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Author Topic: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos  (Read 4493 times)

Fiverine

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2019, 09:34:20 am »
Squire Teuivae's been such a blessing.  Her kindness and humility have inspired me in the aftermath o' Koi's death.  We had a long talk tonight, I showed her some o' my old kit, an' I felt like we were on the same page.  She tol' me I looked like an angel in my old Amaunatorian armour.  Then she had t'head off with Wulvarax to finish off a mission.  Wulvarax has come back from his leave much more focussed an' pragmatic. 

But the nightmare was back again once I lay down, and I woke up in the wee hours.  I lay there wonderin' about some things... was I handlin' them the way Father McIvor would want?  Or indeed, Amaunator himself?  Sherina and "Pattie", training the squires, mercy-killing Arariel, my investigation into Koi's death, being the Swords' council rep, this thing with Teuivae, Menner… was I doin' any of these things remotely right?  Or was I banjaxing everything like a moran?  I had a bad dose o' doubt and couldn't get back t'sleep.  I stumbled out o' my room and went upstairs t'the battlements. 

I kneeled on the flagstones, lookin' up and prayin' to the Golden God for some guidance.  The night sky was turnin' orange from the looming dawn, which only the clouds seemed to be holdin' back.  A single ray o' sunlight sliced through the clouds and fell upon m'face.  My skin began to glow... so hot and bright that it itched.  My scalp stung, as if my hair was aflame.  The clouds parted and the sunlight cuttin' through them was so bright I had to close m'eyes.  Then I heard a metallic clang on the flagstones b'fore me.

I opened my eyes, and I knew I was on the right path...
« Last Edit: October 19, 2019, 09:37:47 am by Fiverine »
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

Fiverine

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2019, 06:51:26 am »
I 'ave found my place in the Swords, the true reason I was drawn here.  I am to be the finisher o' unfinished business.  I spend much time each day siftin' through old records in the Keep, piecing together old events, actions and words.  From there, I try to find the next step that needs to be taken.  It's not easy... I'm reading the reports of former Swords, some fallen heroes, some disgraced discharges.  I feel a twinge o' familiarity every time I see Koi's handwriting.  And there was a lass named Lilana Feynolds who reminds me a bit o' Teuivae in her tone.

Teuivae… I could never 'ave guessed that I'd become so close to that half-elf lass who quietly came in to Harvest Moon one day.  I've never met anyone so incredibly patient, tolerant and just plain loving as that girl.  Even when she's angry it's not petty, it's because she can't right some wrong.  We share that quakin' rage at unfairness... it comes from the blood.  She's still learnin' to control the feelings it causes.  I've known my blood from the start, and even I'm prone to throwin' shapes due to it.  Must be so hard for her.  We're so blessed to 'ave each other on this journey, we seem t'calm one another. 

Wulvarax has been busy smitin' undead around Southbank, I hear.  I think he's ready to step it up.  I have somethin' in mind for him, and he'll love it.  Never seen nobody else enjoy banjaxing a walkin' corpse to bits as much as that boyo does.  I wonder what it is that drives him so fervently?  Is it a blood thing with 'im too?  Or did some undead hurt or kill someone important to him?

I visited the Church o' Amaunator today.  I'm lost f'words...I caused this.  I didn't mean to, but somethin' I did started this chain o' unwanted events, as I seem to be deadly good at doin'.  He said that as long as I'd learned something from it, it was all right... and I have.  But it doesn't seem enough for the cost. 







"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

Fiverine

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2019, 03:06:37 am »
M'boyo Shi Lei gave me a dreamcatcher made from Arariel's feathers a few weeks past after he saw me wake up howlin' from a nightmare.  It seems t'have helped, at least up til the past few days.  But I don't dare sleep without it nearby in case that makes the dream even worse.  I've gotten used t'the lack o' sleep at least.  Not takin' a kip when people are talkin' to me.  Still, I have t'get this sorted out.  Teuivae's dreams too.  At least hers are pleasant, if persistent, for the most part. 

I had t'kill a man just a few days ago.  A Sharran assassin, who'd harassed our friend Syclya.  The silly dosser wouldn't surrender and resisted arrest.  I didn't want or mean t'kill him, I wanted t'just knock him out.  But I hit him too hard.  I took him to the Church to have him raised.  But when the priests found his Sharran amulet and tools o' the trade, they preferred he stay dead. 

