People survived by being cautious, but they got ahead by being bold.
“Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don’t want to die—dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were doing before wasn’t actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.”
“Strength and weakness are tangled things,” the Aven Essen had said. “They look so much alike, we often confuse them, the way we confuse magic and power.”
“But no afterlife,” grumbled the king. “No eternal soul? It’s unnatural.” “On the contrary,” said Kell. “It is the most natural thing in the world. Nature is made of cycles, and we are made of nature. What is unnatural is believing in an infallible man and a nice place waiting in the sky.”
“We’re all here for a reason, Bard. Some reasons are just bigger than others. So I guess I’m not scared of who you are, or even what you are. I’m scared of why you are.”
Run away from what could have been a good life. Or at least a happy one. Because it wasn’t enough to be happy, not for Lila. She wanted more. Wanted an adventure.
Magic and magician must between them balance. Magic itself is chaos. The magician must be calm. A fractured self is a poor vessel for power, spilling power without focus or measure from every crack.
The truth was, Lila understood why Alucard did it. Why he traded safety and boredom for adventure. She didn’t know what it felt like to be safe, and she’d never had the luxury of being bored, but it was like she’d once told Kell. People either stole to stay alive or to feel alive. She had to imagine that they ran away for the same reasons.
He downed the drink, hoping it would render him in better spirits, but it dulled the world without ever touching his thoughts.
“I honestly don’t know whether to be impressed or unnerved.” Lila straightened. “The two aren’t mutually exclusive.”