Reina: Hm? Oh! My apologies. I should be more careful.
Avatar: Is that an apron?
Reina: Yes. I've been asked to help out with chores, so...
Reina: Yes. You know - cooking, cleaning, laundry, waste disposal, all that.
Avatar: Oh? I can see why they'd ask for your help. You look like you could handle anything. But are you sure you're OK with doing that? You're not obligated to... and it doesn't seem like the sort of thing you'd enjoy.
Reina: Thank you for looking out for me, but it's really no trouble.
Avatar: All right. If you say so...
Reina: Now, if you'll excuse me. I've some stews to prepare.
Reina: Lord Avatar? You have a strange look on your face.
Avatar: Oh, sorry. I guess I was just thinking this is so different from my image of you.
Reina: Your image of me?
Avatar: Yeah. Usually I think of you as fierce and bloodthirsty, like you are in the field.But after the fighting's over, you put on an apron and it's like you're everyone's mom.The change is so sudden that it's a little jarring sometimes.
Reina: Ah, I see. It's true - I find no greater joy in life than that I feel when I am fighting.Some say I become battle crazed, and I can't say they're wrong. But I do still like to serve others in this way too.
Avatar: Any particular reason?
Reina: ... I am the daughter of some well-known magistrates in Hoshido.They never wanted this life for me. They wanted me to live a peaceful, domestic one.I wasn't allowed to touch toy weapons, let alone real ones.
Avatar: So you lived a sheltered life, then?
Reina: I suppose you could put it that way. But I was quite the tomboy.One of my favorite pastimes was watching the soldiers practice. Sometimes when my parents were busy, I'd get them to let me come with them.It wasn't long until I was slaying Faceless with the best of them. I loved it.
Avatar: I believe it. You're a force to be reckoned with.
Reina: But when my parents found out about it, they sent me to serve in the castle. My parents gave this apron to me before I left, as a parting gift.They'd hoped I would learn to become a proper lady and forget about fighting.However, when I got to the castle, I told the guard captain I wanted to be a knight.
Avatar: I see.
Reina: Oh no! I can't believe it's already this late. I need to start preparing dinner.My apologies, Lord Avatar. Perhaps we could pick this up some other time.
Avatar: I was wondering if we could pick up where we left off the other day.
Reina: Oh, about my becoming a knight? Of course.It's not a very interesting tale, but I'm more than happy to share.It didn't take long for me to be accepted into the guard as a knight. Once accepted, I devoted my entire being to my training.I started as a pegasus knight, but quickly distinguished myself from my peers.I soon began serving Lady Mikoto and was assigned to the kinshi knights.I felt it was the greatest honor that could ever be bestowed upon me.However, my parents felt... differently.
Reina: Yes. When they received the news, they felt confused and betrayed.They told me they cried and cried until they could cry no longer.
Avatar: I see...
Reina: They've refused to talk or see me ever since. However, I still have a tremendous amount of gratitude for everything they did for me. Which is why I still use this apron whenever I perform my more domestic duties.
Avatar: You've had a hard time of things. I'm so sorry. Thank you for sharing, Reina.
Reina: It's nothing. Thank you for listening to my boring tale. Sharing it with you has helped me a little, I think.
Avatar: I'm glad to hear that. And please know, if you ever want to talk, I'm willing to listen.
Avatar: There you are! Er - What's wrong? You look sad.
Reina: It's nothing worth sharing, milord. In fact, it's a little embarrassing.
Avatar: Come now. You can tell me anything, Reina. You know that.
Reina: Yes, I suppose I can. I was just thinking about our discussion the other day. More specifically, I was wondering whether or not I should stop using my apron.
Reina: What I mean is that whenever I do domestic work, I feel like a fraud. Because the truth is that I'm terrible at it. I can't cook, I can't clean, and I can only just barely wash my own clothes. I do my very best, but I'm starting to think I should just leave the work to others. Much as I'd like to continue, to honor my parents, I should recognize my limits. Maybe it's time to put this old apron to rest.
Avatar: Well, I don't think you need to use that apron anymore.
Avatar: I visited and spoke with your parents.
Reina: You did what?
Avatar: I told them everything. How bravely you fight and how hard you work for everyone. And how you try to honor them even to this day.
Reina: And how did they react?
Avatar: They cried. But, they weren't tears of sadness. They were tears of joy. They told me they were very proud of you and that they missed you terribly.
Avatar: So, if you don't want to, I don't think you need to wear that apron anymore. But... I didn't just go there to tell them that.
Reina: You didn't? What else did you say?
Avatar: I asked them for your hand.
Reina: My hand? What do-
Avatar: Reina, will you marry me?
Avatar: Er - I mean - It's okay if you don't want to! I just had to ask you... I couldn't hide my feelings any longer.
Reina: No... don't be silly. I was just taken off guard. Of course I'll marry you. You've grown to be someone I depend upon every day. I can't imagine what I'd do without you.
Avatar: Then you'll accept this ring?
Reina: Yes. I will.
Avatar: Whew. I'm so happy you said yes. I love you, Reina.
Reina: And I love you, Avatar. It's wonderful to know that you love me, too. It feels like a dream... We must go tell everyone at once.
Reina: I must be going now. Please be careful on your way home, all right?
Avatar: Is that Reina talking to that old man over there? Hello Reina. Who was that?
Reina: Oh, Lady Avatar. You mean the elderly gentleman? Just a lost soul in search of directions. I was obliging him.
Avatar: Oh? I thought you knew him. You seemed to be enjoying the conversation so much. You had a much softer expression on your face than usual.
Reina: Hm. To tell you the truth, he reminded me of my parents. They're about the same age.
Avatar: That make sense. So you're close to your parents, then?
