She walked around the grounds, and stared at the trees. They rattled in the wind, and she thought about it. How long? How long until they were on fire, or splattered with blood? She kicked a rock, and looked around then. Above her head, on a tree branch, she caught sight of something shiny, and silver. "Why are you up there?" "I'm bored," the fool replied, and picked apart a twig. "I figured you were out here. You've been missing now for quite a few hours, and your parents are worried about you." "I don't care," she said bitterly. "What's on your mind, then? Thinking about more matters a child shouldn't be concerned about?" "War concerns everyone. Death concerns everything." She reached up, grabbed a leaf off the branch he was sitting on, and then crushed it in her hand. "Just like that. All it takes is one person willing to swing the sword, and everything is gone." "You're 12 years old. Why are you thinking about things like this? Is it because you've been hearing your parents talking about it again?" "My parents? Do you not float above the city, listening in on the conversations? The ice elves are concerned about their frozen caves, and the humans are afraid of having to invade them, trapped in their icy walls. And that's just within our own kingdom! Can you imagine the entire world going up in smoke? That's what's going to happen, Nexus, if nothing is done to stop it. If we can't hold ourselves together, there's no hope then." The fool listened to her words with estranged eyes, and a disturbed expression. "You are shocking sometimes, the things that come out of your mouth." He sat up on the branch, swung his legs back and forth, and then looked at her with weary eyes. "So what are you proposing we do?" "Stop it," she said, and then looked out over the forest. She walked to the tree, and picked up a sack she'd carried with her. "Now."