If you can’t be genuinely surprised, then you need a good excuse for not being surprised. Preferably one that matches up with how you’re feeling.
“I really don’t need this right now,” you grumble. “I’ve got a lot of things to do, even though it’s late and I’ve already got a headache. My feet are a bit sore, too. I don’t have time to…”
You feel something very unpleasant the moment you say the word “time”, which is very distracting. Everyone just stares at you, waiting for you to finish.
“I’ve just realized something else I have to deal with,” you grumble. “Almost immediately. So if any of you want to get answers out of me about anything, you’re going to have to help me with this.”
“Help how?” Minnie asks.
Right, how to explain this. Getting that woman conscious again will be very helpful in dealing with the time ether, but she doesn’t know you know that’s what she’s working on.
Well. What you need is a wizard, so that’s easy enough to be honest about.
“For a start, I need the help of another wizard,” you reply. “One with a good deal of experience. This is more than I can handle on my own.” Especially since you can’t cast any magic.
“Funny, I know where there’s a wizard, but I’m probably going to need your help to get her conscious again,” Minnie says, annoyed. “So unless somebody knows another one, seems it would be best if you come with me.”
That would actually be terrible, considering you’ve got to draw the time ether’s attention to you very quickly before it causes an even bigger problem than it already has. It also means you don’t have much time to argue.
But you catch a glint of enthusiasm in the eyes of Long’s apprentice. She may not know what’s going on, but she seems eager to help out with whatever it is. Maybe because she still hopes to wrangle answers out of you.
You think very fast, because you have to. You can’t leave the wild time magic alone, and the only idea you have for distracting it is to use yourself as bait. You might not be able to stop it unless you go with Minnie, but you can’t afford to let the time magic interfere with the unconscious wizard.
But there might just be a way Long’s apprentice can help you out of this dilemma.