The port filled with Grado soldiers, all with a single target in mind. She still didn't know if she could trust the princess of Renais and her group fully, just as they weren't sure they could believe her. But Princess Eirika had leapt in front of her the moment the first soldier attacked, making short work of him with her blade.
"Stay behind me," the princess whispered, "I won't let any of them touch you." If only one of them would listen to her, Natasha thought. If one of them would listen, there wouldn't be a need for this battle. All she could do was try to speak up, even as soldier after soldier died to Princess Eirika and her companions' steel and magic without even trying to hear her.
Finally, she spotted the man from before, the redhead with the strange hat. Princess Eirika had told her to stay close, but if she could just speak to him, just for a moment...
"-behind you!" The second she'd convinced the man to join them, a bandit had charged towards her with his axe raised and Princess Eirika was yanking her out of the way as the red-haired knight met the bandit head-on. "Sister, are you-"
"I'm sorry," Natasha gasped, holding the princess's arm in a death grip. "I'm sorry, I needed to-I thought if he listened, I-"
"Don't do that again. It was a brave risk and we have one more ally," the princess said, "but you could have lost your life. Too many lives have been lost, Sister Natasha, and yours is too valuable."
"Ah..." No one, much less a princess she'd only ever heard of, had told her such a thing since her mentor just moments before his execution. She'd come to Serafew to tell her tale, not caring what happened to her as long as the word was spread, and now someone was risking life and limb to protect her.
The battle raged on, Natasha pressed as closely to Eirika's back as she could be without impeding her ability to fight. The Princess of Renais was kind, elegant, gentle, had no love for combat and yet no enemy had a chance against her sword. When it was over, everyone was exhausted and Natasha finally able to tell her story.
She shared Princess Eirika's tent that night, and it was only before they were about to go to sleep that she noticed her moving stiffly, wincing a bit.
"I must have overdone it. I'm not used to...mm, it will fade in the morning," Eirika said, but gave no protest when Natasha examined her. Her shoulder was bruised, and there were a few scratches Natasha's staff couldn't reach during the battle.
"Allow me." Natasha held out her staff, concentrated and Eirika sighed with relief. "You were a bit reckless earlier. I'm honestly surprised."
"You're not the only one," Eirika said. "I don't care for battle, but I...I just wanted to keep you safe. I didn't think of much else at the moment." Her hand sought out Natasha's, squeezing gently. "And it was worth it. Not just for the information we've recieved, but for your life."
"You'll be safe with us, no matter what happens."
Natasha slept nestled against the princess's side that night, feeling more at peace than she has since the death of her mentor. Tomorrow they would continue their march to Grado, and soon they would hopefully uncover the truth behind the Emperor's strange behavior.
She placed her life in the princess's hands, and slept.