After Gale explained what happened this morning, Gavin took a deep breath. He had his hand placed on his forehead as he sighed again.
“If I had to guess, the True Thekohnians were behind his death,” Gavin said.
“Why do you say that?” Sorin asked.
“They’ve already killed so many,” Gavin replied. “Belkley would just be another casualty to them.”
“That’s not right,” Gale said, “He’s more than just a casualty. He was like a son to Eva!”
“Do you think they care?” Gavin asked. “Groups like the True Thekohnians will do whatever it takes to reach their goal.”
“Sorry, Gale, but bro’s right for once,” Law said. He moved forward in his crutches. “You’re looking at someone lucky enough to survive. They don’t really care about the past of those they kill.”
“I know that,” Gale said. “I just don’t think it’s fair at all to him.”
“I agree that it’s not fair, Gale,” Law said. “I would know firsthand about that, but we can’t just let them get away with it.”
“We’re the heroes!” Mina said. “It’s our job to stop villains, and these villains will pay for what they’ve done!”
“She’s obviously fired up,” Gavin said. “The True Thekohnians need to be stopped, for everyone’s sake… And I’m going to be the one to stop Victor Wihll, Sorin Wilk.”
“You can do that,” Sorin said. “As long as I’m able to meet Rysol again.”
“Just you watch,” Gavin told Sorin, “Wihll is going to suffer for what he did. I can assure you of that.”
“Anyway,” Law said, “The lovely Ayanna is awaiting you guys upstairs.”
“That’s why we were waiting,” Mina said. “Let’s go!”
“Are you not going with us, Lawrence?” Sorin asked.
“You want me to risk going up those stairs with these?” Law asked, gesturing with the crutches he was holding. “I’m gonna just sit here and wait for Eva to arrive… Maybe get some one on one with her.”
“In a public place like this!?” Gavin asked. “That’s illegal, Lawrence!”
“Damn, I didn’t think your mind would go that way, bro,” Law said. “I was just talking about getting to know her.”
“I’m sure you did,” Gavin said. “Disgusting.”
Law laughed. “Whatever you say,” he said.
Gavin shook his head. “Fine, we’ll go,” he replied, looking over to Sorin and Gale. “Come on. You too, Mina.”
Mina leapt out of her seat. “Yay!”
Upstairs, soldiers from Ameci, Ahnlikohn, and Iiayikohn walked around as the meeting room’s door was ajar. Gavin walked in, with Sorin, Gale, and Mina right behind him, and greeted the generals. Rohan, General Anker of Ahnlikohn, and General Reiss of Iiayikohn all sat at the end of the room while Ayanna sat next to Reiss.
“Take a seat,” Reiss said.
Gavin sat down. “Thank you, sir.”
“It’s nice to see you, Gale,” Fercewend said. “I’m sorry you had to be wrapped up in this.”
“It’s okay, Rohan,” she said, taking her seat. “This affects us all, so I want to hear everything today.”
“Very well,” he said. “The other two, I assume, are friends?”
Sorin sat down. “Nice to meet you all,” he said. “I’m… Sorin Wilk. Kirk’s son.”
“Ah, so you’re the young one, aren’t you?” Anker asked. “Kirk did mention he had two sons… It seems like it was the right call inviting them over, Major Ansa.”
“Thank you,” Ayanna said. “Although I thought that one of the Swords of Eight was going to be here as well…”
“She’s coming,” Sorin said.
“Anyway, what about you, young lady?” Fercewend asked.
Mina stared at Fercewend. “I know who you are,” she said. “You’re the strongest man in the world!”
Fercewend smiled. “I haven’t been referred to that in a while,” he said. “It seems that some people here still hold me to that title.”
“Of course!” Mina replied. “People talk about your heroism all the time, including me!”
“I’m absolutely flattered,” Fercewend said. “Let’s move onto business, shall we?”
