Sundown – Chapter 6 (Part 2)

[6th of September, 2740 AD; Beachside Hotel, Kun, Jiaikohn]


Gavin was not mad that he did not win the tournament. No, he was mad because Prince Amile continued to gloat as he progressed further than Gavin did. As it turned out, using a bow and arrow was indeed different than using a gun, which showed on the scoreboard as Gavin ended up posting the lowest point total of all the participants. The only good thing that Gavin could possibly take away from his loss was that at least Amile did not win either. Still, he thought that it would have been good to go up against Brook, who won the tournament. All Gavin could do now was reflect on it and try to do better next time, because he was sure that he would win.

“Cheer up, Gavvy,” Kiku said. “All that matters is that you had fun, right?”

“Easy for you to say, Miss Izumi,” Gavin replied. “I’m determined to avenge my loss, especially if it means telling that stupid prince to shove it!”

He sat at the restaurant table with Kiku, her bodyguards, Law, Sorin, and Gale. It was quite the feast that they had, with tons of food for everyone that came. If only Mina could see it, Gavin wondered to himself.

“I heard you really put on a show out there,” Law said. “If only I could’ve seen it, bro, because I really am glad that I didn’t go out there.”

“Keep it to yourself,” Gavin said.

“You did a lot better than I expected,” Sorin said. “That’s something to take away.”

“Oh sure, go ahead and rub more salt in the fucking wound,” Gavin replied. “I’d kick your ass, but I’m already too mad to care.”

“Let’s try and be more nice, okay,” Ayame said. “Madame, that bronze trophy is quite nice, isn’t it?”

Kiku looked down at the trophy by her chair. It was a small, bronze bowl with a flower painted on the inside. “Thank you, Aya.”

Ayame patted Kiku on the head. “You’re very welcome,” she replied. “Anyway, you put up a decent performance out there, Gavin. Perhaps it wasn’t the best, but for being the first Ameci to participate it was an admirable score.”

“The best foot was put forward by you,” Igor said. “Take pride in that.”

“So you mean I put my best foot forward?” Gavin asked. “It’s fine. What’s done is done, so I’m just going to move on from this.”

“Hey, at least we still have the bounty hunter job,” Law said.

“We didn’t even capture our target,” Gavin replied. “This trip was for nothing at all. How could that be good?”

“We got to see you again,” Gale answered. “By the way, where exactly did you go off to, Law?”

“Oh, that,” Law said. “I had to make a phone call.”

“If I had to guess, it would be Ayanna, right?” Sorin asked.

“You’re way too good at this,” Law replied. “There’s nothing wrong with checking up on the woman I love, is there?”

“I wasn’t saying that,” Sorin said.

“Of course you didn’t,” Law said, “I’m just saying it before anyone suggested something alternative from the reality. Huh, looks like we’ve got some company.”

Gavin sighed. “What are you even talking about?”

“Look right behind you, bro.”

He turned around and saw Amile and Amos standing by the table. Amos was carrying Amile’s silver trophy, a much larger bowl that had a white feather painted on the inside. Gavin and Law stood up and faced the two while the others looked at what was about to happen.

“Still feeling down, are you?” Amile asked. He laughed loud enough for other people to notice. “Think of it this way, bud: when the next Ameci decides to participate next year, they’ll do above and beyond what you’ve accomplished!”

“Good one,” Amos said.

Gavin rolled his eyes. “Is this what you’re going to do? Come out to our table and mock me?”

“It’s all in good fun,” Amile said. “Isn’t that right, Kiku-doll?”

Kiku put down her tea cup. “I bet you say that to all the girls, don’t you?”

“What can I say? I’m a handsome man,” Amile replied. “At least that’s what all the ladies tell me.”

“What they tell you, is it?” Law asked. “So, Prince Amile, how about I blow your mind for second?”

“Go right ahead,” Amile said.

Law chuckled. “That’s what I like to hear,” he said. “Anyway, I’m holding this really nice knife here… It’s quite remarkable, isn’t it?”

Everybody except for Amile looked at Law, but could see no knife in his hands. Gavin realized what his brother was trying to do, and kept quiet.

“Tell me, Prince Amile,” Law said, “Can you tell me what brand of knife it is that I’m holding?”

“Well, you’re going to have to let me hold it,” he replied. “That’s the best way to tell, after all.”

“Why don’t you just come out and say it?” Law asked. “You can’t see at all, can you? That’s why Amos is always by your side, isn’t it?”

Amile laughed as he pushed up his sunglasses. “What a funny joke,” he said. “If this is your definition of blowing my mind, then I’m quite impressed.”

“Brother, perhaps it’s best we go,” Amos said as he grabbed Amile’s hand.

“There it is,” Law said. “He’s leading you off again, just like he did before.”

“Is it really true?” Kiku asked. “I had no idea…”

“Looks like I have no other choice,” Amile said.

“You don’t have to answer them if you don’t want to,” Amos said. “We have to leave tomorrow anyway, so perhaps it’s for the best.”

“Amos, please,” Amile replied, “You need not continue to help for my sake. It’s as you say, Law Power: I am blind.”

“It’s quite impressive, to be honest,” Law said. “Now I really wished I could have seen the tournament for myself.”

“He cheated!” Gavin exclaimed. “It’s one-on-one out there, not one-on-two! How the hell did anyone let that fly!?”

“Hey, my brother didn’t do anything besides call out to me,” Amile said. “My ears are quite good, after all. All I did was determine where to shoot based on what I heard.”

“Besides, we already informed the officials in private prior to the tournament,” Amos said. “Clearly they did not have any problems, so I assume that you should have any either.”

“Sounds like you just wanted an excuse in case you lost,” Gavin said.

“No, I’m rather quite confident in my abilities, bud,” Amile replied. “I pray that should we meet next time, you’ll display the same confidence. Come along, dear Amos.”

He and Amos walked away from the table as Law sat back down. Gavin wanted to have the last word but he was not going to get it now, so he decided to sit down as well. All Gavin wanted was to head back to Rezar with his brother and get back to working again. He did not want to waste any more time thinking about Prince Amile, because it was meaningless.

“Now that that’s over, may I ask a question?” Igor asked.

Ayame leaned in. “What is it?”

“All this time I’ve been wondering to myself about Gavin,” Igor said. “I finally know why that is.”

“Got something to say, then?” Gavin asked.

“Well, looks like I ought to listen to this, too,” Law said. “Lay it on us, Iggy, because we have all night.”

“So, it seems like my father may have known yours,” Igor replied. “It was about twelve years ago during the war when the two crossed paths.”

Gavin crossed his arms. “That’s all you know?”

“If I know anything else, I suppose I’ll inform you,” Igor said.

“You’ll have to do a lot more than ‘suppose’ for us,” Law said. “Ivan’s a talented man in his own right, so for him to meet with my old man shouldn’t be a coincidence.”

Igor nodded. “Got it,” he said. “Next time we meet, I will tell you all that you want to know.”

“Oh, if only this night could never end,” Kiku said. “We’re all having the time of our lives and it’s all going to end tomorrow when you guys leave!”

“You should come visit us sometime,” Gale said. “Surely you can arrange a visit to Iiayikohn in the near future?”

“It’s a difficult task, considering mother,” Kiku replied, “But I am a free spirit and my desire to meet the lovely people of this world is quite high.”

“It’s also a dangerous world as well, Madame,” Ayame said, “We must not forget what had happened in Rezar only a few months ago.”

“True, it’s a risk stepping out into the open world,” Kiku said. “That’s all the more reason we should do it, Aya! If wonderful people like Gigi and Wilkie exist, then surely the rest of the world is just as good, too!”

Ayame rubbed Kiku’s back. “Igor and I will speak with Madame Yamazaki.”

“You promise?” Kiku asked.

“Of course we will, won’t we, Iggy?”

“Yes, yes we will, Ayame!” Igor replied. “We will talk to her about trotting this globe!”

“Thank you for that, Aya,” Kiku said. “How about a celebratory kiss?”

“I don’t see much harm with a peck on the cheek,” Ayame said.

The two closed in as Kiku planted her lips on Ayame’s right cheek. Ayame blushed for a moment as Kiku wrapped her arms around her, until finally Kiku had enough and pulled away.

“That was quite a display,” Ayame said. “If I knew you were going to do that, I would have been more hesitant…”

Kiku smiled. “Hehehe, I think I got a bit of your lips on that one,” she said. “Maybe next time I’ll get to have a complete kiss on the lips with you!”

“I guess that’s settled then,” Law said. “We’ve got a big trip tomorrow, bro; are you ready?”

“You don’t need to ask me that,” Gavin said.

“Watching you leave will be difficult,” Kiku said, “But I already know that I will see you all again, so there’s no reason to despair when I have hope.”

“Why not give us all something to remember you by for the time being?” Sorin asked.

“Yeah, how about giving all of us what you gave to lovely Ayame over there?” Law asked. “Of course, you can skip my bro since he doesn’t like that sort of stuff anyway.”

“Lawrence, learn to shut your mouth,” Gavin said.

“Sorry, but I can’t,” Kiku replied. “My kisses are only for Aya and my eventual special someone.”

“Too bad, Iggy,” Law said. “Looks like you’re missing out.”

“You should really stop calling me that,” Igor said.

“Oh don’t be such a spoilsport, Iggy!” Kiku said. “I think we’ve gotten past the formalities where we can all be considered friends. Lighten up!”

Igor sighed. “Not again…”

Everybody laughed, even Gavin, as the celebration continued into the night. He knew that they had to leave for Iiayikohn tomorrow, but Gavin enjoyed the time they were spending right now. It was the first time in a while that he felt like he had people he could rely on and he knew that Law probably felt the same way, too.




Inside his hotel room, Amile was talking with someone on the phone. He had to make the call after he received a telegram from Amos the day prior, in which it stated he had no choice to but make the call. Amos watched as his brother received the call and began to talk.

“Hello?” Amile asked.

The person on the other line answered and spoke in a low voice. “I assume that this is Prince Amile that I am speaking with?”

Amile clenched his fist as it started to shake. “That letter… did you send it?”

“Now Amile, calm yourself,” they replied. “You do know what will happen should you breach our trust?”

“Who are you!?”

“Brother, please quiet down,” Amos said. “We don’t want anyone to know, do we?”

“I’m… I’m sorry,” Amile said. “Please just tell me what you want.”

“It’s a simple job,” the person said. “This is the perfect task for someone like yourself to take care of, after all. The stakes just make it all the more better to get you to cooperate.”

“You’re just a bastard,” Amile replied. “A slimy bastard that toys with other people, aren’t you?”

“My, you’re fiery tonight. I guess you must not care about what happens,” they replied. “I could just hang up and watch you deal with the repercussions of your actions…”

“N-No, don’t you dare!” Amile said. “Just tell me what to do.”

“Glad to see you’ve come around,” the person said. “There is but one thing I want you to do, Prince Amile, but first tell me: you are alone, are you not?”

“Only my brother is with me,” Amile answered. “You can trust him not to tell a soul about this.”

“I’d hate for him to get involved, but if it’s as you say, then I can make an exception,” they said. “Are you ready?”

“Yes,” Amile said.

“Looks like I’ve made the right choice,” the person said. “Very well. Please listen carefully, because I am only going to say this once.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter


Sundown – Chapter 6 (Part 1)

[6th of September, 2740 AD; Kun Tournament Hall, Kun, Jiaikohn]


The dawn of a new day brought many visitors from all over the world as the Thekohnian Accuracy Tournament was only an hour away from starting. Kiku was about to show off her skill in front of a large audience and, to Sorin’s surprise, she was squirming in her chair as Ayame patted her on the back. Gale came into the room and handed Kiku a hot cup of tea.

“Thank you so much, Gigi,” Kiku said as she took a sip. “I’m so nervous about today… Oh poppies, I knew I forgot something!”

“What is it, Madame?” Ayame asked.

“It’s such a blunder, Aya, but I forgot to put on a pair of panties this morning,” she replied. “I spent so much time worrying about my nicest white dress and how I was going to greet the crowds that I forgot the most important thing!”

“While that is too much information, I can understand why you’d be nervous,” Gale said. “You shouldn’t have to worry about it, though; just treat everyone in the crowd as you would us.”

Kiku giggled as she took another drink. “You really know how to console somebody, don’t you?”

“I was just offering a suggestion,” she replied.

“It is quite a good idea,” Ayame said.

“Thanks,” Kiku said.  “I just hope it isn’t too windy today… Or maybe that’d be something you would like to see happen, wouldn’t you, Wilkie?”

“Why are you asking me?” Sorin asked.

“Oh, nothing,” she replied.

“Anyway, where’s Igor?” Gale asked. “He’s been outside for quite a while, hasn’t he?”

“Come to think of it, he did say that he had some business to attend to,” Ayame commented. “What could be keeping him busy?”




Gavin stood at the sign-up desk, his fist firmly planted on the surface as Law and Igor could only watch him stare down the female attendant. It had been nearly an hour and Gavin was not about to give up here.

“Could you calm down, Mr. Powers?” Igor asked. “People are looking at us.”

“It’s ‘Power,’ and no,” Gavin replied. “These idiots are taking too long to sign me up. It’s a load of bullshit if you ask me!”

“Oh for heaven’s sake… Excuse me,” Igor said to the attendant, “Perhaps you can push this along a little thing, because he’s got a lot of ants in his shoes.”

Law chuckled. “That’s quite a way to put it,” he said. “I suppose you mean ‘antsy,’ Iggy?”

“Oh, not you too,” Igor said. “Only Madame Izumi and Miss Hayashi can call me that.”

