The story you’re about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Mataoka wandered around the grounds of her own estate–a magnificent, palatial estate. From her humble beginnings, however, she felt uncomfortable as ‘lady of the manor,’ with awkward and sheepish interactions with the grounds staff and security, sensing a small amount of paranoia. She had yet to take full command of her troops, as her title and rank suggested.
While picking flowers in the herb garden, the gardeners standing aside, rooted in place, a small monster leapt out from the dirt, biting, scratching, gnawing: it overcame her best abilities and killed her! It half-covered her body in peat moss and potting soil; as she ran back from the grave, furious, embarrassed, and seeking vengeance over a house plant, she arrived back at the scene of the crime to find one of the footmen rousted from the drinking hall dispatching the plant. Where was this trooper when the plant was making Mataoka allergic…allergic to living? For Velen’s sake–sitting in a Rylak Claw shop on her hind-quartermasters?
Mataoka saw it all clearly. Not only would she need a bodyguard to pick flowers, but would have to take full command and be the leader they all expected her to be. This was nothing to sneeze at, and it smelled like elekk fertilizer.
Or be killed by flowers.
Weeds for Roses