While she loved Odysseus as was only natural in a mother, Molpe left most of his care to Polgara. She would see him on occasion, and take delight in feeding him, but as queen, she had duties to attend to.
One such duty was thinking over the problem her son presented. He was not an heiress, and her body needed time to recover according to Polgara, and yet the tribe needed to grow as quickly as possible. There was also a feeling that since the Goddess had not blessed them with a girl as their very first child, that she had not done enough to appease their Goddess, but such feelings could not be assuaged without a priestess.
So, they needed a priestess to help guide them back towards the Goddess’ path. Where was one to be found? It could not be Anikka, for she was too young, and her mother had already found them two tribe members. If she wanted a priestess, she would have to communicate with the tribes herself, and she wasn’t quite sure that she wanted to do so by begging for more members. However, they needed someone who could connect with the Goddess.
Molpe also knew that she needed to speak to Meda and urge her to choose from between the men. Polgara needed to look after Odysseus and Anikka, and so could not be expected to take time away from her duties, but Meda had a choice of two men, and that was a choice that their Gatherer needed to make.
“We will survive,” Molpe said to herself, firmly. “We shall survive past this, and reach the Goddess again.”
In her heart, however, the girl she had once been wished for the Goddess to send them a sign – anything to prove that she still watched over them.
* * *
Anikka blinked down at her nephew. He was so very small that she wasn’t quite sure what she should do with him, but his focus went from her to other things so often that she almost felt awed when he did look at her.
“Princess Anikka, do you wish to hold him?” Polgara asked.
“I have had brothers before,” Anikka answered, as if in a daze. “And nephews, too, but there were always so many babies…” She kept staring at Odysseus, who yawned and closed his eyes.
Polgara knew what she meant. On the Isle, she had taken care of several at a time, but for there to just be one baby seemed very quiet indeed. And he was certainly a sweet baby, there was no denying that.
“Will we be walking tomorrow?” Anikka asked.
Polgara shook her head. “I must make sure Odysseus is fed, Princess Anikka, and the sun would be too hot for him.” She smiled at the young girl. “Why not bring your journal down here? I am sure he would be grateful to your spending time with him.”
* * *
Molpe walked out of the palace to see Pallas waiting, looking unnerved. As soon as he saw her, a look of relief passed over his face, and he hurried over as quickly as he could.
“My Queen, I must report something to you.” He looked down. “I was walking along the beach and around the palace, and I have found…someone, but she does not speak our language and she is in distress.”
“She?” Molpe frowned.
“I cannot tell her name, but she is exhausted and…oh, my queen, I do not know what I am to do.”
“You ought to have brought her to the palace already.” Molpe frowned at him. “Or do you think an exhausted woman is an assassin?”
He bowed his head in apology. “I did not wish to disturb you, my Queen, or the new baby, and of course with Princess Anikka, I wished to be careful. I simply waited for you.”
“Very well. Bring her to me now, and I shall wait for her.” Molpe turned around.
“There is something else, my Queen!” Pallas called.
“What is that?”
“She…has a child with her.”