“So Ayame can call you that just fine, then?” Law asked. “Interesting. Very interesting indeed.”

Igor slapped his hand upon his head. “Whatever.”

“So I’ve been looking at your identification, Mr. Gavin Power,” the attendant said. “You were born in Ameci, right?”

“Yes,” Gavin replied. “What about it?”

“It’s just that we’ve never had a participant from Ameci before,” she answered. “There’s something about that that really would be an interest to the crowd out there.”

“That’s news to me,” Gavin said.

“Sounds like we’re set for a milestone,” Law said. “The first ever Ameci-born participant in the Thekohnian Accuracy Tournament. That’s quite an honor, wouldn’t you say, bro?”

“Well, it’s certainly an honor to me,” the attendant said. “Of course we can get you set up right away. Just head over to the desk at the end of the room and they’ll hand you all the necessary stuff.”

Gavin nodded. “Thank you.”

“Looks like you two got what you needed,” Igor said. “I have to go back and see how Madame Izumi is doing, so if you do not mind…”

Igor walked away from the brothers, who decided to head the the check-in desk. The blue walls were much more calming than they were before as Gavin turned to Law.

“Looks like I’m up to the task,” he said. “That whole crowd is going to see the amazing skill of a man who put tons of hard work into precise and efficient aiming.”

“I’m glad it’s gonna be you out there, bro.”

“Of course it’s going to be me, Lawrence,” Gavin said. “Who else would it be?”

“Not what I meant,” Law replied. “I’m saying that because it’s not going to be me who has the potential for failure. Just saying.”

Gavin scoffed. “If you think I’m going to fail, then you’ve got another thing coming.”

“We’ll see, I guess.”

“You really are an annoyance, you know that?”

But before Law could reply, Gavin ended up bumping into another man on his way to the desk. Gavin looked and saw the man turn around, revealing himself: a tall, blond man wearing sunglasses and dressed in a beige shirt and long, black cape.

“Move it!” Gavin demanded.

“That’s quite a way to introduce yourself,” he said. “Quite an authoritative voice aren’t you, bud?”

“Who are you calling ‘bud,’ jackass?” Gavin asked.

“Oh, you obviously,” the man replied. “After all, I’m going to go up against you in the tournament sooner or later, right Mr. Power?”

“How do you know my name?”

“It’s hard not to hear you yelling out our lovely attendants,” he replied. “By the way, my name is Amile Ahnle, the crown prince of Ahnlikohn.”

Gavin took a step back. “E-Excuse me?”

“How disappointing,” Law said. “I figured that if we were going to see some royalty, it’d be a beautiful princess.”

“And who may you be?” Amile asked.

“That’s pretty rude of you, if I’m being honest,” Law replied. “Fine. I’m Law Power, the younger and more dashingly handsome brother of this guy here.”

Gavin slapped Law on the back of the head. “Younger, sure,” he said, “But you’re more a nuisance than anything else.”

“Sounds like quite a quarrel,” Amile said. “Makes me think of my own younger brother. Say, he’s still around here, isn’t he?”

“The fuck are you asking us for?” Gavin asked.

Amile laughed. “Well, he’s usually around somewhere,” he said. “Amos, can you hear me?”

Almost as if on cue, the younger brother of Amile came running to his side. The younger, shorter-haired blond looked at Amile and then to Gavin and Law.

“Are those two bothering you, brother?” Amos asked.

“I’m having fun, to be quite frank,” Amile answered. “That man over there was the one making that spectacle earlier, what with his proclamations and all that good stuff.”

“Ah, that’s the Ameci participant, then?”

“Representing your country is quite a tall order,” Amile said. “To announce such pride for your homeland is inspiring. I look forward to seeing what the crowds have to say upon your debut.”

“Prince Amile, you really do like to fluster the other opponents, don’t you?”

“There’s only one person who that voice belongs to,” Amile said. “Looks like you’ve decided to show up, Prince Brook of Thekohn.”

At the other side of the group stood Brook Rio Thedam, the primary representative from the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn. He laughed as he joined in the small group in front of the desk.

“So you’re all alone, then,” Amos said.

“Unfortunately, that’s the case,” Brook replied. “Not like it matters, because I’m pretty sure that I’m going to win regardless.”

“That’s a shame,” Amile said. “I miss hearing Rain’s lovely voice. I take it she’s doing her own thing?”

“It’s none of your concern,” Brook said. “What you should be concerned about is your own performance.”

“Yeah, you should worry about what you’re going to do out there, you fucking asshole!” Gavin said.

“Thanks for repeating what I just said with much more colorful words,” Brook said. “You, too, need to worry about yourself; after all, you’re the Ameci with a lot of high expectations on himself.”

“Yeah he is,” Law replied. “Anyway, about this sister, the princess… you wouldn’t happen to have any photos of her, would you?”

“Lord, I can’t believe this,” Brook said to himself. “Mind yourself not with my sisters, because you should be worried about your brother.”

Brook walked off as Gavin sighed.

“Whatever, man,” Law said. “I’ll just have to ask the ‘clown prince’ over here, instead.”

“Sorry, but that’s ‘crown prince,’ bud,” Amile said. “As in: I’m the heir to the throne of the Royal Family of Ahnlikohn.”

“Spare me the explanation,” Law replied. “Tell me more about this ‘Rain’ woman.”

“I would love to dwell on Thekohn’s own lovely Rain-doll, but I do have other stuff I must attend to,” Amile said. “Amos, please.”

“Of course, brother,” Amos replied. “Come with me.”

Amos walked away first, with Amile closely following behind him. Gavin clenched his fist, raised up as he growled.

“I don’t care if he’s a prince or not,” he said, “I’m going to kick his ass!”

“Hopefully you mean in the tournament,” Law said. “I can’t imagine the trouble we’d be in if we’d actually had to fight them.”

“Right, you mean in the tournament,” Gavin said. “I’m sorry, but that guy really pushes my buttons.”

“Yeah, I can’t say I care for him either,” Law replied. “Seems like one of those guys that just thinks of life like it’s a game.”

Gavin stared at Law with a puzzled look on his face. “You’re one to talk,” he replied.

“I feel insulted that you’d compare me to him,” Law said, “But I’m still going to wish you good luck out there, whether you like it or not.”

“Let’s not waste anymore time,” Gavin said. “For now, I’m just going to get the equipment and head to the locker room.”




The hour had passed and the tournament opened with a ceremony that everyone was sure to remember. A large orchestra played the ceremonial melody for the opening of the tournament as all of the eight participants made their way onto the field one by one. Sorin and Gale took their seats at the ground-level seats and watched as Kiku waved to the crowd and smiled. Nearly everyone in the audience applauded and cheered as Kiku walked over to the archery range.

“Good luck out there, Kiku!” Gale said.

“Can she hear us?” Sorin asked. “It’s pretty loud.”

“I’m sure she can,” she replied. “Oh, look, there’s Gavin!”

They turned their attention to Gavin, who walked out onto the field with Law beside him. As the announcer brought attention to his Ameci nationality, Gavin received a moderate applause. With one look to the crowd, Gavin immediately turned away and headed to the range. Once there, he bumped into Amile again.

“I guess he wasn’t too happy about the response,” Gale said.

“He’s talking with that one guy over there,” Sorin replied, “The one with the sunglasses. Wonder what they’re saying…”

“Maybe he’s wishing the other guy well?” Gale asked.

“This is Gavin we’re talking about,” Sorin said, “So I highly doubt that.”


With all participants on the range, Kiku had to step in between Gavin and Amile before it got any worse. Gavin stood there with his bow in one hand and his other hand balled up into a fist as he just shook his head.

“Now, now, Gavvy,” she said, “I know you’re heated up, but please try not to get yourself disqualified due to something Mimi said.”

“Kiku-doll is right,” Amile said. “Surely you can channel your passion into this little game we’re going to have, right?”

“Believe me, I can do just that,” Gavin replied, “And if it’s you I’m going to go up against, all the more reason to do it.”

Amile chuckled. “Glad to hear it, bud,” he said. “Amos, do you see the official yet?”

“She’s coming down here as we speak,” Amos answered. “Looks like we’ll be getting the draw now.”

The woman wore a black and white uniform as she finally arrived to the group. A small name tag on her outfit said “Yumi” as she held a black hat in her hand. Everyone gathered together as she began to speak.

“Hello, and welcome to all of you,” Yumi said. “I’m happy to see that everyone here is ready for the events that are about to happen.”

“Same to you, doll,” Amile replied.

“Anyway, I’m sure you’re all wondering who’s facing who in the opening round,” she continued. “That is why I have this hat here: to reveal exactly who each of you will face.”

“Good luck to everyone!” Kiku exclaimed.

Yumi reached into the hat and pulled out the first slip of paper. “Before I announce the first matchup, there is one clarification of the rules,” she said. “The four people who score the highest amount of points will move on to the next round, so even if you lose your matchup you might still have a chance.”

“Hear that, Mr. Power?” Amile asked. “There might be hope for you yet!”

“Shut it,” Gavin retorted.

“If you’re done, then let me read the first draw,” Yumi said. “The first matchup will be between Gavin Power of Ameci and Prince Amile Ahnle of Ahnlikohn.”

Amile patted Gavin on the shoulder. “Looks like it’s true, bud,” he said. “You’re gonna be facing Amos and I after all!”

“Don’t touch me,” Gavin said, “And why is he here anyway?”

“Well, it’s because I need someone to cheer me on,” Amile replied. “Now come on, if you want to beat me, you’ll need to head over to your positon.”

Gavin grumbled. “You’ll see.”

“Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the next matchup,” Yumi said. “Kiku Izumi of Kikuisha and Prince Brook Rio Thedam of the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn, you will be facing off in the second matchup.”

“Oh, I finally get to face you, Brooksy!” Kiku said. “Care for a hug before we go?”

“How could I refuse?” Brook asked.

Kiku and Brook hugged each other as Yumi continued to call the rest of the matchups. After that, the two of them went over and started their big matchup. Meanwhile, Gavin looked over at Amile and Amos, who were busy getting set up on their side.

“Look over the target for me, will you Amos?”

“Very well, brother.”

Amos hopped over the small barrier and ran out to the large target on the other side. Amile grabbed his bow and arrow and stretched out the wire.

“If you want to see a talented sharpshooter in action, then you’ve got one, Mr. Power,” Amile said. “Amos, let’s go!”

“Ready when you are!” Amos responded.

Amile let the arrow go as Gavin watched it fly through the air. He could not believe it, but the arrow landed close to the bullseye as Amos confirmed the shot.

“No way,” Gavin said. “You really think you can intimidate me like that?”

“If you can do better, then go ahead,” Amile replied. “Just don’t go attacking me when I win.”

Gavin picked up his bow and arrow and got set. “Fuck off,” he said.

It was his time to shine, Gavin thought. This was the moment where he’d show off his impressive aim and finally get to silence that obnoxious prince. All he had to do was post a higher score and it would all be golden. That was it. With the shot on its way, Gavin knew that he had this match in the bag.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 5 (Part 2)

After having some drinks and conversation, Sorin watched as Gavin stood up and head outside. He decided to join the other man outside and found him looking up at the sky. It was a cloudless night and even though the streets were illuminated by the streetlights, the stars could be seen shining with the bright side of the moon peeking out. Sorin stood next to Gavin, joining him in looking up at the stars.

“It’s quite a view, isn’t it?” Gavin asked.

“Never thought I’d hear that from you,” Sorin said.

“Just goes to show you that you should expect the unexpected.”

“I guess so,” Sorin replied. “Do you just like wearing your sunglasses all the time, or is there something I don’t know about?”

Gavin looked at Sorin. “You have a problem with me wearing sunglasses?”

“Of course not,” Sorin said.

“Sorry, that was rude of me,” Gavin said. “These sunglasses belonged to my father. You could say that I’m wearing them in his honor.”

“I didn’t know. I’m sorry if I brought up any bad memories.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Gavin replied. “Nobody actually bothered to ask me about it, so you’re the first one.”

“Is that why you joined the military?” Sorin asked.

“No,” he said. “It was for Lawrence and myself. One can only work part time jobs for so long before desiring stability.”

“I see.”

“It’s surprising to me that you never considered joining,” Gavin said. “Was that delivery gig that good?”

Sorin shook his head. “The past few years I had a one room apartment,” he said. “I had a little money saved up, but nothing better than that.”

“It’s a pain in the ass is what it is,” Gavin replied. “You and I have some similarities after all. Consider yourself honored.”

Sorin was not sure if he should laugh.

“I try not to think about it too much,” Gavin continued. “Besides, I don’t live in Ameci anymore and, if I’m being honest, I don’t miss it one bit.”

“Because of your brother, right?”

“I care about him a lot, but no,” Gavin said, “Ameci’s been going down the shitter ever since the War of the Lands, and people like my brother and I have no place in it. Hard work can only get you so far, because money and power are the only things that matter there.”

“I know what you mean…”

“You told me your father wanted to change things back home, right?” Gavin asked. “I wish Kirk well, because it’ll be a hell of an uphill battle for him.”

“Thanks, I guess?”

“You don’t need to thank me,” Gavin said. “If there’s any word that can describe your father, it would be persistent. Nothing wrong with that at all.”

“Not wrong about that at all,” Sorin replied. “Sometimes I wonder if what I’m doing is the right thing… Is this the path that I’m supposed to take?”

“Oh please, I’ve told you before, haven’t I?” Gavin asked. “You’re the one who chose your path, so you better keep fighting. Get stronger, because you’ve done it before.”


