Sundown – Chapter 8 (Part 2)

For a trip that had been made on short notice, Brook Rio Thedam gathered together a small travelling bag full of clothes for his voyage to Iiayikohn. When he had received the phone call from his sister yesterday, Brook was just getting back from Jiaikohn and setting his trophy in the main hall of Thedam Castle. At first Brook was reluctant, but was convinced by Rain after she said she needed his help. Seeing as she had been so nice, he thought, how could Brook refuse?

He sat by the window and read through a book detailing the long history of the Thekohnian Region. History had been a favorite subject of Brook’s, going from the Great Thekohnian Wars that happened over a hundred years ago all the way to the current events. Perhaps it was a chance to even meet with the prime minister himself, Brook thought.

“Attention, this is your conductor speaking,” the voice spoke over the speakers. “We’re arriving in Rezar right now. Please be sure to gather all your belongings and exit to the left once we have stopped.”

“Looks like I’ll have to resume this later,” Brook said as he closed his book.

With the train in a stationary position, Brook stood up to pick up his bag and step off. However, he was distracted by a small commotion on the other side as a young boy called out to a man that had begun to run out of the train with a large case in his arms.

“Somebody help!” The boy’s father pointed to the burly man rushing into the station. Brook sighed as he stepped off of the train and followed after the man. Though the crowd proved to be quite abundant, Brook was able to catch up with the man and tap him on the shoulder.

“Excuse me,” Brook said.

The man frowned. “What do ya want?”

“That case isn’t yours, is it?”

The man dropped the case to the ground as he shoved Brook away. “That’s none of your business, you son of a bitch!”

Brook clenched his fist. “I was going to have to settle this peacefully,” he said in a calm tone. “Guess that’s out of the question now.”

“I’m going to break your face, pretty boy!”

The man charged at Brook with his fist raised, but Brook was able to move to the side and grabbed his arm. With only a moment to react, Brook punched the man in the face and knocked him to the ground. A guard came running to the man on the ground as Brook picked up the large case.

“This is yours, isn’t it?” Brook asked as he handed the case back to the father. “A rather large instrument, I may guess?”

“Thank you, young man,” the father said. “Wait a minute, aren’t you Brook Rio Thedam?”

“It seems like you’re well informed,” Brook replied. “I just happened to passing by, so please pay me no mind.”

He walked away from the two as Ayanna came running up to him.

“Your Highness,” Ayanna said. She introduced herself to him as he shook her hand.

“Glad to meet you,” Brook said. “I’m sorry you had to see that.”

“They’re taking care of it now,” Ayanna replied. “Come now, we have somewhere to we need to be.”




Back at the prime minister’s office, Brook was escorted by Ayanna to the Questioning Chambers. Gavin, Law, and Gale sat at the other end of the table as Brook took a seat.

“I knew there was something bothering me about you,” Brook said to Gavin. “If only I had known who I was dealing with, then perhaps things would have gone differently back in Jiaikohn.”

Gavin scowled. “The hell is that supposed to mean?”

“Had I known that I had been facing off against the prominent junior lieutenant of the Ameci military, then perhaps I might have pulled a few strings to face you,” Brook replied.

There was a prolonged silence in the room as Brook grinned.

“But seeing as I’m not type to make humorous remarks, it’s to be expected that that one flies over your heads,” he said.

“So, as I was saying to you earlier,” Ayanna said, “It appears that Princess Rain is in need of your help and these three are a part of it.”

“Do tell,” Brook said.

Law smirked as he put his hands together. “Sadly, your dear sister isn’t here to tell you, so I suppose I’ll be the one to drop the news,” he said. “You see, she has been quite taken with myself. The other day, even, she asked to hold my hand as we walked to the local confectionery.”

Brook looked over to Ayanna. “Are you serious?”

“Law, you told me this was important,” Ayanna said.

“It was,” he replied, “Which is why what I said just now was a joke.”

Everybody else in the room groaned as Law chuckled.

“Hey, if our royal prince here can wisecrack with us, then why not I?”

“Let me take over, then, since you don’t seem at all interested in leading the conversation,” Gale said. “We’ve been doing some research with your sister yesterday and have come across some startling information.”

“Or rather, the lack of information,” Law said, “But that’s the far from the point we’re trying to make here.”

“Then what is it?” Brook asked.

“You can tell me, right, kid?” Law asked. “Your sister mentioned to us a potential assassination attempt on the king. Surely this is common knowledge to the entire royal family?”

Brook sighed. “It’s nothing surprising,” he said. “Anyone with enough power will be sought after. However, most of them just peter out or are apprehended before the damage can be done.”

“I’m going to be level with you, Brook,” Law said, “Rain is an exceptional lady and the second most beautiful woman that I know. Clearly, though, there’s something more than meets the eye on this whole thing, isn’t there?”

“If you’re asking me, then I do not know,” Brook answered.

“No turmoil or anything of that sort?” Law asked.

“Things at the castle have been quiet,” he said. “The queen has been completely busy with her duties in my father’s absence, however.”

“Absence?” Gavin asked. “Let me guess, Your Highness: the king’s gone missing, hasn’t he?”

“It seems like I’ve spoken too much,” Brook replied.

“I promise that we’ll keep it a secret,” Gale said. “You would agree, wouldn’t you?”

“If it’s important to whatever it is my sister is doing, then I suppose I have no choice,” Brook replied. “Late last month, my father became deeply ill. From what I’ve heard from the doctors, though, it is treatable.”

“Ah, finally, we hear something that’s intriguing,” Law said. “Nobody else knows about this, am I right?”

“Only within the family and our advisors,” Brook said.

“That’s a key word there, wouldn’t you agree, Gale?” Law asked.

Gale pushed up her glasses. “Why are you asking me?”

“I feel like there’s one question you’re not asking here, Law,” Ayanna said. “Namely, what do you want the prince to do about this?”

“This kid’s a valuable asset to us,” Law replied. “Whatever happens to the king, it will be considerably damaging to the royal family, regardless of who is next in line.”

“I think you’re being a bit over dramatic,” Ayanna replied.

Law leaned in. “How so?”

“You’re acting under the assumption that the king is already under attack,” she said. “That’s very dangerous conjecture.”

“Nothing’s escaping this room, right,” Law said. “Bro, come on, back me up here.”

“Don’t ask me,” Gavin replied. “You’re the one who brought it up.”

Law took a deep breath and sighed as he stood up. “It seems like I’m just going to have to do things myself, then,” he said as he walked around the table. “A man gets a taste of power, so what does he do? He sets out to satiate that hunger by doing whatever it takes to fill his gluttonous gut with that authority. If we’re dealing with such a person, then we will need to advance our investigation.”

“Even you should realize it’s not that simple,” Ayanna said.

Gavin shook his head and scoffed. “He’s not exactly the kind of person to see the problems introduced by his reasoning,” he said. “Still, though, it isn’t like he’s wrong, either.”

