Sundown – Chapter 40 (Part 1)

[22nd of September, 2740 AD; Inside Ahga Manor, just outside of Oelaans, Thekohn]

 

Sorin and Mina entered the library in search of Johan but found that this was just another room left empty. The only light inside came courtesy from the outside, the beams pouring through the window as Sorin took another step forward. Johan had to be close by, Sorin thought.

“You’re getting warmer,” Johan said. His voice echoed throughout, which caused Sorin to look around.

“There’s nowhere you can run!” Mina exclaimed. “Just come on out so we can deal with you!”

“My, do you have to make it so personal?” Johan asked. “You’re getting awfully close, anyway, so maybe I should just give you a hint instead.”

“Now’s not the time to mess with us,” Sorin said. “Just reveal yourself already so we can get this over with.”

The silence followed afterward. Sorin took a deep breath and exhaled as he walked up to the door in front of him. Another door was on the side right next to him while Mina readied herself for a surprise attack. The silence continued to remain intact as Sorin reached for the doorknob and started to turn.

“We’re coming in,” Sorin said. “Mina, stay right behind me.”

“Got it,” Mina replied.

Sorin pushed the door open and stepped inside the large, empty hall with Mina following behind him. The door slammed shut the moment they entered, causing Sorin and Mina to turn around. The surprise that awaited them almost made Sorin jump as Korbin Mars stood next to the closed door.

“Surprised to see me?” Korbin asked. “Well, you should be!”

Korbin drew his sword and swung at Sorin, who defended himself in an instant with his blade. He did not expect to run into Korbin, but now Sorin knew he had to play on the defense.

“Where the hell is Johan?” Sorin asked.

“That’s what I’d like to know,” Korbin replied. “That son of a bitch must be hiding somewhere! You know where he is, don’t you, Sorin Wilk!?”

Sorin backed away as Mina hurried to him. Korbin lowered his sword and stretched his neck. True as it was, Sorin could not see Johan anywhere despite talking to him only a few moment prior.

“I’ve got no idea why you’re here, but if we have to fight you, then me and Sorin will do just that,” Mina said, “So you better get ready!”

“Are you seriously going to challenge me?” Korbin asked. “Maybe you should learn your place and let me deal with Johan Kuu myself!”

“We’re not going to let you do that,” Mina said. “Not at all!”

“Hey Sorin, maybe you should shut her up for me,” Korbin said. “I’m getting really tired of hearing her talk and I know it’s only going to piss me off further.”

“I think you should answer me instead,” Sorin replied, “Why are you here?”

“We were asked to come here,” Korbin said. “Bradley and I… Well, let’s just say we’re taking care of something that that geezer Ahga couldn’t.”

Sorin positioned himself with his sword raised and pointed at Korbin. “And where is Bradley, exactly?”

Korbin scoffed. “Fuck if I know,” he said. “He’s the one going for the gold here. I’m just in it because I know that shithead’s here, too.”

“Don’t even try with me,” Sorin said. “Who gave you the order? Was it General Fercewend?”

“You really think he’s got an idea, what a fucking idiot,” Korbin said.

“Answer me, damn it!” Sorin harped.

“What makes you think I’m going to tell you?” Korbin asked. “Just for that, Sorin Wilk, I’m just going to have to break you until you can’t get up!”

“He’s serious,” Mina said to Sorin, “But we’re going to beat him! I just know that we will!”

Sorin agreed. “Johan, he must have known Korbin and Bradley would be here, too,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it now…”

This was no practice fight, Sorin though, nor was this a fun, friendly duel between him and Korbin. If anything, Sorin knew he could not afford to take Korbin lightly and had to defeat him right here and now. With Mina on his side, Sorin acknowledge that they had the upper hand, but there was no telling what Korbin had in store for the two of them.

“Be ready for anything,” Sorin said to Mina.

“I understand,” she said. “There’s no way a villain like him would ever fight fairly, so we’ve gotta give it everything we got!”

“Just what the fuck are you two going on about?” Korbin asked.

Sorin turned away from Mina and trained his sights on Korbin. “We aren’t going to let you get away with whatever you have planned,” he said. “I assure you that the Neu Thekohnian Order will be defeated!”

“I don’t really care that much about the Neu Thekohnian Order,” Korbin replied. “Whether they fall or not, it doesn’t concern me. I’d much rather dispose of Johan, but since he chose to be a coward and hid himself, I guess I have no choice but to fight you as my consolation, Sorin Wilk!”

“Don’t forget me!” Mina said.

“Anyway, since I love you so much, Sorin, why don’t I just give you the first strike?” Korbin asked. “Go on ahead and give me everything you’ve got!”

Sorin observed the area around Korbin. He was still near the door that Sorin and Mina passed through, which made leaving through the same way difficult. Behind Korbin, however, was a window and gave Sorin an idea. If he and Mina could force Korbin towards that window, then they could push him through the glass and outside of the mansion. In addition, Sorin glanced behind him and saw a door to the other end of the hall as well as two more doors on the side. Several side tables were next to either wall with lamps on top, which Sorin felt would be a good tactical advantage for him and Mina if they had to use them. He was confident that he would not need to go that far, but even so, Sorin had to remain cautious.

“Remain behind me,” Sorin said to Mina. “I have an idea.”

“Okay,” Mina said.

He felt as if she understood what he had planned, even if he did not tell her about it. With his right foot in front of him, Sorin led the way as he began to rush towards Korbin. He would make sure that he would corner Korbin and put his back up against the window. As long as he was teamed up with Mina, Sorin had the upper hand.

