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“You manipulated me,” says Fei-Li, anger underlit by prismatic lanterns.

“Yes,” says Lon Lao.

“You turned my ear with poisoned words and set me against the heart of the Mechanists,” says Fei-Li. “The only people I love, the guild that raised me!”

“Just so,” says Lon Lao.

The rooftop garden is filled with the hushing of tiny waterworks, marvels of brass and stone. Trees tremble in breezes only they can feel. The outlines of knives are just visible in Lon Lao’s jacket, but his hands are behind his back.

“So why,” Fei-Li demands, “haven’t you kissed me yet?”