December 6th, 2010 | Published in Dragon Wars
Kyle came to slowly. He lay still for a moment, staring at the rock of the ceiling for a moment as he tried to recall what had happened. The last thing he remembered was saving Karen from smashing into the wall headfirst and then that troll had…
“Darya!” He sat bolt upright and looked around frantically. He knew Darya had to be alive since he was, but he still breathed a sigh of relief when he saw his heart friend lying in a pool nearby being tended by one of Ystelyan’s healer. Talira was kneeling on the opposite side and holding Darya’s hand while the healer worked. She looked wan and tired but at his yell she looked up at him and smiled.
“Thank goodness, you’re awake,” she said. “That means he must be recovering.”
“Of course he’s recovering, silly,” the healer said. He too looked at Kyle. “He’s going to be okay. One of Valeria’s healers stabilized him before our mirian brought him home. It was close though. Whoever attacked him wasn’t playing around.”
“Ystelyan-mirian is very pleased with both of you,” Talira added. “Given the number of unpredicatable things that happened, he says that it really went quite well.”
“Ah.” Kyle swang his legs out of the bed. “I should go and report to him.” He started to stand, but sat back down with a bump as the after-effects of Darya’s injuries and continuing unconsciousness made him light headed. “I’d better do that a little more slowly,” he said.
“You’re dizzy?” the healer asked.
“A little,” Kyle admitted. “I probably will be until Darya wakes up.”
“That shouldn’t be too long now,” the healer replied. “Do you need a tonic to keep you going until then?”
Kyle shook his head carefully. “I should be okay. It’s not too bad.” He climbed cautiously to his feet, placed one hand on the wall for support and walked slowly towards the exit. “Is our mirian in his throne room?”
“Yes.” Talira nodded. “I’d come with you. I haven’t made my report yet either, but…” she trailed off and her eyes strayed back to Darya’s pale face.
“Of course, Tal,” he said. “You stay here. I’ll be right back once I’ve reported to Ystelyan-mirian.”
By the time he reached the throne room, Kyle was wondering if he should have taken the tonic.Â His head was spinning as he pushed open the doors and nearly fell into a young goblin’s arms. The girl helped him to a chair as Ystelyan strode over.
“Are you all right, Kyle?” He frowned.
“Just dizzy, my mirian. Litrian offered me a tonic to tide me over until Darya woke up which I think I should have taken, butâ€“”
“Litrian’s tonics taste awful,” Ystelyan said. “I don’t blame you for refusing it. I’ll get Malisia hereÂ to make you one of hers. You should have waited until Darya woke up to make your report.” He nodded to the goblin girl, who bowed and slipped from the room.
“No, I wanted to talk to you.” Kyle forced himself to focus. “I suppose you know what happened. But that troll, do you know how he managed that?”
“Well, he’s definitely a troll so he has to be a heart friend, doesn’t he?” Ystelyan said. It seemed a reasonable enough assumption but he was frowning deeply and Kyle could see a problem with the theory.
“But from what Darya told me, Huldre hates humans. I mean really hates them, and Ema is Hannah’s heart friend.” He frowned momentarily at the thought of the Earth Warrior. “I haven’t heard of any other earth affinity heart friends.”
“That’s not unknown,” Ystelyan sighed. “Though he was in full form, so a disconnect with his heart friend is unlikely. But from what I managed to sense he’s old, really old. Possibly as old as I am. I think that we’re dealing with the exiles here. I sent Tal to see if any of her former people would still speak to her, but she was so frantic when she got back and saw Darya that I haven’t had a chance to get her report yet. We should go and talk to her once Malisia has brought you that tonic.”
“The exiles?” Kyle asked. “I thought you said they tended to ignore Earth and its shadow?”
“Most of them do. Or I thought they did anyway.” His scowl deepened. “Something seems to have changed.” He looked up as Malisia returned with a steaming goblet. “There, once that’s taken effect we’ll go and talk to Tal.”
“I managed to talk to my mother.” Talira was still kneeling in the pool, holding Darya’s hand. “Once I managed to persuade her that I wasn’t going to eat anyone or kidnap my siblings, she was even pleased to see me.” Surprised pleasure threaded through her tone at that. “No one else would talk to me though.”
“That’s not surprising,” Ystelyan sighed. “Did your mother know anything?”
Talira shook her head. “She said that the Idri Council still has the ban on contact with Taloa. She wouldn’t be surprised if both the reclaimist and tolerant Idri ignore it at will. I mean, who’s going to censure them if they get caught? But no one is moving publically yet. She’s planning to leave that bitch Xantaria-ida’s service, though, and says that if anyone knows anything it’ll be Andarian-mirian. She’s promised – formally – to send me a message if she learns anything. Oh, and she wanted me to thank you for saving my sanity.”
Ystelyan smiled at that. “You’ve done well, Talira-alra.” He looked down as Darya groaned and his eyes fluttered open. “Welcome back, Darya. How are you feeling?”
Darya sat up with another groan and raised a hand to his head. “Like I got hit by a pile of very sharp rocks. Did I manage to block it from reaching the queen?”
“Yes, she seemed completely baffled by that,” Ystelyan said.
“Well, she saved my life when I was a baby,” Darya said. “Though I might have been more circumspect if I’d realised it would rip through my shield like that.” He considered for a moment. “But probably not. Valeria is too important. Is there any news on my mother? I would have asked Valeria but nearly dying is kind of distracting.”
“Yes, the imp finally returned,” Ystelyan said. “She’s recovering well physically, but is obviously traumatised.”
“Anyone would be,” Darya said. “But mother is tough, she’ll recover.”