A pervert once told me that pride was like a knife, with it you can cut down your enemies, and your allies. There are time when you do not throw it away but leave it on the ground right beside you so you can pick it up once again. -- Anon Guest
Pride is a knife, the teacher said. Use it to cut others and it will cut you. It shines, it gleams, it hurts, and it makes it all the easier to hurt yourself. Pride is a gleaming prize that can be reached for, but never achieved. No matter what, pride will turn on you and cut you down. Pride can be a tool. Pride can be earned. Pride can be a poison.
It's a complicated thing to have. Harder than diamond, stronger than stone, ephemeral as mist... all of them at once. Rarest of all prizes for the downtrodden and unworthy like Pia. The Mistress called her ugly at every turn, even her own parents didn't want her and nobody else had until the Mistress had chosen her for training. Then... another found her and trained her for other things.
That was the teacher, and they took Pia away from the Mistress at any time they liked to bring her... here... and teach her things. Pia wasn't certain how it worked, the teacher kept things foggy, but it never seemed far and it never seemed to take very long, despite the fact that Pia was always working at it for hours. This lesson on Pride had taken but a minute, yet the arguing of it took far, far longer. "Y'ain't gonna make me poison the Mistress, is you? I ain't gonna poison th' Mistress."