[3rd of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Main Hall]
The cloudless skies indicated a great day for Rain to go and visit the citizens of the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn, as they were all enthusiastic to greet the newly appointed queen. It was a welcome sight as Rain went around the city with her advisers Dustin and Gamal, as well as Mina, who had wanted to attend. It was a perfect moment, Rain thought, as she reached her hand to hold Mina’s as the two let the advisers lead the way on the sidewalk until they reached their destination back at the castle.
“You know, you’ve gotten quite used to spending time here,” Rain said. “Are you perhaps considering moving here?”
“Oh, well, I would love to!” Mina replied. “But… I don’t want to get in your way when you’re doing your job.”
“Mina, my dear, I would never suggest that you would get in my way,” Rain said. “You’re far too helpful and kind, as well as being vital support not only for me, but for everyone here.”
“Your upbeat energy keeps us all afloat,” Gamal said. “And I’ve never seen someone adapt so well with a sword like you have.”
“It’s a surprise, to be sure,” Dustin said. “Then again, she’s got a kind of raw talent that just begs refining, don’t you think, Your Majesty?”
“To be honest, it does cross my mind,” Rain replied. “But as much as I think about it, there’s only a few in the world that possess such skill that could help Mina realize how amazing she can be wielding a sword.”
“What about you?” Mina asked.
“I love you way too much to even think about going against you,” Rain said. “Even so, it wouldn’t be proper for me to train you. If only Eva were here, I am sure she would be delighted to put you up to the task and train you herself.”
Mina looked down at the ground. “Right, Eva’s not here,” she said. “I wonder if she’s doing good; she seemed so unhappy when she left here.”
“Unfortunately, I’m not sure how she’s doing,” Rain replied. “I’m used to seeing her act stoic and down-to-earth. Then again, what she’s going through may have gotten the best of her…”
“If it’s worth anything, my father did mention briefly about her when I got this job,” Gamal said. “Seems like Miss Bellamy doesn’t like to stay close to anyone for too long… Maybe she felt like she was getting too close to you two as a friend and decided to cut ties while she still could.”
“Sounds like it,” Dustin said.
“Whatever it may be, I do worry about Eva,” Rain said. “I would hate to think that Mina or I inadvertently set her off somehow.”
“If it concerns you that much, I’d be glad to go,” Gamal said. “Wherever she went, I can go looking for her.”
“No, I’d rather you not,” Rain replied. “We don’t know where she is right now, nor do any of us know if she’d even want to come back here. Besides, there is still much to do with the upcoming summit as well as negotiating with the Ameci Region.”
“Oh yeah, the summit,” Mina said. “Have you set a date for it yet?”
“I have, actually,” Rain answered. “There’s someone I need to inform first, though, before I make it official. Actually, maybe you could come along with me, Mina, since we know this person so well.”
“Cool, I’m definitely excited!” Mina exclaimed.
The two went over to Rain’s room and spotted the phone on the table. Rain reached for the receiver and began to dial while Mina waited right next to her. It was not certain that the other end would pick up, but Rain had a feeling that she would be speaking to them soon. After a few rings on the other end, Rain heard the other side pick up.
“You’ve reached the Rask residence,” Sorin said, who then introduced himself.
“Sorin, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?” Rain asked.
“Oh, Rain, I’m glad you called,” Sorin replied. “Have you got any said anything about the summit yet?”
“That’s what I was calling you about,” Rain said. “I’m planning on having the summit take place in Glora towards the end of the year; on the 20th, to be exact.”
“So it’ll be after the Winter Festival?” Sorin asked. “Good, that will work for us then.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” Rain replied. “By the way, there’s a couple of things I wish to ask you about.”
“Really? What about?” Sorin wondered.
“Well, perhaps it would be for the best if Mina asked you, since it really concerns her more than anything,” Rain said. “Hold on one second, please… Here you go.”
Rain handed off the receiver to Mina, who put it to the side of her face.
“Mina? She’s there?”
“Hi Sorin!” Mina said. “Um, I guess I’m as surprised as you are about this whole thing! Who would have known?”
“It’s been quite different here without you around, that’s for sure,” Sorin replied. “I think that your mother was even thinking about taking a visit to see you since you’ve been gone for a while.”
“Oh no, I had no idea!” Mina replied.
“She’s been wanting to see for herself,” Sorin said. “But what was it that you wanted to ask me about?”
“What did I want to ask you about?” Mina asked.
“Tell him about what you’ve been doing,” Rain said. “The sword training and everything else.”
“Right! Sorin, listen, I’ve been training a lot recently,” Mina said, “Not just with my hands and feet, either! I’ve been taking up sword fighting like you’ve been doing!”
“Wow, really? That’s great,” Sorin said. “Who’s been training you?”
“Well, that’s the thing,” Mina replied. “I was wondering if you’ve seen Eva… You know, she left pretty abruptly from here.”
“I can’t say that I’ve seen her recently,” Sorin replied. “Sorry about that.”
“No, it’s fine, really!” Mina said. “I was just wondering because I wanted to get better at this sword stuff and she’s really good with using one, right?”
“I get it,” he said. “How about this: when the summit comes, I’ll help you with some of the basics. I’m not as experienced, but I can at least help you learn a few things. Is that good with you?”