“I know there’s no chance in hell that the Iiayikohnian government will get involved,” Law said. “This is a purely internal matter for the kingdom, yet it also carries a lot of weight for everyone else. Even Ameci and Elemci would have to be affected.”

“Maybe Ameci would, but their neighbor hardly has anything to do with it,” Ayanna replied. “Anyway, it’s nothing that I feel is too concerning. Your Highness, are you quite satisfied?”

Brook eyed at Law. “I do not know what it is my sister said to you, but what I would like to say is that I want little to do with it,” he said. “I was on my way home in order to prepare for the summit in Glora when I was sidetracked.”

“I would like to apologize,” Ayanna said. “It seems like these three were mistaken by what the princess had said.”

“You really don’t need to apologize to me,” he said. “I packed well enough to go from here to Ahnlikohn right away.”

“Do you not want to see your sister before you leave?” Gale asked.

“Well, I was expecting to run into her, but it seems like she’s off on her own adventures,” he said. “I knew she had this streak in her, which was why she was so excited about this trip in first place. There will be another chance for us to reunite before the Thekohnian Festival begins, that much I am sure of.”

“Really? What’s the festival like?” Gale wondered.

“If it interests you that much, then feel free to come,” Brook said.

“The Thekohnian Festival is one of the most well known events throughout the region,” Ayanna added. “Lots of people come far and wide to see the dancers, singers, and everyone else that comes to celebrate this vast land.”

“So we’d be good to see it in person sometime, you think?” Law asked. “You really should just try and catch that break around then.”

“I’ll think about it,” Ayanna replied. “As for you, Your Highness, I’d be glad to escort you to the train station.”

“Honestly, it seems like a hassle,” Gavin said. “You could have just declined and not have to go through all that nonsense again.”

Brook stood up as he headed for the door. “It doesn’t bother me that much,” he said. “What does bother me, though, was what I heard from Rain.”

Gale got out of her chair. “Did she tell you something we haven’t heard?”

“Ask her for yourself,” Brook replied. “Other than that, I must take my leave right now.”

“I will see you guys later,” Ayanna said. “Please try not to get into any trouble, Law.”

Ayanna walked out of the room with Brook as Gavin stood up out of his chair. He turned to Gale, who was thinking to herself. Law, meanwhile, was trying not to laugh.

“Do you think we screwed up?” Gale asked.

“I doubt it,” Gavin replied. “The princess probably thought that there was little chance that her brother would be able to supply any information to us.”

“We have to speak to Rain,” Gale said. “I wonder where she and Mina are right now.”

“That is something I’d like to know, too,” Law said. “What possible things are they saying about me out of my earshot?”

“You know, calling Brook here was your idea,” Gale replied. “I was certain that you’d have some sort of brilliant deduction, but honestly it all felt like a waste of time.”

“Sometimes a broken clock is just that,” Gavin said.

“Come on, bro, I can’t just let that slide,” Law said, “And you, Gale… If it wasn’t for the fact that you’re cute, I’d be pretty mad at what you just said.”

“Sometimes it’s just best to know when to shut up,” Gavin said. “Besides, we all know you’re just going to forget this happened once we meet with Mina and Rain again.”

“Oh fine,” Law said.

“No, it’s not fine,” Gale responded. “I feel like we’ve let Rain down…”

Gavin sighed. “Let’s just get out here,” he said. “We’re just wasting more time if we don’t catch up with the other two soon.”

“I suppose we should,” Law said. “Best to get the girls before they go off on some wacky adventure without us. I mean, we’re already down Sorin, so it’ll be just you and me, bro!”

Gavin rolled his eyes. “Gale, you shouldn’t feel bad about this,” he said. “Just move past it and we’ll go.”




[9th of September, 2740 AD; Iiayine Prison, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Giga District]


“Are you enjoying this view?” Alan asked to Silvia.

Inside the courtyard, Alan took Silvia over to the large watchtower at the edge of the prison. There was a good view of most of the city and ocean as Silvia looked over everything.

“It was a long climb,” she replied. “Are you okay, Prime Minister?”

Alan chuckled. “If there’s any problem, I know my guards will look after me,” he said. “Besides, it’s not like I’m that old anyway.”

“I won’t question it, then,” Silvia said. “Why did you want to speak with me of all people?”

“The other day, a mysterious person came to visit you,” Alan replied. “There’s something that has been bothering me about this information, and I would like to hear it from you.”

“What is that?” Silvia asked.

“I cannot help but feel that this person sought you out because of a connection you still may have with the True Thekohnians,” Alan said.

“There has been no contact from them,” Silvia replied. “Nor do I wish to be a part of them anymore. All I’ve heard from the person who visited me was that they were setting forth a new order for the Thekohnian Region.”

“I see,” Alan said. “It’s not in this country’s interest, but they’re hiding in Ahnlikohn, aren’t they?”

Alan had spoken with both General Fercewend and President Hasker prior to today, both men stating there was some business that the Ameci military had in the city of Glora. Two different matters that Ameci had to deal with, in fact. The first one was one Alan had already known about and was preparing for already, while the other was a mission for the Ameci military. He knew nothing beyond that, but felt that there was something happening there that could affect relations between the countries.

“Yes, that is what I’ve heard,” Silvia answered.

“Perhaps there’s some truth to what you’ve heard, then,” Alan said. “If only I had time to figure it out…”

The time would have to wait, however, as a sudden commotion broke out below. Alan turned his head and looked down to the courtyard; both of his guards were firing at two masked assailants who did not appear to be occupants of this prison.

“What’s going on!?” Silvia asked.

“Just wait,” Alan said.

He looked to see one of his guards getting attacked by one of the assailants, while the other assailant disarmed the other guard and shot him. Alan knew that there was only one reason why these attackers were here, and it was because he was in the prison.

“Silvia, I want you to stay here,” Alan said.

“You can’t be serious,” Silvia said.

“These two, they’re not after you,” he said. “I’m going to try and buy myself some time. There’s a phone on the wall over there. Use it.”

“But they’ll kill you,” she said. “Is your life as the prime minister not important?”

“Silvia, there’s only one thing I consider important,” Alan replied, “And that is the safety and well-being of the people of this country–no–this entire world.”

Silvia frowned. “But how are you going to hold them back?”

“That doesn’t matter,” he said. “Just call the offices. Tell them there’s an emergency at the Iiayine Prison.”

Silva had no time to respond as Alan dashed down the spiral staircase. He was determined to hold back these two assailants, who had already gotten the better of his guards. Alan knew he was heading into an unfavorable situation, but he had to keep Silvia safe. After all, she knew what that mysterious person told her, and there was a chance that there was more information she could give.

“I guess I’ll have to do it,” Silvia said.

She reached over to the phone and picked it up. It rang only one time as the person on the other end picked up. This was a duty that the prime minister entrusted to her, Silvia thought. Despite all of her past misdeeds, she could feel that Alan saw her for more than that. She would have to make it up to him, somehow, if both of them were to make it out alive.


