Cain’s day was going well. He had been able to catch his favourite TV show the previous night, and his dad even let him sleep later than usual. That morning, he had a nice, leisurely chat with Trent and Amanda, his two best friends. The teacher had returned their exam papers for spelling, too; and- as usual- Cain got a perfect score. He’d always been at the top of the class- getting consistent hundreds or ninety-plusses since he started elementary school the year before.
That day would have been more or less the same as every other day in Cain’s life, if not for that vehicle parked in front of his house.
Cain’s parents couldn’t hide much from him- he was simply too clever, too observant. He knew why he didn’t see his mom often. He knew why his dad had told him, “Mom’s gonna be away for a while starting tomorrow.” He knew precisely why- as he neared his house on foot- a van was parked in front of his house, clearly labelled “Redwood Mental Institution”.
He waved goodbye to his mom, whom he had only really seen around a dozen times since he had started kindergarten. His dad stood beside him, trying not to look sad, but Cain could tell that he was holding back waves of regret and sadness.
And that was it; no tears were shed on his part- not when his mom entered the van, and not when the van drove away into the distance. Mrs. Skye might have been Cain’s mom officially and biologically, but to Cain, even his science teacher was less of a stranger than she was. Cain walked into the household, unaffected by his mother’s fate.
While Cain wasn’t interested in what had happened to her, he was interested in what she was always occupied with.
One day, when his father had gone out to visit his mom, he decided to find out for himself.
He sneaked into his father’s room, being careful not to displace anything and make himself seem too suspicious. Using an old stick from the front yard, he opened the drawer that would normally be too high for him to reach. He always observed how his father took the house keys; if he remembered correctly, the house keys would be in the corner- easily accessible with the help of the fishing hooks in the house and some string. He flung the hook over the edge and fished around the box.
“Come on, it has to be around here.” He said, visualising the surface of the drawer.
The sound of metal clashing against metal told him he was good to go. The key to his mother’s study was in his hands.
“Just another victory for me.” He thought, raising his chin and clutching the key in his hands. He trotted towards the top floor- the only place in the house he was normally prohibited from entering.
He opened the door gently, as if he might disturb his mother who no longer sat on the chair inside. The room was empty, save for a trash can and a computer on a desk, with a ring-bound stack of papers in front of it.
Cain took the stack of papers and made away with it, delighted at his loot.
Chapter 1: Another World
“What the heck is happening here?” Amanda thought. “These twins show up one school morning, and literally a few hours later they’re fighting with superpowers? Are those powers, or is it magic?”
For everyone inside the classroom, time seemed to be moving much more slowly than usual. It could have been another one of the tricks up their attackers’ sleeves, or it could have simply been the immense tension in the room putting everyone on high-alert.
Strad and Calcifer- as the strangers had introduced themselves earlier- had exchanged looks immediately when two unrecognizable figures darted into the classroom through the windows. In an instant, Strad and Calcifer had cast a sleep spell on everyone in the room (save for three of the students and themselves) and jumped to their aid. However, the two figures seemed to remain unaffected. For the two minutes that the two pairs had been fighting- though it felt much longer than that- neither side had shown a clear advantage. Or rather, both sides took hold of the situation alternatingly, as if the upper hand had its own playful will.
As it stood, one small slip from the mysterious “transfer students” could cost everyone in the room their lives. If their jumps landed them slightly too far or near, or if their arms didn’t react in the instant they commanded them to, then it would be over for both the twins and the students. However, the same held true for the attackers.
“Trent, listen to me carefully, they’re after you three! You have to take us to our world, now! We can’t hold on much longer in this state!” Strad said, conjuring another barrier to avoid being hit.
“What?” Trent cut in, “I’m just a normal human like Amanda and Cain. I can’t do magic- or whatever you guys call it.”
“Just focus! Listen carefully; vividly imagine this room in your mind, then quickly think of only the five of us in an endless void of space,” Calcifer explained while barely dodging her opponent’s lightning-fast attacks. “With your aptitude, that should be more than enough for the transfer!”
