Chapter 25. The Green Man
Professor Vale did not tell tall tales about the Green Wizard.
Born before hair! It was true!
Jona nearly broke out laughing, the Green Wizard’s beard was as white as a snowfall, but the moment the wizard took his hat off and bowed to his new students, the gleam from his head would have blinded an earthworm.
Remembering the warning that the Professor had given, Jona would never. Ever.
‟Never talk about the bare skinned head.”
Such a shine that resided under the peaked hat, Jona had no doubt that he could track the head in the dark if he had no hat on.
‟Ah, now we have you all here. Tonight, find your rooms, you will see your names on each room in the tower.” The beard, tied and retied in a maze of beads and knotted and colored silk, moved in complex ways when the Green Wizard spoke. The effect was slightly hypnotic.
Jona walked up the wide stairs to the second level of the cavernous home. Set into the side of a mountain, the small cabin opened up into the cliff face, an area wide enough to seat a hundred students in the amphitheater inside.
‟And he only takes a few at once.” Jona said to himself as he found his room.
Walking inside, the room was an efficient design, a single bed with two pillows and a small blanket with Sprite’s name embroidered on it.
Sprite, riding on Jona’s shoulder— nearly both shoulders these days, since being with larger dragons, Sprite had grown rapidly. Something he had learned in Dragon Health and Growth class. Dragons grew faster and larger when around larger dragons, Sprite was now maturing at a phenomenal rate.
The days would be insufferable without the little guy. A hard day with the Green Man in a jokingly distant relation to a kitchen, the thunderous voice rated them on their knowledge and skills. Today was medicines and pain-killers from the twigs of a willow tree.
The tea that Jona produced would curl the spines of the largest dragon, but, the Green Wizard said it was good medicine for many ailments and pains.
“Just be carefull when using this tea. In concentrated form, it can cause more harm than good.” The old man said with a frown as he imposed the intense lessons into the class while the students stood around the tables.
Glass jars, sharp knives, Koan the human who was a quarter dragon, it was a full classroom.
Jona liked to stand so that she was always in sight. Koan’s hair was brilliantly red and orange, giving clues to her family heritage. Her black eyes were counterpoint to the lighter skin, an inherited trait of the dragon that was her ancestor.
“Tsing! You are cooking down this batch of tea too strongly! It will cause bleeding, you will have a greater problem than a mild fever or ache.”
“But, sir,” The slender dragon from the east nodded. “But it was not the right color.”
“You have boiled the liquid down by half, you have doubled the strength. This will make it dangerous for dragon or human alike to partake, unless you dilute it. If you concentrate it any more, it will become toxic to the touch for dragons.”
“Toxic to the touch?”
“Aye. A concentration in the right proportions helps for pain and fever for dragons. Too much, if it’s concentrated, will soak in through the dragon’s skin, underneath the scales. This will cause effects from bleeding to madness and death.”
“ACH! I am not a professor. I am your mentor, teacher and foster-father if need. I am not one of those passive spewing, race course, long-winded politician want-to-be’s. More than half of those professors there, human and dragon alike, would run from a fight. They have no clue what it is to sacrifice for anyone. They teach, they have not done anything.” His eyes sparkled with repressed fury.
Jona was taken aback, the Green Wizard was not joking. Remembering that Professor Vale said that the Green Wizard was his father. That Vale had sacrificed his humanity for the village of people and his wife.
That was the reference about not knowing what it was like to sacrifice.
The Green Wizard taught in different ways.