To be continued…


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Sundown – Chapter 8 (Part 1)

[9th of September, 2740 AD; on the road to Glora – Ahnlikohn]


Sorin sat in the back seat with Henry, who was looking over the map of Ahnlikohn. Outside the window, the truck passed by more and more trees as it began to ascend up the sloped road past the town of Aesker.

“So where exactly is Johan being held?” Sorin asked.

“There’s an abandoned warehouse just outside Glora,” Henry replied. “Somewhere within that building, intel is sure that that’s where he’s being held.”

“I see.”

Sorin stared out of the window, going through his thoughts as he wondered what exactly would happen once they got there. He had barely any experience in battle, but here was a situation where he wanted to fight. Johan had written him in the past, but recently, communication had ceased between the two. Hopefully the reunion would not bring up any ill will, Sorin thought.

“You’re thinking about him, aren’t you?” Henry asked.

“It’s hard not to,” Sorin said. “I knew Johan as a peaceful guy, but even I knew that he had his reasons for joining the military.”

“Whatever they are, they seem to have been a positive effect for us,” Henry said. “He’s offered us some very valuable intel in the past, so it’s imperative to the Ameci military that we rescue him.”

“Don’t disagree with you there,” Sorin replied. “Hopefully there’ll be no need to draw our weapons once we get there.”

“We can only hope, Sorin,” Henry said.

Sorin felt as if there was nothing left in that conversation, so he decided to ask Henry about something else. “How is my father doing? Are he and Eva doing well?”

“Tori and I have been keeping in touch with them,” Henry replied. “Kirk is faring well, but it seems like he’s still trying to figure out how to make an impact back in Admorse.”

“I guess.”

“As for Eva, I think she seemed to be bored the last time I saw her,” Henry said. “Maybe it’s just because things have been peaceful over the past few months, but perhaps she’s expecting something from your father.”

“What do you mean she’s bored?” Sorin asked.

“I don’t think I’d be comfortable saying why,” Henry said. “Mostly because I don’t want to feel like I’m disrespecting her privacy.”

“Honestly, if it’s something you don’t want to discuss, then that’s fine,” Sorin said, “But if you’re bringing that up, then I deserve to know.”

Henry shrugged. “I mean, it’s just something that I feel like she wants to keep a secret,” he said. “That feeling she had is something I knew all too well the past few years.”

“I wish you’d just say it,” Sorin replied. “Eva was my mentor for a while, so it’s okay to tell me what it is. Don’t just leave me in the dark.”

Henry did not answer.

“You’re really going to do this?” Sorin asked.

“Sorry, but I can’t just go and say it,” Henry said. “Ask her for yourself, that’s all I’m going to say to you.”

“Fine, then I guess I’ll just have to do that, then,” Sorin said.

Perhaps it was better that way, Sorin thought. He probably did not need to have these thoughts going through his head during the mission, anyway. Besides, Sorin knew that he’d meet with Eva again sometime in the future. If only there were some other way to pass the time before the squad ended up in Glora.


[9th of September, 2740 AD; Abandoned Manufacturing Complex, Glora, Ahnlikohn]


A gentle wind blew through as he stepped between the large trees, his mission clear as he carried a large bag on his back. There was only one problem, though: he had no idea what his target looked like. The tall man with black, neck length hair knelt down and set his bag on the ground.

“Okay, Noa,” he said, “This isn’t your first target you had to take out… So why the hell does it feel like I have butterflies in my stomach!?”

Noa Mzade’s hands shook as he slowly unzipped the bag to reveal all the parts to a sniper rifle. He was considered the very best in assembling his weapon amongst those in the Maeitakohnian military, but despite that, Noa had a difficult time speaking with others. This was most apparent whenever he had to speak with women, but Noa always felt inferior amongst some of the other men in the army. That was part of the reason why he was glad that he specialized in sniping, since he didn’t have to engage in close combat like the others.

“Damn it!”

The stand of the rifle slipped out of Noa’s hand and dropped to the ground, bouncing its way near a bush. In his shock, Noa leaned over, reaching for the part as he heard someone begin to talk.

“Gotta be quiet…”

Noa crouched down as he heard the footsteps coming closer. There was not a sound from him as he looked up to see the leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order, Jelka Arne, walking by. Her presence left Noa petrified with his eyes wide open and breath held until she walked away. As soon as she was gone, Noa clutched his chest and resumed his breathing.

“That was too close!” Noa said. He slapped himself on the head as he started to put his rifle together. “Why!? Why can’t you just keep your cool around women, you moron!?”

Despite his self-doubt, Noa continued to assemble his rifle in wait for his target to show up. What he did not know, however, was that his target had already passed by him only a few moments ago. Whatever it was, though, Noa now had to wait for his target to appear again.




[9th of September, 2740 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


Alan Berry stood in the Greater Library on the second floor when Ayanna entered the room. She held a large envelope as Alan turned to greet her.

“I assume that’s for me?” Alan asked.

“You told me to pick it up this morning,” Ayanna said, “And as you’ve requested, prime minister, I’ve made sure to analyze the contents firsthand.”

“Very good, Ansa,” he said as Ayanna handed the envelope to him. “You know, I had no idea how you would react to this demand of mine.”

“I have absolutely no problem with this,” Ayanna replied. “I just want to know one thing, sir.”

“And what’s that?”

“Well, it’s something that’s been bugging me this morning,” she said. “Are we certain that we should be trusting of the words said by someone we don’t even know?”

“Ayanna, it is my opinion that any sort of information concerning potential threats should be taken seriously,” Alan replied. “If by chance that something turns out to be true and we don’t take it seriously, it would make us appear unwise and ill-prepared.”

“I know that’s true, but are you sure you should be doing this by yourself?” Ayanna asked. “You never know what could happen…”

“Please don’t concern yourself with that thought,” he said. “Besides, I am travelling with two guards and the place I am going to is highly secure. There’s little to no chance of trouble occuring.”

Ayanna sighed. “Hopefully you’re right.”

“I may not be the young warrior I was in the old days, but I’m just as sharp as I ever was,” Alan said. “Honestly, you needn’t worry about me.”

“Then it will be none of my concern,” Ayanna said. “You also called me over here for another, did you not?”

“Correct,” Alan replied. “It appears that the prince of Thekohn is arriving here this afternoon. I want you to head over to the train station and help escort him over here.”

“Understood,” she said. “Do you happen to know why the prince is coming here today?”

“That I do not know,” Alan said. “We just received the call this morning from the prince and that was it.”

“Sounds odd,” Ayanna said, “But I assume that the call was for real, so I will question it no further than that.”

“I will see you later, then,” Alan replied. “Take care.”

Ayanna nodded. “As should you,” she said. “Goodbye.”

She left the library and headed downstairs as her task was now clear. There was little time to waste as she had to greet Brook Rio Thedam and inform him of what was happening. What business he had in Iiayikohn, however, was something that Ayanna would have to ask the young man herself. Once she stepped out of the building, Law, Gavin, and Gale were there to greet her.