“I don’t know how I can simplify it for you even further,” Gavin said.

There was not a response Sorin had for that, so he decided to change the subject. “So this person you’re looking for,” he said, “It’s an interesting task, bringing you all the way down here.”

“It was Lawrence’s suggestion,” Gavin replied. “There was a chance that one of them could be here in Jiaikohn, plus the reward is quite generous. Hard to pass up a bounty like that.”

“Can’t argue with you there,” Sorin said.

Their conversation was interrupted by a brief rustling nearby, the sound of falling boxes ringing in Sorin’s ears. Gavin turned and looked as did Sorin, and saw an unidentifiable person jumping over a waist-high fence on the other side of the street.

“Wait right here,” Gavin said.

He started to walk off in the direction of the fallen boxes, but Sorin decided to go with him.

“What are hell are you doing?”

“Sorry, Gavin,” Sorin replied. “I want to help.”

“You can’t be serious,” Gavin said. “You’re just going follow me regardless, so I guess you should just back me up.”

They made it over to the other side where the boxes were, and hopped over the fence as they pursued the unknown person. Off in the distance, Sorin could see they had long, black hair and what appeared to be a sheathed sword at their side. He did not think it was possible, but perhaps that it could be Rysol. All Sorin could do was keep going and try to catch up with them, because the other person showed no signs of slowing down.

“This person you’re looking for,” Sorin spoke between breaths, “They wouldn’t happen to know about Rysol, would they?”

“What kind of question is that?” Gavin asked.

“Answer me, damn it!”

“Fine, I suppose you deserve to know,” Gavin said. “The other day, I received a request… It was your brother who they were asking for…”

“No way!” Sorin said.

“But we have reason to believe that a True Thekohnian is behind it,” Gavin said. “I assume that Rysol will lead us to this person one way or another.”

“Then there’s only one we should do.”

They followed the person deep into the empty park until they found him standing before a group of three people, all of them wearing dark red uniforms. Now that they stopped, Sorin could get a better view from afar as Gavin drew his pistol. The man had both of his fists clenched, growling as the group of three circled him.

“The rumors are true,” said the woman with lengthy, dark brown hair. “Rysol Wilk is indeed alive and well.”

“Do whatever you to me,” Rysol said. “Just leave them out of this.”

“You mean those two over there?”

She reached to her side and took out her sword. Gavin remained focused on her and the two men at either side.

“If you’re going to shoot, then do it,” she said. “Otherwise, leave us to our business.”

“That’s not going to happen,” Gavin replied. “I’ve been tasked to find a wanted criminal, and it looks like I’ve got more than I expected. It’s already over for you and the rest of the True Thekohnians, so give it up!”

The woman tried her best to stifle her laughter. “What an ignorant fool you are,” she said. “The True Thekohnians? We want nothing to do with such filth!”

“Yet you’re no better than them,” Rysol said.

“Claim it all you want, Rysol, but we have a purpose,” she replied. “To enact radical change within the Thekohnian Region, that is the ultimate goal of the Neu Thekohnian Order.”

“The what now?” Sorin asked.

“I’ve heard things, but it looks like you’re the real deal,” Gavin said. A grin formed on his face as his grip on the gun tightened. “That’s even better.”

“Quite an enthusiastic look upon your stupid face,” the woman said. “All the more reason for I, Jelka Arne, to strike you down as hard as I can!”

The two men drew their guns, which lead Rysol to take out his sword.

“If you want them, then you’ll have to go through me!” Rysol said.

“So be it,” Jelka said.

“Let me have the first crack, boss!”

The man on her left ran towards Rysol, his gun ready to go, but was struck in the arm by a bullet from afar. Sorin turned to Gavin, who was still pointing his gun at Jelka. Law then came running up to join them, Ayame following quickly behind him.

“You really ought to let me know when you’re going to have some fun, bro,” Law said. “I was about to miss the rumble, too!”

“I didn’t want to risk losing them,” Gavin replied. “Ayame, I take that it was you who took that shot?”

“There’s no time for that!” Ayame said.

Jelka lowered her sword. “It looks like I’ve been outnumbered,” she said. “No matter, I already got what I needed.”

The man on her right looked at her. “What you needed? But that wasn’t the goal, was it!?”

“You should be quiet,” Jelka said.

She thrust the butt of her sword into the side of the man’s neck, which caused him to fall to the ground. That was when she reached into the pocket of her coat and threw something to the ground. A large cloud of smoke appeared , obscuring Jelka from view.

“What the hell?” Gavin asked. He gripped the trigger and was about to pull, but Ayame intervened.

“You don’t know what you’ll hit,” she said, “But I suggest we keep our guards up just in case.”

After a few seconds, the smoke cleared and revealed that both Rysol and Jelka left. Only the two men remained, one ailing from a strike to his neck while the other tended to the wound in his arm. Ayame kept her gun trained on them, as did Gavin, while Sorin looked over at Law.

“Gale and the others, they’re fine, right?” Sorin asked.

“That other other bodyguard’s there,” Law replied. “Figured he’d be good at keeping the peace there. Still, I would love to see what Kiku’s doing with Gale right about now…”

“That’s good to know,” Sorin said. “Shit, I didn’t expect him to run away so fast.”

Ayame knelt next to one of the men on the ground. “You,” she said, “Who do you work for?”

“I’d rather die than tell you!”

She pressed the barrel of her gun into the back of his head. “Do you really wish to test me? I know you’re hiding something from us, so unless you want to actually die, you will tell me.”

“We’re… from the Neu Thekohnian Order,” the second man uttered. “Jelka Arne… she’s the leader of the group…”

The first man scoffed. “Traitor!”

“Looks like your friend has compassion,” Ayame said. “Mr. Law, would you and Sorin mind alerting the authorities?”

“Come on, man,” Law said to Sorin. “Let’s let Ayame and my bro handle these two before it gets ugly.”

Sorin agreed and headed towards the nearest phone they could find and made the necessary call. A few minutes passed by and a couple of officers showed up to arrest the men. With that taken care of, Sorin, Gavin, Law, and Ayame headed back to reunite with the others back at the tea house.




Back at the hotel, Sorin decided to spend some time by himself on the deck that overlooked the beach. However, Gavin, Law, and Ayame were already sitting at a table talking with each other. Seeing no other option besides sitting by himself, Sorin decided to join the three.

“Can’t sleep, can you?” Law asked.

“I keep thinking about what happened earlier,” Sorin said. “What could Rysol be doing here? Why didn’t he talk to me?”

“Honestly, I think we have more pressing issues to worry about,” Law said. “Like why a new group has suddenly showed up.”

“It’s just another group of terrorists that only want to cause havoc,” Ayame replied. “The Neu Thekohnian Order may be a younger group, but it’s all the same for us here.”

“I wonder,” Gavin said.

“You did mention that they wanted absolutely nothing to do with the True Thekohnians, bro,” Law said. “Perhaps a falling out occurred?”

“That would explain why they knew about your brother,” Gavin said.

“Possibly,” Sorin said. “Ayame, I wanted to ask you something.”

“Go ahead,” she replied.

“Back there in the park, you showed off a side I didn’t expect to see,” Sorin said. “Is there something personal between you and the Neu Thekohnian Order?”

“Not at all,” Ayame said. “The way I operate against each dangerous threat to Madame Izumi is the same way. I have no idea how you Ameci handle it, but that was the way I was taught.”

“Well, that’s what I like about you,” Law said. “Kiku is fortunate to have someone like you guarding her each night.”

“Only because I have Iggy with me,” Ayame replied. “I mean… it’s because of the teamwork between Mr. Kuznetsov and I that Kiku is safe each night.”

Law smiled. “I see,” he said. “If only he was keen on how you felt about him. I’d say I’m jealous, but I’m already pretty happy myself.”

“Please keep your wild thoughts to yourself,” Ayame said. “Anyway, Sorin, if you intend on becoming stronger, then you must be able to handle whatever threat comes your way. The enemy will not hold back, so neither should you.”

“Continuing off what Ayame just said, it’s also important to realize that all of these True Thekohnians, NTOs, and others have goals just like you and me,” Law said. “They’re only humans like us; why else would they fight so passionately for what they believe in?”

“More reason to fight back even harder,” Gavin said. “Up against Wihll, I knew that he was going to come at me with everything he had. If I held back, if I chose to have restraint there, well, I’d probably not be here today.”

“That’s why you’re you, bro,” Law said, “You may be as exciting as watching grass grow, but you go above and beyond for others.”

“Now if you only did your part instead of waste time, we’d be a perfect team,” Gavin replied.

“Okay, you two, that’s enough,” Ayame said. “Do you understand now, Sorin?”

“I think so,” he answered.

“It’s getting quite late,” Gavin said. “If we’re going to head to that thing tomorrow, then we’ll need to get to sleep now.”

Law stretched out his arms and yawned. “As much as I’d love to keep talking to Ayame, you’re right,” he said. “Besides, there’ll be plenty of times to speak in the morning.”

“Do it on your own time, Mr. Law,” Ayame said.

“Ah well,” Law replied.

He and Ayame headed back inside as Gavin followed. Before he entered, however, he turned back to Sorin, who was still looking out to the beach.

“Are you coming?” Gavin asked.

“Yeah, I’ll be there.”

All Sorin could do now was sleep, it seemed. There was no chance he would ever run into Rysol again, but it did give Sorin hope. Hope that his brother was alive, out there, fighting for his survival. If only he had a way to meet him again, he would, but until the next time Sorin would have to heed what his friends said to him. That was what he had to do.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 5 (Part 1)

[5th of September, 2740 AD; Plaza in the Starlight, Kun, Jiaikohn]


The trip back to Jiaikohn was an easy one as Sorin and Gale got off the ship with their new friend Kiku. Her bodyguards were the first to go ahead, making sure that the empress’ daughter would be able to make it to the hotel that they would be staying at for the night. A green bus was waiting for them by the curb as the five stepped on.

“Wasn’t that ride just amazing, Gigi?” Kiku asked as she took a seat next to Ayame. “Ah, I can’t wait to get to the tournament hall and meet everyone!”

Gale sat next to Sorin as she turned to Kiku. “You’ve been such a great host to us,” she said. “Really, we can’t thank you enough.”

“I told you,” Kiku said, “You’re my friends. I guess it’s going to be pretty sad once this tournament is over, though.”

“Why is that?” Sorin asked.

“You two are planning to head back to Iiayikohn, aren’t you?” Kiku asked. “It’s not going to be an easy departure for me, but you have your reasons. Just promise that you two won’t forget about me!”

“Don’t worry, we won’t,” Sorin said. “After all, how could we forget someone like you?”

Kiku smiled. “It really warms my heart to hear that,” she said. “I thought that only Aya’s cuddles could do that, but you two really are so generous with your words.”

“Madame, I thought we talked about keeping private matters, you know, ‘private’ and not for public ears,” Ayame said.

“Aya, you’re making them get the wrong idea!” Kiku replied. “Now Gigi and Wilkie are probably thinking thoughts they wouldn’t have thought before!”

“Well, you do tend to say things that encourage an active use of the imagination,” Igor said. “Although I will say that it was especially cold for me last night…”

“Okay then,” Gale said. “By the way, how close are we to the hotel?”

“Hmm, I don’t know,” Kiku replied. “Iggy, what do you think?”

“If you’re asking me Madame, then let me help you,” he said. “We just left the port and should be there within another couple of minutes.”

“I’ll hold you to that, Iggy,” Kiku said. “Anyway, Gigi, did you know that I like to buy my favorite clothes from here?”

“Oh, really,” Gale said. “That’s nice, but I don’t really pay too much attention to fashion.”

“Seriously?” Kiku asked. “You should go with me later; I’ll find you something you would really like.”

“Thanks, but that’s not necessary.”

“Come on, I think you’d look cute in a nice dress,” Kiku replied. “You’re already pretty cute on your own, I mean, but you’d look super cute in a dress!”

Gale blushed. “Oh, well, that’s really flattering…”

“Hehe, from the way you look, I just want to shower you with all of my affection,” Kiku said. “I wonder, though, if Wilkie would get a little jealous if I do that with you.”

“Please, Kiku, I understand,” Gale said.

“So what would you suggest for someone like me?” Sorin asked.

“Oh Wilkie, always so quick to change the subject,” Kiku said. “My affection can be shared with more than one person at once, you know?”

The bus stopped in front of the large, green hotel as Sorin could breathe a sigh of relief. They were finally there and could make their arrangements. He turned back over to Kiku and uttered out a nervous laugh.

“Well, you see, we’re already here,” he said. “We can just head off now, right?”

“I suppose so,” Kiku replied. “If you don’t mind… Iggy, can you attend with me to the tournament hall while Aya sets out to the hotel?”

“Of course, Madame!” Igor said.

As Igor escorted Kiku off of the bus, Ayame was left with Sorin and Gale. The three started to walk off the bus and into the hotel as Ayame turned to Sorin.

“I know what you two are thinking,” Ayame said. “I can explain: Madame Izumi’s father left at a young age, which hit her pretty hard.”

“I had no idea,” Sorin said.

“Yes, well, I’ve been friends with her ever since she was a child,” Ayame replied. “Ever since that day, Kiku has been afraid to sleep alone at night. That, and another reason, is why she is so quick to exhibit her affection towards her friends.”

“So does Kiku always ask you each night to sleep alongside her?” Gale asked.

“Not always,” Ayame said. “Sometimes it’s Igor and other times it’s me, but she always sleeps every night with somebody. Please don’t get the wrong idea.”

“No, no, I think I get it,” Sorin said. “So, have you ever been here before?”

