CB Part 2:Chapter 32 Who is She Really? by RedPhantom ()
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“Why are you guys in my receiving room?” Nim asked as he entered.
“We’re always in ours,” Ann said.
He looked at what they were doing. They had three scrying mirrors set up.
“You’re spying on the delegation?”
“We wanted to see their reaction,” Ann explained.
“To being told Shay’s collar is broken and to the fact that Remtani is no longer spelled. They’re not happy. I thought Dad’s temper was bad,” Ann said frowning.
“Have you looked in a mirror?” Nim asked.
“She’s gotten better,” Andy claimed. “Or at least Kamlia was worse.”
“And the other two mirrors?” Nim didn’t want to get distracted.
“Jaidu and Shay. Jaidu is sleeping. Even when she was awake, she didn’t do anything but watch Remmy. He’s awake now and seems to be fine,” Ann reported.
“Dad put her in the gallery. She was looking around until she came to the dragon statue. She just stared at it until Remmy came in. They’re talking now.”
“Why are you doing this in here?”
“Because we usually hang out in our receiving room or Pt’this’s,” Andy said. “You don’t use yours.”
“So if this gets detected, they’ll assume it’s me,” Nim guessed.
“Right. You can claim it was for the Council.” Ann nodded.
“Didn’t your father forbid you to use magic to spy on people, especially here in the palace?”
“It was Dad’s idea,” Ann said.
Ann nodded. “Including using your room. We would have asked, but you blocked me.”
“I was hunting.”
“Dinner.” Nim grinned. “And breakfast.”
Ann laughed. “We have a kitchen.”
“You overcook your food.” Nim growled playfully. “Seriously, I just sometimes need to get away.”
“Shay looks upset,” Andy reported.
“What are they saying?” Ann asked.
“I don’t know. Remmy has his back turned and Shay’s mostly writing.”
“Isn’t there a better angle?” Nim asked, sitting down to join them.
Ann shook her head. “I think she picked that angle because there’s nothing to reflect there.”
“What about sound?” Nim asked.
“I can’t to do sound on three scryings at the same time. Besides, they’d hear us.”
Shay looked up is if startled. “She just said ‘Mishtali’,” Andy said.
“How do you know?” Nim asked. He, like Andy, could see sounds, but so far, neither could make out individual words.
“I can read lips,” Andy said.
They could all tell what she said next. “No!”
They watched for a few minutes more, then the two left the gallery together. Shay took the drawing set so they assumed she wasn’t coming back. Ann ended the spell.
“There’s something I want to show you,” Nim said. He left and returned a moment later with a piece of parchment. He showed it to them without a word.
“Not bad, but your proportions are off,” Ann said. “Jaidu and I are both the same size.”
“Ann’s eyes are more rounded too,” Andy added. “Sorry, I don’t mean to be critical, it’s just not like what you usually do.”
Nim nodded. “Emeton said similar. Only, that’s not Ann.”
Ann and Andy both looked again. “Shay?” Ann asked.
“Didn’t Mishtali say you look like Shaw?” Andy asked.
“Yes, why?” Ann asked.
“Can you scry Sapphire and Pt’this?” He requested.
She cast another scrying spell contacting Sapphire and Pt’this.
The house was chaotic. Pt’this and Ti were wrestling with the boys and a couple of girls. Bre was crying, and Sapphire was trying to calm him. Dae was threatening to soak all the wrestlers if they didn’t go outside, and Lamdi was sitting off to one side with her eyes squeezed shut and her hands over her ears.
“Hello?” Ann called out over the noise. “Hello? Guys?” Nobody heard.
Nim made a squealing sound Andy had never heard before. The three dragons all looked up. Everyone else stopped in response to them. Even Bre quieted some.
“What’s wrong?” Pt’this asked, getting out from under several kids.
“We need to talk,” Nim said. Pt’this sent the kids off to their rooms the study.
“Do you need us to leave too?” Ti asked.
“No, I don’t believe that’s necessary,” Nim said. He showed them the drawing. They all agreed that Shay and Ann looked enough alike to be sisters.