At long last I've made some progress on Mary's case.  Maybe...just maybe... we're nearin' a resolution.  I hope so, we all need a win here. 

"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2019, 02:52:25 am »
These nightmares I've been havin' about Ara... I had them all wrong.  I had thought she was trapped in the fugue plane because it was me, a kinswoman, who struck her down.  Or that it was the oath she swore to Achanatyr, due t' my actions in the "Pattie" case.  Either way, I knew it was my fault.  If I ever saw her again... I planned to beg her forgiveness.

But she wasn't there at all... she'd created a personal hell for herself.  A twisted version of Moon Glow Keep, peopled by horrid things that were the Swords as she saw them.  And when I finally found her spirit... it was her begging me for forgiveness, and not believin' I was even still alive.  She'd seen me die over and over in that awful place she made. 

She's free now, though... we forgave each other, and I showed her that in Teuivae lay the path to redemption f'both of us.  It was a collective effort, but.  She drew Moose and Lysander into that pocket hell too, and they helped ensure no fiends were able to snatch her spirit while we lead her back home to Mount Celestia. 

The experience changed us all... Teuivae the most profoundly.  But I think I can sense some changes brewin' in the Swords, too.  The Jergalites had been driven out o' the Keep once upon a time, and yet a Jergalite still stood by us t'do the right thing.  And Moose... we all saw there was a wee bit more to him than there seems. 

As for me... the nightmares are gone.  I had my first proper night o' sleep in many weeks. 
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2019, 06:12:57 am »
Sometimes I worry that all I know how to do is cause death.  Either with my own hands, or just by association.  Trinra is dead.  I swore no harm would come t'her, and I failed her. 

I asked her t'help me find out why the drow insist on campin' right beneath the Abbey o' the Moon.  It concerned me havin' a slave market that close to a site o' pilgrims and priests, and me regularly goin' down there to chase them off wasn't having a lasting impact.  Trinra asked me to show her where the camp was, and she'd try to talk t'them and find out why they chose that spot.  And then maybe we could convince them to bunk off.  She suggested I wait above, in case my presence angered them. 

I waited nervously... prayin' that she was safe, and wonderin' if I should storm down there.  Then... her bloodied, freshly severed head flew from the breach in the wall to land near where I was kneelin'.  Those feckin' barbarians murdered her.  I charged down like an eejit, ready to carve 'em all up, but they'd locked the gates and manned the camp with their best.  They refused to hand over the rest o' her remains, said they'd fed her to the hounds.  I could only retreat, and tell those who knew her the bad news. 

I never thought I'd ever shed tears for a drow.  But today, I did.  She was so brave... brave enough t'walk the streets o' a human city, and brave enough to face her kin on my behalf.  Right to the end, she was tryin' to help folk who distrusted her because o' what she was. 

We buried her on the grounds o' the Abbey, for her last act was an effort to help it.  Lysander performed the last rites.  Shi was so angry, wantin' immediate vengeance, as is his way.  Teuivae was just... immensely sad.  Things have changed between us, but today... with both o' us in grief... it didn't matter.  We were there for each other.  Mayor Wren came along too... but why, I wonder?  She didn't seem t'care much.  Just watched the whole thing with silence.  I met with Meleghost later to give him the bad news too.  Oddly... he and I actually found some common ground for a change.   

And now... Trinra Damaiv, a brave soul, the best drow I could ever hope t'meet… is just a name to remember and another face t'haunt my dreams.
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

Fiverine

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2019, 11:30:50 pm »
I closed m'eyes last night, well knowin' there was no escapin' a dream about what happened.  It took forever to doze off, since I was dreading a return t'the dreams I used to have about Arariel.

But it wasn't like that...  I dreamed I was kneeling on the flagstones on the roof o' the Keep, eyes closed and praying for the strength I knew I would need to avenge Trinra.  I heard the clanking o' armoured feet before me, and looked up t'see a great knight, clad in gleaming golden armour.  He took a deep breath to speak, and I instinctively flinched, expectin' a mighty booming voice which could well toss me off the roof with its power.

Instead, it was the creaky but warm voice o' my mentor, Father McIvor.
"We talked about this Nessie.  You swore to me you'd never pursue revenge.  It is an emotional reaction.  It is NOT a valid motive for violence.  You know this.  You are better than this.  So stop."

