The Hill of Swords
Author's note: Because let's be honest, these two stories were meant to be combined at some point. They're both about someone summoning someone else, the summoner and the summon getting into a relation, and high powered sword fights with magic thrown in as well. I'm going to be playing it fast and loose with the Fate/stay night background. Expect elements of both Fate and Bladeworks routes. I'll be drawing mostly on the anime for the Familiar of Zero elements, though I'm not planning on doing a play by play for the episodes, so expect some particular scenes never to make it to the page.
You know, this really wasn't how I saw my day going. I mean, who could have seen this happening? I mean, yeah, technically, I shouldn't be surprised by this. It's not the first time the supernatural intruded on my peaceful days. It's not the first time I've been dragged reluctantly into a strange and ancient tradition and had no choice but to adapt as best I can. Hell, it's not even the first time I've had to deal with summons.
It is, however, the first time I was the one being summoned.
Well, technically, I suppose I've been summoned before. Only that wouldn't happen to me till after I'm dead. But it still technically happened before, so…
You know what? I blame the Root of the World for this. Only something as unfathomably ancient and powerful as that could ever get away with something that really should have paradoxed me out of existence by now.
Of course all these ramblings are merely a very thinly veiled attempt to distract myself from the fact that I had just been absorbed by some kind of strange green ovaloid from the middle of a busy intersection, hurtled unfathomable distances through a black inky void, and am now standing in a dispersing cloud of smoke in a grassy courtyard of a castle surrounded by a group of what appears to be gaping students.
A quick glance at my surroundings, and I allow myself to relax a bit. When I had first seen the end of the blackness that announced my arrival at my destination I had decided that caution would be the watch word for my initial response. When the summoning had deposited me some fifty feet above the heads of the unsuspecting students, I had been quick to reinforce my body and adjust myself for the fall. The explosion that marked the base of my summoning concealed my landing pad, but I arranged myself so that I'd most likely land feet first and braced myself for a sudden roll if the ground turned out to be uneven.
With a brief stumble, I allowed my legs to bend under the force of the impact, and went to one knee and one hand to steady myself as I landed. My other hand I kept out, palm open and ready to trace in a heartbeat. I called to mind six blades and held them ready. I remembered too well the circumstances of when I was the summoner, and there's no way of knowing whether or not there was a spear wielding maniac just waiting to carve up my own erstwhile summoner that I'd need to drive off.
I find it mildly ironic that one of the blades I had in mind was the same one that had been used against me on that day.
Still, I keep myself low to the ground in order to decrease my height profile, and prepare myself to leap in any direction if necessary. Despite the smoke blocking my view my senses were attuned and I have an accurate estimate on the position of everyone in the field. And when a gentle breeze thins the sulfurous smoke around me enough for my eyes to be useful sensory organs once more, I raise them to look at the one who had summoned me.
Young. That's the first thing I can think of to describe the girl in front of me. She was very thin of frame, with a head of long hair, so strawberry blonde that it appeared almost pink in the high sunlight, and eyes such a light shade of brown that they appeared almost amber. When our eyes met I can feel it: the soft thrill of a magic not mine own coursing through me, humming in both the veins of my blood and the circuits of my magic. There is no doubt in my mind: this is the girl who has summoned me.
For the first endless moment where we both caught sight of each other I debate in my head how I should respond to this. I was clearly summoned, but beyond that I have no other idea what is going on. From experience in the past I know that an integral part of the summoning ritual was ensuring that the summoned creature would know what was necessary for it to survive in the age and environment to which it was summoned, as well as the knowledge of the specific goals of the particular summoning. However the only thing I can feel in the strange magic cycling through me is the certain knowledge that the one in front of me is the one responsible for bringing me to this place. I debate for a moment over how I should respond to this, and while I kneel silently the crowd around me begins to break out in to incomprehensible chattering.
One of the crowd, apparently another student with red hair and one of the biggest chests I've ever seen, calls out something which sounds mocking and begins to laugh in an obviously stilted and cruel manner. I take note of both the hostility and the fact that I can't comprehend just what it is that was being said. As I decipher more of the crowd, my eyes still locked on the eyes of my summoner, I take note of the fact that the language being spoken was unfamiliar. It sounds vaguely like English, but only in a phonetic way. I can make no sense of either the vocabulary or the verb structure. The pink haired girl in front of me seems as reluctant as me to break eye contact, but whatever the redhead said, it's apparently enough to break the moment. Her eyes drag away from me and she snaps something to the bald fellow in glasses with a staff standing nearby. The bald fellow says something in return, and the two argue for a moment.
