Lania dropped the ladle she was using to give a wounded man broth to drink as she watched Huma carrying someone towards her. She noticed the dark hair and ruby topped spear.
“Aliana.” she was hurt and badly too it seemed. She rushed over to them. “Put her down here.” she said drawing a makeshift cot over to them and the wraith laid her down. Her left shoulder was squared and she ran her arms along the arm, not broken bones there. Her ribs were tender and she noticed the hitch in her breathing each time she inhaled. So a dislocated shoulder and a couple of bruised ribs then.
She went into her bag and took out some laudanum which she mixed out into some water. “Here drink this it will help with the pain.” Aliana sipped and then stopped.
“Laudanum, not too much as I don’t want to fall asleep. I need to find Milos first.” she said.
“You are in no condition to go off looking for Milos. Drink the rest so you can work.”
“Lania please, no.” Lania sighed, there was no use arguing with Aliana she was as stubborn as her father had been.
“As you wish.” she started with the ribs banding them up and then she moved to the shoulder. “I am going to need some help.” she said to the wraith. “Hold this and pull to create traction.” she instructed. “This is going to hurt Aliana, but it will feel better once we are done.” She only nodded for her to proceed.
He rolled the shoulder back, lifted it up and then rolled it inwards and he heard a satisfied clunk as the joint snapped back into place. “That is better.” she said and then formed a sling and rested the arm in it.
“Lania,” said Aliana looking slightly panicked. “I fell several times do you think my baby will be fine?”
“It is hard to tell now Your Majesty. Are you feeling any abdominal pain or having bleeding?”
“It hurts just about everywhere, so it’s hard to tell. But no bleeding that I can tell.” she began sitting up.
“Then we will have to wait and see.” Aliana frowned and touched her stomach lightly, before making her face blank once more.
“I need to find Milos.”
“You need to stay here and rest.”
“I’ll rest when I am dead.” she said getting up.
“And today is not the day for that.” said Doranand who had appeared behind her. Her heart hitched at the sound of his voice and she turned around to see him. She still remembered the last kiss he gave her just before went with the Garian king. He was alive. He was safe. Thank the gods. “The volcano has erupted. I have sent word to the other generals, we need to leave now while we can.”
“A volcano?” asked Lania. She had heard the rumbling but then again there was a lot of rumbling going on. The wounded kept on coming in. Most of the wounds were from a preternatural source and were mostly beyond help. All she could do was offer a kind word and laudanum to give them a more peaceful transition into the other life.
Aliana was standing now. “Lania, Doranand, I am going to find Milos. If I can turn him in time, he can possibly still the earth and we might not have to retreat. If I do not return, do what you can for the wounded who can travel. Get them as far as you can out of here.”
“You can’t possibly mean to stay back. Milos, he is not the same.” protested Doranand. “Moriah...”
“Is dead.” she said and Doranand shut his mouth. “That is what started this quake. Maybe her influence on Milos has been reduced. If not I will try my best to change him back. If I fail, I might be the only one who can...stop him.” Lania heard her voice hitch and saw her blink back her tears putting on a mask of determination.
“You could die out there. You are the only living monarch in Arnay. What will happen to our country if you do?” pressed Doranand.
“Monarchs die all the time and nations still go on. Besides I don’t think you would allow evil to overrun Arnay.” she then walked over to him and hugged him. She whispered something in his ear which made him stiffen and then let out a sharp laugh.
“Your Majesty.” said Doranand.
“Don’t be stupid and mess this up.” she said louder. Lania knew that it was irrational, that Aliana felt only friendship towards Doranand, but she felt a sharp twist of jealousy in her gut. It disappeared as soon as she let him go and came to hug her
“Must you really go?” she said fighting away the tears.
“I must. I have to do all I can for my country and myself. Take care of him.” she whispered as she flicked her eyes towards Doranand.
“I will try.” said Lania who after seeing Doranand looking at her erupted into a deep blush. Aliana then let her go and turned toward the old advisor.
“Have you got a lock on his location?” she asked Huma.
“I have.” he responded.
“Then let us go.” The air warmed and her aura changed to a blazing red. Princess Aliana was gone and in her place was the warrior queen and Red Sapphire.
Doranand touched her on the arm and she turned to face him. “I really hope she lives.” said Lania.
“I have a feeling that she will. She is too stubborn to die.” his eyes softened as he looked at her. “We have our orders.” Lania nodded and together they went about preparing the wounded for a hasty evacuation.