[23rd of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Main Hall]
Rysol brandished his sword once more. He moved past Johan, his group, and Jelka, and confronted Isla. There was a lot that Sorin wanted to say, but he was not sure he would be able to do so while his brother faced off against the Queen of Thekohn. The soldiers behind Isla readied their guns, but Rysol was quick to react. However, Rysol moved at a rapid pace, getting behind Isla and swung his sword, which sliced through one soldier’s neck. He sliced, slashed, and stabbed his way through the rest of the soldiers with ease as Johan looked away. Now only Isla remained and she had nowhere to run.
“Now… Now it’s time to confess,” Rysol said as he wiped his blade of blood. “The rest of your loyal army… they’re either dead or already occupied at the moment. Don’t even think about trying to run now…”
“Rysol, please!” Sorin exclaimed.
“Stand back, brother,” Rysol said. “I will get this woman to talk!”
“I don’t have to answer to you,” Isla said, “Not at all! There’s no way you can make me confess anything!”
But as she finished speaking, Isla noticed that Rysol had moved again. Only after noticing the blade against her neck did Isla realize Rysol was right behind her. He kept the sword close to her as she dropped to her knees, the sharp blade only an inch or so away from her skin.
Rain reached out her hand and took a few steps forward. “Mother!”
“Stop right there,” Rysol said. “I’m not going to kill her… yet…”
“What are you trying to do?” Pekka asked.
“The queen… she has a secret,” Rysol said. He looked down to Isla. “Go ahead! Tell them everything you know about Foundation!”
“Like hell I will!” Isla exclaimed.
“Mother, please, for my sake at least, tell us what you know,” Rain said. “You’ve got nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and after this is over, nothing to call your own. It’s best you tell us while you still can…”
She rubbed her eyes as Johan walked up to Rysol.
“Well, I think I can at least fill some of the gaps since Isla doesn’t seem to want to cooperate,” Johan said. “You see, this was all a collaborative effort that I found out about only a couple of weeks after the Battle of Bel. I stumbled upon a detailed conversation between two of these members of Foundation only after finishing my mission to locate one Pekka Varjostaa.”
“What does that have to do with this?” Luna asked.
“I’m getting there,” Johan replied.
He continued on as he recounted the conversation. Such details included how Foundation could get rid of Alan Berry, start a new war, and not only take out the country of Ahnlikohn, but even the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn as well. Johan only saw one person at the time, but even so, they had obscured their face so as not to be seen.
“Still, I’m pretty sure that I’ve heard that man’s voice before,” Johan said. “Isla, I know that you’ve spoken to at least one member of Foundation. I’ve got a pretty good idea of who it might be, but for the rest of the audience, tell us the name of the man that you spoke with.”
“You think I’d tell you?” Isla asked.
Johan sighed as he placed his hand on his forehead. “You’re choosing to defy even with your life on the line,” he said. “It would be admirable if not for the fact that you used your power and influence for evil.”
“I’m begging you,” Rain said to Isla. “Even though you’ve done so much for your own selfishness, you’re still my mother.”
Isla scoffed. “You truly don’t understand, do you? I’d rather have my throat slashed before I tell you lot!”
“Believe me… I don’t want to do this either,” Rysol said. “I already know what it feels like to lose the one who raised you… Killing you would only stain my heart while breaking hers at the same time…”
“You’re only making it worse for yourself, Isla,” Mina said. “Surrender yourself right now and tell us about who you spoke with!”
“It looks like I’ve failed,” Isla replied. “All this work, for nothing… What a failure I am!”
She began to chuckle, which then turned into laughter as Johan nodded to Rysol. Rysol looked at him and then back down at Isla. He took his sword away from her neck and sheathed it as Isla continued to laugh. Everybody else in the main hall could only watch as the queen began to compose herself and slowly get back on her feet.
“You’ve had yourself a good look, now it’s time for things to end,” Isla said. “Still, I do feel as if I accomplished at least one of my goals before all of you came here…”
“I will be sure to clean the mess that you made,” Rain replied. “As of right now, however, you must surrender yourself immediately.”
