The Road

[V.O. Alastor] 36

Sarah.

This is gonna hurt her. I know that. Am I gonna do it anyway? Probably.

Closing all those boxes made me realize a few things. Not just all that objectivity, endless potential ascension shit. It made me realize that part of figuring out how to master the mind is figuring out when to be human. Turning all your emotions and compasses off completely makes you nobody. The point is to choose who you want to be and then to be him.

So do you choose to love her, Adrian?

I know what my daimon thinks. He thinks she’s holding me back. He thinks she’s just a symbol. He, it, whatever. That part of me. There’s a part of me that thinks the whole thing was just a way to define myself as Not Her and her as Not Me, to have something bright to look at as an inspiration, something to protect until the world would let it blossom. And yeah, she was that. The glowing flower in the dark spaces.

Here’s the thing. She’s also a person. And if there’s one thing Mind magic makes clear, it’s that people are ultimately the only thing that matters to Pandemonium. Even when you look out at the Anima Mundi, where you see how insignificant you are against a universe of massive fuckin forces of nature, you remember that Dahhak’s palace plays This Is Your Life with its visitors, because that’s what the Path cares about. Who you are and who you could be.

So what’s that got to do with Rhi? I’m not hubristic enough yet to think this whole awakening thing is just about me. Mastering magic and looking toward ascension and all, it’s important, but not important enough to just ditch the idea of right and wrong. That’s the whole damn point. Passions are what make us into real masters, that’s what M said, and the more I think about it the more I realize that my passion’s gotta be putting things right. Justice is one way but it ain’t the only one I got, I know that now. And what I did to Rhi, to her potential as a willworker, by letting her live in that safe little world where I would always be there to protect her, that was bullshit. Some demon somewhere’s shaking its head at me right now. Where’s your Mastigos balls, Adrian, he’s saying to me. So I need to put that mistake right.

And it’ll hurt her, and maybe she’ll hate me, and y’know what? I’m gonna go ahead and let that idea hurt me right back. Yeah, I choose to love her. Because without passions we’re nothing. Because love can be as much of a trial as anything else. I can love her enough to let her hating me make me better. And if the day comes when she doesn’t hate me for it anymore, then I’ll know she really learned something.

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