Mitakrian did try and follow Sonia and Kyle but Ystelyan must have put up a barrier. The black dragon disappeared, then reappeared looking furious and lunged wildly at Ystelyan, a strange mixed storm of thorns and ice shards flying before him.
Daniel didn’t even wait to see if Ystelyan – who was looking much the worse for wear – could get his own shield up before he leapt in front of him and threw up his own. It blocked most of the attack but a few thorns and razor sharp ice blades made it through, scratching his skin. They weren’t deep or long but they itched and burned like cat scratches and when he looked down, they were swelling a bit like that as well.
Â Thank you, Ystelyan said in his head. He sounded tired. I don’t think I could have stopped that in time. But be careful, he’s using venom.
I noticed. Daniel reinforced his shield and looked around for their opponent. He quickly spotted him fighting hand to hand with Lyrrekka and Rilletta. It didn’t look like he’d be throwing any more attacks their way in the next few moments but he continued strengthening his shield none the less.
“Perhaps you should retreat,” Karen said. Daniel turned and stared at her, then realised she was talking to Ystelyan â€“ who was swaying on his feet. “You need to get the antidote to that.”
“No, I can’t leave you to face him alone. Let’s drive him off first. I’ve a bit of time – I’m pretty tough.”
“I’m sure you are, but you can’t fight when you can barely stand,” she said.
“She’s right, Yst,” Rilletta said. “I think you got a heavier dose than you realise. I’m beginning to catch the edges of it.”
“Maybe, but I still can’t leave them, Rill, and if we all run now he’ll follow us. I’ve contained the venom near the wounds. Not enough leaked into my system to kill me.”
“I’m sure it didn’t, but it could still cripple you and you know it,” she said.
“And Mitakrian’s venom is unusually toxic. It’s probably wisest to assume you did get a dangerous dose.”
Daniel spun around in surprise. Alaryia had appeared behind Ystelyan, holding a glowing silver sword and looking ready to use it. The angry hissing noise from behind him suggested Mitakrian had noticed her arrival as well. Alaryia ignored them and kept her attention on Ystelyan.
“Halia’s brought back some of the antidote to Caerdu, leave Mitakrian to me and the others and you to get back there yourself.” She turned and gave Daniel’s scratches a critical look. “You as well. You should be fine with such minor injuries but why take the ris-” She paused at another howl from Mitakrian. Daniel looked around and saw that Lyrrekka had skewered him in the leg while he was distracted. Alaryia snorted softly. “I really hope she’s using her own venom. He deserves it.”
“I know I was,â€ Ystelyan said. â€œBut you know how Mitakrian is. I cut him several times but I doubt my venom made it past his defences.”
“No but it will have weakened them, so perhaps hers can,” Alaryia said. “Or perhaps mine.” She cocked her head at them. “Go back to Caerdu and get the antidote before you fall over.”
Ystelyan looked like he might argue some more but swayed on his feet again and had to grab onto her shoulders to retain his balance. “Very well. I leave this in your hands, Alaryia-miria.” He turned slowly and somewhat unsteadily to Rilletta. “Rill, will you do the honours? I don’t think I should.”
“Of course.” Rilletta wrapped one arm around him and held out a hand to Daniel. “Come on, Alaryia’s right. You should get the antidote. I don’t like the swelling around those scratches.”
Karen waited until they’d gone to turn to Alaryia. “Is mum okay?” she asked urgently.
Alaryia smiled and nodded. “She will be. Sarah-alra was treating her and I asked Halia to help once she got back.” She turned her attention back to the fight and made a low whistling sound. “She’s fast. I don’t think he’s managed to even scratch her yet, but she can’t keep dodging like this. He’ll be too quick for her eventually. I’d better go help.” She raised her sword and charged across the bridge.