“You may stay here if you wish. You may find the conditions among the soldiers rather…disagreeable to your temperament.”
“Would you prefer if I remained here?”
“I would prefer you to do as you wish.”
“Then I would like to accompany you.”
Lelouch looked out of the carriage window and at the green scenery meandering past before glancing at the young woman who had fallen asleep some time ago. Buried in layers of soft fur, she had given into her fatigue some time ago. But even with her asleep, he couldn’t yet shake off the feeling of unease that had clouded over him ever since she had told him that she wished to visit the soldiers alongside him.
It wasn’t that he didn’t enjoy her company. On the contrary, he liked her, and found her personality and character to be one that complemented his rather well. He looked forward to their strolls in the gardens, and whenever he found himself chained to some important meeting or other with the minister of this and the ambassador of that, he always thought of her and wondered whether he would be half as bored if she were with him. Not that he had that many duties of the nature to begin with, what with being only the second-in-line and not the first. But all the same… When they were separated, he always longed for her. Whether it was from their friendship or otherwise, he wasn’t quite sure, but that was the simple truth – that he missed her when they were apart.
But that didn’t change how dangerous the war was. That didn’t soften the harshness and cruelty of a world that they were fortunate enough to be ignorant of, and he loathed to hurt her in such a way. He knew how severe of an effect leaving her family behind had had on her. Even though two months had passed since they had wed, he had yet to even glimpse the lively, feisty princess he had met in the stories he had heard of his bride. He could only blame it on the selfishness of the Court and do his best to revive her.
But all the same… Perhaps it was because he also hadn’t been able to totally escape the selfishness so deeply imbued within the nobility and royalty, but the happiness he had felt when she had asked to go with him still lingered.
He only hoped that he could repay his debt to her in some way, shape, or form. It was only fair that way, was it not? After all the happiness and beauty she had granted him.