Baffled, I said "Dah, what d'you expect me t'do?  I'm not like Teuivae, I can't just forgive them and move on.  They murdered someone under my protection!  I was going to redeem her!  We were going to become friends!"

"Tsk Nessie, all this emotion!  No, not forgiveness.  Not revenge.  Punishment.  That is your duty.  We both dream of a day when all are equally subject to the holy law... whether peasant, king, arcanist, dwarf, orc or even drow.  But you cannot fairly administer punishment if you are consumed with rage, grief and hate.  Get your head together, Nessie!  Then administer the appropriate punishments for the death of your ward, your lost future hopes, and the damage to your honour.  And do it with as much pitiless harshness or merciful restraint your clear mind deems necessary.  This is the Way, this is the Law."

I nodded, and was still noddin' in bed when I awoke. 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2019, 02:32:55 am by Fiverine »
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

Fiverine

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2019, 05:30:15 am »
Misguided.  Dishonourable.  Unworthy.  He didn't say the words, but he didn't need to.  The look in his eyes tol' me what he felt.  No longer worthy to wield a blade in his stead.  No longer worthy t'be his friend. 

Unworthy.  I sat up in my room last night, thinkin' that over, and about how alone I was, with just fellow Swords as friends and a few fellow social outcasts for allies.    Even Teuivae has left now, unable to tolerate the impurities and compromises o' livin' in these lands.

I don't know how long she had been watchin' me and listenin' to my thoughts.  But at some point, she tired o' hearin' my internal self-pity and the words she spoke right t'my mind silenced me.

"I am sorry.  But it is true.  You were not worthy of that blade, aasimar."

Even inside my head, the voice was deep yet feminine, booming yet reassuring, and intimidating yet inspiring.  The solar stood in my room, her head almost touchin' the ceiling.  In her hands was the most exquisite weapon I'd ever lain my humble peepers upon, wrought o' celestial silver and steel and engraved with my name. 

"However, Arariel has deemed you worthy of this one.  You and her furiously disagreed, to the very end of her mortal life...  but you did not ever forget her and still hold her name dear and honour her memory.  Unlike some others.  Then you and your friends risked your very souls to bring her home to us.  So she personally chose this for you to remember her by."

The solar leaned down and pressed the weapon into my dumbfounded hands.  I cradled the sword like I would a wee child.  My palms and forearms stung slightly where the edges o' the blade rested on them.  But it was a warm pain, and it soothed the hurts o' my heart.

The solar abruptly vanished in a flash o' light.  It took me some time b'fore I could even vaguely remember what I'd been so depressed about.

"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

Fiverine

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2019, 12:22:19 pm »
I have the last piece o' the puzzle and Mary's long ordeal will soon end.  She has put immense trust in me, in a time when so many see me as a villain.  I've made a lot o' mistakes.  Not this time. 

I will not let her down.  My promise to Mary will be kept, the Swords' promise to her will be kept, a monstrous evil which has made the mightiest heroes quake in fear will suffer defeasance, and the people will see what the Swords are truly capable of.  Watch over me, Arariel.  I'm goin' to make you proud, sis. 

"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2019, 11:46:46 pm »
Sir Arthur Boteler has returned from a leave o' absence this past week, accompanied by his long-servin' dwarf squire Sturdy Ragefist.  The last time I saw Sir Arthur I was a squire to Koi and but a few weeks in to m' service.  Their return has given the collective efforts against our foe Menner a substantial boost, for Sir Arthur has more personal investment in Menner's defeat than near anyone else.  Though even his and Sturdy's presence couldn't stop us all from gettin' our coits kicked by a pack o' assassin monks.  They must have just been paid to teach us a lesson, not kill us, for they left us knocked senseless on the ground and hurried on.

I'm no longer the senior Sword regularly in Hadrian, and am now takin' orders from Sir Arthur when we're negotiating or out in the field.  That's all right, he's got the gift of the gab and knows what he's doin', though naturally I've had to update him on some matters.  What's gettin' to me is how well liked he is... fair play, he's a thoroughly decent fella and a shinin' example o' knighthood.  But all these people who've been shunnin' me right from the start are now eager to work with the Swords again.

