The old man wanted to die amongst his collection of books and artifacts and discarded memories that he had collected throughout his life time – a life that had now run out of time... but what times they were, he thought to himself trying to focus on the younger man sitting at his side but his eyes could not function as he would like them to – to gaze one more time on his students, many of whom filled the small back room of his antique shop which was his home for the last eighty years of his life – he had said... and one student had mentioned to others that the master had confided in him that he was actually one hundred sixty years old. The teacher was a wonderful story teller and his wealth of knowledge and information was without bounds as was his personal fortune, some of which was actually just sitting on the shelves of this little back room – a sketch book of lovers Pablo Picasso intentionally left behind on a table in a hotel bar in Madrid, a box of gold coins stolen by a band of Templars from a French noble when the church turned on them and they became pirates, St. Germain's journal containing his formulas and equations for immortality and it was once speculated by members of the realm that the professor had in his possession that magical wonderful thing that angels themselves fought over that grants unlimited power over time and space... but the most valuable of all, for the old man, was the book containing the names of all the young men he had brought into the the guild and the brotherhood... and as he laid there fading into night for the last time trying to decipher the whispered voices of the students in his room and the ones in the hall and those in the front room of the shop... his mind drifted for an instant to his child hood... in the home of his own master, when wandering the halls of an ancient castle built to protect the growing wealth of the guild, he pushed open a strong metal door and entered a room with an old wooden chest laying open on a cold stone floor and a tub filled with water just a few feet away from it... he walked slowly to the trunk and looked down into it and found an infant dragon looking back up at him... his heart raced... in his memories and the old man whispered -
“It was a green dragon... from the orient... it was a green one... the last one... it did not survive long...” he began to cry... the room went silent and the men in the house listened intently to the last words of the master. “We tried everything...” his joyful memory was now tormenting him...
Laurence placed his hand on the teachers chest and tried to calm him “that was a long time ago, the order has survived... because of you the order has survived...” but the old man was drowning in emotions he had held back for a hundred years.
“We tried everything... but the young dragon was ill... and his mother was dead... it was the last one... but we did not bury the creature...” and the men standing around the bed leaned in closer for the secret to be revealed... “he was preserved... wrapped up like the old kings... he has a tomb of his own... that little dragon” he placed his trembling hand over Laurence's hand - “Boris?”
“It's me, Laurence, teacher”
“Boris is dead, master... he was killed in the Middle East... that damn war”
“Boris is alive... he knows...”
He squeezed Laurence's hand “take this ring from my hand Laurence... You will lead this guild... and find Boris... Boris is alive... he knows the secret of the dragon... he knows the tomb of the 'little king'...” the old man took in a deep breath... and with his frail hand motioned Laurence closer to him.
The younger man leaned forward and the teacher whispered...
“It's a dream, my boy... the dream is the reality...” and he drifted off to sleep.
- to be continued -