Aurora – Chapter 30 (Part 2)

[30th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Flumen Field]


Sorin could only rely on his heart in this moment. His legs carried him to where he needed to go with no time to waste. As he dashed towards the fields, the words burned into Sorin’s mind as he recalled what he read on the paper Mina had on her. The message was all but clear about Eva’s intentions and Sorin had to be quick if he had to stop her.

There’s nothing that I can do anymore,” the note said. “I can’t just go back and stop him from marching to his death. I can’t even bother to lift my sword, nor can I even think about seeing the others. Everyone is concerned, especially Rain, but I don’t want to be a burden to her or to anyone else during this time, so I’m going to make sure that everybody won’t have to worry about me any longer.”

It was a short, scrawled message, but an effective one as Sorin hurried his way up the street. The snow covered trees and cold air meant nothing to Sorin as he had only one thing on his mind. The field was getting closer, as Sorin saw off in the distance a figure near the site of the largest oak by the street. He hoped to himself that he was not too late.

“Eva, can you hear me?” Sorin asked.

No response. Sorin moved closer. As he suspected, Eva was sitting on the ground hunched over with her sword next to her on the ground. Sorin worried for a moment but was relieved upon seeing her breath rise in the cold.

“Thank goodness,” Sorin said as he knelt right next to Eva. “You’re still alive…”

“Unfortunately,” Eva replied. “There’s no reason for me to go on now, yet I can’t even kill myself. And now you’re here to bask in my utter failure…”

“I can’t just abandon you,” Sorin said. “Everyone is worried about you, Eva. I wasn’t about to let their efforts go to waste.”

“Does this make you feel better?” Eva asked. “Seeing me in such a pathetic state like this, inches away from taking my own life… Yet I just can’t do it.”

“I don’t feel better knowing that you’ve been trying to hide this from all of us,” Sorin said, “Nor do I feel better now.”

Eva sighed. “Then why are you here?”

“I told you,” Sorin replied. “I wanted to find you.”

“Well, you did,” Eva said. “So what will you do now? Are you going to try to convince me that everything will be okay? That life is worth living? That I can try and see the bright side? I can’t do that. Not after what I’ve been through.”

“I don’t know,” Sorin said. “I’ve never had to deal with this before.”

“Then what is it that you want?” Eva wondered.

“I didn’t know him for too long, but I can understand why my father meant so much to you,” Sorin said. “He’s headstrong and never gave up, even at the very end, and he was there to offer his help wherever it was needed. He was nothing short of remarkable and I only wish that I had more time to get to know him, but now that time has passed with him.”

“He was a pain in the ass and stubborn as hell,” Eva said, “But there’s no way for me to deny what you said. He was extraordinary, which is something I could never be. At best, I’m just a murderer with a fancy title.”

“Not to me,” Sorin said. “You mean a lot to the people around you than you think, Eva.”

“So what?” Eva asked. “It doesn’t change anything… Even if we defeat our enemies, that doesn’t bring back all the innocent people who’ve lost their lives to these monsters. It’s not going to bring him back, either.”

“I know,” Sorin replied. “I know that it won’t. Stopping Foundation will mean that we’ll be one step closer to a peaceful world; but unfortunately, all those good people that died, including my father, won’t be around to see it happen. It’s a bitter truth, but I have to keep on.”

“It’s easy for you to say,” Eva said.

“What do you mean?” Sorin asked.

“You still have hope for a better future,” she replied, “But I don’t have the same fortune that you do. All I have all the corpses of those I ever cared about and nothing more. If you want to tell me that that’s not the case, then fine, but it won’t mean anything to me.”

“Eva, it’s not like I don’t worry about these things at all,” Sorin said. “I’m not nearly as fearless as you are sometimes when it comes to fighting, but still, I try to hold my own out there as best I can.”

“I guess it can’t be helped,” Eva said. “Even with my training, it all falls on you to perform well. That’s something that I can’t teach you.”

“You taught me a lot in such a short time,” Sorin said as he rubbed the side of his eye. “I can only thank you for that.”

“I… You’re welcome…”

“And there’s a lot you taught me even after our training on the ship,” Sorin continued. “If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have learned more about my father. I wouldn’t have learned about the rest of this world. And I certainly wouldn’t have met great friends like you.”

