“Come on! We don’t have much time!” hissed Zabora. Confused, the dogs turned in the direction Sakura had gone and followed her. They stopped to linger a moment, just in case it was a trick, but Zabora, Will, and Kylie stayed hidden with the Catseye’s magic. Once the guards were gone, Zabora hurriedly led them back behind the remaining two guards, far enough so that they weren’t noticed, but close enough so that they were still on the right path.
Finally, to Kylie’s astonishment, she set foot on solid ground. She was in a peaceful field, filled with tiny gold and purple flowers. “Welcome to the Gods’ Realm,” Zabora said proudly. “It is pretty, isn’t it?”
Kylie nodded and looked at Will, but he wasn’t there. He was picking the flowers and sniffing them. Kylie laughed. He looked so ridiculous. But he looked even more ridiculous when…he turned into a purple monkey!
“Aaah!” Kylie shouted, jumping back. Will looked at himself in astonishment. Behind them, Zabora was doubled over with laughter.
“What happened to him?” Kylie demanded.
“Those are shape-shifting flowers,” Zabora explained, still laughing. “When you sniff them, you change shape. It is impossible to know what you will turn into.”
“Well, how does he turn back?” Kylie asked firmly. She didn’t think it was very funny…okay, it was, but they didn’t have time for distractions.
Zabora shrugged. “I think he is stuck that way until they wear off.” Behind them, Will made a groaning sound.
“How long is it until they wear off?” Kylie asked, fearing the answer.
“I do not know, but he might find a more reasonable shape with which to approach Anubis and Bastet.”
Snorting, Will picked another flower with his monkey paws and sniffed it. It turned him into a rabbit. Zabora shook her head, so he sniffed another one. This time he appeared as a fox.
She nodded. “The foxes are his people, too. He will be satisfied.” By "him" Kylie assumed Zabora meant Anubis.
Will-fox trotted beside Kylie, who was careful not to sniff any flowers. Zabora was still laughing and floating lazily across the ground.
“Are there any other dangers we have to watch out for?” Kylie asked, irritated.
Zabora nodded. “There are many, but hopefully we will not run into any of them.”
That didn’t sound very reassuring, but Kylie didn’t say anything.
After they left the field, Zabora led them through a forest. It was thick and dark, and Kylie felt uncomfortable. Will-fox, however, was right at home. He chased after every noise, soon returning to the task at hand before running off again.
“I just remembered something else about the shape-shifting flowers,” Zabora said. “As more and more time passes, the person under the spell becomes more and more like what they’ve become. If it takes more than one hour for them to turn back, they’re stuck as an animal forever…and nothing can turn them back, not even the power of the gods.”
And so Will-fox was added to Kylie’s growing list of concerns.
Though the forest was very disconcerting, they soon passed out of it, and entered another field. This one wasn’t filled with flowers, instead tall stalks of wheat waved lazily in the breeze. “How big is the Gods’ Realm?” Kylie asked in exasperation.
“Very big,” Zabora said. “No one, not even the gods themselves, have reached every corner of it. But I know where they are, and we do not have far left to go, so do not worry.”