I always tend to think of Royai in certain occasions that might not look that much romantic, but, deep inside, they are. Just like when Bradley was about to get killed and he said he wouldn't have any last words for his wife, because she was the wife of a king and didn't NEED to hear anything. It reminded me of the book "Gates of Fire" (that tells the story of the 300 spartans in the Termopilae battle). It's the quote of a spartan woman, Paraleia, whose husband and son have been called to die in that battle:
This forenoon I received a summons from the king. I went at once, presenting myself within the courtyard of his home. I was early; Leonidas had not arrived from his business of organizing the march-out. His queen, Gorgo, however, awaited upon a bench in the shade of a plane tree, apparently intentionally. She welcomed me and bade me sit. We were alone, absent all servants and attendants.
"You are wondering, Paraleia," she began, "why my husband has sent for you. I will tell you. He wishes to address your heart, and what he imagines must be your feelings of injustice at being singled out, so to speak, to bear a double grief. He is keenly aware that in selecting for the Three Hundred both Olympieus and Alexandros he has robbed you twice, of son as well as husband, leaving only the babe Olympieus to carry on your line. He will speak to this when he comes. But first, I must confide in you from my own heart, woman-to-woman."
She is quite young, our queen, and looked tall and lovely, though in that shadowed light exceedingly grave.
"I have been daughter of one king and now wife to another," Gorgo said. "Women envy my station but few grasp its stern obligations. A queen may not be a woman as others. She may not possess her husband or children as other wives and mothers, but may hold them only in stewardship to her nation. She serves them, the hearts of her countrymen, not her own or her family’s. Now you too, Paraleia, are summoned to this stern sisterhood. You must take your place at my shoulder in sorrow. This is women’s trial and triumph, ordained by God: to abide with pain, to endure grief, to bear up beneath sorrow’s yoke and thus to endow others with courage."
Hearing these words of the queen, I confess to you, that my hands trembled so that I feared I may not command them—not alone with the foreknowledge of grief but of rage as well, blind bitter fury at Leonidas and the heartlessness with which he decanted the double measure of sorrow into my cup. Why me? my heart cried in anger. I stood upon the moment of giving voice to this outrage when the sound of the gate opening came from the outer court, and in a moment Leonidas himself entered. He had just come from the marshaling ground and bore his dusty footgear in his hand.
Perceiving his lady and myself in intimate converse, he divined at once the subject of our intercourse.
With apology for his tardiness he sat, thanking me for presenting myself so punctually and inquiring after my ailing father and others of our family. Though it was plain he bore a thousand burdens of the army and the state, not excepting the prescience of his own imminent death and the bereavement of his beloved wife and children, yet as he took his bench he dismissed all from his mind and addressed himself to me alone with undiverted attention.
"Do you hate me, lady?" These were his initial words. "Were I you, I would. My hands would now be trembling with fury hard-suppressed." He cleared a space upon his bench. "Come, daughter. Sit here beside me,"
I obeyed. The lady Gorgo moved subtly closer upon her settle. I could smell the king’s sweat of his exercise and feel the warmth of his flesh beside me as, when a girl, I had known my own father’s when he had called me to his counsel. Again the heart’s surfeit of grief and anger threatened to take me out of hand. I fought this back with all my force.
"The city speculates and guesses," Leonidas resumed, "as to why I elected those I did to the Three Hundred. Was it for their prowess as individual men-at-arms? How could this be, when among champions such as Polynikes, Dienekes, Al-pheus and Maron I nominated as well unblooded youths such as Ariston and your own Alexandros? Perhaps, the city sup’ poses, I divined some subtle alchemy of this unique aggregation. Maybe I was bribed, or paying back favors. I will never tell the city why I appointed these three hundred. I will never tell the Three Hundred themselves. But I now tell you.
I chose them not for their own valor, lady, but for that of their women."
At these words of the king a cry of anguish escaped my breast, as I understood before he spoke what further he would now say. I felt his hand about my shoulder, comforting me. "Greece stands now upon her most perilous hour. If she saves herself, it will not be at the Gates (death alone awaits us and our allies there) but later, in battles yet to come, by land and sea. Then Greece, if the gods will it, will preserve herself. Do you understand this, lady? Well. Now listen."
When the battle is over, when the Three Hundred have gone down to death, then will all Greece look to the Spartans, to see how they bear it. But who, lady, who will the Spartans look to? To you. To you and the other wives and mothers, sisters and daughters of the fallen.
If they behold your hearts riven and broken with grief, they, too, will break. And Greece will break with them. But if you bear up, dry-eyed, not alone enduring your loss but seizing it with contempt for its agony and embracing it as the honor that it is in truth, then Sparta will stand. And all Hellas will stand behind her."
"Why have I nominated you, lady, to bear up beneath this most terrible of trials, you and your sisters of the Three Hundred? Because you can."
From my lips sprang these words, reproving the king: "And is this the reward of women’s virtue, Leonidas? To be afflicted twice over, and bear a double grief?"
On this instant the queen Gorgo reached for me, to offer succor. Leonidas held her back. Instead, yet securing my shoulder within the grasp of his warm arm, he addressed my outburst of anguish.
"My wife reaches for you, Paraleia, to impart by her touch intelligence of the burden she has borne without plaint all her life. This has ever been denied her, to be simply bride to Leonidas, but always she must be wife to Lakedaemon. This now is your role as well, lady. No longer may you be wife to Olympieus or mother to Alexandros, but must serve as wife and mother of our nation. You and your sisters of the Three Hundred are the mothers now of all Greece, and of freedom itself. This is stern duty, Paraleia, to which I have called my own beloved wife, the mother of my children, and have now as well summoned you. Tell me, lady. Was I wrong?"
Sorry for the long quote, but I just LOVE this part of the book. It gives away much of the 'way of thinking' behind people who live from war, soldiers, kings... It may seem sad, but it's also a very close way to the views Arakawa sometimes portrays.