Aurora – Chapter 37 (Part 1)

[1st of January, 2741 AD; Inside the Chancellor’s Mansion – First Floor Study, North Glora, Ahnlikohn]

 

Sorin clenched his fist. He had nowhere to run to now that Korbin had his gun trained on him. Had Korbin figured out that he would be here? No, Sorin had a feeling that this was not Korbin’s idea. Isaac had to be involved focused on the Moonlit Silence. Sorin could not count out Harold, either, given that he also had a hand in helping out Chancellor Harring. Above all else, though, Sorin had to get out and find Jelka. But first, he had to deal with Korbin, who was standing right in front of him. There was only one way Sorin could with his adversary now, so he took a deep breath and exhaled.

“You already know I’m not going to lose to you,” Sorin said. “Just move out of the way, because I won’t give up.”

Korbin kept his gun raised, his hand shaking. “I’m not about to let you run off,” he said through parted breaths. “This is it… This is the final time between us, Sorin… And once I’m done with you, I’m going to kill Johan Kuu as well!”

“You didn’t come alone, did you?” Sorin asked.

“I’m not telling you a damn thing,” Korbin said. “All I know is that I’ve got a lot to prove now, and I can start by taking you out and doing everyone a real big favor! Don’t even think about running, because I’ve got my eye on you!”

“Then that means you’re alone,” Sorin replied. “Bradley’s not here with you, is he?”

Korbin growled. “Shut the fuck up!”

“So I’m right after all,” Sorin said. “I didn’t see any Ameci soldiers on the way here, so that means you’re all by yourself right now.”

“Say another word and I’ll shoot you right in the head!” Korbin exclaimed. “I’m not going to waste another second trying to kill you!”

“Go ahead,” Sorin replied. “But I know for a fact that no matter how hard you try, you’ll miss. You’ll miss me because all you know how to do is fail.”

Korbin grumbled. “You truly are a pain in the ass,” he said. “That’s what you think of me? I’m a failure to you?”

He proceeded to laugh. Korbin’s cackling unsettled Sorin for a moment, but he managed to remain focused on what was at hand. He knew that this would not last for long, but Sorin needed a way out sooner rather than later. Once Korbin finished laughing, though, he retrained his aim on Sorin and screamed as loud as he could.

“I’ve had enough of you,” Korbin said, “Now fucking die already!”

“Not a chance,” Jelka said.

Sorin looked behind Korbin and saw Jelka run towards him with her sword drawn. He knew that by having Korbin losing his nerve and yelling, it would help catch Jelka’s attention. Sorin just sped up the process, which turned out to be in his favor.

“You!” Korbin exclaimed as he spun around.

“Sorin, get ready!” Jelka said.

Sorin nodded and drew his sword. “Now it’s over, Korbin!”

He charged forward while Jelka did the same from her end. With both his front and back under attack, Korbin could not defend himself in time. That was what Sorin thought, anyway. With the next strike being important, Sorin swung his sword in a vertical motion. However, Korbin grinned.

“Did you think I wouldn’t have noticed?” Korbin asked.

With his left hand, Korbin pulled out his sword. He raised right behind the back of his neck and defended himself from Sorin’s attack. Meanwhile, he held his right arm up and defended Jelka’s strike. The encounter held still as no one moved an inch.

“I knew you didn’t come alone, Sorin,” Korbin said. “Did you really think I was that stupid?”

“You don’t give up, that’s for sure,” Jelka said. “But we are done playing around, which is why we’ll defeat you!”

“I said I had a lot to prove, Sorin Wilk,” Korbin said. “I didn’t come here to fight; I came to kill!”

Sorin had no idea what Korbin would do next, but he braced himself all the same. Korbin maneuvered himself and ducked down as both Sorin’s and Jelka’s blades connected with each other. They soon separated and turned to face up against Korbin once more. Korbin, though, had already moved and fired off his shot. Sorin could not even react in time, nor could Jelka. Sorin looked down at himself and found no wound, but when he turned to Jelka, all he could do was stare as time seemed to stop.

