Sundown – Chapter 46 (Part 2)

[23rd of September, 2740 AD; Ameci Embassy, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


After hearing the news of Isla’s demise, Rohan Fercewend made a few quick calls to his subordinates. He reached out to the commanders of each troop and congratulated them on a job well done as they awaited him to give them their next objective.

“For now, I want you to come back to the embassy,” Fercewend told them. “I don’t want to get too ahead of myself, but it appears as if we’ll be heading back home soon.”

He was confident that the Ameci military would head home after this mission, though for some reason, Fercewend felt like there was still something that had to be done. Fercewend walked around the room, looking out the window while he thought to himself. Though he could not place a finger on what bothered him, Fercewend continued to pace as President Hasker entered the room.

“You seem anxious, general,” Hasker said. “We’ve won in the battle against the Neu Thekohnian Order, so why the long face?”

“It’s just nerves, sir,” Fercewend replied.

“Well, that’s to be expected, I suppose,” Hasker said. “Just now, I spoke with Casper’s son. Seems like there was a skirmish between Private Mars and a small splinter of the Neu Thekohnian Order.”

“A skirmish?” Fercewend asked.

“Yes, but I guess that you’ve probably been informed about this by now,” Hasker replied. “It must be tough.”

“I’m afraid I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“That’s odd,” Hasker said. “I guess you haven’t received the call from Bradley, then.”

“Well, if it concerns a soldier, then I have to know what happened,” Fercewend said. “Please tell me, sir.”

That was when President Hasker relayed all of the information that he learned from Bradley’s father to Fercewend. The general kept an expressionless look on his face as he looked out of the window next to him. Somehow, he had a feeling that this was all coming.

“So it’s true, then,” Fercewend said. “Johan Kuu truly did defect and worked alongside the Neu Thekohnian Order…”

“It surprised me, too,” Hasker said. “But we don’t have to worry about him now, all things considered.”

Fercewend rested his hand on the wall next to the window. “I will not lie, sir,” he said, “All I can think of when I hear this news is that I wish I could have known about this sooner so I could have done something.”

“I’m sorry,” Hasker replied.

“And Mars… I know he’s unpredictable but damn it, a soldier of mine is still someone I have to look out for!” Fercewend exclaimed. “At least I should be able to check up on him in the ward.”

“About that, general,” Hasker said, “Casper told that Private Korbin Mars is currently resting in Hurst with his father watching over him.”

“I see,” Fercewend said. “Then there’s no chance that I could reach out to him while he’s with Harold, then?”

“Harold doesn’t usually respond when I call him,” Hasker replied, “So it’s doubtful that you’d be able to get through.”

Fercewend sighed. “That’s fine,” he said. “Just being able to know that our Ameci soldiers are doing well is good enough news to me.”

“That’s why I like you, general,” Hasker said, “You care a lot about your fellow man and aren’t afraid to show it.”

“I would hope that anybody in my position would feel the same way,” Fercewend replied. “We need unity now more than ever, and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to achieve that unity with the official successor to the Royal Thekohnian throne.”

“That I can agree with,” Hasker said. “Well, if you don’t mind, general, I’m going to go with Isaac and meet the prime minister.”

“Oh, okay,” Fercewend said. “By the way, let Isaac know that I wish to speak with him later tonight. It’s very important.”

“I’ll be sure to tell him, general,” Hasker said. “In the meantime, I’m sure you will be able to wrap things up around here.”

“Yes, I can’t wait to head back to Ameci,” Fercewend said. “The family has been very much on my mind as of late. My oldest, Ari, has been doing quite well in her studies. I intend to surprise her with a nice little gift I picked up the other day while I was at the market.”

Hasker smiled and turned towards the door. “That sounds good to me,” he said. “Hopefully all goes well with you.”

“I hope the same thing for you, sir,” Fercewend replied.

“Thank you.”

Fercewend then said goodbye to President Hasker. Now that he was alone once again, Rohan knew that there was one more call that he needed to make. He wanted to know how Gale was doing and if she had any plans to return home. That and he wanted to ask her about something, but only if he got the chance to meet with her in person.