“Right,” Ayanna said. “You were talking earlier about how to approach Bel, General Reiss. I do like this plan you’ve laid out.”
“There’s something that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, Ansa,” Reiss said. “What exactly are they supposed to be doing?”
“Well, it was Power’s idea,” Ayanna said. “It seems that he wants to lead a small group of people into Maeitakohn to stop the True Thekohnian leader before we can move in.”
“This is the first I’m hearing of this,” Fercewend said. “Lieutenant, what exactly are you doing?”
“General,” Gavin said. “I know it’s unprecedented for us, but I can trust Mr. Wilk and Ms. Rask to hold their own.”
“Are you sure about that?” Fercewend asked.
“My own brother has testified about Rask’s strength,” Gavin replied. “Besides, she wants this all to end just as much as we do.”
“Your brother… he’s here?”
“Yes, sir,” Gavin said. “I’m aware of what he did, but it isn’t important at all right now.”
“There are bigger problems right now than him,” Fercewend said. “Gale, for the love of god, you’re not going with him, are you?”
“I can’t,” she answered. “As much as I would like to, I can’t. I’m staying here.”
Fercewend let out a sigh. “And you, Sorin?”
“I think I can handle myself,” he replied.
“If you are that confident,” Fercewend said, “Then I suppose I am able to trust the son of Kirk Wilk. What say you, Rask?”
“It’s Mina,” she said. “Mighty Mina, to be precise!”
“There’s another,” Gavin said. “A former Swords of Eight… Eva Bellamy.”
“Is that so?” Fercewend asked. He grinned. “Then maybe I shouldn’t be so worried after all.”
Gavin adjusted his sunglasses. “That’s a go, then?”
“If it is Bellamy, then I can give the go ahead,” Fercewend said.
“Fercewend, you are okay with it?” Anker asked. “Because I still have doubt in my mind that this will go well.”
“Have you doubted me during my speech?” Fercewend asked. “How about when I led my men multiple times to victory?”
Anker leaned. “But is Bellamy not the youngest of that entire group?”
“Ask the prime minister,” Fercewend replied. “He can attest that she can lead this group. So can I.”
Anker nodded. “Then I will take your word for it,” he said, “But if this mission fails, we will not hesitate to send our troops in.”
“Lieutenant, you will assure that this mission will not fail,” Fercewend said.
“My aim is true,” Gavin said, “And I never miss. Not now, not ever.”
“Good to hear,” Fercewend said.
“And I assume that is all, is it not, Power?” Ayanna asked.
“You know it,” Gavin replied.
“Then let me escort you all out,” she said. “If you would, General Reiss.”
“Go ahead,” Reiss said.
Ayanna proceeded to leave the room with Gavin, Sorin, Mina, and Gale when Fercewend spoke up.
“Gale,” he said, “Do you think you could stay for a moment longer?”
“It’s something… important,” Fercewend answered.
“I see,” Gale said. “Alright. Sorin…”
Sorin tilted his head. “Yes, Gale?”
“You’re going to go to Maeitakohn after this, right?” Gale asked.
“I think so,” he replied.
“There’s something I need to tell you first,” Gale said. “You see, I… I wish you all good luck.”
“We don’t need luck,” Gavin said. “Unlike Lawrence, I don’t rely on nonexistent things like that. Our success is going to be because of pure skill and determination!”
Mina pumped her fist. “Yeah! We’re a skilled team!”
“I think we’ll be fine, Gale,” Sorin said. “I will see you again.”
“Okay,” she said. “I’ll see you soon!”
They gave their goodbyes to Gale as Ayanna led them back downstairs. As they entered to lobby, Law and Eva were talking to each other. Gavin walked up to Law, who was still sitting down.
“Oh, hey, bro,” Law said.
“Don’t tell me,” Gavin said, “I see what’s going on.”
Law rolled his eyes. “Come on, man,” he said. “You’d think I’d do that given what she’s been through today?”
“It was actually a nice conversation, Law,” Eva said. “Thank you.”