I take advantage of the brief interlude to note the details of my surroundings. I notice instantly that I'm the only one there not in some kind of uniform. This is also attached to the fact that most of the apparent students there seem to be paired up with a variety of animals, ranging from the mundane to the truly bizarre. One of them seems to have a floating eyeball, while another has a snake wrapped around them. Besides them is a girl with a small frog perched prominently on her shoulder, and another with what appears to be an honest to freaking gods dragon collapsed next to her in a relaxed manner.
It doesn't seem a far stretch of logic, all things considered, to piece together just what's going on here. It seems to be some kind of group ritual, maybe a coming of age ceremony of some kind, and me arriving seems to have caused a stir. It looks like this ritual wasn't intended to call for Servants. Maybe some kind of spirit animal or familiar of sorts? I'll need more information before coming to any specific conclusions, but so far my logic seems pretty sound.
I turn my attention back to the pink haired girl and the bald man. It looks like my presence was causing some kind of dispute, and the girl looked like she was on the losing end of its conclusion. She also doesn't look happy about this at all.
So as I kneel there silently watching all around me, I make a split second decision on just how I'm going to respond.
It only seems fair. It appears as though this girl has been shamed by somehow improperly casting a summoning ritual. As one who has himself been on the commanding side of a similarly miscast ritual, it's only fair I respond in the same way as the one I called. For now at least.
Moving more than my eyes for the first time since I arrived I stand to my full height. The sudden movement causes a brief stir amongst the watchers, and draws the attention of the arguing student and teacher. My movement seems to startle the pink haired girl, and she unconsciously shrinks back a little bit when I reveal my full height. I knew even back as a teenager that once I finished growing I'd be a great bit taller than the average Japanese male. Judging from the bald instructor nearby, I'm still a bit tall for wherever it is I've been called to, but not as noticeably as back home. Still, the girl in front of me is short even by Japanese standards, so I stand nearly head shoulder and chest above her. Looking down at her, I speak for the first time.
"I ask of you, are you my Master?"
I could tell that my words confused them. It was obvious that they were having just as much luck deciphering what I'm trying to say as I am what they are. Still, even if she can't understand my words, she can understand my tone and posture. Though non-confrontational, I clearly project confidence despite my sudden arrival and I carefully shape the tone of my voice into an obvious question.
She stutters lightly once, and then says something short and abrupt, an obvious question herself.
"Upon your summoning, I have come forth. I ask of you again, are you my Master?"
It seems she finally understands that I speak an entirely different language then she does. A brief thrill of chatter circles the crowd of watching students, who seem to be regarding the whole spectacle with great amusement. The redhead girl that had laughed earlier said something again, following her words by even more laughter, this time less intentionally cruel and more just her just finding the situation incredibly amusing. This goads my summoner into action and she drew herself up imperviously and made a sharp motion with her hand while issuing what sounds like a peremptory command. From the movement of her hand I can deduce what she's trying to say.
With a brief nod of my head in acknowledgment, I once more take a knee before her. Rather than the crouch I had taken earlier in preparation for action, this one was straight backed and proud, like a knight before a queen. Apparently both my deductive ability and my proud stance helped alleviate some of the girl's embarrassment, and she manages to regain her bearing. With the look of someone who has resigned themselves to their fate, she points her wand at me, yes, and honest to god wand, and began chanting something. Ah. This should help. It appears that the ritual was incomplete.
I waited patiently, and finally she appeared to finish the incantation and with a grimace closed her eyes and leaned in.
Ah. Heh. Sealed with a kiss I see.
After the act was finished she stepped back with her eyes still closed before finally opening them. Even as the bald instructor said something that sounded important, I felt the magic of the summons in my circuits begin to heat. It spread like fire coursing down through my body till it finally centered on my left hand. With a grimace I glance down and noticed that I seemed to be emitting smoke. Like fire indeed.
