Daniel clung to Kelaria’s neck as they flew back towards where Sonia was fighting with Mitakrian.
Do we have a plan?
Sort of, Matthias replied. As soon as we’re in range, we hit him with everything.
Yes, but try not to kill him, Kelaria said. He hasn’t got a contingency in place and the one thing worse than having him holding the black mirite would be having no one in the position.
Uh? Matthias said. Why?
There’s no one with authority over his court in his absence, Halia said. A draconic court without a head is highly unstable. Even more than his own malice, the fact he leaves his court to rage out of control when he hibernates or transitions is why they have such a terrible reputation.
Oh! Daniel said. That’s why your mother and her allies have never removed him or Shalriya – they can’t.
Not safely, no, she said. The only safe way to remove one of the miriri is to challenge them and win and that requires sharing their colour.
And of course there’s his heart friend to consider, Kelaria said. She’s a lovely person and doesn’t deserve to die.
Interesting, Matthias said. It does explain a lot. So we hit him hard but aim to drive him off, not kill him?
Yes, Halia said. Though capturing him would be better it’s likely not going to happen â€“ and you’d be hard pressed to kill him anyway. His defences are very strong.
Okay then. Let’s do this.
Mitakrian was bleeding heavily, Lydia realised as she turned her attention to the fight. Her mother in the meantime still looked completely unruffled as she stood on Alaryia’s back.
Cheating! he screamed mentally. You’re cheating! Stop hiding behind Alaryia’s shields and come out here to fight me fairly!
“I’m cheating?” The winds Sonia was summoning around her carried her quiet words far beyond where they should have faded. â€œWhen have you ever fought fair?” On my mark, she continued mentally, we’ll hit him all at once.
Apparently we mustn’t kill him, Matthias said.
I know, she said. Alaryia told me. It explains a lot. She whipped the winds around her into a storm and sent it crashing towards him. Now!
At her word they all sent their attacks crashing into Mitakrian as well. The dragon was slammed out of the sky and into the hard ground. He screamed and transformed back into human form, looking around frantically as he regained his feet. He was apparently only just realising that both his original force and his reserve had been defeated and he was fighting alone.
Spotting the unconscious dragon tied up in Halia’s claws, he swore violently, and for a moment Lydia thought he would attack her. Instead, he vanished.
We won! Karen said.
It looks like it, Matthias agreed. But let’s assume it’s a trick until we have proof that he really has gone.
He’s gone, Alaryia said. I tracked his jump and he headed back to his territory.
Good, Matthias said. We should get inside and check everyone is okay.