…I would never have thought to see you dressed like this!…
Vivian shook her head.
Master Blaise, I am shocked. Ye Gods! What is it with the sandals and the sunglasses?
Master Blaise slowly caressed his beard. He cleared his throat and started in a mock-haughty tone:
You are too young to remember the Bad Times. We had to make do with a lot of things you kids take for granted. There was a time, you know, when Druids dressed like everybody else!…
Corwin looked at Vivian and winked. They both knew their mentor. He never would call them anything else but “kiddos”, what with his sprightly century and a half.
He had been a stern but just teacher. Never one to let his students roam uselessly in their headspace, he had pressed generations of pupils, and cajoled them, and even blackmailed them until they earned their Druid staff.
He was never short of another crazy way to apply the esoteric theories that they were being taught at Druid Island.
And anyway, Master Blaise went on, you know me, I hate conventionalities. I thought that since I had to pass some time here in this lovely seaside village, I might as well dress up for the occasion!…Maybe I will even take a swim!…
How about getting a haircut, Vivian teased him, and your beard…hmmm…what about shaving your beard?
Master Blaise looked at her, periwinkle eyes twinkling.
My lady, don´t tempt me! I may easily be prompted to start a new Druid fashion!
His voice trailed off and he looked pointedly at Corwin.
Oh, no! Corwin exclaimed. No, no, no! You´re not going to get my beard shaved off, you don´t.
Vivian laughed out loud. The Master and herself had always had this good thing going on between the two of them. She still remembered when Master Blaise had challenged her to wear masculine riding pants instead of her usual flowing skirts. It had been fun and instructive, and they had reached a point of mutual challenge which was a measure of their mutual trust.
Master, if you shave your beard off, she said shaking with mirth, I will let mine grow!…