All this time I've been feelin' that people hated the Swords and what they stand for.  But maybe... they just hated me

« Last Edit: December 14, 2019, 12:02:54 am by Fiverine »
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2019, 01:34:03 pm »
The expected vote in Council came up, and I voted on the issue in front o' me.  Lots o' folk don't understand why I voted the way I did, primarily Wren and Shi, though that is t' be expected I s'pose.  I explained my reasons t'both of them afterwards, but I don't think they understood.  They find it easier to believe I was threatened or blackmailed.  The people are angry that their elected mayor was ousted, but they will have a chance to fix that very soon should they wish it.  I offered to Wren that I would resign from council in favour o' another Sword should she be re-elected, but oddly she didn't seem t'want that.

I'm not sure Meleghost or Oscar really understood my reasons either.  Even I'm feelin' horribly conflicted about it all.  Shi, Wren, Lysander... they probably think I'm delira and excira, but I'm really not.  It's times like this I wish I could go get langers. 

Sir Arthur isn't well.  Some allies tried to get him on the mend, and it seems t' have backfired badly.  We really need him on deck to face Menner.  He's all but leading our efforts there.  The One has fallen t' me, and the final confrontation with him draws near.  I've finally secured some help there, at least.

There is also a challenge I 'ave learnt I must take as my next step towards knighthood.  I had hoped t'do it today, but Moose and Belorfin grabbed me by the hands and dragged me off on a "Mooseventure".  Extra-planar monsters, undead pirates.  At one stage, I was faced by several unusually nasty zombies.  I've been feeling like I've just made a right haymes o' everything lately. It was only as Adellum carved through them and clotted blood and fragments o' flesh and bone spattered my helmet that I felt some measure o' peace.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2019, 01:35:54 pm by Fiverine »
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2019, 11:08:28 pm »
At long last the dark master of the Wonbrie Woods, the One, has fallen.  So many, Swords and others, have tried and failed to defeat the fell spirit or simply given up,  but m'self and my allies have finally succeeded in banjaxing him.  Fjord and Aardyn proved they were more than worthy o' all the praise I 'ave heard about their prowess and trustworthiness.  In Dame Averil's words, "it is done."

But at what cost?  Those words were the last the Dame has spoken.  What did the One do to her, and can it be reversed?  And poor Mary... I utterly failed both o' the promises I made her.  I don't know if there is anythin' I can do to help her now.  I feel a right moran about that.  I was so focused on bearing the burden o' that accursed sword that I didn't consider that maybe I wasn't the right person to do it. 

The Keep is my home.  But I have a sanctuary I visit.  Amaunator is ever my patron but it is the goddess he shares this place with I feel watchin' over me at times like this. 
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2020, 11:01:39 am »
Sir Arthur felt his health was in irreversible decline and there was no time t' find a cure.  He told me over dinner that he had made the decision to sacrifice himself to close the abyssal portal in the snowy peaks.  Though our mission was apparently successful, a few o' us felt that not all was quite what it seemed.  Sir Arthur's body was snatched away, I have this horrible feelin' that I will see it again some day, and the circumstances will not be pleasant.  But what is, o' late?

He was a good man, the nice knight that everyone liked and that made him starkly different t'me.  When I was a squire he reassured me after my disastrous first outing with Koi where I was petrified by a stone giant shaman.  He told me I was special and in his last words, left me the mission o' rebuilding the Swords and makin' them stronger than before.  Only Koi had a bigger influence on me in my early days as a Sword. 

A knight-errant by the name o' Sarah Astley has returned to Moon Glow Keep from another deployment.  She joined in Sir Arthur's last hurrah.  She is oddly enough, not a warrior, but nevertheless carries herself like any aspirin' knight.  Already she's showin' some initiative in our strategic situation and also looks t' have recruited a squire.  This is grand, because most o' my allies outside o' the Swords have moved on.  Arcanist Meleghost, as often a rival as an ally, has been reassigned by his guild.  Fjord and Aardyn said they're done riskin' their hides after helpin' me defeat the One.  And that weird wee shite Moose has plain vanished.  Still got m'boyo Oscar, but my comrades in the Swords remain my true family.

