What else was any rational person supposed to say?
What was there to cling onto, it was almost frustrating needing to tell the Mother-- whose other disappeared daughter had been much more disturbed-- the poor boy is most likely dead.
And that wasn't her fault.
So, there was no need to fear social services or the county. Not when the child for some reason, probably overdramatic or impertinent, simply ran away. To be swallowed by the streets, disavowing a kind, dutiful Mother.
Really, Ms. Antoinette was better off. To simply start over anew without such a horrible, ungrateful child.
Who would give anything to return to his Mother. Would lob off his own right hand or better yet the nearest councilor who got too close! If they'd be stupid for one moment, just one, to give him access to a axe or halberd.
And then, he would apologize-- on bended knee-- for snooping, for looking into the girl who should have been raised with him. Since surely if her Mother had raised little Pandora up to adulthood if the loneliness got to be too much then she would adopt a surly teenager who constantly pursed his lip on a lemon only he could see.
Who knew better than to listen to small-minded, small town sorts when they went on their sanctimonious soap box.
He'd give his sister-- The Emperess-- that. To worship and commemorate the men who proudly burned and disgraced women at the pyre was dubious and suspect.
Only he had traced her steps that summer evening, hers not his for Azir it had been the dead of winter, to a little, dilapidated misery at the outskirts of the forest.
Followed a song sung for many, many years and many children, to lure them away. When their parents didn't care, when they-- at teachers' behest-- would get rid of them.
He was no such child! He never was. To any adult he was wholly normal, unremarkable, and best of all submissive to their whims and authority.
That sounded bad.
Then again, if Pandora was telling the truth, a truth even her Queen Consort repeated in their breakfast pavilion Azir may have been right on the head for once. His paranoia and disordered fight and flight being useful. For once.
Note the emphasis there.
What he would give to be in his school with all the awful, intolerant brats, sipping t a thick milkshake from the cafe, throwing pebbles at stupid parents in the park whispering about the Mother and son pair.
He wanted Mom's veterinary office where he fainted at the taxidermies and internal organs pictures. Images grotesque as they were chillingly curious and curiouser to his morbid little mind.
This grim realm with it's magic and his sister the Mad Empress, were the same sort of experience.
Disgustingly familiar as much as an iteration of Hell.
"You're supposed to be dead," Oh God Mom.
He hadn't wanted his wish granted quite like this.