Isobel knelt on the hard packed soil of the terrace, pulling out one of the weeds growing there. Keiro knelt next to her, a quizzical look on his face as he pulled one up himself. She sighed to herself, knowing that another silly question was coming.
"Highness, why are you out here pulling up weeds? The troops can easily handle such a task themselves," Kiero asks.
"And why shouldn't I" she replies.
"Well, it seems... undignified for someone of such a high position," he says.
"Kiero, do you know why we soldiers and knights wear veils?"
"That the we not taint the world with words born in blood."
"Up this mountain are people, good people, who would not kill anyone, not even if their lives depended on it. Many could not even fathom it, it is not something they have the heart for. We who fight are not members of that society, though we may bear their ranks, and eat at their tables, it is not our lot to be counted amongst them. We bear the burden of being their wall from those who would destroy them. Thus I am the equal of any soldier here in that, and no less responsible for taking part in the preparations for battle."
"But what about strategy meetings and planning, isn't that also preparation for battle?"
"But this is a strategy meeting. I am informing my troops that we are to fight on this terrace, and not give a single inch of ground. Besides, this is a perfect opportunity to survey the battleground."
Keiro gave her a hard look for a long moment before finally looking away.
"I heard that after this campaign you are planning to go up the mountain. Do you think I'll recognize you when you come back down?" She asked, changing the subject.
"Of course you will, it's not that great a change. Though I'm sure it'll take some getting used to." He replied, his mood noticeably lighter.
The two continued their happier discussion as they worked, and for a few hours the darkness of circumstance was settled in the back of their minds.