About an hour later, Gale entered the Ameci Embassy by herself. She had to go alone due to the fact that Ayanna was occupied with communicating with all of the Iiayikohnian soldiers near the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn. After taking the call from Rohan, Gale knew that she had to find out about what he wanted to say to her. As she stepped foot into the main hall, Gale could not find Fercewend. She looked around, but alas, Rohan was nowhere to be seen.

“That’s odd,” Gale said. “Rohan told me that he’d meet me right here in the main lobby.”

She started to walk around, but that was when she heard the faint sound of someone speaking. It took a moment for Gale to realize that she knew the person that was talking and decided to follow the voice. As she got closer to the source, Gale heard another person speaking while the clarity of both voices got better. Then, she stopped a couple of feet away from the doorway and listened as she could not believe what she heard next.

“It’s all done, Casper,” Isaac said. “We have Isla and the Neu Thekohnian Order to thank for helping us get this far.”

“Good thing they went down pretty easily,” Casper said. “I guess you never expected it all to move so rapidly, did you? I sure didn’t.”

“Perhaps there is some use to that princess,” Isaac replied. “Of course, she does associate herself with that young man and his allies, so I find it unlikely that she would want to cooperate with us.”

“We could always use intimidation,” Casper said. “After all, it was they who attacked our ally, so why not set a standard with the kingdom?”

“Let’s hold off on that for now,” Isaac said. “If we move too fast, the people will start to get wise. It’s better if we let Rain Zano Thedam be for now. Besides, there’s another matter in which I would like to discuss.”

“Ah yes, that,” Casper replied.

Isaac chuckled. “Of course,” he said. “We want our valuable leader to rise to the helm as soon as possible, right?”

“Truly and absolutely,” Casper said. “Though perhaps it’s not the best to move forward, considering what happened with Alan Berry.”

“Don’t worry,” Isaac replied, “In due time, we will set forth our plan to restore the glory that was lost in the War of the Lands.”

“I can’t thank you enough, Isaac,” Casper said. “If not for you two, I would have been driven to my wits end.”

“Thank me once it’s all said and done, my friend,” Isaac said. “You will have a lot to look forward in the near future, so I suggest that you get yourself ready for when the day finally comes.”

“I cannot wait,” Casper said. “Say, you must have made quite a killing from all the gear that Lauren Ahga purchased from you, right?”

“Yes,” Isaac said. “Why do you ask?”

“I was thinking if you were interested in joining up with me,” Casper replied. “With your skills, we’d be the most formidable team in the world.”

“Unfortunately, the realm of political office is not for me,” Isaac said. “I don’t have nearly the same drive that you possess, but I do appreciate the offer.”

“I suppose that makes sense,” Casper said. “You probably don’t want to part ways with your business, anyway.”

“Well, even if I wanted to, there arises other problems,” Isaac replied. “I’ve only one successor to Kunigunde Industries, if we’re being completely technical. It’s better if we don’t speak about it.”

“Got it,” Casper said. “Anyway, do you have any other plans?”

“I’ve got to go and meet with him later,” Isaac answered. “He’s pretty busy, but he said he would make time for me if I hurried.”

“Heh, it’s not often I see you on the receiving end of a demand,” Casper said. “Usually you’re the one swinging your business around, if you know what I mean.”

“Yes, well, he’s a different matter entirely,” Isaac said. “Highly impatient, yet he’s one of the most valuable allies that I have.”

“You have to remind me not to get in a queue with him,” Casper said. “Ah well, I don’t want to hold you up any longer. Thank you for your assistance, Mr. Kunigunde.”

“I should be the one thanking you, Mr. President,” Isaac said. “Oh, I mean, Mr. Vice President.”

“In due time,” Casper replied.

Gale knew she had to move fast. She had no idea how Isaac would react if he saw her in the hall, but she did not wish to find out. Going back the way that she came, Gale looked to hurry herself back to the main lobby. Before she could enter, however, she noticed Fercewend waiting.

“Rohan, I’ve been waiting for you,” Gale said as she walked over to him. “Where were you?”

“Ah, so you did arrive,” Fercewend said.

“Sorry, I got lost earlier,” she replied. “It’s just been a hectic kind of day, you know?”

“I can understand,” Fercewend said. “You wouldn’t believe the stuff I’ve been hearing coming out of the kingdom.”

“Oh no, it’s not what I think it is, is it?” Gale asked.

