Gilfaethwy had once assured him, with the bright-eyed sincerity of unshaken faith, that his people’s Goddess amply rewarded honest men.
Lately, Aenfrith was almost inclined to believe him. Because if there was any justice in the world, someone needed to reward honest men for going to all the trouble, and nothing mortal had ever bothered to do so.
The only thing that earned him so much as a pat on the head from his Imperial masters were as many not-quite-lies as he could spin right along the knife-edge of falling over into falsehood. Gilfaethwy believed in him so purely and unreservedly that he couldn’t bring himself to wound him with the crueler truths. His twin Gwion wouldn’t trust anyone who was bedding his brother even if the heavens opened up and buried them in an avalanche of holy white rose petals. Eathlwine took everything, true or false, with the same dry skepticism.