Raider From The Sky Chapter 23-24

Peri looks for a lady. Empire House has a royal visitor

Chapter 23.
Windergar Aerie, Dragonlands.
Ghedrun was preparing for a flight when Indrut came in. “I tried to have a meeting with the Admiral to address the things that you brought me. He wouldn’t schedule a meeting anytime soon. I suspect that you and Rirlon are planning a trip to the Empire and this Hidden City. Find out what you can about all of this. I hate to admit that I was wrong, but Rolin is playing games and I went at you after he complained about Danni without getting the facts.”
“I was rather annoyed at Danni too, until her letter showed up. I suspected that she was chasing the rather inappropriate young man. She was, but she had other reasons and there were a lot of clues before she even ran into Byddri or the young man.”
“Find out what you can. This is could be bigger than just this aerie. I’m sorry that I went off on you like that.”

Rosehollow Faery kingdom.
Peri spent some time off and on the last few five days looking for his Great Aunt Hyacinth. That wasn’t easy because Hyacinth spent most of her time transformed and out in the woods that made up most of the kingdom. Peri knew that he could attract her by starting a fire in her favorite wood, but he wanted to only use that as a last resort. Angering a royal fae was something that you did with a great deal of consideration. Fortunately he hadn’t had to as he had found his great aunt. Of course she spotted him, jumped him and said, “Tag, you’re it!”
The rest of the day was spent chasing his aunt until he managed to set bit of a trap and she let him catch her. “Ok, young Periwinkle, why are you chasing me so vigorously? You have a bond. Have you taken her to a grove yet? I can loan you mine.”
“I wanted to talk with you about your bonded.”
“I have a bonded? Have you ever seen me with a bonded?”
“No Aunt, I haven’t. I do know who he is, though.”
“Now do you really? If you do, what is most known for, recently?”
“Being crazy, when he isn’t.”
“So you have met Maethanar. How did that happen?”
“Princess Lelayme brought him to one of mother’s parties and Dessielle and I picked up on the fact that he was her father.”
“I should speak to my daughter about that. Did anybody else pay attention?”
“Just me, Dessielle and somebody else that we trust. We haven’t told anybody else and The Emperor and Lelayme made it clear that spreading it around would be a bad thing.”
“A very bad thing. So why did you hunt me down?”
“To let you know that I can be a messenger to your bonded.”
“That is a good thing to know. I think that I want to meet your friends as well if we can arrange it. I assume that Dessielle has been tested. Who is the other?”
“Tony Lion. He was brought over as a slave from the Republic.”
“Is he father of the girl that Midnight has been chasing?”
“Yes.”
“So he is almost family already. Wonderful. Has the girl been Tested yet?”
“I don’t know if mother has arranged it.”
“I think that I must suffer the city somewhat and speak with my niece and my daughter. Did my bonded tell you who I was?”
“Neither your daughter, nor the Emperor mentioned you at all. I figured out that you had to be still alive and that you must have been close to family. Aunt Lazuli is playing around with grandfather and her bonded was dead, so that left you.”
“So you found me. There is an aversion over the bond and most people, including the fae, would not even think to look. So you want to arrange dates between Maethanar and I? I don’t know how possible that is. We never expected that Theodemar would die like he did and when it happened, it became impolitic for a fae to be Emperor. There is also what happened to your grandfather to consider. The fae can’t be cooped up for long and Maethanar was stuck. I accept your offer to be a go between. You do know that there is more to this.”
“The Emperor told me that there was and has me looking into the history.”
“That must have been difficult. The Inquisition likes to burn books, at least the books that are not secure in their castle.”
“The Inquisition has a library?”
“Yes, but it is shielded heavily against the fae and only allows a portal entry. The Inquisition even hides the location of the building. Getting in there would be a true mischief.”
“The Inquisition hasn’t paid attention to the Lower City or bothered to learn what goes on there, which is strange because they and the Ravathryra keep dumping people there when they don’t arrange their exiles. This library sounds like a true challenge. Of course the Inquisition doesn’t know my cousins.”
“The same cousins that are not fae, yet get in and out of the kingdom, creating chaos.”
“Those cousins, yes.”
“Where have they been this year?”
“In the Republic, setting up the new businesses.”
“That is far.”
“But since the Ravathyra are gone, not as far as it was.”
“Young Peri, I accept your offer and look forward to working with you. If you can arrange to get my bonded out of that pile in the city discreetly from time to time, that would be a good thing. Now tell me about that party that my daughter took him to.”

