[2740 AD; Subdivision of Gel Heights – Nano District]
Law’s pursuit of Wihll carried him near the edge of Rezar, where many of the properties had been abandoned. Multiple condemned buildings lined the streets and not a single person was to be found. He had wondered to himself if he walked into a trap, but Mina had a different idea.
“He’s here, isn’t he?” Mina asked.
“This was the direction he ran off to,” Law said, “But it looks we’re at a dead end.”
Law tilted his head upward, the tall building standing before him. He estimated that it had to be at least five stories tall. If Victor Wihll was going to be here, then they would have to go in.
“Stay behind me,” Law told Mina.
They entered the building, parting the glass doors as they observed the lobby. From what Law could gather, it appeared to be an old condominium. He and Mina booked it up the stairs, jumping step by step as they flew past each floor. When they reached the top floor, a single door awaited them. Law looked to Mina, who nodded as Law opened the door. The bright sun took both of them by surprise, making them cover their eyes as they could see a figure in the distance.
“So it seems you both have a death wish,” Wihll said.
“You can’t intimidate us!” Mina shouted. “We’re going to defeat you!”
Wihll cackled. “It’s amazing the kinds of things the miseducated can say. To think that you’re the heroes… Just who are you fighting for, anyway?”
“I fight for those who can’t,” Mina replied, “For those who feel like they have no one to believe in, and for my friends!”
“Such a storybook answer,” Wihll said. “Yet, every time I hear it, I can’t help but laugh.”
“Let’s cut the crap, buddy,” Law interrupted. “You obviously planned this entire thing. I don’t want to know why, but I do want to know what your endgame is.”
“My endgame?” Wihll asked. “Fine, I may as well. My home country Maeitakohn is under attack by their president, Llewellyn Rhodes.”
“That’s nothing surprising,” Law said, “Anyone with the slightest bit of awareness knows that Rhodes has been murdering his own citizens.”
“Looks like you aren’t as dumb as you look,” Wihll said.
Law ran a hand through his hair. “Thanks.”
“All of these deaths may have been caused by Rhodes, but it was due to the efforts of Ameci and the rest of the Thekohnian Region that he was even elected in the first place!” Wihll exclaimed. “Why wouldn’t I want to have my revenge? Cutting their limbs is only right!”
“You’re horrible,” Mina said. “All you want to do is kill!”
“Let me ask you something, then,” Wihll said, “If a thief breaks into your house and steals your possessions, then decides to sell it back to you at double the price, what do you do?”
“That isn’t even the same thing!” Mina replied.
“Wrong!” Wihll said. “You deliver retribution onto them! Those who oppress must come to their end. Even you, someone who claims to fight for the weak, would agree with this, wouldn’t you?”
“So that’s what it is, Wihll?” Law asked. “I have to say, in some weird twist of fate, you might just be right.”
“Law, you can’t be serious!” Mina said.
“I’m not done,” Law said. “I think I’m beginning to understand where you’re coming from, but that still doesn’t excuse any of your actions.”
“What?” Wihll asked.
“I’m going to tell you a short story,” Law began, “A story about two brothers. They had parents who loved them very much, but the god of death had other plans.”
Law stepped forward, both Mina and Wihll still focused on him.
“Their dad was killed in the line of action,” he continued. “Mother, she was an ill woman. There was one thing she told the brothers, something that neither of them would ever forget: look out for each other, keep your heads up, and never forget to laugh.”
That was when Law chuckled. He rubbed his eye, even though he was not crying. He opened his eyes again and looked at Wihll.
“The older brother worked hard, harder than anyone thought,” Law said. “This was despite the fact that people would belittle them, even going as far to beat up the younger brother. He survived his injuries, be it by luck or something else, but that was when both of them knew they had to get stronger.”
“What are you getting at?” Wihll asked.
“I’m almost finished, Wihll,” Law replied. “Anyway, through their struggles, these brothers continued to fight. To overcome the odds, even when everybody else gave up on them. And you want to know their names?”
“I don’t care,” Wihll answered.
“Too bad,” Law said, “Because you’re looking at the younger brother right now. Here he is, standing right before you.”
“So what? You managed to tell me a story that clearly I don’t care about,” Wihll said. “What does that have to do with me?”
“Oh, well, the story doesn’t really have anything to do with you,” Law replied, “I just felt like telling it. What I do want to tell you is that while you may be right in some areas, you are dreadfully wrong in the most important area.”
“What is that?” Mina asked.
