In the predawn hours, silence reigned in the tent of the pilus prior Traesten Mezzocentesimo. It didn't matter what was going on outside, for all he cared for was finding his focus, his achieving a state of being purely in the moment. He knew it was crucial to hear in his mind the pieces falling into place, akin to the tumblers of a safe's lock lining up.
Slowly, the din on the other side of his animal-hide tent faded away, replaced by the steady rhythm of his heartbeat. After a minute of hearing only his heart pumping, he began envisioning defenses being put up around him in the form of shields constructing themselves and hovering around him, waiting for others to be built so they could interlock and provide no easy target.
"At the gate of dawn I stand. Hecate, on either hand, guard me with your magic power, guide me through the crossroads hour. From the beauty of the night to the glory of the light," he muttered in the process of building his protection from the oncoming day.
As he finished chanting, the seams between his envisioned shields flashed with a brilliant purple light and then faded, leaving behind one seamless shield wholly encompassing him. Opening his eyes, Traesten found himself feeling refreshed and full of energy and vigor.
Rising from his kneeling position in front of his altar, he began assembling his armor, crafted especially for him when he attained his current rank. He reflected on this as he dressed, thinking on his wife and their future.
"Ginevra! Come here, I need you!" he called, unable to reach the final straps in his armor. Almost immediately, the fair-skinned woman entered the tent, allowing some of the noise to spill in.
"Yes, my pilus prior? To what end can I be of assistance?" she purred, slinking up to Traesten.
"There's no need for formalities when it is just the two of us, my love. Also, I need help tightening these straps--my arms can only be twisted so far."
"Well then, why didn't you say so, my Traesten?" Ginevra glided behind him, flame-colored hair trailing behind her. As she helped him into his armor, Traesten began laying out the battle plan. The sooner he had it laid out, the sooner it would be implemented, and the sooner they could all go home.
It didn't take long for Ginevra to finish, she had a strength that betrayed her frame, and was one of the reasons Traesten fell for her. She never verbalized an agreement about something just to satiate an ego, a fact that had almost gotten them in trouble many times, but he was proud of her ability to never back down, and he knew that his troops realized that there could be no one else for the youngest man to ever achieve his military status.
As she smacked him on the shoulder to indicate her completion, he turned around, cupped her face in his hand, and looked into her emerald-green eyes.
"You are the source of my strength, my hope, and my future. The sun shall perish before my love for you, Ginevra."
"Don't stand here gushing to me when there are asses that need kicking, my petal," she smirked. He laughed.
"Right, then," Traesten said, putting on his helm. "A kiss for luck?"
"Always." After a kiss lasting longer than others of the usual good-luck variety, Traesten proudly walked out of his tent, Ginevra on his arm.