Still unsure of himself, Trent hesitated for a while. “Can’t anyone else do it?”
“We’re a bit busy, as you can see,” Strad retorted, darting around the room. “Neither Cain nor Amanda has the capability for it right now either.” He seemed to be recovering from his disadvantage in the fight; but with three defenseless students to protect, it was all he can do to hold off the attacker.
“Do it Trent! We’re with you,” Cain assured him, “It won’t kill you to try!” Among everyone present in the room, only Cain truly seemed calm and collected. Since birth, he was always known for his insurmountable composure. Whether it was facing a furious teacher or telling blatant lies, his poker face perfectly concealed whatever he might have been thinking.
Even then, in the midst of a life-threatening battle, he had shown little emotion.
Trent sighed deeply in quiet resolution, and within a split second he began to show that expression familiar only to a few of his acquaintances. With his eyes closed and his forehead slightly wrinkled, he started giving off an intensely serious vibe.
“That’s our Trent,” Cain commented, not lowering his guard in case of a surprise attack. He had always been amazed by Trent’s “concentration state.” Trent had an extraordinary ability to focus, making him one of the top students in school. Normally known for his timid behavior and scarce presence, Trent often sported a much more menacing and intimidating demeanour whenever he entered this state.
From an outsider’s perspective, it might have seemed that Trent’s state of mind was unshakable. In reality, it was anything but. Though his physical body did not quiver in the slightest, Trent felt as if he were being sucked into a void, clambering for any sign of stable ground. He wanted to imagine that the situation was all a dream and tuck it away into the deepest recesses of his mind. “Who were these people? What did they want?"
However, Trent understood the gravity of the situation and his indispensable role in it. Steeling his resolve, Trent took a deep breath.
He pictured the room: the empty teacher’s desk, the excessively squeaky whiteboard he cleaned every day, the sunlight coming in from the side windows that tinged the room with an ironically peaceful radiance, the unconscious students on their tacky plastic tables, the old ceiling fan- he imagined them fading slowly into deep black.
Now he imagined each of them in turn- that is, everyone who seemed to be an ally. He imagined Cain’s brown eyes darting around warily. He imagined Amanda’s eye-catching blouse and cardigan that complemented her shoulder-length caramel waves. He took in as much visual information as his eyes could manage through his spectacles.
However, their attackers were not simply going to let him be. Though Strad and Calcifer were much faster and more skilled in combat, they were being bogged down by their mission of protecting Cain and the others. They couldn’t get into their usual rhythm of overwhelming concerted attacks. At the same time, neither could they hold on for much longer. They had to do something, and quickly.
“It’s a closed space.” Strad thought.
“It’s for that reason why our movements are so limited.” Calcifer contemplated with uncanny synchronisation.
Cain analysed the completely foreign situation with cold, calculating eyes. “But if they can take the closed space to their advantage-”
Cain stuck out his arm, drawing Strad and Calcifer’s attention. He clenched his open palm into a fist. In an instant, without so much as a word, the twins understood.
Strad dashed away from his current opponent and hastily conjured numerous invisible walls, scattering them around the room in an attempt to slow the enemy down. He was panting and covered in sweat; using so much Energy in a short period of time was taking its toll.
Calcifer, too, retreated from her opponent to regroup, but the slashing motion of her attacker’s weapon was already halfway through its arc. Time seemed to slow down even further for Calcifer as her instincts could only nudge her body a bit further away from the blade. Fortunately, thanks to this movement of not more than a couple of centimetres, the attack only managed to graze her back and some of the more outlying strands of her long, jet-black hair.
“This is more dangerous than I’d like,” she thought. And she wasn’t just referring to her new skin wound. If her enemies weren’t disoriented for long enough by Strad’s trick, Calcifer wouldn’t have enough time to incapacitate them with an attack, and they would charge straight at their targets: Cain, Trent, and Amanda.
