Makes me wonder, on a sexist sort of note ... think it has anything to do with me being male that I expected the absolute worst of him in the first place, and immediately felt sympathy for her? Rationally, I should have been surprised when it happened, and should have had a "What an idiot," feeling toward her.
A possible third interpretation: The man offered her a deal, some kind of deal that would make dying a violent death seem preferable to living. Such as: her family is starving, and she has no way to feed them. If she dies for him, he has signed a contract which will ensure that her children will be fed and cared for until they are adults. So in that scenario she is neither a sacrificial lamb nor a naive idiot. All we can do is speculate since we never really get to hear her story.
This story had some very interesting elements. First and foremost, it combined a litigious legal system that reminds me of modern US culture, but with court battles resolved by old-fashioned duels but with newfangled war tech. I've always found the idea of "justice by duel" to be a particularly ridiculous social system. It equates physical skill at fighting with rightness, which doesn't really make any sense. It's a terribly stupid system, both then and now.
But NOTHING HAPPENED onscreen. They anticipated the battle. Then the bunkers get blowed up, offscreen. Then the fighters come for them, offscreen. Then Bamboo launched a counterstrike that killed their enemies, offscreen. The end. WTF? Can I have some of my action onscreen please? Can my protagonist do something? Can our supposed action hero Bamboo do something besides twiddle her Palm Pilot? I can see a similar scene myself at a coffee shop--one person bitching about legal trouble while the other person played Angry Birds on her phone. (Okay, so the Angry Birds won the legal battle, so it's a bit different in the result, but as far as the action happening right now it's pretty similar)