It was strange to him to be this way, to change and try to be a better man in a place where he had the chance to be different. The Dark One was unable to control him completely, and he could keep control of himself. At least until Belle was threatened or harmed, then he would lose control and give in to his dark side. But the fact was that he was trying. He just didn't make a spectacle of it because no one would believe it. His change was subtle, much like how he always operated, but it was evident to those that actually looked. He had never been one to care about becoming entangled in other people's lives except when they came to him for a deal or when he needed something from them to further his own agenda. Otherwise he simply sat back and watched everyone around him. He still had the watching mentality, but he had risen to the occasion of being a better man when it was called for. And he would always try for Belle, after the length of time they'd been separated for, he didn't want to lose her all over again.
"I will not let it go either," was his simple response. He didn't need to mince words or use double meanings when he spoke to Belle. While playing with words was a bit of a trademark for him, he was trying not to do it as much. Which sometimes was easier said than done.
Smiling gently, he took in a breath. "Not overly long after my wife left my son and I, it was nearly time for Bae to be taken by the army and sent to fight in the Ogre Wars. I was desperate to protect him from that fate, and I tried to find some way to keep him from suffering that fate. I didn't want to lose him, too. I tried to escape with him in the middle of the night, but we were caught by soldiers and given a warning. Though I met a man who knew of a way I could get what I wanted. He told me that if I controlled the Dark One, I could keep my son from being taken. No one argued with the Dark One. He told me of a dagger that controlled the Dark One. So with Bae's help, I slipped into the castle, took it and left. I noticed a name was engraved on the blade of the dagger, but didn't think too much into it. I summoned the Dark One, but when I discovered I didn't have control over him, I was angry and I stabbed him with the dagger. I realized it was the man who had told me of the dagger in the first place. I killed him, and the name on the dagger's blade turned into mine. I then became the Dark One. The next morning was Bae's birthday when he was to be taken, and I stopped the soldiers from taking him."
He paused then and looked at Belle. "That is how I became the Dark One. All to protect my son. I didn't know until it was too late that I had to become the Dark One in order to control the power." And in the time since then, he had come to have a better understanding of the burden that it was to be the Dark One. It wasn't an easy burden to carry at all. Being the Dark One meant losing everything you were before, losing control over being any other way. But even so, he didn't regret it because it had allowed him to save his son, though it had also led to him losing his son later.