[5th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Rain’s Living Quarters]
“Mina… Mina, wake up,” Rain said.
It had taken a few moments, but Mina awoke from her slumber as she was greeted to Rain tapping her on the shoulder. After setting up the summit, Rain had taken the day off to spend time with Mina and explored the countryside with her. Of course, they were accompanied by Gamal Gomel, but Mina could tell that Rain did not matter about that. All that mattered was that they spent their time together, which was something that Mina cherished. That carried over once they returned to the castle, where the two had a private dinner and soon after, spent the rest of the night in Rain’s bedroom. But now, Mina had to face the new day as the two lay naked in Rain’s bed while the sunlight greeted them through the open window.
“I’m awake, I’m awake!” Mina exclaimed, sitting up.
“I can see that,” Rain replied. “Oh, but don’t be too loud… At least, don’t be as loud as you got last night.”
“Oh, sorry,” Mina said. “I’m still… kinda new to that sort of stuff…”
Rain smiled laid on her side. “You’re fine,” she said. “Last night was an unforgettable night of passion with you. It was almost as good as the first time that we made love, don’t you agree?”
“I do,” Mina said.
Rain rested her hand on Mina’s thigh. “They say that no matter how strong you are, everyone has a weakness,” she said. “Knowing that yours is that inside of your leg, well, it is a special sight to watch you peak.”
Mina could feel the fluttering in her stomach. “You’re just so assertive,” she replied. “Even when I do it to you…”
“You’re a great listener,” Rain said. “There are so many things I could say about you and why they’re all the reasons that I love you, but sometimes I can’t help but feel a little selfish as I look at your bare body before me.”
“Thank.. Thank you…”
“You’re welcome,” Rain replied. “I could just run my hand over your stomach right now; your abs are something to truly admire.”
Mina gasped as Rain did just that. “If… If I could say something about you,” she said, “It’s that your legs are much stronger up close!”
“I suppose you’re right,” Rain said. “Of course, when pressed against you, my chest is nowhere near as endowed as yours. Then again, I’ve always been happy with how I am, as I am with you.”
Rain sat up and wrapped her arms around Mina, who responded by doing the same.
“Though I will say that looking down your back, your butt is particularly well developed,” Rain said. “I’d be lying if I said I did not want to feel it right now, love.”
“You… You can feel it if you want,” Mina replied.
“As much as I’d wish to continue last night, I can’t,” Rain said. “There’s only so many hours in the day and there’s important business to take care of regarding the kingdom.”
Mina felt Rain’s arms lift off of her. “I got it,” she said. “Is there anything I could do to help?”
“You know that I would never say no to your help,” Rain replied. “Actually, there is something that I want to tell you about, but I’ll tell you after I go and get dressed.”
Rain got out of the bed and walked over to the bathroom to wash up. As that happened, Mina watched Rain walk away. That was when she realized that she would have to get dressed, too, and leapt out of bed so she could shower and put some clothes on. Mina was certain that today was important, but she had to know firsthand what needed to be done.
Out in the main hall, Mina looked down the stairs. She had fun running up and down each step as part of her personal training, but Mina knew that there was more to training than that. With a deep breath, Mina prepared to take the first step, but stopped once she felt a hand on her back.
“Something tells me you miss Rezar,” Rain said.
“You can tell, can’t you,” Mina replied. “I guess it’s pretty obvious I miss them, but don’t get me wrong! I love spending time with you, especially on your days off!”
“I know that,” Rain said. “It’s okay to feel sad.”
“I’m not sad… No, I’m not,” Mina said. “It’s just that I don’t get to see my uncle that much, and despite reuniting with my mom, I barely hear from her. I miss them, as well as Sorin, Ayanna, Gavin, and the others!”
“I miss them all, too,” Rain said. “Oh, you know what would be a good idea?”
“What is it?” Mina asked.
Rain had a small smile on her face. “Well, it’s something that I wanted ever since I was a young child,” she replied. “You wouldn’t mind carrying me in your arms as we go down the stairs, would you?”
