Sundown – Chapter 41 (Part 2)

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

 

The battle ensued with Sorin landing the first strike, his blade clashing against Korbin’s as the two stood off against each other. Sorin stared Korbin in the eyes while Mina decided to run in and attack Korbin from the side. She threw a punch at him, but Korbin backed off of Sorin and swung at her. Sorin was quick to block the attack, however, as Mina landed the punch on Korbin’s face. Korbin reeled backward and clutched his face.

“There’s no way you’ll be able to stop us,” Mina said.

“You stand no chance at beating us,” Sorin said. “Withdraw your sword and surrender, Korbin. It’s clear you can’t win.”

Korbin started to laugh. It was a gasping, maniacal cackle that unsettled Sorin and Mina, who remained on guard. Korbin stood up straight, laughing all throughout, and pointed the tip of his sword at Sorin. A large smile was on Korbin’s face as he began to laugh again.

“I can’t win?” Korbin asked. “You really have no idea, do you?”

“We’ve already proven we can take you on,” Mina replied. “Nothing could be clearer than that!”

“Shut the fuck up!” Korbin yelled. “I’m not done talking yet! Now, where was I? Oh, yes, isn’t it obvious what Bradley is doing?”

“What are you talking about?” Sorin asked.

“We’re not here just to kill that princess, but we’re here to destroy the trail as well,” Korbin replied. “Bradley is a goddamn genius… He’s got it so that this entire mansion will blow once we’re done here! I’d tip my hat to him, but as you can see, I’ve got no hat on.”

Sorin gasped. “What the hell?”

“You intend to destroy this place?” Mina asked.

“Isn’t that what I just fucking said?” Korbin said. “You must not listen well, woman, so I’ll say it again: we’re blowing this shithole up to the sky and there’s nothing that you two can do about it!”

“Damn it,” Sorin said. “What the hell were you even thinking, Korbin!?”

“Don’t blame me,” Korbin replied. “Shit, I wonder if Bradley has already finished the job. Couldn’t be too hard, could it?”

“You’re wrong,” Mina said, “Rain would never lose a fight to a villain like him and certainly not to Ahga, either!”

“Well, he hasn’t said anything yet,” Korbin said. “I wonder which one of us right, though? What do you think, Sorin? Do you truly think believe what she’s saying? Hehehe…”

“Nothing has happened yet,” Sorin said. “That is to say, Mina and I haven’t even begun to fight you, Korbin.”

He raised his blade and directed his view at Korbin. Mina raised her fists as well and nodded at Sorin. Sorin looked back at her and nodded as well. For some reason, he felt like he had no need to tell her what was going to happen next because there was the notion that it was obvious what they had to do in order to defeat Korbin. Now was the time for both of them to act.

“Begun to fight me?” Korbin wondered. “Is this some sort of trick you’re pulling on me? Some sort of psychological-tastic bullshit or something? Whatever it is, there’s nothing you can do, so fucking bring it!”

“Oh, we will,” Sorin replied.

He looked again at Mina and nodded as she did the same back at him. Sorin set his left foot forward while Mina set her right foot forward and stood next to the end table. There was only one chance to do this right and Sorin could not afford to make any missteps in fighting Korbin.

“There’s only one chance now,” Sorin said. “Mina, let’s do this!”

“Got it,” Mina replied. “Take this, villain!”

Mina picked up the table next to her and spun around three times as Sorin stepped aside. With the last spin, Mina aimed for Korbin as she unleashed the flying table at him. Korbin smirked and took out his sword with the table coming at him with increasing speed.

“You call this an attack?” Korbin asked.

He used his free hand and made a fist as the table neared him. With his fist, Korbin punched the table out of the way, but that was when he saw Mina running at him with Sorin’s sword in her hands. She screamed out loud as she swung as hard as she could, but Korbin blocked with his sword. The two matched up well, but Korbin had the edge. His experience made it so that he could turn the blades downward and gain control.

“Unexpected, but a stupid choice!” Korbin exclaimed.

