Chapter 3: The Hjälvit Fäma

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After eating breakfast they set out, walking past the town square, and through an ivy framed walkway to a path in the woods. The landscape was quite beautiful, moss hanging from most flat surfaces, with a plant growing seemingly everywhere there was dirt, except for the path. There was a light mist, dark clouds overhead, like a seemingly endless cave of pale rock. They continued walking for about 30 minutes, on the way occasionally stopping to relieve themselves, or looking at multicoloured mushrooms, one, glowing a fluorescent blue, with a scent of peppermint and citrus coming off it, at which francis warned edward to never go near if they smell of wintermint and cut grass. They continued to walk, seeing torn down stone monuments and scattered bricks, to which the quantity was more the further they walked. Then, the trees started becoming closer, denser, they started closing in around them. The foliage got so dense that francis pulled out his wand, gave it a good flick and then it turned into a large scimitar, which he used to cut vines and tree branches out of their way. Suddenly francis threw up his arm, signaling the group to stop. He cut a large portion of hedge blocking their path and stood for a moment, looking out at something edward couldnt see. Francis turned and beckoned edward to him. Edward stepped over rocks and bushes, wondering what it was. Francis stepped out of the way. "Holy shit..." What francis had been looking at, was a magnificent wooden castle, very similar to the Stave Church in norway, with massive ceiling runners extending out of the castle with gargantuan carvings and gargoyles on them. Nearly every part of the castle that was flat was pointed at the end, the dark wood accentuating its grey stone fittings. The castle although noticeably at least 5 miles away still seemed large in their view. But that largeness was nothing compared to the tree framing it. It seemed to be a oak and bonsai mix, and stood at least 60 feet tall. Although quite easy for a properly nurtured pine, this was the type of tree that grew outward, not up. Still quite amazed, they walked down the rocky path towards the school, torches now lining the path. Animals could now be seen prancing, some of them quite large, some much larger than the animal they portray normally are. Some of the animals even had near translucent skin, some reaching neon levels of colour in their coat. They walked on, continuing their trek towards the castle. "So what exactly is that?" Edward asked. "The Hjalvit Fama." Francis replied, "or in English, The Halls of Fog." The absolute grandeur of the castle was difficult to grasp, edward really didnt know what to think. "This is a school, where magic is practiced and studied." Francis said, "you wont find math here if you dont want to, as many here find math to be questionable at best," he continued, but before he could finish his sentence, a very large animal flew in front of them and landed on the path, making the ground tremble beneath it. It had a lions legs, tail, and maine, with hulking wings, and a hawks head. It was a griffin. The while animal was grey, the only thing of colour on it was its eyes. Its eyes where a shade of green scarcely known to mankind, greener than francis's, a green that was so deep and gorgeous edward could have sworn there was an entire world within its eyes. And those eyes, were looking straight into edwards, piercing his soul. It flapped its mighty wings, nearly blowing back the whole crew, and flew of towards an open garden at the top back of the castle. Edward was breathing much heavier than everyone else, he turned to francis, almost conviced he had shit his pants, for an answer. But all francis did was smile ear to ear, trying to force it back, looked down and to his right and breathed, "Fucker." still smiling. Edwards mind rushed to explain what he just saw, and after about three minutes of trying to scientifically describe the evolution process of a real lofe griffin, he realized that if he tried to do that for everything he saw here his head would surely swell to a honeydew. They were approaching the school, edward even saw some people up in the trees, and walking the grounds. The school was giant, the intricate carvings he had seen from afar, edward now saw that the carvings had carvings which also had carvings. Some people were now looking at the group, and at Edward, to which he was quite embarrassed. They continued on, getting close enough to the castle that the trees covered it. They reared up on a corner, and edward heard someone in front of them. When they turned the corner, a group of 3 girls were walking closeknit, all of whom were very beautiful. Edward felt his stomach churn, and almost visibly hunched, retracting into his invisible shell. The middle girl, looked edward up and down. She raised her left eyebrow and smirked. She slightly nudged the other girls, and just as slightly jerked her head towards edward. All three of them were looking at him now. Just before they had passed him the middle girl looked at him