As the new Strahl are inaugurated Nicholas watches the upsets among his fellows.
Nicholas had seen a younger student thrown from his horse, earlier that year. The boy’s leg had been broken. He’d sat and stared at it, face perfectly blank while everyone else ran around shouting.
He hadn’t screamed until they’d moved him.
Nicholas didn’t think Lui would ever scream. He respected that. But he didn’t like the way both Helmut and Camus were watching Lui lately.
Years have passed. Nicholas is a member of the Strahl, and finding that people simply don’t understand what’s between he and Ludwig.
He didn’t know why more people didn’t understand Lui. All you had to do was take everything he said and turn it thirty degress, but practically no one around here noticed. The best and brightest, in his considered opinion, could be pretty dim.
Nicholas has been appointed to a post he likes, with a uniform he doesn’t.
"I don’t care what our historical ties to the Magyar are. I don’t care how symbolically significant it is. I am not wearing that lavender velvet top hat!"
Nicholas corners Lui about his trust issues.
"Orpheus knows what to do with loyalty," Nicholas growled. "You could learn a few more things from him."
Lui looked away. "I doubt that."
"Hah! The problem isn’t even arrogance, or wanting all the control is it? Loyalty is the one thing that scares you, is what it is," Nicholas threw at him.