Reina: Not exactly. I haven't seen them in years.
Avatar: Really? I'm sorry to hear that.
Reina: It's quite all right. I made a choice, and it required they no longer be in my life. My parents were local officials back home. They had high hopes for me. So they were upset when I ignored their plans in order to become a soldier.
Avatar: I see. If I remember correctly, you served my mother, right?
Reina: I did. I was very proud to have risen to so high a station. But all the awards and commendations in the world would not sway my parents. They cut off all ties with me after I signed on.
Avatar: But, you devoted your life to defense of your country! How could they resent you so much for that?
Reina: Please, do not trouble yourself over it. I do not hold it against them myself. I even still send them money every month, to show how I still appreciated all they've done. They raised me, after all, and I'd never have served at the castle if it weren't for them.
Avatar: Don't you sometimes wish you could see them again?
Reina: Of course I do. But I can't just go back to them. not after all this time. And my poor mother might have a heart attack if she saw my scars. Now, my apologies, but there is a meeting I need to attend. If you'll excuse me...
Avatar: I feel so bad for her. She looked so lonely there...
Reina: Afternoon, Lady Avatar. How is your day going?
Avatar: All right, I guess. I was wondering if we could talk about something. You know... What we talked about the other day?
Reina: About my parents? Please, I would rather you didn't worry about that.
Avatar: I can't help it! After all...I lost both of my birth parents. So it pains me to think that yours are still alive, yet you do not speak.
Reina: I see. My apologies, milady. I know it must seem terribly foolish of me. But I still don't think I can just go see them.
Avatar: Why not? I'm sure if you just talked, you could smooth things over. You could explain to them why you wanted to be a soldier... Say, why DID you want to become a soldier?
Reina: Because I enjoyed the thrill of battle. Fighting was what I lived for. I always felt a weapon was more suited to my grasp than a brush or an instrument. It was a great source of confusion for people when I was younger. I did not exactly look the part of the blood-hungry warrior.
Avatar: What do you mean?
Reina: I was very polite and modest when I was young. Here, look at this. It's a miniature family portrait my parents had made back then.
Avatar: Whoa! You were adorable! No wonder people were confused.
Reina: You think so? Hm. I'm not sure I agree. Though I'm sure my parents would. They were as baffled as the rest. Maybe more so, even.
Avatar: Er. I see. Say, would you mind if I tried to find out how your parents are doing? I'm sure you'd feel better knowing they're OK, right?
Reina: Lady Avatar... You are too kind.
Avatar: Is that your way of saying no?
Reina: On the contrary, this sounds like a wonderful opportunity. My parents would not have to learn anything of what I've become. If you did this, I would be eternally in your debt.
Avatar: Then I'll get started immediately! I'll see you later, Reina!
Reina: Off like the wind. That one never tires, does she? Why did I become a knight... Hm. That question might be harder to answer than I'd thought. I don't even remember how I got so interested in fighting in the first place... It's been so long.
Avatar: Great news, Reina! Your parents are doing very well. There's nothing to worry about! Here, I put together a little mini-report for you.
Reina: That is indeed great news. Thank you very much for your help, milady.
Avatar: No need to thank me! I'm the one who asked you if I could do it, remember?
Avatar: Hm? What's wrong?
Reina: It seems my parents are still acting as magistrates.
Avatar: They are. It sounds as if they are well loved by the people in their area.
Reina: Lady Avatar...
Avatar: Are you all right?
Reina: Yes, I just...remembered something.
Avatar: What's that?
Reina: When I was young, I was very proud of my parents and the work they did. And as their daughter, I wanted to help them protect all the people there. So I found myself drawn to the idea of military service of some sort. I thought when I grew up, I would serve my parents by guarding them.
Reina: Heh. Nowadays, I just love fighting for the sake of fighting. But I'm glad I remembered what started me on this path. It was my love for my parents. Thank you for helping me remember this, Lady Avatar.
Avatar: I didn't do anything. But I am glad you remembered. I hope that someday you'll be able to tell your parents this, too. I'm sure they'd be very proud.
Reina: I hope so too. But in the meantime, I must see to my duties. We must return peace to this world before we can set about our personal affairs. Heh. I look forward to seeing the destruction of our enemies. I will relish the cries of terror and anguish they give as I come upon them, the curs. For each scream is a trumpet blast heralding the victory to come. And each pound of flesh I claim brings us that much closer to victory.
Avatar: Uh...huh. And we were having such a pleasant conversation...
Kana: I picked some flowers for you, Mama! Look! They're pretty yellow daisies!
Reina: You did? Aw, how lovely. Thank you very much.
Kana: Do you really like them?
Reina: I do. You sure do seem to like bringing me flowers, you know.
Kana: I just remember that when I was real little, we'd go looking at flowers together. You always smiled so much. And I love your smile, Mama! So I decided to start bringing you lots and lots of flowers to help you smile!
Reina: You're so thoughtful, Kana. But... can I ask you a favor?
Kana: Anything, Mama! What do you need?
Reina: Well, flowers are living things, just like you and me. And picking them causes them to wither away and die. We don't show mercy to our enemies on the battlefield, but flowers are innocent. And we never hurt innocents, OK?
Kana: Oh no! You mean I've been hurting them this whole time?! I'm sorry, flowers! I didn't mean to! I've been such a big meanie...
Reina: It's OK, Kana. I'm sure the flowers would forgive you. You just have to promise not to pick any more, OK?
Kana: OK! But then how will I show you all the neat flowers I find?
Reina: Not a problem! Next time you see some, just come and find me. We can go look at them together!
Kana: Really? You won't be too busy?
Reina: Never for you, dear.
Kana: OK! I'll take that as a promise, Mama. A promise!