Marcus Aurelius was sitting in a horse carriage when he had an ingenious idea.

“Is it something that you feel?”

His Lieutenant looked down and out the window no longer wanting to make eye contact, but Marcus was unperturbed. The movement of the horse carriage lulled them along. The battle scars fresh on their faces, fatigue setting into the shallows of their bones; Marcus looked deeply into the eyes of his Lieutenant and allowed his mind to wander. He thought of the men he defeated, the lands he had conquered. He thought of a painting he had never seen but would hope to one day lift onto his castle walls.

“We have entered a subconscious state.”
“It was a good battle, my lord.”
“We can relax around one another.”
“Wind’s picking up. Might rain later.”
“There is more to life than the hand and the sword.”
“Yup. Nice day. Good to look out the carriage and not talk.”

The Lieutenant stared out the window and Marcus scribbled in his diary, ‘New word: awkward. adjective. lacking graces or social manners.’

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