February 14th, 2011 | Published in Dragon Wars
Lydia stared at Draylian for a moment, then reached for Feliaria again.
She is, Feliaria confirmed. I’ve born exactly five children in ten thousand years and two of them are among the first kinstrari.
Lydia choked slightly. That’s a long time. Don’t you get bored? she said before repeating what her mentor had said outloud.
Not at all. There’s always something new to do or learn, and getting bored can be fatal. It makesÂ you sloppy and the boy is right, our politics can be cut throat.
“Two?” Matthias asked softly.
“The last of the first twelve is the first’s twin,” Draylian said.
“No names?” Matthias asked.
Draylian shook his head emphatically. “We do not speak their names. Bad things happen if we do.”
Silly superstition. Names are just names. It’s that bitch Xantaria who makes bad things happen to people who mention them, and if this kid was one of hers it’s no wonder he’s so miserable.
Lydia frowned at that. It was a very human turn of phrase. Feliaria chuckled in her head.
Ah, you caught me. I’m one of the ward guardians this century so I’m around Taloa a lot. That’s why Andarian brought you to me when you landed on his head. He’s totally Tolerant and I think he knew mentoring you would shake up my convictions. Please don’t mention this to your father, she added as Lydia opened her mouth to do just that. The Morgans have been trying to breech the wards for centuries and I’m not quite ready to concede that point yet. There’s something else that needs dealing with first.
“So that would make your Halia her grandaughter,” Sonia said quietly. “I wonder how she feels about that?”
“I wonder if she knows what her daughter might have done to Mela?” Matthias added.
He doesn’t seem to be mistreating Halia or the others from what little I’ve seen. I’ve never actually met her, but I’d object to that. As to the mermaid, I don’t know.
Oh, that, Elaranor mindspoke them all again before Lydia could repeat Feliaria’s words. It’s nothing. Well not nothing but it’s not dangerous. She removed the girl’s ban on attacking dragons.Â I think she’s the only one who could since she’s the one who put it in. IÂ guess that she really doesn’t like Gerian. Mela was upset when I told her -Â she’s sure people will think she’s a renegade when they find out.
“I can see why,” Matthias said. “What is it with some of the dragons apparently trying to help recently?”
I think they are worried by the tearing of the world as much as we are. They live here too, after all, Elaranor said. And while the problem has only recently begun to affect the heartlands, I think it has been happening in the outer areas for some time.
This training camp that Jayden Emms had set up was amazing, Andrew realised. All these people who he had persuaded of the truth about the world and persuaded to allow themselves to be trained. A whisper at the back of his mind was saying that something was wrong here, that something was wrong with him, but he pushed it away.
“What do you think?” Jayden asked him.
“I… this is amazing. It’s wonderful. If only everyone could learn to use their powers.”
“Yes, I thought you might think that.” Jayden smiled at him. “But you haven’t seen the best bit yet.” He led him to one of the long, white-washed huts and pushed the door open. Inside several people were rushing around working on some kind of artifact that looked like a throne made of glowing crystal. “Behold the key to our victory.”
Andrew stared at the glowing chair and swallowed.Â It looked innocuous enough, but it felt all wrong. It was pulling at him, calling him, but just being this near to it made his head spin. Beside him he could feel Kimi shuddering and her fur bristling. “What is this thing?”
“Your father is a good man,” Jayden Emms said. “Too good, if anything. He’s an idealist and in spite of his willingness to capture an army he’s too opposed to ‘unnecessary’ violence to ever take Earth back from its secret rulers and allow people to develop their true potential. He thinks it would be cruel to take people’s crutches away from them and force them to walk themselves. I suffer no such illusions. However, I cannot do what he can. This will change that. It will allow me to take his army from him and use it the way it should be.” He turned and looked at Andrew who swallowed again at the intensity of the man’s expression. “What do you think?”
“I don’t know,” Andrew said cautiously. “I mean, what if people can’t adapt and learn to use their magic?”
“Then I guess they’ll die.” Jayden shrugged callously. “It’s better that than slavery.”
“I see…” Andrew said. “I’m not sure I agree with you on that. Surely there’s someway to just train those who can adapt in this generation.”
“You’re soft,” Jayden said but he didn’t sound angry. “But how would that work? Give me a suggestion that’s feasible and I’ll take it.”
“I’ll think about it,” Andrew said. “But I should be getting back soon. They’ve probably noticed I’m gone by now.”
“Probably. Wait a moment.” He walked over and spoke with one of the people working on the throne. The worker turned and stared at Andrew for a second and he felt something ice cold rake right through the centre of his being before the worker shook his head. A scowl flitted across Jayden’s face so quickly that Andrew almost thought he imagined it. He strode back to Andrew.
“I was hoping we’d be able to finish it while you were here,” he said. “But apparently the last bit isn’t ready yet. Come on, I’ll take you back as soon as we’ve come up with a good reason you’ve been gone so long.”