Philemon is in his Riddling Hall; and therefore he is riddling.
“Consider this: may any touch Our Imperial Majesty without permission?” he asks.
The assembled philosophers rumble, no.
“Yet does a man’s shadow not cling to his feet?”
“Not when he skips,” chirps a little girl, as the crowd gapes around her.
“You again!” sniffs Philemon. “Well, consider this: in my Riddling Hall I am lit with a thousand lanterns, my shadow trapped under my feet! Can I not be said to have conquered darkness?”
“Well, if you trap your shadow in a box,” asks Corbin, “what does that make you?”