As the conversation continued, Quinn picked up from the smile on the knight's face that he didn't really need a running translation, but it obviously amused both of them to pretend that he did.
Despite his spirited attempt to pepper the explanation with humour, which he could obviously tell she appreciated, what he was saying still sounded intensely alien to her. I mean, loving people she could understand; they were depressingly stupid sometimes, but she could see the attraction. Probably where she fell down was the idea of loving a people, and a land as well. To be devoted to the idea of a particular geographically-determined bunch of people and a particular bit of rock seemed bizzare. On the other hand, Quinn did love Marn, in a depreciating, that-old-bastard kind of way, but she couldn't imagine going to fight for it. She responded with the appropiate grin and waited for him to elaborate.
What she suspected but did not say was that 'land and people' was a platitude and Aorle was no more devoted to any one land or people than another - or why wasn't he back home serving and protecting the Kreuzlanders?
His second description of the Code made more sense to her - both as a poetic piece of word-turning-around and an explanation of his opinion - not to mention a catty knock at noblemen in the first category.
As for the Codes of Piety and Chivalry, they both sounded, well, good, if a little abstract. She took careful mental note of them anyway, as she always did in situations like this for research purposes if nothing else, but while every word Aorle had spoken was one she understood, and the sentences he put them into were sentences she understood, she wasn't sure she truly understood the Codes. To her, they sounded ike abstract platitudes. To him, they informed a practical, pragmatically good way of life. However, she doubted that there was anything more to be learned on that front simply from asking more questions. It was something you had to observe.
She was pondering all this was they approached the rampart, and Soubrette appeared deep in thought, not having spoken for some time besides 'yes,' 'mm-hmm' and 'right' type noises to show she was listening. That was the trouble when she acted herself; her speech had two settings; talking all the time or not at all, which sometimes startled people who weren't used to it.
He chose to sit against the rampart, taking a lower position, which she half-heartedly analysed in terms of body language and status - only half-heartedly, because she was fairly sure that he did so knowing she would do that, and therefore the most likely explanation was that he did it just to mess with her.
Yeah, Soubrette Quinn, that annoying little self-referential voice of hers goaded, how do you feel? Whoever you are...
"I don't know," was her honest reply. "I really don't know." She gave him a slightly wry smile with the knowledge that just as he had revealed something very personal to him in the form of the Codes, she was about to reveal an idiosyncratic mind-function of her own; "I mean, it was pretty much down to my taking a job for Panterras that she got out in the first place. Score one for me. Only, I didn't go in and rescue her - I just chose to let her escape. Score a quarter, maybe. And then, on the very same job, I come here and masquerade as a refugee - I'm not sure how much of this you've heard - with the intention of finding out Uluki's secrets for her enemy. Minus one, at least. I manipulate Uluki and Rollick into going to Panterras house, which for all I knew could have been a trap if it weren't for the fact that he wasn't really smart enough - minus another one. Then I accept the job of killing Kira and actually conspire to save her - score one. Then I use the same manipulation to bring Panterras into a death trap. Don't ask me how to score that."
It was only as she'd actually been saying it that she realised Aorle might not have known the full extent of her dodgy dealings here, but at the same time she realised she wanted to tell him. It was kind of a relief after how Uluki and Julen had been so polite about the whole thing to hear it in her voice and be sure that it happened. "So the way I see it," she concluded, "I'm still on minus three quarters."
Quinn smiled to hear the words 'well-put-together operation' coming out of this knight's mouth. Exile, as well? This guy just got more interesting. Of course, she had heard about Shim, but had tried to put it out of her mind, because the only person back there was Brighella and she didn't know what to think about him, so tried not to. She swallowed.
"There's a jeweller called Brighella," she began, and had no idea how to finish. She let a fond smile cross her face, and said, "Don't let him rip you off. That guy takes doing wrong and prospering to a whole new level."
She paused, still mulling over the Credo, and come out with, "Does it have to be an either or?" A pause for her mind to catch up, and she explained, "The Paladin's Credo. I mean, I've done pretty well out of this situation, financially. I ain't dead. Does that mean I'm doing wrong?" The question was only half a joke.