As the Solars head towards Speaks-of-Silence's home, they become more… intimately connected.
“Silence… it’s very difficult to make silence. It just happens sometimes.”
In the aftermath of Valeria and Speaks-of-Silence’s fruitless liaison, the Lunar admits to the Solar that she had “been waiting for Jorek, but when he appeared, maybe he wasn’t the one I really wanted.” Her desire struggling against her duty to the circle, Valeria tries to put off Speaks-of-Silence so that she can be closer to Jorek, but the Lunar counters with a proposition. “It’s like seeing a king: I would be happy to be by his side, but I would also be happy to kiss you again…”. Val, though, claims to not want to get in the way of destiny, and the two go their separate ways, feelings unresolved.
Jorek, trying to get away from the thought of Valeria with Speaks-of-Silence, stands a distance away from camp with Races-the-Dead following him around. Heart’s String senses Jorek’s pain, and whispers that she is perfect for him while warming beneath his hands. Later that night, Jorek has a very passionate dream, with past experiences and vivid sensations mixed together in his mind, and when he wakes, Heart’s String has come unstrung.
Lying in her tent with Ember, Rey reveals to him that he may yet have a larger part to play in the future of Creation (although she doesn’t explain how she knows). When she also mentions how happy she is to have him by her side in these troubled time, he tells her that he thinks she’s earned the right to be happy.
The next morning, as they approach a small pocket near the Wyld where Speaks-of-Silence’s “family” lives, she warns the Solars of a few things: she is not sure how they will interact with the chosen of the Unconquered Sun, and the chief of her group is old, so “try not to lie to him”. While on the road, Rey has Valeria write letters to her father and to Kanna, the latter to apologize for having to miss her big fight with Ember. Val also finds a moment to ask Jorek what he thinks of Speaks-of-Silence: he tells her that he senses the Lunar is a kindred spirit, and that he is attracted to her, but just isn’t sure how to approach their relationship given the shame he also feels from his time on the red crystal. He also takes a moment to thank Val for being such a good friend.
The group makes camp, and while Valeria tries to resist her temptations, she gives in and follows Speaks-of-Silence into the woods for another intimate moment. They are so involved in each other that they don’t hear the four Lunars approach, nor do they hear Races-the-Dead and Jorek appear as well. The two naked women freeze, caught in the act, and Jorek naturally tries to smooth things over with the newcomers. The group of Lunars, led by Fury-Can-Wait, leaves to wait for them at camp, and on his way out, Val apologizes to Jorek. After a brief moment, he tells Val that it only just occurred to him that she would even have anything to be sorry about.
Back at camp, Rey guffaws at the awkward moment the usually poised Valeria found herself in, and Three Fates Shadow asks why Val & Jorek maybe don’t just say what they truly want. Rey isn’t sure, but tells Three Fates that she is the strongest person she knows, and that she is happy to have her by their side as well.
Entering the Lunar camp, the Solars are ushered inside a large tent to meet the chief, who is a goat… who then metamorphoses into an old man, laughing. “Let me introduce myself: I am Bent-Never-Broken, and I am so happy to meet those who will bring my death!” Jorek responds to his eccentricities by asking why the Solars should respect him, and he explains that long ago, his Solar mate had died by his hand, as she wished. He goes on to explain that while the chosen of the Unconquered Sun had certainly made mistakes during the First Age, they had been forced off their thrones. Rey chimes in, agreeing that the Solars have been pushed around for too long, and Bent-Never-Broken suggests that a trip to Yu-Shan will help to figure out the real intentions of the Sidereals.