Maven tries to teach Mare the names of all the lords and ladies at the feast. Evangeline’s father stands to toast his daughter, and he strikes Mare as dangerous. Mare makes it through the feast, at the end of which Maven leads her from the hall. She can feel Silver eyes on her, and she can sense the eyes of all the electric cameras staring at her as well.
Maven seems to be trying to help Mare in her performance. Mare is beginning to trust that he is telling her the truth, and she is less wary of Maven than of other Silvers. Mare’s connection to electricity helps her remain vigilant because it makes her hyper-aware of the surveillance cameras everywhere.
Mare worries about what the powerful king and queen could possibly fear, and about who the Scarlet Guard will target next. Will they target her? As Mare’s mind spirals, the queen orders some sentinels to take Mare and Evangeline to their rooms. Cal volunteers instead, but Elara claims that it would be inappropriate. The king decides that Cal will take Mare and Maven will take Evangeline. Elara is visibly angry that her husband has used his power to overrule her.
Mare has been thinking about the king and queen as a united front and has been worried about what they, as a unit, are fearing from the Scarlet Guard. When she witnesses the conflict between the two over how the young couples should perform propriety on the way back to their rooms, Mare realizes that there is also a struggle for power within the marriage itself.
Alone with Cal after Maven and a scowling Evangeline depart, Mare comments sarcastically that Cal “picked a real winner.” Cal retorts that he did not pick anyone. Mare is again resistant to sympathizing with Cal, but she cannot help but feel some of his sadness at having no say in his own life. Cal senses that Mare is thinking of her family, and he tells her that he has sent the order for her brothers to be released and that an officer is going to tell her family that she must now live at the palace as a servant. For now, they cannot know the truth “for your own protection.” Mare asks if the cameras are for her protection too. Cal says there are no cameras in her room, and Mare learns that being able to feel the cameras is not normal.
Mare begins to sympathize with Cal as well as Maven. She starts to wonder whether, despite their wealth, the princes have less control over their lives than she thought. By talking to Mare about her family, Cal once again demonstrates recognition of Mare as a person outside of her role as Lady Mareena Titanos. Mare remains somewhat adversarial toward Cal, but she nonetheless trusts him enough to ask about the cameras. Mare realizes in this moment that her gift with electricity might have wider ranging uses than she thought.