“What are you doing here?” Ayanna asked. “Aren’t you with the princess?”

“Nah, she’s with Mina,” Law answered. “Who am I to interrupt a passionate interaction between two young, beautiful women?”

“You would, though,” Gale said.

“Yeah, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Gavin said. “That would be exactly the thing you’d do.”

“Okay, you know you two don’t have to gang up on me like that,” Law said. “Besides, we’re here for another reason.”

“I’m busy, Law,” Ayanna said.

“Well, of course you are,” he said. “You have to meet the prince of Thekohn, right?”

“How do you know that?” Ayanna asked.

“Come on,” Law said, “You don’t have to think to hard about why the prince is coming here, do you?”

Ayanna shook her head. “Don’t tell me…”

“Shouldn’t be too surprised,” Law said. “Rain was the one who called Brook over here, so of course we knew.”

“That feels a little too convenient,” Ayanna said.

“It’s the truth,” Gale replied.

“Yeah, so, we’re here because we want to also want to greet Mr. Brook himself,” Law said. “Surely you don’t have a problem with that?”

“I don’t,” Ayanna replied, “But if you’re going to do this, I think it’d only be fair if I knew beforehand.”

Law walked up to Ayanna and placed his hand on hers. “My love, I am a man you trust to keep promises,” he said, “So of course I will remember that for the next time.”

He lifted her hand up and kissed it as Ayanna looked off to the side.

“I told you that these kinds of things embarrass me,” she said. “I don’t mind it in private, but…”

“You really are blushing, though,” Law said. “If only I were able to take a portrait!”

Ayanna pulled back her hand. “That’s enough,” she replied. “Very well, let’s go to the train station.”

Ayanna led the way as Law walked alongside Gale while Gavin walked behind the two of them.

“Do you ever get tired of being so audacious?” Gale asked.

“Hey, if I ain’t living life to the fullest, then what will my life mean in the end?” Law replied. “She would never say it, but Ayanna likes these kinds of grand displays I want to put on.”

“That’s not what I’m talking about, though,” Gale said.

“Well, tell me, then,” Law said, “You and Sorin get along pretty well, don’t you? Close enough to where you’re comfortable sharing your deepest secrets with him, right?”


“You can shelve that line of thought, bro,” Law replied. “Gale, you’re quite concerned about Sorin’s safety, aren’t you?”

“Of course,” Gale replied. “Why are you asking me this?”

“Because I know exactly how far Sorin is willing to go,” Law answered. “We both happen to be men of passion, though where I love to put on my extravagant and flashy style, Sorin just wants to keep things simple.”

Neither Gale nor Gavin had a response. It did not matter, though, since they arrived at the train station. There seemed to be a small crowd gathered around the entrance as the people learned through local rumors that the prince would be arriving in Rezar.

“Looks like we’ve been beaten to the punch,” Law said.

“It’s not much of a surprise,” Ayanna said. “The prince has been getting a lot of attention through the news outlets lately.”

Law looked at Gavin. “I wonder why.”

“Shut up,” Gavin replied.

“You can get us to meet with the prince, can’t you?” Gale asked.

“That’s not going to be a problem with me,” Ayanna replied. “You three might do best to stay here, though.”

“I’d do anything for you,” Law said.

“I know you would,” Ayanna said.

She walked into the train station while the other three decided to stay outside as the crowd continued to grow. The train was about to arrive soon, so Ayanna stood in wait.


To be continued…


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Chapter 8 – Part 4

[2740 AD; prime minister’s office – Deca District]


“So this is the prime minister’s office,” Gavin said.

The group stood in the front hall, greeted by a couple of Iiayikohnian guards. They were told to wait in this hall until the conference was over, but that didn’t stop Gavin from trying to get past the guards. His attempt failed as the guard did not budge from his position.

“Stop, Gavin,” Kirk said, “It’s no use. We’ll have to wait.”

“It doesn’t matter, anyway,” Eva said. “You’re not in Ameci now.”

“I know that,” Gavin said. “I have a different reason to meet General Fercewend, and none of you need to know about it!”

“That’s fine with us,” Kirk said.

“Is it about your brother?” Gale asked.

“I already told you all that you didn’t need to know about it,” Gavin replied. “Now leave me alone.”

Gavin walked off to the other side of the room, leaving the other six to themselves. Sorin then decided to talk to Gavin and walked up beside him.

“Go away,” Gavin said.

“I just want to know,” Sorin said.

“Why? You’re not my friend.”

“Would it hurt you to have a conversation?”

“No,” Gavin answered, “But if you keep pestering me, it will hurt you.”

Sorin rolled his eyes. “I understand,” he said.

Dejected, Sorin walked back to Eva. She eyed over at Kirk, to which Sorin looked over at him.

“You tried,” Kirk said.

“Is that all you have to say about that?” Sorin asked. “I would have expected you to say ‘it wasn’t that important’ or that I ‘have to focus on the mission,’ honestly.”

“No,” Kirk replied. “Making friends is never not important. Don’t forget about that.”

“Okay,” Sorin said. “Gale, um, can I speak with you? Alone, perhaps?”

“S-sure,” she replied.

They walked over to the lower part of the hall, far away from the rest of the group. Sorin looked at Gale, who was busy eyeing him up and down.

“Having that blade on your hip… It really makes you look important,” Gale said. “How does it feel?”

“Stressful,” Sorin replied. “I keep getting reminded of all the close calls with Eva. It’s a real good thing that she’s on our side.”

“At least you’ve found something you’re good at, right?”

“I guess,” he replied. “I feel a lot quicker, as if I can anticipate even the smallest movements…”

Sorin jerked his head in the direction of the doors as they squeaked open. In marched Isaac Kunigunde, who came in contact with Sorin and Gale. His eyes focused on Gale, the frigid stare leaving Gale unable to move. Isaac soon turned his head back, continuing on his way. Once he was gone out of their distance, Gale exhaled and adjusted her glasses.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“Don’t be,” Sorin replied. “You’ve done nothing wrong.”

“It’s just… him, you know?”

“I know. You can’t let him get to you like that.”

“You’re right,” Gale said, “But there’s nothing I can do.”

“Hey, weren’t you saying something about my sword?” Sorin asked.


“Uh, just trying to change the topic…”

Gale smiled. “Well, I appreciate that,” she said. “So you said you feel a lot quicker? How fast is your draw?”

“Would you like to see?”

Gale backed up so she could watch Sorin draw his sword. He got into position, putting his right foot forward while his hand started to move. It was not even a second later as the blade was already out of the sheath, as Sorin pointed the sword at the doors.

Gale clapped. “Yay! That was so cool!”

“You should see her,” Sorin said. “Eva is like lightning compared to me.”

“Hey! What are you doing!? Put that away at once!”

Sorin looked over at the guard, who was staring him down. The guard pointed over at the sign with a long list of rules printed on it. It was at the top of the list: “NO OVERLY-DRAMATIC POSES IN THE FRONT HALL.”

