Cerys furrowed her brow and gave him a disbelieving look. “I can use wizard spells, then? Even the cantrips?” She didn’t wait for an answer. Instead, she searched her pockets and pulled out a scrap of woolen cloth, tucked it into her hand and pointed towards a stand of tall grass just across the way.
“As I said,” James said as he watched her, “you still have limits on how much–”
“Rratha Dratha!” Cerys called out, and within seconds there were dozens of tiny chirps coming from the grass. She looked back to him with a pleased grin on her face.
James shook his head, but was smiling warmly. “You cast Ghost Sound?”
The goblin, clearly not realizing that it was an illusion, crouched down and peered towards the tall grass. Drool seeped out of the corner of its mouth as it rubbed its hands together.
“No, goblin,” James told it. “There are no chicks for you to eat. It’s just a spell.”
The goblin gave him, and then Cerys, a look of contempt and muttered to itself. She looked pleased with herself all the same.
“I can cast other spells in my spell book, too, can’t I?”
“You would be able to, if you had your spell book and components.”
“That’s right!” Cerys said, much to her brother’s chagrin. He hung his head in disappointment. “Where are my things, then?”
“You will get them when you are ready,” James told her, resuming his stroll along the path. “In the meantime, no more cantrips on our way to the manor. Understood?”
With a slight pout, she nodded, and they continued on.
“Is it morning here?” Himeko asked after a while longer, gazing up at the sky.
“You noticed our sun, didn’t you?” James replied. “Our time is different from Earth’s. It… flows differently. If it is late afternoon back on Earth, it could as easily be morning or night here. The times never line up, and there’s never any pattern to it, even when to take the astronomy of it into account.”
Himeko nodded; she remembered a thing or two about planetary rotation from her science classes. “Do you have any idea what time it will be when we get back home?”
“None at all,” James answered, the regret in his voice clear.
“Mom is going to be crazy worried,” Peter said. He could not imagine how she would cope when two of her children did not come home.
“My mother will be home soon… In our Earth home, I mean,” James told them. “She will be able to help. In the meantime, please just trust me. We have every intention of getting you back home safely.”