Senea: I think this is the longest thing I've written so far...cool! Welcome to the second part of the Tragic Decision series in which Yuri kills Cumore and deals with some of the consequences. You don't HAVE to read Cold Steel which is the first one, but it does make some references to it so it might help you out. Anywyas, thanks to those who reviewed Cold Steel as well and I will get you to your reading of this long endeavour. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I play the game, not create it.


Dark Enforcer

It was rather late in the night when everyone had finally fallen asleep. After that discussion the others had about Cumore as he tormented the citizens, it seemed everyone had gotten too riled up to sleep properly for a while. Now, the moon was practically in the middle of the sky and I was the only left awake in the inn. Though I hadn't taken part in their little chat, it probably affected me more then them. Because they weren't going to go around and kill him.

Lock up a guy like that, and as soon as he's released, he'll end up doing the same thing again.

Even if we captured Cumore, we wouldn't have the authority to try him for his crimes

I looked at my blade that was lying on the floor beside me, Judy's and Rita's words running through my head. It was true, the same thing happened with Ragou. There was nothing the Council would do to seriously punish Cumore. Or anyone with a decent amount of political or military power. He would get a slap on the wrist and he would walk around like a free man.

Yep. You know what they say...the only cure for stupidity is death.

I looked at my hand as I stood up from the floor. It looks like it will be covered in blood once again tonight. The old man's words kept going over in my head. "I guess I'll have to play by my own rules..." I said quietly, knowing it won't wake up the others. I walked out of our room and snuck past the desk, opening the doors right beside our room where that bastard slept.

It disgusts me, too, to imagine that jerk snoring all nice and cozy in his bed right now.

And he was sleeping soundly, too. Like a little baby. As if he hadn't sent so many people out to their deaths and made people trapped in their own homes. "Cumore." I snarled, my sword already out of it's sheath, ready to make the world red once more. Cumore made no move to anything so I kicked the foot of his bed, which gave him a wake up call. He only looked tired for one second before he noticed me.

"Y-y-you're...!" he stuttered, already he began to shake. "No! Yuri, it's you! Wh-what are you doing here?!" His eyes wandered down to my sword. And I had wanted to make this fast. Before I had a chance to do anything, he already rolled out of bed and smashed himself into a corner. He slowly stood up, not taking his eyes off of me. I had a very strange sense of deja vu. "Someone! Someone come quick!" He yelled out. He should've known that it was useless. No one was allowed outside, even the innkeeper had to call it quits in the evening. And everyone else was sleeping soundly. No one was going to come to his aid any time soon.

He finally stopped his whining and managed to look like his arrogant self for awhile. "Y-you would cross swords with a noble?" He demanded. He grabbed his sword from the ground and held it up. "V-very well. I accept your challenge."

I frowned. There was never going to be a challenge. There was no crossing swords until one person admitted defeat. I would not even give him that satisfaction. The people he killed never got that chance so why should he? He would die like those people he killed, defenseless.

With one step, I swiped his sword out of his hand with my own and he fell to the ground. I stood practically on top of him, watching as he stared at me, shaking like he wasn't in a desert but in an ice field. "N-no!" he shouted, as if denying what was happening. "How could this...!"

"You talk to much, Cumore." I cut him off, glaring at the pretty boy. "The time has come for you to make your exit."

It seemed that got him out of his cowardly stupor and he tried once again to try and stop this. "D-do you have any idea the trouble you're in for even pointing that thing at me?!" He said, as if that was the biggest point I had missed. Did all that power really make someone so reliant on it? I took another step towards him. He made a noise, turned towards the door, and ran out of the inn as fast as a man with the devil at his heels.

Which was my job for the evening. And I was going to catch up with him and bring him to justice.

I walked out of the inn and followed the only shadow that was moving in the quiet town. Once again, his locking up the towns people was helping his own demise. Finally, he stopped running at the cliff near the large quicksand area. I walked towards him, taking my time. There wasn't a rush really anymore. No one would or could see or hear us. A perfect atmosphere for murder.

"W-wait!" Cumore placed his hand ahead of himself, he was already lingering on the edge. I stopped, wondering what else he could possibly say tonight. "I'm not the one to blame! I've just been following orders! I had no choice!"

I looked up at him. "Then don't hate me." I said, keeping myself from showing anything towards him. "Hate whoever gave you your orders." I took another step closer to him, and he took another one back. Some of the sand there fell off from his weight and fell into the quicksand.

