Tales of Legendia is a PS2 game developed and published by Namco.

Unforgivable

Humans are weak, pitiful creatures. They live for only a brief time fully aware that the day will come when their futile existence will come to an end. To live is to suffer. Chloe Valens came to understand this truth at the age of 12 when her parents were murdered right in front of her. Powerless and paralyzed by pure terror, she could only watch as a lone bandit bearing a tattoo of a snake cut down her father and mother in cold blood only to turn on her and warn "If you ever take up the sword, I will show you no mercy." Unable to even stand, Chloe could only hold herself as if her body might otherwise break from her convulsive trembling.

Though she was spared, oftentimes she wished she too had been slain that day. She was the sole surviving member of the House of Valens, a name that once commanded respect and was renowned throughout the Holy Kindgom of Gordovia as a distinguished and honorable house of knights. But after the incident, almost overnight the Valens name became worthless.

Chloe vowed to become a great knight and restore the honor of the Valens name, but her efforts were all in vain. On the surface, the other nobles sympathized with her unfortunate circumstances and applauded her hard work. But when her back was turned, the same people would whisper...

The poor creature.

What can one little girl do on her own?

It's pitiful the way she clings to her old family name.

Such a vain little wench.

She's not fit to associate with nobility any longer.

Mommy, who's that?

She's nobody, dear. Stay away from her.

What a disgrace. How the mighty Valens name has fallen.

"Shut up!" Chloe Valens could contain herself no longer. The painful memories of her past felt as vivid as though they'd occurred only the day before. Horror, hatred, sorrow, loneliness, and a thousand other emotions came flooding back as if a dam had burst. She couldn't contain them any longer and she fell to her knees, her face contorted in anguish.

As if responding to the despair in Chloe's heart, ominous, thick, black storm clouds darkened the sky. It wasn't long before a heavy downpour soaked the young knight from head to toe. She didn't seem to notice, and if she did, she didn't care. She was fighting a battle within herself. Finally, she had found the man who had murdered her parents. She had lived for this day, this moment, when she would have the opportunity to exact revenge.

Yet now that it had come, she was filled with doubt.

"Move Coolidge," Chloe Valens commanded in a sharp voice. It wasn't a request. Her eyes burned with passionate resolve and Senel knew she would not back down. All the same, he couldn't let her go, not like this.

"Chloe please, are you sure that this is what you want?" he asked her. "Can you honestly say that if you kill Arnold that you'll be satisfied? Will it fill the void in your heart? Think about what you're doing. Will this bring you any happiness?"

His words made her hesitate.

"Will this make me happy?" she thought.

For a moment she felt uncertain but before she even realized it, her body seemed to move with a will of its own. She drew her sword and when she spoke again, it was in a harsh voice not at all like hers.

"I've lived with this hatred for 5 years since the day my parents were slaughtered before my eyes. Not once have I forgotten the feelings I carved into my heart. Alcott took everything from me. He killed my mother and father, he destroyed my happiness; he stole my life. I am the sole survivor, the last knight of the House of Valens. I've lived only for the day that I could bring justice to the man who stole from me everything I ever cared about. I will show him and anyone who stands in my way my resolve with the cold steel of my blade, and that includes you, Coolidge. I'm not going to say it again. Move Coolidge, this is your last chance."

Here she raised the tip of her blade straight at Senel's heart. Her hand was steady. The uncertainty was gone. She knew what she wanted to do, what she had to do. This was for mother and father. This was for those five long and lonely years of suffering. This was for justice.

"Is that really justice Chloe?" Senel pressed her. "If you kill Arnold, you'll be robbing another innocent of her only family. Arnold is the only thing Elsa has in this world. If you take that away from her, how are you any different from the one who murdered your parents? Do you want Elsa to suffer the same way that you did? Can you call that justice?"

Such naïve self-righteousness. What did he know of justice? Who was he to judge her?

"Shut up! Don't say that like you can understand my suffering! You have no idea what my pain is. You have no idea the misery and torment I had to withstand. You don't know how lonely I was when I struggled on my own to restore my family name while listening to the whispers behind my back, undermining my every effort, judging my every act. And I was never good enough. No matter how hard I tried, it was useless. The House of Valens died with my parents. I will never forgive the man who killed them. I will never forget what I endured in anticipation of the day that I could avenge them. The sword I wield is proof of my feelings. Until I bathe it in the blood of my parents' murderer, I will never know peace."

