“This is amazing,” Cerys said. She watched sparks run up between two wide and leafy fronds of a plant, and when it was done, back down, into the ground.
“How are they even able to survive? Does the shock not kills plants as delicate as these?” Himeko wanted to know.
“That which cannot live with the touch of the sparks shall forever perish,” he replied, as though quote an ancient tribal tenet. “It will be born no more. That which survives, however, grants to it offspring the ability to live and thrive with the energy. It survives and grows.”
Himeko shared a knowing expression with her best friend. “Does that sound like something familiar?”
Cerys nodded. “The theory,” she replied.
“It’s amazing that even the elves have some basic understanding of it,” Himeko added.
“What are you talking about now?” Peter asked, impatience lining his voice.
The girls both looked to him. “It’s from science class,” Cerys told him. “Survival of the fittest.”
“What–” Peter furrowed his brow in disbelief. “Did Nashtra seriously just say that this forest evolved to have electric energy coursing through it?”
“In a manner of speaking,” Himeko replied, “I think he did.”
“Is it safe for us in here?” Peter asked.
“I would not have brought you here if it was too dangerous,” Nashtra assured him. “I should warn you to stay out of the water for now. Most outsiders cannot tell when it it is going to course with the forest’s energy. Come, we must keep walk if we are you get to this village.”
A dubious look on his face, Peter followed the others. He kept close to Bayani, who had yet top say anything. He merely stared in awe at the light of the forest, the way it glowed and sparkled. He would not even reply to his boyfriend’s questions.
Further down the path, the woods opened up, and in the clearing there were several huts, all of them arranged in what seemed to be a very careful, deliberate way. The canopy of the forest remained intact, for the branches of the trees still grew together, long and over-arching. And because the shadows were sustained, so too was the soft glow of the plants.