Crossbreeds Part 2: Chapter 30 I can help by RedPhantom ()
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They waited in the study. There were more people than seats so Nim sat on the floor. He still preferred it to chairs.
“Will you really help Shay?” Jaidu asked him.
He nodded. “What your father is doing to her is barbaric.” He listed the side effects to long term exposure to copper.
“Shay’s been like a mother to me. My mother died when I was a baby. Shay raised me. I can’t let that happen to her. When they go back, I know father will be extra hard on her because things didn’t go well, and I won’t be there to protect her. And, if I do go back, he’ll be merciless because it was her job to prepare me to get married and she failed.” Jaidu looked near tears.
Nim and Pt’this both growled.
“We’ll do what we can to help,” Emeton said. He turned to Nim. “Has the Council made its ruling on the age of consent?”
Nim shook his head. “I’ve informed them of this new information. It will affect their decision.”
“Ultimately, the choice is still Jaidu’s and Remtani’s,” Pt’this reminded them. “That is part of the law.”
Ann came out and got some writing stuff.
“Well?” Emeton said.
“We’ll see. She can write, so she’s going to tell us that way to make it easier on her. Dad, you should come.”
Emeton followed her into the lab and she shut the door. He didn’t like the room. He wasn’t much of a mage himself, but he was able to feel the residue from the magic that had been cast here, or perhaps it was all the shields she’d put on the lab.
“What do we know?” He said.
-It’s an old spell. Shay wrote. It’s been on him since he was little. It’s powered by his magic and Ann’s.
“Sounds like a forbidden spell,” Ann said.
-I don’t know what is forbidden here and what isn’t. It’s a powerful spell and it can only be removed by someone with immortal blood.
Ann and Emeton glanced at each other.
“How would you remove it?” Ann asked.
-Two spells are needed, one to drain the magic away and one to neutralize the spell. The second needs to be done with backlash.
“Any powerful mage can use backlash,” Ann said.
-But not while using regular magic to cast the first spell.
“Can two mages work together?” Andy asked.
-No. One mage must do both. It must be a spell too. An Augmenter draining it won’t work.
“Do you know the spells?” Ann asked.
-I do, but who will cast them?
“There is someone here who is part immortal,” Ann said.
At first Emeton thought she meant him. Two thousand years ago, one of his ancestors had been immortal. There was still just enough immortal blood in him to allow him to cast with backlash, the typically unusable portion of magic. But, he couldn’t cast two spells at once. He could barely cast one.
Then, he realized she meant herself. Upon returning from Tricon, she had told him how she had met her birth father, Thailyn, and how he had told her that she was part immortal.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he told her.
“She’s helped us before,” Ann said. “And she’s been very good lately.”
Suddenly he realized who she truly meant. “Can we trust her?”
“She said she was loyal. She doesn’t lie.”
“Loyal to me, not to Remtani.”
“If you tell her to do it, she will. I think she likes him. He gave her ideas on getting information by what he’d done to me. Besides, she likes what he did to me.
“She does not,” Andy said. “But, it’s likely she’ll want to help. She’s unhappy about the treatment of Jaidu and Shay. Remtani is a possible way to help them.”
“You can control her, can’t you?” Emeton asked Ann.
“Me? No.” Ann shook her head vigorously.
“No one controls her,” Andy warned. “But I think I can keep her on task.”
-Who is this person? Shay asked. -You seem to fear her.
“I do. She’s quite unstable,” Emeton admitted. “She’s part immortal and she’s not entirely sane. She calls herself Drepal.”
Shay gasped. “Drepal is here?” She whispered.
Emeton nodded. “You’ve heard of her?”
-I’m familiar with her reputation. She and Lyra used to terrorize the towns near the mountains.
“She’s down in our prison.” He turned to Ann and Andy. “Why don’t you two get her?” He suggested.
“I have a headache. Is it all right if I lay down?” Ann asked. “She likes Andy better anyhow.”
Emeton sighed. “Fine.”
-May I join him? If she is concerned about us, I may influence her, Shay wrote.
Emeton looked to Ann and Andy. Ann nodded. “We’ll need to put the collar back on,” he said apologetically.
“Um, Sapphire broke the locks,” Ann said. “She must be out of practice.”
Emeton looked at the locks. They were broken all right, but there was no way Sapphire had done that kind of damage. Ann had done it with magic.
“Go lay down before you start a war,” he said with a scowl. Ann nodded and left.