“Why didn’t we noticed before?” Sapphire asked.
“Probably because Shay actually has color,” Andy said. Ann made a face, but said nothing.
“They don’t look identical,” Nim explained. “They have enough dissimilar features combined with Ann’s coloring that hid it.”
“I was watching her today while Drepal was casting.” Andy told them. “She tried to cast a spell shield. It fail because her magic is damaged from the eta-vie, but she has quite a lot of it. Similar to Kar I’d say.”
“You think she’s a dragon?” Ann asked.
“I’d say she’s not a human,” Andy said. “It would explain why she wouldn’t let Shunati touch her. She doesn’t want us to know.”
“They don’t allow dragons in Yarba,” Pt’this pointed out.
“What difference is there between a collared dragon in human form and an actual human?” Andy asked.
Before Pt’this could respond, there was a knock on the door. Nim answered. It was Remtani.
“I was looking for Ann and Andy,” he said. Nim opened the door wider so he could enter.
“Thank you for removing the spell,” Remtani said.
“I didn’t,” Ann said. “You can thank Drepal the next time you see her.”
“Well, thank you for allowing her to do it,” he said. Then he noticed the mirrors. “Why are you scrying my room?”
“Dad asked me to keep an eye on Jaidu,” Ann said.
“Were you scrying Shay too?” He asked.
“We were. We saw you two talking but we have no idea what was being said,” Ann said. “We couldn’t hear you and she picked the one spot in the gallery without reflection to sit while she wrote.”
“The only thing we know she said was Mishtali,” Andy said.
“She told me she used to be a powerful mage but the collar ruined her magic. I suggested one of you guys could maybe fix it. I was thinking of how Andy’s magic was fixed. She seemed interested, especially when I said she wouldn’t need a healer. I was listing off some of the mages I knew were strong enough and then I mentioned Mishtali and she suddenly didn’t want to.”
“That supports what I was thinking,” Andy said. “Drepal kept calling her ‘Shaw’ instead of ‘Shay’. At first, I thought she misspoke or was playing around with her name. She did it again later but corrected herself. When I asked her why she called Nim ‘Denny’ instead of ‘Copper’ like she normally does, she said it was because I asked her to get at least one name right. She wouldn’t answer me when I asked why she called her ‘Shaw’. I’m wondering if she used ‘Denny’ because she realized ‘Shay’ wasn’t her name.”
“She does seem to know things we don’t realize,” Pt’this said.
“Did you ask her if she knew of about what Thailyn told us?” Sapphire asked.
“I did. She said she did.” Andy nodded.
“What was that?” Remtani asked. Nim also looked intrigued.
“Family business,” Ann said.
“I am family,” Remtani reminded her.
“My other family,” Ann insisted. “It’s not something we can discuss here.”
“Even if she was Shaw, she won’t admit to it,” Remtani said. “She’s too conditioned, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.”
“Mishtali could tell,” Dae pointed out. “He’d recognize his own mate.”
“We can ask him to come and see,” Ann suggested.
“No,” Pt’this said. “He misses her terribly. It would be cruel to get his hopes up if we’re wrong.”
“What if we had him come by and he happens to see her?” Ti suggested.
“Father’s not going to like their being yet another dragon here. The delegation is upset enough,” Remtani pointed out.
“Maybe we should ask Father about this and see what he thinks,” Ann said.
“Did you just suggest asking Dad’s permission to do something?” Remtani asked, surprised.
“It must be the whiskey,” Ann said.
“What whiskey?” Nim asked. “You haven’t had whiskey since before you were poisoned.”
“Well, not much. It’s the lack of whiskey then.”
“How about we sleep on it and tomorrow, talk with Emeton like Ann suggested,” Pt’this said. “It’s getting late and we have a houseful to get to sleep, and Andy’s had to strengthen Ann twice that I counted. She needs to end the spell.”
Image Comments (6)
Wolfenshire () Online Now! 10:42AM | Tue, 13 April 2021
I like the line-art. It mirrors the focus of the conversation dialog which you are so good at!