“I told you,” Korbin said, “I told you that I was going to prove myself… and now I just did.”

Jelka looked down and saw the bloodstain on her chest. She could not utter a word, although she managed to keep standing even as the pain began to arrive for her. Another shot rang out with the bullet hitting Jelka in her stomach, but still she remained standing on her feet. Sorin looked over to Korbin, who held his gun up once more.

“How could you,” Sorin said to Korbin.

He repeated himself again, but this time with an intense rage behind his words. Just as he was about to attack Korbin in retaliation, however, Jelka chose to move forth. She screamed as best she could with her sword raised high and rushed Korbin with all the strength that she had. Korbin fired another shot and got Jelka in her shoulder, but she continued to charge at him.

“You’re still fighting!?” Korbin asked.

“As long as I beat you, then it’s worth it!” Jelka exclaimed.

Sorin had never seen Korbin caught off guard before. The wounds did not appear to phase Jelka, who attacked Korbin head on. Korbin defended himself by raising his blade in time, but Jelka’s tenacity had already shifted the favor away from the leader of the Blood Ravens.

“What are you doing, Sorin?” Jelka asked. “Get out of here, now!”

“I won’t do that,” Sorin said, “Not while I can still help you!”

With his added strength, Sorin helped contribute to the momentum Jelka had over Korbin and knocked him down onto the floor. Korbin lifted up his arm and fired his gun twice more, but this time both of his shots missed Sorin and Jelka. For the first time, Sorin could tell Korbin was at a loss.

“You’re fucking kidding me,” Korbin said. “I was gonna prove myself! I was going to get my fill!”

“For you, it’s over,” Jelka replied as she brandished her sword. “You’ve got no way of getting out of this…”

She took a single step forward towards Korbin, but stopped as she began to cough up blood. Jelka could not move, and Sorin felt as if he could not either. He knew that he had to evacuate the mansion with Jelka and ensure that they both survive, but Korbin was ready to strike.

“I’m not taking any more god damn chances,” Korbin said, getting on one knee and lifting his arm. “You talk all you want about beating me, but I’ve already made my mark! Now die!”

Sorin had to think fast. Jelka was in a lot of pain and in critical condition. He not only had to get her out of the way, but escape as well. Above all else, that was Sorin’s goal. There was no time to consider the options, Sorin just had to take a chance and go with it before Korbin acted.

“Jelka, move!” Sorin exclaimed.

Without a second thought, Sorin hurried towards Jelka. Korbin had his gun ready and trained as he fired the last bullet. Everything felt like a flash of light as Sorin ran and took Jelka by her wrist, rushing with her while she still dealt with the pain Korbin had caused her.

“This… this is it for me,” Jelka said. “You… should’ve just ran for it…”

“If I did that, how could I face Johan?” Sorin asked. “I’m not about to leave you here to die… not while we still have a chance.”

He could not even think about what was happening now. Sorin had gotten what he needed from Harring’s possession and now had Jelka to save. He knew that Jelka’s inflictions were bad to the point of being fatal, but as long as they both continued to hold out long enough, Sorin could go and get Jelka taken care of as soon as possible. However, he had no idea what awaited them outside on the forest’s path.

 

*****

 

[1st of January, 2741 AD; West Ahnle Pass, outside North Glora, Ahnlikohn]

 

Outside the castle gates, Pekka led the others through the chaos. The battle between the royal guards and the Blood Ravens happened as the group moved out of the way of the action. The skirmish continued with the roaring of gunfire and clashing of swords, the combatants oblivious of Pekka’s sneaking. Gale kept herself close behind Pekka and Luna, while Dustin brought up the back.

“You guys haven’t noticed it, have you?” Pekka asked.

“It’s hard to notice anything while we’re running,” Gale said.

“We’re a considerable distance away from the action, so we should be safe for now,” Pekka said. “These men, these Blood Ravens, they’re a much different group of people compared to the Ameci military.”

“You mean they aren’t from Ameci?” Luna asked.

