The fight with Darktide had been much more satisfying. Now there was a well-rounded opponent. And that name. A bit superfluous, really. “Melchor” was intimidating enough already.
As Xuan recalled, Melchor had gotten that name after going on a number of vengeful killing sprees many years past. For his fallen brethren. That was the kind of man Melchor was, the kind he’d always been. Even as a child. Xuan had only met him a few times in those early days, but he remembered that same severity, the same humorless demeanor.
But now that he was thinking about it, Xuan had been that way, too. They all had, really. Back then, the life of a young male Rainlord was even harder than it was now. None of this waiting until adolescence to become a servant. If you could walk, you could fight. And all the rituals. All the trials. Drowning, studying, fighting, training--all while maintaining the appearance of a sophisticated gentleman, of someone with high moral fiber.
And of course, they had to watch their elders fall in battle. One after another. Year in and year out. Death upon death. Some sacrificed themselves, trying to secure the next generation. Some died honorably in glorious battle. Others were simply murdered in cold blood.
Melchor hadn’t changed. He was a product of his time--perhaps made a bit pricklier by his kin frowning upon homosexuals during his formative years, but still a product of his time nonetheless.
No, it was Xuan who’d changed. And he wasn’t sure when that had happened, exactly. Or why.
Oh, but he was getting lost in thought. He checked back in on Caster.
Eh, it was the same as before. Duvoss was doing a fine job.
Maybe it was just all the loss, Xuan wondered. It certainly made life easier to just embrace the chaos and the blood, rather than letting it bring him down again and again. And again. And still again.
So many friends, he’d had. A hundred years’ worth.