Hatred is a bitter, damaging emotion. It winds itself through the blood, infecting its host and driving it forward without any reason. Its view is jaundiced and it skews even the clearest of eyesights.

Sacrifice is noble and tender. It's the action of a host who values others above himself Sacrifice is bought through love and decency. It is truly heroic.

Vengeance is an act of violence. It allows those who have been wronged to take back some of what was lost to them. Unlike sacrifice, it gives back to the one who practices it.

Love is deceitful and sublime. In its truest form, it brings out the best in all beings. At its worst, it's a tool used to manipulate and ruin anyone who is stupid enough to hold it.

Don't be stupid.

Sacrifice is for the weak. Hatred corrupts. Love destroys. Vengeance is the gift of the strong.

Move forward, not with hatred, not with love.

Move forward with purpose.

Take back what was stolen. Make those who laughed at your pain pay. Not with hatred, but with calm, cold rationale.

Hatred is your enemy. Vengeance is your friend. Hold it close and let it loose.

May the gods have mercy on those who have wronged me because I will have no mercy for them.

Xypher paused as he read the words he'd written on the floor of his cell in his own blood centuries ago. Dull and faded, they were a reminder to him of what had brought him to this time and place.

They were a sacred vow to himself

Closing his eyes, he spread his hand out and the words dissolved into a mist that lifted from the floor only to reassemble down his left arm. Symbol by symbol, word by word, the characters, still bloodied, cut themselves into his skin. He hissed at the burn of them engraving themselves into his flesh. That pain succored him. It strengthened him.

Soon he would be free for one month. One month to track and to kill. The one he'd sacrificed himself for would pay and if he earned his reprieve in the process . . . Good.

If he didn't. . .

Well, vengeance sometimes deserved a good sacrifice. At least this time, he'd die knowing no one was laughing at him anymore.