But with years of arduous training behind her, within moments, Calcifer was already taking advantage of the confusion caused by the makeshift labyrinth. Before her assailant could react, Calcifer appeared beside one of her enemies and stabbed him swiftly with her simply-designed emergency dagger. The unsuspecting victim felt the cold steel plunge through his heart, as if he had no skin, muscles, or bones to protect it, and promptly fell off the school desk he was standing on and onto the ground.
One of the opponents, however, was ready for Strad’s zoning strategy, and shattered the walls like glass with a powerful shockwave instead of navigating around them.
Strad’s clear blue eyes widened. He had underestimated his opponent. He was on the other side of the classroom, far out of position. His segment of the plan had been rendered ineffective.
Maybe it was a tactical choice, maybe it was for revenge, or maybe their attacker had finally lost all rationality; but whatever the reason, the remaining enemy set his sights on Calcifer, who was still poising herself to fight after her first success. Calcifer’s reactions were late only by milliseconds, but that alone put her on the receiving end of a powerful blast of electricity.
“Gah!” Calcifer cried as she fell, her weapon clattering down onto the classroom floor.
Just as her attacker had taken the opportunity to advance towards the three students, the scenery shifted. The bright sunlight streaming in from the large glass windows had dissipated in an instant, replaced by new, gloomier surroundings; and the desks and chairs vanished from sight.
“Safe for now,” Strad muttered while catching his breath, “but not for long.”
“That blast looked pretty strong. Are you okay?” Amanda asked, her tone an ambiguous mix of confusion and concern.
“Yes,” Calcifer replied, still recovering from the damage. Parts of her clothes were singed, and her arm was largely burnt where the electricity first came into contact with her. Still, her face showed that she was serious about being okay.
“Are you sure?” Trent asked. “Electrical burns are usually quite serious. Your nervous system could be damaged-”
“She should be fine,” Strad interrupted, “I dissipated some of the electricity right as it was about to hit her, and her innate resistance to magic as a magic user herself should mean that she wasn’t hit hard. I’ll use some basic healing magic on her back wound for now.” He seemed confident, but concern was evident in his voice as well. “Still, to think he still had that much Energy left after his partner died…” he mumbled.
“Okay then. I don’t like the idea of pestering an injured person, but I think you owe us an explanation. Who are you? Where are we? Why were those people targeting us?” Cain demanded.
“We’re exactly who we said we were,” Strad replied, with a slight snicker between phrases, “the Locke twins”.
“This place,” Calcifer continued as she stood up, “is an alternate version of your world. It is very near to your home, but at the same time quite far.”
Amanda and Trent almost instantaneously assumed she was talking rubbish, but Cain was thoroughly interested -almost challenged- by her statement.
Calcifer was about to expound on her cryptic statement when Cain cut in.
“So basically,” Cain thought out loud, “we’re on a different fourth dimension?”
Caught off guard by his unusually calm response, Calcifer thought for a while, resting her chin on top of her closed fist. After a good ten-or-so seconds, she finally replied, “Yes, in a way, I think that’s how scientific terms would put it.” Her arm had almost healed completely by this point, and the wound on her back had only left to vanish. It was a wonder to behold for the three.
“What I meant by ‘near but far’ is that this world does not exist in the same space as yours, but the space in which it exists is near to your world’s.”
At that point, everyone aside from the two talking were making quizzical facial expressions. Not even Trent had gotten it perfectly. Strad had heard this explanation before, but still couldn’t fully connect the dots.
Seeing their puzzled reactions, Cain tried to explain the concept more simply.
Taking a deep breath, he started. “You know that in our world, every location can be represented by three coordinates, right? It’s like dicing the entire universe’s space into tiny cubes. But that entire universe would just be a collection of those cubes, and those cubes would always be inside the same one space- the universe itself.”
Cain reached into his pocket and rummaged around for a few seconds before pulling out a pencil. He always carried one around in his pocket for times like these.
