Sundown – Chapter 46 (Part 1)

[23rd of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Flumen Field]

 

Though the sun was beginning to shine, it did not compare to the amazing, lightning-like entrance of Korbin Mars, who kept his pistol trained on Johan. At first, Sorin looked down to Johan and kept his distance away from Korbin. Soon, however, the turn of events was too much for Sorin to take as he set his sights on Korbin and drew his sword. Sorin stepped in front of Johan as Rysol and Jelka hurried over.

“The fuck are you doing?” Korbin asked. “I gotta make sure that he’s dead! Get the hell out of my way, Sorin Wilk!”

“You bastard!” Sorin exclaimed. “What gives you the right?”

“It’s my job,” Korbin said, “I’m good at it. The fact that this helps Bradley out is just the cherry on top!”

“Bradley?” Rysol asked. “What… What does he want?”

Korbin grinned. “He’s a good man, I’ll say,” he said. “He and my dad go back, that’s for sure, so it only makes sense to do him this favor and extinguish this flame going on.”

“I know what’s on, then,” Rysol replied. “You… You intend on supporting Foundation… That’s what this is, isn’t it?”

“You’re asking me?” Korbin wondered.

Rysol drew his blade. “I’m not going to let that happen!”

With a scream, Rysol charged at Korbin with his blade pointed forward. Korbin moved out of the way as he put away his pistol and took out his sword instead. Rysol spun around and swung at Korbin, but he defended himself with his blade. For Sorin, he saw the rare opening that he needed to use and began to rush right at Korbin’s back.

“Don’t think that this is like the last time, damn it,” Korbin said. “You can’t fool me twice, Sorin Wilk!”

Korbin then backed off of Rysol and moved once again to the side. Rysol could see Sorin coming at him with only one way to defend himself. Sorin, though, came to a stop a foot away from Rysol and turned to Korbin. All Korbin could do was laugh as Sorin began to realize what just happened.

“You really did make it easy for me,” Korbin said, sheathing his sword and taking out his gun again. “Go ahead and try to stop me, because it’s fucking over for him!”

Jelka was the only one standing between Korbin and Johan. She was not about to move out of the way, however, as she took out her gun and aimed at Korbin.

“You wouldn’t dare,” Jelka said. “Unless you want me to decorate your skull with lead, you’ll put down your weapon at once!”

Korbin laughed again. “I’d like to see you try it,” he said. “Or do you not care about what happens to Johan over there?”

“Don’t even think of mocking me,” Jelka replied. “You have no chance of escape, no matter how hard you try and squirm your way out!”

“You think I’m going to escape?” Korbin asked. “You dumbass, I’m Korbin Fucking Mars! I’m not someone who’s going to fall back because it looks like I’m at a disadvantage! You… Hahaha… You really chose the wrong man to fuck with, Jelka Arne, because I will destroy you!”

Korbin took his gun and aimed at Jelka. He fired twice without any hint of hesitation. Jelka tried to aim, but was stopped. Not by getting shot, but rather, because she was shoved to the side. Sorin watched in disbelief as he and Rysol had no words. Johan stood there wounded once more in his stomach, as well as his shoulder, as Jelka sat up.

“No, why would you do this?” Jelka asked. “Johan, answer me!”

Johan coughed. “I’m sorry, Jelka…”

He collapsed to the ground and did not move. Korbin moved closer with his gun still trained on Johan.

“You move one step further and I will kill you,” Jelka said. “And if I can’t do it, they will.”

Sorin and Rysol readied themselves. All Sorin wanted to do now was make sure Johan got treated, but that would be impossible as long as Korbin was still around. He was not sure how, but Sorin wanted to deal with Korbin before anybody else arrived.

“Like I said,” Korbin replied. “Any of you move and I’ll fire again. Johan Kuu is already breathing his last breaths, anyway…”

“You believe… that?” Johan asked. “Sorin, we can’t… let him win…”

Johan tried to stand up, but when he placed his hands on the ground and pushed himself up, he collapsed again. With his face down, Johan could not move a single inch as Korbin aimed again. Sorin was at a loss at what to do, and he was certain that both Rysol and Jelka felt the same.

