by Shinko Hisada (身固之妥)
Sitting beneath a tree and grateful for its shade, Kale took another sip from his water canteen. Unfortunately the road between the port and the capital didn’t follow a river, so they had to ration their water between towns. Playing honour guard was supposed to be a cushy assignment, and certainly it had been a high honour for the 64th Elite unit to be chosen for the duty, but Kale was starting to wish the king had picked someone else.
Oh, it was wonderful to be away from the front lines and the fighting, no mistake about that. And the mission itself was of utmost importance. The envoy from the Kotei Empire, Lord Fujiwara Hiroyuki, had come to discuss the possibility of a marriage between the king of Istria and a princess of the Kotei imperial family. If the negotiations were successfully concluded, it would mean an influx of resources from the powerful Empire across the sea, maybe even enough to end the war with Semaska for good. Of course the Semaskans would do anything to prevent the marriage from happening, which was why the emphasis on this honour guard mission was less on ‘honour’ and more on ‘guard’.
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