“Will she be alright?” Conrad waited anxiously for his mother’s diagnosis. He had brought Izzy to the palace as quickly as he could and, after hearing the situation, the queen took her immediately to one of the many bedrooms and brought her different medicines in different bottles. Conrad was standing outside the room when the queen finally emerged.
“She’ll be fine,” she assured him. “The unconsciousness is a defense technique. Her body is just resting after the ordeal. I’ve given her something to help with the nasty bump on her head. That could have gotten bad without treatment. She’ll probably sleep most of the day, but she’ll be fine.”
Conrad breathed a sigh of relief. “I’m glad I was able to get her here. And I’m glad to be home.”
His mother smiled. “It’s nice to have you home, son.”
Now that everyone was safe and well, Conrad’s mind returned to the subject that had been puzzling him ever since he read Izzy’s book. “Where’s father? I need to speak with him.” The king was there when he arrived with Izzy, but Conrad hadn’t seen him since.
“He’s in the throne room. He would like to speak with you, too.”
* * * * *
The king was sitting on the throne. He rose to greet his son.
“Welcome home. You did well, son, bringing that poor creature here.”
“Thank you, father. But I would like to speak to you about my quest.”
“I already spoke about it. I said ‘well done,’ and ‘welcome home.’ You saved someone’s life. It seems to me that your quest was successful.”
Conrad smiled. “That girl. Izzy. You’ve met her before, haven’t you?”
The king didn’t answer. “I gather you discovered something along your way.”
“I discovered so many things. I found out that I was looking for something that was here the whole time. I was headed in the wrong direction.”
“So you’ve discovered what makes our little country of Saphir the greatest of all the surrounding countries?”
“I think I have. It’s because greatness isn’t always big. And it starts right here. Or in a cottage. Or in a treehouse. It starts wherever we call home. And the people of Saphir understand that. You taught it to them. Just like you taught it to me.”
The king smiled. “Before I began wandering, looking for what the world had for me, I told my father that until I found my future I wanted to be a shadow. I wanted to be someone who would pass through and then be gone without leaving a trace. He told me, ‘Son, you will always leave a trace. Choose that trace carefully.’ My father died soon after. But because of my his wisdom, you, the grandson of a poor farmer from a distant land, are heir to this kingdom.”
The king walked down from his throne and wrapped his arms around his son.”
“And you, Conrad, will be a truly great king.”