It really was a morning of first times. For the first time since she had met Jeneyeru Nightwise, Lotye was a free woman. For the first time, she was in company of people far above he in society and felt at ease. For the first time, she had a real job. Not living from day to day, completely on her own, but with someone who would pay for her services in real, hard gold. For the first time since she had left home, there really was someone who took care of her.
And for the first time, she was really grateful to a lawyer. More than just grateful, actually. In a way, she had begun to like Aeto Arrowwise, the woman who had supported her in any way possible to a lawyer, and even beyond that. Lotye’s experiences with most lawyers she had met had been short and disappointing. They had been men and women far more interested in their own gain than in the well-being of their clients. It wasn’t for them that Lotye had not spend much time in custody of the guardians. Of course, Aeto had been in her own gain, too, but not just. If that had been the case, she would have left Lotye to rot in the guardians’ keep. Instead, Lotye now was here, in the embassy of the Grand Navigators and in the service of one of the most powerful wizards of the world. She had lost everything, but in a way, she was better off now. Lotye knew that she owed most of that to Aeto Arrowwise.
But what she knew she couldn’t quite express. She told herself to heed the lawyer’s good advice, even though adventures at the side of the Ereonis brothers sounded more than just promising to her. She took Aeto’s cards and tucked them away safely, one in a pocket of her britches, one in her purse and one into her bodice, close to her heart. She thanked her many times, with many a smile and not quite so many words, but she didn’t feel like any of that could express how grateful she was. Oh, poodle, how could that happen? Lotye felt like hugging Aeto, but didn’t as she was afraid to show too much of her emotions. Not that someone starts to cry here in the end.
“Good bye and may your next case prove to be more profitable, Aeto Arrowwise Lalraas!”, was the only thing Lotye eventually said with a half-joking smile, but couldn’t help to add “Good luck, poodle!” in her own thoughts.
After this long goodbye, Lotye finally returned to the Salon, where she found the men hunched over maps. She didn’t really know what to do in her new position yet. What exactly is my new position, anyway? So she sat down on the couch again before she asked:
“What happens now?”