White Wyrms Chapter 5:They Didn't Tell You?
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“Where are we going?” Amelia asked Carla as they left the healer rooms.
“Upstairs. You said you were staying a couple of days.” She led them to the closest stairwell.
“We’re staying in the hospital?”
Carla smiled. “We’re not in a hospital. Didn’t Jo tell you where they live?”
“She said it was a city called Sen-gan. That it was the capital of Menthanla.”
Carla nodded. “Nim was made emissary seven years ago and was stationed here. First, it was to protect Ann from the nobles. Then it was to investigate treaty violations. After that, he was keeping an eye on Jaidu and Remtani.”
“Why do the dragons care about Jaidu and Remtani?” Amelia asked. She and Curt had met the two a few years back when they had gone to the Mathis’s to try to reconcile with Jo. Jaidu was so much younger than Remtani that they hadn’t realized the two were engaged until later.
“Because Jaidu’s underage,” Carla said.
“So? The dragons keep that close of an eye on their neighbors?” Jaidu was part dragon, but she wasn’t Baj-tisk.
“You didn’t hear all this? Let’s go to Nim’s receiving room and talk. I’ll explain everything we can.
“First, Remtani is the crown prince.” Carla opened the door to Nim’s rooms. “We’re in the palace.”
Amelia and Curt did a double-take. Carla smiled and nodded. “My thoughts exactly when I first heard. You just realized your daughter’s been living in a palace. How do you think we felt when we found out our son was marrying a princess?” They reached the receiving room and sat down. Carla allowed them a moment to look around before continuing. The room was richly decorated but held homey touches too. Some of Nim’s drawings were on display. An afghan was draped over the back of a chair and a book was on the seat. Amelia wondered if Jo had been reading when she went into labor.
“As I said, this all started seven years ago. Andy and Ann can only tell us so much. Other things we’ve learned by gossiping with the servants. Some are supposition, piecing things together.
“Just about the time Ann and Andy came back from Earth, Lyra attacked Menthanla with the trolls, trying to get to Baj-tisk. She and her father were running experiments on dragons and wanted a special one. Apparently, they had their eyes on Nim, but no one knew it at the time.
“What makes him so special?” Curt asked.
“He’s an Augmenter. It’s a special type of mage that can do more with magic than most mages. Andy is one too. Until recently, they had to keep it a secret to keep immortals from using them.
“They were able to defeat the trolls, but the battle caught Nor’than’s attention. You knew him as Nathan North.”
Curt shuddered. “I always knew he was trouble.”
Steve nodded and continued. “He’d had Mishtali captive, and when he found out about Jo’s relation to Nim, he kidnapped her to use as bait. He was killed in the rescue attempt. The gas leak was just a cover story for magic.
“Both he and Lyra worked for a man named Cramda. He’s the one that was calling you, pretending to be a business associate. He had plans to combine dragon and immortal DNA to create an ultimate mage. One of his attempts was with Jaidu. Cramda had one of his men in place as Kamlia’s advisor. He convinced Kamlia to have a child with a dragon and encouraged the child to marry someone who was part immortal.
“Immortals lived for thousands and thousands of years. They have nothing but time. But Kamlia grew impatient and tried to marry Jaidu off to the first immortal he found.”
“The royal family isn’t human?” Curt asked.
“They are,” Carla said. “Generations ago, there had been an immortal that married into the family. The rest have all been human. But the magic never breeds out, it seems. They can all cast, though not much.
“Remtani’s limited immortal DNA isn’t enough to matter.”
“Is it a big deal to crossbreed dragons and immortals?” Curt asked.
“It’s typically forbidden. Dragon magic and immortal magic are incompatible. The offspring go violently insane. The last one killed 200 people before he could be stopped and it took Nim augmenting and immortal’s magic to do it.
“It’s believed that not having full-blooded dragons or immortals may help, so that’s what Cramda was looking into. There have been other attempts along that line.
“Kamlia thought he’d force the issue by insisting Jaidu marry Remtani as part of a treaty. At first, Remtani agreed to it for Jaidu’s sake. Then he found out she was only fourteen. In Yarba, the age of consent is puberty. Here it’s nineteen and that’s part of a treaty law.
“Because Emeton was already under scrutiny for other violations, he decided to defer to the Dragon High Council for judgment. Before they decided, Remtani made his own choice. Since Kamlia treated Jaidu and her mother so horribly, Remtani decided he’d marry her just to get her away from her father. Shay was to stay and act as a guardian. He wouldn’t marry a child so he decided the wedding would be after she turned nineteen. Since he made this decision before the council was done deliberating, they wanted to keep an eye on him. Nim’s been here for that.”
“I thought Mishtali was Jaidu’s father. It is Mishtali, the one with the goatee?” Curt asked.
Carla nodded. “Mishtali is Jaidu’s stepfather. Shay was a prisoner of Kamlia. Since Shay is Mishtali’s wife, any children she has are his too, regardless of who the biological father is. Dragons have a very strong sense of family.”
Curt smiled. “We’ve noticed. When we first met Nim, I was yelling at Amelia for how she was treating Jo. Nim stepped in and defended her.”
“Nim is especially protective of family. Jo couldn’t have found a better man anywhere, on either world,” Steve said. “He’s the type of man we would have wanted for Chrissy, had she survived.”
“She was your daughter in the car accident?” Amelia asked.
“Nim does seem like he’s done a world of good for Jo,” Curt said.
“I’ll admit, we both had our reservations about Andy marrying someone who is only half human, but we had known Ann for a while and we both liked her. She helped Andy with all his troubles. And the more we got to know her, the more we liked her and more we saw how good she was for Andy,” Steve told them.
“It took us a while for us to understand,” Amelia said. “Cramda kept lying to us and telling us how dangerous Nim was. We thought he meant Nim was in a gang. And then there was Dae and that elf. They clearly weren’t human. That’s when things started to sink in.”
Amelia frowned. “You know, I remember him telling us to call him Vor, but today, they were calling him Shunati.”
“No, that was Vor you met at first. He and Shunati are cousins. They look almost exactly alike,” Carla explained patiently.
“So which one was healing everybody later?” Curt asked.
“That was Shunati. Vor isn’t a healer and he lives in Erilu Valley. Most elves don’t get to leave there much. Queen Deyama is trying to change that. 500 years is a lot to change, but she’s making progress.”
Steve’s stomach growled. “Perhaps we should show you to your room and then get some food. I can’t be the only one who’s hungry.”