[6th of December, 2740 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]
A silent tension filled the air as Rain walked out of the prime minister’s office. She had been accompanied by her advisers, as well as General Reiss and Ayanna Ansa. The meeting was brief but all throughout Rain could notice the look on Dezine’s face as she mentioned the summit. She could not quite place what it was about Dezine that bothered her, but remained calm and informed him of all that he needed to know going forward. Then, there was a brief moment between Dezine and Reiss that involved the events that had transpired the night before. Rain found it odd for Dezine to bring it up during the meeting, but his insistence had prompted Reiss to respond.
“Never in my life have I ever been questioned like that,” Reiss said. “No offense to him, but the prime minister’s got some nerve telling me that we can’t do anything about those hooligans.”
“I’m sorry,” Rain said.
“No, you don’t need to tell me that, Your Majesty,” Reiss replied. “I’ve got no problem with Dezine usually, but he really had to go and make an arse of himself during your time. If I wasn’t such a nice fellow, I’d pull him by the collar and give him a straight lashing, my god!”
“Could have waited until after the meeting for him to give you the what for, I guess,” Dustin said. “Also, I’m not the only one who got a little too fixated on the prime minister’s chompers, am I?”
“Why would you ask that?” Gamal asked.
“You know why,” Dustin replied. “Guy’s a foot closer to the grave than he is the river; you’ve got to think that those dentures are a little too big for his mouth, don’t you think?”
“Regardless, there’s little we can do about what Dezine said now,” Ayanna said. “As for you, Your Majesty, now that you’ve finished up here, I assume that you’ll be heading off down to Maeitakohn?”
“Soon enough,” Rain answered. “It’s been a while since I’ve got to see some friends, so I want to spend more quality time with them before I head off.”
“I understand,” Ayanna said. “Then I shall see you later.”
Ayanna and Reiss walked off while Rain went in the other direction with her advisers. As for what Sorin asked her, Rain was able to arrange something with Ayanna to make sure that Jelka was transported out of Iiayikohn safely by the end of the day. Rain knew that Sorin would be relieved by the news once he heard it. All that remained now was to hurry back to Drake’s house and meet with everyone once again, but first, Rain had to make a call to a couple of important people.
[6th of December, 2740 AD; Del Bosque household, Habicht, Ahnlikohn]
“I’m home!” Luna exclaimed.
Luna Del Bosque kicked the front door open and entered the house. She ran inside as Pekka Varjostaa lumbered behind her, holding several bags in his arms. The two had just arrived after a trip to the market, which had started to become a weekly endeavor between the two. She had not been able to say it to him, but Luna believed Pekka to be somewhat of a significant family member in the Del Bosque household as he tried to live a simple life. That’s why Luna was surprised when she saw her father, Lino, standing by the entrance to the kitchen with the phone in his hand.
“Ah, she just came in, Your Majesty,” Lino said. “Here, I’ll give the phone right to her. No, I should be the one thanking you!”
He laughed as Luna walked up to him. Judging by what he just said, it was obvious that he was speaking to Rain. It had been some time since she saw the queen, given that it was around the time of her birthday, but Luna was happy to speak with her friend regardless. She snatched the phone receiver out of Lino’s hand and put it to her ear.
“Hi Rain,” Luna said. “How are you?”
“I’m good, thank you,” Rain replied. “Thank god that you answered; I had no clue how long I was going to have to wait until you were there.”
“Well, it’s been a busy day for me, you know,” Luna said. “Me and Pekka have been out all day doing all sorts of stuff! Oh, but nothing like what you might think could happen, because Pekka isn’t into that.”
“What are you saying to her?” Pekka asked, now with all of the bags out of his hands. “What sort of conversation is this?”
“Oh, nothing, Pekka,” Luna replied. “See, Rain? We’re like brother and sister now!”
Rain laughed. “I can tell,” she said. “Anyway, I wanted to call you because there’s something I need you two to do before the summit happens.”
“Oh, really?” Luna asked. “Are we going to spy on that Kunigunde guy? Is it secret documents that you’re after?”
“No, nothing like that,” Rain answered. “I need you two to go down to the train station in Helm. There’s somebody that you have to meet.”
Luna tightened her grip on the phone. “Somebody we have to meet?”
“Hold on,” Pekka said as he grabbed the phone away from Luna, who leaned into him in response. “Who are we supposed to meet?”
“It’s Jelka Arne,” Rain replied. “I’ve arranged for her to arrive in Helm about a few hours from now.”
“She’s been moving along, hasn’t she?” Pekka asked. “That’s no surprise, I guess.”
“It would be easier if I explained it to you,” Rain said.
Luna continued to listen in as Rain relayed all of what she knew to Pekka. Upon the news of Johan’s reemergence, Pekka clenched his fist while Luna leapt up. She took back the phone from Pekka and began to speak.
“What do you mean that Johan’s still alive?” Luna asked.
“It’s as I said,” Rain replied.
“You mean to tell me that Sorin lied to us?” Luna asked. “All those tears I cried were for nothing? I can’t believe it!”
“Luna, please listen,” Rain said, “Sorin said that he had no choice but to tell us that.”
Rain continued on with what she learned from Sorin, while Pekka took back the receiver. Luna was back to listening in again as fury began to build up inside her. What Korbin and his men had done was unforgivable, that much Luna knew. She looked at Pekka and could tell that he agreed. After Rain finished her explanation, Pekka was ready to speak.
