Lydia closed her eyes and reached for her father and siblings. Even at a distance their minds flowed into each other easily, enabling them to form a mental net around their target. Once the fusion was complete, they turned their attention on the dragons.
Land and sleep!
There were several surprised bellows and all but one of the dragons began curving down towards the ground, though several were struggling not to. They flapped, rising a little before dropping down further as they fought the command.
Land and sleep! They repeated the order more forcefully and soon there were several sleeping dragons â€“ all but one, who was still unaffected. That one had turned in the air and was flying straight at Matthias.
I think he’s recognised me, Matthias said. We’ll hit him one more time but I think this one is too strong for us and we’ll have to fight him.
Which makes him pretty strong, Naria said. You rattled my teeth with that command and it wasn’t even aimed at me.
But he’s not an idan, Halia added. Together you should be able to subdue him easily in a fight.
So let’s try it again anyway, Matthias said. They did, but the dragon barely even stuttered in the air. Right then, everyone jump to me. Let’s finish this quickly. We need to get back to Sonia and see off Mitakrian.
Try and take this one alive if you can, Naria said suddenly. There’s something off about him. He feels really new, new enough to still be raw, and yet he was leading this flight. Yes, he’s strong but you don’t put a new dragon in charge of anything until they’ve adapted. Too prone to frenzy.
Mitakrian wouldn’t care about him frenzying, Halia said. But she’s right â€“ he does feel really raw. Be careful: he’ll explode at a scratch.
He would care about the disruption to his attack plan, Naria said. Having a flight leader frenzy is really bad for discipline and he likes discipline.
That’s true, Halia conceded. It is a little odd. And he’s also almost on top of you, Matthias-idan, so less talk and more fight might be a good idea.
Indeed. Hurry and join me. Matthias broke the link between them before Lydia could point out that she didn’t know how to teleport.
But I do. Halia responded to the thought. Give me your hand. Karen can gate at least and Naria is bringing Andrew. I’ll drop us right on top of the dragon and keep us in the air. Be ready to attack and aim for the back of the skull where the bottom point of the triangular plate is. If you do it right you should knock him out.
Okay. Lydia took her hand and Halia teleported them to a point directly above the dragon. He was already bleeding where her father’s attack had hit him and was screaming and thrashing about.
Hurry! Halia said. He’s right on the edge of frenzy. He has a lot of willpower or he already would have. She sounded sad. He’s trying so hard not to.
Lydia pulled together all her strength and aimed at the point Halia had described. A blast of fire shot from her hands and struck him squarely where Halia had described. The dragon gave another scream and crashed to the ground.
Thank you, ida, the dragon whispered in her head. He twitched a couple of times, shrank down into human form and lay still.
Halia floated them down to the ground beside him and checked his pulse. He’s still alive.
Will he frenzy when he wakes up? Matthias asked.
Not if we heal him and feed him before he wakes up, Halia said. Should I?
Please, he said. I’d rather not have to kill anyone when they’re defenceless.
As you wish. She knelt beside the unconscious dragon. You’d better go and help drive off Mitakrian.