“Well at least I managed to shatter that spar thing,” Ophelia said. “How long…” she trailed off without finishing the question but he knew what she was asking.
“Hmm… if we didn’t have this stopgap potion you’d only have a few hours. With it you probably have a day or two before it loses effectiveness and you lapse into a coma. I’d be amazed if we don’t have an antidote by then.”
“If by your sister-in-law you mean Alaryia-miria I’d be amazed if you don’t have it by morning.” Someone said from the shadows nearby. Ophelia looked over wearily as Kira and Tilaran turned to see who had spoken. The newcomer was definitely Kithreia. The thick rime of frost forming on the grass beneath her feet in spite of the fact it was another warm summer night would have proved that if the translucent wings of blue ice and the glowing blue eyes hadn’t. Whoever she was she radiated an aura of power that seemed familiar though it took Ophelia a moment to place it. Once she did her eyes widened – it was the same presence that had knocked her out the other day.
Kira leapt to her her feet and stood between the newcomer and Ophelia with a small fireball in her hand. Their visitor cocked her head and gave a gentle smile.
“That’s a very brave gesture, child,” she said. “But ultimately a foolish and futile one. If I held any ill will towards you or your friend you couldn’t stop me. Neither of you. Not even together. So it’s fortunate for you that this is unnecessary – I mean you no harm.”
“Yeah, like I’m going to believe that,” Kira said. “You are getting near O… her over my dead body.”
The woman rolled her eyes. “You can use Ophelia’s name, you know. I already know who she is.”
Ophelia glanced over at Tilaran who was watching the exchange with a frown. He’d clearly picked up on the powerful sense of presence she gave off but it seemed that Kira hadn’t yet as she opened her mouth to yell at the woman.
“Silly girl.” The insult was not delivered in a harsh tone but it still brought Kira up short. “You clearly have no idea who I am. If you did you’d know better. I’ll put that down to you being worried about your friend. And over your dead body could be arranged if I wanted. Fortunately for you I don’t and I don’t need to be anywhere near as extreme as that to get you out of the way.”
“Kira!” Ophelia managed to croak. Speaking was still an effort in spite of the potion. “She’s powerful, really powerful…” She had to pause and gasp for breath. Tilaran helped her take another mouthful of potion before she could continue. “Don’t you recognise her presence?”
Kira’s initial response was a puzzled frown and she clearly stopped to analyse it for the first time because her expression quickly changed to one of shock.
“You!” she said. “You’re the one who knocked Ophelia out.” The hand holding the fireball began to tremble slightly but she didn’t back down. “Well you certainly aren’t getting near her then! She’s in no fit state to fight.”