again, and loosened her lips, and twitched as though she was aboit to bite her lip but prevented herself from doing so. They had passed edward, his heart flared, what the hell was that? He asked himself. Francis turned his head around to look at them through the crowd, and said, "Ah, that middle ones got a nice rear eh?" To this edwards insides passed an ephemeral rift to another dimension, "Yeah i geuss..." Edwards bowels continued to flap its wings even though the girls and the event were long gone and out of mind. They were getting ever closer to the castle, almost to the front door. They were at least 30 meters from the front door, the castle towering in the sky, filled up a large portion of their vision. They turned to a beautiful garden, the same grey stone that made up some of the castle was encircling a fountain with a small tree with at least 20 different varieties of fungi and lichen covering the base of the tree, flowers filling up most of the space not taken up by the mushrooms. They walked past it, edward looking back in awe. Just past the garden was the front door. "This is it." Francis said with pride. The double doors were huge, big enough for a giant to walk through. The carvings on the hulking oak doors made the carvings on the other parts of the castle look like a 4th grade soap carving project. It spaned the entire door, it seemed as if it took years to carve. Edward was anxious. What kids were here? What is their personality? He guessed he would just have to figure out. "Edward, this way." Francis said, pointing towards a small, very used trail just left to the door. He started following francis again, looking back to the entrance. Francis continued to lead them for about five minutes, to a very secluded inlet, the stretch of ocean stretching at least 10 miles apart. The smell was intoxicating. Edward loved the smell of the ocean. While he had been smelling it the whole time, this was where it was strongest. The salt, the moss, the peace it brought, oh how it sung to him. "This is where we will be staying," francis said, gesturing to a long house 3/4 of the way buried in the ground, moss, grass, and flowers growing on the roof. The orange light leaking from the small windows barely peeking out from the soil. They walked to the entrance, descended down a 10 step - stepladder, and ducked under the 5 foot door and into a hallway 7 feet long. They opened another 5 foot door at the end of the hallway, and entered the room. It was all one room, about 15 feet wide, and 40 feet long, beds suspended an inch off the ground lined the walls, with beds above the floor ones, creating a floating bunk bed. The long side of the beds touching the wall to provide more open space in the corridor. There were 3 fires, one close to the door, one in the middle and one at the end. Despite it being such a large building it was pretty warm. At the end of the room there were 3 doors, the left hand one was labelled, COCK, and the right hand one said, VAG. Quite suprised by this, he turned to francis and said, "Thats an interesting way of labeling the bathrooms." "Ah yes," francis laughed, "well you can look like a girl and still have a growth." He finished jokingly. "No, here we have the mindset of, its just a body part, and like i said, if you dont identify as a male yet still have one, you can still use a urinal. So really they are unisex." Edward stood there quite impressed that an entire society could be so intelligent. "That right there will be your bed," Francis said, pointing to the very last bed on the left column. Edward walked to it and placed his large leather coinbag that contained his pipe and tin, which he had nicked from a drawer at the catalyst shop, on the floor next to his bed. "Not much privacy is there?" Edward said anxiously. "Oh yes, it may seem like that but the curtains are enchanted, only the inhabitant of the bed and certain staff members can open them when drawn, and when they're drawn you could scream bloody murder and no-one would hear you." Francis replied. "Nice," edward said. He was actually very excited as he had always wanted to be able to fry scream, yet had no place to practice it. Edward very much enjoyed singing. He sat on the bed, it was very comfortable, it was a futon with duwamish art on the sheets and pillows. The blanket itself was a black comforter with white stripes, which was where the art was. The material was silky like polyester, but felt very natural. It wasnt silk as it was far to rough. "Well, the other students will be here in a few minutes, settle yourself, there are sleeping clothes in the slot under your bed," francis said, trying to think of other suggestions. Edward reached under and pulled out the pajamas from the cubby and surveyed them. "You might want to take a shower first," francis said, "it may make it a bit more comfortable meeting new people." Edward agreed and took the sleeping clothes off his lap. "Grab those," francis said, pointing toward the clothes, "and the showers are through the bathroom doors." He finished.   (ADD MUCH MORE TO THIS CHAPTER)

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