According to Dialdra, the lair where Xantaria was keeping Kayleigh was apparently a pocket suitable for both humans and Kithreiri. She clearly hadn’t wanted to tell them, but she hadn’t been able to avoid Indaturan’s order to help.
“I’ll try to jump us into somewhere I don’t think there will be many guards,” she said. “My master will likely have to tear through when I try because she’ll have a barrier up. But Xantaria knows my situation as well so she may be expecting that. She’ll certainly be expecting a rescue attempt. The only reason I can think of for her not having killed the girl yet – and I’d know if she had – is to lure us in. After what you did to me, she knows you aren’t planning to negotiate.”
“If she thinks she can fight as many people as we’re bringing, her brains have gone soft…” Darlryan trailed off. “Unless… just how many idri does she have there?”
“I don’t know,” Dialdra said. “She could theoretically pull in the whole idri council for support if she wanted… or what’s left of it. But I doubt that. She can’t fully trust all of them. If I had to guess, I’d say enough to give you problems but probably not as many as she’d like.”
“Hmm…” Alaryia frowned. “We’ll have to use our venom then. Take opponents down hard and fast.”
“That was a fair assumption anyway,” Indaturan said. “We know she knows we are coming. You know how she thinks, Dialdra. Where won’t she think to expect?”
“I think I know somewhere,” she said. “I’m going to try and open the gate now.” She held out her hand and her gate began to form rather slower than the previous gates Lydia had seen. “Yes, I was right, there’s a barrier that’s too thick for me.”
“Very well,” Indaturan said. He laid his hand over hers and the gate tore open. “Let’s go.â€ He and Darlryan went through first to clear their path. Lydia and her siblings along with Adrian and Hannah went next, with Ystelyan, Takilyan and Alaryia guarding the rear.
They emerged into a small room lined with strange crystal devices.
Indaturan looked around and raised an eyebrow. “I don’t remember Xantaria being so craft-minded.”
“She isn’t,” Dialdra said. “Which is why she might overlook here. It’s Andarian-mirian’s workshop but he doesn’t use it at this time of day and even if he had been here, he’s not so tightly bound that he couldn’t turn a blind eye to us.”
“That’s fair,” Darlryan said. “Anda always liked making stuff.” He picked up a half finished staff of wood and crystal from a workbench. It reminded Lydia of Jayden Emms staff. “Now that’s interesting. I’m fairly sure he’s not making this for Xantaria. Looks like he’s got an idea how to seal the breach himself.” He put it back down.
“If he does, is it’s definitely not Xantaria’s idea,” Dialdra said. “She needs the void energy for something, and before you ask, no I don’t know what. It wouldn’t surprise me though. He keeps pushing the limits of his promise.”
“That could be…” Indaturan trailed off.
“Dangerous?” Dialdra said. “I know. I tried to warn my ida but she’s convinced that being gold, he can’t possibly get into a conflict.”
â€œI was going to say interesting, but I can see how you’d call it dangerous.â€ He shook his head. â€œWhy do you support someone so stupid? But we’d best move. They surely felt us jump in.â€
â€œYes, we should.â€ Dialdra laid her hand on the door for a moment. â€œNo guard. Looks like I was right.â€ She opened it cautiously and peered into the corridor. â€œClear.â€ She slipped through the door and they all followed. â€œShe’s in the cells. Come on.â€