"W-wait! How about this?!" he started again, to which I stopped. Just how many excuses and bribes does he have? "I could use my authority to pardon all of your crimes! A fresh start!" He backed away even further causing more of the sand under his feet to fall. "I may even be able to have you reinstated as a Knight!" I almost laughed at this point, wondering if he really thought that was what I had wanted. Being a knight or even having my crimes pardoned, I didn't want that. Instead, I merely took another step towards him and closer to the time he would die. "I have no shortage of money. With enough money, I'm sure I could satisfy your every wish. Go ahead! Tell me what it is you want!"

I almost wanted to slash him right then and there. How many people had he told these very words to? And how many people agreed? I wasn't sure which one was more disgusting. Damn it, wasn't there anyone not power hungry for they're own sick devices? "There's only one thing I want from you." There was no holding back the venom in my voice now. And it was the truth. I wanted him to suffer, to die, to make him regret trying to take over all of these peoples lives just because he could!

"A-and what might that...?" He cringed, as if his last hope died with that same offer that probably worked on others.

This was getting nowhere, all of what he said was making me feel sick and I needed to end this before he started to talk even more. The steps I took were going to be the last ones before I struck him down.

"N-no, stop... Stay back! Don't come any closer, you beast!" He screamed, backing even further on what little sand he had left. "I am Cumore, a captain of the Imperial Knights! The man destined to become Commandant!" Such a weak man. He talked tough and everyone obeyed him because of his power. And now, he was just a snivelling little soldier. Pathetic. Just a few more steps and this was all going to be over. But Cumore did me one better, he fell in to the quicksand before my sword got to him. I watched with little interest as he screamed and landed in the falling sand as I finally made my way to the edge. He tried to climb out only to sink even further into the sand. He looked up to me and I saw the fear in his widen eyes. "I-I beg you! Spare my life!"

A noise sounded off to the right of me and I turned my head slightly. Someone was there. Though there was hardly any light to see who it was in the trees. I didn't even really care if someone was watching this as I brought my attention back to the begging Cumore. He was in knee deep already. The sands worked quite fast on someone like him.

"P-please. no! Not like this! I-I don't want to go like this!" Cumore cried out, reaching towards me like I would just pluck him out and forgive him for his crimes.

But I wasn't so forgiving. "Tell me," I said, glaring at him as more of his body fell into the sand right before my eyes. "how many times have you heard those very words?" I demanded. There was nothing more to say to him. He was giving what he deserved.

The so called captain continued to cry and scream as his entire body was immersed into the sand. The last thing I saw was his hand reaching out to try and reach for anything that could help him. But there was no help for him. Just an empty desert and dark sky.

Silence filled the air as the last of Cumore's screams ended. I felt myself relax slightly as a breath I had been holding was let out. Cumore was dead and the town was going to be free again. I looked up towards the sky. Even though my sword didn't do anything, there was still blood on my hands from this evening. Blood that was better off spilled.

Cumore's cure for his stupidity was paid out in full.

A crunch in the sand from behind made me jump slightly as I heard whoever had been there before come out from the small foliage and stopped. Blocking any exit. Great.

"My people have taken control of things here. The residents of this town won't suffer any longer." It was Flynn. The one bound to the laws and enforced them like the little law abider he was.

Today wasn't my day.

I felt too calm, or maybe numb was the better word, even though he probably saw what had happened, there was no nervousness, no anything I felt right then. So I didn't turn around to face my chivalrous friend. "That ought to put you one step closer to your next promotion." I stated, wondering why of all things I said that. The closer he was to his next promotion, the better it would be for all of this world. Flynn didn't respond or, do, anything. Maybe he wasn't going to say anything about my little escapade. I began to turn around, finally seeing him. "I'm heading back to the others." And with that, I walked right passed him, as if there wasn't a dead body just behind me.

"Yuri," He started. I heard him turning around as I walked closer to the town. "we need to talk later."

Despite everything, I felt a twinge of a smile before it disappeared. "...I know." There wouldn't be any acceptance, not for something like this. Perhaps it was best that Flynn saw what I had done, what his laws were not going to do. To let a sick bastard like him walk among the people he preyed on.

"I'll be waiting...down at the lake."


All the ruckus Flynn and his soldiers made freeing this town caused everyone to wake. And that made for a big celebration. I could here the shouts and fireworks from all the way in the inn. Eveyone had gone out to enjoy themselves while I stayed there. They had a few hours of sleep, while I...hadn't. So they had the energy to go out and have some fun. Even the old man.

Guess murdering someone makes you feel less in a celebrating mood, huh?

"Looks like I did it again, Repede." I mumbled, looking up at the ceiling. Repede had decided to stay with me while the others were out. He probably even knew what I had done. He's a smart dog after all. "Heh, Flynn found out too," I continued. "Who knows what he's planning on doing..."

