Maybe I should continue working on 'aspect' fanfics like these... they're loads of fun, and writing them out gets rid of excess inspiration. Also makes you feel better for not being able to focus enough on your larger, big-time projects...
Don't know much about these guys myself, but they seem prety damn cool. Known as the 'Camus and Miklotov of Suikoden I' to most Suikoden II players (those who haven't played Suiko1, at least), I think these two are well known characters in Suiko1 (and well-loved, especially by the girls).
This may carry some yaoish hints for the exceptionally sensitive.

sheathe the blade

"This peace makes me uneasy."

Grenseal chuckled, causing Alen to glance at him moodily. "Does it, Alen? Admittedly, I'm beginning to enjoy it."

The two knights sat together under a tree in Gregminster, leaning against its thick trunk and watching the city's people go on with their lives from a respectable distance. A casual spring breeze constantly whistled over the grass around them, rustling the leaves and tousling their hair. It was such a pleasant atmosphere, really...

"Maybe it's just me, but I've been itching for a fight," Alen went on, his brown eyes intent upon the distant mountains. "This place is so quiet, so shut away from the world... it amazes me, really."

"You shouldn't be surprised," said Grenseal languidly, folding his arms behind his head. He gazed off with hooded emerald eyes, curiously disinterested in his beautiful surroundings. "McDohl wanted it to be this way."

"But I feel as though something's going to explode, and soon..."

"That's just your imagination. The war won't really reach us here. McDohl's sucessor is making sure of that."

"You're referring to that boy, aren't you... the one who came before the king with Sheena last week."

"Indeed, I am." Grenseal's little smile became mysterious. "I agree with the king. He posesses the same look in his eyes that McDohl did... the same spirit. Admittedly, he impressed me already with that one look. And Flik was with him."

"Flik and Viktor."

"Yeah. I wonder if the others have decided to join him too..."

"It's possible. It'd probably give them deja vu, just looking at him. Kasumi certainly left without hesitation, and Valeria looked like she wanted to join her. Perhaps both of them see the same thing we do."

"Perhaps." Grenseal cocked his head curiously at his friend. "You're certainly quite talkative today, Alen."

Alen cheeks flushed in embarassement, turning his gaze away from Grenseal's amused smile. The flush deepened in color when he heard Grenseal's laughter carried in the playful breeze. "So?"

"You don't have to sound so indignant."

"I can't help it."

Grenseal only smiled.

The breeze picked up again, sweeping leaves and flower petals up and away into the endless blue sky. Against the chirping of the birds and the whistling wind, the sounds of humanity seemed so distant, so misplaced.


"Mmm?" the blonde-haired knight looked and sounded like he was half-asleep.

"Do you think the king would allow us to go and offer our services?" asked Alen, looking at his friend seriously. "I want to fight for the sake of peace."

"..." Grenseal's features hardened, but his voice remained level. "There already is peace at hand here, Alen," he said in a light tone. "There's no need to fight for it."

"We have peace, but the the rest of Suiko does not. I don't know about you, but I can't relax knowing that people are dying out there."

A thin-lipped, sardonic smile touched Grenseal's lips. "You're too righteous for your own good."

"Excuse me?" Alen, taken aback by Grenseal's words, gazed at his friend with a frown.

Grenseal's eyes opened to meet with Alen's bewildered gaze evenly. The green-eyed knight's expression was cool, unreadable. The smile faded into nothingness. "Those people you're talking about are the same people we fought against years ago. Now, all of a sudden, you're willing to go out there and risk your life to save them? Do you not remember what they did to this place, so many years ago? Have you forgotten the suffering we went through, the very same type of pain that they are now experiencing as their price?"

Alen flinched, ripping his gaze away from Grenseal. His friend had a point... Grenseal always was more of a thinker than he was after all.

"Our place is here, Alen," said Grenseal at last, finally turning away from the dark-haired knight and back towards the horizon. "The king has done our part for us by agreeing to help Syujinkou, and the boy has more than just one of our original comrades with him. We have a job to fulfill as knights--and generals--of Gregminster. Remember that." He shifted back to his original, more casual position as though nothing had happened.

Suddenly ashamed, Alen returned his gaze to the skies.

Neither spoke another word. The silence became uncomfortable.

It seemed like an eternity of that choking quiet before Grenseal stood up, wordlessly brushing off the grass from his cape. He was only two three feet away from Alen when he halted in his footsteps. The breeze whispered curiously about them.

"Believe me, Alen, I want to fight too," he said resignedly; still he did not turn around to meet with his friend's brown-eyed gaze. "I may have sounded like a cold-hearted bastard when I had said all of that, but I feel the same way you do. However, you have to learn that it's time for us to sheathe or blades because there's nothing else we can do..." he turned his head back to pierce Alen with his emerald gaze one last time. "I've sheathed my sword. Have you?"

So saying, he simply turned his head away and walked back down towards Gregminster, leaving Alen to his thoughts.

e n d .