Yes, Alcott's blood... Chloe imagined it draining from his limp corpse, flowing down to the hilt of her blade, and staining her hands a beautiful crimson red. The thought filled her with a mad sense of elation. A murder for a murder. A life for a life. Now that was the law of the jungle. That was true justice.

"Chloe... what about your friends?" Senel persisted in his futile efforts to persuade her. "What about us? Don't we mean anything to you?"

A ridiculous question she didn't hesitate to answer.

"Do you have to ask? Of course you're important to me! Being together with all of you... it's the first time I've been happy since my parents died. For the first time, I thought maybe I could forget about revenge. I dared to hope that my hatred could be washed away in the warm feelings we shared. But some wounds just never heal, Coolidge. Some things are unforgivable."

Enough. The time for talk was over.

"Out of respect for our friendship, I offer you one last chance. Move now or be destroyed, Coolidge."

Chloe narrowed her eyes and adjusted her stance, readying her mind and body for battle. She knew he wouldn't back down. The fool...a fool she had fallen in love with...

"Do you really mean to attack me, Chloe? Could you really bring yourself to do it?" Senel asked skeptically.

Yes...she must. This was a test of her resolve. If she slew him, then all her worldly bonds would be broken and there would be no turning back. This was the path she had chosen to walk. She would see it through to the end, no matter the cost.

"I answer you with my blade, Coolidge!" she yelled and charged at him with her weapon, throwing every last ounce of her weight forward. Senel's eyes widened in disbelief.

"This is my resolve, Coolidge. May your death be quick."

- - - - - - - - - - -

"Chloe...no..."

She had really done it. His mind almost shattered from the indescribable pain. Not from the wound in his stomach and back where Chloe's blade had pierced his body, but from the anguish of knowing he had failed to save her.

Why? Why did it have to end like this? What had gone wrong? This wasn't Chloe Valens. This wasn't the gentle, sweet young girl he'd grown to cherish as one of his dearest friends. Who was this monster?

"Good-bye Coolidge."

That voice... No, that voice wasn't Chloe's. It wasn't. It just couldn't be— UGH!

The monster pulled her sword from his body and backed away. With nothing left to support him, Senel fell forward onto his knees and his blood came gushing out uncontrollably. His vision started to fade as he watched the Chloe that wasn't Chloe stride forward and brush past him without a word.

No! This wasn't over yet!

Senel summoned every last drop of energy left in his mangled body to pull himself to his feet.

"Stop! I'm not through with you!" he cried out.

Chloe halted, just for a moment, but then continued on without even turning back. She— no, everything, was growing darker. Senel urged himself to chase after her, to stop her before it was too late. But his body could no longer take the strain. With his first step he came crashing back down to the ground. Lifting his face from the mud, he squinted his eyes and searched for the girl who was quickly disappearing from his view. He could still see her, but something was wrong. He wasn't able to make out any details and saw only her black, indistinct shadow.

"No...not like this! I can't die like this. I have to save her! There's still time!"

Even as he harbored these thoughts, in his heart he knew it was over. He had failed. And now, he was going to die.

"No...Chloe. Not yet. You can't leave yet. Not before I tell you that I love..."

- - - - - - - - - - - -

"Stop! I'm not through with you!"

He was still alive? No, she couldn't turn back now. It was too late for him. It was too late for them both. There was only one road left to travel, and she would walk it alone. But Chloe couldn't help but pause for a brief moment. Before she left, she wanted to remember the times they had shared. Those wonderful, warm days that she wished she could return to one last time...

No. She had chosen to reject that life. She had chosen to reject him.

"I'm sorry...Senel..."

As she walked away with her back turned to her love, she heard his body slump to the ground with a dull thud. He would never rise again.

"You fool. You needn't have died. Why did you have to try and stop me?"

Her heart felt as if it were about to break in two. What had she done? How could she live with herself?

"No! I can't have any doubts, not now!"

Chloe would not allow herself to shed any tears because if she were to start now, she felt they might never stop streaming out. She steeled her faltering resolve once more and forced herself to remember that she had a mission. There was one last thing to take care of...

"I'm coming for you, Alcott."