“Let’s go down and get our help,” Emeton suggested. He’d have to take them down the long way to give Ann time to get ready.
In the study, he stopped. “Nim, can you keep Remtani asleep until we get back?”
“Pt’this, why don’t you and Sapphire take Jaidu to meet the kids from the home? On the way, have the page bring up some whiskey for Ann. She has a headache.” They’d understand. Mentioning whiskey for Ann was code for Drepal was coming. It often took Ann getting drunk to put Drepal back to sleep. He was assuming Ann was just going to pretend to be Drepal, but Drepal didn’t like that and it might wake her. Best be prepared.
He opened the door. A page stood there about to knock.
“Your majesty, is Master Nimitinas here?” The boy asked.
Nim stepped forward.
“You left these in the garden. The gardeners said to bring them to you before it rains.” The page handed him his drawing stuff and the picture he had been working on.
The parchment was rolled carefully but there was a crease in it, probably from when he dropped it to help stop Remtani. He unrolled it to see how bad the damage was. He frowned.
“What is it?” Pt’this asked.
He wasn’t ready to say. “This was supposed to be a gift but there’s a crease in it. I’ll have to start over,” he said instead. He went into the lab, still looking at what he had drawn.
Andy entered the prison where he felt Ann to be. He was surprised to see Merton, Ann’s old bodyguard, playing prison guard.
He walked over as if to confer with him.
“Why is Ann pretending to be Drepal?” Merton asked softly.
“We need someone to believe she’s here,” Andy said.
“I thought she died fighting Lyra.”
“That’s the story, but this person doesn’t know that. It’s to help Remmy,” Andy explained.
“I need you to open the cell,” Andy said aloud. “We need to take her with us.”
Drepal had been sitting, huddled in her cloak. She looked up at the sound of his voice.
“Greetings, your majesty, Pretty Boy,” she said. It really was Drepal, not Ann. “You must be Shaw.”
“Her name is Shay. Please try to get at least one name right,” Andy said, but he noticed Shay flinched at the name.
“Shay says you might be able to remove the spell on Remtani,” Emeton said. “Will you help us?”
“De-spell Stretch to help the White Wyrm?” Drepal sneered. “She tried to kill me.”
“She’s also the reason you weren’t executed,” Andy reminded her.
“Why can’t the Wyrm help you?”
“She’s weak. We need your strength.”
Drepal smiled. “Is this painful?”
“He’ll be asleep,” Shay whispered.
“We need your magic strength,” Andy amended.
“I will do as you ask.” Drepal nodded, though she looked slightly disappointed.
Merton unlocked the cell.
Andy took hold of her arm as she exited the cell. Emeton and Shay followed.
“What happened to Ann?” Andy whispered.
“She couldn’t handle the collar,” Drepal whispered back. “Besides, you said this might help the girl and Shay.”
“How long have you been aware?”
“Since we were poisoned. How long was I asleep?”
“A year and a half.”
“I’ll try to have the Wyrm fill me in but it will take time.”
“It’s doubtful we’ll see many people this time.”
They took the servants’ stairs to the second floor and then went to the lab. There, they found Nim sitting, frowning at the drawing. He rolled it up and put it aside when he saw them.
“Copper.” Drepal nodded.
He frowned at the nickname. She knew he hated it. He thought copper was the ugliest color a dragon could be. Ann would disagree, saying white was, but many had said her coloring was beautiful. Only Jo had liked his.
He greeted the others. “He’s still asleep. I haven’t had to renew the spell.”
“Thank you. Will you wait in the study? I’ll join you in a moment,” Emeton said.
Nim nodded and left with his drawing stuff.
He glanced at Ann’s bookshelves to see if there were something he would like to read. She had a vast collection of books.
Emeton joined him shortly. “Thank you for waiting. It appears that she truly did wake up. Apparently, collaring Ann was too much for her.”
“She was collared when she was in Lerjao. Expect lightning strikes tonight,” Nim said.
Emeton nodded. Then he grinned. “Speaking of lightning, I heard the thunder the other day was a mating call. Congratulations and congratulations on being pledged too.”
Nim smiled. “Thank you, sir.”
“She is coming back right? You aren’t going to try this apart too, are you?”
Nim shook his head. “She’s coming back. She just had to take care of a few things. She’ll let me know when she’s ready to come when I scry her.
“Sapphire hired her to help at the children’s home. Apparently she made progress with Jaidu and impressed Sapphire.”
