[16th of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Thedam Royal Hospital]
Night had come as Sorin leaned on the wall. He looked out of the window to the castle that was not that far from the hospital that he had made it into. Rain and Storm had stayed at Brook’s side the moment they had arrived, never once leaving him while Mina tried to offer her support. Noa, meanwhile, sat outside the treatment ward and sighed to himself.
“It’s rough, isn’t it?” Noa said.
“I know it is,” Sorin replied. “I hate to admit it, but it’s pretty bleak right about now.”
“What are you guys going to do now?” Noa asked.
“I’ll have to talk to Rain, I guess,” Sorin said. “This was her mission and I guess we never had the chance to succeed.”
“When the enemy is your friend, I guess it’s that much more difficult,” Noa said. “Sorry about what happened with that Johan guy, by the way.”
“You don’t need to apologize for that,” Sorin said. “No one could have seen that coming, not even me. To think he’d just turn on us like that…”
That was when Storm barged out of the room Brook was staying in with tears in her eyes. Mina hurried behind Storm and tried to console her. Storm just cried as Mina embraced her.
“What happened?” Sorin asked.
“It’s Brook,” Mina replied as she had her hand on Storm’s back. “He’s… they said that the wound to his vitals were very bad.”
Sorin was confused. “Very bad? Don’t tell me he’s already…”
“Dead,” Noa said. “They can’t treat him because the wounds he sustained did enough damage that it’d be too difficult to operate on.”
“No, this isn’t right,” Sorin said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”
A dreadful silence filled the room as Rain entered. She had her head down as she walked over to the wall nearby. Nothing could be said now that one of the most important people to her had now departed. With a pained sigh, Rain slammed the palm of her hand directly on the wall.
“Why?” Rain asked. “Why are we the ones to suffer? Was this all just one big lie? Was this journey all for naught?”
“Rain, I’m so sorry,” Sorin said.
“My mother and my most trusted ally, they were just planning to kill us all from the very beginning,” Rain said. “I thought that I would be able to prevent my father from meeting his end, but in the end I was a fool. A stupid fool to even believe that I could make even the slightest bit of difference.”
“We can’t give up now,” Mina said, “We have to stop them!”
“Can we, though?” Rain asked. “They’ve got the Neu Thekohnian Order plus the Thekohnian military on their side. There’s very little that we can do now, lest we just run away.”
“I wouldn’t mind doing that,” Noa said.
“Is that really what you believe?” Sorin asked. “That doesn’t sound like the Rain I know.”
“It’s no use,” Rain replied. “What can we really do?”
“I’ll tell you what you can do,” Mina said, “You keep fighting with us. Fight for Brook. Fight for Storm. Fight for all of the good people that live here in the Thekohnian Region, because that’s what heroes do!”
“Mina, thank you, but I don’t know,” Rain said. “How are we going to keep fighting against a force like the Neu Thekohnian Order and my mother?”
“I have no idea,” Mina said, “But we can’t just sit here and do nothing! We have to keep fighting!”
“Is that going to work, though?” Rain asked. “I don’t know if we can really do it. I’ve always believed that we’d be able to succeed, but now I don’t know if I can believe any more.”
“We believe in you,” Sorin said. “Every last one of us believes in you, so you should believe in us and in yourself. They may have the upper hand now, but that’s no reason to give into despair.”
“Yeah! We have to do this for all of the people who believe in us,” Mina said, “And I’m not just saying this because I believe in you, but because I love you! Nothing is going to stop us as long as we keep believing in each other!”
Rain rubbed her eye. “Thank you, Mina,” she said. “You, Sorin, and Noa… I really should thank you three for still believing in me, even when I could not.”
“Even me?” Noa asked. “I couldn’t do anything. I almost ran away; I could have left you to die!”
“But you didn’t,” Mina replied. “You stayed with us even if you were about to pee your pants in fear of Victor Wihll! That’s really heroic of you!”
“Well, thanks,” Noa said. “That means you still want my help, even if I still lied to you?”
“Of course,” Sorin said. “Though I wonder what you are going to call yourself now.”
“You can keep calling me Noa,” he replied. “That’s the man you know me as and that’s the man I’ll continue to fight as. It’s the least I can do to honor the man who took care of me all those years ago.”