“Nothing like that,” he replied. “It just involves a couple of soldiers, that’s all. I’m pretty sure that Sorin and all your friends are okay, judging from the reactions.”

“I know,” Gale said. “I was only worrying about you, you know.”

“That’s much appreciated,” Fercewend said. “Speaking of which, there’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you about.”

“You told me that over the phone,” Gale replied. “Actually, can we talk somewhere else? I kind of don’t like the atmosphere around here…”

“Of course, of course,” Fercewend said. “I’m starting to grow a bit tired of this place myself, to be honest.”

“Thanks, Rohan.”

With nothing left to do in the embassy, Gale left with Fercewend as she still could not forget about the conversation she had dropped in on. What did it all mean? All Gale knew, however, was that something was up involving Isaac and she did not know what to do about it. It was not as if Gale had the ability to do much, though, but still it bothered her. It bothered Gale knowing that her father seemed to be up to something and she had no way of knowing what exactly he had planned.


To be continued…


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Sundown – Chapter 46 (Part 1)

[23rd of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Flumen Field]


Though the sun was beginning to shine, it did not compare to the amazing, lightning-like entrance of Korbin Mars, who kept his pistol trained on Johan. At first, Sorin looked down to Johan and kept his distance away from Korbin. Soon, however, the turn of events was too much for Sorin to take as he set his sights on Korbin and drew his sword. Sorin stepped in front of Johan as Rysol and Jelka hurried over.

“The fuck are you doing?” Korbin asked. “I gotta make sure that he’s dead! Get the hell out of my way, Sorin Wilk!”

“You bastard!” Sorin exclaimed. “What gives you the right?”

“It’s my job,” Korbin said, “I’m good at it. The fact that this helps Bradley out is just the cherry on top!”

“Bradley?” Rysol asked. “What… What does he want?”

Korbin grinned. “He’s a good man, I’ll say,” he said. “He and my dad go back, that’s for sure, so it only makes sense to do him this favor and extinguish this flame going on.”

“I know what’s on, then,” Rysol replied. “You… You intend on supporting Foundation… That’s what this is, isn’t it?”

“You’re asking me?” Korbin wondered.

Rysol drew his blade. “I’m not going to let that happen!”

With a scream, Rysol charged at Korbin with his blade pointed forward. Korbin moved out of the way as he put away his pistol and took out his sword instead. Rysol spun around and swung at Korbin, but he defended himself with his blade. For Sorin, he saw the rare opening that he needed to use and began to rush right at Korbin’s back.

“Don’t think that this is like the last time, damn it,” Korbin said. “You can’t fool me twice, Sorin Wilk!”

Korbin then backed off of Rysol and moved once again to the side. Rysol could see Sorin coming at him with only one way to defend himself. Sorin, though, came to a stop a foot away from Rysol and turned to Korbin. All Korbin could do was laugh as Sorin began to realize what just happened.

“You really did make it easy for me,” Korbin said, sheathing his sword and taking out his gun again. “Go ahead and try to stop me, because it’s fucking over for him!”

Jelka was the only one standing between Korbin and Johan. She was not about to move out of the way, however, as she took out her gun and aimed at Korbin.

“You wouldn’t dare,” Jelka said. “Unless you want me to decorate your skull with lead, you’ll put down your weapon at once!”

Korbin laughed again. “I’d like to see you try it,” he said. “Or do you not care about what happens to Johan over there?”

“Don’t even think of mocking me,” Jelka replied. “You have no chance of escape, no matter how hard you try and squirm your way out!”

“You think I’m going to escape?” Korbin asked. “You dumbass, I’m Korbin Fucking Mars! I’m not someone who’s going to fall back because it looks like I’m at a disadvantage! You… Hahaha… You really chose the wrong man to fuck with, Jelka Arne, because I will destroy you!”

Korbin took his gun and aimed at Jelka. He fired twice without any hint of hesitation. Jelka tried to aim, but was stopped. Not by getting shot, but rather, because she was shoved to the side. Sorin watched in disbelief as he and Rysol had no words. Johan stood there wounded once more in his stomach, as well as his shoulder, as Jelka sat up.

“No, why would you do this?” Jelka asked. “Johan, answer me!”

Johan coughed. “I’m sorry, Jelka…”

He collapsed to the ground and did not move. Korbin moved closer with his gun still trained on Johan.