Mina grinned. “You’re wrong,” she said. “This was our plan all along! Sorin, vanquish him!”

She dropped to the floor and rolled out of the way as Korbin swung his blade sideways. In that split second, Korbin lifted his head and saw Sorin running right at him. He had no time to react as Sorin delivered a punch to his face. The impact made Korbin reel and spin as he dropped his sword to the floor. Korbin spent a moment to catch his breath when he realized what he had just done. He tried to reach for his blade, but Sorin and Mina were already there. Sorin placed his foot down on the floor and kicked Korbin’s sword away from him while Mina stretched her arms.

“It’s over now,” Sorin said.

“You really think it’s over?” Korbin asked. He started to laugh. “This isn’t… Hahaha… This isn’t over, not until I say so!”

“Then you leave me no choice,” Sorin replied.

Korbin tried to move, but Sorin surprised him and grabbed his right arm and twisted it behind him. Sorin then used his other hand to subdue Korbin’s other arm and hold him back.

“You’re going to tell us where Bradley is,” Sorin said, tightening his grip on Korbin. “You’ll tell us everything we need to know, otherwise, Mina here will not hesitate to use her special moves on you.”

Korbin grunted. “Fuck… Fuck you,” he replied. “Fuck you and that dumb, screaming, idiotic bitch over there!”

“You villains don’t like to remember names, do you?” Mina asked. “Well, I’d be glad to help you remember. My name is simple, see?”

Mina pounded her fist into her palm and walked up to Korbin. He could only struggle in Sorin’s grasp while Mina punched him in the stomach. Korbin reacted with a gasp of air as the she punched him in the same area again.

“It’s easy,” she said will each sequential punch. “It’s starts with an ‘M,” an ‘I,’ an ‘N,’ and an ‘A!’ My name is Mina!”

She landed her last punch on Korbin’s face instead. It was almost the same place where Sorin had struck him. Sorin loosened his grip on Korbin as the other man fell to his knees and tried to catch his breath.

“You… This is totally unfair!” Korbin said. “I can’t win like this!”

Korbin tried to crawl away, but Mina was able to catch up to him without much effort on her part.

“You’ll be the first one to experience this move!” Mina said. “I call it the ‘Mighty Mina Elbow Drop’ and it goes like this!”

She jumped up and dropped down with her elbow first. Korbin tried to turn around but was met with her elbow striking him in the back of his head. It knocked him out cold as Mina landed on him. She then sat up and got back up to her feet while Korbin did not move another inch.

“He’s going to be okay, right?” Sorin asked.

Mina rubbed her elbow. “That should knock him out for a bit,” she said. “You know, I was practicing this move on Law a while back and you would not believe what he suggested to me!”

“I’m afraid to ask,” Sorin said, “But what was it?”

“He told that I should use my butt instead of my elbow when dropping on people,” she replied. “I mean, I guess I could understand it, but it feels much more satisfying to punch villains instead of sitting on them, don’t you think?”

“I agree with you,” Sorin said. “Law’s pretty skilled, but he’s good at what he does and you’re good at what you do. Trust me, I would know.”

Mina giggled as she brushed Sorin’s arm with her fist. “I knew that you’d agree,” she said. “How about that punch of yours, though? I had no idea you were able to hit so hard!”

“I guess it just came naturally,” Sorin said.

He knew it was part of his plan, but Sorin was surprised at how well he was able to pull the trick off. It was easy to let Mina in on his plan with little communication, but he did not imagine how well he was able to use it in action against Korbin. But as Sorin thought to himself, he heard the sound of a door opening and closing, then another door opening.

“Sorin, look!” Mina exclaimed.

Sorin spun around. The door at the end of the hall shut but he was certain judging from Mina’s reaction that Johan had passed through.

“There’s no time to waste,” Sorin said.

Mina punched the air before her. “Alright!”

