Indaturan’s touch on Lydia’s mind was gentle, like a soft blanket wrapping around her. â€œYou have a good mind, Lydia-ida,â€ he said after a moment. â€œVery orderly. I like it. It’ll make shielding you easier.â€
A moment later she felt him start laying down some sort of ward around her. From the inside she could see through it with no problem but she could sense that from the outside, it would create a sort of psychic smoke and mirrors that would make her seem to be somewhere else to anyone seeking her psychically.
â€œIt won’t stop your parents or siblings finding you,â€ he said. â€œAnd I’ll give you control over it so you can decide if you want anyone to find you.â€
â€œOkay,â€ Lydia said.
â€œNearly done,â€ he said. â€œOnce we are, you can go to sleep and Alaryia and I will try to draw out your attacker.â€
â€œThank you.â€ Lydia curled up on her side and closed her eyes again.
â€œYou might want to shift into dragon form,â€ Alaryia said. â€œThis early in your change, you’ll find sleep more restful if you do it in dragon form.â€
Lydia opened her eyes again. â€œOh, that’s where the slight twitchiness I’ve been feeling is coming from. I want to shift. I thought it was just the fact someone wants me dead but it started before that.â€
â€œThat’s right,â€ Alaryia said.
â€œAll right then.â€ Lydia concentrated and shifted into her small silver dragon form. Almost imediately, much of the tension she’d been feeling melted away. â€œAh!â€ She curled up on the sofa with her shiny tail wrapped around her and fell into a sleep that this time was undisturbed.
When she woke up, Lydia did feel wonderfully refreshed and not even mildly hungry. She shifted back to human and sat up. Not far away, everyone standing around the table staring at the remains of the rapier and a tawny brown imp which was squirming in Indaturan’s grasp.
â€œYou managed to extract it then?â€ she asked.
â€œYes,â€ It was Darlrydan who replied. â€œNow we just have to figure out why because much as Savira hates your father, this makes no sense.â€
â€œSavira?â€ Lydia said. â€œThe ida who does the creepy experiments? The one who stole part of Ystelyan’s territory?â€
â€œThat’s her,â€ Ystelyan said. â€œAnd we’ve double checked it’s not another decoy. I really didn’t want to this but the circumstances leave me no choice. Would you all help me deal with her? My forces are still not strong enough to do it alone.â€
â€œOf course!â€ Alaryia said. â€œWhat else are allies for?â€ The other dragons murmered their agreement as well.
â€œWe will as well,â€ Matthias said. â€œNo one attacks my family and gets away with it.â€
â€œBut I do wonder why she attacked Lydia now,â€ Takilyan said. â€œI suppose that it could just be to get at Matthias-idan, but I still think the timing is too coinidental.â€
â€œI agree,â€ Alaryia said. â€œWe’ll ask her once we’ve neutralised her court.â€ She looked at the squirming imp. â€œYou’d best destroy that before it escapes and warns her.â€