“I heard.” Emeton nodded. “What do you think the Council will say on this business with Jaidu?”
“It’s hard to say. Until they learned of the abuse, they would’ve said to wait. Now, they may say marry her just to get her away from her father.”
“Andy suggested he marry her but not sleep with her until she’s older,” Nim offered.
“Remtani mentioned that. The idea had appealed to him until he spoke with her. She’s had no training for helping rule.”
“How much did Tylan have?” Tylan had been an orphan and a thief when Emeton first met her. She had been a friend of Pt’this’s nephew Kithmar and had accompanied him to the palace where she and Emeton had been introduced. Emeton had only been widowed a short time but he had never loved his second wife. That had been an arranged marriage too. He fell in love with Tylan almost instantly and they were married within a week’s time.
“Tylan could at least think for herself though,” Emeton said.
Nim nodded. “She was also had a little education.”
Emeton nodded. “Kith taught her.”
“Of course, Jaidu seems intelligent, capable of learning. And she does have five years to learn. It’s unlikely you and Tylan would pass away in that time so that will give her more time to learn,” Nim pointed out.
“Sir, I want to show you this.” He unrolled the drawing.
“Very nice. Too bad about the crease,” Emeton said. “I didn’t think Ann was that much bigger than Jaidu though.”
“She’s not. That’s not Ann,” Nim said.
Emeton looked again. “Shay? She looks a lot like Ann.”
Nim nodded. “They could be related.”
“Darina was Ann’s mother. There’s no doubt about that.”
Nim nodded again. He didn’t say anything more.
Andy followed Drepal out of the lab a short time later. Shay also came out.
“It’s done,” Andy said.
“You’re sure?” Emeton asked.
“I don’t fail,” Drepal said.
“Of course not,” Emeton assured her.
“Andy, will you take Drepal back down? I’m sure Shay would like to find Jaidu.”
“Would you like me to take Remtani to his room?” Nim offered.
“If you would. And later, when Ann’s feeling better, show her your drawing.”
Nim nodded. Now he understood. It wasn’t that Emeton hadn’t understood what he was seeing. The palace walls had ears. Ann’s lab was safe from spies, but her study wasn’t. For some reason, Emeton didn’t want this knowledge spread.
“It was good to see you again your majesty, Denny. Nice to meet you Shaw, sorry, Shay.” She glanced at Andy apologetically.
Nim wondered why Drepal had called him Denny. His birth name had been Dentrias but his mentor had changed it to Nimitinas. After almost two hundred years of being called Nimitinas, he had no desire to change it back. Most people didn’t even realize Nimitinas wasn’t his real name. He had recently thought about getting it changed officially, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to. He didn’t have much left from his parents.
Andy, on the other hand, was wondering why Drepal was being so polite. Normally she seemed to strive to anger everyone.
He put the collar back on Drepal. “I’ll check on Ann once I’ve taken care of Drepal,” he said.
He led Drepal out the door and to the room he shared with Ann. Inside, he pulled her close and removed the collar again. “Thank you for your help today,” he kissed her, just barely touching her lips with his. Unlike in the past however, she leaned into the kiss. He followed her lead. Normally, she liked a very gentle touch. It helped her to relax and go to sleep. Today, it seemed she had something else in mind.
“Not wanting to sleep yet?” He asked.
She shook her head.
“What are you wanting?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know.” She kissed him again.
“I’m supposed to ask you about your heritage.”
“I did know. I’ve always known. I don’t know how. But we shouldn’t talk about that here.” She pulled off her cloak and let it fall. Andy realized she did know what she wanted, just not how far she wanted to go.
“I’ll follow your lead,” he told her. She nodded.
“Why did you call Nim ‘Denny’?” He asked.
“You ask me to get one name right today. Denny would be short for Dentrias.”
“Why did you call Shay ‘Shaw’?”
“You don’t talk this much when you’re with Ann.”
“I see her other times to talk with her.”
“I don’t get that much time.”
“Do you want more?”
“I want you to stop talking.”
Image Comments (5)
zaqxsw () 10:08AM | Tue, 06 April 2021
Fantastic chapter! I love the unexpected twists. Can't wait for the next one.
Kordouane () 3:30AM | Wed, 07 April 2021
A beautiful image accompanied by a superb text, a great and beautiful work !!
Finally the notification mails are back, so we won't miss our friends' pictures anymore !!