“You’re very welcome,” Law replied.
“So we’re ready to go, then?” Eva asked.
Sorin gave her a nod. “General Fercewend seems to have no problem with it,” he said. “Oh, and I guess he wanted to see Gale, too.”
“I’m glad to hear that Rohan’s enthusiastic,” Eva said. “So, how are we going to head out?”
“I’ve taken the liberty of obtaining a car,” Gavin answered. “By that I mean that the Iiayikohnian military was nice enough to offer it.”
Law smirked. “That means it’s a beater,” he said. “I guess it should be good enough to make the trip, though.”
“So how long does it usually take to get to Maeitakohn?” Sorin asked.
“It’s a little over 160 kilometers to Bel,” Eva replied.
“That’s it?” Gavin asked. “Why the hell aren’t we on the road, then?”
“Do you not want to say goodbye, first?” Ayanna asked.
“Hey, I don’t plan on saying goodbye,” Gavin said, “Because I know that I’m going to be back.”
“Let’s hope you keep that promise, then,” Ayanna said. “I would hate having to break the news here to your brother if things went wrong.”
“You’re never going to have to worry about that,” Gavin replied. “Anyway, Sorin, you have a license, right?”
“Yeah, why?” Sorin asked.
“Someone has to drive,” Gavin answered. “I’m right handed, so being in the passenger seat would be beneficial to me if I need to start shooting.”
Sorin scratched his head. “What about you, Eva?”
“You should know why I can’t drive,” she replied.
“And I don’t even have a license!” Mina commented. “That means it’s up to you to drive us to Maeitakohn!”
“I guess I have to, then,” Sorin said. “Where’s the car, Gavin?”
“It’s close,” he replied. “Let’s get moving. If we’re going to have to catch up to Victor Wihll, then we mustn’t waste any more time, Sorin Wilk!”
“You really don’t have to use my full name,” Sorin said.
“Whatever,” he said. “We will be back, Lawrence!”
“See you later, Law!” Mina said. “We’re going to kick some butt!”
“One last thing, bro,” Law said. “When you see Wihll, be sure to tell him that I said hello.”
“I’ll be sure to,” Gavin said, “By putting a bullet in his head.”
“Looks like I don’t need to worry, then,” Law said.
Gavin left the building with Sorin, as Mina followed behind them. Eva turned back to face Law one last time.
“I need to thank you once again, Law,” she said.
“Sometimes it’s good just to talk to someone,” he said. “If you ever want to talk again, let me know.”
Eva smiled. “I will.”
She left to rejoin Gavin’s group, as Ayanna sat down next to Law.
“So what did you two actually talk about?” Ayanna asked.
“That’s a secret,” he replied. “I promised her I wouldn’t tell, and a guy like me respect’s a lady’s right to privacy.”
“Sometimes you surprise me, Law Power,” she said.
“Well, I’m just going to take that as a compliment,” Law said. “Say, do you have any siblings?”
“I do,” Ayanna replied. “I’m the oldest of six.”
“A trendsetter, then.”
“That’s an odd way to put it,” she said. “Anyway, four brothers and a sister. Actually, you might have heard of my parents, or at least know about their business.”
“It’s funny, but I don’t,” Law responded.
“Have you not heard of Ansa Farms?”
“Can’t say that I have,” he said. “Then again, I am always willing to see new places.”
“After this is all said and done, maybe I will take you,” Ayanna said. “I was going to tell Mina about it since she loves food, but I suppose you deserve to go just as well. I can even take your brother along as well.”
“I’ll make a reminder of it,” Law said. He reached into his pocket but found nothing. “Ah, that’s right, I gave my diary to my bro.”
“You needn’t worry about it,” Ayanna said. “When that time comes, I will remind you.”
“It’s just as well,” he said. “Perhaps he needs that book more than I do at this point.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Oh, nothing,” Law replied. “Just saying.”
To be continued…