Wilmina handed them the mugs and sat on the sofa opposite, jumping a little, her large, bent feet hovering above the ground.
‘I – I is – am – sorry for earlier,’ she said, articulating to sound less her species. Anala looked down at the floating leaves in her mug, if Wilmina was to be considered a magus, Anala didn’t know if she wanted to be. Percival, on the other hand, commended her, he knew few beastfolk able to move from their native tongue Trok –a language consisting mostly of grunts and irreverent hand gestures – to the magi tongue, Maedaal.
‘I understand,’ he nodded. ‘I’m sure there are many thieves impersonating wardens to steal the little you have. You are wise to be so guarded,’
‘They’se nothing worth takin-g, not belongin-g to me. But you, you’ve lots to lose. What’re ‘igh-borns doing here, wha’s a Tetractys man doin’ ‘ere?’
Paradam sighed, he wished he could be known for more than his family’s authority, but then, he supposed, it was that that made most of his life possible. Yet, he knew Wilmina knew the truth. For some reason, she wished to be blind to it.
‘You are right. I have much to lose, but as do my fellow magi in this time, which is why I am here. The Tetractys does not know of my whereabouts – these days there’s less compunction that way. You see, I am here for one reason, to reunite the Royal Ten. Meaning…’ he hoped she would interject, but she was silent. He sighed. ‘You know what it means. It means it is time, time for him to come with us.’
Wilmina narrowed her eyes, looking briefly upwards to where the ceiling creaked and throbbed from movement upstairs. Her gaze snapped back to them, catching Anala as she sipped her tea and discreetly spat back, tasting little more flavour than that of bilge water. Out of propriety, Percival continued drinking.