Is Summerlay a very big kingdom?” Himeko asked next.
“Not nearly as big as your United States, but with problems enough to make your leaders tremble.”
“I have a bigger question!” Cerys declared suddenly, showing that she was hardly paying attention to the conversation at hand. “Do I have magical powers here? Am I really a mage?”
“Should I be worried that she sounds this excited?” Bayani asked.
“It’s Cerys,” Peter told him. “You should always be worried.”
She was too busy waiting for James’ s answer to give her brother the usual punch in the arm.
James gave her a warm smile and then replied, “You are a mage, Cerys, but remember that you are bound by rules and restrictions when it comes to using magic.”
“Is this some kind of Dungeons and Dragon world then?” Cerys asked.
“Not at all. Summerlay and the enchanted lands all around that are part of a bigger concept of Earth’s legends and fairy tales.”