“We’ve been here many times, actually,” Ayame replied, “But this time of the season is when Kiku usually attends, mainly for the tournament, but also for the sights themselves.”

“We passed through here before,” Gale said. “Unfortunately we really wanted to make a trip to Kikuisha, so we didn’t have the chance to check anything out. Perhaps you could show us around?”

Ayame turned to the desk. “I must decline,” she said. “My job is to protect Madame Izumi, not to be a tour guide.”

She spoke with the desk clerk as Sorin looked over at Gale. There was little that they could do to change Miss Hayashi’s mind. And even then, they knew they wanted to head back to Iiayikohn soon in order to reunite with their friends.

“There,” Ayame said as she handed a key to Gale. “There’s your room key, so I suggest you get your stuff and set things up.”

“Thank you,” Gale said. “Are there any plans for later?”

“We’ll probably be heading off for dinner soon,” she answered. “It was a bit of a trip, so I assume that Madame Izumi is quite peckish right now.”

“That sounds like a good plan to me,” Sorin replied.

He and Gale took their bags and headed to their room as they prepared for later. Sorin guessed that they would have to dress decently for the tournament tomorrow, so he decided that he would wear a casual shirt and pants for dinner. Gale, meanwhile, put on a short-sleeve shirt and shorts. The two of them were ready as they walked back downstairs to the lobby where the others waited.

Kiku clapped her hands together. “Oh, you two look so nice!”

“Yes they do,” Ayame said. “Now then, shall we?”




Off only a couple of miles from the hotel, Sorin and his group decided to dine on the patio of a high-end restaurant. There was a good view of the beach nearby and the smell of the ocean was hard to ignore. Nobody seemed to mind, however, as a table set exclusively for Kiku placed the group by the railing.

“This is a nice place, isn’t it?” Kiku asked. “It’s right by the beach and everything. Too bad it’s not summer, though, because I think you’d look really sexy in a swimsuit, Gigi!”

“I… don’t really like swimming,” Gale replied. “It’s a long story.”

“We wouldn’t need to go out into the water, silly,” Kiku said. “All you’d have to do is put on your swimsuit and I’ll help you put on the sunscreen!”

“Wait a minute!” Sorin interrupted.

“I haven’t forgotten about you, Wilkie,” Kiku said, “Of course I’d love to see you without a shirt, too. Oh, that would be quite a sight…”

“Madame, perhaps we should discuss what we’d like to eat for dinner,” Igor said. “Can’t exactly do any sharpshooting tomorrow on an empty belly, can we?”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Kiku replied. “Now let’s see… Ah yes, it looks like they still have that.”

“So you’ve made your decision, then?” Ayame asked.

“Yes, Aya, you don’t have to ask me everything,” Kiku answered. “Just kidding. I know you’re only curious.”

“Very well, then I guess I’ve made my decision too,” Ayame said. “Say, Sorin, is something on your mind?”

Sorin snapped out of his daze. “It’s nothing, Ayame,” he said. “I’m just remembering something that happened when I was young.”

“Oh, what was it?” Kiku asked. “Were you attacked by a shark or something?”

“No, of course not!” Sorin replied.

“And I thought you’d have a tale about how you beat up a shark,” Kiku said. “You look like the type that could do it.”

“That’s extremely preposterous,” Sorin said. “Anyway, it was just a memory I had about a friend of mine.”

Kiku leaned towards Sorin. “A friend of yours?”

“Like I said, it’s nothing,” he replied. “We just used to go to the beaches by Welsblaek back when we were kids.”

“You never brought any of this up before,” Gale said. “Did you two just stop talking to each other?”

“No, it’s just that he’s in the military now,” Sorin replied. “I haven’t heard from him in over a year.”

“Maybe you should write to him,” Igor said. “A seasonal cheer from his friend would be pretty nice to receive, if I do say so for myself.”

“I suppose it wouldn’t hurt,” Sorin said. “Would be nice to hear what Johan’s been doing recently.”

That was when the group heard a loud yell coming from the other end of the patio. Sorin and the rest turned and saw who it was that screamed: Gavin Power, with Law there trying his hardest not to burst out laughing.

“You!” Gavin exclaimed. “We’ve finally found you!”

“Damn, Gavin, you didn’t need to make a scene,” Sorin said.

“Hey, you know my bro,” Law said, “He always wants the spotlight on him and no one else.”

“Are you sure you’re not talking about yourself?” Gavin asked.

“Who, me? Obviously not,” Law replied. “Anyway, I see you’re with some companions. It’d be quite rude of you not to introduce us to them.”

“You’re right,” Gale said. “You guys don’t mind, do you?”

Kiku stood up. “Of course not,” she said as she shook Law’s hand. “I’m Kiku Izumi, daughter of the empress of Kikuisha.”

Ayame introduced herself as well. “Nice to meet you,” she said.

Igor followed up and made his introduction. “It is a pleasure to be meeting with you,” he said. “The name’s Igor Kuznetsov.”

“You mean as in the son of Ivan Kuznetsov?” Gavin replied.

“Yes, indeed!” Igor said. “You know him?”

“I know that he is a skilled gunman,” Gavin said. “Anyway, I guess we should tell you our names. Gavin Power, bounty hunter.”

“And I’m the dashing Power himself, Law,” he said. “It’s always nice to meet beautiful ladies such as you two, Kiku and Ayame.”

“Oh, you’re too kind, Lala,” Kiku replied.

“I’m only stating the obvious, you know,” Law said. “It’s a rule of mine to always compliment women like yourself.”

“If only you’d follow other rules as well as you did yours,” Gavin said.

“You know there’s only so many rules I can remember,” Law replied. “Mother always told us three things, remember? Look out for each other, keep our heads up…”

“And never forget to laugh,” Gavin completed. “Yeah, I’m fully aware of what mother told us.”

“Your mother sounds like a lovely person, Gavvy,” Kiku said.

Gavin looked off to the ocean. “I’m sure she would’ve loved to hear that,” he muttered. “A-Anyway! Enough about that!”

“So what brings you two here?” Gale asked.

“We’ve got a job to do,” Gavin answered. “We’ve received a report of a member of the True Thekohnians being here. I would suggest to you all to be on high alert.”

“Don’t worry,” Igor said. “We put our lives on the line to protect Madame Izumi, so if there is a dangerous criminal roaming about, we are well equipped to handle them.”

“Given your uniforms, I would expect nothing less from a couple of members of the Kikuishan army,” Gavin said.

“How about you sit with us?” Kiku asked. “I’m sure that you’ll want to catch up with your friends, so it’s perfect!”

“I’m going to have to decline,” Gavin replied. “There’s our little job we have to attend to, so we obviously should be off.”

“Bro, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Law said. “I don’t think we should pass up a chance to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.”

He took a seat at the table as Gavin clenched his fist. There was an urge for Gavin to smack Law upside the head, but he quickly decline and lowered his hand. Little could be done to convince his brother, so Gavin reluctantly sat down at the table as well. It was close to evening, anyway, so Gavin though that it was perhaps for the best that they take a break for now.




“So tell me, Lala, have you ever been down here before?” Kiku asked.

“Can’t say I have,” he replied. “I do know that my mother’s parents were from here, though.”

After dinner, the group continued to walk down the street towards the boardwalk. Nightfall was approaching ever closer as they walked onto the sand. As Kiku ran up to the calm, incoming tide with Ayame and Igor following after her, Gavin and Law turned to Sorin and Gale.

“She’s quite talkative,” Gavin said. “I only wish that she didn’t give me that nickname, though…”

“When a lady gives you a nickname, that’s when you know she likes you, bro,” Law said. “Though I suppose with you, it’s not a surprise that the hint would fly right over your head.”

“Whatever,” Gavin said. “Anyhow, it has been a while.”

“It has,” Sorin said.

“Well, come on, don’t just leave us hanging,” Law said, “How have your travels been? Gale, have you been missing me?”

Gale smiled. “We did miss you guys very much,” she said. “How are Mina and Ayanna doing?”

“Mina’s been about the same,” Gavin replied. “Always training, getting stronger… If it were a fist fight, you’d probably stand no chance at all.”

“Good thing I don’t plan to engage her,” Sorin said.

Gavin chuckled. “It’s like I said to Lawrence,” he said, “With the proper training, Mina will make an exceptional fighter.”

“As for Ayanna, we’ve been holding up,” Law said. “Just the other day we went to this amazing piano concert. You should have it: she was so happy.”

Kiku ran up by Law’s side, her hands cupped together. “Look at all these shells,” she said. “Look! Look!”

“Wow, you’ve certainly collected a lot of shells,” he said. “Bro, how about Kiku makes you a necklace?”

“That’s not my style,” Gavin replied.

Law shrugged. “Guess it didn’t hurt to ask.”

“Madame, if you want, I can hold those shells,” Igor said. “You do need your hands in top shape for the tournament tomorrow.”

“So that’s why you’re here,” Law said. “You know, my bro here’s interested in taking part of the whole thing. They wouldn’t happen to accept any late entries, would they?”

“Normally, they don’t,” Kiku said, “But I never would have guessed you were into archery, Gavvy!”

“Archery?” Gavin asked. “You really don’t give me enough credit, Miss Izumi. What else is a bow and arrow but a gun with a little more effort put into it?”

“Wow, you really know how to bullshit,” Law said.

Gavin grumbled. “Be quiet.”

“Looks like we’ll have to make a change of plans, right?” Law asked. “Sorry guys, Gavin probably wants to get back to the job right now and who am I to deny his wishes?”

“You don’t listen, do you?” Gavin said as he looked over at Kiku. “So what exactly do I have to do to enter, exactly?”

“Usually, if there’s an absence, then they can take walk-ons,” she replied. “If you get there in the morning, perhaps you’ll get lucky.”

“You’re not going to have to worry about that,” Law said. “With me, the lady of luck is on our side.”

“How romantic!” Kiku said. “I would say the same thing, but Aya already watches over me.”

“As do I,” Igor added.

“I could never forget you, Iggy,” she said. “Ah, having both of you as my friends is such a blessing. Since tomorrow’s such a special day, perhaps the two of you can cuddle with me tonight?”

Igor agreed. “Anything for you.”

“Very well, Madame,” Ayame said. “Though last time Igor kicked me in my sleep, I suppose it’s fine given the occasion.”

“What’s all this now?” Law asked. “Is this some sort of three-way bedroom romp you’re not telling us about, Kiku?”

Kiku chortled. “I guess you wouldn’t understand,” she said. “How you manage to be so grounded and yet have your head in the clouds bewilders me.”

“It’s clearly none of your concern,” Ayame said. “Our relationship with the madame is strictly one between bodyguard and the person being guarded.”

“Damn, shot down before I get a chance to fly,” Law said.

“I would hope you wouldn’t,” Gavin said. “What would Ayanna think?”

“Hey, you know how I feel about her,” Law replied. “Right now I’m thinking about how she would love this place.”

“So where are you guys going to stay tonight?” Gale asked.

“There was a place down back,” Law replied. “I figure we’ll just crash for the night, take part in the tournament tomorrow, catch our wanted man, and take a ride back home. All in a day’s… day, I suppose.”

“Don’t make me laugh, dumbass,” Gavin said. “We all know I’m the one who actually puts in any effort.”

Sorin eyed the holster at Gavin’s side. “Easy to say when you have a gun, I guess.”

“Coming from you, of all people, that’s a fucking joke,” Gavin replied.

“I thought you turned in your gun,” Sorin said.

Gavin explained to Sorin how Ayanna helped supply him with a gun, complete with a promise to keep it a secret and everything. “Yeah, that’s about it,” he said. “It feels like I’ve filled a hole that I left open ever since that day.”

He took out the pistol and showed it off to Sorin. Kiku grabbed Ayame’s arm as Gavin twirled the gun in his hand.

“You don’t need to worry,” he assured. “Safety’s on.”

“So careless,” Ayame said. “Travellers don’t exactly go around carrying guns, especially not as blatantly as you do.”

“If this goes well, I might not even need to use this,” Gavin said as he placed the gun back in the holster. “Despite how he looks, Lawrence is competent.”

“What can I say?” Law asked. “Be it a game of poker or a fistfight, I’ve got enough skill and plenty of luck for me to stand a chance in this world.”

“Right, then,” Sorin said. “Maybe we should get going.”

“Ooh, I know where we all could go,” Kiku said. “There’s a lovely little tea house where they serve some great chamomile.”

The others agreed, even Gavin, and decided to step back onto the boardwalk and down to the place where Kiku had suggested.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 4 (Part 2)

Because of Ayanna’s position, she was able to secure a room necessary for the prisoner. Ayanna brought Mina along with her, mainly because she knew that there was no way the prisoner was going to try and escape. The two women sat on one side of the table while they waited for the prisoner to arrive.

“You know this person?” Mina asked.

“I do,” Ayanna replied. “We used to be friends, though she ended up falling into the clutches of the True Thekohnians.”

“I had no idea,” she said. “You’re not scared?”

“There’s no reason to be,” Ayanna said. “I doubt that she’s going to hold a grudge against me.”

The door opened and revealed a guard, who escorted the red haired prisoner into the room. She took a seat on the opposite side of Ayanna and Mina, and looked into Ayanna’s eyes.

“It’s been some time, Silvia,” Ayanna said.

“It really has,” Silvia replied. “I know it’s an inconvenience, but thank you for taking some time out of your schedule to visit me. “

Ayanna smiled. “It’s hardly an inconvenience,” she said. “I still think of you as a friend, even after all you’ve done.”

“You’re such a good person,” Silvia said. “I guess that I was right to make that request.”

