March 19th, 2012 | Published in Dragon Wars
Chapter Twenty Four
“But that’s the eyrie!” Karen gasped when she realised where Lyrrekka and Ystelyan were carrying them. “The Heart is under the the eyrie?”
“That makes a lot sense, actually,” Alban said from behind her. “We knew something was hidden there and that a dragon was involved in hiding it.”
It surprised us when we found it as well, Lyrrekka said. In hindsight, I don’t think the Core targeted us because we’d discovered the Heart was alive – or not just because of that.
“You realised a dragon had hidden it?” Karen asked.
“Not exactly,” Sonia said. “We were still investigating. That’s why were keeping quiet. We all had a feeling we shouldn’t talk about it – and that was stupid in retrospect – but we would have realised and it would have raised the obvious questions.”
“Yes,” Karen said. “It would. But what do you think would have happened if you had told everyone what you’d found?”
The Core would have declared this war sooner is what would have happened. Ystelyan confirmed what she’d been thinking from where he was flying beside Lyrrekka. It would have been worse, much worse.
That’s true, Sonia, Lyrrekka said. You know we kept it secret because we all had a sense of foreboding.
“That’s true, but it was only a sense of foreboding,” Sonia said. “Nothing clear. We should have had more than that.”
Maybe you should have, Lyrrekka said. I’ve never been much of a precog. It’s not really a Morgan talent.
“True.” Sonia stared at the mountain they were flying towards. “But I don’t think it was a precog at all. I think the Core did it to keep us quiet while it arranged to dispose of us.”
It’s possible, Rilletta said from where she sat on Ystelyan’s neck. It may be broken but it was trying to avoid this war as well. She smiled over at them. That’s actually a good sign. It means the worst of the new damage is recent. But it looks like we’re nearly there. Hopefully the people there won’t panic.
“Mother explained the situation to Tonara and Rai, but I don’t think they’ll be expecting us to be coming here. I should probably warn them.” Alban said after a long moment. “I’ll send them an imp. Let’s circle for a while; from what I understand, fencing in the Core will take some time.”
Lydia held on to one of Alaryia’s spine ridges as the dragon swept down into an impossibly perfect circle of mountains jutting out of the forested landscape. It wasn’t an area they’d been to before and she looked around for any familiar landmarks.
Is that it? she asked.
Yes, her father replied from behind her. That’s Amari, the geographic centre of the heartlands and beneath it lies the Core. And I think that Laxmi has got here ahead of us. She’s hiding herself quite well but one of the dragons with her is leaking.
Deliberately as well, Alaryia added. I doubt that she ordered them to do that. Halia, do you recognise him?
It’s Kifarin, he’s one of Mitakrian’s alari. Halia had joined them just before they left Caerdu and was flying beside her mother carrying Hannah, Ema, Sarah and Birke. I always got the impression he was none to happy about that but didn’t have anywhere else to go if he severed. Not surprising, he has nothing on his mirian but he’s still not the most pleasant of people. Why is he doing that? There’s no way Mitakrian would help us. He’d more than likely try and stop us given that the current chaos serves his purposes.
And it’s probably not on Laxmi’s orders, though I suppose it might be a trick, Matthias said. But more likely Andrew is trying to help. I hope he doesn’t get caught. They might hurt him if they realise.
And it’s a useful lever. Alaryia added. We don’t want to lose it. We’ll need him to use it when we track them down. For now, let’s try and pinpoint our opponents without it being obvious that we know they are out here. She circled the mountains casually as if looking for a place to land. A normal dragon wouldn’t be able to fly in, the wards won’t allow it. So they’ll be trying to get in on foot. Aha! She banked slightly and twisted her head towards the ground. They’ve found a way into the basin somehow and are waiting for us. I imagine they don’t realise the Core can’t stop me flying in – though it will probably try. Let’s take advantage of that.
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