“You move one step further and I will kill you,” Jelka said. “And if I can’t do it, they will.”

Sorin and Rysol readied themselves. All Sorin wanted to do now was make sure Johan got treated, but that would be impossible as long as Korbin was still around. He was not sure how, but Sorin wanted to deal with Korbin before anybody else arrived.

“Like I said,” Korbin replied. “Any of you move and I’ll fire again. Johan Kuu is already breathing his last breaths, anyway…”

“You believe… that?” Johan asked. “Sorin, we can’t… let him win…”

Johan tried to stand up, but when he placed his hands on the ground and pushed himself up, he collapsed again. With his face down, Johan could not move a single inch as Korbin aimed again. Sorin was at a loss at what to do, and he was certain that both Rysol and Jelka felt the same.

“I know it’s such a struggle for you to move,” Korbin said to Johan. “Hell, you may even be dead right now! But I’m not going to let a job go unfinished just because you don’t have the strength to fight back!”

No distraction could stop Korbin now, Sorin thought. At least, he thought so, but in that moment, Rysol begged to differ. Korbin could not even get a shot off as Rysol struck from behind and swung his sword. It looked to be a shock to Korbin as his right arm fell to the ground. Rysol had cut Korbin’s arm off, the gun in his hand dropping to the ground as well. Jelka dashed at Korbin and thrusted the barrel of her gun into the bottom of his chin. Sorin remained at the back and made sure that Korbin could not possibly pull off an escape.

“Finally got you now,” Jelka said.

Korbin’s breathing increased, his desire to scream growing. “You! You, you, you, you, you, you, you, you… son of a bitch, Rysol Wilk!”

“Better pray now,” Rysol said. “If you want any sort of mercy, it’ll have to be in death!”

“It’s over, Korbin,” Sorin said. “Surrendering won’t do you good now, nor will cowering for your life.”

“You… you would do this, wouldn’t you?” Korbin asked. “You’d kill me now after all that’s said and done?”

Sorin shook his head. “I’m not going to kill you,” he replied. “I can’t say the same for these two, though.”

“That’s it, huh?” Korbin asked.

“You’ve got only seconds to live,” Jelka said. “Not another word, you coward!”

Korbin smirked. “You think I’m a coward?”

“Asshole!” Rysol exclaimed. “With your life forfeit, you choose to mock us both?”

“I’m only getting started!” Korbin exclaimed.

He bursted into laughter as he used his remaining hand and grabbed Jelka’s wrist. Korbin turned the gun away from him as he headbutted her in the face. Jelka turned away and covered her face as Rysol attacked next, but Korbin quickly drew his sword and faced Rysol. Rysol attempted to attack, but Korbin defended himself from each blow. Sorin hurried over to help Rysol, but found himself unable to hit Korbin. No matter what he could do, Sorin could not land a single strike.

“Did he just get stronger?” Sorin asked.

“Impossible,” Rysol replied. “There’s no way he should be able to keep fighting!”

“You underestimated what a man like me is willing to do,” Korbin said. “It looks like I’m not going to see to Johan’s death, but it’s not like you fuckers can do anything about it, anyway! Farewell!”

Korbin swung as hard as he could, jarring both Sorin and Rysol. They were caught off guard by the instantaneous attack. Before Sorin defended himself, though, Korbin instead opted to run away. He ran as far as he could until he reached the hill and decided to roll down it. Rysol attempted to chase him, but was stopped by Sorin.

“He’s not going to get far, brother,” Sorin said. “Right now, we need to see if Johan is okay.”

“You’re right,” Rysol said. “As much as that man… As much as he infuriates me, we have more important things to attend to…”

They hurried over to Jelka, who was already at Johan’s side. Sorin wanted to believe that Johan would survive. He did. When he looked at Johan sprawled out on the ground, however, Sorin knew. He knew that the damage had already been done and that all he could do now was take the next step.




[23rd of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Outside Thedam Castle]


Walking back to Thedam Castle did not take too long for Sorin, yet all he could think about was Johan and his dream. There was no other choice in Sorin’s mind: he had to carry on Johan’s dream. He had to do it, somehow, but at least in his case, Sorin knew that he was not alone. That proved to be true once he made it back to the castle, where everyone, save for Gavin and Law, waited outside for him. Kirk was the first to greet Sorin, patting him on the back while the others ran up to him.

