Because of Ayanna’s position, she was able to secure a room necessary for the prisoner. Ayanna brought Mina along with her, mainly because she knew that there was no way the prisoner was going to try and escape. The two women sat on one side of the table while they waited for the prisoner to arrive.
“You know this person?” Mina asked.
“I do,” Ayanna replied. “We used to be friends, though she ended up falling into the clutches of the True Thekohnians.”
“I had no idea,” she said. “You’re not scared?”
“There’s no reason to be,” Ayanna said. “I doubt that she’s going to hold a grudge against me.”
The door opened and revealed a guard, who escorted the red haired prisoner into the room. She took a seat on the opposite side of Ayanna and Mina, and looked into Ayanna’s eyes.
“It’s been some time, Silvia,” Ayanna said.
“It really has,” Silvia replied. “I know it’s an inconvenience, but thank you for taking some time out of your schedule to visit me. “
Ayanna smiled. “It’s hardly an inconvenience,” she said. “I still think of you as a friend, even after all you’ve done.”
“You’re such a good person,” Silvia said. “I guess that I was right to make that request.”
“Right,” Ayanna replied, “About that request: what exactly did you want to tell me about the True Thekohnians?”
“Well, to be fair, it wasn’t my idea,” Silvia said, “I was visited by a stranger early this morning who gave me the information.”
“A stranger?” Ayanna asked. “Usually the guards are on watch during the night… How did this person sneak through?”
“No clue,” Silvia replied. “But that’s not important. You wanted to know more about the remaining True Thekohnians, right?”
“That’s correct,” Mina said. “We’re all looking for those villains, wherever they may be!”
“Some of them have been running around the country, which have lead to bounties being placed,” Ayanna replied. “I already know a couple of people who’ve already made some headway in capturing some of the remaining members.”
“Really?” Silvia asked. “I guess that’s not too surprising, but from what I’ve heard, there’s already an organization that’s popped up in Ahnlikohn calling themselves the True Thekohnians.”
“This is news to me,” Ayanna said. “I assume that this mysterious person told you about this, am I correct?”
“Well, yes, that was what I was told,” Silvia replied. “Apparently, they’ve even captured an Ameci soldier as well.”
“Are you serious?” Ayanna asked.
“This is what I’ve heard,” Silvia said. “I just thought that it was of importance to you because of the connection Ameci has with this country. There’s no reason for me to lie.”
Ayanna took a deep breath and exhaled. “I believe you,” she said. “Do you have any information on this soldier?”
“Only that they serve in the Ameci military,” Silvia answered.
“Darn it!” Mina said. “If Gavin was here, he’d probably know who it might be.”
“I highly doubt that,” Ayanna said. “We have no idea what this soldier looks like; besides, Gavin’s not a part of their military anymore.”
Mina closed her eyes and sighed. “Then what are we supposed to do?”
“Well, what we can do is head back to the prime minister’s office,” Ayanna replied. “It seems that our business is done here, Silvia. It was nice to see you again.”
“Oh, wait,” Silvia said, “There’s something else I need to say.”
“What is it?”
“Not to you, Ayanna,” Silvia replied. “Your name’s Mina, right?”
Mina sparked up as soon as she heard her name. “Yes! What did you want to say, Silvia?”
“So this is just what that stranger told me, but apparently your mother is still alive,” Silvia said. “I guess they expected you to be here, somehow.”
“That’s quite odd,” Ayanna said.
“Are you really sure?” Mina asked. “Wait, is this person related to me!?”
“No,” Silvia replied. “They just told me that if I saw you that I should inform you about your mother.”
“That and her name is Wilma Brynjarr,” Silvia continued. “I have no idea how useful this information will be to you, but I hope that it is.”
Mina sat there with her mouth open as she had no idea what to say. “I… I should thank you,” she said, reaching out to shake Silvia’s hand.
“Honestly, this was very informative,” Ayanna said. “You really haven’t changed at all, have you?”
“I know that society will continue to look down upon me,” Silvia said, “But that doesn’t matter. As long as you can find it in your heart to forgive me, that’s the only thing I care about.”
“Don’t worry, I forgive you,” Ayanna said. She rubbed her eye as she continued to look at Silvia. “Damn it all, this is so embarrassing…”
“That’s all I wanted to hear,” Silvia replied. “And Mina, I really hope you can reunite with your mother.”
“Thanks!” Mina said. “I mean, thanks again, obviously!”
“Of course,” Silvia said. “Hope you both fare well out there.”
