I have spent my whole life

Tottering between life and death.

I died as an infant,

But I was then brought back

By the breath of life.

At a young age,

I killed myself for power,

Power to protect myself against the Seeker.

I became a baneling.

I was required to kill

In order to have the power that I desired.

It was the deal that I made with the Keeper.

I embraced death, so that I could live.

Is that not ironic?

I have survived many assassination attempts.

I have been closed to death on several occasions,

Barely escaping with my life.

Oh, yes, I know all about life and death.

I fought to preserve my life,

Because even though I served the Keeper,

I was not in a hurry

To return to his embrace of death.

I wanted to live.

I only gave my soul to the Keeper

Because I wanted to live.

I never wanted death,

But death was necessary for life.

Despite all my efforts,

Despite the pain that I put myself through

When I bargained with the Keeper

In the torments of the underworld,

It was not enough.

I died.

Life is such a fragile thing.

At first,

I wondered why I fought so hard

To stay alive.

I was frightened that the Keeper

Would be angry at me

Because I had failed him,

But the Keeper was pleased with me.

I have never before had anyone

Be as pleased with me

As the Keeper was.

To think,

All that I needed to do

To win a father's acceptance

Was to simply die.

All I had to do was die,

And suddenly I had finally

Made someone happy with me.

Surely I belonged at the Keeper's side.

Even though I was dead,

I was finally happy,

For I had finally done something right,

And I had finally found acceptance.

As much as I had wanted to live

My whole life,

I've always felt unnatural

In my mortal body.

I wonder if it's because

I was never meant to exist.

My happiness in the underworld

Was short-lived.

After I learned

That the Keeper had used me,

I couldn't help but think

That if I was never meant to live,

Then I was never meant to die either.

I suddenly did not feel

Like I belonged in the underworld,

Just like I have never felt like I belonged

In the world of the living.

I'm not sure where I belong.

I feel like an empty void, an unnatural thing.

All I know

Is that I definitely don't belong at the Keeper's side.

I wanted to live again,

So that I could have my vengeance against the Keeper.

Life and death both became meaningless to me,

But I now had a purpose:

To deny the Keeper utter destruction of all life.

I have never truly embraced death,

And I'm not about to start doing so now.

I needed to live again.

I returned to the world of the living,

Seeking vengeance,

But I quickly found something else.

My spirit is in a body with no magic,

For even though Walter

Looked like me,

He did not have Rahl blood;

And Rahls get their magic from their blood.

I am also wearing rags, prisoner clothes,

So different from the royal clothes

Than I had been used to

While I had been living before.

I am also surrounded by enemies,

People that would have liked nothing more

Than to see me die again.

But none of those things mattered to me.

I didn't care that I have any power.

I have sought power my whole life,

But all of a sudden it no longer mattered.

The desire for power has done nothing

But cause me great pain and agony.

Clothes also became meaningless.

It is the spirit that defines a person,

Not their flesh.

It is my spirit that has given me the ability

To endure all the miseries of my life.

My flesh had been of no help at all.

My flesh, in fact, has been subjected to pain.

I am more than familiar

With the touch of an Agiel,

And that would have never happened

If I had not been of the flesh.

The spirit can suffer as well,

The Keeper showed me that;

But the spirit is eternal,

While the flesh is only temporary.

The presence of my enemies

Did not bother me either.

I was not at all nervous,

Even though the people surrounding me

Had fought so hard to kill me.

I didn't even think about the irony

That my greatest enemies, my killers,

Had been forced against their will

To bring me back to life,

The last thing

That they would have ever

Wanted to do.

I wasn't thinking about them at all.

I might as well have been alone.

I was in the woods,

So different from all my palaces,

So different from the underworld;

And I remembered just how much

I preferred outdoors to indoors,

How much I preferred

Nature over enclosed places.

I look up at the night sky.

Has night always been this beautiful?

I am a creature of the darkness,

But I have night for granted.

After being dead for months,

Night has never been more wonderful.

After being dead for months,

Life has never been more wonderful.

Life may be a fragile thing,

But it should never be taken for granted;

For death is not the sweet release

That some people make it out to be.

I feel the fresh air all around me.

My lungs are filled with it.

Fresh air is a sweet thing.

The air in the underworld is foul,

And it's not just from the naked bodies

Or just from the eternal fires.

The smell of death is poison

Compared to the smells of life.

Why have I always taken fresh air for granted?

I had fought so hard to live,

But I had never appreciated

What being alive means.

I only thought I had.

How disgustingly ironic is that?

I'm an unnatural spirit in an unnatural body,

But for the first time in my life,

I feel natural.

I feel like I belong in these filthy rags,

In these woods;

And yes,

I even feel like I belong

With my present company.

For the first time in my life,

I am not terrified of death,

I am not terrified of anything.

For the first time in my life,

I am not feeling any pain, any angst,

Nor am I feeling any bitterness, any anger.

For the first time in my life,

I am at peace,

Sweet, blissful peace.