24.XIII \ 205

The two progressed along this business thoroughfare with residential side streets. The hills were on the side of the reservoir where they came from. “I suppose I hadn’t reached an active enough role to be given the confidential information regarding these issues,” mused Soleil. At six, there was no way she could have been relevant, and at twenty-four they’d hoped it was long buried.

“They were wise enough not to include additional people in the decisions of wrongdoing. It’s part of why I was willing to give you half a chance.” Raev glanced to his side, regarding Soleil. “You’ve thus far shown yourself to be decent, and honest. If you were hiding something nefarious, like what we’re discussing now, the Aureny would have tossed you over the edge when you were matching forces.”

She recalled clarifying her intentions before walking into the chamber. “You’d have been just as happy if they did away with me in the case of my having compromised integrity.”

“You are right about that.” Sturlusson’s voice was steely and ruthless, though not cruel. “But they didn’t. You also made no misstep throughout the Tempering, which means you were able to respect them as well. So, I’m giving you that much.”

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