“Sorry,” he said as he withdrew his sword.

“Anyway, you had something you wanted to talk to me about?” Gale asked.

“Yeah, I did, actually,” Sorin replied. “I was talking to Eva about you the other day.”

“You were?”

“She mentioned your dream to me,” he continued, “How you are an inventor and all that. I wanted to know what you’re working on.”

“Oh, well, I guess you could say I am an inventor,” she said. “Although I haven’t exactly made anything yet. I do have some ideas, though.”

“You do?”

“Well, it’s all in my head right now,” Gale replied, “But I have plans to make certain things much easier for people to do, like transportation.”

“Transportation?” Sorin asked. “Like cars and ships?”

“Yes, but I want to be able to help put forth another method,” she said. “Namely, by air.”

“You mean like flying!? But that’s…”

“A lot of people think it’s impossible, I know,” Gale said. “However, I read in a book about how the previous world used to fly all the time. Some of the descriptions were vivid and I want to be able to bring it to life.”

“I mean, I’ve heard the tales and everything,” Sorin said. “It’s just that I have trouble seeing it for myself.”

“Do you believe it’s impossible?” Gale asked. “They said it was impossible for the Thekohnian Region and Ameci to be at peace, but look at where we are. If we are capable of achieving peace, then we should be able to reach for the skies.”

“I… You have a point,” Sorin said. “That’s all that I really wanted to know, I guess.”

“I’m glad I could share that with you, then,” she said. “Can I ask you something?”

“Don’t see why you can’t.”

“What’s your dream?” Gale asked. “It’s only fair that you tell me, right?”

“I want to be an artist,” he answered. “I spend most nights drawing until I can’t stay awake.”

“If you’re already drawing, that would make you one already, right?”

“Maybe, but I want to be better,” Sorin replied. “I want to make something that will be remembered for a long time. Something that will be talked about even when I’m gone.”

“That’s nice,” she said.


On the other side of the hall, Kirk saw Isaac walking towards him. He turned as Isaac stopped right next to him. Both men looked at each other for what felt like a long time. Eva coughed, Gavin took a deep breath, Tori held her clenched hand close to her chest, and Henry leaned on the wall. Then there was a break in the silence.

“Mr. Kunigunde,” Kirk greeted.

“Kirk Wilk,” Isaac responded.

“It’s good to see that you’re dealing with your business,” Kirk said. “Of course, I wouldn’t understand why a businessman like you would occupy himself with political affairs, but what do I know?”

“Looks like you’re still hung up on the past,” Isaac said. “No matter; I’ve already moved on.”

“You tell yourself that,” Kirk said. “I suppose it’s a good motto for a sensible person to follow, if one finds apathy sensible.”

“Anyway, perhaps you would mind telling me what you are doing here?” Isaac asked. “This isn’t something that you can just bring a couple of kids along for the ride. These are serious matters being discussed!”

“Well, perhaps our youth deserves to have a seat at the table,” Kirk replied. “If it is as serious as you say, then our future is just as important if not more than the present, correct?”

“What would you know, Mr. Wilk? Last I checked, you’re not part of the ‘know.’ To think that you can speak to my face about what I should be doing is beyond ridiculous.”

“Maybe so,” Kirk said, “But I’m not blind. Eva and I have been trying to make this world a better place for the past few years.”

“Ah yes, the so-called Swords of Eight,” Isaac replied. “Even Alan could see the writing on the wall, you know. A useless attempt at trying to enact peace brought down by selfishness and pride.”

“You’re wrong!” Eva interjected. “Sure, the Swords of Eight may no longer exist, but all of us are still here. That is something that you can’t take away from us.”

“Excuse me,” Isaac said, “But I don’t think you have the right to be in this conversation.”

“No, you don’t have the right,” Eva said. “You’re the same as us. Why else would you be out here and not in there speaking with Alan and Rohan?”

Isaac’s eyebrows furrowed, and then he cracked a smile. “You only say that because you carry that dangerous weapon,” he said. “Try saying that again without it, if you will.”

“Is that a threat?” Eva asked.

“If anything, I am the one that is threatened,” Isaac replied. “Both you and Mr. Wilk here stand before me blabbering on and on. You should be honored that I have decided to even give you my presence!”

“That is enough, Isaac!”

Alan and Fercewend entered the hall after just finishing with their meeting, with Chancellor Harring behind them. Alan’s voice commanded the entire presence of the hall; even Gale and Sorin, who were further down the hall, noticed and soon rushed to join the rest of the group.

“Mr. Prime Minister!” Isaac said.

“We’ve just finished our meeting,” Fercewend said. “It has been decided: there will be a speech tomorrow about our next action regarding Maeitakohn.”

“Harring will be the first to speak,” Alan added. “Then the general, then myself.”

“The presses have already been informed,” Harring said. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must attend other matters.”

As Harring left, Fercewend noticed Henry standing in the corner with Tori. His interest led him to approach the two, both ready for him.

“It’s good to see you again, Tori,” Fercewend said. “Same to you, Henry.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Chapter 8 – Part 3

[2740 AD; True Thekohnians hideout – Nano District]


“Open up!” Wihll demanded. “It’s Wihll!”

The wooden door creaked open as Wihll walked into the dim room. At the table, Silvia sat reading through a book. He crept up to the table, towering over her as he threw down his fist, the loud thud resonating throughout the room.

“Victor!” Silvia blurted.

“Are you deaf, woman?” Wihll asked. “Your friend was so eager to let me in, the very least you could do is say hello to me.”


“That’s more like it,” he said. “You’ve got some explaining to do, Miss Roeik.”

“I do?” Silvia asked. “What could it be?”

Wihll uttered a deep chuckle. “Do you happen to know an Ayanna Ansa?”

“Why-why would you ask that?”

“You don’t need to answer,” he said, “It seems I already know about the sin you’ve committed. You truly are a marvelous woman.”

“I don’t know what you mean…”

“Tell me,” Wihll said, “Why did you decide to join the True Thekohnians?”

“Because I couldn’t stand to watch people getting hurt,” she replied.

“Yes, that’s right,” he said. “Too many of our brothers and sisters have gotten hurt because of the selfishness of the elites. Do you know where I’m going with this?”

“Where?” Silvia asked.

“If you really are devoted to this cause, then you must cut ties with those who pledge allegiance to the elites,” Wihll said. “If we want bloodshed to end, we must first take down the ones responsible.”

“I heard about what happened,” she said. “You… You’ve hurt some people, too.”

“There’s a lot you have yet to learn, Silvia,” Wihll replied. “When you’ve seen the things I have, maybe then you’ll understand why such extreme methods are necessary.”

“If that’s what you believe, then I want out.”

Wihll grinned. He started to laugh again, pounding the table as he did. Once he was finished, he opened his eyes again and brandished his knife.

