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“Any idea how much longer it’s going to be until we reach them?” Meredith asked, after about an hour of walking.
“Well, with any luck, it should only be an hour or two,” Katherine replied, looking around to make sure she knew where they were going. They picked their way over fallen stones, careful not to trip.
“Right.” Meredith’s tone was far from enthusiastic. They had already run into one cave-in, which set them off course and made her nervous.
“Hey, couldn’t you have just blasted the stones out of the way or something?” Jake asked, having thought about that for a few minutes, “Like you did with the shadow thing?”
Katherine sighed. “That light is only good for beasts, not inanimate objects. Besides, it wouldn’t work down here. I’m too far away from the lights. I draw my power from them, after all.”
“So, it’s like when Superman is sealed off from the sun,” Henry commented. The others turned to look at him and he felt his ears turning red. “Because he gets his power from the yellow sun.” He paused, feeling awkward, but unable to stop himself. “So, when he is sealed off from it, he’s powerless.”
“Well, I’m not completely powerless, but that isn’t a totally inaccurate analogy, I suppose.” Katherine smiled at him. “If it helps you understand, it works.” She looked back to the path, making sure they kept heading in the right direction.
“Right,” Henry mumbled, still feeling like a complete dork.
Valda fell into step beside him. “What is this superman like? Does he have powers like our lady?” She paused. “Also, what is a sun? Is it a great source of magic?”
Henry smiled, a little. “Uh…not exactly. Superman is super strong and fast. He’s also indestructible. The sun isn’t exactly a source of magic. It’s really more of a big ball of fire in the sky.”
“Does it not burn your world?” she asked, her eyes wide as she tried to picture it. “Are you not afraid it will fall?”
“No, it’s not like that.” He paused, trying to figure out an explanation that she would understand. “It just kind of floats above the earth, keeping it warm and making things healthier, in general.”
Henry considered arguing, but didn’t know how better to explain his world. “Sure, we can call it that.”
“I think I would like to see this great ball of fire in the sky,” Valda told him, trying to picture it in her head. “It must be beautiful.”
“Well, you can’t really look at it,” Henry replied. “It’s too bright and would make you go blind if you weren’t careful.”
“I see.” Valda pondered that. “Well, I suppose all magic has danger. Your people must take great care not to go blind with such a thing hanging over you.”
Henry shrugged. “We just don’t look at it.”
“Is it not tempting to do so?”
Henry shook his head. “The pain and risk of blindness are a pretty good deterrent.”
“Yes, I suppose they would be,” Valda decided. “Well, it is probably quite beautiful, nonetheless. It is a shame not to be able to see it.”
“I guess.” Henry had never really thought much on it.
Valda stepped away from him, lost in her own thoughts.
“My feelings are none of your concern,” Tristan replied to William’s question, “It’s not as though a Dunyan child like you understands anything, anyway.”
“I understand more than you think.” The more William thought about it, the more sense it made that the elf was in love with Katherine. It would explain why he was so protective of her and why he didn’t like the king, who was engaged to her. William frowned at that thought, realizing he was in that category, too. He brushed that idea aside, not wanting to think about it.
“You are a foolish child who knows nothing about such serious matters,” Tristan told him. “I wish to serve our lady well because she is our lady. You can go getting idiotic ideas from a dark elf, but that doesn’t change the facts.”
“You mean like the fact that you are in love with Katherine,” William persisted, not ready to drop the idea. “You should probably tell her before she gets married, you know.”
Tristan was silent for a minute. “For the sake of this argument, let’s say I am in love with our lady. Why would I ever tell her such a thing?”