“What?” Sarah stared at the unicorn. “Is this true?”
“It’s true,” Kasi said. “And as to why he didn’t use me before, he had a couple of reasons. One, he only found me a few years ago and I was in a terrible state. I wasn’t aware of how long had passed or who I was. He had to nurse me back to health and I didn’t remember myself until Likadrian pulled off his idiocy. Given the mess he made, I wish I was still amnesiac. Memory wasn’t worth this.”
“I think Kasi had been imprisoned somewhere and escaped somehow,” Gerian said. “Which makes me think Key is free as well but probably in a similar state.”
“That seems to be a reasonable assumption,” Takilyan said. “What was the other reason?”
“I didn’t want to alert Xantaria that Key might be free,” Gerian said. “I was afraid of what she might do.”
â€œYes, you were probably right about that.â€ Indaturan sighed. “I’ll have to tell Dar. He needs to know about this.”
Gerian sighed heavily. “Please don’t. I don’t trust him.”
“I know you don’t,” Indaturan said. “But you’re wrong. He’s passionately loyal to your sister’s memory and he’ll be loyal to her person once he knows she’s alive.”
Gerian scowled but didn’t argue further. Instead, he looked at Sarah. “Please find my sister, Sarah-alra. If you hate me it’s to your benefit anyway since I’d relinquish the red miriate to her without a challenge – and what’s more she’s still human.”
Sarah sighed. “We’ll see what we can do but we have a lot on our plate at the moment.”
Gerian scowled at her. “Key would be helpful with that as well. If you want me to rele–”
“Gerian, shut up!” Kasi poked him in the ribs with his horn. “You aren’t helping.” He looked back at them. “Go get the bloom for the nymph, please. I’ll keep at him until he releases the others.”
A wave of fury crossed Gerian’s face and for a second Karen thought he was going to attack Kasi. Instead, he just clenched his teeth.
“I have to get their cooperation, Kasi,” he said.
“Well you’re not going to get it that way,” he said. “You’d defer to Keylaria on how best to handle this so you’ll defer to me as well.” Kasi’s tone was flat. “I can’t make you apologise for the things you’ve done but you will behave in future.”
Gerian gave her a sulky look and folded his arms. “I want Key back.”
“So do I,” Kasi said. “This isn’t the way to do it.”
“I should never have given you that amulet to let you hold your full form without her,” Gerian muttered.
“Hardly matters,” Kasi said. “I’m only at child strength anyway; you could still overwhelm me if you wanted.”
“Not without hurting Key,” he said.
“That would be true anyway,” Kasi said. “Now stop sulking.”
“We’ll try and look for your heart friend,” Sarah said. “But it can’t be a priority.”
“Of course not,” Kasi said. “Too many other people to save. I understand.”
“Dar will surely search for her with all his might,” Indaturan said then narrowed his eyes. “That’s why Gerian wanted the Seekers’ Pendant – not to find the Dragon Knight but to find Keylaria.”
“Both, actually.” Gerian was rubbing his head. “Damn, why do I hurt so much today?”
Sarah made a hissing sound and pushed past Gerian rushing to the other end of the room where his heart friend stood rusting. She laid her hand on the light pillar and hissed again. “No wonder!” she said. “Even in stasis, the rust has reached his brain and you’re getting feedback.” She gave him a serious look. “Never mind morals â€“ you have to release him so we can heal him. You’ll both die otherwise.”
“What?” Gerian looked at her blankly.
“She’s telling the truth, Gerian,” Kasi said.
“It’s only at the edges at the moment,” Sarah said. “But it’s going to get worse.” She turned and looked at him with folded arms. “I really don’t like you. In fact, I hate you for the things you’ve done, but this is not a death I’d wish on my worst enemy â€“ which you are not. I’m going to bring two blooms and you’re going to release your heart friend as well so we can take him to Waldhafen and fix him up.” She gave him a look. “How long have you been getting the headaches?”
“About a month,” he said. “But dying? He’s in stasis.”
“Hmm, I guess it’s not responsible for you being a nasty piece of work then,” she said. “And yes, I agree that it’s odd. I don’t quite understand how this form of stasis works so you’ll need to get someone else to check the system because it’s obviously not working right. Now, may I gate out?”
Gerian looked totally bewildered but nodded.
“Thank you.” She vanished along with Birke.