Chapter 26. The Logs, The Holes And The Challenge
The old mentor was exhausting in his teachings. Six-days of classes, one day off to study the notes he lectured about. It was as if the Green Wizard expected them to learn a sport.
If they did something, they did it together.
Plus, any comments made to each other that the wizard considered off-color, weird things happened to remind the offending student that it was unacceptable behavior. Never could a boy or a dragon say that someone could not do this or that because being a weaker gender or species.
A chair would fail suddenly, or disappeared entirely, dumping the offending student on the floor or the old man was right there, like a ghost breathing in the students ear, handing him or her a broom or shovel to go clean some miserable corner of the forest glen.
Then a miserable chore to build the teacher’s house.
Early in the morning on the first day of the weekly class cycle, the Green clad and bearded instructor appeared in the rooms and banged his staff on the floor.
Not hard, but the sound was as if an explosion in a volcano erupted.
Even the deepest, sleeping dragon sat straight up on cue in their bed.
And it’s said that a dragon could sleep for centuries, through anything a humans might do.
This morning, however, each dragon was up, humans ran about gathering clothes. Following the green-clad wizard appeared to wear leaves in his beard and hair today.
“Shoes and footwear today, each one of you must dress accordingly. Even dragon’s scaled feet and claws may be injured.” The voice of distant thunder echoed in the clearing.
“Your challenge is a simple one. A circle of pillars, made of the logs that sit on a landing on the hill, there.” The Green Man pointed. “Each of the timbers are from an immortal tree and each one is alive and waiting for planting in fertile soil. Each of these you will carefully place in the holes indicated by the sunspark that dances above it.”
Walking around inside the circle of students.
“You are few, but you have knowledge on how to plant growing things.” The Wizard said. “Be honest with yourselves. Work together and create a cathedral here that would stand against the tests of time and weather. There are six-hours to do this challenge in. You will eat afterwards. There will be no breaks until you have completed your task.” The Green leaf-covered slave-driver looked around. “Fail? Then you will return to the school as lower class students to repeat the year before.”
The whispers of shock moved through their ranks with the speed of thought.
“I can’t go back as lower caste!”
“What would my parents say?”
“This is my first year.” Jona thought. “How can I get lower?”
“Go!” The Green Wizard’s voice echoed in the forest and their heads.
It was a long…
Jona never missed Sprite nearly so much as he did that day.