“Um,” he started.
“Here.” Trent handed him a piece of crumpled paper from his pocket. There were a few doodles on the paper, but Cain had enough space for his explanation.
“So you know how the number line works right? A number is used to represent a point on a line.” Cain drew a disturbingly straight line on the paper by hand as he talked. He marked four roughly equally-spaced points on the line and labelled them “-1, 0, 1, 2”.
“So when you say ‘one’, it means this exact point on the line.” Cain shaded the point corresponding to “1”. “But this isn’t the only line out there; the line is one-dimensional. For two dimensions, there are infinitely many lines. So now you need to distinguish which line your ‘one’ is from when we start talking about two dimensions.”
He extended his diagram by drawing three more parallel lines, labelling each, including the original line, with “line -1, line 0, line 1, line 2”.
“In this case, the point is now defined by the numbers ‘1’ and ‘0’ since it’s the ‘1’ point on the ‘0’ line. It’s like the Cartesian Plane, (1,0)”
“Now, if the first coordinate determines which point on a line something is on, and the second coordinate determined which line in a plane that point was in-“
“Then the third coordinate would determine which plane in a 3-dimensional space the point is in?” Amanda joined in.
Cain nodded, “now what if you had a fourth coordinate?”
Trent’s face lit up in a sudden revelation, “then it would determine which space in the 4th dimension the point is in! Continuing that logic, our universe- our space- is just one of many spaces in the fourth dimension!”
“Correct,” Cain said, “then this world is simply a separate space from that. And by what Calcifer mentioned, this universe’s ‘fourth coordinate’ isn’t much different from ours.” Cain drew his last diagram.
“If points can represent lines, then there shouldn’t be anything preventing them from representing entire planes- or even spaces for that matter.”
Cain drew his last diagram separately from the first. This time, it was another line with four equally-spaced points. However, instead of numbers, he labelled them “Our universe, the twins’ universe, another universe, another universe.”
“Our world is thus quite near to theirs from this perspective.”
Amanda had nearly given up on trying to understand the complex explanation, and Trent had to emphasise repeatedly that when Cain said “space,” he was talking about entire universes, before she finally grasped the concept fully with an unnecessarily loud “Aaahh!”
“Well, that’s all good and well, but how do we get home?” Amanda asked.
“If I understood the explanation correctly,” Trent answered, “then we can’t get home without some special means. That would require us to travel across the fourth dimension.”
“That’s exactly correct. These three catch up pretty quickly,” Strad thought. “Though they’re around our age, it seems two of them understood that explanation nearly instantly.”
“Truthfully, that should not pose a challenge for Trent, as he has just transported us here with minimal knowledge of the inner workings of the spell,” Calcifer commented, interrupting Strad’s thoughts.
Cain shot her a doubtful look- his analytical instincts told him there was something wrong with that statement, unless, of course, magic was the kind to completely trample over reason. He decided to let the issue slide, as it wasn’t the time to show a lack of cooperation.
“However,” Cain reminded everyone, “it’s impossible that you two brought us, or rather, showed us the way here for no reason. You most likely need us for something.”
“A sharp observation,” Calcifer replied. “Then here’s our proposal: you join us and lend us your powers.”
“And then what?” Amanda interrupted, skeptical.
“And we all won’t die.”
Chapter 2: An Important Mission
“Wait- what do you mean we ‘all won’t die’?” Trent said, his voice almost failing.
“How does this have anything to do with us in the first place?” Amanda said, with a half-perplexed, half-terrified tone.
Cain’s expression darkened. He had known something was wrong from the moment they arrived. This world did seem quite similar. They were standing in a classroom almost identical in appearance to their own, but Cain felt something was off. He looked outside. The sky was an eerie shade of grey, and if time functioned the same way in this universe, there should have been students in the class. Directing his gaze forward, he saw the courtyard exactly where it would be in his school, but there was one standout difference: the place was barren, devoid of the grass and bushes that defined its purpose.