I choked back a grimace and raised my hand in front of my face, noting location the magic was burning towards emitting a bright light, literally burning through my muscle flesh and skin, inscribing a mark that looked vaguely runic in my hand even as my fist opened itself desperately as the muscles went off as though they'd been plugged into a wall socket. For a brief moment I felt a ping of worry about this. Is it really such a good idea to let myself get suckered into a contract like this? Bad things can happen if you're not careful about exactly who you sign yourself up with. Especially when the contract is signed with a magi.
Well, no point in worrying about it now. If worse comes to worse, I can always either kill my summoner, or just use Rule Breaker on myself.
Finally, the pain ended and I stopped having to choke back a groan of pain. With a final glance at the runes on my hand I clenched my now aching fist. The loud sound of my fingers cracking echoed through the still onlookers. After committing the runes to memory with a mental note to look them up later, I turned my gaze back to my summoner, who looked vaguely disturbed by the whole process and the obvious pain it put me through. Turning my fist in order to display the marks to her I spoke again.
"With this the pact is complete. I am awaiting your orders, Master."
I'd assumed that with the completion of the contract, it'd iron out some of the minor details that had been concerning me. Like the language barrier. And just what the hell I was summoned for.
When the bald man spoke again and I still couldn't understand what he said, I also realized that I still didn't know just what task I'm supposed to team up with this girl to accomplish. Great.
It was several very frustrating hours later that the problem of the language barrier was taken care of. Those few hours mostly consisted of me patiently pointing at objects around me, saying their names in Japanese, and trying to convince my Master to say the same object in her language. She seemed less then inclined to participate. Most of the time she responded with a string of angry sounding words with occasional wild gesticulations thrown in. At least, I assume she wasn't participating. I guess it's actually possible that her languages word for 'chair' really did take thirty seconds to say and involved shook fists, but I doubt it. Still, I persevered. No matter how annoyed she was over the process, until the two of us could properly communicate, there would be no way our partnership could possibly succeed. Besides that, I needed information badly. Just where was I? I haven't seen any sign of electricity or any kind of modern appliance. Not a fridge, a stove, hell even a light bulb. I knew eventually I was going to have to use the restroom and the only thing I could pray for there was at least they had running water for toilets. Or at least some kind of hygiene spell available.
Finally, it looked as though the stress of the day finally caused my Master's apparently very short temper to snap. With a brief incantation and a flick of her wand, I quite unexpectedly found myself in the center of a brief low powered explosion.
Yes. Definitely very short tempered.
"My my," I groused to myself sounding resigned. "It looks like I've been summoned by a terrifying Master indeed."
"I understood that!" the girl said sounding surprised.
"And I understood that," I responded, equally surprised. We both stared at each other briefly before I shook it off and continued. "If that was a spell meant for us to understand each other, than it was quite possibly the most violent translation spell I've ever witnessed."
The girl just sighed and looked at her wand forlornly. "It was supposed to be a silence spell."
My eyebrow twitched, ever so slightly, just once. "I see." She was just trying to shut me up? A terrifying master indeed. I shrug it off and stand up from the ground where the explosion had sent me. "Well then. Allow me to make the introduction that I was not able to earlier." While once more towering over her, I inclined my back into a bow, placing one hand over my chest. "I am called Emiya Shirou. Though I appear to have been summoned without a class, I can serve proficiently as either Archer or Saber. I can also serve with passing adequacy as Castor, Lancer, or Assassin. My skills as either Rider or Berserker are lacking, so I sincerely hope neither of those were your intended Servant." Raising my head I met her confused eyes. "Now, I ask you for the third time, this time in words we both can comprehend: Are you my Master?"
Apparently the speech I had carefully prepared seemed to go right over her head. "Archer or Saber? Without a class?" The terminology seemed to confused her, and she tilted her head to the side and squinted her eyes for a moment, apparently attempting to find some reference to the terms I've been dropping left and right. Finally it appeared as though she either didn't recognize them, or simply didn't think them relevant. Shaking her head she dismissed the matter off hand. Assuming a proud stance, back arched with her hands on her hips and with her chin thrust upwards, she continued. "Never mind that! Yes, I am your Master, familiar. And it is good that you can now understand me at least." And just like that, she began undressing. "Now first, you can take these and wash them." She threw the shirt and skirt that she was now no longer wearing at my face and turned to open the cabinet behind her. "I can't believe that I got a commoner as a familiar! Why such a simple looking thing? I wanted a griffin, or a dragon, or something powerful and majestic like that. Why a commoner?" she lamented to the air, apparently dismissing me both as a male and as a person without a second thought now that we could finally properly converse.
