By Iris Amergin

The battle has ended; the survivors have begun to leave the field. They all wear the colors of the Hokuten Knights. None, as far as I can see, are clad in the green of the Death Corps. And once again, I find myself adding yet another item to a lengthy list in my head: reasons the Beoulves and their supporters all must die.

My conflict with them has always been personal, the hatred I feel for them nothing like my hatred of all other nobles in Ivalice. It was Dycedarg Beoulve, the arrogant bastard, who gave the order that dissolved the Knights of Death without compensation, leaving us cut adrift with nowhere to go and nothing left to believe in. For that alone, he was always at the top of my hit list, as if it wasn't already enough that he is one of Larg's closest advisors--and I would gladly run my sword through Larg's back if I could only get close enough to do it.

And then that accursed brother of his caught up to Miluda at Lenalia Plateau. At one time, I might not have placed Ramza in the same category as his brothers; he'd never done anything that really stuck out; he was far from the only noble squire being sent to hunt down the Death Corps. Before the Lenalia incident, perhaps I would have been merciful. Perhaps not; he was still, after all, the enemy.

I had the chance to kill him, had a perfect opportunity--twice, even! I let him go the first time; I still clung like a fool to my perceptions of honor. Had I any clue what he would do to my sister, I would have thrown honor out the window and finished him then and there.

And again, at the Windmill Shed, I let a perfectly good chance to kill him go to waste. The timing was inconvenient, but I let the situation distract me, and he was good. Much better than I expected.

I failed.

I failed to bring about the revolution, I failed to take revenge for the slight against the Death Corps, I failed to avenge Miluda...

Fort Zeakden is still burning. If anyone was left inside, hoping to hold out against the Hokuten, they're surely dead by now, their names just a few more on the forgotten list of those who died for a lost cause. The nobility don't even care enough to record them as traitors; only the ringleaders receive that distinction. The pompous bastards won't even give these people the dignity of having their deaths recorded somewhere, anywhere; they prefer to let them die in disgrace and rot in obscurity.

The view from these cliffs is spectacular, though terrible. The contrast of the flames against the snow; the bright colors on the uniforms of the hundreds of dead. Hokuten blue and Death Corps green, set against a backdrop of orange flames and ivory snow, accented with the crimson of spilled blood--painfully obvious from even this distance. And of course, the jagged shapes of the gray rocks below.

It would be such an easy thing, to die here with them. A few more steps is all it would take to join them, to embrace the tranquility of death. The peaceful oblivion of eternal sleep.

A few more steps and I could be free, free from all the shit the crown has put upon us for years.

It's tempting, intoxicating. The thought of being free from the prejudice that has plagued this hellhole of a kingdom for so many years--

--three more steps--

--to escape the uncertainty of living as a rebel, to no longer wake up and think that just maybe, this will be the day they finally catch up to me--

--two more--

--but to leave Ivalice in this state?

No. I did what I could, I spent years fighting for it. I have nothing left to give. I deserve the chance to end it now, on my own terms.

One more step--

--but to leave Miluda's murder unavenged...

No, that I can not and will not do. Whatever else I have done is irrelevant. As long as Ramza Beoulve lives, I can not rest.

Two steps. Three, then four...the prospect is less tempting when one stands farther from the cliff's edge.

I will continue. For her.

And I will kill Ramza Beoulve.

Iris Amergin's Fanfiction