Sundown – Chapter 33 (Part 1)

[20th of September, 2740 AD; in the back alleys of Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


Gavin followed after Pekka to where the source of the sound came from: two men within the ranks of the Neu Thekohnian Order, as well as Jelka Arne. It was a familiar meeting for Gavin, but he had no time to spare for the woman on the other side. At least that was what he had thought, but with Jelka spotting both him and Pekka, Gavin had to think of a different method of escape if he wanted to leave with his life.

“I knew it,” Jelka said, “That princess is indeed here, after all. Both of them, in fact.”

“What do you think you’re doing?” Pekka asked. “This country is already on high alert; do you dare try to drive the madness even further?”

“I’ve heard well from Ahga,” she replied, “You’re the young man who traveled alongside that trickster.”

“I am,” Pekka said. “What of it?”

“My orders were to eliminate all potential threats,” Jelka answered. “Fortunately, it seems my plan to lure all of you out little by little has proved to be a success. Now all I have to do is finish the job.”

“You planning on coming at us with that sword again?” Gavin asked. “Because I’m armed and–”

Gavin reached to his hip but discovered that he had forgotten to take his pistol with him. His sudden disadvantage realized, he turned to Pekka who also did not have a weapon on him.

“Shit,” Gavin said. “You, you’re unarmed as well?”

“It is a bit of a problem,” Pekka replied. “She’s got a weapon and I’m sure those two have something as well.”

“How terrible,” Jelka said. “I was expecting more of a fight, but it looks as if I’ll take this as a sign of victory for the Neu Thekohnian Order.”

“If there’s no other option, then I must ask you something,” Pekka said, “What is it that you want?”

“What do I want?” Jelka asked.

“Tell me what you’re trying to accomplish,” Pekka replied. “You work with the Queen of Thekohn, so you must know what she intends to do. If… If there’s anything you can tell, please do so.”

“I don’t have time for any of this,” Jelka said as she took out a gun. “I’ll just deal with you quickly.”

“You’d be making a big mistake,” Pekka said. “If you kill us right here, then you’ll never know what Lauren Ahga told us about you.”

“What?” Jelka asked.

Gavin stared at Pekka. “What he said?”

“I’m not talking to you,” Pekka said to Gavin. “Well, Miss Arne? You’d be quite interested to learn what Ahga truly thinks about you and everything he knows regarding you.”

Gavin understood. It was a desperate trick that Pekka was trying to pull, but it was their best bet at escape. That, or having someone else discover them and provide rescue before it was too late.

“You lie,” Jelka said.

“Say what you will, but what I’m saying is the truth,” Pekka replied. “You can kill me now and go on your way, but that will be at the cost of not knowing where you really rank within the Order.”

Jelka growled. “You persist,” she said. “Fine, I’ll entertain your stupid line of thought: what does Ahga really think of me?”

“It’s quite a scandal,” Pekka said. “Do you truly wish to know?”

“Yes, get on with it,” she answered. “You’re beginning to bore me, you know.”

Pekka grinned. “Well it shouldn’t be much of a surprise, then,” he said, “Because I’ve got this for you!”

In that moment, Pekka reached into his pocket and pulled out a smoke bomb. He threw it to the ground, which caused smoke to appear at a rapid rate. Then, he reached for a nearby trash can lid and threw it out of the alley while kicking over the trash can. Jelka and the other two men began to shoot, but both Gavin and Pekka were wise enough to move as the shots missed.

“You cheat!” Jelka said.

“Sorry, but I’ve no intention of telling you anything,” Pekka replied. “Let’s go!”

Gavin nodded and hurried out of the alleyway and back onto the street. They had managed to escape without any damage, which Gavin considered to be a miracle due to the fact that he had no way of defending himself. That display from Pekka, however, was a larger surprise.

“How the fuck did you pull that off?” Gavin asked.

“For being all level-headed, you really don’t get it, do you,” Pekka said. “There’s a lot you learn from being in a group like the True Thekohnians, one of which being how to escape with your life on the line.”

“I see.”

“Still, we’re lucky that she’s not nearly adept with a gun as she is with a sword,” Pekka continued. “Not many can claim to have survived that kind of an encounter, which makes us lucky.”

“Okay, well, that’s fine and all, but they’re still out there,” Gavin replied. “That means we’re not safe here. Not now.”

“Indeed, it appears to be that way,” Pekka said. “It would do us well to tell the others.”

“We’d better hurry, then.”

Gavin rushed back over to the club with Pekka right behind him. Sorin and the rest of the group were already outside as the two men regrouped. Gavin took a moment to catch his breath as Sorin approached him.

“Are you okay?” Sorin asked.

“Listen to me,” Gavin said, “We need to get out here fast, because the Neu Thekohnian Order is already close to where we are.”

“They’re here?” Eva asked. “But why now?”

“Apparently, they’ve got word about where we are,” Gavin said. “He and I have already run into that woman and she’s likely close by.”

“So, Sir Lauren’s decided to continue his attack on us,” Rain said. “I had hoped that we wouldn’t have to deal with them this soon after the last attack, but it looks like we have no choice.”

“We can’t drop back now,” Mina said, “Not when we’re all together!”

“Mina, one of the most important tactics in battle is to know when to fold them and live to fight another day,” Law replied. “Same can be said when playing with cards, too.”

Ayame drew her gun. “Then it would be up to us,” she said. “Igor, you’re ready, too, aren’t you?”

“If there’s any possible threat to either madame, it falls onto us to deal with them,” Igor replied as he took his pistol out from his holster. “You said they’re around the clock, so let’s cut them off before that bell rings midnight!”

“Wait, are you sure you can handle them?” Sorin asked. “For all we know, there could be more in waiting!”

“There’s no knowing what will happen until we find out,” Ayame replied. “Seeing as most of you are without your weapons, it would be best if you stayed here with Madame Izumi.”

Sorin turned to Kiku. “You are okay with this?”

“There’s simply nothing that Aya and Iggy cannot do,” she said. “If these ruffians wish to bring harm to the people I’m close to, then it is falls on my best friends to make sure that that plan doesn’t come to fruition.”

“Yes, you just lead her back to the hotel,” Igor said. “If you happen to run into Madame Yamazaki, please let her know we will be back soon.”

“Got it,” Sorin said.

“Kick their butts!” Kiku exclaimed.

Ayame smiled. “Will do, madame.”

As Ayame hurried out with Igor to pursue Jelka and the other two members of the Neu Thekohnian Order that were close by, Sorin looked to the rest of the group and decided it would be best if they hurried back to the Executive Hotel where Kiku stayed. There were no doubts about the abilities of Ayame Hayashi and Igor Kuznetsov, Gavin thought to himself, but he was left kicking himself over the fact that he could not do more in the moment. He also felt that he had to owe Pekka back now that he organized their escape from Jelka, but that would have to wait until later. For now, all Gavin could do was go with the others and regroup as they tried to figure out what they needed to do next.


To be continued…


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