He was so engrossed in trying to figure out what had happened, that he didn’t notice Calcifer walking up to him. With a sigh and a pained expression, she started her explanation-
“If I were to explain it quickly, I would say that we approached you to prevent the destruction of both our worlds.”
The three students tensed up.
“It’s true that this world was supposed to be almost identical to yours, at least, as far as we know; but as with every alternate world, there will always be, at some point, a deviation in the timeline. In some dimensions, history was written radically differently from the beginning of time, causing that world to develop in a completely unpredictable manner. In others, civilisations rejected the idea of rationalism and instead practised spiritual arts. You three live in your own world, where rationality and progress are fueled by curiosity, and as a result, your world ignores what is invisible to the senses.”
“That is,” Strad cut in, “aside from religion.”
“Our world-this world- was much the same until a few years ago, when a woman founded a great movement against science. She spoke of humanity not being able to surpass its limits because much of mankind was imposing restrictions on itself. Truly enough, she was right.”
“In the beginning, she was regarded as insane; she was treated like any other skeptic of science- largely ignored. But soon enough, her beliefs started to bear fruit. By focusing endlessly on what cannot be simply explained or observed, she had finally found a way to convince the world that she was right:
She discovered magic.”
“Wait, does that mean this- this woman didn’t exist in ours?” Amanda said.
“We don’t know for sure, but it’s likely that in your case, she never managed to succeed in learning the secrets of magic.” Strad replied in Calcifer’s stead.
“Then that’s the deviation point from our world?” Cain said.
“Most likely.” Calcifer said.
“Soon after,” Calcifer continued, “she started performing scientifically inexplicable acts to persuade the entire world into thinking she was right. Often, she would come out of nowhere, only to wreak havoc and raise her infamy. Nothing worked on her. Bullets were stopped in their tracks when they were supposed to hit her. When someone attacked her using a close-range weapon, she effortlessly dodged, as if moving at an inhuman speed. According to the records, she never carried a weapon, but her victims were often sliced up, as if their bodies were minced finely with a knife.
“All in an act of ‘I told you so’? That’s seriously messed up.” Amanda unconsciously reacted.
“Indeed it is, which is why people started to fear her; and with fear, comes the want for protection. The people naturally believed that teaming up with her would assure their safety. Since then, her following has only grown exponentially, and in the span of little over ten years, the world has been ravaged by countless magical battles between those who wish to keep magic, and those who wish to seal its secrets away forever. One of the greatest battles was four years ago, between our organisations.” Calcifer’s tone was gradually getting more grave and serious. “The cruel irony of it all is that magic runs on energy fuelled by life, and its continued use is a threat to the existence of life itself.”
“What’s her final goal, then?” Trent asked.
“Who knows?” Strad replied “Either she just likes the power or she has some sort of grand scheme. Whatever it is, it can’t be good if it destroys worlds. Maybe after all this time it's actually just that she's gone psycho.”
“So I can assume you guys are in the ‘no magic’ sect?” Cain asked with a casual tone.
Calcifer nodded, “Regrettably, the only way to fight against her is by magic of our own.”
“I don’t mean to be rude, but how exactly does that explain how our world is implicated?” Amanda said irritably; her question, after all, was still hanging in the air.
“In history, what do countries do when they run out of resources?” Calcifer said.
“They…” Cain swallowed between phrases, “... invade other lands in search of them.”
“You- you can’t possibly be saying…?” Trent said, his voice trembling.
“We aren’t the only ones with access to cross-dimensional spells. That woman, whom we now call the First Witch, is planning to drain that energy out of your world to support the use of magic.”
As soon as she finished her sentence, Cain thought he saw something move in the corner of his eye. Someone was watching them.
“Do you two know any magic that can detect the presence of enemies? Cain whispered to Calcifer, who immediately understood what he meant.
