The Dragon Wars Saga: The Storm Child Chapter Ten Part Six

October 15th, 2010  |  Published in Dragon Wars  |  2 Comments

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Chapter Ten

Part Six

Only Valeria and Alban were in the throne room with Dariad when the portal opened. It was only two hours after Dariad had sent the imp to Xania, so she must have opened the portal almost as soon as the imp arrived which wasn’t a good sign. Nor was the fact that she’d opened a portal at all instead of just teleporting. Valeria glanced over at Dariad and saw he looked worried as well. He reached out and pressed one of the carvings on his throne.

“Hreid,” he said softly. “Go and fetch Brita.”

A moment later, Xania staggered through the portal carrying Lorelei. The spatial nymph was bleeding from a nasty gash on her forehead and had obviously been fighting. The unconscious mermaid was in an even worse state. Her pale skin was a patten of black bruises and livid red burns  and she was bleeding from several wounds. It looked as if someone had been slicing her in sensitive but non-essential places with a knife. Alban ran over and grabbed Lorelei from Xania’s arms before Valeria could react.

Xania gave him a grateful smile and then looked at Dariad. “Your majesty, I have a dozen other people I need to evacuate. May I?”

“Of course,” he said as Hreid entered with Brita. The oread took one look at the state Lorelei was in and sent for the healers.

“What happened?” Valeria asked as the remains of Xania’s troops filed in. They were all pale and battleworn, with dented blood streaked armor. One of the dryads pulled off her helmet and ran over to Alban to attend to Lorelei.

“Your bloody brother happened. Sirin somehow broke your wards and released him and…” Xania broke off with a frown. “They had far more help than I would have expected and I kept feeling this urge to help them.” She shook her head. “It wasn’t natural.”

“That sounds like what they tried to do here,” Valeria noted.

“Indeed,” Dariad agreed. “And that makes me think that Matthias isn’t the one tricking your brother into thinking I’m on his side, no matter what his son thinks.”

“No, I suspect there’s a far simpler explanation for that,” Valeria agreed. “The conspirators here were probably behind it.” She paused as the healers entered and began assessing the injured. One of them, a strange vagely human shaped creature of twisting roots, went over to the exhausted dryad attending Lorelei and took over. Valeria blinked at him bemusedly. It wasn’t often she saw a species of Speaker which she didn’t recognise.

“I’ll need to commandeer one of the largest bathing chambers for this mermaid, your majesty,” he said. “She needs to be immersed urgently.”

“Of course. See to it, Brita.”

“Of course, your majesty.” She ushered the healer and Alban – who was still holding Lorelei – from the room.

“Hmmm…” Dariad looked around at the scene with a wry expression. “My throne room seems to have become a temporary triage centre. Let’s adjourn to my study, so we can take Xania’s report in private.”

Valeria looked at him for a moment and then nodded. “That’s a good idea. I think we should call the warriors in as well.”

***

When Lydia and her siblings arrived at Dariad’s study, a young woman was kneeling in front of Valeria. The air around her was rippling and twisting in a disturbing manner, and Lydia looked away as her stomach started to churn.

“I’m sorry, my queen. I intended no betrayal by keeping King Dariad informed. I feared for your safety and you weren’t listening to me.”

“I know. I understand.” Valeria laid a hand on the woman’s hair and cast an eye at the disturbances surrounding her. “But you need to pull yourself together, Xania. Look what you’re doing.”

Xania looked around and winced when she saw the distortions. “Sorry.” She closed her eyes, visibly concentrated and the disturbances calmed. Then she looked up at Karen and smiled. “Karen!”

Karen pushed past Lydia with a murmered apology and ran over to her. “Xania! It’s nice to see you again! But…” She brushed the contusion on Xania’s forehead with one finger. “Are you okay? What happened?”

“That’s what Xania is about to tell us,” Valeria said. “We’ve just been waiting for you.”

“We should wait for Alban to arrive as well. He’s still helping attend to Lorelei,” Dariad said.

“Can you introduce us to your friend while we’re waiting, Kaz?” Andrew asked.

“Oh, yes!” Karen nodded. “This is Xania, she’s one of Valeria’s captains and a good friend of Alban’s. She’s a spatial nymph. I’m pretty sure Valeria never sent her after us because she’s still pro-human.”

“Something like that,” Valeria admitted blandly.

“A what?” Andrew asked.

“Well she’s a nymph, which is the same species as Brita, but with a spatial affinty rather than an earth one. She can twist space, teleport and similar.”

“Oh!” Andrew said. “That’s cool!”

“Xania, these are my brother and sister Andrew and Lydia,” Karen said.

“Hi, pleased to meet you.” Lydia stuck out her hand to Xania. The nymph stared at it with a puzzled expression for a moment and then her mouth made an oh shape and she shook it tentatively.

“Sorry, I forgot humans shake hands.”

“Alban shouldn’t be long,” Valeria said. “We should tell you what’s been happening to us while we’re waiting. I imagine my Imps haven’t been getting through.”

Xania shook her head. “I know you sent a couple, but as soon as Sirin realised no one but Lorelei could absorb them, she destroyed them. I can’t imagine it would be good though, given the haste you rushed off with.”

Valeria took a deep breath. “A dragon has kidnapped Salia!”

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2 Responses to “The Dragon Wars Saga: The Storm Child Chapter Ten Part Six”

  1. mjkj says:

    Great one…

    and again the mind-control…

    …I hope Valeria will get her kingdom back later…

    (and more importantly Salia…)

    mjkj

Leave a Reply to mjkj