Many common phrases refer to the happy state of childhood, that sunny period of indulgence before adult cares begin. "Did you sleep well?" a host will ask. "Like a child by his gran'fer," the guest answers. "He carried me on his back" means someone gave you aid in a time of difficulty; "he has carried me in his arms" means he upheld you through grief and sorrow. In battle, the tactic whereby two battalions approach from opposite directions and surround the enemy in the centre is called 'gran'fer's arms,' and so on.
Adulthood brings duties and responsibility, but also freedom of action. It is a strange man who would wish again for the dependence and weakness of childhood. So Goukou is at a loss when his nearest brother asks him, in petulant annoyance, just what it is he find so satisfying about companying the Rulers for the two hundred days.
"The exercise of my skill in the service of my kingdom and family," he says unanswerably. "What else indeed is our training for?" And doesn't admit, even to himself, that what he really likes about it is the sensation of once again sleeping next to someone bigger than he is.