For a moment James went so very still after hearing Riley talk of things that can't be explained. There was no anger in his expression, nor annoyance either, yet there was a glint of resolve shining in the professor's eyes. "My dear boy, there is nothing in this world that can't be explained. Oh some mysteries may take time to unravel; perhaps even a lifetime, but with enough discipline and dedication one can unlock those secrets." Blackstone had spent over half of his life researching and studying lore and spells. Finely crafting his own trade while always furthering his education too. For James it wasn't a hobby, or simply a way to acquire wealth. No, for him it was drive to rip open the veil on all that was hidden. A way to reassert control in a world thrown into utter chaos.
The death of his wife had sent him down this rabbit hole; first seeking answers to the age old question of life after death, then spiraling even further on when he learned that there was no heaven or hell. Magic was real though. It was real, and with it one could do almost anything. In his case, James had already resurrected his wife. Not physically, but with his illusions the man could bend reality until she was real to him. Giving her immortality of a sort, even if she was merely a ghost or figment conjured with his power. Anything was possible with magic, and that was it's draw. The siren's song that kept him coming back to the spells and study even when he suffered setbacks in his research.
Just seeing the wonder in Riley's eyes as the younger man inspected the tiny elephant had a real smile returning to Blackstone's lips. And after considering something for a moment longer the elder man spoke up anew. "If you were interested, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to take on an apprentice. It wouldn't be easy by any means; long hours spent pouring over calculations and lore, months or even years of hard work with seemingly little payoff in sight. Still if learning magic held any appeal for you, I would be willing to consider offering my tutelage."