The Childlike Empress’s eyes grew grave0
“Yes,” she said. “I knew it before I sent you on the Great Quest.”
“Why,” he finally managed to ask, “why did you send me then? What did you expect me to do?”
“Exactly what you did,” she replied.
“What I did. . .” Atreyu repeated slowly. His forehead clouded over. “In that case,” he said angrily, “it was all unnecessary. There was no need of sending me on the Great Quest. I’ve heard that your decisions are often mysterious. That may be. But after all I’ve been through I hate to think that you were just having a joke at my expense.”
The Childlike Empress’s eyes grew grave.
“I was not having a joke at your expense, Atreyu,” she said. “I am well aware of what I owe you. All your sufferings were necessary. I sent you on the Great Quest — not for the sake of the message you would bring me, but because that was the only way of calling our savior. He took part in everything you did, and he has come all that long way with you. You heard his cry of fear when you were talking with Ygramul beside the Deep Chasm, and you saw him when you stood facing the Magic Mirror Gate. You entered into his image and took it with you, and he followed you, because he saw himself through your eyes. And now, too, he can hear every word we are saying. He knows we are talking about him, he knows we have set our hope in him and are expecting him. Perhaps he even understands that all the hardship you, Atreyu, took upon yourself was for his sake and that all Fantastica is calling him.”
Little by little the darkness cleared from Atreyu’s face.