In Kyle’s experience, even ancient dragons like Ystelyan rarely looked older than middle age in their human forms. But Darlryan was especially young looking. It made sense, given that he’d said in Waldhafen he’d been in transition and couldn’t be long out of maturity. Yet even knowing that, Kyle’s mind still rebelled at the fact that Darlryan looked around his own age and was dressed in very human jeans and t-shirt, rather than the robes most of his peers favoured.
“Kyle-alran, you’re staring,” Ystelyan told him quietly. Kyle flushed and looked away making Darlryan chuckle.
“Sorry,” he said.
“It’s alright,” Darlryan said. “I think I caught him by surprise.” He inclined his head to Ystelyan and gave the formal promise of peaceable intent in the draconic language before bowing to Rilletta. “Lady Rilletta, it is a pleasure to see you again after so long.”
“Darlryan-mirian.” She inclined her head in reply. “Thank you for coming.”
He smiled again then, much to Kyle’s surprise, greeted the rest of them by name â€“ even Talira’s family â€“ before finally turning to Andrew.
“Andrew-idan, are you fully recovered from your ordeal? Kitarian asked that I give you his greetings. My son likes you, it seems.”
“I’m okay,” Andrew replied. “But I’m worried about Nari. She thinks she might have been infected when she attacked Anthony during her frenzy.”
Darlryan hissed at that. “Yes, that could happen from what Ystelyan told me. We’d better hurry then. At least, I think we’ve done with the formalities.”
“Yes, I think we have,” Ystelyan said. “Have you brought the antidote?”
“Of course I have.” Darlryan unslung a large leather case from his shoulder and opened it, then pulled out a set of crystal vials filled with varying shades of green liquid. “Can I see the venom sample so I can see which of these is closest?”
Ystelyan nodded and handed him the bottle.
“Thank you.” Dalryan retrieved another vial from his case and tipped a few drops of the venom into it. “Let’s see, you said it was a neurotoxin and it feels similar to her other one… Let’s try this one first.” He selected one of the antidote vials and let a drop of it into the sample. It shimmered and the venom cleared for a moment before slowly becoming opaque again, though paler than before. Dalryan twitched one eyebrow and smirked. “Ah, Xantaria, you are so predictably lazy. Why start from scratch when you can use something you’ve already made as a base? Never mind that it makes life easier for anyone who has an antidote to the original venom.”
“She based it on something else?” Ystelyan asked and Darlryan nodded.
“Yes, Xantaria has a venom that she uses on enemies she feels are actually a threat to her. A neurotoxin that destroys their ability to channel their power effectively, turning them into embers. She appears to have tweaked it to change where it attacks for this one. I’ll just need to similarly alter the antidote.” He scowled as a thought occurred to him. “Have you taught Kyle-alran venom recognition? I’m willing to bet she’ll bring the other to bear as well if she gets her way about this war.”
“Only the basics,” Ystelyan said. “Venoms and antidotes aren’t really my strong point.”
“Mine neither,” Lyrrekka said.
“Ah, well. I’ll give him and Andrew a crash course in recognising the ones they’d be likely to see once I’ve done this,” Darlryan said. “That way they can send for the antidote. I’d better send Alaryia-miria the information as well. She’s got the infrastructure to mass produce antidotes.” He paused as Malisia finally came over to examine Naria. “Is she infected?”
There was a long pause as Malisia continued examining Naria before she nodded. “She is. The infection can’t pass to another person here, but it’s managing to hold on inside her body and she’ll be infectious if she goes back to Taloa untreated. I can keep the damage in check and someone with a death affinity would be best to treat her, but it’s all a stop-gap until you make the antidote.”
“I’d better get to work on that, then,” he said. “Is there a room where I can work?”
“Of course,” Ystelyan said. “I’ll have someone escort you there.”
[flattr tle=’The Dragon Wars Saga’ url=’http://firebird-fiction.com/dragon-wars’ /]