The dragons were working on some possible ways to disrupt the storm when Elizara arrived with a golden-eyed Kithreia who bore enough resemblance to her that it had to be her mother. Indeed, Matthias leapt to his feet when he saw her.
“Elise! It’s good to see you.”
“Matthias!” She inclined her head to him. “It is good to see you again, old friend. I wish it was under better circumstances.” She sighed heavily. “I need to find a new home, I think. My honour will not support staying in Anda’s court while he is forced to do Xantaria’s will. I don’t think his will, either, with how she’s pushing him, and I want to be far enough away when the conflict breaks him.”
“You’re not the first to tell us that, Elatria-keda,” Indaturan said. “Is she really so stupid?”
“She thinks that since breaking an oath is usually dishonourable there’s no way his honour can come into conflict with his bindings.”
“Oh void!” Kylissan buried his head in his hands. “This is going to be messy. I’ll call my mother but we need to find Zafisa as well. We’ll need his help if Andarian’s bonds break.”
“No one knows where or how the Kithreian idri hid their heart friends,” Indaturan said.
“I know,” Fellaria said. “How we hid them, anyway. But I’m not sure how much help it will be. We all hid them from each other as well.”She smiled at Elatria. “I’m sorry to be the one to raise this but we need to test your truthfulness. Will you speak with a unicorn?”
“Lying is dishonourable, Fellaria-ida,” Elatria said stiffly.
“Unless you find greater dishonour in not lying, Elatria-keda,” Fellaria said flatly.
“True enough,” Elatria said after a moment. “I will speak with a unicorn to set your mind at rest.”
“I’ll get Ebona.” Daniel rose to his feet and headed out of the room, returning a few moments later with Ebona.
“Honoured Unicorn,” Elatria inclined her head to Ebona. “Will you bear witness that my honour binds me to help defeat Xantaria and to help rescue Matthias and Sonia’s daughter before it is too late?” She scowled for a moment as if thinking hard about something. “And that I have no oaths that could be used to compel me to betray them.”
“I will,” Ebona said. “She speaks the truth.”
“Do you know where Lydia is?” Matthias asked.
“I do,” she said. “Andarian told me, and I’m fairly sure he knew I’d run here and tell you.”
“Do you think it’s a trap?” Sonia asked.
She shook her head. “I think he was working around his oath. If they meant it as a trap, they’d have her somewhere less formidable. We have to rescue but I don’t know how. Xantria has her in her stronghold. I’ve been there so I can guide you, but getting into that fortress will be hard.”
“Oh, I think we can handle it.” Takilyan said. “There are ways to to use the nature of Kithra against structures within it. It won’t be easy but we should be able to smash through her defenses as a group. No, the hard part will be reaching Lydia once we’re inside. There’s no way to break in sneakily. It’ll have to be a frontal attack.”