Salia kicked her feet idly as they prepared to move again and watched Sonia and Lyrrekka packing. Well, Lyrrekka was doing most of the packing. Sonia was sitting on the bed, looking tired and explaining the situation with Andrew to Kadoran. The new dragon seemed like he was another of the okay ones, which was still a strange thought.
“Mummy wouldn’t have brought him here if he weren’t,” Karilya whispered. “And Estara would tolerate a mean person either.”
“I know, it’s just-” she broke off at a surprised exclamation from Kadoran.
“Likadrian? Really? I thought he was dead. Mother said they killed him.” He shook his head. “They must have done what the stories said â€“ which is pretty stupid. There’s no such thing as an impregnable prison.”
“Your mother knew him?” Sonia asked.
“She did,” he said. “She was part of Keylaria’s court and he was allied with Keylaria right up until it became obvious just how far he was-” The next couple of words were in draconic rather than the Haltia tongue he’d been using.
“He was what?” Sonia asked.
“The literal translation is void diving,” Lyrrekka said. “It means much the same as going off the deep end.”
“Ah,” Sonia said. “And Keylaria is?”
“Was,” he said. “Unless the rumours there are true as well. Keylaria was the red miria before Gerian. She was the one who led the opposition against him last time and when it was over the others turned on her. They said she couldn’t be trusted because she’d been his ally.”
“Well, that and the fact she was against imprisoning the lost ones,â€ Lyrrekka said. â€œShe wanted to try and cure them.” Kadoran gave her a quizzical look. “Alsia-ida spoke about her a lot. She said she never turned on her.”
“No,” he agreed. “She didn’t. Nor did Darlryan-mirian, apparently.”
“Now there’s a name that can make Alsia spit acid,” Lyrrekka said. “But we were talking about Likadrian.”
“Yes,” he said. “My mother said he was heavy handed and impatient when Keylaria tried to restrain him after his experiments in â€“ ah â€“ upgrading those with no affinity at all showed signs of going badly wrong.”
“Wrong how?” Sonia asked.
“Er… I’m not sure how to put it in this language. Nothing as bad as what happened later, but still disturbing.â€ He frowned for a moment, then shot a sentence in draconic at Lyrrekka.
She cocked her head as if considering what he’d said. “From what he just said, a psychiatrist would call them schizophrenic symptoms,” she said after a moment. “I can see how that would happen as well. Alsia told me embers can be empowered quite easily but that it’s dangerous with nulls.”
“Well, considering the state Catherine is in, it doesn’t seem especially safe for embers, either,” Sonia said.
“Who’s Catherine?” Kadoran asked.
“She’s an ember; his sister via the family who raised him in through transition,” Lyrrekka explained. “He seems to have tried to raise her to astral levels and botched it. Sarah is trying to fix her up.”
“What? How did he manage that?” Kadoran said. “Unless… oh dear, that might do it. Do you think Sarah-alra would let me take a look at her. I might be able to help.”
“If you can, I think she’d be grateful,” Sonia said. “She’s stopped the problem worsening but she’s worried about how the actually get rid of it without damaging Catherine. She, Colette and Agrona are with her now.”
Sonia led them all down a hallway to another room and tapped quietly on the door. Sarah opened it and raised an eyebrow when she saw them all standing there.
“Kadoran thinks he may be able to help with Catherine’s problem, Sal,” Sonia said.
“It depends on how he managed to botch something so simple,” Kadoran said. “I can think of only one thing that might do it.”
Sarah stared at him for a long moment before she opened the door fully. “Please do come and look, then. I’ve gotten the growth under control with Collette’s help, but I can tell it’ll start growing again if we don’t do something more radical.”
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