Kyle took Hannah’s hand and held out his other hand to Adrian as Darya did the same on the other side. Dialdra’s blindfold had been removed and she was trussed up on the floor between the four of them.
“There’s something we need to do before we start,” Darya said. “Your bonds to Kayleigh might be enough for us to find her but we could do with more to be sure.” He nudged Dialdra with his foot. “I’d ask you to help us too but I already know you won’t cooperate, so we’ll just have to force you. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible but Adrian and his mirian think otherwise.”
“I don’t like the sound of that,” Ystelyan said from where he was leaning against the wall. But his tone was mild, even slightly amused. “What are you planning to do?”
“Not have Indaturan turn her into a dragon against her will, if that’s what you’re thinking,” Adrian said. “Though it would work, she’s too strong to be controllable. She’d outwalk as soon as she could escape. I have something far more reliable in mind. She may be a member of Xantaria’s court but her arms are bare.”
Ystelyan’s eyes widened. “You’re planning to oathbind her? What sort of leverage to you have to do that?”
“Nothing! There’s nothing that they could offer me to make me bind an oath,” Dialdra said contemptuously. “You can’t force an oathbinding.”
“Ah, that’s where you’re wrong, Dialdra-alra,” Indaturan said. “There is one way to force an oath, but it’s not well known and I don’t think it would work if a Kithreia tried it. I only discovered it by accident.” He stepped aside as another dragon, dressed in white goblin silk, entered the cell and smirked at Dialdra.
“Hello, mother,” he said. “I really hope this hurts. You deserve it for handing me over to Mitakrian just because I didn’t turn out red.” He slashed his right hand open with claws that burst from his left hand before turning to Indaturan and kneeling. â€œMy mirian, my blood is yours.â€
â€œGantadrian!â€ Dialdra spat. â€œYou’re no son of mine, even if I did bear you.â€ She scowled at Indaturan. â€œI don’t know how you intend to use this wretched outwalker against me but it won’t–â€ She broke off with a scream as Indaturan closed his hand over Gantadrian’s. Her son smirked and he began whispering the words of the oath they needed her to swear. As he did, his white blood flowed up his arm in fine milky threads which wove themselves into an intricate pattern resembling a Kithreian oath tattoo. When Kyle looked down at Dialdra â€“ who was still screaming â€“ an identical oath tattoo was appearing on her arm.
By time Indaturan released Gantadrian’s hand and knelt down by Diaidra, the Kithreia’s screams had been reduced to broken sobs. He lifted her arm and examined the tattoo critically. â€œThat should do it. Thank you, Gantadrian-alran.â€
â€œIt was my pleasure.â€ He wiped the pattern of blood from his arm and kicked Dialdra hard in the ribs before stalking from the room.
â€œH-how?â€ Dialdra managed between sobs. â€œHow can his words bind me?â€
â€œI really have no idea,â€ Indaturan admitted. â€œI just know the blood of a dragon can bind their kithreia kin if they are present. But it really doesn’t matter, does it. You have to do what I say, and right now what I say is help Darya’s search for Kayleigh in any way you can.â€