Chapter 35. AHH! Homework! AHH!
Jona staggered into the common room of the dorms, in his arms were four books, each the size of his head thick. Weighing half as much as he did. He put the books down on his table with a bang.
“Ugh, those are heavy. Three classes and we move into these books to study.” He griped to no one in particular. “I think I pulled a muscle.”
Jona rubbed the cramp out of his arm and sat.
Obon, a water dragon from a different clan than Kolo, held on book in his clawed upper hand, the faceted eyes of the undergrad glittered in the bright lights of the common room.
“Problem Jona?” Obon asked without looking up.
“Dragon law, the charter of human and dragon agreements of the seven kingdoms.” Jona rubbed his face with both hands. “The title is even complex!”
Obon laughed in a knowing way.
“Been there, done that.” The water dragon picked up a box and upended it, the crunching sound made Jona think of crackers until one of the things fell out of the box and crawled across the floor.
A hermit-crab! Jona made a face, at least his snacks never tried to run away.
Obon offered Jona his box.
“Ah… No. Thanks.” Jona laughed. “That’s not something I care to eat.”
“Suit yourself.” Obon laughed, scooping up the side-scuttling shell with tiny legs and popped it into his mouth. “You don’t know what you’re missing.”
“I think I might like it that way, ignorance is bliss and all.”
Obon laughed again, stood up and stretched. He was only up to Jona’s shoulder, but one of the fastest riders in years past, legend had it that he crashed, his ride was badly hurt. Obon was afraid to go in the air again. He was a swimmer and joined the water-ball team, excelling at that as he did with the sky-riding.
“I have a parchment to write on the first laws of dragons, back when man first stepped out of the fog of time.” Jona shook his head. “What is the fog of time?”
“That is when someone thought to keep a record of their day. The first journal, so to speak.” Obon saiad.
“Not to be rude, but I must have this read by morning, I have put it off for pracice in the pool. The history of human-male failures with the human-female.” The small dragon looked back into his book.
“Fail?” Jona laughed.
“Oh, yes.” Obon laughed. “You humans gamble big on getting a mate. When you win, you get someone like Professor Vale and Lady RedNova, Professor Greenman’s daughter? Have you met her?”
Jona shook his head and smiled.
“You are in for a treat. She cooks the best kelp soup.” Obon smiled. “Tasty by even human standards.”
“I’ll, uh. I’ll take your word for it.” Jona did not even like the sound of it.
Obon chuckled and shook his head.
“My advice, you have Professor Krular Class? He’s three-quarters human and one-quarter fire-drake. Better to have the homework done ahead of time, he has a particular habit for posting lessons on his office door. Have you been to his office to look?” Obon asked.
“No, we haven’t even started the class module, yet.” Jona felt alarmed. “Why?”
“You will have a test come after the week break. I suggest you go to the office and find out what you need to study on. He is unforgiving for failure to take on the responsibilities. You are studying as a Master, you have to take command of the situation, that is part of the test.”
Blinking, the young human took the pearl of wisdom and turned on his heel.
“Thanks Obon!” And ran down the stairs.
“Bring back another box of hermit crabs!” The dragon yelled after human. Feeling like a teacher, Obon picked up the box again and at another mouthful of the crunchy treats.
Jona, in a run, skidded out the door of the dormitory and then slowed to a fast walk, avoiding the urge to run, too many students walked to their different destinations, many reading as they went.
Four flights of stairs, the fifth flight, was horrid, cut from igneous rock and polished by a thousand footfalls.
He found Professor Class’ office, and right where he Obon said it would be, the lesson to study.
Laughing, he would have been an abysmal failure, but the study material, was simple and straight forward, but required him to read for about an hour worth of time. Returning to the dorms, he stopped at the student store and picked up a box of “Crabbies” for Obon. The sound of them moving around inside the woven material was slightly unnerving, but he made the trip and gifted it to the water dragon.
Sometimes, it pays to listen to those that have walked the path before. Jona contemplated as he read.
The first day of class, Jona had read, re-read and contemplated the mental state of the lawmakers of the era. And Professor (”Doctor if you please.” In terse tone of voice.) Class was true to character.
He did not forgive any student for being surprised on the testing on the first day of class.
Jona thought that Doctor Class looked annoyed, but impressed that Jona had the answers in the front of his mind.
Nodding inwardly, Jona made note to pay close attention to the older students who had been at the school longer.
“A true Dragon Master pays attention.” Aed Samhain said to his son before he his only child at the huge school, built inside the mountain. “You were chosen by the little one for a reason. Listen to those that care about you most. Don’t let your emotions or your heart lead your mind, just yet. Anyway.”
The old man had slapped Jona on the back with a smile, but the years of iron and hammers made the gentle, fatherly pat on the back feel like a blow by one of his hammers.
After the first day of class, with testing, Jona laughed and went to see Kolo.