“Hmm…” Lydia studied Indaturan thoughtfully as she tried to think of another question. “This is kind of hard; I don’t know what I should be asking.” She tutted to herself for a few moments. “Do you raid?”
“Ouch,” he said but he was smiling. “That’s direct. Yes, but rarely and only if it’s necessary. Better a hunting raid by dragons who are in control of themselves than a rampage by one who’s frenzying due to starvation or injury.”
“Better for whom?” Daniel asked sharply.
“Well, for everyone,” Indaturan replied. “Void knows grabbing people for food is not pleasant – especially not for them – but there’s a magnitude of difference between that and killing everything for miles around. Fortunately I have enough renegades attached to my court that it doesn’t come up often. I mean the last time was fairly recent… a century or so I think.” He chuckled at the choking noise Lydia made at that. “Yes, you’re young enough for that to seem a very long time, aren’t you?”
“Yeah,” she said. “And you’re old enough that it must seem like a couple of years would to us. That’s weird.”
“For you maybe,” he said blandly. “I’m used to it.”
“I still don’t like that you raid, even if it is rarely,” Daniel said. “I’ve seen the mess left after dragon raids.”
“Raids by Shalriya or Mitakrian no doubt – they enjoy destruction,” Indaturan said. “Or Gerian maybe – he just doesn’t care.”
“Me actually,” Ystelyan said. “I made a bit of a mess in Waldhafen trying to grab Darya’s cousin.”
“You raided Waldhafen and Estara didn’t hunt you down and skin you alive?” Indaturan stared at him. “Void, you were lucky. Even Mitakrian and Shalriya don’t risk her ire.”
“Actually, I wasn’t thinking of that.” Daniel’s eyes were haunted. â€œThat one was rather mild because it was mostly distraction.”
Lydia laid a hand on his arm. “Dan? What was it?”
“Back when I first came here Dad sent me to a border village in the territory he claimed that was being raided to capture the dragons doing it,” he said. “It was…” he shook his head. “I can’t describe it, but it was bad. I don’t think it was any of courts you mentioned though. They were all different colors.”
“I see,” Indaturan asked. “That’s not impossible for one of the mirari but unlikely for anyone likely to raid. One of the minor courts then? Near Elapyron?” He looked at Ystelyan.
Ystelyan gave a disgusted growl and nodded. “Savira-ida grabbed a corner of my territory after that plague. I haven’t had a the resources to dislodge her yet because I needed to watch my other borders but she has ethics – albeit rather twisted ones. Messy raiding isn’t really her style… unless…” He trailed off thoughtfully.
“Unless she was testing Matthias-idan’s defences because he’d grabbed some of her people?” Indaturan asked. “Given her temper she might push them into destroying everything in that situation.”
“Yes, probably,” Ystelyan said. “And since Emms probably killed those of her people Matthias-idan had collared, she’s probably even more angry now.” He sighed heavily. “You’d best warn your father that he’s made another very dangerous enemy there. He seems to make a habit of that.”