Disclaimer- I don't own Suikoden III.

If I had known it would come to this, I would never have made the journey here.

I had come thinking I could bring back the Flame Champion, the hero of our people.

And I can.

By becoming a legend.

Spirits, why me? Why not Jimba, or mother, or anyone else?

Why me... I'm barely a man in my people's eyes. I'm a boy in my own heart.

I thought that if I came here, everything would be fine. Karaya would be rebuilt, the Ironheads would be beaten back...

I had been holding on to that hope.

Out of frustration more than anything, I look back at the other two. I should feel angry right now at the Ironhead woman, but all that runs through my mind is how the Grasslanders would feel if an Ironhead woman became the Flame Champion.

Then there's the other one... he doesn't even look like he'll take it. Something about him seems too... different, as though he's got a secret we can only begin to guess at.

Their eyes betray them. They look at me.

I know what those three eyes will say.

"It has to be you."

"You are the only choice."

"Only a Grasslander can unite Grassland."

My fists clench and I can feel my heart racing.

This isn't what I wanted. I'm no hero. I could never be that sort of legendary person, who could bring together the Six Clans and beat back the Holy Harmonian empire.

I remember the stories. Of how the Flame Champion fought the Harmonains' again and again, narrowly achieving victory each time, yet each time, fighting a losing battle.

And I remember how only by using the terrible force of his powers at full wrath was he able to achieve a truce.

A truce.

I'd be lucky to survive a battle.

A smile, unbidden and unwelcome, curls my lips.

I have no choice though, do I?

Otherwise... everyone will die. There will be hundreds of Lulu's and scores of Karaya's before the lands run red with blood and I would know that I had failed.

The people need hope.

That's why I came.

To bring the Flame Champion, bring hope into our people.

And I can bring him back. By being him. By being what our people need now, in their darkest hour.

But I'm afraid. Because...

Because this is the end for me, Hugo of Karaya if I accept the Rune.

And it will be Hugo, Flame Champion who will come out of this cavern, and return to the world.

Never again will I be able to walk like any normal boy. Never again would I be just the chieftain's son, or the boy who loves to ride horses, or...

This will burn me alive.

"I'll do it."