â€œI think he’s right,â€ Savira said after a moment. â€œIf the hypothesis is correct â€“ and you say it’s been tested â€“ then it only proves one partner has to be on Taloa while the bond is forming. It says nothing about which one. â€œ
â€œAnd conversely, one would have to be here in Talonyka,â€ Indaturan said. â€œYou’re right, we should look into that. I mean if the dragon children are in the wrong court, we’ll need to do something about that before they are corrupted or worse.â€
â€œThat’s a point,â€ Alaryia said. â€œThough there can’t be too many infants the right age.â€ She frowned thoughtfully. â€œI remember it happening, though I missed the implications. I believe you attended them, Halia. Can you recall the date the kids were born?â€
â€œHmm, I kind of lost the dates while I was on Taloa. But it was late Hawthorn or early Willow month I think…â€ She trailed off as Estara made a choking noise.
â€œEst, what is it?â€ Alaryia said.
â€œNo,â€ Estara shook her head. â€œThat would just be too much of a coincidence.â€
â€œCoincidences happen all the time,â€ Matthias said. â€œWhat is it?â€
â€œWell Al is right, there aren’t so many of us that there are a lot of Dragon infants, especially not since we tend to produce more goblin children than dragon ones. There can’t be more than a handful born in the right timescale and well…â€ She hesitated. â€œKelaria’s youngest is one of them.â€
â€œOh!â€ Matthias said. â€œYes, that would be a coincidence, wouldn’t it? Easy enough to test though. Nephele can fetch Izla and Sarili and their little ones and as soon as he’s well enough, Dan can call Kelaria and then we’ll find out. Even if it isn’t, we’ll have ruled ouut one of the possibilities.â€
â€œCan you not put me into transtion until we find out?â€ Savira said. â€œI want to know.â€ She bounced a little. â€œIt’s so important.â€
â€œShe may not deserve the right to ask for anything,â€ Indaturan said. â€œBut allowing her this would reduce the risks of her dropping back into transition as soon as she gets her memory back.â€
â€œWhich would be nice,â€ Savira said quietly. â€œIt’s not a good feeling, but I’ve never been able to shake it even when I realised why I felt that way.â€
Darlryan reached over and squeezed her shoulder. â€œYou should have come to me, Savira. Pulling yourself out of descent isn’t easy because it means facing what you’ve done. I would have helped.â€
She gave him a sideways glance. â€œI didn’t trust you,â€ she said finally, â€œI’m sure you would have helped but I doubt I would have liked your price.â€
â€œTsk.â€ Darlryan grinned ruefully. â€œNo one trusts me.â€
â€œThat’s because you have a tendency to use people, Dar,â€ Indaturan said. â€œYou’d get more cooperation if you were just up front with people.â€ He looked back at Savira. â€œBut you’re his niece, Savira-ida. He doesn’t manipulate his kin that way.â€
â€œNot quite true,â€ Darlryan said. â€œI tried it once quite recently and it was a disaster. But no, I wouldn’t have demanded anything from you, Savira.â€
Indaturan’s eyes narrowed. â€œDoes this have something to do with why Alsia hates you now?â€
Darlryan looked away.
â€œIt does, doesn’t it? Something to do with your adopted Talori sisters?â€
â€œIt’s complicated,â€ Darlryan said. â€œAnd messy, and I’m worried it’s about to get messier if I’m right about what’s about to happen with Cass’s daughter â€“ but it’s also tangential. We should get back to the matter at hand. â€
â€œYou’re right,â€ Indaturan said. â€œWe’ll talk about this later.â€
â€œThat’s not a bad idea,â€ Darlryan said. â€œI could do with your advice.â€
â€œI have no objection to letting Savira see the results of the test,â€ Matthias said. â€œWe need to take her back to Earth and arrange for Kaliss to go to Walldhafen.â€ He turned to Nephele. â€œWould you go and find Izla and Sarili and see if they are willing to bring their daugters here?â€
â€œOf course.â€ She rose to her feet and vanished.