“I think it’s safe to say that these men may have been hired to serve only the Blood Ravens,” Pekka replied. “It’s unlikely that General Fercewend would ever carry out an order such as this, nor would he be so blissfully unaware of such activities carried out like this.”

“What about Bradley?” Gale asked.

“Based on what Johan told me, the commander has his own agenda,” Pekka said. “Bradley acts on a different order from the general’s, which makes a lot of sense considering his father.”

“That’s true,” Gale said. “So Rohan absolutely has no idea this is happening, does he?”

“I know what you’re thinking,” Pekka said. “You shouldn’t hold your breath about this one: the general has a lot of oversight, so he would be complicit in all of this regardless.”

“Thought so,” Gale replied.

“We don’t have a lot of time to think about it,” Dustin said. “That Bradley guy’s still after our asses, isn’t he?”

“Right, we’ll have to talk about it later,” Pekka said.

He looked down the path and saw soldiers heading in the direction of the mansion. Johan was nowhere to be seen, either. Pekka began to worry about his safety as well as Sorin and Jelka’s, but he had faith that they would escape. He had to focus on the current group’s safety and nothing more.

“Did you think you could outrun me?” Bradley asked.

Everyone turned around as Bradley had just arrived. Though he was all by himself, Bradley remained a difficult foe. Pekka had to guess that for his pursuit, Bradley possessed an abundance of tricks in his repertoire. Unless they wanted to keep running away, Pekka knew that he and the others would have to take down this man first.

“Actually, this was just what I wanted,” Pekka replied. “I wanted to draw you out so you’d be all alone.”

Bradley snickered. “Is that so? Well, I guess I can’t blame you for being so cocky,” he said. “If it’s a fight you want, then it’s a fight you’ll get!”

“But first, I’ve got to ensure something,” Pekka said. “Gale, Dustin, you’ve got to run now. Luna, you ought to go with them as well. Let me handle what has to be taken care of.”

“No, I’m not letting you fight him,” Luna replied. “I’m going to go and fight alongside you. This creep is sneaky and he won’t hesitate fighting dirty, I can already tell by looking at him!”

Pekka tried to think of a way to convince her otherwise, but could not. He could trust her, but he had no idea what would happen against Bradley, either. It was a decision he had to make, but if Luna was ready to go, then Pekka had no real choice but to accept.

“Fine, I trust your judgement,” Pekka said. “He’s going to fight dirty? Well, he should remember the last time he went up against us.”

“Gale, we’ll be back before you know it,” Luna said. “Dustin, make sure that Johan and Jelka and Sorin are alright, too!”

“Of course,” Dustin said.

“Please don’t get reckless, guys,” Gale said. “If it starts looking bad, just go ahead and run away.”

Luna smiled. “He’ll never have the chance to try,” she said. “Isn’t that right, Pekka? We’re going to beat the crap out of this guy!”

With that said, Dustin and Gale ran off down the mountain’s path. Pekka was sure they’d make it back safe, but had his own problem to worry about now. He glared over at Bradley, who was busy stretching his neck.

“You got the message, didn’t you?” Pekka asked. “Two on one here means that you’re at a disadvantage, even if you try to call your men.”

“I don’t think I’m gonna need that, my friend,” Bradley replied. “You want to fight me so bad? Well, you got it!”

Pekka leaned close to Luna. “We’re going to draw him away from here,” he whispered. “On the count of three, run.”

“What are you two doing?” Bradley asked. “Stalling for time or something? Are you already trying to chicken out of our fight, you two?”

“We’re only going to try and make it fair,” Pekka replied. “Something that’ll make it easier for us to defeat you… Three! Let’s run, Luna!”

At that moment, Pekka ran with Luna off the path and through the bushes. Pekka had to draw Bradley further away from the path and from his Blood Raven squad. By having him on their heels, Pekka could work with Luna to corner their opponent. Bradley’s men would also be further away and less likely to hear the fight, which was another reason why Pekka thought of his plan. All Pekka and Luna had to do now was defeat Bradley before he could try to escape.

 

To be continued…

 

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