Chloe lied when she told Adalyn she was positive she could heal Oliver. The truth was, the magic in the river was stronger than anything Chloe had gone up against in the past. It was even stronger than the magic that killed Yonnie. If she couldn’t beat that with an entire group of druids helping her how was she ever going to save Oliver. The best she could do was keep him in a coma and keep trying. With that in mind, she dove into Oliver’s mind again. His physical and emotional pain slammed into her like semi-truck momentarily knocking her stupid. It took a while, but fortunately, the pain passed for Chloe. Then an idea took hold. If they found and killed the person who cast the spell on the river then perhaps it would release Oliver.
There was a good chance Elizabeth was that person. Killing Elizabeth was what Adalyn was born to do. Perhaps Adalyn and her Oni clan were not just the Wolf Moon packs saviour perhaps they were also Oliver’s. Maybe the best thing Chloe could do was to cast a spell that would help Adalyn call her Oni clan together before they were forced to come together at eighteen. They would have two years to kill Elizabeth, save Oliver and heal the pack before they became indentured servants to a Kitsune or a druid high priest or priestess.
Pleased with her idea, Chloe decided to try and put Oliver into an even deeper coma. One so deep that even pain could not find him there. Two years was a long time and she hated that he would continue to suffer while they searched. She heard a small moan escape Oliver’s lips and quickly took control of his mind. His pain was so tangible Chloe had to kneel on the floor next to the bed while she sorted through the pain enough that she could move on.
Once she had control again, she tore open her wrist and her blood flowed into Oliver’s mouth. Chloe had to massage his throat to make him swallow. She would need to get an IV and feeding system for him. If she needed to feed him cooked food from a spoon daily, she couldn’t keep him in such a deep coma.
Chloe returned to the bedroom she left Adalyn. She looked at her sleeping quietly and reran the idea of the plan in her mind. With the second run through, she was confident this could work. Nothing left to do but tell Adalyn the entire truth. Chloe pinched the bridge of her nose took a deep breath and tapped Adalyn on the shoulder. The moment she turned and looked at her she said in a voice devoid of nonsense and emotion.
“I lied to you. I can’t heal Oliver but I think you can save him. All you need to do is sell your soul and the soul of all your Oni clansmen.”
Adalyn rubbed her eyes and tried to wrap herself around Chloe’s words.
“What? What are you talking about?”
“Every Oni becomes an indentured servant when they turn eighteen. I’m not sure if you would have become an indentured servant or not when you turned eighteen. But, I know someone powerful enough to call your clan together despite your young age. I think if you sell your soul to him, he can call an entire Oni clansmen together and the thirteen of us can kill Elizabeth and save your pack and Oliver.”
“Yes.” Adalyn said. She didn’t even need to hear the details.
“I’ll do whatever it takes.”
“Wait, it’s not up to just you. There’s more to it than that. You need the majority of a clan to agree. That means seven Oni. You need to understand this is bigger than just you. My friend Iona is raising two children that I am sure are your clansmen. I think we need to have Iona bring them here and see if they agree. If the three of you are voluntarily together it will be easier to find a few more. Once we have seven Oni, I can ask Obvert here and we can offer him the deal.”
Chloe and Adalyn talked for several hours before they formed a complete plan. Once they had the details in place Chloe called Cooper and he intern called Iona. The call was rough and Adalyn could hear Iona screaming at Cooper through the phone. It was clear she didn’t want the two children she raised to become indentured servants.
“I understand Iona... I know this will not be very pleasant for you or your children. I am sorry to ask but you know as well as I that this is a good plan. You also know the children would have become slaves either way. The magic always comes at a cost. This way they choose to whom the owe allegiance. I know that you still know where several of the other children are. Find them and bring them with you. We need at least seven Oni to make the deal with Obvert. If we can’t find enough children well… Chloe’s not going to let this go… this time, I am going with her.”
Cooper stopped talking and Iona spoke more softly on the other end of the phone. After a few minutes he hung up and turned towards Adalyn and Chloe. He knew by sunset tomorrow there would be three of Adalyn’s clan under one roof. If Chloe offered to join that clan then he and Iona would too, making the total six. That left only one kid or free Oni to find. The idea of being a slave again caused him to feel almost nauseous but for Chloe he would do anything. By the time he turned to face Chloe and Adalyn, his eyes were as big as soup bowls. He nodded at them in silence letting them know that Iona agreed. She and her children would join them. Then, not knowing what else to say, Chloe gave them a strained smile and headed to Oliver’s room. It was her intention to spend as much time with Oliver as possible before she had to leave.