“I know it’s such a struggle for you to move,” Korbin said to Johan. “Hell, you may even be dead right now! But I’m not going to let a job go unfinished just because you don’t have the strength to fight back!”

No distraction could stop Korbin now, Sorin thought. At least, he thought so, but in that moment, Rysol begged to differ. Korbin could not even get a shot off as Rysol struck from behind and swung his sword. It looked to be a shock to Korbin as his right arm fell to the ground. Rysol had cut Korbin’s arm off, the gun in his hand dropping to the ground as well. Jelka dashed at Korbin and thrusted the barrel of her gun into the bottom of his chin. Sorin remained at the back and made sure that Korbin could not possibly pull off an escape.

“Finally got you now,” Jelka said.

Korbin’s breathing increased, his desire to scream growing. “You! You, you, you, you, you, you, you, you… son of a bitch, Rysol Wilk!”

“Better pray now,” Rysol said. “If you want any sort of mercy, it’ll have to be in death!”

“It’s over, Korbin,” Sorin said. “Surrendering won’t do you good now, nor will cowering for your life.”

“You… you would do this, wouldn’t you?” Korbin asked. “You’d kill me now after all that’s said and done?”

Sorin shook his head. “I’m not going to kill you,” he replied. “I can’t say the same for these two, though.”

“That’s it, huh?” Korbin asked.

“You’ve got only seconds to live,” Jelka said. “Not another word, you coward!”

Korbin smirked. “You think I’m a coward?”

“Asshole!” Rysol exclaimed. “With your life forfeit, you choose to mock us both?”

“I’m only getting started!” Korbin exclaimed.

He bursted into laughter as he used his remaining hand and grabbed Jelka’s wrist. Korbin turned the gun away from him as he headbutted her in the face. Jelka turned away and covered her face as Rysol attacked next, but Korbin quickly drew his sword and faced Rysol. Rysol attempted to attack, but Korbin defended himself from each blow. Sorin hurried over to help Rysol, but found himself unable to hit Korbin. No matter what he could do, Sorin could not land a single strike.

“Did he just get stronger?” Sorin asked.

“Impossible,” Rysol replied. “There’s no way he should be able to keep fighting!”

“You underestimated what a man like me is willing to do,” Korbin said. “It looks like I’m not going to see to Johan’s death, but it’s not like you fuckers can do anything about it, anyway! Farewell!”

Korbin swung as hard as he could, jarring both Sorin and Rysol. They were caught off guard by the instantaneous attack. Before Sorin defended himself, though, Korbin instead opted to run away. He ran as far as he could until he reached the hill and decided to roll down it. Rysol attempted to chase him, but was stopped by Sorin.

“He’s not going to get far, brother,” Sorin said. “Right now, we need to see if Johan is okay.”

“You’re right,” Rysol said. “As much as that man… As much as he infuriates me, we have more important things to attend to…”

They hurried over to Jelka, who was already at Johan’s side. Sorin wanted to believe that Johan would survive. He did. When he looked at Johan sprawled out on the ground, however, Sorin knew. He knew that the damage had already been done and that all he could do now was take the next step.

 

*****

 

[23rd of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Outside Thedam Castle]

 

Walking back to Thedam Castle did not take too long for Sorin, yet all he could think about was Johan and his dream. There was no other choice in Sorin’s mind: he had to carry on Johan’s dream. He had to do it, somehow, but at least in his case, Sorin knew that he was not alone. That proved to be true once he made it back to the castle, where everyone, save for Gavin and Law, waited outside for him. Kirk was the first to greet Sorin, patting him on the back while the others ran up to him.

“Are you okay, Sorin?” Kirk asked.

“I’m okay,” Sorin replied.

“If that’s the case, then what the hell was up with those gunshots?” Lowell asked. “I was under the impression that all those Neu Thekohnian Order people were taken care of.”