Chapter 24.
The Port of Chatsrey, Beltian Republic.
Nylathria was walking up the steps as a young man of indeterminate ancestry was at the door. He was talking to Tomas and said, “Mr. Gunter, mother said that you had a fae that could take messages to my grandmother in the Republic.”
“I do, Prince Daniel, but she is in the Empire at the moment chasing her man, so I do not know when she will return. If it is something that is related to the business of Empire house and small, I can send it through our portal, but personal messages and whatnot I have to say no until the lady is returned.”
“That is understandable. I think that I will go and see my Uncle Tom about this, then. He probably has a ship making regular passages. Mother received a message from grandmother about Uncle Richard’s wedding and had the Royal Yacht set up to make a journey to the Empire. The message is just to let grandmother know that most of the family is coming on the yacht.”
“The kingdom’s yacht? Would you care if the Regency Council knows that you all are coming on the Royal Yacht?”
“Not at all, though I was expecting that grandmother would deal with that.”
Tomas grinned. “She probably will, but a state visit, which this will be, certainly comes under the purview of Empire House and I can use the portal for that. Milady, I didn’t see you there.”
Nyla laughed. “That isn’t a problem and I see that you have a royal visitor. Daniel, I haven’t seen you for some time.”
“I was just reposted here at the embassy. Mother said that a lady here had caught that scamp Robin at last and that she could Jump to the Empire. She also wanted me to forward the information about the yacht to grandmother. Mr. Gunter, why don’t I write up a quick note for the Regency Council and we can send this. Then you can attend to milady Orizana’s business.”
“Why don’t you both come in? The scamps are at school, so things will be quiet.”
Nyla followed the prince into the tidy parlor and he sat down at the small writing desk and started to write the letter to the Regency Council. Tomas turned to Nyla and said, “So, milady, what brings you here today?”
“I was hoping to discover if there was any word about my sister.”
“Not very much. The marshalls are still chasing Great Captain Zylvyre, the Regency Council has voted that not turning the lady over is treason and Admiral Zylvyre will not admit that he has her. There was one interesting event recently. Admiral Zylvyre’s people placed an order for two bolts of Mauve silk cloth.”
“Why is that interesting?” the prince asked.
“The family uses natural sounding names for dye colors that come from the Republic because Ilitia, the family’s Inquisitor thought that using Republican trade names for colors might cause issues with certain rather zealous Inquisitors. So, for most people in the Empire, Mauve is Lilac. Only somebody in the House would use Mauve when referring to that color. Coincidently, the Lady’s blouse was Mauve.”
Nyla grinned. “So sister was sending a message right past Rolin.”
“Deiran and Millicent thought so. They had some of our scamps go through the shipping logs looking for the bolts of cloth at Eryding. We know which coaster the bolts went out on.”
Dan grinned. “So Uncle Tom is probably going to have a sub watching that coaster.”
“I wouldn’t know. The Admiral doesn’t tell me the disposition of his ships, for obvious reasons. After all, I might send something that the Ravathrya would find. That is if the lady Lielatha is still visiting her brother.”
“Lielatha was at least partially responsible for arranging my exile,” Nyla said. “She also told Paeris that I was a loose woman and that he should have fun with me. Of course Paeris being what he is, he hardly needed the encouragement.”
“That must have been before he bonded with the mermaid,” Tomas said. “From the reports that we have from his victims and what we have been able to discover, after he bonded and his bonded was killed, he encouraged such activities with the slaves and exiles, but did not participate himself for obvious reasons.”
“Great Captain Zylvyre bonded with a mermaid?” Dan asked. “That hadn’t made the news.”
“A friend’s wife was killed by Paeris and he has been tracking Paeris for a long time,” Nyla said. “So he was almost certain that Paeris was seafolk and that he was trying to hide that from his family. The Marshall have confirmed that the Great Captain is indeed seafolk. He used that in his escape.”
“Where do the Marshalls think that Paeris is now?”