The door to the inn opened and in came Judy, Estelle and the old man who looked barely able to stand on his feet. They greeted me and turned back to the conversation they had been talking about before. Repede nudged his head against my hand and I lifted it to scratch behind his ear, just like he asked. Flynn would still be talking to his soldiers at this point, so there was still no rush to get up. Or maybe he wanted me to stew in my own thoughts before he lectured me. I wouldn't put it past him.

"...watch. Flynn'll have that guy behind bars in no time. Right, Yuri?"

Since when did Karol get here? "...Oh, uh, yeah." Was all I could manage to say, tuning into their conversation. They must've talked about Cumore being 'missing'. But Flynn knows where Cumore is, right under a few feet of moving sand. And he was tossed there by yours truly. He won't be seeing any bars. Unless there were some in hell.

"...Yuri...?" Before the captain came by, the old man decided to fall over. He was snoring. "Raven, you're gonna catch a cold."

I relaxed, not feeling in much of a mood to talk to them right now. Sometimes the best thing to do is to be alone. Which was what I wanted to do before the talk I was going to have with Flynn. We aren't going to talk over tea or anything like that.

"They're still going out there. I can't keep up with them" Looks like Rita came back too. Everybody's here now, all looking like they've been enjoying themselves along with the town folk.

Guess now was a goof time than any. I've probably kept him waiting...

"That was quick" I stood up as Estelle spoke and saw that everyone had turned their attention towards me. Great. "Yuri?" She asked, sounding concerned. Was I really that obivous?

"Just gonna go have a word with Flynn. I'll be back." Was all I said as I walked out of the inn. At least now that they were all in one place, there was a less chance of them overhearing the conversation.

The fireworks were still going on and the town was alive. People were everywhere, drinking, laughing, the way a town should be at night. Children were running wild and it was amazing they had all that energy still. Being held in houses for who knows how long must've been hard on them.

As I began the seemingly short walk to the lake where Flynn was waiting, people kept patting me on the back and toasting as I walked by. Some old men invited me to drink with them but I refused. It was as if they were congratulating me for setting them free. But I didn't deserve their praise, it was Flynn and his knights who helped this town. I was just the one to cut the head off of the beast. Even so, their cheerfulness was almost catching. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Alph and Layla with their parents. They noticed me and waved, their parents as well. I gave them a smal wave back before walking past them and further to the lake. At least there was one happy family that was saved.

By the time I past the last house the noises were already dying down from the loud party. And with barely any lighting down here, I could only see the picth black lake and dark branches that were trees. No one was here to eavesdrop, they were to busy.

Flynn was already there, staring at the lake it looked like. I walked closer to him before I was just behind him. We didn't say anything for a good moment to each other. This wasn't going to be easy...

"Why don't you have a seat?" Flynn offered, already his voice sounded harsh.

I sat down on the cool sand mixed with grass, my back to him. We used to sit like this all the time. "You said we needed to talk?" I asked, knowing it was a stupid question. But I wanted him to have the first say, before all hell broke loose, anyway.

"Tell me..." He started after a small pause. "Why did you kill Cumore? You know it's not our place to pass sentence on the crimes of others. He was to be punished in accordance with the laws!"

Right off the bat, everything turned sour. "And just what laws do you think would have punished him?! The same laws that failed to punish Ragou?" I was already angry and yelling at him. I barked out a laugh. "Give me a break." What Rgaou had done was unforgivable. Both of us were upset about it and nothign was done to show the slightest bit a justice towards him. It would have been the exact same way with Cumore. Perhaps even worse since he was a Captain and a favorite to Alexei. That was why they had to be put down.

"Yuri, you..." There was no denying the shock in Flynns voice as he realized why he was never able to find Ragou. I wondered if his body was still under all of that water...

I stood up abrutly and walked over to the edge of the lake, without looking at Flynn. His reaction was more then enough for me not to look at his face. "The laws have always been the tools of whoever happens to hold all the chips." I stated, curling my fist in anger. The laws helped the bad people rise and terrorize all the good people that they crushed. It was the same everywhere.

Flynn moved to stand up as well, and soon he was standing in front of me. His face showed anger and even disappointment. "Just saying that doesn't make it right for individuals to judge right from wrong, or for you to operate your own private court of law!" He shouted. "If the laws are at fault, then fixing those laws comes first. It's for that very reason that I'm still with the Imperial Knights!" He swiped his hand in the air to emphasize his point and I felt my blood boil at his words, not caring in the slightest that there was truth to them.

"But you can't deny that lives were saved because those bastards were put down." I heard my voice rising to Flynn's level as I held up my fist towards him. "You'd rather tell those people 'Sorry you have to die today. I promise we'll change things soon?'" His idea was right. It was the better way to do things, but it took so damn long that peole suffered in front of their noses and they could only stand by. That was why people take in their own justice.

