“I think we might have picked the right time to do this,” Dialdra said as she led them down a corridor, pausing at each corner to check for guards. “She might be expecting you to still be recovering from the fights you had yesterday. That or she’s got all the guards waiting in the cells. Those are the only reasons that I can think of that we haven’t encountered anyone yet, even though someone must have sensed us jumping in.
“Could be either,” Darlryan said equally quietly. “She’d certainly never launch an attack immediately after a battle, but then she’s aware some people would.”
“We’d better be ready for it being the latter.” Indaturan said. “Though we can certainly hope for it being the form–.” He broke off as Dialdra raised her hand and cocked her head. “I feel a guard ahead.”
Lydia cast out her mind and sensed the person Dialdra had sensed. They felt young and weren’t weak but they weren’t too strong either and she had a sense of boredom from them. Whoever they were, they clearly weren’t expecting any trouble.
I’ll deal with them, Alaryia said. A glowing shield of silver light appeared around her and she became a blur as she sped around the corner. There was a single startled cry before she spoke again. Clear.
The rest of the group joined her cautiously to find an unconscious Kithreian teen on the floor. There was a livid oath tattoo on his arm and his grassy hair was wilting slightly. Indaturan raised an eyebrow at her.
â€œYou ate him?â€
â€œYes,â€ she said. â€œHe’s a child and not free. It was the best way to take him down without harming him.â€ She lifted him up and slung him over her shoulder. â€œI think I’ll bring him with us. I like freeing Xantaria’s slaves.â€
“I’ll support that,” Darlryan said. “I hate the way she overuses oathbinding and even if I didn’t, it’ll annoy her and I approve of almost anything to annoy Xantaria.”
“You’re sure he’ll want rescuing?” Indaturan asked.
“I am,” Alaryia said. “Look how inflamed and tangled it is. He’s been fighting it.”
“Yes, but he may not find being a dragon an attractive alternative.”
“Probably not, but if that’s the case I’ll let Kyl’s family deal with it. The rebels are good at finding the keys to unbinding the oathbound.”
Darlryan made an irritated sound and Alaryia laughed.
“You still have a grudge against my in-laws? That was a very long time ago.”
“Only one of them,” he said. “And not that long, really, though I imagine you are thinking of something different. But I’ll give you that they’ll be able to help the kid.”
Alaryia shook her head and sighed. “Nevermind, let’s get on. How far to the cells?”
“Not far now.” Dialdra was frowning. “I don’t understand where everyone is.”
“We can worry about it later,” Indaturan said.
“If I was you, I’d worry about it now, master,” she said. “Barely anyone is here and that means they’re somewhere else.” She gave him a smug grin. “And where ever it is, I doubt that it’s good for you and your allies.”