“The Empire,” Tomas said. “He signed on as crew on a trading vessel and made it to Iylesera. He didn’t attempt to use a portal and there was no trace of him in the city or the local seafolk. So he is on the road some place. He has turned out to be very clever.”
“Is the family assisting him?”
“Not as far as the Marshalls have been able to discover.”
The prince finished the letter, folded it, melted some wax and sealed with an elaborate seal that was in the pommel of his belt dagger. “I know that this pretentious, but this way your Regency council will know that it is really coming from the royal family.”
The prince handed the letter and an envelope to Tomas. “The other is for grandmother. Thank you for sending this. Sometimes these little tasks run away from you. Mr. Gunther, I will take my leave.”
Tomas showed the prince to the door and returned to Nyla. “So, is there anything else you want to know?”
“You seem to have adjusted well.”
“Very much so. At least the correspondence has settled down, somewhat, Admiral Zylvyre doesn’t have a fleet right now, so he can’t raid the coast and the Kellets have taken over handling the mail duties with the post office. Let me send this on to the estate and then get you some tea.”
“Where is your wife?”
“Out shopping. Since the Estate doesn’t have any mana problems like we do, they can send whatever they want and Balladrial wants a sewing machine shipped to the Empire rather discreetly. Actually he wants two, but they can both be the same machine.”
“How did Balladrial find out about sewing machines?”
“Apparently Calladia gave him some pictures from magazines for inspiration and there was an ad for one on the back of the picture.”
“What does Balladrial do?”
“He designs and makes dresses for high elven ladies.”
“Interesting thing for a mortal to do.”
“He isn’t exactly mortal, like Calladia was not. Calladia is his sister and like many, there are elf and fae strands in the family.”
Calladia popped in. “I’m back!”
“So how did things go, other than giving Balladrial pictures of the ladies here?” Tomas asked.”
“How did you know about that?”
“Deiran sent a request from Balladrial for two sewing machines, with a picture. Since the only way that he could have seen one was a picture from here, you must have given him some pictures from the magazines.”
“I took him some pictures of dresses. There weren’t any of sewing machines. I did mention them.”
“There was an ad on the back of one of the pictures, apparently with all the information that Balladrial needed.”
“I was concerned about the pictures and didn’t look on the backs. So why are you here, milady?”
Nyla said, “I came to find out what was going on with my sister. Apparently you caught Robin.”
“I think that he caught me. In any case we joined after Jessamine’s wonderful party.”
“Is there any news about my sister?”
“We are all looking for her. As of this morning, Rolin hasn’t given her up. The Republic has been sending an airship over the Empire, which has Rolin upset as one of his dragons deserted.”
“Why did the dragon desert?” Tomas asked. “Wasn’t it collared?”
“She was a volunteer and the lady was looking for her brother. The brother had been at the Hidden City and joined with the airship to take pictures. The young dragonlady also saw a young man that captured her interest and arranged to get herself captured by her brother. She’s now chasing the young man. I have pictures that I brought back.”
Nyla had a large grin on her face. “Why was the brother aboard the airship in the first place? The Fellowship probably wouldn’t let their dragons get recruited by Tom, though he has been trying, somewhat.”
“He was one of the dragons at the Hidden City when it was taken over. He stayed when the other three left and the captain of the airship recruited him as a civilian contractor. He has a girl in the Hidden City and didn’t leave when the other dragons did. He also likes to take pictures. I talked with them when they were having lunch with Galassiel, Brendan and me on my way down.”
“So Galassiel is at the Hidden City now,” Tomas said. “Since Brendan was given Swallow, that isn’t a surprise.”
“Is Strom still at the Hidden City?” Nyla asked.
“They are leaving tomorrow. Strom has been jumping out of the airship for some reason. Danni is not going, even though she wants to. Byddri has sent mail home and he doesn’t want Rolin taking revenge on Danni for deserting. Apparently there are other issues concerning the dragonguard, the use of collars and the murder of the dragons that had been stationed in the Hidden City. Camus should have burned the files before he escaped.”

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