They hurried after Johan and went further into the mansion. However, Sorin could feel as if he and Mina were straying further from what they were meant to do here. He could only hope that Rain, Luna, and Pekka were able to take care of Lauren Ahga, because Sorin knew that he could not let Johan run away. Not again. This time, Sorin was going to confront him and get him to say everything.

 

*****

 

Rain found herself in the backyard of Ahga Manor, looking back at the mansion as Ahga opened the door and emerged outside. She hoped that the open yard would be a benefit to her, but it was still Ahga’s territory and she had to acknowledge that. He walked towards her with his sword drawn while she stood in place with her sword out as well.

“You’ve proven to me that you haven’t given up,” Ahga said. “I wonder how long that will last until I cut you down with my blade, though? I didn’t earn my title for nothing, you know.”

“I do,” Rain said. “But even though I have learned a lot from you, there was much more I’ve learned alongside my friends.”

“Friends only carry you so far, Your Highness,” Ahga replied, “Which is why I will kill you right here and now, so you can feel the despair of dying with no one around to help you!”

Rain felt her eyes begin to water. “You’ve spoken a lot about how other people are useless,” she said, “But even so, you fight for my mother, do you not? What makes you different from me?”

“You are just trying to get in my head, aren’t you?” Ahga asked. “Isla is more than just a friend to me! You wouldn’t get that at all, would you now?”

“Perhaps not,” Rain said. “What if I did, though?”

“All you’re is delaying the inevitable,” he said. “If you were truly a warrior worthy of the Thedam bloodline, you would quit your crying and realize what we are working for!”

Rain rubbed her eyes as tears ran down her face. “These tears aren’t running down my face because of weakness,” she said. “They are a reminder of the pain I have gone through and the people that have been lost because of my mother’s plans.”

“Your brother died because he could not stand aside,” Ahga said. “Very much the same reason you’ll meet your end, too.”

“And yet, Sir Lauren, I stand here before you,” she replied. “I cry not because his death has weakened me, but rather, because it motivates me to end this madness.”

“Is that so?” Ahga asked. “Do you plan on taking my life? What is the point behind what you are saying?”

“If it comes down to it, then yes,” Rain said. “If stopping you means killing you, then that’s the risk I have to take.”

“You’d kill me, your own mentor,” he said. “Did you not just say that the pain you feel is due to the people you have lost? You would kill me, even knowing that? Do you even realize what you’re saying, Your Highness?”

“I do,” Rain replied. “If the key to peace is having to deal with you, then I should not be hesitant.”

Ahga scoffed. “You’re just another liar, then.”

“No, not at all,” Rain said. “The thought of you dying had crossed my mind, and of course it was something I could not stand to bear. However, that has now changed.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?” Rain asked. “Of course, you’re only acting this way due to my mother’s influence, which is why you don’t understand. You wouldn’t understand what it means to face an opponent that doesn’t listen to reason, because you’ve become that very thing yourself.”

She steadied her blade and took a step towards Ahga. He responded by doing the same.

“I will say it again,” Rain said, “These tears of mine aren’t falling because I am weak, but rather because I am strong enough to face against your despair and do what is right.”

The wind began to pick up. Rain took another step forward. She had been grateful for all that Ahga had done to teach her, but she knew that she could not hold back anymore.

“But, Sir Lauren, I should thank you,” she said. “I could not have become the person I am today without your guidance. It’s why I’m able to move forward, no matter what.”

“You really think that will happen?” Ahga asked.

“Yes,” she replied. “Which is why I’m going to put an end to this. I know that Storm would agree and Brook would have as well.”

Rain lifted her hand and rubbed her eyes once more. She could see Ahga unobscured, his long hair lightly flowing in the wind. The Ahga that Rain knew was gone now and she accepted that.

“I am ready,” Rain said. “Whatever you may throw at me, Sir Lauren, I will be sure to counter it with everything I’ve got.”

“Then come!” Ahga exclaimed. “If you believe that you can defeat me, I welcome the challenge! Please, put an end to this!”

 

To be continued…

 

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