“Do you fail to understand?” Wihll asked. “You don’t just ‘get out’ of the True Thekohnians. Look at this!”

He opened his coat, revealing the bullet wound he had received from Ayanna a couple of nights ago.

“This is the burden I carry,” he continued. “This is the wound that will stay with me until my death!”

“You mean… the bullet is still inside you?”

“You really are a stupid woman,” Wihll said, closing up his coat. “Why you even were accepted into this group is beyond me. Of course it’s still inside of me!”

Silvia’s hands shook as she tried to reach for a nearby weapon. She spotted a small bottle and picked it up, throwing it at Wihll’s head.

“Was that your attempt to kill me?”

“I just wanted you to be quiet,” she replied.

“You claim to oppose violence, but have no problem with throwing a bottle at me,” Wihll said. “The hypocrisy is rich! You’re as bad as the Iiayikohnians!”

“Just what do you even want!?”

“I just wanted to know if you knew Major Ansa,” Wihll replied.

“Yes I do,” she said. “Are you happy?”

“I’m glowing as bright as a fierce sun,” he answered.

“Please spare her,” Silvia said.

“That is entirely out of the question,” Wihll said. “Our leader has requested that the takedown of the Iiayikohnians must include any and all involved. I would say I’m sorry, but I’m no liar.”

“You are a liar, though!”

“No, I am a hero,” he said. “Though I will admit I do play dirty sometimes. That’s what you have to be when playing a rigged game, Miss Roeik.”

Wihll moved the knife closer to Silvia’s neck, the sharp side being only an inch away from her. Her eyes looked down as he pushed the blade of the knife onto her neck.

“I’m not afraid to cut down anyone in my way,” he said. “If you value your life, you would do your very best to stay out of my way.”

Wihll withdrew his knife, letting Silvia sigh in relief. The door creaked once again as an short, older man with gray and brown hair walked in.

“Victor Wihll! What are you doing?”

“I’m just having a chat with Miss Roeik,” Wihll replied. “What are you doing down here, Mr. Lokke?”

“Have you been paying attention to what’s going on?” Walton Lokke asked.

“Of course I have,” Wihll replied. “You can’t go anywhere with these inferior goons waltzing around!”

“Well, they’re already discussing Maeitakohn,” Lokke said. “Seems like they’re forcing us to play our hand.”

“If that’s the game they want to play, then perhaps we should play it,” Wihll said. “Don’t you think so, Silvia?”

“I… do whatever you want,” she said.

“That’s a vote in my favor,” Wihll said, “So how about it?”

“What do you suggest, then?” Lokke asked.

“If we want to get the head start of Maeitakohn, then we need to hit these assholes where it hurts the most,” Wihll replied.

“Ah, I know what you mean,” Lokke said. “Operation Ablaze.”

“What’s Operation Ablaze?” Silvia asked.

“The grand finale,” Wihll answered. “The be all, end all of the True Thekohnians mission.”

“Clearly put,” Lokke added, “When this plan is enacted, Iiayikohn, and in turn the rest of the Thekohnian Region, will never be the same again.”

“Then I will begin the first course of action,” Wihll said. “It really looks like things are moving much faster than we expected them to.”

“Where are you going?” Lokke asked. “You know that they’ll be looking for you, right?”

“Don’t worry,” Wihll replied. “A couple of soldiers won’t keep me down. I am combat perfected!”

Lokke shook his head. “Whatever,” he said. “Just do what you have to do, and don’t get caught.”

“Believe me,” Wihll said, “Once phase one goes into effect, they will be too busy running around with their heads cut off to try and catch me.”

“Then I will see you later,” Lokke said. “To our leader.”

“To our leader, indeed,” Wihll said.

Wihll left the room, leaving just Silvia and Lokke behind. There was just one place that he had to go to now, and Wihll wanted to get there before the night fell. There would almost certainly be security, but it was a job that Wihll believed he was sent out to accomplish.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Chapter 8 – Part 2

[2740 AD; Rezar, Iiayikohn – Ports of Iiayi]


“Gavin, are you sure you’re just going to head back?” Gale asked.

“It’s not like I have any other options,” Gavin said. “There’s going to be a long talk with the general, I’m sure. Trust me, you don’t want to see him when he gets mad.”

“I kind of already have,” she said. “But it’s been really nice talking to you, Gavin. Good luck with your mission.”
“And I hope you find your brother, too,” Sorin said. “I guess that’s something we have in common, isn’t it?”

“As far as I’m concerned, that’s where things end,” Gavin replied.

Gavin had ended up sitting with Sorin and Gale, which had livened up the table since neither Sorin and Gale were speaking to each other. Sorin had been far too focused in his training with Eva, while Gale had been planning how she was going to explore the Thekohnian region.

“You haven’t told us about your brother yet,” Gale said. “What is he like?”

“He’s full of himself,” Gavin replied. “Even when growing up, he was always focused on chasing skirts instead of his dreams.”

“Wow, I have no idea what to say,” she said.

“Well, I’m sure he’d have something to say to you,” Gavin said to Gale. “As for Sorin, my brother doesn’t have much to say towards other men. The same could be said of his attitude towards authority.”

“Do you believe that’s why he deserted the military?” Sorin asked.

“Lawrence has his reasons, I’m sure,” Gavin replied, “Which is why I want to ask him… After I kick his ass, of course!”

“I don’t know if that’s exactly necessary,” Gale said. “Wouldn’t you be glad he’s alive?”

“Guess you wouldn’t understand,” Gavin said. “Neither of you would, I assume. Anyway, I’ve spent too much time here, because it looks like we’ve made landfall.”


Sorin and Gale followed Gavin up to the deck of the ship, eyeing the city of Rezar for the first time. A large port awaited them, to which the city was just after. Building after building stood tall, the streets were bustling as cars drove down the road and the people were just as busy walking down the sidewalks. Sorin covered his eyes from the bright sunlight as the ship’s horn blared all throughout the port. Kirk and Eva were up there, waiting for Sorin and Gale to arrive.

“So, how are you liking Iiayikohn so far, son?” Kirk asked.

“It’s certainly something,” Sorin replied. “So what’s next?”

“Well, for starters, we’re going to have to find a place to stay,” Eva said. “After that, I suppose we’re going to have to see if we can have an audience with Alan.”

“That will probably be difficult,” Kirk said. “Especially knowing who else is trying to go…”

“You’ve never really explained it to me, have you?” Sorin asked. “What happened between you and Henry?”

“Funny, I asked him the same thing but he couldn’t answer me,” Kirk replied, “Or perhaps he didn’t want to answer me.”

“Could you at least tell me?” Sorin asked. “I feel like I deserve to know, you know.”

“Trust me, Sorin, some things are better left unsaid,” Kirk replied. “All I can say is that there are just some people that you can’t trust.”

Kirk turned around and headed for the exit ramp. Sorin looked to Gale, who shook her head, and then Eva, who was looking away.

“Eva,” Sorin said, “Do you… know what happened with them?”

