Andrew gestured to Kimi to come with him then helped Kyle and Lyrrekka manoeuvre Naria through the portal. She was still struggling and screaming, so he was relieved to see Ystelyan was waiting for them. The dragon embraced Naria as soon as they appeared in his throne room, murmuring softly to her and stroking her hair as she slowly calmed. Finally, she stopped struggling and began sobbing against his chest. Only then did he look up and gesture to goblin girl who was standing to one side.
“You can start healing her now, Mal.” He gently lifted Naria into his arms and carried her to a couch.
“Yes, father.” The goblin knelt by Naria and laid a hand on her forehead. After a moment she recoiled with a hiss. “Void! What hit her? She’s a mess.”
Andrew’s stomach twisted anxiously. “Will she be okay?”
The girl nodded, though her lips were thinned anxiously. “Yes, it’s well within my capabilities to heal her, but I’m amazed she managed to frenzy. This much damage should have knocked her straight into transition.” She took a breath, turned back to Naria and returned to healing her. “She’s bleeding internally and her ribs are shattered. Fortunately nothing pierced her lungs – but still, breathing must be agonising now she’s out of frenzy… She’s strong to have survived it. But I repeat, what hit her?”
“I’m curious as to that myself,” Ystelyan said. “From what I picked up, someone attacked her?”
“Not deliberately,” Lyrrekka said tersely. “Though that doesn’t excuse him.” She muttered a few draconic obsenities before continuing. “It was Andrew’s predecessor, Anthony Williamson. We were trying to keep the various dragons away from him but their paths crossed, he panicked and his powers went out of control and lashed at her.” She described what had happened in detail while Ystelyan’s scowl deepened.
“He’s the one Mitakrian captured at the siege of Caerdu, isn’t he? I can imagine what might have happened to him. That would be enough to unbalance anyone. Perhaps I won’t tear him to pieces for this, then â€“ but something has to be done. He can’t go around lashing out at people.”
“Yes,” Lyrrekka agreed. “And he’s been on the run from his family since they killed his wife because she was a ember.” She shook her head. “And his daughter is sick. I’m going to challenge him when I get back and try and knock some sense to him, or at least force him to concede to me so I can get Lucas put some blocks in.”
“You think that will work?” Ystelyan asked.
“In the former case, quite possibly,” she said. “In the latter case, definitely. I’m a lot stronger than him.”
“Never get overconfident,” Ystelyan said softly. “A strong clever alran can cause us trouble in a fight.”
“Oh, I know,” she said. “I’ll be careful.” She looked down at Naria, whose obvious wounds had started to close under the goblin girl’s care. “How’s she doing?”
“I’ve stopped the internal bleeding and numbed the pain she’s in. I’m dealing with the tears in her skin now and then I’ll deal with the ribs. They are going to be the hard bit.” She paused as Naria whimpered and opened her eyes. “Do you need me to give you more anodyne?”
“N-no, I’m not in pain,” Naria said softly. “I-I I’m sorry. Did I kill anyone?”
Andrew knelt down beside her and took her hand. “No, Nari. Lyrrekka and I contained you until we could get you here. You did start a few fires, but I put them out.” He decided not to mention the damage she’d done to her assailant until she was feeling better. He had a sense it would just distress her.
“Oh good.” She closed her eyes again.
“I’ll go and arrange some people for her to feed on,” Ystelyan said softly. “Kyle, why don’t you take your mother and your friend to your rooms to wait.”
“I’m staying here,” Andrew said. “I’m not leaving Nari.”
“She’ll need to feed a lot. It will be upsetting,” Ystelyan said softly.
“I know,” he said. “But this bond we have means I can hardly avoid it forever, so I may as well face it head on.”
Ystelyan gave him a long look before nodding. “Very well.” A brief frown crossed his face as he turned to Lyrrekka. “How long will Kenna be able to cope on Taloa without you?”
“I wouldn’t want to leave her for more than a few hours,” she said. “May I go and fetch her and Kari? I’d like to stay until Naria is well if I may.”
“Of course,” he said. “Kyle, will go with you to fetch her? You should bring the rest of your court as well. It’s safer than leaving them on Taloa.”
“Good idea,” she said before squeezing Andrew’s shoulder. “We’ll be back in a few minutes.”