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“This city belongs to your king,” he said. “And you belong to him. A corporation, you recall, protects a man from liability. You have no need for such protection—” at this, he smiled brightly, “—because your king protects you from liability.”
Lily’s uncle smiled brightly, chuckling.
“Oh,” I groaned. “I’ve never had that experience before.”
“You have probably lived a lifetime of the opposite experience, haven’t you?” Lily’s father asked.
I looked at the floor, then at the leg of the chair he was sitting on. “I suppose so,” I said. “The constant demands were a factor in the decision to sell my house and walk away from the city. I did not want to serve in his military, pay his taxes, or anything else of the kind. Even now, knowing the circumstances of travel beyond the city, I still find it more attractive than property ownership under the king.”
“If you whisper much louder,” said Lily’s uncle in low tones, “agents will appropriate your person to another venue, whence you will nevermore be perceived by man. But,” he continued in a brighter tone, “you will still be a servant to the king.”
“This is the language of assassination and insurrection you are speaking,” said Lily’s father.
“I don’t want to kill the King,” I responded.
“No, but you are using the language of an insurrectionary,” he said. Lily’s uncle looked at me with his half-grin. I didn’t know what to make of this turn in the conversation.