A/N: I’ve made some tweaks to my Patreon – check it out.Â You can also check out a sample chapter of my Traditional Fantasy WIP “Shattered”. If pledges reach $50/month I’ll start posting on this site fortnightly (I have 20 chapters written so far).
A/N 2: Torvawk, I hope the email you leave when you comment is correct because I’ve sent you something. If not pop me a message via the contact form with the correct one and I’ll send it again.
“I’ll grab Dalrydan-mirian and ask to talk to Laxmi while I’m here,â€ Sonia said as she finished her drink. â€œThank you for the tea, but I’m surprised that you have it. I was expecting some sort of herbal brew when you offered.”
Kadira chuckled. “Lyrrekka-ida isn’t the first twice-made you know. There was one who joined Ystelyan’s court about a century ago who missed the beverage and snuck back across to get some plants. He is a lifeweaver and was able to get them to grow well here and the drink proved quite popular.”
“Ah!” Sonia accepted the second cup Naria handed her. “I can imagine. He must be quite skilled to get the plants to mimic different types of tea.”
“He is,” Kadira said. “Mantilan-alran is one of the best lifeweavers here. I think he came from one of your families as well, though he doesn’t talk about it. I should introduce you.”
â€œYou know him well?â€ Sonia asked.
â€œ’Well’ is relative,â€ she said. â€œWe work together and get on well enough.â€ She pulled a thoughtful face. â€œHe’s been acting a bit oddly since all this started.â€
â€œWhich is why you want me to talk to him?â€ Sonia asked.
â€œYes, I think he’s worried about his kin but it’s been so long he’s not sure how to approach them,â€ Kadira said. â€œIf you’re willing to talk to him, I’ll send him an imp and see if he’s willing to meet you.â€
â€œGiven the way he was forever questioning Kyle-alran when he first came here, I think that he will be,â€ Naria said.
â€œI’m willing,â€ Sonia said at the same moment. â€œI’m curious about him now.â€
â€œExcellent!â€ Kadira formed an imp of blue flame which shot off. â€œHe should be free so it shouldn’t be long.â€
Indeed, only a few minutes later there was a diffident knock at the door. Kadira opened it to reveal a tall, pale skinned, black haired dragon standing there.
â€œMantilan!â€ Kadira said. â€œCome in!â€
â€œThank you, Kadira,â€ he said. â€œI’m grateful to you for inviting me.â€ He strained to look over her shoulder at Sonia. â€œSonia Keefe, I believe? I am honoured to meet you.â€
â€œAnd I you,â€ she replied. â€œKadira-alra tells me you’re twice made like Lyrrekka-ida. May I ask which family, if any?â€
â€œYou may,â€ he said. â€œNone of the major ones, unless things have changed since I asked Kyle-alran. I was Joseph Forrester.â€
â€œOh!â€ Sonia said. â€œI’ve heard of you! No wonder you never tried to contact your family. If you became a dragon about a century ago you’d already been missing for about that.â€ She blinked thoughtfully. â€œYou went missing at The Battle of Moritah Plain. Everyone thought you’d died with the others driving back the forces of Mitakrian and Shalriya.â€
â€œKyle hadn’t, though that’s not surprising,â€ he said. â€œAnd yes, I should have died too. I took a direct strike from Shalriya that threw me into transition. I would have died but someone â€“ I still don’t know who – caught me and took my egg to Kithra. Once I grew up and got my memory back I tried to escape but they were watching me. By the time I could, I realised I couldn’t return to Earth and it took me another decade for my distate for my Kithreian idan to overcome my distaste for dragons. I managed to contact Saliko and she did some investigating for me and that’s why I came to Ystelyan-mirian when I got away.â€ He looked to one side sadly. â€œI thought about contacting my family, but everyone who knew me was dead and I suspected that they wouldn’t believe me without someone to vouch for me.â€
â€œNo, probably not,â€ she said. â€œBut the Forresters are one of our satellites nowadays. I’ll tell them what happened.â€
â€œThank you,â€ he said. â€œBut don’t you want to check I’m telling the truth?â€
Sonia tilted her head at him. â€œI would presume Ystelyan would have tested you when you arrived here but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt. It just seems, you know, distrustful. It feels like I’m calling you a liar and I’m pretty sure you’re telling me the truth.â€
â€œCaution is always wise, Sonia-ida,â€ he said. â€œLet us find a unicorn.â€