June 29th, 2012 | Published in Dragon Wars
Karen stared at the dark-haired dragon in surprise, then turned to look at Tarian. He looked unphased; so this was what he’d suspected.
“If I’m…” Sonia trailed off. “Yes,” she said finally. “I suppose that I am planning to challenge him, but I need to get well first. Yesterday proved that – and I don’t know how…” she trailed off again.
“You don’t know how to challenge him?” The dragon finished for her. “I can teach you the formalities. So will you have me?”
Sonia gave the dragon a piercing look and turned questioningly to Lyrrekka and Kenna.
“I wouldn’t have brought him if Kenna hadn’t vouched for him being truthful,” Lyrrekka said. “And Estara-miria speaks highly of him as well.”
“I see.” Sonia stared at the beams of the stable roof for several moments, tapping her tongue against her teeth the way she always did when she was considering something. Finally she nodded. “Very well, I’ll accept you.”
“Thank you.” He gave her a hesitant look. “You don’t speak our language yet, do you?” He waited until she shook her head then shrugged. “No matter – I’ll teach you when we have time. You don’t actually need to understand what I’m about to say. Though first…” He looked over at Nerrezza. “Is it all right for me to do this, my lady?”
“You know it is,” Nerrezza replied. “Estara thanks you for your service these past several years.”
“Thank you.” He took Sonia’s hand and held it to his forehead then said something formal sounding in draconic. Karen was pretty sure it was the same formula Tarian had used with Lyrrekka – which made sense, of course. His shimmering blue aura flared up around them both for moment and when it died down, Sonia was staring at the dragon open-mouthed.
“That kid bound himself to Matt this way and he didn’t notice?” She thwapped her forehead with the heel of her hand. “He’s so obtuse sometimes.”
“The Dragon Lord can already feel us, my ida,” the dragon said. “It’s probably not as noticeable for him.”
“No, I’m pretty sure Sonia’s right, Kadoran-alran,” Lyrrekka said. “Matt was being obtuse.”
“Eh.” Sonia flushed suddenly. “Your name’s Kadoran? I should have asked. I didn’t mean to be so rude.”
“Don’t worry about it, my ida. I know I caught you by surprise.”
Sonia gave him a half-smile. “That’s no excuse. And you can get up, you know.”
“Thank you.” He rose to his feet. “I understand that our first job is getting your son back.”
“Yes.” Sonia looked like she might say more but was interrupted by an exclamation from Sarah. “What’s wrong, Sal?”
“I just had a thought. How the hell are we going to feed all these dragons?”
“She’s got a point, Lyr.” Tarian said. “You’ve been feeding me and Kari, but handling two more will stretch your reserves. And there’s no way Sonia-ida can feed Kadoran-alran until she’s well. And when did you last feed, anyway?”
“This morning while I was visiting with Estara,” Lyrrekka said. “It was one of the reasons I decided to go in person. Still, it is the notable problem with staying on Taloa. It keeps us away from Shalriya and Mitakrian until we’re ready but the logistics are going to be an issue.”
“We’ll sort something out,” Sonia said confidently.
“We’ll have to,” Sarah said. “How did Matt manage it? I mean leaving aside the fact he wasn’t feeding them enough, he did have quite a few bound with those collars.”
“Ah, well…” Sonia said. “You’ll have to ask him.” She turned around as Matthias teleported in behind her. “I have a dragon.”
“So I see.” He looked amused. “And what will Sal have to ask me?”
“How you managed to feed those dragons you captured,” Sonia said.
“Badly, apparently,” he said. “Mostly I fed them myself. Occasionally I let them feed on one of the ring leaders from Elapyron but I didn’t like doing that.” He looked around at the dragons. “Hmm… You know, we can probably support all of these if we all chip in.” He nodded at Sarah’s expression. “Still not a comfortable thought, I know. We’ll sort it out later. We need to be ready to jump to the Morgan house after lunch, which gives us time to have Nerrezza look at Marian.”