“It’s already been taken care of,” Sorin said.

“Taken care of?” Eva asked. “Did something happen?”

Kirk looked around. “Rysol… Don’t tell me it involved him…”

“He’s fine,” Sorin replied. “Rysol just has some unfinished business that he needs to deal with, that’s all.”

“That man can’t really go back to Ameci,” Pekka said. “That’s what you believe, isn’t it? Well, whatever it is he has to do, you seem to be comfortable with the answer.”

“What about Jelka and Johan?” Rain asked. “If not for their help, who knows what would have happened with my mother…”

“Jelka’s with Rysol,” Sorin replied. “There’s a lot that they need to do right now and they’re not going to stop until they’re done.”

“You kind of already mentioned that,” Noa said.

“Did I?” Sorin asked.

“That doesn’t matter, honestly,” Rain said. “I’m just glad they’ll be okay after all this.”

“But Sorin, you haven’t said anything about Johan,” Luna said. “Is he with them, too?”

“Yeah, it’s weird you didn’t mention him,” Mina said. “Usually, Johan would be the first person you’d mention in this sort of situation!”

“Is it really that odd, though?” Pekka asked. “I suppose I do want to know what Johan’s going to do now that the Neu Thekohnian Order is no more. What about him, Sorin?”

Sorin turned away. “Johan… He’s gone now…”

“What? No, you’re kidding, aren’t you?” Luna asked. “Sorin, don’t leave me hanging like this! What do you mean when you say Johan’s gone?”

“That’s what I said,” Sorin replied.

He explained everything the group needed to know about the encounter between Johan and Korbin at Flumen Field. Luna was the first to react as she covered her mouth and muttered to herself, while Pekka just clenched his fist. Noa had nothing to say, but it was clear in his eyes that the news affected him, too. Rain felt the need to look off into the distance while Mina continued to listen to what Sorin had to say.

“I can’t believe it,” Mina said. “Korbin knows no end to his countless crimes at all!”

“We can get angry and sad all we want,” Eva said. “It’s only natural to feel that way, especially when it involves someone you know well.”

“But Korbin’s been severely incapacitated,” Sorin replied. “I doubt he’d be able to do much now in his current condition.”

“It still hurts, doesn’t it?” Luna asked. “Johan was your friend, wasn’t he? There’s nothing that any of us do now to bring him back!”

“There’s plenty of time to mourn his loss,” Eva said. “Right now, we still have to make sure everything is okay around here. Your Highness… er, I mean, Rain… it’s clear that you will need support.”

“Which is why we’d be happy to help you out,” Kirk said. “As a member of the Swords of Eight, we will be there every step of the way until you become the Queen of Thekohn.”

“And I’ll be there to help, too,” Mina said. “That is, if you want me to…”

“Thanks, everybody,” Rain replied.

“So have you heard from either Gavin or Law yet?” Sorin asked. “I’m not sure where they’re going to take Isla, to be honest.”

“Oh, about that,” Mina said, “Gavin said that he’d call us once he and Law made it to Maeitakohn.”

Rain explained that General Khadir had already been informed of the decision to exile Isla prior to the morning. That was when he offered to complete the process himself.

“We can trust Karim to handle this,” Kirk said. “If only I could say the same about Rodik Mahrk.”

“He’s sure to play by the rules for now,” Tre said. “The man’s trying his best not to rock the boat too hard down there, lest he ends up meeting the same fate as his predecessor.”

“True,” Lowell replied.

“But that’s not for us to worry about,” Rain said. “Come now, let’s gather inside. I’m sure that the royal guard has already cleaned it up by now.”

Everyone agreed and headed back inside. Sorin was the last to enter, though, as he looked back to the sky. The clouds were almost gone now and the sun was shining bright. He had no idea what was in store for him in the future, but as long as he remained dedicated, he would make Johan’s dream possible. That much Sorin could promise to his friend.

“See you… Johan…”

 

To be continued…

 

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