“I can’t say that I have,” she replied. “I do know that they were once friends. Whatever it was had to be awful enough for Kirk to treat Henry with contempt.”

“All I know of Henry is this nice man,” Sorin said. “I don’t know what it is, but I feel like it might be a misunderstanding.”

“Good luck with that,” Eva said.

“What do you mean?” Gale asked.

“Kirk’s a stubborn man,” Eva said. “He’s set in his beliefs, for better or for worse. If you want the two to reconcile, then you’ll really have to try your hardest.”

“I know,” Sorin said. “That’s why I feel like I should help them.”

“Sorin, don’t get ahead of yourself,” Eva said. “You know why we’re here.”


“I’ll say this once,” Eva interrupted, “Move on.”

Sorin sighed. He felt like he was growing further apart from his father after this revelation, and Sorin wanted to prevent it from happening. However, he felt powerless. Useless. What could he have done at this point, he wondered. Maybe Eva was right, and was just trying to tell him in her own special way.

“Sorin, let’s go,” Gale said. “I’m sure we can figure out what to do later.”

Sorin nodded and went with Gale down the ramp. Eva followed them, but Sorin was determined to catch up to his father who had already made it out of the port. There was already a bit of commotion as they found the streets were occupied with Iiayikohnian and Ameci soldiers.

“There’s no doubt about it,” Kirk said, “We’ve stumbled into something big here.”

“Always such a spectacle,” Eva said. “Just how are we going to see Alan now?”

“It’s possible,” Kirk replied. “Let’s see if that gunslinger is still around.”

“Do you mean Gavin?” Gale asked. “Because he might still be on the ship.”

“Well, if that’s the case, he could be useful to us,” Kirk said. “Sorin, perhaps you could fetch that man for us?”

“I guess so,” Sorin answered.

He ran back onto the ship, looking for any sign of Gavin’s presence. Scanning the deck, he found Gavin alongside Henry and Tori.

“Gavin!” Sorin called out.

Gavin turned his head. “Oh, it’s you,” he said. “What do you want?”

“Hello Sorin,” Tori said.

“Hey,” Sorin said. “Gavin, maybe you don’t need to head back. It looks like the Ameci military is already here.”

Gavin’s eyebrows sprung up. “Seriously?”

“Just look,” Sorin said.

Peeking over the rail, Gavin saw the abundant amount of Ameci soldiers hanging around the capital.

“What the hell,” Gavin said. “I wasn’t informed of this!”

“It seems we’re both out of the loop,” Sorin said.

“A simpleton like you I could understand, but me!?” Gavin asked.

“Maybe they tried to reach you, but couldn’t?” Tori asked.

“Like hell they did!” Gavin shouted. “These things are planned in advance! Why the fuck did they not inform me!?”

Gavin raced down the exit ramp and down to the port. Sorin chased after him with Henry and Tori soon behind. They reunited with Kirk’s group, albeit a somewhat reluctant reunion.

“He’s here again,” Kirk said to Sorin. “May I ask why?”

“Look, I don’t really want to start something,” Henry said. “I just want to meet with Alan, but it seems like it would be problematic to do it right now…”

“Right, what with your whole treason,” Kirk said.

“He was accused!” Tori said.

“Maybe he was, Tori,” Kirk replied, “But I don’t care.”

“Listen, father, perhaps you should settle your differences with Henry for now,” Sorin said.

“Sorin’s right,” Gale said. “If we’re going to see the prime minister, then we need to cooperate. Right, Gavin?”

“You expect me to escort all of you?” Gavin asked. “I’m not some fucking servant you can boss around!”

“Please, Gavin?” Gale asked. “Maybe… Maybe your brother is here.”

Gavin scoffed. “Why would he be around here if there are soldiers strewn about? That’s goddamn preposterous!”

“Gavin, is it?” Kirk asked. “Perhaps you would best listen to the girl. She is, after all, the daughter of the esteemed Isaac Kunigunde.”

“W-what?” Gavin gasped. He turned to Gale. “You! Explain yourself! Why did you hold back this information!?”

“I don’t really want to talk about it,” Gale replied. “It is true, though.”

“Son of a gun,” Gavin said.

“Are you going to help us or not?” Eva asked.

Gavin gritted his teeth. “Fine,” he growled. “Looks like I have no other choice. Let’s go.”

“See?” Tori asked. “We can work together.”

“Don’t get too happy,” Gavin said. “Especially not you, Henry Randolph!”

“I wasn’t trying to,” Henry said.

“Then let’s move,” Gavin commanded. “Let’s see… Total headcount is seven. I’m sure he would have something to say about that…”

“What are you talking about?” Kirk asked.

“Nothing!” Gavin replied. “Come on!”

The seven of them headed forward to the prime minister’s office, opting to take the nearby bus. Due to both armies being present, the bus had taken an alternate, longer route to the building. Sorin wondered to himself what the prime minister was like, considering that the man was a friend of his father’s. Sorin sat next to Gavin, who had spent the time eyeing out of the window.

“Wait a second,” Gavin said. “That can’t be… Can it?”

The bus passed through the shopping district when Sorin noticed who Gavin was looking at. The man wore a bomber jacket as he walked up to the locksmith’s shop. Sorin had to ponder if perhaps that was, in fact, Gavin’s brother, but he had no desire to ask the man sitting next to him. All he wanted to do was wait until they would finally be at the prime minister’s office.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Chapter 8 – Part 1

[2740 AD; prime minister’s office – Deca District]


Alan had anticipated for this day as he donned on his blue cape. It would be the first time he would meet Fercewend the General, as well as Isaac Kunigunde. As he left his office, Ayanna was waiting for him outside.

“Sir,” Ayanna greeted, “You’re heading down, I assume?”

“Yes, Major Ansa,” Alan replied. “I take it you’re not coming with me.”

“As much as I would love to attend, I can’t,” she answered. “There’s someone I have to meet regarding the True Thekohnians.”

“Alright then,” he said. “Report back to me later.”
“I’ll be sure to do that, sir,” Ayanna said.

“Right,” he replied.

Going downstairs, Alan was greeted by a group of Ameci soldiers. He stood as the doors opened to reveal the general in all his glory. It was a grand entrance as soldiers stood on either side of the door, Fercewend marching down the front hall up to Alan. Behind him, Isaac was wandering right behind him.

“It’s nice to meet you again, Prime Minister,” Fercewend said.

“Good meeting you too, General,” Alan replied. “And good day to you as well, Isaac.”

Isaac laughed. “I feel so honored,” he said. “It’s not every day that I get to meet powerful men such as yourself.”

“Flattery was always something you were good at,” Alan said. “It seems you’re as good as ever. Now, General Fercewend, let’s discuss at the Majesty Hall. Chancellor Harring will be arriving shortly.”

Alan started to walk with Fercewend, but Isaac stepped in front of them.

“Excuse me,” he said, “But is there no way that I am able to join?”

