I never set out to be a leader of men, let alone a warrior or the focus of an entire town. Such things came upon me because they were a job that needed doing, as it was when I took the post of Treasurer in London. And now, I have a larger job, to lead this village, to care for its inhabitants and our guests from the demon isle, and sometimes it seems all too much, especially when it comes at the expense of my friends.
I fear that I may have lost the friendship of Sophia. For all that I have claimed to be her friend, even if she did not remember, I have sore neglected that friendship with all my other duties. We met in the tavern as I was trying to track down the last of the villagers not yet accounted for after we cleared out from the vaults, and it was not a pleasant meeting. When I asked how she was, she claimed to be nothing of significance, not to a busy and important man such as myself. Much as I tried to deny being important, it was just a job, she was not to be swayed. She told how she had nearly drowned fighting the sea monster. She told how she had been injured and had barely made it back to her cottage, aided only by Aerodine and somebody like a moth, Lucis, I guessed. She told how she had languished in the cottage and nobody had come to see her, to help her, not me, not Maric, nor me, who claimed friendship with her. I tried to apologise, to explain that I had had no word, and no answer to my enquiries about her, but she would not hear me. I may have been friends with the person she had been before, but she had no proof of my friendship now. And with that, she was gone, back to her cottage, and thus far, I have not seen her again to see if I can repair what has been broken. I do not know even if I can, for what she said was true, I could have tried harder, but in all the chaos of these past weeks, I did not. I do not know what else I can do.
Later, I found another of the strays – Dorina. I had asked Kustav to be on the lookout for her and he brought her to me in the tavern. I offered her refreshment, but she asked only for bread and water. I chided her for this, telling her she was under no punishment as yet, and even if she was, I would deny her proper food. She relented then and I had Hal bring her coffee and some of his rabbit stew.
We spoke about the ways we could help her control the beast, both willpower exercises and others, and perhaps some things I could do with the blood magic. We spoke about the feeding, and how her beast had not liked the taste of Lucis, despite her belief that the beast had an enormous blood lust. I also told her that some of the things we could do might be easier if she would feed from me, to create the bond, such as I had with Maric. I was honest with her, explaining all the ramifications of that, so that she had all the information she needed to decide if she wanted to do this or not. I told her not to decide just yet, but to think about it. I had other duties then, and had to leave her to eat on her own, but I told her to stay close and come to me if she had any problems.
I do not know for certain if I can help her, but I have to try, for her sake, as well as for the safety of the village. I cannot have her endangering the others, and I fear for the actions I will have to take if I cannot help her conquer her beast. Those are things I would rather not have to do. I have some hope I can save her, at least. What to do about Sophia is another matter, and I do not know quite where to start. But, try I must, for the sake of who she was, and for Tory, even if she is long gone.