My eyebrow twitched again more fiercely this time. With very enforced casualness I took the skirt and blouse from where they had wrapped around my face and held them between my pointer finger and thumb. Holding them gingerly away from me I watched as my Master, who apparently thought that now that I could understand her orders, I would now obey them without question or hesitation. As she, in a complete disregard for my presence, began to change her panties my eyes flickered down to her hands. When I found both of the back of her hands bare, my suspicions were confirmed.
My vision was briefly obscured when she flicked her discarded panties over her shoulder and somehow managed to nail me directly in the face with them without glancing back. "Wash those too," she commanded me imperiously.
"You know," I remind her dryly, "In my homeland after one person introduces themselves, typically the other person does as well, Master."
"I am Louise Francoise Lu Blanc de La Valliere, a noble, and I won't be addressed in such a tone by a commoner," the newly introduced Louise said in a huff. "Now, take those and the rest of the laundry and get to work. If you come back before they're clean you'll be forced to sleep outside for the night."
"From your actions I can tell that you are, perhaps, unfamiliar with the nuances of having summoned a Servant," I respond, in the same tone of voice as earlier despite her chastisement. "I take it from your statements that human summons are unusual in whatever ritual it was you performed that brought me here."
"Why are you presuming to talk to me when I have already given you an order, familiar?" Louise demanded of me, her hands on her hips and nose in the air once more. The fact that she had done so while preparing to put on her nightclothes and was thus still completely naked managed to diminish her air of displeasure. "It is your duty as a familiar to obey! Now hurry up, or there will be no food for a week for you!"
I chuckled despite myself. "Very well, Master. Is there anymore that require washing?" The apparent amusement that her orders drew from me seemed to irritate her, but she simply waved a hand towards a corner with a small laundry basket. "Will you be going to sleep while I take of these?"
"Yes," she said, noticing my familiar way of speaking to her and not seeming to like it but choosing not to comment on it. "I shall expect you to have my outfit prepared for me in the morning."
"At what time should I wake you?" I ask her, gathering together her discarded raiment.
She took a second to consider this before finally settling on, "Dawn."
"When this task is completed, is it acceptable that I familiarize myself with the castle?" I paused at the doorway, waiting for a response.
"Hmm. It will be helpful if you know the way around if I have any errands for you. Very well," she deigned to respond to me as she crawled into her bed and settled herself beneath the blankets.
"And one more thing before you sleep, Master," I continue. "Where is it I shall be sleeping?"
Without another word she waved her hand to a spot against the wall a few feet from the bed that was covered in straw. I couldn't contain the laughter the whole situation had been drawing from me, and my mirth echoed through the room as I shut the door behind me.
Still chuckling I made my way down, following from memory the path we had taken up to the tower dormitories earlier in reverse. Ordering a Servant to do the laundry, speaking to them in such a disrespectful fashion, even expecting one to sleep on a pile of straw like a dog, and all without a command spell to enforce any of these ridiculous orders? I can't help but imagine some of the Servants' I've interacted with in the past responses to this ridiculous situation and the very thought is enough to make me burst out into giggles again. The very thought of someone like Gilgamesh or Cu Chulainn in an apron washing a girl's underwear…
Alright, I guess it's not really that funny, considering that if such a situation actually were to occur the girl would probably be forced to endure a horrible death for daring to do presume so much.
At the base of the tower I came across what appeared to be two more students, a male and a female. The boy was posed extravagantly, wearing a black coat with a frilly white shirt, one arm on his hip and the other in the air holding a rose next to his face. The girl was in what appeared t o be the standard uniform with a brown cloak and declaring something about soufflés. That caught my interest. I've always meant to learn how to bake those.
"I would be glad to have some," the boy assured the girl grandly.
"Really?" she said, her hands clasped in front of her in maidenly innocence. I almost felt sorry for the poor girl, seeing as this guy obviously some kind of lothario.
"Really, Katie," he assured her. "I cannot tell lies in front of your eyes." It was a good line, but seemed a little to scripted for my tastes. I continue past them without a second glance.
The boy apparently recognized me because once my back was turned I heard him call out, "You. Aren't you the commoner that Louise summoned?"
"So it seems," I tell him, not sparing him a glance. I had already placed him as one of the students that had been laughing at Louise when she had called me forth. Probably better not to get to friendly with him until I see what her stance is.