“And what will you do?” Isla asked. “You, with so little life experience, thinks that she can rule a kingdom? I worked hard to set this plan into motion, and yet you think you can come back here and take the throne?”
“I already have,” Rain said. “You just can’t admit it. I don’t know why you can’t, but you can’t fight any longer. Everyone is headed this way and you’ve got no other option but to surrender.”
“That is what you think, then,” Isla said. “Well then, what do you plan to do with me? Will you order my execution?”
Rain shook her head. “As heinous a person you are, I can’t do that,” she said. “There’s only one option for you now.”
“That’s right,” Johan said. “You must leave here at once. To ensure that Rain becomes the queen, you have to go into exile.”
“But before we can order that, you must be placed in captivity,” Rain said. “As long as you’re out here, they will not stop until you are dead.”
“I can handle this,” Pekka said. “Just tell me where she needs to be placed and I’ll take care of her.”
“I see,” Isla said. “Rysol, was it?”
“What do you want now?” Rysol asked.
“I heard about Rhodes’s demise at your hand,” Isla said. “But I know the truth. That man was a coward through and through and thus took the easiest option he could think of at that time.”
Rysol growled. “Are you saying that you’re not a coward?”
“I am saying that I am much braver than he was,” Isla replied. “Rain only won because I have more honor than Rhodes did.”
“You tried to kill your own daughter in this castle,” Luna said. “How can you even say you have honor after that? That’s lower than anything I could possibly think of!”
“Think what you will,” Isla said, “But I’m done here.”
“At least tell me that man’s name,” Johan said. “Before you do anything else, I deserve to know that.”
“You do not know how to quit, do you, Mr. Kuu?” Isla asked.
Johan clenched his fist. “Answer the damn question.”
“Fine, it’s not like I have anything left to fight for,” Isla said. “As I assume that you can tell, the man I spoke with is an Ameci. But I guess you already knew that, didn’t you?”
“Tell us his name!” Luna demanded.
“I was almost about to say it,” Isla replied. “His name is Isaac Kunigunde. There, I hope that that satisfies even the dimmest of bulbs here.”
Pekka took Isla’s arm while Luna ran over to assist him. Rain walked over and told the two where to keep Isla for the time being. Luna nodded as she and Pekka led Isla out of the main hall.
“She’s done more to help than she realizes,” Jelka said to Isla. “Now it is known not just between us, but with the princess and her allies.”
Jelka lowered her gun and walked Johan to Sorin. Sorin already knew that Isaac Kunigunde was a member of Foundation, but had no idea that he was this capable of pulling off a disastrous feat quite like this. Rain and Mina joined Sorin as Jelka faced the three.
“Johan told me everything he knows,” Jelka said. “This goes further than Chancellor Harring and Rain’s mother.”
“Because Mr. Kunigunde is at the top,” Sorin replied.
“What he has done is unforgivable,” Mina said. “Not only was he the cause of all this, but to do all of it behind the curtain? That’s the lowest of low for any villain!”
“And my job isn’t done yet,” Johan said. “Taking down the Neu Thekohnian Order is but a small step in making my dream a reality.”
“Without a leader to guide them, the rest of them should scatter all across the land,” Jelka said as she flicked her hair back, “But they are not the problem right now.”
“I’ll see to it that the entire staff and military are evaluated,” Rain said. “It should be easy after we pick up all the pieces, but I do need some help.”
“So what will you do now?” Sorin asked Johan.
Before Johan could answer, however, Kirk barged in through the front. He struggled to catch his breath and bent down, his hair dangling in front of his face. Lowell and Tre followed after, as well as Gavin, Law, Eva, and Noa. The rest of the Maeitakohnian soldiers were now at the front entrance of the main hall, also, as they lowered their weapons.
“Seems like things wrapped here pretty quickly,” Gavin said. “Here I was all ready for battle, too.”
“Where’s Isla?” Eva asked.
Rain explained what happened and where Isla was currently being held. She also revealed what she, Sorin, and Mina had learned from Johan and Jelka, as well as what had to be done next.
“And that’s pretty much it,” Mina added.
