Some abscission demons are being found, and here's one that fortifies my fear of being left behind. For its through competition that we are forced to set ourselves in comparison to the others, with has always been the main trigger of my distress, along with approval. If only I was successful I probably wouldn't complain too much about it, but I'm a little too much like Bernard Marx from Brave New World.
Once that demon is set free, it's very hard to look back at me again through isolated inspection. It's a new world of difficulty when I'm locked towards a very competent competitor. Lazurian reigns got unbelievably powerful, now featuring also another source of gravity, one who quite similar to the one I had Hephaestus crafting. My own strengths are also theirs now and I am feeling outgunned. Mercants are finding more profit by trading with Lazuria instead of Ilium.
So whenever feeling threatened, I feel a tendency to resort to the qualities I know that can keep me protected. I like reading, I like studying and learning. But I've been getting ashamed of showing any sign that I might not have studied or read so hard as people even believe me to. I am ashamed of not knowing some word or concept, ashamed of doing something wrong. I am bad at so much already (especially terrible at any social skill), that I'd hope I'd be really good at this at least. But this new lazurian gravity engine has been proven to be improved a thousandfold over mine. If only Ilium wasn't such a corruptible city, always involved with struggles with Ersatz, with bellic investments taking over academic ones.
My shadow reflection robbed me from this special quality I used to have. I'm left with wondering about the consistency of my own so-far perceived reality. It suddenly seems as if there's no authenticity to my own essence, for it can't compete with Lazurian forces. Raseri got into Vesta's parlament and he's gaining power and approval of Ilium's population, and Vesta is worried about his growing popularity.