Aurora – Chapter 35 (Part 2)

[31st of December, 2740 AD; on the road to Glora, Ahnlikohn, passage through Thekohn]

 

“It’s been a while since we fought together like this, hasn’t it?” Mina asked Eva. “Really takes me back…”

“Odd for you to feel nostalgic about that,” Eva said.

There was little Eva could do to forget about the short time she had fought with Mina and the others back when they were in Bel. The memories of that fight were surrounded by the bouts of uncertainty, stress, and loss. All Eva experienced back then did not go away, but she knew that she had to press on.

They took the bus out of the kingdom towards Oelaans, which made for a relaxing trip through the countryside. It was a comforting sight to behold as the land abound caught Eva’s eye. She remembered the last time she had seen such a peaceful sight, which was back in Ameci several months back. However, it was also a time in which Eva had shut herself off from a majority of the world.

“I didn’t bring anything bad up, did I?” Mina asked.

“No, of course not,” Eva replied.

“If you say so, then I won’t ask about it,” Mina said. “I just wanted to make sure that you’d be okay doing this.”

“It’s fine, Mina,” Eva said. “This trip is actually kind of refreshing if I’m to be completely honest with you.”

“Your way of handling when things get tough is so amazing,” Mina replied. “I’m sitting here wondering about my family back in Rezar and I can’t help but be nervous about them. Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate when I think about them and how they’re doing.”

“There’s reason for concern,” Eva said, “But there’s not a lot we can do right now. All we can do is move forward for the time being.”

“That’s true,” Mina said. “I mean, I don’t know for sure what’s happening in Iiayikohn right now, but I know that both my uncle and my mother are probably wondering how everything is going. Especially with that Dezine guy still around and making everything difficult for Ayanna and General Reiss!”

“Someone like Dezine who has that power will not hesitate to use it if he feels like he’s threatened,” Eva said. “That being said, it’ll be some time before we go heading back to Iiayikohn, I imagine.”

“We still have Amelia to talk to,” Mina replied. “Surely we’ll find a way to break through.”

“Johan’s got something planned,” Eva said. “The thing that I wonder about is whether or not we still have to worry about the Ameci military.”

“Do you think we’ll have to deal with them again?” Mina asked.

“I don’t know,” Eva replied. “This is one of those moments where all has gone silent, which makes it that much more difficult to figure out if the enemy’s got an attack planned.”

“I’m sure Rain realizes the possibility,” Mina said. “She and Ayanna and General Reiss have something ready just in case something happens.”

“I’m sure, too,” Eva said. “We can’t be careless, not even for a second. Even if it all seems clear, there’s still that chance and we have to be aware of Ameci’s attack when it comes.”

“Agreed!” Mina said.

Eva had to wonder, though, if Sorin and the others were ready in case that possibility arose. She had faith in them, yet all the same she had some concern in the fact that there was no way to be sure. All Eva could do was wish for the bus to arrive at the destination as soon as possible, because she knew that she and Mina could not wait to help out.

 

*****

 

[31st of December, 2740 AD; Glora Bus Station, Glora, Ahnlikohn – Erithacus District]

 

“Does this bring back any memories for you guys, or is it just me?” Johan asked everybody. “Well, I guess that I shouldn’t ask that since I already know the answer to the question.”

Sorin watched as Johan looked around at the entire group. They had finally arrived in the city of Glora. What surprised Sorin the most when he arrived was the amount of attention that the group had received, or rather, the lack thereof. He anticipated an unpleasant welcome from Ahnlikohn’s very own military, but Sorin saw no such arrival waiting for him and the others.

“So I guess there’s no problem here,” Dustin said. “I would’ve thought that we’d be hustling a little more once we got here, but you look like you’re all about the good times today, Mr. Kuu.”

“As it’s been stated before, military presence from Ameci has been tapering off,” Jelka said. “In turn, that leads to Queen Ahnle and the Ahnlikohnian officials to reduce the amount of soldiers in the city.”

“Ultimately, the queen just wants everything to blow over,” Johan said. “It’s what she wants, though it’s not going to be that easy.”

“Hard for what happened here to just blow over,” Dustin said. “Although she may be the one who’s had to deal with so much in the past few months, that doesn’t mean it can all be ignored.”

“Ignoring the burning building doesn’t make that building go away,” Pekka said. “What does Queen Amelia think will happen if she continues to be stubborn like this?”

“I’m sure that that’s what Rain would like to know as well,” Sorin said. “She has to wonder, I imagine.”

“I too would like to know what Amelia hopes to gain from this,” Jelka said. “There are a lot of questions that I wish to ask her, in fact; but unfortunately, my status would make getting those answers quite problematic.”

“Right, so we gotta make due with the plans we have,” Dustin said. “Gale and Luna, I suppose you guys got a good idea of what you want to say when we reach the castle tomorrow.”

“Please don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten,” Gale said.

“Yeah, it was very important,” Luna said. “We were all going together, the three of us, and we were going to tell the queen that we needed to meet with her over the incidents that have taken place over the last few months. God, I feel so nervous I could just throw up but I can’t even do that because I don’t even feel sick or anything like that.”

“We get it, Luna,” Gale replied. “Anyway, Dustin, the two of us just need you to act as a representative of Rain’s. She obviously can’t make it here so you’ll have to do your share of talking as well.”

