Be Careful Of Dreams
[04.08.00] » by David Schwager
Seifer was angry. It seemed he was angry a lot these days. He remembered days when he wasn’t angry at all. Those days were a long way away, and seemed like dreams.
"Damn you, Squall! Where the hell are you?"
Seifer was hunting. He had been hunting ever since his target had defeated him at Lunatic Pandora, ever since he had barely survived the crash. But he couldn’t die, not while his target still lived.
And now Seifer had almost found him.
Seifer was sure of it. In this wood, he would get his revenge. Only one of them would leave this wood alive.
Angrily, he swiped at a sapling with his gunblade. The sharp metal clove the wood like cardboard. Seifer didn’t notice. He continued hunting.
He didn’t have much longer to hunt. His target appeared ahead of him in a clearing, unaware of his presence, looking the wrong way. It would have been easy to strike him down from behind. The thought never crossed Seifer’s mind, and if it had it would have been dismissed immediately. There was no reason to strike an enemy from the back like a coward.
"Finally I’ve found you, Squall! Draw! We’ll see who’s the better blade now!" With a cry of pure rage, Seifer closed the intervening distance, gunblade ready to strike. His target brought his blade up just in time to parry. Cold steel met cold steel, and sparks flew.
Normally, Seifer took joy in the cold heat of battle. Now there was no joy, only anger and hatred. Blade met blade, stroke met stroke, slash met slash. Red hot fury burned in Seifer, calling out for his enemy’s life. It was a strange feeling for him. Seifer had never thirsted for blood before, never hated his opponents. There was only the battle, pure and cold. Not burning with rage. It was invigorating, and frightening.
In and out, strike and counter, it all blended together. For seconds, minutes, hours, they fought, and time ceased to have meaning. There was only the blades. The blades and the anger.
The blades met again, one clash among many. Thrust, parry, slash slash slash, parry parry thrust, slash parry withdraw. But as he withdrew, Squall came on, faster than he could see, parry parry parry parry and thru-
But as Seifer thrust, Squall’s blade dipped under and caught the hilt. One good jerk and Seifer’s sword flew away to embed itself firmly in a tree at the edge of the clearing. Seifer, unbalanced, fell on his face, then rolled to face up at the sky and his enemy. There was rage in his eyes, pure burning hatred. As he looked up, he saw an emotion on Squall’s face, but he couldn’t tell what it was. It didn’t matter in the least.
"Go ahead! You’ve taken everything from me already! My strength, my honor, my dream! It was MY DREAM! Why did you have to take it? The only thing I have left is my life, so you might as well take that too! At least let me go out with that much honor left!"
Seifer met Squall’s eyes unflinching, anger staring up at…something else. Seifer still didn’t know what that emotion was. Then Squall sheathed his blade, and the answer hit him.
"I won’t kill you, Seifer, because I’m not like you. I don’t enjoy killing."
For a long time after Squall left, Seifer stared unblinking at the sky, not seeing anything, but only thinking. Above all, one thought went through his head.
I don’t like killing…do I?
When he finally left, his sword was still there.