By Aerith's Man

My name is Rouge.

I am the most powerful sorcerer in all of the myriad regions. I have gained all the powers of the elements, including the fabled Time and Space magic which have been hunted by multitudes of men lesser than I, and never been granted. I have traveled throughout the world for my magic, discovered the most beatiful lands ever seen by man, and traversed the most dark scenes anyone could experience. I have trained for long hours every day, pressing my potential to the limit. I have attained the highest form of concentration imaginable. Lower wizards bow down before my feet and serve me. My powers are nearly unlimited—or they should be. There is one flaw in my majestic talents.

That flaw is—my brother.

Blue is my twin brother. Also a sorcerer, he shares his powers with me. Thus, he and I suffer what is known as the Twin Magician's Bane—To attain our ultimate limit of magical strength, one wizard must contain both of the twins' combined energy flow into his own body. The only way to do that is by killing the twin. This is my bane. This is my destiny.

I travel on.

I loved my brother, once. We grew up in the same house, with the same family. Ate the same meals, had the same hobbies. Unlike most siblings, we didn't fight. We were rather peaceful, my mother told me in my teenage years, before I left there, never to return. How ironic. One of the few peaceful twin boys, living together for the beginning of their lives, forced to leave home and never return.

Forced to kill each other by a fate that neither hates nor weeps, as I do.

Although, in a way, I have been with my brother his entire life. The Twin Magician's Bane also comes with a 'blessing': since we are linked through our magic, and our magic is fueled by emotion, I can feel what he is going through every minute of his life, and so can he, I. Perhaps that is why we have never really fought. We feel each other's pain. And that is what is so saddening about our so-called 'destiny.'

What if I were to forsake destiny? What would happen then?

Is it worth this? Is any power worth killing your beloved brother? I've sacrificed everything for my magic. But I cannot sacrifice anything for my flesh-and-blood brother. All because of the very fact that he IS my brother. What cruel, scheming twister of fate is laughing at me right now in the heavens? Who could be hateful enough to cause such terrible grief?

Yes, I feel grief. I also feel my brother's. It is almost too much to bear.

There must be a way to end this grief. I cannot kill my own brother. That fact, which I have stubbornly denied for so long, has now become clear. I could kill myself, but that is not how I want my life to end. To have sacrificed everything for my magic, and to just give up on life. That is not how my brother would want my life to end. So what is there to do?

What lies in the future? That ever-lasting question....

The grief wells up inside of me. Hidden, trapped for so long, it finally explodes within my heart, and I am saddened like I have never been before. Sorrow, terrible sorrow, for myself, for my brother, for the family I never knew. Oh, what life could have been, had I not chosen to take the path of magic! I could have gotten married. Had my own family. Instead, I traveled the world, alone, uncaring and unfeeling toward anyone, merely intent on gaining more power, when I already had too much. What a cruel monster this power has turned me into.

I will stop it, now. I will start my life anew. Maybe I will be able to make up for my mistakes.

This is the only thing I can do. Magic gives you no happiness. Want for power, when quenched, only brings more want, until you are dead. In the path I am going now, when I am dead I will not matter to anyone. I must change that. I will go back to my family. I will go back to my hometown. I will live the life that I always should have. I will end this magic-gathering duel between me and my twin brother—forever. This is the life I am truely destined for.

With a single arcane gesture, the only one I swore to never use, I rid myself of all the magic I ever owned.

I feel as if my heart is being torn apart. But during it all, I feel a sense of happiness, true hope for the future, that I have not felt in thirty years.

The power flees me. I suppose it is rushing to my brother now. I hope it is. I wish him well.

Now that I am no longer cursed with the power, we can finally be a family again.

I begin the long journey home, finally free to live in peace. I am

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