Nothing is more painful than knowing that what you gain is at the loss of someone you care about.
I trained in the martial arts in my first two hundred years. I have no small skill in the blade.
But most of my power came with a great loss.
After the death of an old friend of mine, Ramirez, at the hands of the Kurgan, I had fled England. I knew the Kurgan had been in Scotland, and he couldn't be far away. Although it was unlikely that he knew of my existence, I'm sure he could have found me had he come through London. And he could have defeated me.
I could not have defeated Ramirez. And this monster had done it, and absorbed Ramirez' power.
So I fled to France.
I could have used my years of experience to play with the markets. Start out as a trader, then earn enough money to buy land, and become a noble. But there was one obstacle in the way.
I have dark skin. There was no such a creature as a dark-skinned noble.
So instead, I found a friend.
Robert was a Jute, originally. He hailed from Germany, and he was several centuries old. He had the right skin color, he could be a noble.
He and I joined first out of necessity. Neither one of us was willing to raise a blade against the other. I was too skilled, and he too strong.
Our plan worked well. Over a hundred years, and several identities for the both of us, we worked our way up the social ladder.
He became a noble. Robert de Lille was his last name. That's the only one I can remember.
I played the part of his personal servant. In truth, we shared everything. I was only his servant to keep up appearances.
We could have played this role for fifty years, then changed identities once more. We would have. Over the years, we became friends.
We fenced together. We played cards together.
Yes, we even went out woman-hunting together.
Together there was nothing we couldn't do. Over my thousands of years, the time with Robert de Lille was the only time I truly lived my life to the fullest.
He was Robert de Lille during the French revolution. We immortals had thought ourselves safe from mortal wars. I have learned better.
He was the noble. When the horde of commoners stormed through our door, he was the one they took. He was beaten and thrown in prison. Somehow, he managed to send a letter to me.
In short, he asked that his hundreds of years of life, and his hundreds of years of strength could be used instead of lost. He knew he was to lose his head to the guillotine the moment he lost his farce of a trial.
It took a whole day before the shock of it finally set in. He was asking me to take his head.
He did not hear back from me before his trial.
He did not hear from me until he was being led up to the guillotine. As the crowd pelted him with rotten fruit, I stepped up to the monstrous machine that was to take his head.
I cried frantically, "Wait!"
The crowd stopped, stunned that someone would interrupt their fun.
I spoke up before they could turn ugly.
"I was once this man's servant. He had power over me. He could tell me to do anything and everything he wanted."
The crowd was unsure of how to take this. They pressed closer, unsure of whether I would defend him, or defile him.
"In return, I found out some of his secrets. This man is a warlock!"
The crowd roared, and he was once again pushed towards the guillotine.
"Wait!" I shouted, and held up a large book I had taken from his library. No one else was close enough to read the dirt-smudged cover. All the better, as it was not the spellbook I pretended it to be.
"He has cursed himself. Whoever kills him will let loose a demon. This demon will strike out with lightning and thunder, and kill everyone in sight!"
One of his captors shouted to me, "What do we do with this worthless witch then?"
"I have read his spellbook, and made a potion. I drank it, and now I, and I alone can kill him without fear. Put him in the guillotine, and I will pull the chord."
The guards shoved him forward. Without hesitation, I moved to his side. This would be my last chance to speak with him before it was all over.
"Thank you." He simply said.
I looked him in the eye one last time. "I am sorry, friend."
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