Luna then entered the room with Pariton, who had part of his shirt torn off and wrapped around his shoulder. He moved away from her and approached Sorin as Luna tried to stop him.
“You’re still bleeding!” Luna exclaimed. “Just let me take you to one of these doctors and they’ll help you out because that’s their job and they’ll really make sure that you’re all patched up and ready to go!”
“It’s nothing but a scratch,” Pariton said.
“You’re okay?” Sorin asked.
“I was able to hold Victor off for long enough,” Pariton replied. “He just shrugged me off in the end and left as soon as he could. I guess Luna here was lucky enough to be standing outside, because that’s why she dragged me in here. Guess it was a good thing she did.”
“You’re right about that, Pekka,” Luna replied. “Any longer and you’d be lying on the ground getting an infection or something and you’d no longer be able to use that arm, which would have meant that you’d have to get it amputated!”
“I’ve been in worse fights,” Pariton said. “Anyway, if it’s not too much to ask of you, would you be so kind as to let us join you?”
“Wait, what?” Luna asked. “I mean, I’ve got nothing against them, but are you sure that we can trust them?”
“There’s no other choice,” Pariton replied. “Mr. Wilk, if it’s okay with you, we would like to help you in any way we can.”
Sorin looked over to Rain and Mina. “What do you think?”
“Right now, we need the help,” Rain said. “If they want to help us, then I see no problem in letting them join our cause.”
“We’d be happy to,” Mina said. “What you did back there really helped us out, you know!”
“Well, I’ve got to atone for my sins somehow,” Pariton said. “Victor and I were once colleagues, but Johan had shown me the way. Since you’re his friend, I assume you can feel the same sort of betrayal that I feel, and that’s why I want to help stop him and the rest of the Neu Thekohnian Order.”
“You know, there is one thing I want to ask Johan before you do anything to him,” Sorin said. “That’s my main reason for helping Rain right now: so I can hear from him his answer.”
“I want to hear it, too!” Luna said. “Fine, then I’ll join you guys as well! I’m Luna Del Bosque, the third oldest of the Del Bosque family. Glad to make your acquaintance, everyone!”
She shook Sorin’s hand and then Mina’s, followed by Rain afterwards.
“Nice meeting you too, Miss Del Bosque,” Rain said.
“I still can’t believe that I’m actually shaking hands with the princess of Thekohn, though,” Luna said, “It’s like one of my dreams, except I’m actually living it and you and your sister are here! Wait, what about that Judy guy, though?”
“It’s not ‘Judy,’ it’s Guda,” Noa said, “And I prefer to be called Noa.”
“Don’t you worry about Noa,” Mina said. “He can aim a rifle pretty good, but talking to women isn’t exactly his strength!”
“Oh no, that won’t do,” Luna said. “You need to get out there and stop being so afraid of women!”
“I think not,” Noa replied. “Just let me be and let me do what I’m good at.”
Luna nudged onto Noa. “No, I’m serious.”
“Luna, drop it,” Pariton said. “Anyway, it looks like we’ll need to get out of here before they find out where we are.”
“What should we do?” Sorin wondered.
“A regroup is necessary,” Rain said. “I think having Gavin and the others with us would be imperative to helping stop this mess.”
“That would be a great idea,” Mina said. “Certainly with Ayanna, she could help and maybe even with the help of the Iiayi and Ameci militaries as well, we could begin our counterattack!”
“No, I don’t think it’d be wise to enlist the help from any of the militaries,” Rain replied. “All it would do would drive us deeper into a war we don’t want.”
“Then what do you suggest?” Pariton asked.
“Let’s head over to Oelaans and see if we can get in contact with them,” Rain said. “If they’re still in Bel, then we’ll know where to call.”
“What about me?” Storm asked. “I guess I can’t stay here, even if I wanted to be with brother one last time…”
“I’m sorry,” Rain replied. “I know it’s very painful to leave him behind like this but we have to keep moving forward, at least for his sake. He would have wanted us to do so.”
Storm sniffled. “Okay,” she said. “I suppose we can go now before the busses shut down for the night.”
“It’s settled, then,” Sorin said. “Let’s go now before it’s too late and find us!”
Sorin then led everyone out of the hospital as they made their way for the bus station. Back in Oelaans, they would have to find a way back to connect with the rest of the group and devise a plan to stop the Neu Thekohnian Order. That was not all, though, because Sorin did want an answer from Johan. He wanted to know exactly why his friend betrayed everyone; even if Sorin had to resort to fighting Johan, he would get his answer.