On the way back to the prime minister’s office, Ayanna could only think about what Silvia said. Never did she think that the True Thekohnians would be organized once more, nor did she think it was possible for them to be in the neighboring Ahnlikohn. It was something that she would have to talk with Alan about, that much was certain.
“I’ve been wondering,” Mina said, “Just what kind of person is my mother like? Do you think she’s heroic like me?”
“That’s not something I can answer for you,” Ayanna replied. “For all we know, that might just be a lie.”
“You think Silvia was lying?”
“Not her, but the person she spoke to,” Ayanna said. “Actually, forget what I said. I bet that your mother is still alive out there.”
Mina smiled. “I wonder where she is,” she said.
Ayanna pulled up to the parking space. “We’ll have to figure that out some other time,” she said. “Right now, we have other matters to attend to. Come on.”
They stepped out of the car and walked to the building. Ayanna opened the door and allowed Mina to walk in first. As they stepped inside, it appeared that the conference had ended as soldiers and representatives from many countries were walking around.
“Geez, it’s so crowded here,” Mina said. “How the heck would anybody get anything done here?”
“Just ignore it and follow me,” Ayanna said.
They moved through, making sure not to bump into anyone, and entered Alan’s office. Ayanna saw that he was already speaking with someone as she and Mina stood by the door.
“I must say that you are a very well spoken woman, Your Highness,” Alan said. “Of course, that’s no surprise considering who your mentor is.”
“Thank you, Prime Minister,” Rain replied. “Sir Lauren’s told me many stories about you, so actually meeting you is quite the honor.”
“If anyone should be honored, it should be me,” he said. “Merton’s a man with high regard throughout all the region and I’m glad to see that his daughter is no different.”
Alan stopped as he then noticed Ayanna and Mina standing there.
“It’s not like you to come in speechless, Ayanna,” he said. “Please, it’s only appropriate that you two introduce yourselves to the Thedam princess.”
Ayanna gasped. “You mean me, sir?”
“You’re the lieutenant general, right?” Rain asked. She stood up out of her chair and greeted Ayanna with a firm handshake. “My name is Rain Zano Thedam, princess of the Royal Family of Thekohn.”
“It’s an honor to be in your presence,” Ayanna said as she bowed.
“Alan’s praise is well deserved, it seems,” Rain said. “And who may you be?”
Mina pumped her fist into the air. “I’m glad you asked, Your Highness,” she said. “I’m Mighty Mina! Villains tremble at the sight of my powerful fist!”
“Mina, please,” Ayanna said. “It’s a member of the royal family, so you should show a little more respect.”
Rain giggled. “Oh, you shouldn’t be so serious, Miss Ansa,” she said. “I, for one, found that quite charming.”
“That girl is indeed quirky,” Alan said. “A good heart, but odd all the same.”
“Sometimes, a good heart is all you need,” Rain said. “Perhaps I could learn a lot from you, Mighty Mina.”
“You think so?” Mina asked as she shook Rain’s hand. “I don’t know what to say… what’s this feeling that I have?”
“The way you blush is admirable,” Rain said, “And I believe that the word you’re looking for is ‘pride,’ which is befitting for a hero like you.”
Ayanna looked over at Alan. “So I have arrived with some information,” she said. “I had no idea you were going to be speaking in private with the princess, however. Perhaps I should come back after?”
“No, it’s completely fine,” Alan replied. “You don’t mind, do you, Your Highness?”
“I can step out for a moment,” Rain answered, “But I wonder if it’s okay to continue my chat with Mighty Mina. Do you mind?”
Alan laughed. “Go ahead,” he said. “Talk with her to your heart’s content.”
“Very good,” Rain replied. “Shall we?”
Mina stepped out with Rain into the hallway. It was much less crowded now, but that was not where Rain wanted to talk.
“There’s a small room down the hall here,” she said. “I found it when I stepped out during the conference.”
“Okay,” Mina replied.
They wandered down the hallway until they made it to the room that Rain was talking about. It had only a couple of chairs and a small lamp on a table, but Rain did not seem to mind. She invited Mina inside and left the door ajar as she turned on the lamp.
“Do you want to sit down?” Rain asked.
“I’m so excited, I don’t think I can!” Mina said. “What did you want to talk to me about?”
“Oh, a lot of things,” she said, “But I want to talk with you because I feel like this is something I cannot talk with the prime minister about.”
“Yes, Mina, I mean you,” Rain replied. “You just happen to be one of the people I’m looking for, so this is appropriate for you.”
“This is so amazing,” Mina said. “I can’t believe you would ask me for help. I mean, of course I’ll help because I’m the hero of Rezar, but still it’s all so crazy to hear it from a princess!”
