Karen rushed over to Lydia’s side, with her parents only seconds behind. â€œHow is she?â€
“I’m fine, Kaz.” Lydia was sitting up and had been talking quietly to Sarah just before they arrived. “Not even a trace of a headache, but I don’t remember what happened. Sarah says I banged my head in the fight but I only just remember jumping in.”
“It’s quite common for the minutes before a head injury to be a blank,” Sarah said. “They don’t have time to become permanent before the trauma.”
“Do you feel up to calling your mentor, Lyd?â€ Matthias said. â€œWe need to know how they undid what he did last time.”
Lydia narrowed her eyes at the sight of the egg in Estara’s arms and the unconscious troll lying between Alaryia and Takilyan. “You won but not before he did what he was trying to do?” she asked. Her father nodded and she pursed her lips. “I’ll try.”
“You should try asking Kitarian as well,” Sarah said. “His father might know as well.”
“That’s a good idea. Where is he?”
“With Andrew. Andrew was still tired so they went back to your rooms after they’d finished eating,” Sarah said.
“Okay,” Matthias said. “I’ll go talk to him.” He turned to Saeaera as she hurried over to them. “Could you secure our prisoner please?”
“Just the troll, or do you want us to secure her as well?” She nodded towards the frightened-looking Laxmi lurking behind Ystelyan.
“Just Huldre,” he said. “I don’t think Laxmi is going to try and escape.”
“Very well.” She jerked her head at two of the centaurs, who dragged the troll away. “We’ll have to keep Arava’s parents away from him. They might well decide to take advantage of his incapacity to gain revenge.” Her eyes narrowed. “And I couldn’t really blame them.”
“No,” Matthias agreed. “I couldn’t either.” He turned back to Laxmi. “Come with me, Laxmi. There’s someone who wants to talk to you.”
Andrew was dozing when he heard Kitarian leap to his feet. He opened his eyes in time to see his parents enter with Laxmi in tow. Kitarian rushed over to her and took her hands.
“Lanaria! Are they treating you well?” His voice had that echoing quality that indicated his father was using him as a conduit again.
“I…” She stared at him. “Yes, I suppose. They haven’t hurt me and they don’t seem inclined to kill me or send me back to that place.”
“No one’s sending you back,” Kitarian said. He took her hands in his. “Come and work for me, Lan. I’ll look after you. I know how, you know that right?”
She looked at him for a long moment, then turned to look at Matthias. “His father and I are old friends. May I go to him?”
“You may if you both swear no harm will come to Earth because of it,” he said. “But more importantly, do you know how to undo what Jayden did?”
“No.” He expressed no surprise at the question. “I suspect Fellaria-ida may, but I wasn’t part of that group. I will say it feels different from last time. He’s made some changes.” He put an arm around Laxmi’s shoulders. “Do you know what he changed, Lan?”
She shook her head. “He never told me, but he was trying to avoid what happened last time and I’m sure that’s impossible.”
“I think you’re right,” he said. “We’ll just have to hope that Fellaria knows and that whatever changes he made don’t stop the same method from working. Did he get away?”
“He went into â€“ what do you call it? Transition,” Matthias said. “Estara has his egg. We need to decide what to do about that.”
“Hmm… he formed his egg right there? That’s interesting. May I join your discussions on this matter?”
“Any input would be useful,” Matthias said. “Shall we go back down?”