LN Part 38: It is Dragon Business by RedPhantom ()
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The next morning, Emeton wanted to discuss what had been discovered in regards to Mishtali and his message to Ann while Tylan and Sapphire took Ria and Andy’s parents out to see the city.
“Pt’this told me about Mishtali appearing to you in the trance. Nim told me how you two tried to contact him when you picked up Andy’s parents. What I want to know is why you didn’t say anything?” Emeton asked Ann.
Ann looked down at her hands. “At first, no one believed me. You’ve been busy, and I didn’t want to pester you with what everyone else thought was nonsense. Then, when we were in Baj-tisk last week, Pt’this finally started to believe me. But he said not to say anything until we knew more.”
Emeton turned to Pt’this. “You’re encouraging my daughter to keep things from me? After all the problems we’ve had?”
“Sire...,” the dragon started.
“If you tell me this is dragon business...,” Emeton warned.
“It is dragon business,” Pt’this insisted.
“It’s the business of all the kingdoms. Nor’than wasn’t going after dragons only. If there’s a chance he still alive, all of the kingdoms should be informed.”
“I agree. But we don’t know if he’s still alive. We don’t even know for sure if it was Mishtali that Ann saw. Making claims like that could cause panic. We needed to have a better idea of what Ann really saw before risking a panic. I decided not to tell you anything because the palace walls have ears.
“I’m telling you about it now because, in all likelihood, it was Mishtali. Nim was sending for Mishtali specifically and was blocked. It’s almost impossible to pick up a call sent specifically to someone else. The likelihood drops even more if you try to block that call.”
“Do you think we should do what he asked?” Emeton asked.
“Not until Ann is at full strength. There’s no magic over there, only what you take or what you can generate on your own. In addition, the eta-vie there is terrible compared to anything here. It was all I could do to magnify my magic to cast a single spell,” Nim said. “And that was magic I had brought with me.”
“How’s your magic progressing?” Emeton asked Ann.
“Slowly. I still can’t draw anything in,” Ann said.
“She was trying last night, and it was painful,” Andy said, looking at her as though he thought she was the one that should be telling that part.
“Ann, did you rip yourself again?” Pt’this asked.
Ann looked away. “Maybe. I don’t know. Probably.”
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?”
“I didn’t know. It must have been when I was fighting Lyra. I was in so much pain back then I couldn’t tell where one pain ended and the next one began. Last night was the first time I tried to draw in magic.”
“Ann, you know better. You know what it was like the last time,” Nim said.
“I didn’t think it would matter. I didn’t think I’d survive,” Ann said.
“Well, you did, and now you need to get it patched.”
“No,” Ann said.
“Ann, you can’t let this go,” Pt’this insisted.
“I went seven years last time, and it was worse then,” Ann argued.
“And what if Nor’than is still alive? Do you think you can defeat him like that?”
“It’s no worse than the brand that Lyra had on me.”
Andy stood and pulled Ann up. “Can you excuse us a moment?” He took her to a corner so they could talk in relative privacy.
“Ann, first, tell me what you guys are talking about. What happened?” He asked softly.
“When I was fighting Lyra, I pulled in too much energy too fast. It’s like tearing a muscle. Kids will sometimes do it when they’re first learning magic. Lyra did it to me to help me reach my full potential faster. It won’t heal on its own. Someone has to patch it. Until then, drawing in magic is quite painful.”
“And why don’t you want to get patched?” Andy asked. He felt the dread from her when it was mentioned.
“I’d rather go back into the trance,” Ann said.
“I can’t explain it, but I would.”
“Ann, you can’t keep abusing yourself.”
“What difference does it make?”
“The difference is now, you’re not alone. You have me, and I need you whole. Ann, someday we’re going to have kids, and they are going to need you. They won’t wait until you figure out how to take care of yourself. You need to learn to do that first.” He took her face in his hands. “I’m right here. I’ll be here the whole time. I will do whatever I can to help you through this.”
Finally, Ann nodded, and they sat back down.
“This evening,” Ann said. “This isn’t an emergency. I won’t be able to draw in magic for a while yet anyhow. And, I want Andy there.”
“Ann, no. He can’t be there. Only those working on you can be,” Nim insisted.
“There needs to be a mage,” Ann said.
“He’s not trained. This isn’t something he can guess at.” Nim shook his head.
“Ann, it’s going to be okay I’ll be nearby. I promise,” Andy assured her.
Reluctantly Ann agreed.