In the earlier days since arriving at the ludus, Mateo had been meek, afraid and uncertain of what would be his fate. He now had some understanding, and he also began to see that if he were to survive, he had to cast away whatever timid feelings he had. He was in a world of warriors and barbarians. They were used to taking what they wanted, giving no apologies, and killing for sport and glory. If he was going to rise in status, he had to become someone new, someone without fear and doubt. He had to become a gladiator.