We were sitting close to the waterfall. My master Zelgadis was preparing some special lesson before my departure.
-"Before you depart, I have one last question. Why do I wear rocks on my skin?"

I had been pondering it for years. Since he took Nora and me from the orphanage, his strange appearance always was a source of scorn. His worn clothes were the first clue. My master could summon any mineral to his fingertips. Silver, Gold. Even precious jewels would answer his call.
With one quick incantation, he could have bought any clothes he could ever desire.
Yet my master used the same worn clothes.
We never lacked food, nor a roof.
But our home wasn't a castle of marble.
I took a sip of herbal tea.

My teacher waited for my response, enjoying the murmur of the water meeting the stones.

An answer would be easy.
But my master deserved the proper answer.
-"Because you are a coward."

He sipped his tea.
-"Explain."

-"You wish to keep away the superficial vultures who would prey on your ability to attain riches. You fear you would be unable to discern when a friendship is true."

My master's skin changed, grey stones leaving behind smooth skin. He smiled and placed a hand on the earth.
-"It brings me joy that my student, my son, has grown so wise."
With mastery over his craft that I wouldn't be able to match in a hundred years, he bid forwards daggers from the soil itself.
Jade in colour and mirror finished.

I took the proffered weapons.
-"I will do my best to keep Nora's shenanigans under control."

Pop's sweatdropped.
-"Please, make sure there is a Beacon left by the time you graduate."