“The Associate Brotherhood of Metaphysicians,” Miles read the sign aloud slowly, obviously trying to discern their meaning. “Beyond the physical,” he translated.

“Into the spiritual, perhaps,” Emery surmised.

“We try to use magical philosophies to understand the essential being of the world,” a man behind them said. “It’s an interesting field of study – very broad in scope. Are you enjoying the conference so far?”

Miles nodded and Emery added, “Very much. It’s fascinating to see all the ways people use and view magic. What’s your take on semi-magic?”

Ah, semi-magic,” the man murmured. “Similar to off magic in the fact that the weave influences the mage and not the other way around. Awesome in its variety and fascinating in its uses. What’s your interest?”

Emery blinked and looked down, phrasing his next words carefully, “We know someone who has semi-magic.”

“We believe that semi-magic and off magic exist for those times and places where traditional magic would be dangerous or impractical to use,” the man said. “Does that help?”

Emery frowned and nodded. “I think so,” he said softly. The idea of having a special skill in the case that their usual ones weren’t usable was a new idea for Emery. He wondered what their father would think of the notion.