“When you become as bad as the one’s you claim to hate,” Law said. “You say you want to end the oppression in Maeitakohn? A lot of people would agree with you. However, you would find very few sympathizers to the True Thekohnians, given all that you’ve done today.”
“Do you think I care?” Wihll asked.
“Probably not,” Law said. “I know you won’t listen. That’s why Mina and I are going to stop you.”
“Yeah!” Mina said. “It’s two against one! You stand no chance, villain!”
Wihll laughed again. It started off as a howl but soon devolved into a shrill cackle that even set Law at unease. Then, Wihll took out his gun.
“I’ve entertained the both of you for too long,” he said. “I won’t let either of you leave this building alive.”
“Look out, Mina!” Law said.
He rushed towards Mina, tackling her out of the way as Wihll tried to shoot her. Law got up and faced Wihll, running towards him and grabbing his arm.
Wihll uttered a deep gasp. “You just don’t know when to lie down and die, do you!?”
Law moved Wihll’s hand upward, pointing his gun to the sky. “Mina! Quickly!”
Wihll shook Law off of him, dropping him to the floor. He kicked Law in the chest and turned back to Mina, who had already disarmed him.
“You’re not so tough without this!” Mina said, throwing the gun over the side of the building.
Wihll tried to reach for his knife, but found that it was not there. “Damn it! What happened to my knife!?”
Law coughed. “Getting careless, are we?”
“Shut up!” Wihll yelled at Law.
“You’re finished now,” Mina said. “The time has come for you to face the fists of good! Face Breaker!”
Wihll turned his head to Mina, but it was too late as she struck him in the face. He grabbed his nose, stumbling as Mina punched him again. This time, Wihll fell down on one knee, screaming and coughing.
“No, please, stop!” Wihll pleaded.
“You’ve hurt too many people!” Mina said. “And now, I’m going to show you why I’m your worst nightmare! Here’s my Heroic Jump Kick!”
She leapt up into the air, foot first as she kicked him in the head. Wihll was sent rolling into the side rail, which knocked him out cold. Mina stood still until she could tell that she was done. Then, she rushed over to Law’s side, as he was still clutching onto his chest.
“Are you okay, Law?” Mina asked, kneeling next to him.
“Tch… he kicks pretty hard,” Law said. “But it looks like you showed him…”
Their brief reunion was interrupted by a lone cough. Mina and Law looked over at Wihll, who got on his hands and knees as he coughed again, this time followed with a laugh. He laughed and coughed until he stood up again, wiping the blood away from his mouth.
“I have to say,” he said to Mina, “I would have never expected you to be quite a problem for me.”
“But you’re supposed to be KO’d,” Mina said.
“Consider yourself lucky,” Wihll said, inching closer to her, “You will be the last I kill today!”
Wihll delivered an underhanded punch to Mina’s stomach, sending her to her knees. She keeled over as Wihll picked up Law and went over to the edge of the building.
“You may have been able to disarm me,” Wihll said, “But I will always have the last laugh!”
“Mina!” Law called out to her.
Mina tried to stand up, by could not. “L-law…”
“It’s been nice knowing you!” Wihll exclaimed.
He threw Law over the edge, sending him falling to the ground below. Law screamed as he felt helpless. The deed was done, however, as Wihll focused back on Mina.
“I admire a good fighter,” he said. “Which is a shame that I have to end you.”
Rysol appeared on the top of the adjacent building, sword in hand, as he jumped down. He stood before Mina and faced Wihll. Rysol pointed his blade at the other man, who was taken aback.
“You’re here!?” Wihll asked. “That can’t be!”
Rysol grunted. “As long as the True Thekohnians exist… I will always be there,” he said. “You have nowhere… to run…”
“That’s where you’re wrong,” Wihll said. “I always have a backup plan, even when it comes to dealing with you!”
Wihll rushed over to the next building and jumped over the gap. Rysol started to give chase, but stumbled as he grabbed his left arm. Mina crawled over to him and sat up.
“Law!” Mina remembered.
She sprung up and sprinted over to where Wihll tossed Law over. He was lying on the ground as Gavin arrived. Law looked to be alive, but was grabbing at his right leg. Mina turned back to the door and proceeded to run. She kept running until she met up with Gavin and Law.
“Mina!” Gavin yelled.
“Is Law okay!?” Mina asked.
Law started to laugh, but screamed in pain as he reached for his leg. “I’m fine,” he said.
“What are you doing, you idiot?” Gavin asked. “Let me set your leg while she gets help!”
“Okay, okay!” Mina said. “I’ll go call a medic!”
To be continued…