LN Part 22: Summoned by the Council by RedPhantom ()
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Outside the audience hall, Ann handed the steward the two parchments. He led them to a private waiting room. They only had a few minutes’ wait before being brought before King Emeton.
Ann was surprised. The audience hall was empty of any spectators. Pt’this, rather than being in his usual place behind the throne sat on the dais to the side and one tier lower than her father. Nimitinas sat opposite him in the same position. Both wore similar medallions around their necks. These medallions were worn by representatives of the Dragon High Council. The center portion of the design on Nim’s medallion matched the center seal on the summons.
Her father spoke. “Sir Tominptarthisbur, Ambassador for the Dragon High Council, and Master Nimitinas, Emissary of the Dragon High Council, have come before this court to request the presence of Princess Annlonna, Lady Sapphire and Andrew Stephen before the Dragon High Council. They shall accompany Sir Tominptarthisbur and Master Nimitinas to Baj-tisk and submit themselves to the will of the High Council.”
Ann’s head spun. She reached for Andy’s hand for support. What was going on? Pt’this generally didn’t do much ambassador work, aside from reports to the council. The dragons hadn’t appointed an emissary since Shintanillic had disappeared during the war against Nor’than five hundred years ago. And why did they choose Nimitinas? He’d been a virtual hermit for that long.
The last time she’d been summoned before the council was when Pt’this had taken her to the dragons to be trained in magic, and they had found out she had once been involved with Lyra. She wondered briefly if they had found out she was Drepal and wanted to meet out the justice her father was unwilling to deliver. But that made no sense. He might not be telling them, but her father knew what the dragons wanted, and he wouldn’t send them there for that. Nor would Pt’this or Nim be going along with it. Besides, why would they want Sapphire and Andy? Neither had been involved, and Andy hadn’t even been on Torthoc at the time.
They were led back to the waiting room. Pt’this and Nim followed. Ann glanced back as her father. He smiled and nodded. Then the others who were seeking audience were coming, and he turned his attention to them.
Pt’this, she noticed, carried a rather full bag but it was closed so she couldn’t see what was in it. Once they were all in the waiting room and the door was closed, Nim cast the transport spell to take them to Baj-tisk. When her eyes cleared, she found they were in Pt’this’s caves. Pt’this raised an eyebrow at Nim but said nothing aloud. He set the bag down and said, “Follow me.”
“What’s going on?” Ann finally dared to ask.
“Narticani, that was made clear by your father,” Nim said. His tone and the fact that he used the name he had given her as an apprentice told her not to ask any more questions. He knew she hated the name and only used it under formal situations or when he wanted to let her know who was in control.
They followed Pt’this to the council chamber. The sight floored Ann. There were so many dragons there they were almost all in alternate form so they could all fit. She saw the young ones sitting together on the floor towards the front of the room. There weren’t enough chairs in all of Baj-tisk for this crowd. The few that had them were mostly the elderly. Ann also saw a cloaked and hooded figure sitting alone across the room. Whoever it was, they were trying to keep their distance from the rest of the crowd, and the crowd respected it, all except Dae. Could it be?
‘Ti?’ She sent. ‘Is that you in the cloak?’
‘Don’t look at me,’ was the response. The figure bowed his head and turned away. Dae looked up concerned. ‘I’m not supposed to talk with you now,’ Ti said.
Sapphire looked questioningly at Ann and nodded her head towards Ti. Ann nodded. Sapphire smiled a little. Andy’s eyebrows wrinkled. Ti, Ann mouthed, knowing Andy could read her lips.
Then the head of the Council called for silence mentally. It was all Ann could do to stay upright. Both Andy and Pt’this grabbed for her. When she was steady, Pt’this stepped before the council.
“I’d like to request that this meeting be conducted aloud as there are some here who are not telepathic.” He requested in Dragon. Sapphire whispered a translation to Andy.
The council members looked at each other. As a general rule, dragons considered it impolite to use telepathy around those who weren’t telepathic, but this was dragon business. It was obvious they were discussing it among themselves telepathically. They looked at the three, then specifically at Ann. “Do they speak Dragon?” One asked.
“One does not. We will make sure he understands,” Pt’this assured them.
The dragons nodded. “Very well, this gathering will be conducted aloud.” Pt’this returned to stand with the others.
“Narticani, please step forward.” Ann did, and Nimitinas is followed.
“Upon discussion with both your mentors, Nimitinas and Thorgrey, who regretfully could not make it today, we have agreed that by your actions at Dragon Castle before, during, and even after the battle, that you have earned the title of mage and shall no longer be considered an apprentice.”
Ann was shocked. She hadn’t given much thought to not being an apprentice anymore. She received the training she needed and didn’t care about titles.
“Normally, we’d ask if you wish to go by your mentor given name, but you have already made it clear how you feel about it. You shall from now on be known as Princess Annlonna.”
Ann bowed. “Thank you.”
“Will Lady Sapphire and Andrew Step-hen please join Annlonna?” One of the other dragons whispered something to him. “My apologies, Andrew Stephen, I am very sorry.” He said this last part in Menthan so Andy could understand.
They came and stood by Ann. Pt’this joined them to act as a translator for Andy.
“The young dragons with whom Princess Annlonna attended class have petitioned this counsel to allow you three entrances into the clan of Baj-tisk. Upon reviewing the deeds and your relationships to Ambassador Tominptarthisbur, this council has decided to grant you entry. You shall retain citizenship in your homelands; however, from henceforth you shall also be recognized as citizens of this clan.”
To say Ann was stunned would be an understatement. There was no word to describe how surprised she was. The Baj-tisk clan had never allowed outsiders to become part of the clan before. Even Kith, whose parents had been part of the clan before they left and whose uncle was still part of the clan, had been denied.
Andy, who didn’t understand the magnitude of what just happened, felt her shock and held her close. Ann thought it would be seen as inappropriate and was about to say something when she saw Pt’this holding Sapphire too.
The dragons gave out a cry of approval, and the gathering was over. The young dragons came running up, all except Dae and Ti. Ann glanced their way. She saw Dae point to them and beckon Ti. He shook his head and started to leave.
‘Thanks for coming,’ Ann sent.
Ti stopped to turn toward them. ‘You mean a lot to us, He sent. Come back after the wedding for a visit.’
‘See if you can get permission to come to Sen-gan when you’ve recovered.’ Ti nodded and left. She was then being hugged by the others, and they were led away.