Eva turned and looked to Sorin. “Me?”

“I can’t say I know entirely about how you feel,” Sorin said, “But what I can say is that I’m scared, also. Even with everything at a standstill, I worry if we’re going to be able to do enough to stop Foundation. If my father couldn’t do it, then does that mean I can’t? That question is hard to avoid, but I know that I can only do what’s right.”

“I don’t know,” Eva said. “I don’t know if I’m up to the task anymore…”

“If you’re scared, too, then that’s fine,” Sorin replied. “But you are not the only one who feels that way. Far from it.”

Eva sighed. “I’m not sure if I can keep fighting on,” she said. “If I can’t even protect those close to me, then what am I good for?”

“You don’t have to protect anyone,” Sorin said. “This is the goal that we are all working towards, so we’re all fighting together.”

“The way you say it makes it sound easy,” Eva replied, “But I don’t think I’m ready to get up just yet.”

“If you’re not ready, then I’m okay with waiting,” Sorin said. “I’ll wait until whenever you’re ready to go back.”


For a moment, Sorin saw Eva rub at her left eye before she turned away. Sorin did not say anything and instead opted to sit next to Eva, using the time to come to terms with Kirk’s death. It was a difficult path, but Sorin knew that he could show to Eva that she would not have to grieve by herself. He knew that by doing this, he could tell her that she was not alone.




[30th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Thedam Castle Rooftop View]


Johan leaned against the railing at the edge of the rooftop as he looked over the city. He had plenty to think about after what had taken place, the first being the loss of Sorin’s father. Though he only knew the man through tales, Johan did not deny the fact that Sorin had to deal with the news. It reminded Johan of what had happened to his father, Voitto, and how he was powerless to stop it. It was a pain that Johan hoped no one would have to endure that was starting to become an inevitable conclusion that no one could avoid. Despite that thought, Johan’s resolve strengthened because he knew that his dream of a world without wars had to become a reality. He needed to make it possible for the sake of the future generations that would soon come to be in the world. As he continued to ponder over his plans, Jelka made her way up to the rooftop.

“You’re doing well, I take it?” Jelka asked, walking over to Johan.

“I am,” Johan replied. “Well, as well as I can be, if I’m being honest.”

“You’re thinking about him, aren’t you,” Jelka said. “Why else would you be up here all by yourself?”

Johan grabbed the top of the railing. “No one should have to hear the news that one of their parents were killed,” he said. “Yet that’s something that Sorin and I have in common. Something the two of us will no doubt continue to think about for the rest of our lives.”

“Do you doubt his strength?” Jelka asked.

“Not at all,” Johan said. “He will see things through now, but only because he has to deal with the fact that taking out Foundation will not bring back his parents. It won’t bring back my father, either, nor will it bring back those who have died because of these men.”

“That is true,” Jelka said.

“But even so, Kirk Wilk didn’t die without putting up a fight,” Johan said. “He fought for something, as did my father. Now it’s up to Sorin and I to finish what they were striving towards… And then, once we’ve achieved our goals, it will be time to figure out what’s next.”

“You don’t need to think that way,” Jelka said. “I’m here with you as long as I can still fight.”

“Of course,” Johan replied. “Is your leg better?”

“I… I didn’t want you to worry,” she said, “But I guess you figured it out, haven’t you?”

“You were putting more weight onto your other leg that I came to that conclusion,” he said. “It doesn’t matter now.”

“It could be better,” Jelka said as she looked down at her leg. “Harold Mars is a frightening man. It’s no wonder that he commands a lot of respect from Isaac Kunigunde.”

“There’s more to him, I know,” Johan said. “He’s a secretive man, which is why it’s been hard to bring his crimes to light.”

“Yet we know of at least one crime,” Jelka replied.

“No one can get away with murder, not even him,” Johan said. “That being said, it will be tough to tackle him head on right now.”

“Foundation still has his back,” Jelka said. “The public doesn’t know too much, but we do. We just need more information.”

“We’ll need a lot if we want to take Foundation and Harold out,” Johan said. “That trust between the two is hard to break, but I know that we can expose a rift if the information comes to light.”

“That’s our next step,” Jelka said.