“I’m not sure what you want us to do with Jelka, but we’ll do it,” Pekka said. “Surely there’s a good explanation that she can give us.”
“If Sorin’s right, then Jelka will tell you everything you need to know,” Rain replied. “Tensions are rising ever higher and I don’t want this summit to become the backdrop to something else.”
“Which is why we’re handling business over here, it seems,” Pekka said.
“I can trust you two,” Rain told him. “If it wasn’t for your help, who knows what would have happened with the Neu Thekohnian Order?”
“Don’t think that either Luna or I doubted that,” Pekka replied.
“That’s good to hear,” Rain said. “Hopefully we will get to meet again soon once everything’s set.”
“I’m sure that we will,” Pekka said. “Thank you.”
After exchanging goodbyes, Pekka placed the phone back down. He exhaled as Luna continued to lean on him, looking back as she tried not to laugh out loud.
“What’s so funny?” Pekka asked.
“You can act as tough as you’d like, but I can hear it in your voice,” Luna said. “That feeling of relief is because of Johan, isn’t it?”
“Come on, Luna… Don’t be so ridiculous,” Pekka replied. “I’m just happy that he’s still alive, that’s all. Now get off of me!”
“Okay, okay, I’ll leave it alone,” Luna said as she backed off. “So when are we heading out, you think?”
“To think that he’s still out there, just playing us all,” Pekka said.
“Hello? Are you still there, Pekka?” Luna asked. “We can worry about that guy later! Let’s hurry and put this stuff away so we can go meet Jelka!”
“I heard you the first time,” he replied.
Luna hurried up into the main hallway and picked up some of the bags, with Pekka following after her. They knew that they could not miss Jelka’s arrival nor did either of them want to be late. It was even more important for Luna, who could finally confront Jelka over what had happened to her brother in the past. She had that chance and was not going to miss out on it.
Driving to Helm proved to be effortless, as Luna took the wheel and Pekka sat in the passenger’s seat. She could tell that he had his concerns, but she managed to prove to him that everything would be okay. At least, that was what she believed. As the two got out of the car and moved towards the train station, Pekka eyed over at Luna.
“I will admit that the trip down here wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be,” he said. “Still, I’m surprised that we made it in time.”
Luna giggled. “It’s my specialty,” she said. “I can get us here faster than a cat goes after a dangling thread!”
“I’m not sure that you should be bragging about how fast you can drive,” Pekka replied. “But we’re already here, so it’s best if we put that behind us.”
Luna took a couple of steps forward and scoured the entrance to the train station. People moved in and out through the doors as the loud blare of the train’s whistle echoed throughout.
“There’s so many people,” she said. “Do you think we’ll really find Jelka out here?”
“I’m sure we will,” Pekka said.
“So, do you think she’s really on our side now?” Luna asked.
Pekka crossed his arms. “Do you think she is?”
“Well, that’s what I’m asking you,” Luna replied. “I can get that she was a part of the Neu Thekohnian Order only because of Ahga’s influence, but still, that group was responsible for killing my brother. I don’t know if I’m completely on board with forgiving Jelka, you know?”
“That’s if she asks you to forgive her,” Pekka said.
“I’m sure she would once I talked to her,” Luna said.
“And what makes you believe that?”
“To be honest with you, I don’t know,” Luna answered. “I guess I just expect her to because it’s the sort of thing someone does.”
“And yet you can easily accept me,” Pekka said.
“I do,” Luna said.
“To be fair, there’s a bit I want to say to Jelka as well,” Pekka said. “Mainly, I want to know what Johan said to her to get her to join him.”
“It always comes back to Johan, doesn’t it?” Luna asked.
“You know what I mean,” Pekka replied.
“Of course I do,” she said. “Don’t you remember what he said to you when you two first met?”
“There’s no way I’d ever forget what he said to me,” Pekka said. “Wait, don’t try and change the subject on me, Luna!”
“Was it really that obvious?” Luna asked.
Pekka shook his head. “So, what I wanted to say about Jelka is that she, like me, came into that organization because of hopelessness,” he said. “I got out of the True Thekohnians because of hope, and I’m certain that Jelka joined up with Johan because of hope, too.”
“Maybe,” Luna said. “I guess I learned something from you, huh?”
“If anything, you taught me something,” Pekka said.
“That you are willing to forgive Jelka, whether you realize it or not,” Pekka replied. “Why else would you bring this up?”
Luna turned away as she fiddled with her ponytail. “I guess you’re right.”
“It’s not that I’m right, it’s that you believe in people,” he said. “Say, do you think that someone is watching us?”
“W-Why so sudden?” Luna asked as she looked around.
“Forgive me, I thought that I saw someone,” Pekka replied.
Luna grinned. “Oh, was it Johan?”
“I know what you’re trying to do,” he said. “Hold on, I think I see Jelka coming out. Let’s go!”
“Wait, that’s really her!” Luna exclaimed.
Luna and Pekka rushed over to where Jelka stood and greeted her by the front door. However, as they greeted her, it appeared that Pekka’s perception had been correct. Over in the building on the other side of the street was a pair of binoculars poking out of an open window. Somebody stood on the other side while Luna and Pekka helped escort Jelka to the car.
To be continued…