“Are you ready?” Darlryan asked.
Naria nodded. “Yes.”
“Are you sure it’s safe for her to take?” Ystelyan asked. Andrew was sure the dragon hadn’t been even been in the room just a moment ago, but somehow now he was sitting on his throne.
“I’m sure it’s safe,” he said. “I tested that on myself. What I’m not-” He paused and smiled at Naria who was staring at him. “What?”
“You tested it on yourself?” she asked incredulously.
“Of course. I always test the toxicity of new antidotes on myself. I’m not giving them to anyone else until I’m sure they’re harmless.”
Naria shook her head. “That’s crazy,” she said.
“Have you ever poisoned yourself?” Andrew asked curiously.
Darlryan chuckled and shook his head. “No, I don’t test them until I’m as sure as I can be that they are safe.” He held out the flask to Naria. “It’s safe for you to take, Naria-alra, but we won’t know until you do if it’s effective.”
“Thank you.” Naria took the flask and sniffed at the contents. “Oh! It smells good.”
“I do try to make them palatable.”
Naria smiled and took a sip from the flask. A moment later her eyes flew wide. “That’s more than palatable, Darlryan-mirian.” She took another sip. “And I think it’s working. My head feels warm.”
“It sounds like it is.” He turned to Malisia, who was sitting by one of the scrying pools. She was stirring the water idly with one hand though she didn’t seem to be watching the images flickering within it. “Would you check her please, Lady Malisia?”
Malisia looked at him wide-eyed and climbed to her feet. “Just Malisia is fine, Darlryan-mirian. There’s no need to be so formal.”
“Oh, there most certainly is,” he said. “Your skill merits it.”
Malisia flushed and looked down at the floor. “I’m not that good.” She swallowed visibly and laid her hands on Naria’s head.
“He’s right, Mal,” Ystelyan said. “We’ve talked about this before. You need to stop denigrating yourself when people treat you with the respect you deserve. You’re the best healer I’ve got.”
“I know, father,” she said. “Mother says so too. But I just want people to treat me normally.” She turned her attention back to Naria. There was a long moment while she concentrated before she smiled. “It’s working! The venom is virtually gone already.” She reached down and hugged Naria. “You’re going to be okay, Nari.”
“Of course I am,” Naria said. “How could I not be with so many people helping?”
“You should rest a while,” Darlryan said. “Let the antidote do its work before you go back to Earth. I assume you’re going back to Earth anyway?”
“Yes.” Naria’s lips twitched. “But if we didn’t already know about your access to Taloa we would now.” She grinned at his baffled look. “You called it Earth, Darlryan-mirian.”
“Oh.” He chuckled. “Yes, I did, didn’t I? I’ll have to be more careful. Ah well, you did know already so no harm done. May I ask how you intend to avoid frenzying again?”
Naria shot a questioning look at Ystelyan and only answered after he nodded.
“Ystelyan-mirian is lending my services to Andrew-idan.”
“Ah!” he said. “That’s an unconventional solution to an unconventional problem. I like it.”
“We should do that now,” Ystelyan said. “And then you can take the antidote to Sarah-ida and Anthony-idan.” He cocked his head at her. “Make sure that he knows a dragon made it for him.”
A/N: Reminder: The Storm Child IndieGoGo Campaign will commence Tuesday 12th 2013 in the evening UK time. Check out the announcement here.