“I have a good idea of where we can go,” Johan said. “But I’m not sure if we can do this by ourselves…”

“You want them to help?” Jelka wondered.

“We’ve operated like this for a while, but we don’t have many options at the moment,” Johan said. “I don’t want the queen to get involved; though she is important, I don’t want to jeopardize her should something go wrong. That can extend to many of the others as well.”

“Then what do we do?” Jelka asked.

“Excuse me,” Luna said. “Johan… do you have a minute?”

Johan and Jelka turned around and saw Luna and Pekka at the stairs. The two had made it all the way up to the roof as Johan did not expect to see the two standing before him.

“I suppose I can spare a moment,” Johan said, “But I was certain that you two wanted nothing to do with me anymore.”

“I know,” Luna said. “I’m still a little mad to be honest. To think that you’d go and play us for fools, only to play the enemies for fools and expect us to be okay with that, but I don’t find that amusing at all! You really broke our trust, Johan, and I still don’t know how I should really feel about it…”

“If you want to be mad, then be mad at me,” Johan said, “But I was working with the right intentions in mind. I never strayed from my goal, no matter which side you think I may be on.”

“That’s not the point,” Luna said. “I thought we were all working as a team, like we were all going to change this world or something like that. You might have been working with these ‘right intentions’ and all that, but it’s the fact that you felt like you needed to betray us to make part of that possible. Even if it was for a good cause, we were all still left in the dark and all I wish for is that you would at least admit where you were wrong, Johan.”

“If I had done something wrong, I would admit so,” Johan said.

“That’s it?” Pekka asked. “She just told you how she felt and all you can say is that?”

“Like I said, if I had done something wrong, then I would not hesitate to tell you that I’m sorry,” Johan replied. “Luna, Pekka, if you felt betrayed by what I did back then, then it’s on me to apologize for not letting you know of that part of my plan. I only did so because I felt that it was the best step to take in that moment, though in retrospect, I should’ve come clean to you two sooner.”

“And what about her?” Luna asked, looking to Jelka.

“You’re the girl whose brother was killed by the Neu Thekohnian Order, am I correct?” Jelka asked. “I had no part in taking his life; that crime was on Lauren Ahga, and Lauren Ahga alone.”

“Even so, you still worked with him,” Pekka said. “Pawn or not, you can’t just shake that part of your past off.”

“And I suppose you would know,” Jelka said. “Fine then.”

“What are you doing?” Luna asked.

Jelka took out her sword, still sheathed, and handed it to Luna. “This is up to you,” she said. “If it will give you some closure, then you know what to do. That is your test.”

“I… I don’t want this,” Luna said as she handed the sword back to Jelka. “I didn’t come up here to kill anyone. I just wanted an apology.”

“You’ve got it,” Johan said. “So what are you still doing here?”

“I’ve come to realize I can’t just sit around,” Luna replied. “You want to bring down this Isaac guy, right? Well, Pekka and I want to help.”

“Is this true, Pekka?” Johan asked.

“There’s only so much we can do alone,” Pekka replied. “Mind you, I don’t entirely forgive you yet, but Isaac Kunigunde and Foundation are continuing to grow stronger with each passing moment. That can’t be ignored, and because of that, I’d like to join you once more.”

“It’s true,” Luna said. “He spoke to me this morning about how he misses the good times and wanted to see you again.”

“That’s not exactly what I said,” Pekka replied. “Still, I am hoping for the time to come where I can forgive you, Johan. You meant a lot to me when I was unsure of what I was doing with the True Thekohnians, and you mean just as much now.”

“If that’s the case, then we’ve got a deal,” Johan said. “This time, I promise that I will inform you two of my decisions before I make them. Is that good with you, Luna?”

“I guess I’m okay with that,” Luna replied. “I hope we’ll be able to get along, Jelka…”

“Don’t worry,” Jelka said. “So long as we set minds forward, we’ll only have to worry about taking down Foundation.”

“Then it’s okay with me!” Luna exclaimed.

Johan chuckled as he looked back over the railing. He would have to move again, this time with an expanded party. The next move would prove difficult, but Johan was certain that with their newfound trust in him, Luna and Pekka would be valuable allies and friends. That said, he had one more person to see before he left, and he hoped to see him soon before the day ended.


To be continued…


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