Kudos to John here for Ardaic’s expressions. We can read his feelings clearly, but it’s every bit believable that Syr’Nj wouldn’t until his last line here.

I’m about to sound a bit sleazy and amoral here, for which I apologize. Getting into the heads of various characters often means suspending morality for a bit…and while Ardaic is a moral person in general, he’s clearly capable of rationalizing a lot if he thinks the end justifies the means.

In purely amoral and strategic terms, then…this is probably the best shot Ardaic could take. It’s still not likely to forge a romantic bond, but his odds are now maybe 50-to-1 instead of 250-to-1. Syr’Nj is clearly going through multiple crises and feels beset on all sides. Her relationship with Ardaic has a long and complex history, but it’s included many moments of warmth and respect. The obstacles of rank and propriety and, oh yes, Byron are now as irrelevant as they’re ever going to get. Pretty soon, Syr’Nj will be once more beyond him, regardless of whether she takes the offer and becomes an Altruist or refuses and becomes a fugitive or dies. And perhaps, if he shows her what is in his heart…he can even sway her, help her see her true destiny as part of Gastonia’s glorious tapestry.

That’s what he thinks, anyway. But even in the highly unlikely event that Syr’Nj rewarded his attentions, that “reward” would still most likely be a very loose, tentative romantic bond…with someone who then immediately became an enemy of the state. (And then Byron would come back to life, with a stronger claim on her heart.)