When he woke, Daniel kept his eyes closed for a moment, luxuriating in the fact that he wasn’t in pain any more. He stretched and finally opened his eyes to find they had returned to Ystelyan’s palace and he was in a bed in one of the chambers.
â€œAh! You’re awake!â€ A young goblin woman who bore a strong resemblance to Rilletta was seated by the bed. â€œYou were in a bad way when they brought you back, even though Alaryia-mira had healed most of the damage.â€
â€œYou did the rest?â€ he asked.
â€œYes,â€ she said. â€œFather thought it would be good experience for me since I’ve never had to deal with the aftermath of an invasive healing before.â€
â€œYour father is Ystelyan?â€ he asked.
â€œYes.â€ She nodded. â€œI am Malisia. I’ve been father’s head healer for a couple of years.â€
â€œYou must be very talented,â€ he said.
She ducked her head. â€œFather says I am and the other dragons have started Ladying me like I’m mother, but I’m still young, I can’t be that good yet.â€
â€œI think you can,â€ Daniel said. â€œGiven how well I feel.â€ He smiled as she flushed. â€œSo what’s happening, Lady Malisia?â€
â€œI’m not sure,â€ she said. â€œI’ve been here keeping an eye on you, but your mother did ask me to call her when you woke up.â€
â€œAh, you’d better call her then,â€ he said. â€œI want to know what they’ve decided.â€
â€œI already did.â€ Malisia grinned. â€œShe’s on her way.â€
Sure enough, only moments later the door opened and Sonia hurried over to hug him.
â€œAre you feeling better, Dan?â€ she asked.
â€œI feel great, mum,â€ he replied. â€œBut did you find out why she attacked Lydia and what have you decided to do with her?â€
â€œCutting right to chase, I see.â€ Sonia smiled. â€œI like that. And yes we did.â€ She sat on the edge of the bed. â€œWe met her heart friend as well, she’s quite wonderful.â€
â€œSo you’re definitely not kiling her then.â€ He stared at the wall. â€œI never thought that was an option anyway. So we’re knocking her into transition? Who’s going to raise her?â€
â€œFaith Silver,â€ Sonia said. â€œAnd her heart friend is going into stasis at Waldhafen for the duration of her incubation.â€
Daniel blinked in surprise, then nodded. â€œTo fix their bond? That might work. I’d say we were being too nice to her but it’s not just her it affects, is it? And it’s very pragmatic since it will help prevent her reverting.â€ He paused. â€œAnd I think you made a good choice with the Silvers.â€
â€œWe found something else out as well,â€ she said.
â€œOh?â€ He tilted his head curiously at her.
She nodded and proceeded to explain to him about the two heart friends who had been born on Earth. Once she finished, he frowned at the wall.
â€œOkay, I think I see how that works. I’ll call Kelaria and ask her to bring her daughter here. I kind of hope it’s true. I like her little one. It would be nice if she never had to worry about frenzying.â€ He closed his eyes and began forming an imp into which he inculated an outline of their theory. â€œI hope that’s not too much of a shock for her.â€
â€œI’m sure she’ll be surprised,â€ Sonia said. â€œBut I doubt it will be in a bad way.â€ She looked over at Malisia. â€œIs he well enough to get up and join the others in the throne room?â€
â€œHe’s fine,â€ Malisia said. â€œHe probably shouldn’t exert himself physically for a day or so but he can certainly walk to the throne room without issues.â€
â€œOh good,â€ Sonia said. â€œLet’s go back then. The others will be pleased to see you’re okay.â€