A/N: The announcement on the start date for the IndieGoGo Campaign for “The Storm Child” Arc will be up tomorrow.
Naria leaned against Andrew while Elarian stood behind her with his hands on her shoulders. Andrew could tell she trusted the other dragon as she relaxed completely. He wished he was as certain, but the idea of a death affinity creeped him out.
“Of course I trust him, silly!” Naria said, sounding exasperated. “I’ve known him since we were both children. He’s killing the bacteria so they can’t produce more venom.”
“It’s alright, Nari,” the other dragon said. “People tend to find death affinity creepy – it’s the being able to kill with a touch.”
Naria made a sound that was equal parts exasperation and amusement.
“But it’s silly! I can kill people with a touch if I want and he’ll be able to as well, once he’s had a bit more practice.”
“Setting people on fire or freezing them doesn’t upset people as much as the thought of dying for no apparent reason or because they rotted away in minutes,” Elarian said.
“It might if I boiled their blood slowly without setting them on fire,” she said.
Andrew gave her a horrified stare. “Nari!”
“And you could freeze them much the same way,” she said.
Andrew’s stomach twisted and bile burnt at his throat. He retched and clapped a hand over his mouth barely managing to avoid throwing up. Naria straightened up poured him a cup of water.
“Sorry, I was just making a point,” she said softly. “It’s not the power that’s creepy. It’s what you do with it.”
“T-that would be horrible,” he said. He sipped the water and breathed deeply until his stomach calmed. “But I do take your point.” He looked up at Elarian. “I’m sorry about that.”
Elarian shook his head and smiled. “It’s fine, Andrew-idan. It’s a common response.”
“No, it’s not fine,” Andrew said. “I let my fears get the better of me and that’s wrong. I’m sorry.”
“Good!” Naria smiled at him and rested her head on his shoulder again.
Andrew smiled back and wrapped his arm around her. “How are you feeling?”
Naria frowned slightly as if considering. “I have a slight headache, which I think comes from the venom. I hope Darlryan-miran can formulate the antidote soon. Being constantly healed is going to be annoying and we need to get back.” She paused and her frown deepened “And I feel hungrier than usual, which is weird and interesting.”
“That is interesting,” Elarian said. “You should get Mal to try and track the source of that. Knowing where the venom is damaging to cause that effect might help reveal why we’re always hungry.”
“Why is it interesting?” Andrew asked.
“Because our hunger is usually a constant,” Naria said. “So this must be the venom attacking the source of our hunger and we’ve never managed to track that down.”
“We might be able to fix it if we can find the source,” Elarian said. “And most of us would want that. It might stop us frenzying and that would be good.”
“No argument here,” Andrew said.
“Your aunt said she was going to look into it,” Naria said. “So we’ll tell her anything we find out when we get back.”
“Good idea!” Elarian said. He removed his hands from her shoulders. “And all the bacteria are dead now so you won’t have to worry about any more venom â€“ just the mild dose you’d already received.” He looked over at Andrew. “Has Mal checked the infection didn’t leak down the bond?”
Andrew nodded. “Yes, I’m clear. It seems it didn’t have chance before we crossed over.”
“Good! I’ll go and get Mal to fix that headache and see if she can track down what’s causing your extra hunger.”
“And once she’s done that, we can try this out!” They turned to find Darlryan standing in the door with a flask in his hand. “It works when I mix it with the venom but I still need a live test.”
[flattr tle=’The Dragon Wars Saga’ url=’http://firebird-fiction.com/dragon-wars’ /]