Several people been askin' if I'm copin' all right with Sir Arthur's passing.  But honestly... I've lost so many people close t' me o' late.  Arariel, Koi, Mary, Trinra, all dead.  Teuivae, Wulvarax, Lycaria, Fjord, Aardyn, Meleghost, Moose... just gone.  Things are so awkward with Shi Lei some days he may as well be gone too.  So I've been feelin' distant now, and I knew days ahead what Sir Arthur was planning.  It was sad, but I had already made my peace with it.  Still.  Watching him die was... hard. 
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2020, 05:10:02 am »
My fears were confirmed.  Sir Arthur walks again, as a shadow o' his old self.  Literally perhaps.  I am still grapplin' about how to handle this situation.  Deep down, I expected somethin' like this, but never figured out what I would actually do 'bout it.  Well, I do have one plan but it's unlikely to be approved.  Like most o' my plans I just pulled it out o' my coit. 

As if that weren't concernin' enough, Wren's been horribly murdered.  I personally thought her unfit for public service,  but gods, I never wanted to see her hurt or dead.  And I'm sad that our last interaction was the pair o' us squabblin' over some stupid book, which doesn't even matter anymore.  Shi and Astley are both blamin' Sjach for her death.  I did warn Wren that allowin' a shadow half-dragon into town without any sort o' oversight was a dosser's act, and her own head would be upon it some day.  But feck me, it's not like I wanted to see that happen.  Nor is there anything other than circumstance linkin' Sjach to this murder.  We can only await the result o' the official investigation. 

Knight-Errant Astley has gone walkabouts with Squire Astariel by the look o' things.  Casualties, defections, folks going away without leave... we're gettin' thin on the ground here.  I miss havin' a squire, someone to bounce all my fool ideas off.  But lawdy I seem to have done a shite job trainin' them.  None o' mine ever stick around.

There is some good news, but.  I had a date with a fella!  Quite an amazin' man, who I only met by chance.  Perfect skin like dark chocolate, eyes and teeth white like linen, and a voice that makes me tingle all over!  What a bloody fine thing he is.  And he wants to see me again!  ME! 
« Last Edit: January 20, 2020, 05:12:19 am by Fiverine »
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2020, 10:13:51 pm »
There's a new half-celestial 'bout these parts.  A monastic, this one, and unlike Arariel and Teuivae he doesn't seem obsessed with gettin' into my knickers.  He knew my name, oddly enough... said he'd heard about what I'd done for Ara after her death.  Even called me a hero! Took me a whiles before I realised he wasn't slagging me, but meant what he said.  I've been workin' with Tenshi these past few days, and we have some common goals.  He reminds me a bit o' Moose.  Same knack for findin' danger o' the most bizarre sort. 

House Reschotti members have been wantin' my ear o' late about both personal and house matters.  I'm helpin' where I can, although the Order's interests don't always coincide with those o' the Reschotti.  Zahirra's in an awkward spot, and I sympathise with her.  There's another one called Harlinger who Tenshi and I took along on a patrol.  He acquitted himself well, and proved himself a good man to have at your side in battle... but there's somethin' strange 'bout him.  And his sword. 

But all this scribblin' is just a distraction.  I need to cure the Dame.  I don't know how the soddin' hell I'll do it, but I have to find a way.  Bloody Astley picked a shite time t' walk out...

« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 01:48:43 am by Fiverine »
"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."

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Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« Reply #29 on: March 01, 2020, 08:14:34 am »
I met with Petyr again.  It wasn't planned or nothin', Zahirra was just showin' me around her festival stalls when he strolled up to us.  She continued the tour for both o' us.  We sampled lots o' things, including some green paste dip that burned our mouths like acid.  Apparently people eat that for fun where Zahirra comes from!  Brutal. 

Still, was a nice experience.  Zahirra shared her dating woes (if you can call 'em that) with me... Sjach is back in the picture and she has Harlinger and one o' the elf brothers sweet on her too.  Much easier f'me with just one... Petyr bought me a lovely talisman I was too skint to buy for m'self.  Such a wonderful man!  We got just a little bit more comfortable with each other's company, and I love that neither o' us have to put on any false airs and graces with each other.  He's goin' to help with our Dame too.  I've taken a risk putting such trust in him, and I pray that my judgement is sound.  But this could be the breakthrough we need for her. 

Zahirra hinted that the Skettus lads are being dossers and are up to somethin' seedy.  I'd best check that out.  I need to talk to Shi anyway, and see where his head's at.  I know better than most how badly grief hits him. 

"I just can't take no pleasure in killing. There's just some things you gotta do. Don't mean you have to like it."