Sonia responded before Karen could and a shield of wind – like black tinted smoke – surrounded them, sweeping the ice shards away. Karen blinked and frowned. Hadn’t Ystelyan said he had a life affinity? The fact that what appeared to be a whip of thorny vines was growing from his wrist certainly suggested he did, but then why was he throwing ice around?
Worry about that later, Kaz! Her mother snapped in her head as she swept aside a second blast. We’ve more important things to worry about right now.
Mitakrian scowled at Sonia but didn’t have time to launch a third attack before Rilletta and Ystelyan both took advantage of his distraction to attack him. It was a good job as well, Karen decided, because Sonia’s shield collapsed almost as soon as the second attack died. She gave a pitiful groan and collapsed in Karen’s arms. A quick scan confirmed Karen’s fears: the amount of power she’d used to block the attack had torn the wounds in her nearly healed essence open again. Not as badly as it had been, but enough to hurt.
Mitakrian, in the meantime, had managed to dance out of the way of Ystelyan and Rilletta’s attacks. To Karen’s eyes, it seemed Ystelyan was moving more slowly than he had been earlier. She chewed on her lip and wondered if Mitakrian was using his venom.
He certainly seemed unsurprised and moved to press home his attack, but he didn’t notice Lyrrekka until she raced in and slashed at him with a fiery blade. As he tried to dodge, her strike followed him down and sliced deeply into his ribcage. He howled in pain and by the time he recovered enough to swing at her with the thorrny whip, she’d backed away.
“Are you sure experience trumps numbers?” she asked mockingly before sending a storm of fireballs flying at him. You should be able to teleport now, she told them telepathically while he was distracted. Kyle, get Sonia to Caerdu. Sarah will be able to fix her up quickly and once his target’s beyond his reach he’ll be more likely to flee. Especially since it’ll free up Daniel, Karen and Alban to the fight.
Kyle nodded and raced across to Sonia. Give me your hand, ma’am.
Sonia gave him a pained smile and did so.
Take Mela as well, Daniel said.
Of course, Kyle nodded and gestured to her and Darya to join him. Darya took Mela’s hand in one hand and Kyle’s in the other. Kyle smiled over at Karen. Make sure you don’t get killed, Kaz, he said and the four of them disappeared in a fountain of water.
Karen and Daniel sighed in relief then turned their attention back to the fight.
Alban, give us some covering fire. We need to stop him jumping after them. The two of them raced to join their allies.
Kyle leapt to directly outside Caerdu’s wards and threw a desperate thought into the city. There was a good chance that Mitakrian would decide to come after them and he wanted to be inside before that happened.
“Can you walk, ma’am?” he asked. “We’re not far from the city gate if you can. I’d rather not be out here any longer than needed.”
“My name’s Sonia, you are allowed to use it you know.” She gave him a pained smile. “And I think so, if you help me anyway. But I’m not sure how fast.”
“Of course.” He looped an arm around her waist and let her lean against him as they made their way slowly towards the gate. He took a quick glance back to make sure Darya and Mela were following, then looked at Sonia. She was biting her lip and looked pale. “Are you okay?”
“I-I’ll survive,” she said. “I did before, but I’d already forgotten how badly this hurts.”
“We’re nearly there.” He gave her an encouraging smile even as he flung his mind at the wards, begging for admission again. This time they responded, expanding in a bubble to engulf the four of them. “Okay, we can jump now.” An image of Dariad’s throne room was pushed at him so he took it as an invitation and jumped there.
“Sonia!” Sarah raced down from where she’d been standing talking to Dariad. “What happened?”
“There was a fight,” Sonia said. “I think I reopened my wounds.”
“Yes, I can see that,” Sarah said. “We’ll soon get the fixed again, but who were you fighting with?”
“Mitakrian.” Kyle pushed a mental run down of the events to her.
Sarah’s scowl gradually transformed into a speculative moue. “Interesting. We’ll have to talk more about this once Sonia is well. I just hope the others all get out of there okay.”