Taking the soap from where she had placed it on her knees, Elsa started to wash herself, running one hand up and down the other arm to scrub away the dirt. The feeling of being clean that spread outwards from each scrub, was luxury beyond anything. To a person who walked aimlessly across the land, it was the little things that counted the most, the things that anyone living comfortably in a house would take for granted. Being clean, warm, safe and reasonably well fed, those were the things that meant the world to Elsa.
Stalling, she listened to what Roran said, and the things she did not say. Knowing nothing about the world she walked or the people she met, listening to what people did not tell her was one of the best ways to gather information. Some others had mentioned the Chantry, and Elsa had pieced together that it was some sort of church, a religious organisation and a cult, all mixed into one. The fact that they somehow had dealings with mages - people like herself - was a new facet, one she had not known of earlier. She had precious little knowledge to base her answer on and it galled her.
Stretching one long, lean leg out in front of her slightly to scrub it down too, she answered, accented voice soft. Yet, as she answered, a certain amount of steel slipped into her tone, she could not help it. "People like to have strong leadership. It saves them the problem of thinking for themselves." The stories she had heard; whispered in frightened undertones from farm wives who feared to help strangers, or shouted promises of religious retribution from the few men she had fought and fled from, had not given her any warm feelings towards the organisation. She somehow doubted that their connections with mages were pleasant, but of course she could be wrong. The feeling of uneasiness at the pit of her stomach told her otherwise.
Lifting her other leg, with pretend nonchalance, Elsa pondered the fact that the answer she had just given - an honest answer for an honest question - might not be the one Roran had wanted, or even expected to hear. She was some sort of soldier, a city guard? and being honest might still prove to be Elsa's undoing. Quickly, her eyes flicked to Roran's face, before slipping back to her own hands. It was strange, being this apprehensive of a mere slip of a girl, but the girl in question was the first person to treat her with some modicum of friendliness. Well, maybe except for that first few hours spent outside in the cold, being stared at by a burly man with a nervous smile.
The thought hit her then, that the question she had asked was maybe not at all what Roran really did want to ask. To Elsa it seemed a strange question, but she could not be sure that it was because she didn't know better, or because of something in Roran's face and gestures. Elsa debated her tactics for a moment, bubbles dancing on the surface of the hot water and the rest of her limbs soon becoming as clean as her face and hair. The urgency she felt, whatever it was in her soul that made her want to attack, to move forward, to ensure victory at any price, decided for her. "Was that really the question you wanted to ask?" Looking over her shoulder, she gazed firmly at Roran, face serious but unguarded. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.