“Are you okay, Sorin?” Kirk asked.

“I’m okay,” Sorin replied.

“If that’s the case, then what the hell was up with those gunshots?” Lowell asked. “I was under the impression that all those Neu Thekohnian Order people were taken care of.”

“It’s already been taken care of,” Sorin said.

“Taken care of?” Eva asked. “Did something happen?”

Kirk looked around. “Rysol… Don’t tell me it involved him…”

“He’s fine,” Sorin replied. “Rysol just has some unfinished business that he needs to deal with, that’s all.”

“That man can’t really go back to Ameci,” Pekka said. “That’s what you believe, isn’t it? Well, whatever it is he has to do, you seem to be comfortable with the answer.”

“What about Jelka and Johan?” Rain asked. “If not for their help, who knows what would have happened with my mother…”

“Jelka’s with Rysol,” Sorin replied. “There’s a lot that they need to do right now and they’re not going to stop until they’re done.”

“You kind of already mentioned that,” Noa said.

“Did I?” Sorin asked.

“That doesn’t matter, honestly,” Rain said. “I’m just glad they’ll be okay after all this.”

“But Sorin, you haven’t said anything about Johan,” Luna said. “Is he with them, too?”

“Yeah, it’s weird you didn’t mention him,” Mina said. “Usually, Johan would be the first person you’d mention in this sort of situation!”

“Is it really that odd, though?” Pekka asked. “I suppose I do want to know what Johan’s going to do now that the Neu Thekohnian Order is no more. What about him, Sorin?”

Sorin turned away. “Johan… He’s gone now…”

“What? No, you’re kidding, aren’t you?” Luna asked. “Sorin, don’t leave me hanging like this! What do you mean when you say Johan’s gone?”

“That’s what I said,” Sorin replied.

He explained everything the group needed to know about the encounter between Johan and Korbin at Flumen Field. Luna was the first to react as she covered her mouth and muttered to herself, while Pekka just clenched his fist. Noa had nothing to say, but it was clear in his eyes that the news affected him, too. Rain felt the need to look off into the distance while Mina continued to listen to what Sorin had to say.

“I can’t believe it,” Mina said. “Korbin knows no end to his countless crimes at all!”

“We can get angry and sad all we want,” Eva said. “It’s only natural to feel that way, especially when it involves someone you know well.”

“But Korbin’s been severely incapacitated,” Sorin replied. “I doubt he’d be able to do much now in his current condition.”

“It still hurts, doesn’t it?” Luna asked. “Johan was your friend, wasn’t he? There’s nothing that any of us do now to bring him back!”

“There’s plenty of time to mourn his loss,” Eva said. “Right now, we still have to make sure everything is okay around here. Your Highness… er, I mean, Rain… it’s clear that you will need support.”

“Which is why we’d be happy to help you out,” Kirk said. “As a member of the Swords of Eight, we will be there every step of the way until you become the Queen of Thekohn.”

“And I’ll be there to help, too,” Mina said. “That is, if you want me to…”

“Thanks, everybody,” Rain replied.

“So have you heard from either Gavin or Law yet?” Sorin asked. “I’m not sure where they’re going to take Isla, to be honest.”

“Oh, about that,” Mina said, “Gavin said that he’d call us once he and Law made it to Maeitakohn.”

Rain explained that General Khadir had already been informed of the decision to exile Isla prior to the morning. That was when he offered to complete the process himself.

“We can trust Karim to handle this,” Kirk said. “If only I could say the same about Rodik Mahrk.”

“He’s sure to play by the rules for now,” Tre said. “The man’s trying his best not to rock the boat too hard down there, lest he ends up meeting the same fate as his predecessor.”

“True,” Lowell replied.

“But that’s not for us to worry about,” Rain said. “Come now, let’s gather inside. I’m sure that the royal guard has already cleaned it up by now.”

Everyone agreed and headed back inside. Sorin was the last to enter, though, as he looked back to the sky. The clouds were almost gone now and the sun was shining bright. He had no idea what was in store for him in the future, but as long as he remained dedicated, he would make Johan’s dream possible. That much Sorin could promise to his friend.

“See you… Johan…”


To be continued…


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