“I’m sure they’ll be here soon,” Hannah squeezed Valeria’s shoulder reassuringly as they watched Sarah check the Storm Palace’s wards. Sarah had called her, Jason and Lucas as soon as she’d received Valeria’s imp and they’d jumped in to help. The throne was projecting an image of what was happening outside into te air. Several black dragons were circling the palace and draining the life from the area. Already the grass was blackened and the trees were losing their leaves. If they didn’t stop them soon, the area around the palace might be barren for decades. “You sent your imp to Matthias at the same time, right?”
“Yes.” Valeria sounded uneasy. “But will they be able to get past him if they’re coming in from this world? I doubt they’ll jump to your world and back to here.”
“They will if they can’t relieve us the other way.” Sarah came over to join them. “And The wards are holding well for now. What does the throne say?”
“It’s confident that he won’t be able to break the wards in the foreseeable future.” Valeria said. “Not while we’re in lockdown anyway. But I can feel him testing for weaknesses.” She made a whimpering noise. “It hurts. I think I’m the weak link in this.”
“Hush, Val,” Sarah said. “You’re okay. You’re strong, you can handle this.” She began massaging Valeria’s shoulders. ” The throne doesn’t need you to lock down. You can let it run on its own if it gets too much.”
“It’s stronger with me linked to it, though.” Her eyes crossed. “It’s insisting it’s not that much and that I should break the link and let it handle it.” She shook her head. “Are they designed to care about us?”
“They are,” Elsed said. The Ice Dwarf was sitting nearby looking pensive. “I am sorry, I did not mean to bring such trouble on you. Please allow me to assist your defence.”
“I would be grateful for all the help I can get,” Valeria said.
“Shit!” Andrew couldn’t restrain himself when he saw the state of the land around the Storm palace. He clung tighter to Naria’s neck as she flew towards the palace. “Everything’s dead.”
Dying anyway, she agreed mentally. They’re draining the life from it. Things like this are why people hate us. We have to stop this.
That’s why we’re here. Alaryia said. We need a plan. I think Sonia’s presence will distract Mitakrian, allowing the others to take out his followers. We’ve brought enough to mob them. Matthias and I will need to be her shields so she can concentrate on attack.
Play to my strengths, you mean? Sonia said. That makes sense and it should stop Matt fretting about me during the fight.
I’ll fret plenty, Matthias said. But it’s as good a plan as we’re going to get to break this siege quickly.
Andrew looked over in time to see his mother rise to her feet on Alaryia’s back with Nephele at her side. She looked serenely confident as her aura flared around her.
There was a roar and the largest of the black dragons twisted in the air and fixed his beady black eyes on her before breaking away from the attack on the Storm Palace. He opened his maw clearly intending to spit some sort of attack at her but she reacted first, sending a massive tornado of black wind at him. He screamed as it hit and dragged him downwards. He managed to twist free just before he hit the ground and screaming in rage, he flew for her again.
Okay, I’ve got his attention, Sonia said. The rest of you move out.