Chapter 10:

The Restoration

An Old Friend's Final Request

When morning finally came, Eena remained in her room. She avoided the meals of first day, though Gertrude made her portions anyway. Her meals were instead given to Blizzard who now sat outside the cottage at all times. Even Gotthard remained silent during the meals. After mid-day had passed and second lunch began, Adam took it upon himself to retrieve Eena. He knocked on the door the same way he always would, waited for the silence, then let himself in.

He found Eena sat on her bed with the blanket wrapped around her head. Before Adam could ask anything, Eena spoke first. "What did Gotthard say? Am I banished?"

"Yaleena, you know me and Gertrude would never allow that. I came to tell you the food's ready."

"If he wants me gone, I'll leave regardless of what you say. It's all I deserve."

"Maybe. But we don't always get what we deserve. You think Gertrude would be here if we did? My chickadee deserves the largest house, the world's greatest bards, and all the rescued animals she can find. But she settled for what made her happy. Come eat."
With that, he walked out of the room. Eena followed him, though not because she wanted food.

By the time she had reached the table, Gotthard had just reached the bottom step. With perfect posture, he marched to the table and began eating without addressing Eena. Nervously, Eena began. "Gotthard, I... I have to apologize. I know I was a fool and I acted out. I won't ask for your forgiveness, but... P-please give me another chance. I promise nothing like that will happen again."

He laid the wooden spoon back into the bowl and stared vaguely at her direction. "Words are only as powerful as the voice they come from, girl. How will you back up those claims?"

"I'll do whatever you want, no questions asked!"

"I have no interest in playing with puppets."

Slightly taken aback, Eena quickly readjusted her offer. "Then I'll assist you in your work. Perhaps a new view can help-"

He laughed. "The day I accept help from a child is the day the gods walk among mortals."

She verged on another tantrum, but remembered that's what set her here in the first place. "Then teach me. Let me study under you."

"Bah. Nothing good ever came from half-assed scholars. Observing and studying the foundation of our world is not a goal one takes lightly."

"Then what do you want!?"

He chucked again. "At last, a sensible question."
Gotthard sighed. "You're forgiven girl. You're a child, it's your job to make mistakes. I'm not a fool, I knew something like this would happen when I let you live here."
He waved at his servants. "It was supposed to be their job to correct you, but I suppose I have to pull my weight this time."
That was his attempt at a joke. After he was met with silence and annoyed stares, he decided to never try humour again. "Yaleena. I want nothing more from you than to drop your foolish notions of revenge."