Closing her eyes gently in deep concentration, when Calcifer again opened them, they had a bright but soft azure glow. The rest of the room felt even darker in comparison. The three students couldn’t help but be stopped by the enchanting sight, even if it was only for a moment.
As the glow faded, Calcifer turned to Strad and curled and uncurled her fingers twice, a signal that looked like, “Go away.” Afterwards, she mouthed the word “home”.
As Strad nodded, a figure appeared in front of them, dressed in dark blue robes. With the unknown presence standing in the shadowy corner of the room, Cain couldn’t quite make out facial features, but from his large physique visible even through the loose robes, he deduced that it must have been a man. Cain raised his senses to high alert; even though he knew he would stand no chance against a magic user, he didn’t intend on going down so easily. His mind scanned the room: a few stray pencils, an old blackboard, some chalk, and a few stones from outside. Like a computer, he considered all his offensive and defensive options.
Calcifer and Strad, however, only let out a sigh of relief.
“That’s enough,” the hooded figure said, “it’s dangerous to continue this conversation out here. Locke twins, both of you should know well that recounting this world’s history and, more than anything else, revealing your alignment puts your lives in danger outside Daybreak territory. You two aren’t even wearing disguises!”
“Sorry sir, as we just traversed dimensions, we took for granted that the enemy would not be able to track us down for a few minutes.”
“That kind of carelessness is exactly-” he paused for a while, “never mind, let’s get back.”
The trio, who were relatively normal high school students only minutes ago, were now sitting in the current headquarters of an extra-dimensional organisation formed to save the world. But in Cain’s mind, the word “headquarters” was barely fit to describe the place. Surely enough, it was a spacious and relatively well-hidden building, with what Cain thought were several illusion barriers protecting the base, but everything looked… normal. In truth, Had he not felt the massive force of the wind bombarding his face on the way at almost Mach 1 speeds, Cain might have assumed that he were in just another office building.
“Then Daybreak is your organisation’s name?” This time, Amanda raised the question, looking around.
“Yeah,” the large man, who called himself Roman, replied, “though we barely qualify as an organization anymore with our numbers.”
He gestured for them to sit, noticing their confusion at the building.
“Ah, this building is an abandoned insurance company’s office. Many corporations went out of business when the world was plunged into this state, as you can imagine the impact of all this on the economy. The reason the headquarters looks so ordinary is because magic is mainly centered on the magicians using it, not much about the tools and equipment; though people often use objects to help them visualise and control magic.”
Roman’s tone grew serious. “In any case, the situation is dire; and that’s why we need your help. As the head of Daybreak, we implore you,” He looked in the direction of each as he spoke, “Amanda Park, Trent Lim, and Cain Skye, to cooperate with us.”
Trent and Amanda turned in their seats to face Cain. Cain, on the other hand, was staring intently at the leader of the organization. When it came to group decisions- where they would eat out, what they would do for class projects, or how they were going to approach a problem- Cain had always acted as the undisputed leader of the group. Being childhood friends, the other two trusted wholly in Cain’s judgment.
“Why us, though? How did you even find us? We’re normal high school students, and our only knowledge of magic is what you’ve told us so far; there are probably myriads of other people out there whom you can call upon. They would probably be more suited for the job.” Cain questioned.
“Unfortunately for you,” Calcifer replied, “the clairvoyant at Daybreak has already seen in you three the power of Comprehension. Our clairvoyant is special in that aside from magic, she learned many things about other dimensions in scientific theory, allowing her visions to be freed from the confines of just this world.”
“Comprehension?” Amanda said, “I don’t suppose that has anything to do with my perfect score on the last English test?”
“’Comprehension’ is the term we use for immense magical potential. These users of magic often bear with them special traits such as being able to amplify the Energy they gather, or having perfect control over how they release their Energy as magic,” the leader said. “It basically means you three already have a mindset that makes magic much easier to learn than a normal person. Normally, it would take a few years to master even a fraction of its workings. There are special varieties of Comprehension as well.”