“You have a determination and desire to help that no one else has,” Rain said. “It was your group who helped defeat the leader of the True Thekohnians and stopped Llewellyn Rhodes’s regime, so to meet you in person must be fate.”
“Aw, it’s just something a hero like me should do,” Mina said.
“Really, on behalf of the Royal Family of Thekohn, I thank you,” Rain said as she took Mina’s hand into hers. “Which is why I have a request for you and your partners.”
Mina raised her eyebrows. “What is that?”
“I need your group to help me,” Rain replied. “Right now, my father has been overcome with an illness. I’m worried because there was rumor that I heard that someone is planning to assassinate him.”
“Your father?” Mina asked. “The king?”
“Indeed. What I’m asking for is your help in finding the assassin,” Rain said. “I don’t have enough clues to go on, nor do I have any idea who it might be; however, I feel that if I asked for help from you and your partners, we can find out who is planning out this attack.”
“I would love to help,” Mina said, “That is, if my friends weren’t out of the country right now.”
Rain looked off to the side. “Oh, I see…”
“But please don’t be disappointed!” Mina exclaimed. “I’m sure they’ll be back soon! I know that they will!”
“No, don’t get the wrong idea,” she said. “I’m still hopeful that we can put a stop to this… In fact, I’m perfectly willing to wait until they come back.”
“Of course, of course!”
Rain smiled. “You really are so full of energy,” she said.
“I get that a lot,” Mina replied. “Right now, I just want to do a backflip but I can’t because of this room…”
Rain covered her mouth as she tried not to laugh. “Personally I’d love to see that. Maybe later, you can demonstrate to me your backflip?”
“Yeah, yeah, I can do it!”
“Then I will look forward to it,” Rain said. “After all, you will promise to help me, right?”
“Sure,” Mina answered.
Rain reached out her arms and hugged Mina, who had no other choice but to return the favor. For Mina, she liked Rain’s appreciation for her ability as a hero, but also because Rain was such an important person. To have the princess of the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn embracing her was quite an honor. Perhaps that was what Ayanna was talking about earlier, Mina thought.
[5th of September, 2740 AD; on the train to Jiaikohn]
Through the southbound route past Bel, Law observed the barren land slowly turn into greenery once more. He and Gavin were only a couple of hours away from Kun, the major city and capital of Jiaikohn. They had a major task at hand, which both brothers knew that they needed to gain some information about the True Thekohnians.
“This pamphlet is quite informative,” Law said. “Bro, did you know that Khun is considered the fashion capital of the world?”
“Why do you think I care?” Gavin asked.
He was deep in thought about hunting down this bounty; not for Rysol Wilk, but for the person that put up the bounty. If Law was correct, and that was a big if, then there would be a large reward waiting for them when they arrived back in Rezar.
“Come on, you’re not the least bit curious?” Law asked. “Then again, this is you I’m talking to after all.”
“I’m just focused,” Gavin said.
“Are you worried that we might bump into them?”
“You know I’m not concerned about him, or her,” Gavin replied. “No, it’s different. It’s just this gun, you know?”
Gavin gestured over to the shiny, silver gun that was in the holster on his side. He had received it from Ayanna the night before, as well as a generous amount of ammunition. Not that he needed that many bullets, anyway. Still, he was grateful towards her for taking that risk and handing him a weapon he knew all too well.
“Been awhile since I’ve held a gun,” Gavin said. “This one’s quite a beauty, too.”
“I admit that it’s pretty nice,” Law said. “It’s almost as if you’re more into that gun than you would be with a person.”
Gavin scoffed. “Your imagination is running wild again.”
“Well, bro, it’s not like I care,” he said. “We’re just travellers right now, but once we step off that train we’ll be on the case.”
“Seems that way.”
Law turned back to the pamphlet in his hand. “Wow, they even have a sharpshooting tournament going on,” he said. “Looks like it’s tomorrow.”
“Oh, I thought that you would be interested, bro,” Law replied. “It’s your forte, isn’t it?”
“I’ve no time for a distraction like that,” Gavin said. “Even if it does sound tempting.”
“It’s just a thought,” Law said. “You know: we catch the guy and after that you can show off how good you are.”
Gavin adjusted his sunglasses. “Lawrence, you’re really trying to make this happen, aren’t you?”
“Totally up to you.”
Instead of a response, Gavin just laughed. He’d have to see for himself what this tournament was all about. He might not have had a gun for the past six months, but Gavin still managed to keep his eyes sharp during that time. Training with Mina helped with that. The urge to show off was high, but Gavin knew there was something he and Law needed to do first.
To be continued…