• The chaos of battle raged all around Sigfried. The cries of agony, death, fear, and blood-lust echoed into his head. The clash of metal and rending of flesh rang in his skull. Wherever he looked, the bodies of friend and foe alike lay strewn on the ground, cloven or crushed by the sundry varieties of weapons used. Even as they fell, the carnage continued on, their corpses little more than stepping stones for those who remained standing--who remained fighting.

    Leaning upon his sword, the Empire's champion rose once more, his bright red cape tattered and himself already wounded from his extensive previous engagements in the battle. Unlike many of the Imperial Knights, whom pompously remained behind behind the protection of the regular armies, Sigfried fought alongside his men, believing himself most effective fighting beside them, his charisma and courage inspiring them to do almost as great valor as if they were fighting to defend the Emperor himself. Already, his sword was drenched in the blood of his foes, though his helm and shield were lost in the fray of battle. Nevertheless, he fought with such ferocious gallantry, he was unmatched by all who opposed him. But, Sigfried knew, there was one among the renegade Knights of Ebony he dearly wished to avoid--one he greatly wished he did not have to fight.

    But he knew he could not avoid his friend any longer. Fafnir had clearly said in their last confrontation that the brotherly bond they once had could not stop the unavoidable. They were enemies. As long as he continued to endanger the Princess an the Empire as a whole, Sigfried could not allow his friend to continue unopposed. He had to stop him himself--for there was no other capable of fighting Fafnir but he.

    And, then, he saw him. Sigfried looked as the countenance of his former comrade. "So, you finally have the courage to face reality, Sigfried?" Fafnir smirked. "I've been waiting." Sigfried steeled himself. He could not turn back. turning to fully face Fafnir, he replied, "The past is closed to us. This is the only way left, as we have chosen our separate paths." Fafnir scoffed. "My sentiments exactly, old friend." "As an Imperial Knight, you know I have no choice but to stop you." "I've been aware for some time. Were you too afraid to face me?"

    "...No. It is because I thought our friendship would save you... but I have come to understand that our friendship is no longer alive. We cannot turn to the bond we held now--it is our doom." Sigfried said, clutching his sword, then raising it so it was pointed directly at Fafnir. "I realize that now. And, so, for that, I will fight without restraint." Grinning, the traitor knight brandished his own sword, replying, "Wouldn't have it any other way, old friend. So long." "...Farewell... Fafnir." Sigfried replied in an almost melancholy tone. Then, he charged, his expression turning from nostalgic loss to marshal fury, roaring a battle cry. Likewise, Fafnir charged forward, roaring a howl of his own. Swinging their swords, the two warriors clashed at last--their bond forever shattered. No longer were they friends--but mortal enemies.