As Nyrissa’s dying scream fades into the background and Nicholas and Shin begin arguing over pale green stones, Faisal rises and invites Scarlet to accompany him to a quieter area of the glade. After a moment’s hesitation, the young woman sighs and reluctantly follows the oversized kobold.
“I have been helped to realize”, begins the warrior, "that I was insincere in apologizing for my behavior toward you. Since the day of my arrival, I have been unreasonable and unkind, causing you hurt and distress at every turn. I have resented and opposed your teachings and beliefs without recognizing their wisdom, clinging to what I believed was the One Truth about The Sarenrae and Her teachings. I failed to defend you from threats too numerous to count, and it is only by the Grace and Wisdom of The Eternal Light of Compassion that you have returned to guide and protect us in dealing with the threat to our people. I failed to recognize the damage that Deirdre was causing, and then rejected your attempts to open my eyes to the truth. You tried to protect me from my own foolish pride when I finally understood the depth of the woman’s treachery, and there I also caused you unnecessary pain.
“It may have required a long time, and a very harsh lesson from The Lady of Eternal Justice, but I have learned much about myself and my failings. I wish to clearly and unequivocally express my regrets for the many times I have failed to uphold my duties as a feda-ghazi, as a friend, and as a person. I pledge, upon my honor and that of my ancestors, to endeavor offer the respect and duty that you deserve as a Dawnsister, as a person, and as a friend and companion.”
Scarlet swallows dryly, growing ever more uncomfortable with the paladin’s flowery monologue, and opens her mouth to protest. Her words are halted by the kobold’s upraised hand.
“My profound apologies, Scarlet, but I ask to finish, that you may understand before you must respond.”
The young woman sighs and nods, thinking wistfully of the now empty wine-flask in her pack.
“I also wish to discuss Lulu, and the union that Chief Sootscale brought about through his manipulation of your good graces. I had assumed that you were aware of the true nature of his ‘offering’, and approved of marriage to his daughter. But Lulu has always maintained that you were as much a victim of his trickery as I, and urged me to discuss it with you. I was hesitant, even when another friend confirmed your opposition to the espousal, because of my own wounded pride at your rejection of my gift. But I have been helped to see other possible motivations for the refusal, and to understand my own motivations in the matter. I wish to give you the respect of being open and direct on the matter.
“While Lulu and I have come to an understanding and mutual respect, neither of us care for each other beyond friendship, nor do we wish to be married. I have been led to understand that Chief Sootscale has offered terms upon which he would retract the union, and I hope that you will offer your blessing and approval when I address the matter with him on our return to Tuskany.”
Forestalling, another attempt by Scarlet to get a word in, Faisal hurriedly continues.
“There is one final topic that I wish to breach, and it is something that I suspect has been true for a long time. Something that I have avoided for a variety of reasons. However, once it was pointed out to me by Lulu and another friend, I have been able to see it as the underlying cause of much of the turmoil I have caused. Expecting more than perfection, yet angry when it was impossible. Assuming the worst possible interpretation of every action, instead of believing the best. Over-reacting to even the most minor of perceived slight or failure. I finally understand the turmoil that I cause and feel in my dealings with you.
“It is because I have been in love with you.”