“What’s that?” Kat asked, pointing to the structure.
“That is the castle.” Toby answered. “Over there is the Hall of Promises.” He pointed to the tip of the crystalized hive barely visible above the uneven landscape.
“There so close.” Kat commented, realizing how close she’d been to her father’s would-be killer and without even knowing.
“Over here.” Toby pointed to the right of the castle; to a dark patch of land at this distance it only appeared to be inches away. He squinted at the spot. “Well it’s easier to see in the day, but other there is the school of time.”
“The school of time? How does that work? I’ve been wondering how do you tell time?” Kat asked.
“I’m not sure how they did it before but a couple of centuries ago there was horrible earth quake, legend has it that was when the last firefly queen, before Emmlia, was pissed off…Some guy who had a promissory note on his life thought if he killed her it would be broken. Didn’t end well for him…anyway there was an earthquake and a great chunk of the earth fell down from above and there was an opening to the land above. We could see your skies and at times fell your wind and rain. It wasn’t long before some scholars built a school out of the rumble under the opening and they began to study your world from what they could see. They began to tell the passing of day by the movement of the light across the sky. And when the ghost orb appears overhead that is one cycle. It takes twenty-two days.”
“Do you mean the moon?” Kat asked.
“Is that what you call it, the scholars theory is that every day the son dies and it lives behind it’s ghost in the morning another one is born and the cycle continues…for some reason they aren’t born in the same place they keep moving only to return again. I don’t understand it.”
Kat couldn’t help but laugh at this absurd theory.
“What?” Toby asked.
“Nothing, I’ve just…well your people have made the telling of time a lot more complicated than it has to be.”
“Well you have this whole world and we only have a window into that, we’re not about to get everything right.” Toby said, sitting down on the edge of the roof, his feet dangling over the side. Kat sat beside him.
“Granted, you said something earlier about the queen firefly before Emmlia…is that what all cursed fireflies look like…She just looks so human, I don’t think I could kill something that looked like that.”
“She does look like an Elve.” Toby corrected, “but not all cursed fireflies look like that every once in a while a Firefly child will be born like that and once she’s ready to become queen the old one just dies. I don’t know how…the native creatures are very weird and can’t exactly study them we do your sky.”
“Native creatures?” Kat asked.
“Did your father teach you anything about this land?”
Kat shook her head. They had always pretended it didn’t exist. It hadn’t been very hard for Kat as she’d never understood any of it until she those dragons.
Toby sighed, running a hand through his hair.
“I’m not very good at this whole history thing. I wasn’t taught much when I was younger all I’m telling you I learned from Skipper and believe you mean he has a better way of explaining this. Okay so these royal men had built this castle on a hill that was seemingly cursed, they could grow absolutely nothing there! So they would steal all of their supplies because they had one thing no one else had, magic. The castle I’m talking about was right on top of Devil’s helmet, where the watch tower is now. When they were digging for gold or something they opened the first cavity into Devil’s helmet, however no ventured to go any further. They found when they breathed in the fumes from that opening they had insane power. Somehow word got out about their magic and kingdoms united against them…they weren’t very popular. One thing led to another and the castle was surrounded and on fire. They faced two options…well three: be burned alive, surrender to their attackers and then be burned as witches or explored the gap that gave them power…yeah so really just two options…They decided to explore the gap, they lowered a rope came down here and they found, these hideous dragons, Cursed fireflies and the original elves. The original elves did not like the humans so they captured all the men as slaves and kept the women as wives because they did like them. The mating began and now you have these elves that look more like humans as you would say but we still have some of the original traits, long fingers, wider eyes, longer noses, live longer, age less, pointed ears and clear eyes.”
As he listed these attributes Kat looked to him over to see an example of this but he had the exact proportions of a human. She couldn’t tell if his ears were point because they were hidden behind under his hair.
“So the men just eventually died?” Kat asked trying to discreetly catch a glimpse of his ears. Toby glanced over at her aware of what she was trying to do. He smiled and moved his hair further to cover his ears.
“No actually they turned into animals and so did some of the women who tried to fight they elves, it was a curse.”