“Right,” Ayanna replied, “About that request: what exactly did you want to tell me about the True Thekohnians?”

“Well, to be fair, it wasn’t my idea,” Silvia said, “I was visited by a stranger early this morning who gave me the information.”

“A stranger?” Ayanna asked. “Usually the guards are on watch during the night… How did this person sneak through?”

“No clue,” Silvia replied. “But that’s not important. You wanted to know more about the remaining True Thekohnians, right?”

“That’s correct,” Mina said. “We’re all looking for those villains, wherever they may be!”

“Some of them have been running around the country, which have lead to bounties being placed,” Ayanna replied. “I already know a couple of people who’ve already made some headway in capturing some of the remaining members.”

“Really?” Silvia asked. “I guess that’s not too surprising, but from what I’ve heard, there’s already an organization that’s popped up in Ahnlikohn calling themselves the True Thekohnians.”

“This is news to me,” Ayanna said. “I assume that this mysterious person told you about this, am I correct?”

“Well, yes, that was what I was told,” Silvia replied. “Apparently, they’ve even captured an Ameci soldier as well.”

“Are you serious?” Ayanna asked.

“This is what I’ve heard,” Silvia said. “I just thought that it was of importance to you because of the connection Ameci has with this country. There’s no reason for me to lie.”

Ayanna took a deep breath and exhaled. “I believe you,” she said. “Do you have any information on this soldier?”

“Only that they serve in the Ameci military,” Silvia answered.

“Darn it!” Mina said. “If Gavin was here, he’d probably know who it might be.”

“I highly doubt that,” Ayanna said. “We have no idea what this soldier looks like; besides, Gavin’s not a part of their military anymore.”

Mina closed her eyes and sighed. “Then what are we supposed to do?”

“Well, what we can do is head back to the prime minister’s office,” Ayanna replied. “It seems that our business is done here, Silvia. It was nice to see you again.”

“Oh, wait,” Silvia said, “There’s something else I need to say.”

“What is it?”

“Not to you, Ayanna,” Silvia replied. “Your name’s Mina, right?”

Mina sparked up as soon as she heard her name. “Yes! What did you want to say, Silvia?”

“So this is just what that stranger told me, but apparently your mother is still alive,” Silvia said. “I guess they expected you to be here, somehow.”

“That’s quite odd,” Ayanna said.

“Are you really sure?” Mina asked. “Wait, is this person related to me!?”

“No,” Silvia replied. “They just told me that if I saw you that I should inform you about your mother.”

“No way!”

“That and her name is Wilma Brynjarr,” Silvia continued. “I have no idea how useful this information will be to you, but I hope that it is.”

Mina sat there with her mouth open as she had no idea what to say. “I… I should thank you,” she said, reaching out to shake Silvia’s hand.

“Honestly, this was very informative,” Ayanna said. “You really haven’t changed at all, have you?”

“I know that society will continue to look down upon me,” Silvia said, “But that doesn’t matter. As long as you can find it in your heart to forgive me, that’s the only thing I care about.”

“Don’t worry, I forgive you,” Ayanna said. She rubbed her eye as she continued to look at Silvia. “Damn it all, this is so embarrassing…”

“That’s all I wanted to hear,” Silvia replied. “And Mina, I really hope you can reunite with your mother.”

“Thanks!” Mina said. “I mean, thanks again, obviously!”

“Of course,” Silvia said. “Hope you both fare well out there.”




On the way back to the prime minister’s office, Ayanna could only think about what Silvia said. Never did she think that the True Thekohnians would be organized once more, nor did she think it was possible for them to be in the neighboring Ahnlikohn. It was something that she would have to talk with Alan about, that much was certain.

“I’ve been wondering,” Mina said, “Just what kind of person is my mother like? Do you think she’s heroic like me?”

“That’s not something I can answer for you,” Ayanna replied. “For all we know, that might just be a lie.”

“You think Silvia was lying?”

“Not her, but the person she spoke to,” Ayanna said. “Actually, forget what I said. I bet that your mother is still alive out there.”

Mina smiled. “I wonder where she is,” she said.

Ayanna pulled up to the parking space. “We’ll have to figure that out some other time,” she said. “Right now, we have other matters to attend to. Come on.”

They stepped out of the car and walked to the building. Ayanna opened the door and allowed Mina to walk in first. As they stepped inside, it appeared that the conference had ended as soldiers and representatives from many countries were walking around.

“Geez, it’s so crowded here,” Mina said. “How the heck would anybody get anything done here?”

“Just ignore it and follow me,” Ayanna said.

They moved through, making sure not to bump into anyone, and entered Alan’s office. Ayanna saw that he was already speaking with someone as she and Mina stood by the door.

“I must say that you are a very well spoken woman, Your Highness,” Alan said. “Of course, that’s no surprise considering who your mentor is.”

“Thank you, Prime Minister,” Rain replied. “Sir Lauren’s told me many stories about you, so actually meeting you is quite the honor.”

“If anyone should be honored, it should be me,” he said. “Merton’s a man with high regard throughout all the region and I’m glad to see that his daughter is no different.”

Alan stopped as he then noticed Ayanna and Mina standing there.

“It’s not like you to come in speechless, Ayanna,” he said. “Please, it’s only appropriate that you two introduce yourselves to the Thedam princess.”

Ayanna gasped. “You mean me, sir?”

“You’re the lieutenant general, right?” Rain asked. She stood up out of her chair and greeted Ayanna with a firm handshake. “My name is Rain Zano Thedam, princess of the Royal Family of Thekohn.”

“It’s an honor to be in your presence,” Ayanna said as she bowed.

“Alan’s praise is well deserved, it seems,” Rain said. “And who may you be?”

Mina pumped her fist into the air. “I’m glad you asked, Your Highness,” she said. “I’m Mighty Mina! Villains tremble at the sight of my powerful fist!”

“Mina, please,” Ayanna said. “It’s a member of the royal family, so you should show a little more respect.”

Rain giggled. “Oh, you shouldn’t be so serious, Miss Ansa,” she said. “I, for one, found that quite charming.”

“That girl is indeed quirky,” Alan said. “A good heart, but odd all the same.”

“Sometimes, a good heart is all you need,” Rain said. “Perhaps I could learn a lot from you, Mighty Mina.”

“You think so?” Mina asked as she shook Rain’s hand. “I don’t know what to say… what’s this feeling that I have?”

“The way you blush is admirable,” Rain said, “And I believe that the word you’re looking for is ‘pride,’ which is befitting for a hero like you.”

Ayanna looked over at Alan. “So I have arrived with some information,” she said. “I had no idea you were going to be speaking in private with the princess, however. Perhaps I should come back after?”

“No, it’s completely fine,” Alan replied. “You don’t mind, do you, Your Highness?”

“I can step out for a moment,” Rain answered, “But I wonder if it’s okay to continue my chat with Mighty Mina. Do you mind?”

Alan laughed. “Go ahead,” he said. “Talk with her to your heart’s content.”

“Very good,” Rain replied. “Shall we?”

Mina stepped out with Rain into the hallway. It was much less crowded now, but that was not where Rain wanted to talk.

“There’s a small room down the hall here,” she said. “I found it when I stepped out during the conference.”

“Okay,” Mina replied.

They wandered down the hallway until they made it to the room that Rain was talking about. It had only a couple of chairs and a small lamp on a table, but Rain did not seem to mind. She invited Mina inside and left the door ajar as she turned on the lamp.

“Do you want to sit down?” Rain asked.

“I’m so excited, I don’t think I can!” Mina said. “What did you want to talk to me about?”

“Oh, a lot of things,” she said, “But I want to talk with you because I feel like this is something I cannot talk with the prime minister about.”

“Wait, me?”

“Yes, Mina, I mean you,” Rain replied. “You just happen to be one of the people I’m looking for, so this is appropriate for you.”

“This is so amazing,” Mina said. “I can’t believe you would ask me for help. I mean, of course I’ll help because I’m the hero of Rezar, but still it’s all so crazy to hear it from a princess!”

“You have a determination and desire to help that no one else has,” Rain said. “It was your group who helped defeat the leader of the True Thekohnians and stopped Llewellyn Rhodes’s regime, so to meet you in person must be fate.”

“Aw, it’s just something a hero like me should do,” Mina said.

“Really, on behalf of the Royal Family of Thekohn, I thank you,” Rain said as she took Mina’s hand into hers. “Which is why I have a request for you and your partners.”

Mina raised her eyebrows. “What is that?”

“I need your group to help me,” Rain replied. “Right now, my father has been overcome with an illness. I’m worried because there was rumor that I heard that someone is planning to assassinate him.”

“Your father?” Mina asked. “The king?”

“Indeed. What I’m asking for is your help in finding the assassin,” Rain said. “I don’t have enough clues to go on, nor do I have any idea who it might be; however, I feel that if I asked for help from you and your partners, we can find out who is planning out this attack.”

“I would love to help,” Mina said, “That is, if my friends weren’t out of the country right now.”

Rain looked off to the side. “Oh, I see…”

“But please don’t be disappointed!” Mina exclaimed. “I’m sure they’ll be back soon! I know that they will!”

“No, don’t get the wrong idea,” she said. “I’m still hopeful that we can put a stop to this… In fact, I’m perfectly willing to wait until they come back.”

“Of course, of course!”

Rain smiled. “You really are so full of energy,” she said.

“I get that a lot,” Mina replied. “Right now, I just want to do a backflip but I can’t because of this room…”

Rain covered her mouth as she tried not to laugh. “Personally I’d love to see that. Maybe later, you can demonstrate to me your backflip?”

“Yeah, yeah, I can do it!”

“Then I will look forward to it,” Rain said. “After all, you will promise to help me, right?”

“Sure,” Mina answered.

“Thank you.”

Rain reached out her arms and hugged Mina, who had no other choice but to return the favor. For Mina, she liked Rain’s appreciation for her ability as a hero, but also because Rain was such an important person. To have the princess of the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn embracing her was quite an honor. Perhaps that was what Ayanna was talking about earlier, Mina thought.




[5th of September, 2740 AD; on the train to Jiaikohn]


Through the southbound route past Bel, Law observed the barren land slowly turn into greenery once more. He and Gavin were only a couple of hours away from Kun, the major city and capital of Jiaikohn. They had a major task at hand, which both brothers knew that they needed to gain some information about the True Thekohnians.

“This pamphlet is quite informative,” Law said. “Bro, did you know that Khun is considered the fashion capital of the world?”

“Why do you think I care?” Gavin asked.

He was deep in thought about hunting down this bounty; not for Rysol Wilk, but for the person that put up the bounty. If Law was correct, and that was a big if, then there would be a large reward waiting for them when they arrived back in Rezar.

“Come on, you’re not the least bit curious?” Law asked. “Then again, this is you I’m talking to after all.”

“I’m just focused,” Gavin said.

“Are you worried that we might bump into them?”

“You know I’m not concerned about him, or her,” Gavin replied. “No, it’s different. It’s just this gun, you know?”

Gavin gestured over to the shiny, silver gun that was in the holster on his side. He had received it from Ayanna the night before, as well as a generous amount of ammunition. Not that he needed that many bullets, anyway. Still, he was grateful towards her for taking that risk and handing him a weapon he knew all too well.

“Been awhile since I’ve held a gun,” Gavin said. “This one’s quite a beauty, too.”

“I admit that it’s pretty nice,” Law said. “It’s almost as if you’re more into that gun than you would be with a person.”

Gavin scoffed. “Your imagination is running wild again.”

“Well, bro, it’s not like I care,” he said. “We’re just travellers right now, but once we step off that train we’ll be on the case.”

“Seems that way.”

Law turned back to the pamphlet in his hand. “Wow, they even have a sharpshooting tournament going on,” he said. “Looks like it’s tomorrow.”


“Oh, I thought that you would be interested, bro,” Law replied. “It’s your forte, isn’t it?”

“I’ve no time for a distraction like that,” Gavin said. “Even if it does sound tempting.”

“It’s just a thought,” Law said. “You know: we catch the guy and after that you can show off how good you are.”

Gavin adjusted his sunglasses. “Lawrence, you’re really trying to make this happen, aren’t you?”

“Totally up to you.”

Instead of a response, Gavin just laughed. He’d have to see for himself what this tournament was all about. He might not have had a gun for the past six months, but Gavin still managed to keep his eyes sharp during that time. Training with Mina helped with that. The urge to show off was high, but Gavin knew there was something he and Law needed to do first.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 4 (Part 1)

[5th of September, 2740 AD; Iiayikohn High Security Prison, Aesker, Iiayikohn]


The cold, stiff bed only helped keep Victor Wihll up as sleep was impossible for him. He could only think about what would happen to the remaining True Thekohnians and his goal. To be honest, he had no idea what his goal was anymore. Wihll struggled to remember most of his past motivations, but there was one particular memory that stood out to him: Gavin Power. A man that had bested him in combat on what Wihll thought was a lucky shot, or at least that was what he thought.

He arrived at the prison severely injured, the only reason for his survival being the dedication of the doctors that operated on him. The pain of the shards of glass being removed from his body felt just as clear as they did back then. If only they allowed him to die, but no, they needed him to talk. The Iiayikohnian government needed Victor Wihll to tell them all that he knew about the True Thekohnians. It was laughable, he thought, because why would he want to talk to them about that? Even if they used excessive force, Wihll still would not talk. He was used to the pain by now.

Wihll stood up from his bed and looked in the mirror. The ray of moonlight was the only thing illuminating the cell as Wihll could only look upon the scars of his scruffy face. He was about to go back to bed when a strange, shadowy figure approached the bars.