After all, no point in making friends if it turns out they're bitter enemies and I'll have to kill him.
"Hmph," he snorted disdainfully, and I can just imagine him striking a pose for the on looking enraptured girl. "How rude. It must be a terrible shame to have something as boorish as a commoner for a familiar."
"Still better than a giant mole," I call back to him, and then turned a corner while he was still in the midst of sputtering in outrage over my taunt. I only had to be polite to one person in this castle, and she was currently asleep in her bed. It was another two turns before I found what I was looking for. In front of me, quietly running a feather duster over a series of vases, was a maid.
"Excuse me," I said from behind her, and the girl jumped in surprise. Though it wasn't my intention I seemed to have snuck up on her. When she whirled, she came face to chest with me, and her eyes widened as she squeaked slightly while she glanced up to finally see my face. "Excuse me," I said again, giving her a gentle and disarming smile. "Would you happen to know where I can find a washboard?"
It was past midnight as I stood on the highest spear of the highest tower of what I now knew to be a magical academy. The moon was a bright crescent in the sky that was unnaturally clear compared to the skies of my home world.
Yes, my home world, not my homeland.
It seems that once more a summoning spell shows no respect for the common laws of time and space. Is this my fate I wonder? To constantly be summoned to impossible times and places and bound to serve small precocious magi? My future self, after my death, with Tohsaka Rin, my current self with this Louise Valliere, there definitely seemed to be some kind of trend forming here. Still, I am not Archer, nor is Louise Rin. Archer was a bitter, cynical, and disillusioned version of me, and while I definitely might have developed my own cynical side, I still haven't reached the point where I have any inclination to discard the beliefs that I have taken as my own. And Louise, for all the physical similarities like size and hairstyle, she is definitely no Rin. Rin at least had an integral understanding of what it meant to have summoned a Servant. She had been a driven, intelligent, and battle oriented magi of proud lineage, one who knew the responsibilities of her power and was strove above all else to maintain herself in a manner which she could be proud of.
So far Louise seemed to be more along the lines of a spoiled self absorbed little princess who obviously had views of what was appropriate that conflicted with the harsh light of reality.
The maid, whose name turned out to be Siesta, had been quite willing to speak with me as she showed me where the cleaning supplies for the castle were kept. Though she appeared to originally have been intimidated by my size and the fact that I had been summoned, she quickly warmed up to me as I treated her politely and familiarly. She had even stayed behind to help me wash a bit of the pile of clothes I was working my way through. That proved to be a godsend seeing as I had no idea how to use the old fashion hand washer she had provided me with. Still, she couldn't linger long and quickly had to return to her own duties.
But while she was helping me she did manage to answer many of the questions that I had about my current whereabouts. She was also able to explain to me the difference between nobles and commoners. The nobles were the equivalent of the aristocracy of medieval Europe, and they were apparently every one of them magi. They practiced their arts freely and quite often without regard to the consequences, and looked down upon and subjugated those who could not freely command the powers of magic like they did. They were for the most part flighty, self absorbed, and arrogant bastards.
For someone such as me, who was raised to practice my arts in secret and with great respect to the power which I wield, the very thought of them left a bad taste in my mouth.
Still, this was where I was summoned to. Best make the most of it I suppose.
As I prepared to go inside, my ears caught the faintest sound of flapping wings. With a frown, I focused my magic to my ears and eyes. The technique was called reinforcing, and was typically used to strengthen either foreign objects or one's own body. Few of the magi in my home world practiced it much, most rather spending their time on more productive magics, but for me reinforcement was one of my most necessary and best skills. Consequentially, I had mastered it to the point that I was even able to affect my own senses with it, sharpening my sight and hearing to superhuman levels.
I'd done some experimenting with doing the same to my sense of smell, but so far those experiments had ended with abject and humiliating failures that I'd really rather not talk about.
With my enhanced senses I was able to track the source of the noise. Some hundred yards above me and in front of me was the girl and the dragon that I had picked out of the crowd at my summoning before. The girl was exceptionally thin and had the brightest blue hair I'd ever seen. Grasped firmly in one hand was a long crooked staff, vaguely reminiscent of a shepherd's crook. Even in the dark I could feel her curious gaze upon me.
