“Change us.” Xenia hid a twitch in an adjustment of her absurd cloak. How anyone could shoot in this, she didn’t know. (How Aerich knew she had a title she really, really didn’t know. She’d pry that out of him later. In private.) “I do not wish to be changed.”
“Sometimes such things happen despite our will.” If she didn’t know better, she’d have thought that he sounded sympathetic.
“Would you say that’s something changing us?” Cole was pointing along the road with his staff.
What they’d thought was a small village around the base of the castle was, well, a small village around the base of the castle. But now that they were closer, they could see that the town didn’t suit the genre of the world they’d stepped into.
“Is that a saloon?”
“Complete with saloon girls.”
“Is that a knight?”
“Complete with shining armour.”
The team shared a glance. “There’s a wild west town.” Cole sounded tired. Xenia didn’t blame him.
“Surrounding a medieval-style castle.” Josie sounded worried. Xenia didn’t blame her, either.
“Are we on a movie set?” Alexa stepped forward. “This doesn’t seem thin enough for a movie set.”
“Most worlds with movies don’t have this much magic.” Aerich always had to contradict Alexa. Xenia wished they’d get back to fucking and stop all the arguing.
“So.” Peter stepped forward. Good, solid, boring, reliable Peter. “So what we have is either a very strange world, or a slip between worlds. Perhaps a Door that someone else opened?”
“I’d say it bears investigating.” Xenia stepped up next to him. “Come on, Cole. Lead on, Fearless Leader.”
“You guys are nuts.” Still, Cole stepped back to the front of the group.
“That’s why you hired us.” It felt good to be nuts. It felt good to be actually exploring.
The air might be thick with magic, but Xenia was full with adventure.
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