"That's not what I'm saying at all!" He closed his eyes as if to stop from doing something, trying to calm down. It felt like we were both pushing each others buttons too well. We knew each other so well that it was practically second nature. One of us would give or snap. And it won't be good for either of us. Even so, I couldn't stop my frustration from showing. And it looked like he couldn't either.

"There out there, you know." I continued, calming my voice down but still keeping the venom in them. "People so bad they'll just go on hurting others. What can the average person do but be victimized by people like that?" Another button pushed. "You know it was the same way with our people in the lower quarter." Two more pushed. A firework went off over the lake and for a moment Flynn became a little lighter and I could see that he was trying really hard not to do anything stupid. I must have looked the same.

"Even so, Yuri, what you're doing isn't right." Flynn demanded. "Do you intend to rain your justice down on all the villains of the world? That's the behavior of a common criminal." He emphasized the last two words, his eyes staring at me, trying to force me to stop or at least, try to go to his side of view.

Unfortunately, I was far to gone to even think of his side anymore. "I recognize it for what it is, and I've made my choices." I said. I knew I was a criminal for rasing my sword to those people and cutting them down, and I still didn't stop, or will stop if I saw someone hurting someone else like those two did. I looked him back in his own eyes as I felt myself calm down to an emotionless state again. "Murder is a crime." Even the smallest child knew that it was, but people still killed. I was no different. If being a criminal meant saving peoples lives and creating a better place, then I will be a killer in order to see that through. For families like Alph's and Layla's. I had decided that when I had murdered Ragou and I still stand by it and will until the very end.

"And even knowing that, you intend to dirty your hands."

"Intend to? I already have."

Beside the faint shouts coming from the town and the gently moving of the waves, all was quiet. Flynn closed his eyes for a long moment and I could tell he was trying to decide on what to do next. I waited quietly for him to finish his thoughts, feeling myself getting tired. It was really late in the evening and I haven't had any sleep yet. Finally, Flynn opened his eyes. "So this is the path you've chosen." He said, a twinge of sadness and disappoinment in his voice.

I ignored them and stared back at him neutrally. "Don't make me repeat myself."

He closed his eyes once again. "I won't. But it seems you don't yet understand the full weight of your choices..." Oh, I understood them. I knew the choices I had made and the weight they would carry. Before I had a chance to say that, he opened his eyes again. This time, they had determination in them. "As a knight, I cannot overlook your crimes." As he said this, he began to go for his sword. I tensed, getting ready for an attack. I couldn't help but feel proud for him. Flynn really wouldn't let anyone go by him, even if it was his friend. We really did have a lot in common.

Before one of us made the first move, I could hear footsteps coming closer. "Captain, I've finally found you." Luckily, it was Sodia and not any of the others. Flynn seemed slightly relived as well.

I looked back at Flynn for only a second and I walked away towards the trees, before any questions were going to be asked. I think we both owed Sodia for interrupting us. If she hadn't, maybe there would've been another body to find, either his or my own.

"What is it?" I heard him ask. Sodia mentioned something about Nordopolica, a barricade and the Hunting Blades before I got out of hearing shot of her. Knight stuff was still boring to listen to.

I looked at the lake as another firework went off, illuminating the desert for only a few seconds before fading away. These people were safe from harm, whether it was because of Flynn's way or my own, it didn't really matter. Although Flynn was going to be praised for his job well done while I couldn't brag about having killled Cumore. At least they had a name and face for their hero.

"Yuri...?" Flynn called out. I hitched my breath, not moving in case he saw me. If we started talking now, we might finish what we were going to start. After awhile when I didn't repsond, he started up again. He knew I was still there and able to listen. "I know you better than anyone alive, Yuri. If you insist on walking down the path of a criminal..." he trailed off, staying by the lake for awhile longer befoer he finally turned around and followed his second in command, wherever she had gone off to.

"I know, Flynn." I heard myself saying, looking down back at my hand that held the blood of two people. And who knows how many more will be added to it until someone finally does something. I clenched my hand into a fist. "Just get higher faster."


Senea: FINISHED! And where is Estelle's part you might ask? Well, first, this is already really REALLY long, second, if I did write that part there wouldn't be a way to not make it sound mushy and three...I just kind of don't like her. Especially in this scene where she practically digs into personal lives of others. I am being hated for saying that right now and I'm sorry. I always have a bad vibe with the main female protanginist of the Tales series. But yeah, anyways.

Please tell me what you think and the thrid, and most likely final, of this series will be when Yuri kills the Don...Spoilers! Question though, does any one want me to do the Karol Yuri convo, I'm on the fence about that one. Tell me in your review and thank you for reading!