All through the teleport Ophelia could feel an icy cold spreading out from the wound. By the time their feet touched the grass of the park her legs wouldn’t support her and she sank to her knees.
“I’m sorry,” she mumbled. “I was too slow.”
“You did great!” Kira was trying to hold her up but it was clear that Ophelia couldn’t stand let alone make it back to the tree. “Stay here.” She half dragged Ophelia to a nearby tree and propped her up against it. “I’ve called my father.” She pulled off her jacket and wrapped it around Ophelia.
“D-didn’t he say he couldn’t do anything if this happened?” Ophelia asked through chattering teeth. She tried to pull Kira’s jacket around her further but her injured arrm refused to respond at all.
“Not exactly,” she said. “We lack a skilled antidote brewer at the moment so we have to brew to recipes. We don’t have a recipe for the combination that is silver and wind but we do have similar recipes so he’s trying to work out the formula from those and we do have a possible source if he can’t.” Kira was trying to sound optimistic but only managed to sound miserable. “Right now whatever he’s come up with is the best chance you’ve got.”
“I’m so cold,” Ophelia muttered.
“Does it hurt?” Kira sounded worried sick and Ophelia didn’t blame her.
“No, it did when it happened but now it barely aches. I just feel really cold and very weak.” Ophelia felt herself drifting off towards sleep. She was brought out of it by Kira shaking her frantically.
“You mustn’t sleep!” Kira said. “You need to be awake to drink the antidote. If you lose consciousness it’s the end.”
It took a great deal of effort for Ophelia to stay awake even with Kira talking to her constantly and she had begun to drift off into a haze by the time Tilaran arrived. The first she registered of his presence was when he knelt beside her and shook her firmly to get her attention. She opened her eyes a crack and looked at him but it seemed they were giving out as well because he looked like a vaguely recognisable blob.
“Ophelia? Can you hear me?” He sounded just as worried as his daughter.
Ophelia opened her mouth to say yes but all that came out was an unintelligable groan. He seemed to understand what she meant though, because he slipped an arm around her shoulder and held a cup of something warm, steaming and vaguely spicy to her lips. “Drink this. It will help.”
Only with his help and exhausting amount of effort did she manage to swallow a mouthful of the potion. As it hit her stomach warmth seemed to spread out from it banishing the strange chilled feeling. She blinked a couple of times and Tilaran came into focus. Unfortunately that meant she could see the gravely worried look on his face.
“Ugh,” she said. “It wasn’t what she’d meant to say but apparently she still wasn’t coherent. He helped her take another sip and she waited for it to work before trying again. “Thank you.”
He shook his head. “I wish I could do more but this isn’t the proper antidote. It’s just my best attempt. It’ll ease the symptoms and buy us time but it won’t stop the venom. Mother has contacted my sister-in-law in Talonyka. She should be able to make us an antidote but it’s a matter of if it will be soon enough.”