Mina’s eyes lit up. “Of course I wouldn’t mind! I’d love to do that with you right now!”
Rain adjusted herself so Mina could carry her. As Mina walked down the stairs with Rain in her arms, she felt happy that she could enjoy this moment. Once at the bottom, Dustin and Gamal greeted the two women.
“I see you’re enjoying yourself, Your Majesty,” Gamal said. “Still thinking about yesterday, I assume?”
Rain got to her feet with Mina’s assistance. “I just asked her to do that small task for me,” she replied. “That is all.”
Gamal chuckled. “If that’s it, then I suppose that you’re ready to discuss with us your upcoming trip.”
“I would love to,” Rain said.
“Wait, a trip?” Mina asked. “You’re going on a trip?”
“And this is the surprise I told you about,” Rain said. “All of us are heading off to Iiayikohn today.”
Mina gasped. “We’re going to go now? We’re really going to go to Iiayikohn and Rezar?”
Rain nodded as she patted Mina on the back. “I really wanted to tell you yesterday, but these two suggested I keep it a secret,” she said. “I can see that by your delighted outburst that it was a good suggestion.”
“Trust me, Your Majesty, I know the art of surprise,” Dustin said. “Nothing like a surprise trip for your loved one.”
“Well, it’s not just a trip of leisure, Sir Dustin,” Rain said. “Though it will be nice getting to meet everyone again, this trip is more about meeting with the Iiayikohnian prime minister to discuss the upcoming summit.”
“But we’ll still be able to see everyone, right?” Mina asked. “Right? Right? We can have a big feast and everything! I can show Sorin my cool new tricks and he’ll be very impressed!”
“She’s quite eager about going,” Gamal said.
“Oh, but what Storm?” Mina wondered. “Is she coming, too?”
“Unfortunately, she won’t be coming,” Rain replied. “She has to watch over the kingdom in my absence, after all.”
“I see,” Mina said. “We can bring her something so she doesn’t feel left out! How about it?”
“Of course,” Rain said. “Anyway, we should really get going to the station. Shall we?”
Nothing more needed to be said as the four headed out of the castle on their way to Iiayikohn. Mina could not wait to see everyone again and catch up with them in person. Still, it would not be everyone, as Mina remembered Eva and wondered to herself where the swordswoman was at this moment.
[5th of December, 2740 AD; Ji-Kiku Bay – off the docks of North Mikahana, Kikuisha]
Eva looked over the railing of the ship. The country she had spent the past few days in looked beautiful against the cloudless sky. After waking up earlier than she had expected, Eva spent her morning trying to get back to sleep, only for her to spend more time blowing off steam at her frustrations instead. Once that was done, Eva met with Kiku and her group and went for a large breakfast. It was after that when they decided to see Eva off when Kiku began talking to her at the docks while Noa, Ayame, and Igor watched.
“You really must come again sometime soon, Evie,” Kiku said. “Hopefully it will be under better terms.”
“Thank you,” Eva said. “I’m sorry if I brought things down for all of you.”
“No, it’s quite okay,” Kiku replied. “Everyone has moments where they feel like the clouds are grey and the flowers don’t seem to be blooming.”
“I suppose,” Eva said.
“I know that if it weren’t for Aya and Iggy, I don’t know how I’d be able to get through my youth,” Kiku said. “Oh, I should tell you something before you go, Evie. It’s kind of personal, so…”
“Pardon?” Eva asked.
Kiku leaned in towards Eva. “I talked with Nona last night,” she whispered. “It seems he’d be very interested in involving you during our personal time.”
Eva backed up and glared at Kiku. “Excuse me?”
“All I’m saying is that he didn’t say no,” Kiku replied.
“Surely you must be joking,” Eva said. “I mean… that’s not something I can see myself doing.”
“Oh, you really can see right through me,” Kiku said. “It seems like I’ve found the right buttons to press in order to get a reaction out of you, Evie!”
Eva placed her palm on her forehead. “I appreciate the thought,” she said. “But it’s not something I’d joke about so lightly.”
“What are you guys talking about?” Igor asked.