“Victor Wihll, is it?”

Wihll turned to the person on the other side. His eyes were covered by a mask, while the rest of the man’s head was covered by a hood connecting to a long, green cloak. It took a lot for Wihll not to laugh, partly due to the pain but mostly due to how ridiculous it all seemed.

“I didn’t think I’d have any company,” Wihll said. “Especially not at this time of night.”

“You know how things are here,” the masked man said. “I only have a few minutes before the guards notice what’s going on.”

“Really?” Wihll asked. “Who the hell do you think you are?”

“I’m just an observer,” he replied. “I do come with a message, however. Do you care to hear it?”

“Don’t care.”

“Ah, well, that’s too bad because I’m going to say it anyway,” the man replied, “Tell me, Victor, what is your game of choice?”

Wihll was caught off guard. “What are you talking about?”

“A lot of people love card games, like poker,” the man said. “I love a good game of poker, but I’m also an enthusiast of chess. There’s just something about that game that I really like.”

“It doesn’t matter,” Wihll said, “Because I didn’t have the privilege of growing up playing games.”

“That’s right,” the man said as he placed his hand above his mask, “You never lived a normal life after what happened to your town. Believe me when I say that I completely sympathize with you.”

Wihll laughed. “You can say whatever you want,” he said, “Because I think you’re full of shit.”

“Well, it doesn’t matter,” the man said. “This game has only just begun, after all. You just happen to be caught up in a very, how shall we say, touchy situation, you know?”

“Look at me,” Wihll said. “A man scarred and in shackles… Even I know my time on this earth is growing shorter by the day.”

“Is that so?”

“Once the government finds that I’m of no use to them, they’ll waste no time preparing the noose,” he said. “I bet that they’ll even use my death to set an example to all the rest.”

“Honestly, I don’t think that,” the man replied. “You have the potential to really make an impact in this game. As long as you can realize that potential, then I’m sure that hope exists for you yet.”

“You’re a fucking riot, you know that?”

“Am I, Victor? We both have goals we want to achieve very much,” the man said. “Of course, my goal is a vastly different from what yours is, but I think that our goals can coexist in this game.”

“Keep talking about your ‘games,’ Mr. Mask,” Wihll said. “I don’t intend to fall into your trap, whatever that may be.”

The masked man chuckled. “Mr. Mask… I kind of like that,” he said. “I will take your comments into consideration, though. After all, I may not be able to change your mind but I can get you moving in the right direction.”

“Fuck off.”

“Thank you,” he replied. “Well, I guess should head off. There’s somewhere I need to be right now and I can’t afford to have things go awry this early on.”

“Wait a minute,” Wihll said.

“Then again, I’m sure even if things were to fuck up somehow, I’ll find a way to rebound.”

“Hold on a second,” Wihll repeated.

“Oh, you still want to talk? I guess I can take one more question.”

“Why did you come here?”

“I came only for you, Victor,” the man answered. “After all, your game isn’t over yet. You might be in check, but that doesn’t mean you’re in checkmate.”

With that, the man walked away from Wihll’s cell. After that conversation, Victor Wihll was just as confused as he was at the beginning. Who was this man that paid him a visit? Why him, of all people? And even if Wihll could do anything, how could he from his cell? There were too many questions and not enough answers, nor was there enough time to figure it all out. Wihll’s execution was not that far off once everything was done regarding interrogations. All he could do now was wait.


[5th of September, 2740 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


Members of the Iiayikohnian military rushed throughout the building as Ayanna walked down the hall. An important conference was to be held between multiple nations and she had to make sure that the prime minister, Alan Berry, was prepared. She opened the door to his office and found him hanging up the phone on his desk.

“Prime Minister, sir, are you ready?” Ayanna asked.

“Is this not the look of a man who was born ready?” Alan said. “Come now, Ayanna, you shouldn’t have to worry about me so much.”

“I know that, sir,” she said.

“Truthfully, it’s a lot on my plate,” he said, “But this is where I am expected to shine.”

“There’s no doubt about that,” Ayanna replied.

“Well, should you ever consider a career in politics, that is something you can remember for later,” Alan said. “Anyway, enough about me, let’s talk about what you should be doing today.”

“What is it?”

“There’s a special request from the nearby prison,” he replied. “It seems that one of the prisoners wants to talk with you.”

“I’m not sure if you’re joking, sir,” Ayanna said.

“They requested you by name specifically,” Alan said. “From what I’ve heard, they want to talk with you about the True Thekohnians.”

“I’ll go,” she replied. “There’s only one person that I know who probably wants to see me. She would be delighted to see me, anyway.”

“So it’s settled, then,” Alan said. “I should expect to see you back here soon, preferably before the end of the conference.”

Ayanna nodded. “This shouldn’t take long.”

“Good,” he said. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have quite a cast of characters that I need to meet.”

Alan stood up and walked past Ayanna, leaving her by herself in his office. With no other business being there, she left as well. She had to make a stop at the prison on the other side of the city, but first she had somebody she had to deal with: Mina. The moment Ayanna stepped outside of the building, Mina was there to greet her.

“There you are!” Mina exclaimed. “These guards aren’t listening to me at all!”

“This place is highly guarded for a reason,” Ayanna said. “That said, what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be at work?”

“Nope. Today’s my day off, so I’ve decided to pay you a visit!”

“And just when they decided to leave, too,” Ayanna replied. “God, I’m going to be dealing with quite a handful today, aren’t I?”

Mina leaned in towards Ayanna. “What’s going on?”

“I suppose that it’s okay if you tag along,” she replied. “It’s just a brief visit to the prison, that’s all.”

“Wow, so you’ll be heading to the Iiayine Prison?” Mina asked. “That must be where the very worst villains reside, isn’t it?”

“Mina, it’s not… No, it’s fine,” Ayanna said. “Come on, I don’t want to waste any more time.”

Ayanna headed off for her vehicle with Mina following after her. There were questions that Ayanna had for this person who requested to see her and she assumed that they would have a lot of questions for her as well. As she drove past one of the buses coming from Ahnlikohn, Ayanna wondered how exactly her conversation with that friend of hers would go.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 3 (Part 2)

[29th of August, 2740 AD; Red Rose Grille, Admorse, Ameci]


The still, early night set the stage as the four arrived at the restaurant. Henry and Tori walked together while Eva trailed behind Kirk. However, there appeared to be a long line coming out of the open doorway as Henry stopped and looked to see how long it was.

“Looks like we have an unexpected development,” Henry said.

“We could always go somewhere else,” Tori replied. “It doesn’t have to be here. All we’re doing is catching up with our friends, right?”

“No, I want to make this special,” he said. “It’s the least I could do for them.”

“It’s fine,” Eva said. “I want to go somewhere else, anyway.”

“Seriously, let us do this for you,” Henry replied. “When was the last time you dined at a fine establishment like this?”

He directed his attention towards the restaurant itself. According to Tori, it had only just opened two months ago but it was already one of the premier places to go in the city. As it was named after meaning of the city’s name, the Red Rose Grille was one of the places that everyone wanted to go to. Its red walls and bright lights made it stand out in a city that was known for standing out.

“You don’t need to do all of this,” Eva answered. “We could just eat hamburgers near the park or split a pizza or something like that. Where we eat honestly doesn’t matter.”

“What about you, Kirk?” Henry asked. “Surely you think this would be a nice place for us?”

“Don’t put me up to this,” Kirk said. “Like her, I honestly don’t care. We could eat here or not.”

Tori placed her hand on Henry’s arm. “I think we should respect their wishes,” she said. “I know you’re setting off tomorrow, but it’s not really about where we eat, is it?”

“You’re right,” he said. “Sorry about that.”

“Don’t be,” Kirk replied. “Anyway, what’s this about you leaving tomorrow?”

Henry explained, in the most basic terms possible, his trip overseas. Nothing mentioned about the search for Mr. Kuu, but instead attending the meeting with the general.

“That’s quite a task,” Kirk said, “But I’m happy to see that you’re acclimating to your position.”

“It is a tall task, but I’m sure I can handle it,” Henry said. “I’m interested to see how things are now in Rezar, ever since that day.”

“Knowing Alan, he’s already taken care of it,” Eva said. “There’s little to no doubt on his ability to lead, so that would have been easy for him.”

“What about you two?” Tori asked. “Are you doing anything interesting, Kirk?”

“I’m on a break right now,” he replied, “But I do have a plan for later… Ameci needs heroes of her own and I want to be a part of that group.”

“That’s great to hear!” Tori said. “What about you, Eva?”

“It’s something I have to think about,” she said. “I haven’t been part of a group like that in a long time…”

“So what have you been doing, then?” Tori wondered.

Eva looked off into the distance. “Most of the time I’ve been training in my backyard,” she replied. “No particular reason, just want to keep my skills sharp.”

“That’s great, Eva,” Tori said. “You always look like you’re so strong and I really admire that about you!”

Eva scoffed. “It’s… not really something to admire, personally…”

“I’m not sure what you mean by that,” Tori said.

“It means that you shouldn’t place your admirations in someone like me,” Eva replied. “To be blunt, I would rather you didn’t at all. I’m just nobody.”

There was a brief break of silence as Henry watched the line coming out of the restaurant gradually shrink. Kirk leaned in towards Eva and whispered into her ear.

“Eva, love, maybe you shouldn’t be so self-deprecating,” he said. “She’s just being nice, that’s all.”

“I’m sorry,” she said to Tori.

“Please, Eva, it’s fine if you don’t want to talk about it,” Tori said.

“No, I really do apologize,” Eva reiterated. “I apologize for giving you the impression that I was someone that I’m not.”


“Tori, you had no idea,” Eva said. “Let’s just drop it.”

Tori struggled, but responded. “O-Okay, then.”

She turned to Henry, who was already at the back of the now small line. Enough time appeared to have passed for the four to finally enter the restaurant, but waiting for a table would be a different story.

“I think we’re going to go somewhere else,” Tori said. “Come on, Henry, we’ll just go here another time.”

Henry sighed. “Looks like it’s going to be that way,” he said. “Very well, we’ll head off.”




After some time spent walking through in the Gardner district, the four settled on a small diner that served everyone’s needs well. Once everyone was finished with their meals, Eva decided to head outside for some fresh air. In reality, she needed time alone after what had happened. The night sky was clear as Eva sat on one of the benches in front of the restaurant. She wouldn’t be lonely for long, though, as Henry decided to join her on the bench.

“You don’t mind, do you?” Henry asked.

Eva shook her head. “I’m not going to stop you.”

“So it would seem,” Henry said. “Did you enjoy dinner?”

“Yes,” she replied. “Normally I don’t get to go out often, so this was a nice break from the norm.”

“Glad to hear it,” he said.

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Henry said. “Do you mind if I ask you a question?”

“Do I mind? Well… no,” Eva answered.

“I guess it’s not so much a question as much as it is me wondering,” he said. “What happened earlier between you and Tori… Is everything okay with Kirk?”

“Excuse me?”

“Sorry, I should rephrase that,” Henry said, “Are you doing okay?”

“Why are you asking me about that?” Eva asked.

“Because I care,” he replied. “Kirk is a friend of mine, as are you.”

“Even if you’re my friend, I don’t have to answer your question,” Eva said. “Don’t you have something more important to worry about?”

“I do have more important things to worry about,” he said, “But if something is wrong, I want to try and help you if I can.”

“You really want to help?” Eva asked. “Why is my well-being such a concern to you?”

“Not too long ago, I went through some dark times,” Henry replied. “I felt too cowardly to confront my problems head on. I even felt like giving up at times, but I ended up getting support from the people who care about me.”

“I’m happy to hear that,” she said, “But I can’t really say what I’m dealing with is similar to what you went through. It’s just complicated and I can’t explain it even if I tried to.”

“I know how much it can hurt,” Henry said. “Sometimes it feels like a never ending waterfall of despair and you keep getting drenched in it. Even if you don’t want my help, the least I can do is offer my sympathy.”

Eva could only look down at the ground. “Thanks,” she replied. “I want to tell you something.”

“What’s that?”

“Good luck on your trip,” she said.

“Thank you, Eva,” Henry said. “I think I’m going to need it.”


To be continued…


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Sundown – Chapter 3 (Part 1)

[28th of August, 2740 AD; Eva Bellamy’s house, Admorse, Ameci]


It was a warm morning as Eva yawned. She had just put on her eyepatch while Kirk lay by her side. Ever since the battle of Bel, her life had returned to normal. Only this time, she was not alone. That made her happy, she hoped.

“When you sit up like that with the light behind you,” Kirk said, “I can’t think of anything more beautiful than that.”

“You’re already going off on poetics, it looks like,” she said.

“There’s a lot more I could say,” he replied.

“I’m sure you can,” Eva said. “Your tongue is quite skilled…”

Kirk laughed as he placed his hand on Eva’s back. “That’s still going through your mind, isn’t it?”

“You know just how to press my buttons,” she replied. “It’s a double-edged sword, but when it’s good, I just lose it. You should hope that it stays that way.”

“Indeed,” he said. “Anyway, there was one thing I wanted to talk to you about.”

“What’s that?”

“When I was in the kitchen last night, I thought I heard you crying,” Kirk said. “Eva, I can’t read your mind, but are you still thinking about what happened six months ago?”

Eva turned away, her back facing him as she sighed.

“You don’t have to answer,” he said. “I care about you, that’s all.”

“No, it’s fine,” she replied. “It just hurts is all. I just hate feeling like I was too weak to stop what happened to him.”

