I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
"In hell and on earth, man'chi would not change. But you don't understand this, you humans." Babs struck a slight rise, and for a moment walked solitary, until Nokhada caught up. Ilisidi-dowager said, "Or you never tell your enemies, if you do change."
Bren and Ilisidi are talking about what might change (perspective, etc.) if atevi and humans went to space. This part is fascinating, considering what I now know about the book's ending and what the atevi nearest Bren were trying to figure out here.