Chapter 11
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Adam watched as the dragon cluster went and wind itself around the heated pipes closer to the hot pool. Adam, for lack of other, better, ideas, began to take the cluster and to arrange it towards the entrance of the pool cavern.

It whipped around and hit him on the nose, and then went back to lay next to the pool.

"You don't like anything but the warmth?" Adam scratched his nose. He knew that Nathaniel had given him the weed to make sure that the dungeon grounds extended to the town. But, if the plant refused to grow in that direction, then, there was nothing that Adam could do.

With a sight, he undressed and went in the pool. The weed, which grew around the room in such a fast rate that Adam could hear it, stayed out of the water.

When Adam poked his head out of the water, the entire cavern was covered with the red leaves of the weed. He knew, from his encyclopedia, that dragon cluster weed was a good mood lifter.

Soon, it would bloom and let loose spores around the cavern, and they would bring a cheer to anyone who comes in. That was why dragons put up with weeds in their caves. They could sleep easier with the spores in the air.

Adam heard footsteps, and he looked happily to the entrance of the cave, where a girl who looked about his age was peering into the cave shyly.

"Hello. I heard you have a dragon cluster in here?" Adam nodded, and the girl poked one of the red leaves. The leaf let out a puff of smoke, and she giggled.

"I am a traveling alchemist," supplied the girl, with a bow. "And I would very much appreciate it if you let me get some dragon cluster leaves for my potions," Adam perked up at that. He was making little progress with the sleeping potion. Perhaps this girl would teach him?

"If you can look at what I do wrong with my sleeping potion and give me lessons, I will be glad to give you all the leaves you need," Adam knew the trick needed to harvest the weed. The leaves needed to be placed in water, and they fell in it by themselves. That way, one could avoid singled fingers.

"Sounds fair. My name is Beth. What is yours?" Beth went closer to the pool and extended her hand. Adam kissed the back of it, just how Agatha had taught him, and Beth blushed.

"Adam. Nice to meet you, Beth," Adam got out of the pool and Beth averted her eyes. He dried and dressed, tying all the belts into a bow. His hair was in a simple bun on top and let loose, no side braid this time. Adam didn't know how to braid. That was one thing he should have made Agatha teach him.

Adam took out a bowl and filled it with water from the pool, then, he collected thirty leaves, just to start with.  Handing the bowl with the water and leaves to Beth, he noticed that her eyes were glued to his neck warmer. He sighed. Oh, not again.

Why did his clothes have the desired effect on anyone but Constantine? Really, Beth was a pretty enough girl. Strawberry-blonde hair and hazel eyes that were framed by thick eyelashes and elegant eyebrows.

He supposed that her heart-shaped face gave her a softness that Constantine lacked. And she was nice, to boot. But he wanted his Tine, darn it.

Adam led her down the corridor and through a different cavern, and then down the tunnels that the stone golem was still digging. So far, there were just two underground chambers. And Adam was using one for his potion lessons.

There, in the middle of the chamber, was a cauldron and a table cluttered with vials, cutting supplies and a potion book that was open on the sleeping potion page.

"Adam, can you show me what you did when you try to make the potion you are having problems with?" Adam nodded and got a white robe over his clothes. It had the shape of a potato sack, and it was there manly so that he didn't dirty his robes.

Adam went and filled the cauldron with water from the pipes he had set up down in the potion's chamber, and then placed it on the fire that the stone golem always kept going.

"Oh, my. You shouldn't place it on such a strong fire. Remove some logs," commanded Beth, and Adam took a tong and removed logs until Beth told him it was enough.

Meanwhile, Beth had gone to the potion's book and had seen the potion that Adam was trying to make. She made note that all the gathered materials on the table were the correct ones, so she wondered what else Adam could have done wrong.

Beth stepped aside and Adam went and cut a slug in half. Beth chuckled.

"No, Adam. You are supposed to crush it, not cut it. So, you can get the maximum juice out of it," Adam looked down at his still wiggling slug and shrugged. He took another and began crushing it with the back of his cutting knife. It, indeed, let out more juices.

Adam took the juice filled bow and was just about to dump it in the cauldron, when Beth cleared her throat. Adam turned to her.

"Adam, did you read the instructions?" She said slowly. Adam rubbed the back of his head.

"Well, yes, I have the ingredients, don't I?" Beth flipped the page and showed Adam two pages full of text. Adam chuckled, uncomfortable.

"Oh, I didn't read that. I thought that I could experiment," Beth petted Adam's hair and took the bowl from his hand.

"You have until the water is brought to boil to read the instructions. Only veteran potion makers can wind it, Adam. And you are not quite there yet," Adam would have argued, if it wasn't for all his failed attempts. So, he went and began to read the instructions.

They were dry, and his eyes soon dropped, but he soldiered through. When the water began bubbling, Adam was ready to do this right. He took the bowl from Beth and slowly poured its contents inside the water, stirring counterclockwise all the while. Beth nodded her approval. She would make a potion maker out of Adam yet.