September 30th, 2016 | Published in Dragon Wars
Ophelia wasn’t really surprised to find herself back in the same strange misty place during her dreams that night.
“How are you feeling, Ophelia?” Alsia asked from somewhere within the mists. That didn’t surprise Ophelia either. She knew who had brought her here.
“Much better, thank you.” She looked around but the place was a featureless as last time, but on reflection that struck her as odd because she could sense some kind of structure surrounding her. “I’m sorry I didn’t thank you last night. I was a but – uh – distracted.”
“That’s okay, dear. Being in the process of dying will do that to you.” Alsia emerged from the mists and smiled warmly at her. “And you’re welcome. I’m glad that you are well.”
“Why?” Ophelia asked. “I mean I am grateful, really I am, but I don’t understand… what do you want?”
“Who says that I want anything?” Alsia seemed amused by the question. Ophelia gave her a sceptical look which only made her laugh. “Okay, I want many things, but did I save you because of any of them? Maybe a little, but I would have done it anyway.” She gave a slow smile and folded her arms. “But really, Ophelia, haven’t you figured out who your real enemies are yet?”
“The Kithreiri apparently, the non-rebel ones anyway,” Ophelia said. “But that includes you, doesn’t it?”
“Over-simplistic,” Alsia said. “Kithra has various political factions, it’s the dominant one that is your primary enemy. I am part of an opposing faction.” She hesitated. “And I wouldn’t trust all the rebels if I was you. Most of them are cool and I’ve always respected Tilaran and his mother but there are exceptions.”
“Just because you oppose this group who you say are my primary enemies doesn’t mean you aren’t an enemy too,” Ophelia said. “Is that why you saved me? To fight them for you?”
“I’d rather you fought for yourself than me, dear,” Alsia said. “But like I said I would have saved you anyway. Still this battle is necessary – stopping the end of the world is everyone’s business.”
Ophelia blinked to hear Sera’s sentiment echoed by Alsia. She must have been reading Ophelia because she chuckled.
“Ah, yes, Seraphinia said something similar didn’t she. She’s quite sharp sometimes. But youu know it’s true don’t you?”
“I do know,” Ophelia said. “I just don’t know what to think. Am I going to remember our conversation while I’m awake this time?”
“I have no idea,” Alsia said. “I’ll leave that up to you. But I hope that you’ll want to and I’m leaving you something so you’ll know it’s not just a dream.” She reached out and placed her hand around Ophelia’s left wrist. When she removed it there was a slender bracelet of transparent blue ice there. “If you do decide to remember that will travel back with you. If not it’ll melt. I would rather you remember. I want to negotiate with the rebels and even with Halia-ida’s other son vouching for me they are being too cautious about listening.”