Cain, Trent, and Amanda glanced at each other. “Three of us all with the same talent? No way is this a coincidence,” Trent thought. Likewise, Cain and Amanda had their own doubts.
Strad appeared from behind a corner and signalled to Calcifer.
“Excuse me,” she said, getting up.
“What about our families? They would definitely worry about us if we just randomly disappeared for a long time.” Amanda pointed out.
“It’s unfortunate, but we haven’t really figured out a way to deal with that yet. However, if you three do not agree, then your family noticing your absence will be the least of your problems.”
The three shared a still quietness for a while, until Trent finally broke the silence.
“So we’ll be fighting against people like Strad and Calcifer?” Trent asked, apparently deep in thought. “As we are now, we’re completely powerless against them.”
“Actually, in terms of physical and magical abilities, Strad and Calcifer are plenty strong already. It’s completely natural that you’re overwhelmed by them.” The leader assured them.
“Then, we’ll have to learn magic as well, right?” Cain inquired.
“That’s right!” a woman exclaimed happily, suddenly appearing in front of the leader. “My name is Lyra, second-in-command, and I’ve been assigned to teach you all about Energy gathering!” The way she spoke made it seem like there were not a problem in the world. And yet, there was something refreshing in her carefree tone. To Cain, it almost felt like it were a child in front of him instead of an adult. Further building on her apparent eccentricity was the fact that her hair was reminiscent of a rainbow. Around two-thirds was completely light brown, which was nothing out of the ordinary; but the lower section of her hair was dyed in various shades of blue, red, and even green.
“Energy gathering?” Trent looked confused.
“I see.” Cain remarked. “Have to learn how to control the fuel before learning to start fires, right?”
“Yep! But leader, does this mean all our new recruits are Collectors?”
“Collectors?” Amanda scratched behind her ear. “How does magic even work?”
The chief explained, “A lot of details about magic are unclear, barring the application of it. However, we are sure of two things: where it comes from, and how we use it.”
Cain noticed Trent’s eyes light up like a pair of gems. “This fantasy-esque setting must be a dream come true for him.” Cain thought, amused. Trent was an avid fantasy RPG fan.
“Lyra will teach you three the more specific stuff. I'm actually not that good with the basics and the theory; I’ve always fought based on my instincts.” Roman said.
“You can do that?” Cain asked.
“Hold it there, boy, not everyone can acquire magic the way I did,” Roman’s face seemed oddly serious, “it would be much better if you learned it from scratch, even if you three do have Comprehension like me.”
“But Trent was the one who cast the spell to send us to this dimension, and he hadn't had any special training before.”
“That’s impossible,” Lyra almost chuckled the words out, as if dismissing it as a joke, “how did he activate it?”
“I was told to picture the current room, then fade it into black inside my mind.” Trent answered.
“Hmm. Then it’s highly likely that someone was simply redirecting your magic. In the first place, you would have had to have known where to land! Not to mention someone had to be giving you the Energy for it.” Lyra said.
“Maybe I just got lucky?” Trent wondered aloud.
“That’s also possible, our dimensions are quite close after all.” she replied. “Though I don’t really get the whole ‘alternate world reality’ or whatever.”
“In any case, I'm in.” Cain stretched his arms behind his head, “if they're telling the truth, we have no real choice.”
Trent subsequently accepted the offer, but Amanda hesitated. Sure, she didn't want to leave Cain and Trent, her best friends, behind, but she feared for herself as well. She was never the sharpest tool in the shed- compared to Cain and Trent at least. In group projects, she always had to work the hardest to keep up with them. Though they never treated her unfairly, she didn't want to risk becoming a burden when their lives were on the line. Her self-confidence couldn't handle that blow.
“Amanda?” Cain said, “It's okay.” It almost seemed like he could read her thoughts.
There was a long pause.
Finally, she gathered her courage and forced a smile. “We've been together since preschool, no point in splitting now! Just don't start crying when I leave you guys in the dust!” Amanda teased.