Over the years, Reaver had attended somewhere in the neighbourhood of six-hundred and forty funerals. He didn't know the exact figure. He'd only started counting out of boredom, and then he'd stopped counting out of boredom, and then he'd stopped attending them. He hadn't been to one in a century or so. They were all a bit samey.
Oh, sometimes the deceased turned into a hollow man, or had been buried alive (there was a plague, years and years ago, with catatonia as an uncommon symptom. People were often buried with a bell string. Once, while walking by a country cemetery, he'd heard one of the bells ringing rather frantically, so he'd stood and listened until there was nothing left to listen to. It had taken up the better part of a whole day) but that was rare.
He had three regrets. Two of which were things that he'd done, one of which was something that he hadn't done. He didn't care to dwell on them. Self-reflection was not a hobby with much appeal.
There'd been fewer lovers than people suspected, only about seventy-five or eighty. Naturally, he'd had as many liaisons as rumour said. Probably more, come to think of it. Speculation used to fuel his debauchery, but these days it fell sadly short. (A sign of the changing times? He hated those.) But a lover was different from a liaison. A lover was someone you went back to, and he didn't often want something like that.
His world was made up of only what he wanted. Maybe that was why it had gotten so hard to surprise him…
He'd had a handful of adventures, of course. Seven worth recounting. The Big Ones. The ones that amused and delighted with their intricacies and betrayals, the ones that fascinated with their extremes. Shown him those strange glimmering crossroads where one must chose between the intangibility of goodness and the comforts of corruption. Some people chose the first. Silly creatures.
Half a dozen centuries, six-hundred and forty funerals, too many regrets, too few liaisons, seven interesting adventures, and only one friend.
Reaver looked at the grave marker - the monument really - and laughed. He laughed at himself, he laughed at immortality and death, he laughed at Little Sparrow in the ground at last with all of the others, and everyone thought that it was terribly inappropriate.
So he laughed at that, too.