“Of course,” Mina said, “I’d be glad to learn from you. After all, you’re part of the reason why I wanted to learn in the first place. Well, Rain, mostly, but you were a reason, too!”
“Okay, Mina, I think that’s enough,” Rain said.
“I guess Rain wants to speak to you again,” Mina said to Sorin. “I’ll give her back the phone now. I’ll see you at the summit!”
[3rd of December, 2740 AD; Drake Rask’s house, Rezar, Iiayikohn]
“See you then,” Sorin said.
He waited a few seconds before Rain picked up the phone again. Now that there was a date set for the summit, Sorin knew that he had to contact Jelka soon. It was fortunate that Rain had called since Sorin had nothing else he could do. At least, as long as it did not concern Rysol. His brother was out there somewhere in the clutches of the Ameci military. Sorin had wonder if Korbin had anything to do with his abduction, but he had no time to think about it now.
“I’m glad that we’re able to talk,” Rain said. “I was getting worried that you wouldn’t be able to answer the phone.”
“Wel, it wasn’t like there was anything for me to do,” Sorin said. “Gavin and Law have been busy doing their own things, Eva’s somewhere else, and Luna and Pekka have been busy back in Ahnlikohn.”
“I know,” Rain replied. “It’s been quiet the past couple of months. Normally, that’s a good thing, but as long as that organization exists, we can’t really afford to relax.”
“Yet it feels like we are,” Sorin said.
“I understand how you feel, Sorin,” Rain said. “But we’ve got no clue what Mr. Kunigunde is up to, so all we really can do is wait and see for right now.”
“Guess that’s our only choice,” Sorin replied.
“Well, since we’ve got that out of the way, maybe you could do something for me now,” Rain said.
“What is it?” Sorin asked.
“There’s been something I’ve been meaning to ask Ayanna, but it seems like she’s been tied up with work,” Rain said. “I could have asked Law about this, too, but I figured you might be able to relay the message to either one of them when you get the chance.”
Sorin nodded, but then realized that he did not need to. “Uh, yeah, of course,” he said. “I’ll let Ayanna know, one way or another.”
“Good,” Rain said. “I suppose that’s that, then…”
“Sorin, are you talking to Mina?” Wilma asked.
Sorin looked to the back door and saw Mina’s mother standing in between the doorframe. It appeared that she had just been in the city recently, judging from the paper bag in her hand.
“I can get her on, if you want,” Sorin said to Wilma.
“You can? Well, that would be nice,” she said.
“Of course,” Sorin replied. “Rain, can you put Mina on one more time? Her mother just got here.”
“Absolutely,” Rain said. “I’ll talk with you later, then.”
“Speak with you soon,” Sorin said as he handed the receiver over to Wilma. “She’ll be on soon.”
“Thank you so much,” Wilma replied.
As Sorin left the house, he now knew what he had to do. He hoped that Jelka was still around the city somewhere, because now with a proper date set for the summit, Sorin knew there was no way that Isaac Kunigunde was not going to avoid tagging along with the president, Piere Hasker, and general of the Ameci military, Rohan Fercewend. With that known, Sorin knew that they were getting closer to taking down Foundation.
[3rd of December, 2740 AD; Outside the Royal President’s House, Admorse, Ameci – Atlas District]
The morning thunder roared as the first few drops of rain began to fall to the ground. President Piere Hasker held his umbrella as vice president Casper Bradley joined him along with Isaac Kunigunde. An important meeting was to take place soon between the president and Lowell Page, but before they had to meet with him, Hasker invited the two men out onto the deck for some small talk. Before he spoke, though, Hasker began to cough profusely. At first, it was only a single cough, but soon escalated into an unstoppable force that the president could not stop.
Casper patted him on the back. “Are you okay, my friend?”
“I’m… I’m okay,” Hasker replied. “I… it must have been something I had last night that’s not sitting well with me.”
“Well, it certainly seems to be problematic for you,” Isaac said, leaning in. “Perhaps you should get some rest and let us meet Mr. Page instead?”
Hasker groaned. “No, I can’t do that,” he said. “It’s my duty… as president… to serve Ameci’s people…”
Hasker fell to one knee and dropped his umbrella, letting it roll away from him. The downpour only increased as his coughing started up as he covered his mouth. As Casper knelt next to Hasker, Isaac looked down at the ailing president before him. He cracked a smirk before going to assist Casper in helping Hasker up to his feet.
“You’d do well to rest, sir,” Isaac said.
“This… my stomach… what is happening with me?” Hasker asked. “Egh… I can’t let Ameci down…”
With a gasping cough, Hasker fell flat to the ground. Casper knelt down next to him again and tried to help him up, but soon discovered that that was not possible.
“Piere? Are you okay, buddy?” Casper asked. He got up to his feet and looked around. “Someone! Someone call an ambulance! The president just collapsed!”
“I’ll take care of it,” Isaac said. “Just take good care of Piere, okay?”
Isaac turned around and headed for the president’s house. He had a call to make to the Ameci special forces, but first, a very important call had to be made. One call that Isaac had to make to an old friend to let know of what exactly just happened in Admorse.
“Harold… our plan is finally in motion,” Isaac said, “And I know that you’ll be happy to hear what I have to say.”
To be continued…