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The apartment was cool, the lights left unlit as the Sin of Lust braced her arms upon the rail of her balcony and watched the sun kiss the waters blanketing the western horizon. She smoked a cigarette as the sun dipped lower and lower, painting the seaboard in rich hues of vermillion and gamboge. Just before it disappeared, a flash of green spilled over the skyline. Amoroth knew the crowds on the beaches were probably thrilled by such a spectacle.

The beauty of the scene was lost upon her. She flicked her cigarette's ash into the wind, then snubbed the spent butt in the ashtray. As the Sin returned inside, she entered her bedroom and quickly changed from her ivory suit to her nightgown. Amoroth paused from dressing to observe the pale bandages wound about her wrist and forearm. She peeled aside a corner to reveal shallow, but poorly healed, scratches.

"Bloody shadeborn..." the Sin grumbled as she flattened the bandages once again.

She felt the air pressure shift ever so slightly as someone entered the hall outside her bedroom. Amoroth gritted her teeth as she secured her nightgown and stormed out the door. "I'm not in the mood for one of your gifts, Da—."

Amoroth stopped speaking. It was not Darius lingering in the hall. The Sin of Envy leaned upon the opposing wall as he waited for Amoroth to finish dressing. He had a coy smile upon his lips as he ran his fingers through his hair to arrange the part. He caught a strand between his thumb and forefinger and laid it on his forehead.

"Hello, fifth-born."

Amoroth reeled. "Balthier," she breathed. For a moment, she had forgotten the danger hunting her streets, snatching parts of her territory street by street, alley by alley. It had just been for a moment—a careless, tired moment—and yet the Sin had appeared within that moment as if he had known of its existence. "What...what do you want?"

"Oh, many things." The Sin of Envy straightened as he unfastened the first button of his sports coat, then the second. "Your CFO asked me the same before handing over some forged records." He exhaled, dropping his blazer to the floor. The Sin appeared larger without it, more muscled and menacing. "I will give you the same answer I gave him: what could you possibly understand about what I want?"

He lunged. Amoroth tried to flee through the Realm but he anticipated her actions. His fist phased through the dimension, colliding with Amoroth's jaw, and the blow flung her out of the Realm before she had a chance to fully enter it. The Sin of Lust collided with the glass door separating her bedroom from the balcony, cracking the tinted pane.

Balthier's follow-up attack to her middle broke the door completely and threw Amoroth onto the balcony. Wheezing, she lay prone in the thick chunks of tempered glass as her smashed ribs knitted together once more.

I was too late. Cuxiel, I was too late—!

Balthier stepped through the door. The gloaming hour kept the sunless sky bright—but the elder Sin radiated light like a cruel, colorless star fallen from the darkness of space. Shards of glass rained from his fingertips as he bent over Amoroth and laid his hand upon her chest, just above her heart.

The Sin of Lust stopped breathing. Sins could survive almost anything. Balthier could throw her from the railing, and though the damage would be inconceivable, Amoroth would live. She could be reduced to a fizzle of irradiated ash in an atomic blast, and she would regenerate.

But if Balthier, another Sin, put his hand through her chest, Amoroth would die. Any mortal injury dealt by a Sin to another Sin did not heal. It killed.

"W-wait," Amoroth said. She licked her dry lips, very aware of Balthier's bare fingertips scalding her skin. He could kill her in instant. She had seen him do so to others before. "I-I have information for you."

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