I asked Talita if she had heard the story of Infiri and the Blight Sea before. She immediately launched into her own version of the story that Tarsh had told us during our crossing two months ago. The interesting difference in her story, however, was that the tribesman who betrayed Infiri’s trust wasn’t just any man. He was her lover.

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The goddess had fallen in love the instant she lay eyes upon the man, Talita told me, and her passion for him was what inspired her generosity in providing for his tribe. He loved her in return, but not with the same intensity. And clearly his love was not enough to stop him from breaking his word to Infiri in exchange for some simple goods and treasures.

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Infiri’s lover betrayed her to my own people. I asked Talita why she would help us if her god hated Imperials so. She said that every kindness deserves kindness in turn. She admonished me for thinking they would be unable to overlook their distaste for our ancestors in light of who we proved to be on our own merit.

We most certainly are not who she believes us to be, and for once I feel some small shame over the matter.

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