July 15th, 2013 | Published in Dragon Wars
Lydia woke from a fitful sleep early the next morning. She sat on the edge of her bed and rubbed the bridge of her nose. They’d discussed the problem until late but had failed to come up with a plan.
“Lydia, what’s wrong?” Bennu flew from his perch atop the dark oak wardrobe at the end of the bed and landed on her shoulder.
“I’m worried about this meeting. I think we were wrong to invite those Lavernes who aren’t allied to us.”
“Ah,” he said. “Yes, inviting someone who wants to kill you does seem unwise.”
“Dad says there are rules against attacking at one of these meetings, but now we’re not sure if Adrian will keep them.” She gave a sigh and rose to her feet, careful not to dislodge her heart friend. “If only there was some way to force him to reveal that he is what he claims to hate and that he’s working for one of the world’s enemies.”
Bennu clacked his beak in a way she recognised as him thinking. “You know the former might be possible, but we’d need his heart friend to do it.”
“Really?” She lifted one hand to steady him as she left her room and headed for the stairs.
“Well we can prove he’s a warrior at least. Proving he’s working for an enemy will be harder since we don’t know who he’s working for or why.”
Lydia thought about this as she went downstairs. Finally she sighed and shook her head. “I don’t think we have time. And I don’t imagine finding his Heart Friend will be easy either.”
“Adrian Laverne’s?” Lyrrekka asked from behind her. Lydia gave a startled yell and jumped, making Bennu take wing from her shoulder.
“Damn!” She said when her heart calmed. “Don’t sneak up on me like that.”
“Sorry,” Lyrrekka said. “I didn’t realise you hadn’t noticed me. But you were talking about finding Adrian’s heart friend, right?”
“We were,” Lydia said. “Bennu think we could use them to force Adrian to reveal himself.”
“It’s possible if they’re not on good terms,” Lyrrekka said. “Because we’d have to get them on our side. I’m fairly sure we could find them but it’s uncommon for heart friends to be on bad terms.” She narrowed her eyes thoughtfully. “Still, finding his heart friend isn’t a bad idea. They’d give us some leverage over Adrian even if they won’t help us. I’m about to go to visit Estara with Tara because we need to collect Marian before we leave for the meeting. I’ll mention it to her, though I imagine she, Alaryia and Ystelyan are already looking.”
“Is that why you’re up so early?” Lydia asked.
“Yes, I need to take my entire court as well. They need to feed and Estara doesn’t mind me imposing, thank goodness. I’m just waiting for Tara and then we’ll leave.”
“I see.” Lydia frowned thoughtfully. “Can I come as well?”
“I don’t see why not,” Lyrrekka said. “But you’d better tell your parents first. They might worry. I think they’re awake – at least they weren’t in their room when I checked. Let’s go find them.”