“It’s nothing important, Iggy,” Kiku answered. “But seriously, Evie, there is something that I wish to share with you and only you… Well, Nona knows, too, but you and him, I promise!”
“Tell me it’s not another one of your jokes, Kiku,” Eva said.
Kiku leaned in towards Eva once more. “I got myself a special item for me and Nona to use,” she whispered. “It… Well, it’s exhilarating but a little taboo, if you get my drift.”
“What are you talking about?” Eva asked.
“Let’s just say that this item is meant for the back,” Kiku said. “I figure you’d be experienced enough to know what I’m talking about, right, Evie?”
“Oh god, no,” Eva replied. “If that’s what you like, fine, but I want no part of it whatsoever!”
Kiku backed up. “My, you reacted with such vehemence,” she said. “Well, I’m also using it right now, if you must know.”
“That’s not something I needed to know!” Eva exclaimed. “I mean, I would never put something in there…”
“Oh no,” Noa said. “Please tell me you’re not telling her what I think you’re telling her!”
“Hush, Nona,” Kiku said. “This is a conversation between Evie and I. I’ll tell you all about it later.”
Noa groaned. “I guess I’ve got no say in this.”
Eva sighed. The ship’s horn blared, which caused her to look at the ship itself. She looked back to Kiku and then to the group.
“It’s about time,” Eva said. “You’re only trying to joke with me, I know, but some things are personal for a reason.”
“I understand,” Kiku replied as she hugged Eva. “I won’t tell you any more about that stuff.”
“Thank you,” Eva said. “It was nice seeing you again.”
“And it was nice to see you,” Kiku said. “Especially when we were in the sauna… Hehe, I guess that’s a little too personal, right?”
“Thanks again,” Eva replied.
As she separated from Kiku’s arms, Eva said goodbye to the others. With Noa and Igor, the farewells were brief, but Ayame was there to give extra praise to Eva before the swordswoman headed for the ship.
“Perhaps when it is warmer, we can spar,” Ayame said. “I’ve always been intrigued to see for myself the warrior inside you, Eva.”
“I’d be happy to,” Eva replied.
“Whenever the time is right, don’t hesitate to let me know,” Ayame said. “You are quite strong, after all.”
“Okay, well, I’ll think about it,” Eva said. “I must go, though.”
“Then we won’t hold you up any longer,” Ayame said. “Come on, Madame Izumi. I think it’s about time we headed back to the castle, don’t you think?”
“Do we have to?” Kiku asked. “I wanted to see Evie’s ship set off!”
Ayame sighed. “Very well.”
And that was the last sight Eva saw as she hurried onto the ship. Now that the boat had set off, though, Eva had to focus on what she wanted to do next. Would she head back to Ameci and reunite with Kirk? No, she was not ready to face him again. Not yet. There were only a few options she could pursue and the one that came to mind was to head back to Rezar and check up on Sorin and the others. As far as Eva knew, Mina remained in the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn with Rain and did not want to head back there yet.
“I’m sorry,” she said. “It will be a little while longer…”
Eva felt that she was unable to conquer the persistent thoughts inside her head. It all had to do with what Ayame had said to her before she got on the ship. Despite her attempt to pay no mind to the compliment, Eva could not shake the word away from her. Even though Ayame meant what she said as a compliment, the memories of that tragic night came rushing back to her again.
“Damn it, no,” Eva said as she pounded her fist on the top railing. “Go away, go away!”
No, it felt impossible, she thought. She needed to take her mind off of the past and had to keep moving forward. That was what Eva believed, but in this instance, that line of thought was hard to follow. From the day after she lost her fiance to this morning, there were certain words she dreaded. All they did was make her remember that night, that corpse, and the blood that had splattered over her. Eva knew full well all the vital points of a person’s body, which she used to her advantage in fights, but she did not feel like that made her stronger. Yet, she knew that she had to use it in order to survive during the war. But no matter what she could do, Eva felt overwhelmed by the sudden rush to her head.
“I need… I need to go lay down,” she said. “This can’t go on anymore… I can’t do this…”
To be continued…