They were on the battlement looking out at the sea of fog that lay just a foot below them, so thick it looked like the edge of the world.

She was sitting in the embrasure, the tips of her feet brushing the clouds of opaque sea.

“Fog’s low tonight,” she said to him.

“Yes, it is.” His response was clipped and uncomfortable.

She kicked her leg up and folded it so she could rest her chin on her knee. “The stigma persists, even here.”

A light chuckle bubbled out of him. “Yes, you may be in a different Kingdom, but that doesn’t mean you’ve escaped the beliefs of Norinth. Don’t tell any of the bigots and loyalists this, but all of us, our kingdoms, they’re all derivatives of the same belief. They difference is in how we approach and enforce those beliefs.

“I am sorry if I seem uncomfortable around you. In my defense there aren’t many, well, really any women in this profession or anywhere near it, not to mention you are quite a case.”

A breeze blew through, ruffling the tops of the trees peeking through the fog.

“I could catch the stars,” she said, reaching toward the sky, “and still people wouldn’t believe in me.”

The moonlight reflected blue off her unusually short hair, and her hand seemed to glow.

“I’m sure they’ll believe you eventually.” He was staring at her, unsure of what she was, because she certainly wasn’t cut from the same cloth as any of the other soldiers.

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