I raised my hand in greeting to the distant watcher, and she seemed mildly startled that I had managed to pick her out at such a distance in the dark. My own form was lit from below by the lights of the castle which should have even further narrowed my night vision. Almost reluctantly, the girl raised her own staff in response to my greeting.
With a final look at the girl, I turned my attention back to the castle below me, and then stepped off the ledge. I plummeted nearly eight stories down, the wind tugging at my clothing and whipping my semi short hair around my ears as I waited patiently for my feet to strike the ground. With another round of reinforcement in my legs, I landed easily. As I turned nonchalantly to enter the tower that I had been standing on top before from the base, the rush of wind beneath powerful wings buffeted me suddenly. With a curios glance I saw the dragon and it's rider who had before been nearly a hundred yards away now no more than a dozen. The beasts powerful wings pumped hard, pulling itself out of what had no doubt been a very fast and hard dive. The rider grasped the dragons neck tightly, in order to keep herself from being thrown from her mount. Her eyes were locked on mine, and this time I could clearly see shock on them. What on earth….?
"Were you trying to save me?" I asked her with a smile.
In a voice almost too quiet for me to hear, even with my reinforced ears she answered, "Yes."
She had seen me step off the ledge and probably assumed that I was going to kill myself, and had gallantly swooped down in an effort to try and keep me from splattering all over the ground. She had not expected for me to be able to take the fall so easily and without injury. I could see the question in her eyes as she tried to figure out just how I had done so.
"That's quite kind of you. Though it wasn't really necessary, I thank you anyway," I turn to face her completely and bow to her, my smile even wider now. The dragon settled to the ground and let loose a soft trill like purr as the rider dismounted. She was short, almost as short as Louise.
"How?" she ask. It took me a second to figure out she was trying to ask and I spoke up to confirm before answering.
"How did I survive?" She didn't respond verbally, just gave the briefest lowering of her head in a nod. I give her a crooked smile. I had managed to pick up by now that most of the students who knew of my existence had assumed that I was what they called a 'commoner', someone who couldn't use magic. For the first time since my arrival here, I reveal to another that that presumption was wrong. "Though nowhere near as flashy as the spells I've see around here, my own magic is nothing to scoff at either." When her eyes widen as she realizes what I'm implying, I give her a brief wink before turning around and walking back into the tower. Though she seemed a pleasant enough person, just like before it wouldn't do for me to get to involved with anyone until I know just where they stood in relation to my Master.
Like I said, it'd be a shame to have to kill them after growing to like them.
That night, Louise dreamed of swords and battle. She wasn't sure why, but it played out before her like actors on a stage. Of these two actors, one a man in blue with a red lance and the other in black and white carrying what looked like rolled parchment, she suddenly realized that she recognized one. Though younger, the one without the lance was the commoner she had summoned earlier, Emiya Shirou. Why was she dreaming about something as unimportant as her familiar, she wondered to herself, before dismissing the thought.
It was a dream after all. No doubt brought upon stress of her abysmal failure. Even in sleep it haunted her!
Still, the battle was pretty pathetic. Her young familiar was thrown through the air and into a strange building, his weapon shattered by a strong blow from the lancer.
And as the lancer closed, his weapon which even in her dreams sent chills down her spine from the sheer evil it seemed to emit, a glow from behind her fallen familiar lit the dream scape.
And from that glow came a girl.
She was like no girl Louise had ever seen. There were no frills, no lace, no dress of courtly stature on her frame. She was garbed in armor and blue, and there was no doubt in Louise's dream mind that this was no commoner. The stance, the bearing, the demeanor of the girl in blue was enough to almost send dream Louise to her knees in deference.
For some reason, the posture of the girl in blue reminded Louise of something. It was the same posture that her own familiar had shown when she had performed her failed summon.
Ah, dream Louise thought to herself. No doubt the shame of her failure had caused her to even dream of summoning.
In a blur of motion, the girl in blue drove the red lancer away from her familiar. Standing there in the moonlight, with the regal air of a drawn sword about her, the girl in blue looked down upon her familiar and spoke.
"Servant Saber. Upon your summoning I have come forth. I ask of you, are you my Master?"
The same words her familiar had spoken to her that very same day not just minutes before she had slept. She truly must be troubled if so much of her day is being mixed in to her dreams.
And so Louise slept, and dreamed of swords and battle.
It would not be the last time she did so.