The stunned silence in the room told Karen that Lydia’s suggestion had not occurred to any of the dragons. After a long moment, Indaturan frowned thoughtfully.
“Would that work, given that she’s not full Kithreia yet?”
“I don’t know.” Alaryia was scowling thoughtfully even though she still had her eyes closed and was still glowing silver. “Would it be safe? You know how risky being twice-made in quick succession is.”
“It would work, I think,” Darlryan said. “As long as she’s far enough along â€“ which I think she is since her wings have appeared. And it might be less traumatic than being twice-made since we’d be redirecting rather than overwriting her transformation.”
“How is it risky?” Matthias asked.
“There’s a reason only Shalriya, Mitakrian and a few of the minor courts will transform someone into a dragon when they are a newly made Kithreia,” Indaturan said. “Because their essence is extremely raw, it can do them irreparable harm. Occasionally it’ll even force them into transition or kill them. â€œ
â€œI’m going to die anyway if we don’t try it,â€ Lydia said. â€œSo I’m willing to risk it.â€
â€œHey, I haven’t given up on purging your essence and restoring you to human yet,â€ Alaryia said. â€œSo let’s not rush into things â€“ and there is another option.â€
â€œIt’s not working,â€ Lydia said. â€œAnd if you’re honest with yourself you already know that.â€ She paused. â€œWhat other option?â€
â€œIf we push you into transition you’ll revert to your last stable form when you hatch,â€ Alaryia said. â€œAnd that’s human.â€
â€œNo!â€ Lydia said sharply. â€œWe do not have time for me to grow up again.â€ She sounded absolutely certain. â€œYou feel it, don’t you?â€
There was another long pause before Alaryia nodded reluctantly.
â€œI wish I didn’t.â€ Sonia was hugging herself. â€œBut you’re right, Lyd.â€ She looked at Alaryia. â€œIs she right that it isn’t working?â€
Alaryia hesitated before sighing heavily. â€œIt doesn’t seem to be. I’d still like to try a bit longer because we might just need to hit a tipping point but I’m not hopeful.â€
â€œI see.â€ Sonia knelt down and took Lydia’s hand. â€œAre you sure about this, Lyd? I mean it’s your choice but…â€
â€œI don’t want to die, mum,â€ she said. â€œAnd it doesn’t seem to be a terrible thing.â€
â€œWell, when you put it that way,â€ Sonia said.
â€œI just hope it works,â€ Matthias said. â€œWe don’t want to lose you, Lyd.â€
â€œWho do you want to do it?â€ Indaturan said.
â€œHum…â€ Lydia said. â€œMy instinct is Alaryia would be best because of me being silver?â€
â€œEasiest on your essence certainly,â€ Alayia said. â€œAnd I’d be fine with doing it without you joining my court. I imagine you’d want to join your mother’s or Lyrrekka-ida’s anyway.â€
â€œOr start her own,â€ Indaturan said.
â€œIndeed,â€ Alaryia said. The silver glow around her faded. â€œAnd purging the Kithreiri energy is definitely not going to work.â€ She gave Lydia a serious look. â€œI’ve blocked out the pain you were in for you so you can think about this clearly. Do you really want to do this? I think you’re far enough along but we still aren’t sure it will work.â€
â€œI’m sure,â€ Lydia said. â€œI’m no worse off if it doesn’t work.â€ She hesitated. â€œI should call Bennu, shouldn’t I? So he can stop me frenzying when it’s done.â€
â€œYes,â€ Alaryia said. â€œI’ll feed you while you’re out anyway, so you shouldn’t, but it’s always a risk â€“ just about the only time you’ll actually face that risk in your situation – and he will be able to stop you.â€
â€œOkay, I’ll call him now. As soon as he’s here let’s get this over with.â€