No simple answer

She surveyed her hand like it was someone else's.

"Longer than I can remember, a decade at least. Another life, maybe. You know, I wasn't always a nun," Ly brought the clove to her lips, felt the subtle burn of the smoke pulled through filter, and released into the air. "There was a time long ago when I was just a girl trying to make her way in the worlds. Little did I know I was playing into the hands of those who had far less than ideal plans for the young and naive."

She chuckled, "It's the same yarn as wide as the plains. Mine was just the same."

She could tell him about her handlers, about her mentor Bao and how he had trained her, only to bend her to his mission, or how the local gang paid her in amber liquid that made the Verse spin and the pain of destitution melt away. She might say how much better it got when she figured out how to hustle the hustlers. Or how close to the slippery slope of oblivion she had come and lived to tell the tale. Instead, in this moment, Lyen imagined the end of her cigarette was a prayer candle to absolve the regret heavy in her heart.

Lyen faced Vas, "What about you? Where are you from?"

Her forearms rested on her knees as she lazily tapped the ash from the end of the cigarette, waiting to hear the attentive punk's reply.

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