â€œDo you think you can extract it?â€ Matthias asked. â€œI mean, I presume there was a reason no one removed the one in that key of Hannah’s.â€
â€œThe imp?â€ Takilyan asked. â€œWell whoever made this wasn’t as skilled as Likadrian, so we should be able to remove it and render the rapier inert. It’s going to be doing it without destroying the imp before we can identify its creator that’s the problem.â€ He stroked his fingers over the rapier. â€œIt would be difficult at the best of times and I’m fairly sure that this is booby trapped to prevent that.â€
Alaryia frowned at the rapier for a moment before nodding. â€œYes, I definitely sense traps. This is going to take a while since we’ll have to peel it away layer by layer.â€
â€œBut first we need to come up with some wards for Lydia-ida to make sure that the culprit can’t lock any more attacks on to her,â€ Indaturan said. â€œBecause I have no doubt they’ll try again.
â€œDistraction wards,â€ Darlryan said. â€œKeyed to throw malice off course and to alarm if anyone breaks through.â€
â€œYes that would work,â€ Alaryia said. â€œAnd maybe some extra concealment wards as well.â€ She looked over at Sonia. â€œI believe wards are a knack of yours.â€
â€œI can do the concealment wards,â€ Sonia said. â€œBut distraction wards are not something I ever learned. It’s a lost skill.â€
â€œI’ll teach you,â€ Darlryan said. â€œThey aren’t too difficult aand it will be a useful skill for you in more than protecting your daughter.â€
Sonia eyed him thoughtfully. â€œAnd what would you want in return?â€
Darlryan smirked. â€œAh, such lack of trust still. You’re a wise woman, Sonia-ida.â€ He sobered after a moment. â€œBut actually, in this case nothing. I’ll teach you for the sheer joy of pissing Mitakrian off by helping in your fight against him; he seriously needs pissing off. I don’t think I need to push you into fighting Xantaria, she’s doing an admirable job of doing that herself. Plus I like your kids. They’re good kids. I’d like to see them safe.â€
Sonia looked at him for a moment before looking at Ebona who was standing by Daniel.
â€œYes, it was true,â€ Ebona said. â€œEven the bit about wanting see Daniel and the others safe.â€
â€œAh!â€ Sonia said. â€œThen yes please. I hope I didn’t insult you by checking.â€
â€œNot at all,â€ Darlryan replied. â€œAs I said, you are wise.â€ He turned to Ystelyan. â€œMay I borrow one of your teaching rooms?â€
â€œFor this? Of course.â€ Ystelyan clapped his hands to summon a goblin, who led Sonia and Darlryan away. â€œI don’t think anything can get in to attack Lydia-ida here so the rest of us can get on with peeling the layers off this thing to get to the imp.â€
â€œUs too?â€ Daniel asked.
â€œYes, all of you can help,â€ Ystelyan replied. â€œExcept Lydia, who looks like she needs more rest.â€ He pointed to one of the many couches around the room. â€œI’d offer you a chamber but even though I’m sure of my wards, I think you shouldn’t be alone until the extra wards on you are up.â€
â€œThat seems wise,â€ Lydia said as she lay down. â€œThe couch is fine.â€