At some point after they had dumped Dialdra into the cell, she’d shifted to her human morph. Her wings had vanished and the ruby red crystal spikes on her head had become an equally red jaw length bob. She had ignored the cot and stool furnishing the small room and was sitting on the floor in the corner with her head bowed, examining the oath tattoo on her arm. As they entered she looked up and glared sulkily at Indaturan, not even sparing a glance for Ystelyan and Kyle.
“Come to make more demands of me, master?” she said in a bitter tone.
“Well I certainly didn’t come here to see you for pleasure, Dialdra,” he said drily. “Your friend Robert Cantrell, is he himself or another interloper like you?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know,” she said flatly then hissed in pain and grabbed her arm.
“Answer the question,” Indaturan said, then as she opened her mouth added. “Truthfully. Answer any question I ask you truthfully.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “Very clever.” She rubbed at the oath tattoo some more. “He’s like me. My brother to be exact.” She paused and smirked. “Why, is he causing you trouble?”
“Never you mind,” Indaturan said. “That’s for us to worry about. Now what about Garrett Cantrell?”
“Oh, he’s human,” she said. “And a right gullible idiot; so many of them are. Med wasn’t even in a box and the fool never noticed he’d taken his nephew’s place.”
“That’s what I thought,” he said. â€œNow you just need to worry about the best and safest way to rescue Kayleigh and Jonathon, because you still have help to give us.”
She glared at him some more then looked away.
“I will do as you say because I must, master, but I hope for your failure,” she said. “You cannot change my heart.”
“True enough,” he said. “And even if I could, a change compelled is no true change. But then I don’t need to change you, just compel your cooperation.” He turned and swept from the room.
Ystelyan and Kyle followed him out but he didn’t speak until the door had closed and they had moved beyond earshot of the cell. Once they were he turned and smirked.
“Well, that’s good news,” he said. “Even if it does mean we need to rescue two people, not one.”
â€œYou call that good news?â€ Ystelyan asked.
â€œI do,â€ he said. â€œBecause as you said the fact that the young man isn’t human means that our allies stand a chance of revealing him and stopping the attack. At least I can’t see the human army liking being manipulated by an enemy any more than we would.â€
â€œIndaturan-mirian is right, my mirian,â€ Kyle said. â€œThey wouldn’t like that. It might not stop the attack cold but it might well incline them to negotiate. I hope anyway.â€
â€œI still wouldn’t call it good news,â€ Ystelyan said. â€œJust less bad news.â€ He looked up as a young dragon came running up. â€œYes?â€
â€œAdrian-alran is awake, my mirian,â€ the girl said. â€œLady Malisia says to tell you he’s asking for Indaturan-mirian.â€
A/N: Reminder – today was my last working day with my current employer, so I’m running a donation drive. Please check out this news post for details and drop a few pennies in the hat if you can. 🙂