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“Are you sure this is going to work?” Hel said skeptically as she pushed the marshmallow onto the bamboo skewer.

“Hey, I got it to work before,” I said with a grin, lighting the candle and setting it between us.

“Well yes, but I still say an honest fire is the best way to do this.”

“Sure,” I said, still grinning, “But they won’t let me light an honest fire in my apartment and you wanted to roast marshmallows, so we make do.”

Hel skeptically held her marshmallow over the small flame. Her knee bobbed impatiently as she waited for the delayed reaction. “This is stupid, I could roast it faster with my powers.”

“That would be cheating,” I teased, bringing my own marshmallow to bear and lowering it closer to the flame. “This is about the experience, not the speed.”

“This another of your Black Lotus things,” Hel asked.


“I will never quite understand how a man as violent as you manages to be a virtual Buddhist.” Hel said with a small laugh.

“Inverse Buddhist,” I corrected. “They expose themselves to the least of the world in order to gain the most enlightenment. I try to get the most out of the least of the world to magnify the aesthetic beauty of life and death.”

“I’m not sure it works like that,” Hel said, trying to hold in a laugh.

“Feh,” I said, jerking my marshmallow away as it lit on fire. “But I still can roast a marshmallow with a candle.”