 

*****

 

Rain ascended the stairs with Luna and Pekka following her. She had a feeling she knew where Lauren Ahga was hiding, since Rain was familiar with this place. It was many years ago, but one of Rain’s earliest memories was meeting Ahga for the first time at Ahga Manor. It was then that she learned from her father that Ahga would be the one to mentor her growing up. That all felt distant now in Rain’s mind, now that Ahga tried to kill her and her sister. There had to be some explanation as to why he had changed and Rain intended to hear it from him before she had to do what was necessary to stop the Neu Thekohnian Order.

“Do you think that Mr. Ahga ever used this place for some sort of party, Rain?” Luna asked. “It seems big enough on the inside, so it would only make sense to use this place for some sort of extravagant gala where people dress in fancy suits and dresses. Oh, maybe we can use this place after we defeat Mr. Ahga and hold some of our own parties here. That would be kind of a nice thing to do, don’t you guys think?”

“I think you’re thinking too far ahead,” Pekka replied.

“Now’s not the time to ponder about what comes after,” Rain said. “We have to focus on what’s happening now. That starts with finding Sir Lauren and defeating him.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Luna replied.

“So, this is where the princess of Thekohn has run off to, has she?”

The voice came from the bottom of the stairs as Rain turned around. One man stood at the bottom: Crawford Bradley. He was armed with a pistol as he begun making his way up the stairs. Everyone stopped as he loaded his gun while Pekka stood still and faced him.

“You’ve come this far,” Bradley said, “But for the sake of Ameci, I won’t allow you to go any further!”

“Really?” Rain asked. “What does Ameci have to do with this?”

“Please, like I’ll reveal that to you,” Bradley replied. “If you know what’s best for you, you’ll surrender now while you still have the chance.”

“I’m afraid I cannot do that,” Rain said. “I’m not planning on giving up, nor will I ever consider surrendering to you.”

“Yeah, we’re pretty sure you’re just going to attack us no matter what we do,” Luna said. “You’re not going to do a single thing to her and you’re not going to get through us!”

“Do you really think you can deny me my glory?” Bradley asked. “Don’t tell me you have no idea who I am or who my father is, because I am the next in line in the Bradley family! I will have my victory!”

Bradley tried to aim his gun but Pekka jumped down and delivered a swift kick to his chest, which sent him rolling down the stairs. Pekka stood there and watched as Bradley kept rolling down until he dropped to a heap against the front door. Upon impact, Bradley did not appear to move, though Pekka took two more steps downstairs with his focus remained on the other man.

“What are two doing?” Pekka asked. “Go ahead. I’m going to take care of this guy before he causes any more trouble.”

“You’ll be okay?” Luna asked. “Well, if you say so…”

Luna turned and looked back up the stairs, but Rain was nowhere to be seen. Not on the stairs, nor was she at the top floor.

“She’s gone,” Luna said.

“She’s looking for Ahga,” Pekka said, “I guess this means she wants to handle this on her own.”

“Come on already,” Luna replied. “You can’t just say that! We have to help her out, so let’s hurry up and take care of this creep!”

Pekka grumbled. “I guess I got carried away.”

They hurried down to the bottom floor and over to Bradley’s body. He continued to remain immobile, but Pekka wanted to make sure that he was unconscious and walked over.

“He could be ready to attack at any time,” Pekka said. “The safety of his gun is still on, it seems…”

As Pekka knelt down next to Bradley, he was greeted with the barrel of a gun pressed against his abdomen. Pekka kept his composure as Bradley turned his head, but he could still feel his heart begin to race.

“Got you,” Bradley said.

But at that moment, before Bradley could get his shot off, Luna screamed as she came in and grabbed Pekka, rolling with him to the other side. The two ended up against the base of the stairs, with Luna bumping her head up on the post.

“Ow, I didn’t expect that to actually work,” she said.

“Fool, why did you do that?” Pekka asked. “I had him right there! Why did you come in and do that?”

“You were about to get shot!” Luna exclaimed. “I really didn’t want you to get hurt!”

“Damn it, I was this close to unarming him,” Pekka said as he got up to his feet. “We’ll have to do this the hard way, it seems.”

Luna stood up, too, as she saw that Bradley had recomposed himself. He began to laugh as he checked his gun once more. Pekka clenched his fist as Luna remained by his side.

“So you two really want to make me upset, don’t you?” Bradley asked. “The guy, I would understand since he is a criminal, but I would have never expected a beautiful young woman like yourself to even consider joining forces with an enemy.”

“The fact that you would align yourself with the Neu Thekohnian Order makes you the enemy,” Pekka said, “And while I may have been led astray once before, I will not allow people like you to rule!”

“You are just delusional,” Bradley replied. “Say, missie, you’d do well to give yourself up and go with me. I might even take pity on you if you end up doing the right things for me.”

“Oh, go and do that to yourself,” Luna said. “I’m not about to abandon my friends here, nor would I ever go along with someone like you!”

“And here I was, a fool, for thinking you would listen to reason,” Bradley said. “Fine, then the two of you can die by my hand if you want…”

Bradley, however, was swiftly interrupted by a punch to the face courtesy of Pekka. He staggered backward as Pekka punched him again. Bradley could not right himself again, nor could he get a shot off. As he began to lose his balance, Pekka delivered the final blow with a kick to the head. The kick dropped Bradley to the floor, which made him drop his pistol in the process.

“You are not the judge of me,” Pekka replied, picking up Bradley’s gun, “Nor are you the jury and executioner.”

“He’s not going to get up again, is he?” Luna asked.

“If he does, I’ll deal with him myself,” he replied. “Let’s tie this guy up quickly and hurry onward.”

 

To be continued…

 

Previous | Next Part