“But you did stop it,” Kirk said. “At least you stopped his killer.”

She shook her head. “That wasn’t even me who did that, you know.”

“Maybe so, but you did deal with that man personally,” he replied. “I couldn’t have done that.”

“Of course you wouldn’t,” Eva said. “That’s just who you are: a strong, kind man who wouldn’t dare take a life.”

Kirk sat up and moved closer towards Eva. He reached from behind and wrapped his arms around her as she accepted his gesture.

“Part of me hates you because of that,” she continued. “No matter what I can do, I’m always going to be known simply as ‘Eva the killer’ and nothing more.”

“It’s just a stupid name.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter what happened in the past,” Kirk said. “What matters is what happens going forward.”

“Yeah, well I’m sick of it,” she replied. “I wish I could be as optimistic as you, but I can’t. Barely anything phases me anymore.”


“Last night was the first time I cried in forever,” she said. “Belkley was one of the few bright spots in my life and when he was taken out, I could only feel intense fury. Fury that I carried out on the person responsible, and after that… nothing.”

“You know you’re not alone,” Kirk said. “That’s a pain I know all too well.”

“There’s still Sorin,” she replied. “You have him. Right now, all I have is you… If something happened to you, I don’t know if I would have the will to keep on living.”

“That’s not true,” Kirk said. “You have many people who care about you, Eva, myself included. My son thinks very highly of you, as I am sure the others do as well.”

She closed her eye as she rested the back of her head into his chest. “Are you really this stubborn?” Eva asked. “You probably think that you can solve everybody’s problems, don’t you?”

“I just want to see you be happy,” he replied.

“I do too,” she said. “I just wish I remembered how to do it.”

Eva placed her hands on his as he moved his other hand to her head. As she turned sideways, Kirk patted her head and stroked her hair.

“Until I can, please promise me you won’t fight again,” she said. “That’s all I ask of you, Kirk.”

“For you, I promise.”

“Okay,” she replied.

At that point, it was obvious to Eva that she wanted him to be close to her for much longer. The morning started to pass by, but for this instance she just had to be close to him. What had to be done later, though, was something that Kirk had to worry about.


[28th of August, 2740 AD; downtown Admorse – Gardner District]


Kirk strolled into the department store for some groceries. It was the first time he had done so in a while, given what he had been doing for the past few years. With the past behind him, though, Kirk wanted to make something for dinner for him and Eva. She had no desire at all to go with him, so he decided to go it alone. At least he was on his own until he bumped into Tori Randolph at the front of the store.

“Kirk, is that you?” Tori asked.

He chuckled. “You found me.”

“It’s been a while,” she said. “What are you doing here?”

“Oh, just doing the rounds,” Kirk replied. “You know, get food… make it… eat it.”

“Is Eva around? She’s usually by your side,” Tori said.

“She didn’t want to come,” he said. “Had to take care of the house.”

“Well, if you two aren’t busy, perhaps you can join us sometime,” Tori replied. “Henry and I would like to catch up with you two if that’s okay with you.”

Kirk smiled. “I would love to,” he said.

“Then how about tomorrow night?” Tori asked. “We were actually going to have plans with Rohan and his wife Umida, but he had a change of plans.”

“I don’t have anything coming up tomorrow, so why not? I’m sure I can convince Eva to come along.”

“Please do,” she said. “I want to know how you two are doing.”

“Okay, I’ll try.”

“Great!” Tori said. “Then we’ll see you tomorrow night.”

She then said goodbye to Kirk and went on her way while he continued his task of selecting the right ingredients for dinner. Kirk did wonder how Henry was doing now that he was re-enlisted with the Ameci military. Certainly there was a story in there somewhere, though Kirk would have to find out from Henry himself tomorrow.


[29th of August, 2740 AD; Ameci Military Headquarters, Admorse, Ameci]


It had been another day of rigorous training for Henry Randolph as he struck the punching bag with punch after punch. The sound of his bare fists hitting the black leather could be heard all across the gym as Henry proceeded to follow up by delivering a roundhouse kick to the bag. After he got the punching bag to move a decent amount, Henry saw it fit to take a brief intermission from his training and sat down on the wooden bench nearby.

Henry had only just been re-enlisted just over a month ago, thanks to his friend Rohan Fercewend being generous enough to find him a spot within the military as a junior lieutenant. There were some opposed to the motion, but many of the soldiers accepted Henry back into the ranks.

Right now, Henry could only think of what he wanted to do after his training was finished. That was when Rohan entered the gym.

“Randolph, I take it you’re faring well in your rounds?”  Fercewend asked.

“You know me well,” Henry said. “It’s been quite a long time, so I’ve had a lot of catching up to do.”

Fercewend laughed a deep laugh as he took a seat next to Henry. “That’s good to hear,” he said. “Some of these new recruits could learn a thing or two from you.”

“I’m flattered,” Henry said. “Sadly I’m not nearly as great a leader as you are, general.”

“Come now,” Fercewend replied, “Rank doesn’t matter between friends. Call me Rohan.”

“Very well,” Henry said. “What brings you here, Rohan? Is it something important?”

“You could say that,” he said. “There is a matter that the Ameci government must attend to in Iiayikohn, so I have been invited along.”

Henry could only guess that it had to do with what had happened in Maeitakohn back in April. Namely the matter of Rodik Mahrk, the new president that took over after the previous president, Rhodes, died.

“I know very little about this new president of Maeitakohn,” Fercewend said. “All I know was that he was the vice president for only a year.”

“So I assume that you will be meeting with him?” Henry asked.

“That’s the plan, it seems,” Fercewend replied. “Hasker stated that it was important for our militaries to cooperate with one another if another ‘incident’ were to happen again.”


“Apparently, the princess from the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn is supposed to attend as well,” Fercewend said. “It was a while since I last stepped foot into that country, but I am glad to see that they too are deciding to come forward.”

“The Thedam princess,” Henry said. “I thought that they didn’t involve themselves in prominent international affairs, though.”

“Looks like it’s different this time.”

“I can see that,” Henry replied.

“They say she’s quite a skilled orator, even at her age,” Fercewend said. “I look forward to hearing from her myself.”

“I wish you luck,” Henry said, “But I assume that this wasn’t why you wanted to me. So what is it that you want from me, then?”

“What I ask from you is to attend this meeting with me,” Fercewend answered. “You’re someone I can trust, so that is why I am asking you specifically to join my side. In addition, there is something else I must ask of you.”

“And that is?”

“An Ameci soldier has gone missing,” Fercewend said. “A young man by the name of Johan Kuu… For a time, he was an excellent spy, but no one has heard from him for a month now.”

“Do you know what happened to him?” Henry asked.

“Kuu was last seen when we were in Ahnlikohn,” he replied. “I don’t know where he has gone, but I am worried that there is more than meets the eye with his disappearance.”

“How so?”

“There has been a bit of a conflict between Hasker and Chancellor Harring,” Fercewend said. “I am hoping that what happened to Kuu doesn’t become something more between our two nations.

“The chancellor is an understanding man,” Henry said.

“That is true, Henry,” Fercewend replied. “What I’m worried about, however, is how this will go over should the royal family of Ahnlikohn get involved.”

“I’m sure that you and Hasker will handle it if that road is crossed.”

Fercewend smirked. “Oh, don’t worry about me,” he said. “Now, my mission for you is simple: I want you to lead a rescue operation into Ahnlikohn. I have no idea if he is still there, but your search for Johan Kuu begins there.”

“I assume that it’ll not be easy,” Henry said. “You chose quite a tough mission for someone who’s only just been re-enlisted.”

“If I didn’t believe in my men, what would would that say about my ability as general?” Fercewend asked. “Better yet: if I didn’t believe in you, how could I ever call myself your friend?”

Henry clenched his fist and grinned as he looked at Rohan. “I wouldn’t expect you to say anything else,” he replied. “Of course I will carry out this mission. I will find Mr. Kuu, that I promise you.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Henry.”

Fercewend stood up and turned towards the door. The sunlight was pouring through the glass as it slowly turned to the evening.

“Now, the ship leaves tomorrow,” he said. “You’ve proven yourself in this gym today, so I would suggest that you go home and get some rest.”

Rohan left the gym as Henry chuckled. It was true, he thought, because there was nothing more that he needed to prove against an opponent that could not move. No, Henry needed to prove his newfound worth out in the field. It was funny since only a few months ago, Henry felt hopeless about the future, but now everything was looking good for him. He found a place back where he once was, he married Tori and had a family to go home to each night. Perhaps it was luck favoring him, but also perhaps it was because Henry had good friends that had supported him when things were at their worst.

“I should get going,” he said. “I promised her that I’d only train for an hour…”


To be continued…


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Sundown – Chapter 2 (Part 2)

Setting back into Mark’s Restaurant brought back memories for Law. It was when he and Mina had their first “date,” which was also the day that he had met Ayanna as well. He had considered Ayanna not only a respectable person, but someone that he had immense feelings for. Obviously Law admired many beautiful women, but Ayanna was much more than that to him.

“So, how long are you planning to stare off to the side?” Ayanna asked.

“Only until you noticed,” Law replied. “I was just wondering what I was going to have for dessert.”

“I thought that we were going to share that famed wild berry tart,” she said. “Mina even recommended it and I usually take her word on this sort of thing.”

Mina sat next to Gavin as she already began to eat the meat stew she had ordered. As she usually did, Mina had a lot of food in front of her as she worked on the three dishes one by one. Meanwhile, Gavin drank his second coffee of the night as his grilled fish had not been eaten yet.

“You haven’t touched your food,” Ayanna said. “Are you okay?”

“I’ll get to it,” Gavin replied. “I’m just thinking over here. Is that wrong?”

“No… Of course not,” she said, “But that does not mean you should be so defensive when I ask you a question.”

“Just leave him be,” Law said. “Anyway, how was your day?”

Ayanna sighed. “Uneventful,” she said. “I know that I should be happy since the True Thekohnians have been defeated, but lately things have been so boring.”

“Maybe you and I should take a vacation,” Law replied.

“Ooh, can I come?” Mina asked as she stopped eating for a moment.

“Not a chance,” Law said. “It’ll be just the two of us, Ayanna. You deserve that much from me.”

“I know,” Ayanna said, “But I can’t just suddenly take a leave of absence. I love you, but I need to keep this job. I’ve busted my arse to get to where I am now.”

“That’s how it is, then?” Law asked. “Nah, it’s okay, even if it makes me a little sad that we can’t just properly spend time as a couple.”

“Excuse me.”

Law turned around and saw a woman of average height standing behind him. She had her hands together and had short, blonde hair.

“Well, can I help you?” Law asked.

“Not you,” the woman said. “I was wondering if I could ask her a question.”

She pointed over at Mina, who stopped eating as all of the attention turned to her. As she wiped her mouth with a napkin, Mina looked over at the woman.

“What is it?” Mina asked.

“You’re the hero of Rezar, right? Every villain’s worst nightmare?”

Mina’s eyes lit up. “Yeah, yeah! That’s me,” she replied. “Mighty Mina, right here at your service!”

The woman blushed. “Amazing! I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate all you’ve done for this city,” she said.

“Thank you!” Mina said. “It’s my duty as a hero to make sure people are safe and I’m happy you feel that way!”

“You’re welcome,” the woman said. “If there’s anything I can do… Anything at all, I would love to help.”

“Sorry, but Mina’s a one woman army,” Law said. “As lovely as you are, Mina is the star that shines the brightest in Rezar.”

“R-Right, what he said!” Mina said.

“I understand,” she replied. “It was great talking to you, however. Please don’t hesitate if you ever want to have a chat.”

With that, the woman left and headed back to her table. Law laughed as he looked over to Mina, who was looking down at her food.

“You’re lucky I’m here,” he said. “She’d have taken you away from me had I not butted in.”

“Really?” Mina asked.

“Well, she almost certainly wouldn’t have invited me along,” Law replied. “Not that I would have gone had she offered, but I can tell when a lady is infatuated with someone. I have experience.”

Gavin pushed up his sunglasses. “Experience? Don’t make me burst out laughing in public.”

“Bro’s just jealous because he doesn’t understand,” Law said.

“I understand full well,” Gavin said. “You’re trying to stir shit up again by doing what you always do.”

“Well, if I knew what it was that I was doing, I might agree with you,” Law said. “Unfortunately, I’m left in the dark and not in a good way.”

“So what’s the problem?” Mina asked. “Are you worried that I might have left with her? When I still have all this food to eat?”

Ayanna shook her head. “Normally I would just file this as being one of Law’s usual antics,” she said, “But I am wondering myself what the problem is here.”

“Oh, I know what it is,” Mina said, “He’s just upset because I’ve been getting more attention than him!”

“And you say that with a grin on your face, like it’s a joke,” Law replied.

“Seriously?” Ayanna asked. “You’re worried because Mina has been receiving more attention from women than you have?”

“I have a reputation to uphold,” he said.

Ayanna placed a hand upon her face. “I’m sorry, but this is just dumb,” she said. “Please just let it go, Law. Let Mina have this.”

“Look, I don’t care who Mina likes,” Law replied.

“Then get over it!” Ayanna said.

Law gasped. “You know what, you’re right,” he said. “Mina’s my friend and I shouldn’t let something meaningless get in the way of our friendship.”

“Yay, I’m so glad you said that!” Mina exclaimed. “Now I can finally eat without wondering if I made you mad.”

“What can I say?” Law asked. “I can’t get mad at you when you smile like that.”

“Anyway, now that that’s settled, I have a question,” Ayanna said. “Gavin, you’ve been quiet for most of our dinner. Are you really okay?”