[16th of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Thedam Castle Royal Queen’s Room]
Victor Wihll entered the lighted room in the nighttime as Ahga and Johan both awaited him there. He had to shake off Pariton and escape before he could do any serious damage. Wihll felt that he was lucky enough to come back to the castle that was now under siege by the Neu Thekohnian Order, all of whom were now dressed up in Thekohnian military garb. Ahga sat down in the chair while Johan stood as Wihll approached them both.
“You made it back,” Ahga said. “Not a moment too soon.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t finish the job,” Wihll said. “I find her and I’ll kill her, as well her friends just to make sure!”
“No, no, you don’t need to do that, Victor,” Ahga replied. “Let them run away with their tails between their legs and tears in their eyes. You’ve done enough damage by eliminating the prince to send a message that we’re not to be messed with.”
Wihll grumbled. “Wasn’t my job to kill her? Why would you ask me to back off now?”
“Oh, I did tell you to kill her, but I came with a back-up plan because I had a feeling that you’d fail somehow,” Ahga said. “Why else would I end up bringing the Neu Thekohnian Order here to guard this castle?”
“I have to admit that I’m envious,” Johan said. “You prepared in case of the event that he’d let you down. If only I were capable of pulling off such a feat.”
“You have to watch and learn, Mr. Kuu,” Ahga replied. “That said, Victor has long outlived his usefulness by now.”
“What!?” Wihll asked.
“Don’t you see?” Ahga asked. “Whether or not you fulfilled your end of the bargain, I’m going to deal with you personally. It’ll send a message to the rest of the region that the leader of the True Thekohnians is dead and that Queen Isla is not a woman to messed with!”
“You traitorous bastard,” Wihll said. “You were planning to double-cross me this whole time, weren’t you!?”
Ahga laughed. “That’s rich that you thought that I would trust a scoundrel like you,” he replied. “Why would I trust a South Maeitakohnian to do anything right? No, it’s better to take out the trash.”
Ahga snapped his fingers as several members of the Neu Thekohnian Order entered. They surrounded Wihll in an instant as he clenched his fists. Though he tried to fight them off, Wihll was no match for the multitude of men that had piled on top of him. A few moments later, Wihll lay on the floor with his hands cuffed behind his back as Ahga walked up to him.
“Just so you know, once we’re done with Ahnlikohn, we’ll be storming your country next,” Ahga said as he looked down at Wihll. “If we’re to truly restore this region’s glory, there must be no mistakes!”
“Piece of shit,” Wihll muttered.
Ahga placed his foot down on Wihll’s head. “Mind saying that louder for me? I couldn’t quite catch what you said to me. Something about a needed wit?”
“I said that you’re a piece of shit!” Wihll exclaimed. “Johan Kuu! You knew that this was going to happen, didn’t you!?”
Johan shook his head. “Ahga came up with the idea all his own,” he said. “I’m just a bit player in all of this.”
“That’s right,” Ahga said. “Oh, and I hope you’ve made your peace with god, because your execution is due morning. I’ve got a place prepared in Oelaans so that the rest of the region sees this glorious man put an end to one of its most notorious terrorists!”
“You’re no better,” Wihll said. “Neither of you!”
Ahga pressed his foot down a little harder on Wihll’s head, which caused him to scream out in pain. “Funny, I thought that I was better,” he said. “I’m the one standing with his foot on your head, right?”
“Fuck you,” Wihll replied. “You can go to hell.”
“Before I do, I’ll be sure to send you there first,” Ahga said, “But I’m tired of looking at your face for tonight, so if the rest of you will do me a favor…”
Wihll was helped up by some of the Neu Thekohnians as he was forced out of the room as Ahga turned away. With the doors now closed, Johan looked over to Ahga.
“You’d do best not to cross me anymore,” Ahga said. “After all, you wanted to join, did you not?”
“Of course I did,” Johan replied. “I trust your judgement as do I with Her Majesty.”
“Good,” Ahga said. “I’m going to make my way to my chambers now. Hopefully you can get a good night’s sleep so you’ll be able to see the execution firsthand.”
“I’ll be sure to do that,” Johan said. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”
To be continued…