“I believe Xantaria is keeping the girl in her own citadel on Kithra,” Elatria said. “You really are going to need an army to crack that.”
“Xantaria has her blind spots–” Darlryan broke off as Sonia and Matthias both gasped.
“Lyd’s awake,” Sonia said. “It;s very hazy but she’s hurting and she feels sick.”
“The nausea is because of the incoherent way human senses perceive Kithra,” Elatria said. “But pain…already? That’s a bit soon, unless… damn! She didn’t?”
“It could just be the aftermath of however Lydia was captured but we have to assume she did,” Indaturan said. â€œBut I’m surprised Xantaria isn’t concealing her better.â€
“Assume what?” Matthias asked.
“That Xantaria has used her essence to jumpstart Lydia’s transformation,” Indaturan said. “It means we have even less time than we thought. And we need some way to avoid the disorientation for you as well.”
“Let me handle that,” Darlryan said.
“And will you be able to control yourself and not go hunting Xantaria during the rescue?” Alaryia asked.
“I will,” he said. “I’m murderous, not suicidal. Trying that would get me killed by you if not by her.”
“Fair enough,” she said. “We need to get some intelligence on the citadel then. We need to hit hard and fast so we need to find a weakness in the defenses.”
“I can help with that as well,” Darlryan said. “I’ve been studying the citadel for a long time. Let me fetch my notes.” He rose to his feet and jumped out.
“I knew he’d say that,” Alaryia said. “There was no way he hadn’t been studying her citadel.”
“How long do we have?” Sonia asked.
“Hmm… Let me put it this way. I really hope his research reveals something because we don’t have time to look for a way in ourselves.”
“We should gather our troops while we wait,” Indaturan said. “This is going to be messy at best, you know.”
There was general agreement and the next few minutes were a flurry of imp sending.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t turn into a siege. We can’t afford that.” Alaryia scowled suddenly.”Do you think it’s a distraction?”
“No,” Elatria said. “She wants Lydia-ida for something. That much was clear. I think she was hoping you’d decide a rescue was impossible.” Her lips twitched. “For someone so manipulative, sometimes she doesn’t understand people very well.”
“Can I help with the rescue?” Elzaria said suddenly from where she was sitting at Takilyan’s side.
â€œThat’s not a good idea,â€ Alaryia said. â€œYour essence isn’t fully stable after the repairs I did. Leave it a few months before getting into any battles if you can.â€
â€œAlaryia is right, Elza,â€ Takilyan said. â€œListen to your healer when she gives you advice. You haven’t even reached your natural full strength yet and you’ll need to get used to it once you do.â€
â€œI guess,â€ Elzaria said. â€œBut–â€
â€œNo buts,â€ he said. â€œNo one blames you for not being able to rescue Andrew on your own so don’t blame yourself.â€
â€œReally, Elzaria,â€ Matthias said. â€œIs that what this is about? Takilyan-miria is right, it wasn’t your fault.â€
Elzaria nodded but she was still pouting. She didn’t have time to say anything though because Darlryan returned with several memory blocks and a number of pendants.