“Thank you,” the ice maiden removed her hands from Edita’s head, the woman’s normal colouring beginning to restore itself under the frost which was itself turning to fine mist in the suddenly warmer air. “I understood grief from loss. I have experienced that myself, when my father and so many of my sisters died, but this is another grief. Humans are so complicated. Cold is and animals deal very directly with necessities. Humans are strange indeed – they wrap themselves round with so much that they forget the why of what they do.” She walked back to the edge of the encampment where the snow was beginning to melt, stepped over the wards, became mist and was gone.
“So,” Bennoli had put the kettle back over the fire, “What did she want?” He was building the fire up to help warm the still shivering Edita.
“What an emotion feels like,” Edita held her hands carefully out to the heat. “She asked me if she could take the feeling of a broken heart. But she took more than that,” the woman was puzzled, “The feeling after you’ve been betrayed and the walls you build around yourself to stop those things hurting you again, she took those too. And I think she looked at why we don’t just kill the people who do that to us.”
“When you say took,” Tarrascotti was filling three infusion balls with something warming to go in their mugs with the hot water, “What do you mean?”
“The memory of those things is still there,” Edita said slowly, “But the edge is gone. It’s as if it happened a very long time ago. And she left things behind too, about as strong as the memories of what she took. Worry about the consequences of leaving winter unbound – I’m not sure what they are, but she seems to feel that only the Sharptooth,” she used the title of the Trideian goddess of nature and growth, “Stands between us and disaster. Grief for her father and her sisters, and an immense respect for Lunifer.” Edita looked up but the moon was not in sight, “And I felt that while she was doing it her mind was growing, becoming more complicated, taking up more space inside my head.”
“Sounds like it might be working then,” Tarrascotti said, “That plan of hers to become a god.”