“I told you before that I’m thinking,” he answered.

“Yes, you have,” she said, “But I can tell when someone has a burden on their mind.”

“Yeah, she has experience,” Law said.

“Well, it’s not that important,” Gavin said. “It’s just a small task someone came to me with.”

“Oh, like a bounty?” Law asked. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

“Because the person that the bounty was placed for is dead,” he replied. “There, now you know why.”

“Somehow I doubt it,” Ayanna said.

Gavin rubbed his chin and tried to look away, but Ayanna kept staring at him until he let out an exasperated sigh. “Fine, you wanna know that badly?”

He pulled out of his pocket a folded up sheet of paper and opened it. Ayanna grabbed it and as she looked, her eyes widened.

“Rysol Wilk, last seen in Jiaikohn,” she said. “But that’s impossible, right?”

Law smiled and leaned forward. “Say, bro, where was it that Gale said she and Sorin were heading to?”

“You’re really asking me, aren’t you,” Gavin said. “She said something about that country to the southwest… It was past Maeitakohn, I know that.”

“Damn, your memory is failing you, bro,” Law said.

“Shut it,” he said.

“It was Kikuisha,” Ayanna said, “But Jiaikohn is not too far off from there.”

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Law asked. “Bro, perhaps it’s chance that brought this request to you.”

“The hell are you talking about?” Gavin asked.

“Think about it, Gavin,” Law said, “Why does that bounty for Rysol Wilk exist? Obviously someone has information on his whereabouts.”

“Okay, now you’re really sounding like an idiot,” Gavin said. “He’s dead. Sorin said as much himself.”

“Nobody found a body, though,” Law replied. “There was no report about him, was there? Ayanna, mind backing me up?”

“No such report has been filed,” she answered.

“See? That’s enough evidence to suggest that Rysol is alive,” Law said. “And who would know about Rysol Wilk besides Sorin and his father? Only a True Thekohnian.”

“This’d be one hell of a bounty, though,” Gavin said. “It’d take a little over a day at least to head to the capital.”

Law shrugged. “You’re not wrong,” he said. “So that would be all the more reason to head out early tomorrow morning.”

“You’re leaving tomorrow?” Mina asked.

“Before the sun rises and way before you get up,” Law replied. “That’s how the Super Power Brothers do it.”

“Please never call us that again,” Gavin said. “Though I should say that you make a good point.”

“It’s a go, then?”

“Lawrence, I’d be surprised if Rysol was still alive,” he replied, “But the possibility that a True Thekohnian is out there in Jiaikohn does raise concern.”

“Just don’t get yourselves killed,” Ayanna said.

“That’s not gonna happen,” Law said. “Anything that comes at us, both my bro and I are prepared. I have my good looks and luck while Gavin, I guess, has a baseball bat.”

“You’re still carrying around that old piece of wood?” Ayanna asked. “Fine, I guess I’ll have to help you out, Gavin.”

“What do you mean?”

“Just come with me after dinner,” she said.

“Fine,” Gavin said.

He placed down his empty cup and sat back in his chair. Meanwhile, Law was finally excited that there was a chance to gain the information he was looking for. After dinner had passed, Gavin went with Ayanna to the prime minister’s office. Law and Mina, however, went back to her home as Law could not wait for tomorrow.


To be continued…


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Sundown – Chapter 2 (Part 1)

[4th of September, 2740 AD; Flame of the Gods Bar, Rezar, Iiayikohn]


Law Power sat at the card table as the other man arrived and took a seat. He was a much older man than Law and wore a brown, heavy coat. Law grinned as he pulled out a deck of cards.

“It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Wallase,” Law said. “You can take your jacket off, unless you prefer to sweat.”

“It’s fine,” Wallase replied. “Just deal the cards.”

“Okay,” Law said, “Seems you’re not much of a talker.”

Law shuffled the deck as his eyes darted briefly to the back of the room. Wallase tapped his fingers on the table as Law began to deal out the cards until both men had five cards in their hand.

“Usually I play against more than one person,” Law said, “And usually it’s with beautiful women. Of course, since you don’t fit that description, we’re just going to keep our clothes on.”

“So are you going to exchange any of your cards?” Wallase asked.

“No,” Law replied. “I think I’m happy with what I’ve got.”

Wallase looked at his cards. “Seems I’m the same,” he said. “Behold my hand!”

He laid down his cards on the table, revealing four “10” cards and a king of clubs. Law shook his head as he eyed his cards once more.

“That’s a pretty good hand, isn’t it?” Law asked. “What a shame…”

“Are you that childish of a loser? Show me your hand!”

“Well, since you asked so nicely…”

Law laid out his hand on the table for Wallase to see. Wallase’s eyes widened as he saw the cards: all diamonds going from “5” to “9.” Law relaxed his arm on the back of his chair and laughed.

“But I know you’re not here for a simple card game,” Law said. “That gun at your hip: it’s not yours at all, is it?”

“Why you-!”

Wallase shot up out of his chair and reached for his gun. He pulled it out and pointed at Law, who was still sitting in his chair.

“Tell me!” Wallase exclaimed “Who sent you!?”

“Perhaps you should worry about what’s behind you, first,” Law replied.


The blunt sound of footsteps filled the air. “Hey!”

Wallase turned around as the bearded Gavin Power swung a wooden bat into his face. The man fell to the floor as some blood spilled from his mouth. Gavin got on top of Wallase as he tried to escape and tied his hands together.

“Let me go!” Wallase demanded. “You have no idea who I am, do you?”

“Of course we do,” Gavin said, “A former True Thekohnian on the run from the Iiayi military.”

“You picked a good time to get captured,” Law said. “We aren’t the military, just a couple of guys looking for a bounty.”

Wallase growled. “Son of a bitch…”

Law got out of his chair and knelt next to Wallase. “I’d prefer you leave me and my bro’s dead mother out of this,” he said. “Besides, you’ve got a much bigger problem to worry about now, don’t you?”

“We should get going,” Gavin said. “Luckily we were able to catch this guy in time, but next time we may not be as fortunate.”

“Luckily, bro?” Law asked. “That’s so unlike you. What happened to hard work and pure skill?”

“I only said that because you spent most of your time here trying to philander with that bartender over there,” Gavin said. “If you took this job as seriously as you did that, then we would be much more efficient!”

“Aw come on, bro, you know I’m just trying to make a lovely lady’s day,” Law replied. “Besides, I’ve been with Ayanna for a while now; I wouldn’t want to break her heart like that.”

“You keep telling yourself that,” Gavin said. “Let’s just get this guy to the car.”

“Whatever,” Law said. “Too bad for you, though, Mr. Wallase.”

Wallase tried to move, but struggled in Gavin’s grasp.

“Let’s hope that pay is good, bro,” Law said. “I’d like to treat Mina and Ayanna to dinner tonight.”

“I’m not sure there will be enough money for all the food Mina will eat,” Gavin said.

“Don’t worry,” Law replied, “If it comes down to that, I’ll be the first one to wash some dishes.”

“You, washing dishes?” Gavin asked. “Did you suffer some sort of brain aneurysm during the past minute?”

Law laughed. “I’m kidding,” he said.

“Thought so.”

Gavin continued to escort Wallase to the nearby car. He helped Wallase into the back seat while Law took his seat in the front. Gavin got into the driver’s seat and started the car. As he begun to drive, Law turned back to Wallase.

“So we’ve got a few questions for you, buddy,” Law began, “First of all, who do you work for?”

“Like hell I’ll tell you that!” Wallase replied.

“I had a feeling you would say that,” Law said. “I’m trying to be nice here, because once we turn you over to the military, I’m sure they will be doing their best to squeeze some answers out of you.”

“That or they’ll stick you in solitary confinement,” Gavin added.

“Now that you know about that, maybe you’ll talk?” Law asked.

“Fuck you!” Wallase said.

“So that’s how it is, then,” Law said. “What a shame, because maybe we could have been friends. Then again, anybody who pulls a gun on someone because of a poker game is probably someone I don’t want to be friends with.”

“Then he’s the military’s problem,” Gavin said.

With their destination set, Gavin and Law made their way to the Iiayikohnian military headquarters. Wallase proved to be unhelpful in answering their questions, as Law wanted to find out whether or not the True Thekohnians were still an active group. Unfortunately, that would have to wait for another time.




[4th of September, 2740 AD; Drake Rask’s house, Rezar, Iiayikohn]


With the bounty collected, Gavin and Law went back to their residence at Drake Rask’s house. Currently they were still in search of their own housing, but because Mina’s uncle was so generous, the brothers decided to stay for a few more weeks. As Gavin stepped out of the car, Mina noticed the two and starting running towards them.

“You’re back!”

Gavin had only a split second to react as Mina tackled him to the ground. She wrapped her arms around him as Law could only smile at what she was doing.

“Mina, we haven’t been gone that long!” Gavin said. “Shit, have you gotten even stronger since then!?”

“You know I can’t just relax, Gavin,” she said. “You’ve been getting stronger, too, you know.”

“She is right, bro,” Law said. “You’ve been spending time off chopping down trees and making firewood, I’m surprised you haven’t decided to make a home for yourself in the mountains of Ahnlikohn already.”

“Knock it off, Lawrence!” Gavin said. “I was just caught off guard, that’s all. I could still win against Mina even with both of my arms tied behind my back!”

“If you’re that happy to have your butt kicked, then I can do it,” Mina said as she got up off of Gavin. “We can even go right now!”

Gavin stood up and dusted himself off. “I’m too tired,” he replied. “Besides, Lawrence and I were thinking of treating you and Ayanna to dinner tonight.”

“Wow, is that true?” Mina asked.

Law shrugged. “My idea.”

“You didn’t need to do that, Law!” Mina said as she wrapped her arms around Law.

“No, it’s okay,” he said. “Consider it a thank you for everything you guys have done for me and my bro.”

“It’s not exactly like a free gift, either,” Gavin said, “Because we’re going to go all out for you, especially, Mina. Nearly all of the pay for the last bounty is going to this little ‘feast’ of ours.”

“Come on,” Law said. “Mina’s just happy to see us, as I am happy to see her.”

“Of course,” Mina replied. “Though I would like to see what a bounty hunter does in person.”

“I’d love to bring you along,” Law said, “But Gavin’s not too keen on that idea.”

“Bringing you along is work enough,” he said. “I was doing just fine by myself while your leg was still healing, but now it feels like I’m sitting a child while I try to catch these criminals.”

“It just means you won’t admit that we make a pretty good team,” Law replied. “I talk them up while you smash them with that bat of yours.”

“Really?” Mina asked. “What about your gun, Gavin?”

“Unfortunately, I had to turn that in when I resigned,” he answered. “The Ameci military is pretty strict about their arsenal.”

“And the Iiayi military is just plain strict,” Law said. “Ayanna’s told me about how many hoops it takes now for people to enlist. The damn rulebook is like a doorstop!”

“But I’m not going to stop getting better,” Gavin said. “This is just a small stop before greatness.”

“Okay, well that’s enough about you,” Law said. “Mina, I have to tell you something: I’m quite envious of you these days.”

“That’s not surprising,” she said, “I’ve been kicking your butt so much that I’m beginning to feel that you actually enjoy having me beat you.”

Law chuckled and shook his head. “That’s not what I’m talking about,” he said. “Though I wouldn’t mind you pinning me down one of these days…”

“No,” Mina replied.

“Somehow I knew that was going to be your answer,” he said. “I won’t pursue it, then.”

“Just what are you talking about, then?” Mina asked.

“When we head to the city, I’ve noticed you’ve been gaining the attention of many a woman,” Law answered. “Normally, I wouldn’t mind, but it’s usually when I’m trying to talk to them that they gravitate towards you instead.”

“Oh, is that all?” Mina said. “Well, I guess that you’re right! It is pretty nice, isn’t it?”

“Mina, I like you,” Law replied, “That’s why I brought it up.”

“You’re with Ayanna, though,” Gavin said.

Mina smiled. “That’s true,” she said. “Maybe that’s why he really brought it up, because he’s worried she might go for me instead.”

“No I’m not!” Law exclaimed. “Not that I think Ayanna goes that way… A-Anyway, I just don’t want to end up having to go against you while I talk with other women!”

“You’re already my rival, though,” she said. “All heroes have their rivals, and you just happen to be mine.”

Law sighed. “Looks like you don’t get it.”

“Get what?”

“Forget it, Mina,” Gavin said. “He’s just spouting off nonsense now. Are you ready to go out with us?”

“Of course I’m ready!” Mina answered. “I used the bathroom and showered before you came home!”

“Too much information, but good enough,” Gavin said. “Just let me call Ayanna and we can head out.”

“Don’t take too long,” Law said. “Otherwise, we might miss out on the happy hour.”

“Shut it,” Gavin replied.

He walked off to the house as Law looked over at Mina. She was busy stretching her arms and legs as he took the time to enjoy the forested land around him.

“How was your day?” Law asked.

“It was good!” Mina replied. “I went to the city and did some agility training like Gavin suggested.”

“That so?”

“If I’m going to defeat any villain that dares to attack us, then I need to keep getting stronger,” she said. “Besides, I… I really want to impress Gavin.”

Law scoffed. “Good luck with that,” he said. “My bro can be pretty tough to impress sometimes.”

“Then I’ll just work harder,” Mina said, “And if that doesn’t work, I’ll fight him head to head and win his approval that way!”

“Well, if there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s your pluck,” Law said. “Ah, it looks like he’s finally coming out. Ready, Mina?”

Mina nodded. “Let’s go already; I’m starving!”


To be continued…


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