“You mean to tell me that that man has being playing the goddamn Neu Thekohnian Order all this time?” Gavin asked. “You gotta be fucking kidding me…”
“Johan Kuu’s just devilishly good at what he does,” Law said. “And I do mean that literally.”
“Speaking of which, why is he leaving right now?” Noa asked.
“Wait, you can’t be serious,” Sorin said. “Johan!”
But when Sorin turned around, he found that Johan had left through the other entrance. Jelka and Rysol still remained in the castle as Sorin ran up to them. Kirk hurried over to Sorin’s side, his breath completely caught up.
“It’s about time,” Kirk said. “Rysol, I knew that you were alive this whole time. There was no doubt in my mind that what I believed was absolutely true, and here you are now!”
Rysol hung his head low. “Father… I appreciate the effort, but… but it’s not over yet,” he said. “This fight we’re fighting… it isn’t over.”
“We have to catch up with Johan,” Jelka said. “There’s something that we need to do right now.”
Jelka and Rysol began to walk toward the side entrance as Sorin extended his arm and called out for them.
“I’m coming with you!” Sorin exclaimed.
He ran past Jelka and Rysol to the doors and opened the left one. Rysol hurried after Sorin while Jelka just sighed.
“Really, he intends to go with us?” Jelka asked. “Well, if there is no other choice, then I don’t see why not…”
“I’m going, too,” Kirk said. “That much I can do for you.”
“No, it’s not wise to bring so many along,” Jelka replied. “That was what Johan told me, at least.”
“Come on, Kirk,” Lowell said. “We gotta get the message through to the other countries.”
“Yeah, we gotta tell them what happened over here,” Tre said. “I already know that the Ameci forces just arrived, so we can relay everything over to them.”
Kirk reluctantly sighed. “Okay, I’ll go with you guys.”
“That’s good,” Eva said. “Gavin, I’m going to go with them. What are you and Law going to do now?”
“I guess that’s for Rain to decide,” Gavin replied.
“Well, we still need to take care of my mother,” Rain said. “That and we do need to find the rest of the royal military that haven’t died or run away.”
“A lot of clean-up, it seems,” Law said. “Noa, you’re pretty good at that kind of stuff, aren’t you?”
“I guess I could do it,” Noa said.
“Okay, so you and the rest of the Maeita forces got that job,” Law said. “Now we just need to know what we have to do with the former Queen of Thekohn.”
“I already know what we need to do,” Rain said.
“Then let’s just make it happen,” Gavin said. “Come on, Lawrence, we’ve got to wrap this up.”
“Oh, I’d like to go with you!” Mina said.
“No, I think it’s best that we stay here,” Rain replied.
“Don’t worry,” Gavin said to Mina. “I understand what Rain wants to do, though I’m not too big a fan of just letting Isla walk free.”
“Oh, that’s not at all what I’m intending with this,” Rain said. “It’s exile from the entire Thekohnian Region, not a an exoneration.”
“You can say that all you want, but some people just don’t deserve to be spared,” Gavin replied. “Anyway…”
He walked with Law over to the place where Isla was being held. Rain looked back to Mina and let out a sigh.
“I… I think you’re doing the right thing,” Mina said. Then, she smiled as she pumped her fist. “I doubt Isla would want to come back to the kingdom after all the humiliation she suffered! We really put a stop to her and her villainy, didn’t we, Rain?”
“Mina, thank you,” Rain said. “There’s still so much to do, but thank you for what you’ve done.”
“Oh, you’re welcome,” Mina said.
Just then, Rain proceeded to hug Mina, who returned the favor.
“I know that this will take a while to fix,” Rain said, “But as long as you’re here with me, I feel as if I can’t fail no matter what comes our way. Thank you so much.”
Rain let go from Mina and looked into her eyes. “What is it?”
“Nothing,” Mina said. “I was just wondering what you were going to do right now.”
“Well, there’s a couple of calls that I’ll need to make,” Rain said. “One to the Iiayikohnian government and the other to the Ahnle royal family.”
“Alright,” Mina replied. “Let’s go!”
To be continued…