Alaryia arrived along with her mother within half an hour, closely followed by Takilyan and Estara. They listened in silence to what had happened and then Estara reached out and squeezed Matthias’s hand. He looked up at her in surprise and she smiled gently.
“We’ll get her back,” she said. “We’ll find out who did this and get back from them.”
“It was Xantaria,” Fellaria said confidently. “I can’t imagine why but I can feel it’s her.”
“To get at you, maybe,” Alaryia said.
Fellaria scowled thoughtfully then shook her head. “No, I don’t think it’s that, though no doubt she thinks that’s an added bonus. But…” She hesitated. “But I’m sensing a larger shape to this.”
“I am too,” Sonia agreed. “And we need to stop her, but we don’t even know where Lyd is. You have a teacher’s bond with her. Will you help us find her?”
“Of course I will, but worryingly, I’m fairly sure she’s not on Taloa, not even in a pocket. Which is ominous.”
Ystelyan sucked in an hissing breath. “You think she’s on Kithra.”
“I think it’s a distinct possibility, which will make rescuing her more difficult,” Fellaria said.
“Especially since it puts us on a deadline,” Indaturan said.
“A deadline?” Matthias asked sharply.
“We have two, may three days to get her out of there before she gets far enough along in the transformation into a Kithreia that it’s irreversible.”
“Ah.” Matthias closed his eyes. “Yes, I think we want to stop that, from what I know. Not that she’ll be any less our daughter if she is transformed but it seems to be an unpleasant state.”
â€œIt is,â€ Talira said quietly. â€œI didn’t appreciate how bad it was before I became a dragon.â€
â€œAnd it’ll be worse for Lydia because she’s silver,â€ Fellaria said. Matthias gave her a curious look. â€œThe nature of Kithra plays poorly with loyalty.â€
â€œYou seem okay,â€ he said.
â€œOh, it hurts. I handle it with sheer bloody-minded stubborness,â€ she said blandly. â€œI have red streaks. But the fact remains we have to find out where Lyd is before we rescue her.â€
â€œI know Dar does, but does anyone else have contacts or spies on Kithra?â€ Indaturan asked. â€œWe could do with some intelligence before we barge in.â€
â€œI do,â€ Takilyan said. â€œElizara’s mother. Given that she’s in Andarian’s court, I’m not sure how trustworthy she is, though. She’s gold and not oathbound so it depends which way her honour pushes her.â€
â€œThere are ways to tell,â€ Kylissan said. â€œFor one thing, we’re really bad at lying.â€ He took a breath â€œAnd I hate to bring this up but we do need to discuss what we found as well. I’m sorry.â€
â€œNo, you’re right.â€ Sonia still had her head in her hands. â€œNo need to apologise.â€ She took a shaky breath. â€œAnd that at least is good news. Someone set a storm around the tear and it’s holding it open.â€
â€œSo if we can get rid of the storm, the tear will heal on its own?â€ Alaryia said. â€œThat should be doable so that is good news.â€