“Well, that I can do,” Dustin said. “I’d be happy to try and change the minds up in the castle, though I do wonder if they’ll even let us in.”

“I already said it, didn’t I?” Luna asked. “My father served as a soldier in the royal military. In fact, I’m going to call him and tell him that just in case we may need his help.”

“You sound very sure about this,” Pekka said. “I guess that means even in his retirement, Lino’s never truly finished as a soldier of the royal family.”

“It is like that, yes,” Jelka said. “I have no doubt in my mind that Luna will be able to gain access into the castle, though you will want to keep your guards up if something happens.”

“Do you think something will go wrong?” Gale asked.

Jelka looked to the side. “I’m not worried about Luna’s chances,” she said. “However, something has been eating away at me for a while.”

“This is new,” Johan said. “What’s bugging you?”

“It’s Amelia herself,” Jelka answered. “I can’t say for certain what it is, but I know for sure that even if we get what we want out of this, I still cannot trust her as a person. She was the one who appointed Harring in the first place. Is she too a member of Foundation?”

“We won’t know until we find out for ourselves,” Sorin said.

“Isaac has to be stopped,” Gale said. “This can’t go on any longer.”

“I know that we have to stop him,” Johan said, “But we can’t deviate from the plans we’ve already made. Remember that we all run together.”

Those words rang true, Sorin thought. In the end, he knew that no matter what happened, Sorin would be able to take on Isaac and Foundation as long as he and Johan worked together alongside the others. Even those who were not with the group could be relied on. But what concerned Sorin now was the fact that he and Jelka had to head to Harring’s mansion in order to find clues. He had no idea if they would be able to find anything, though Sorin had a feeling that there would be something of worth there.

 

*****

 

[31st of December, 2740 AD; Ameci Embassy, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]

 

At Isaac’s request, Fercewend invited him into the general’s office. There could be only one reason as to why Isaac wanted to pay him a visit, Fercewend imagined as he sat behind his desk. His concern for Casper Bradley continued to bog his mind as the conflicts piled up. That would change, however, once Isaac and Dezine walked through the door.

“Rohan, answer me this: when a man loses sight of the prize, what do you think happens to him?” Isaac asked.

“I would think he suffers a setback,” Fercewend replied. “When you forget what it is you’re fighting for, your path to victory becomes harder to realize and you’ll be forced to wander until you get back on track.”

Isaac chuckled. “An interesting response.”

“Why do you ask?” Fercewend wondered.

“It’s been some time since we’ve last heard from our dear friend Casper,” Isaac said. “He had his mind set on this very task of his and we’ve not heard at all about the results! Frankly, I’ve become a little concerned for him.”

“It’s easy to fear the worst in times of uncertainty,” Fercewend said.

“Yes, perhaps it’s unlike me to worry,” Isaac said. “I’m only asking because we know what will happen in the case that Casper is unable to perform his duties as president.”

Fercewend sighed. “I would give it some more time,” he replied. “Bradley is not one to be careless.”

“I do agree that Casper is no slouch, but still Ameci must be able to prepare for the worst case scenario,” Isaac said. “If something happens to him while we continue to await Hasker’s arrival, then it all falls onto you, Rohan.”

Fercewend’s eyes looked down at his desk. That power that the presidency possessed would be his to wield and Fercewend could not admit that the thought did not intrigue him. He had been Ameci’s general for a long time, but Fercewend knew that passing up a chance to sit as president would be foolish. Even if only for a mere moment, that power would be his. However, he had no doubt in his mind that he would be a favorite to be Ameci’s president in the future. Sighing, Fercewend looked up at Isaac and saw the small smile on his face.

“But as you’ve said, it may be wise to wait for Casper,” Isaac said. “It will be a while before Piere arrives, so we’ve got that moment of peace until then.”

“Either way, it will be fun to see,” Dezine said.

“So did you just come to tell me about this?” Fercewend asked. “There are other issues that I must tackle even as we’re awaiting the storm clouds.”

“Yes, actually, there was one thing,” Isaac said. “Well, it’s Wilson’s question more than mine, if I’m being honest.”

“That’s true,” Dezine said. “The Moonlit Silence continues to be unwavering and I am worried that it may affect morale in the Iiayikohnian military. General Reiss has been taken in by these scoundrels and I’ve only my select service to rely on at this time.”

“What do you wish to do?” Fercewend asked.

“I’m wondering if you can come rally up the troops,” Dezine said. “I know it may be a little unorthodox for the general of a country’s military to lead another country’s soldiers, but we don’t have a lot of options at this point.”

“If it’s my help you need, then I’d be glad to offer it,” Fercewend said. “But I must warn that I can only help out for a short time as I’ve got my own soldiers to worry about.”

“Speaking of which, have you heard from Crawford?” Isaac asked.

“I spoke with him yesterday,” Fercewend said. “He’s aware of the risk that his father is taking, but he remains calm along with Private Mars and the rest of his squad.”

“Good to hear,” Isaac said. “Well, I’ve got an important call to make. Let’s hope that we hear from Casper soon, shall we?”

As Isaac left, Fercewend had work to do. He was placed in another role by Isaac and could not refuse it. He wondered if there was more to what Isaac had said, but decided not to pursue it further. His job had come first.

 

To be continued…

 

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