“I’m sorry,” Alan replied, “I simply cannot allow that. You are, however, free to enjoy the sights around the area. I’ve arranged a personal escort to attend with you.”

“I see,” Isaac said.

“Please, Isaac, it would do you well,” Fercewend said. “I will relay to you anything you wish to hear later.”

“Alright,” Isaac replied. “I will be back. Hopefully you fellows will come to a plan soon enough.”

Isaac left as Alan and Fercewend headed to the Majesty Hall. They passed through a large set of double doors with statues on either side. With both doors splitting open the entrance to the hall, Alan stepped inside with Fercewend close behind him. There sat a single large table in the middle of the room with twenty chairs sitting at it.

“It must be good to have him out of your hair, isn’t it?” Alan asked Fercewend. “No offense to you, of course.”

“None taken,” Fercewend said. “Shaving my head is a personal choice. Also, Isaac can be a bit overbearing, so I understand.”

“Something we can agree on,” Alan said, “And by that I mean about Isaac. I could never think about doing away with my hair.”

“It’s not for everyone,” Fercewend replied. “It would be quite odd to come home one day and find my wife doing an imitation of yours truly.”

“Hah, it’s nice to see your quick wit at work once more,” Alan said, “But enough of that. We must wait for the chancellor of Ahnlikohn to arrive, after all.”


The feeling was the same as it was the last time Ayanna was in the Questioning Chambers. She would be meeting with someone once again to talk about the True Thekohnians. Once again, Ayanna watched the door open as Law walked into the room.

“Oh no,” she said to herself.

“Ah, I knew I’d cross paths with you once again!” Law exclaimed. “I guess the stars aligned themselves for this very moment to happen.”

“Are you here to talk about the True Thekonians, or are you under the delusion that this is some sort of date?”

“I’m here because of you,” Law replied. “It’s not like I have nothing to do.”

“I feel as if that’s precisely why you came here today,” Ayanna said. “Please, if there’s anything you have that’s the least bit useful, then tell me. Otherwise, I will have you thrown out.”

“Ayanna, we both know that if you want information, you’re going to have to give me something,” Law said.

“Okay, I’m going to throw you out.”

“No, no, no, not like that,” he said. “What kind of guy do you take me for? Of course, I’ll forgive your mistake, as long as you can tell me about Silvia.”

“I can’t believe you,” Ayanna said. “I’m just going to forget that even happened… Okay, I’ll tell you about Silvia, then.”

Law reclined in his chair as he placed his feet on the table. “Ah, to finally make some progress,” he said. “Let me have it.”

“Silvia was a colleague of mine,” Ayanna explained. “Going up through the ranks, she and I were promising soldiers in the army.”

“Intriguing,” Law said. “What happened?”

“Let’s just say that the last mission we had together didn’t go so well,” Ayanna replied. “But I suppose that it was my fault that the situation even happened in the first place.”

“Well, sounds like I’ve heard all I needed to know,” Law answered.

“I wasn’t quite done, Mr. Power,” she said.

“Hey, save it for our date later tonight,” he said. “Anyway, I’m ready to share what I’ve got.”

“Fine,” Ayanna uttered. “Tell me what you’ve ‘found out’ about the True Thekohnians.”
Law dropped his feet to the floor and leaned forward, his hands resting the table. “Now we’re talking,” he said. “Okay, so get this: you’ve been paying attention to the conflict in Maeitakohn?”

“I have.”

“Well, it seems like there are some rumblings of a civil war breaking out,” he replied. “The people are quite dissatisfied with Rhodes as the leader, and they’re turning to other groups for help.”

“Are you insinuating that the True Thekohnians are one of these groups?” Ayanna asked.

“I can’t say that they are,” Law answered. “To say that would be reckless of me, and as we both know I am a careful man.”

“It seems you and I have differing opinions about what is and isn’t ‘careful,’ Mr. Power,” she said, “But please go on.”

“Certainly,” he said. “Since this is a delicate issue for the surrounding countries, Ameci and Iiayikohn are choosing to wait and see what happens before taking a side. Can’t blame them. If you’re going to get your hands dirty, you would want to know who you’re doing it for, right?”

“What’s your point?”

“Well, if you want to know, you and I have a lot more in common than you think,” Law said. “Namely, I too have lost someone to the True Thekohnians. Although I can’t say it was the same way. That’s not the point, though.”

Ayanna groaned.

“My point is that if there’s an opening for them, they will use the conflict for their own purposes,” he continued. “The game is almost over here: it’s the fourth quarter and there’s less than a minute on the clock. The ball is in your hands, so what will you do?”

“That’s not a decision I can make, you know,” she said.

“Yeah, I get that,” Law said. “It’s easy when you’re the spectator. You can just yell at the players to pass the ball or go to the basket, but ultimately they are at the behest of the coach. Do you trust your coach, Ayanna?”

“If you’re asking me about the prime minister, then yes,” she replied, “I can trust him to make the right decision.”

“That makes two of us,” Law said. “I’ve heard the stories. Even for me, I’m quite jealous.”

“Is that all, then?”

“Just one more thing, my lovely Ayanna,” Law replied. “I saw some of those Ameci soldiers arriving here earlier. Are you guys throwing a party?”

“No, there’s no party,” Ayanna denied. “It’s a very important meeting with the general.”

“Ah, so they brought the cue ball over, huh?” Law asked. “It seems weird that President Hawk isn’t coming, don’t you think?”

“That’s really not something I can answer.”

“Perhaps there’s unrest in the nest,” he said. “Then again, it’s none of my business why the Ameci president chose not to come. I don’t have much intention of going back there, anyway.”

“Okay then.”

“Come on, you don’t want to know why I don’t want to go back?” Law asked. “It’s a very interesting story. It’s almost as interesting as the time I got shot for winning a game of poker!”

“Perhaps if I have some time cleared up in my busy schedule, I will consider listening to your story,” Ayanna replied.

“So that’s a yes?”

“It’s a stern ‘maybe,’ Mr. Power.”

“Well, it’s better than ‘no,’ so I have that going for me,” he said. “Still, it is a shame that our time has to end so soon.”

Ayanna smiled. “I already gave you a maybe,” she said, “So if you really don’t want me to change that to a ‘no,’ I would suggest that you leave and let me do my work.”

“I can honor that,” Law said. “After all, we all know the universal code of honor when it comes to these sorts of things…”

“Are you done?”

“Hah, looks like I am,” he replied. “That’s okay. See you later!”

Law sprinted out of the room as Ayanna followed. She had to go check on how things were going in the Majesty Hall with Alan. There was also what Law had said, too, although Ayanna had to consider where he had even gotten that information in the first place. Still, there was indeed little time and Ayanna would have to find out what the next step would be.


[2740 AD; Rezar, Iiayikohn – Drake Rask’s house]


On the edge of the city sat a single house with a moderate amount of land around it. Drake Rask got up from his bed, looking out onto his property, and began getting ready to go to work. Once he got his clothes on, he headed over to Mina’s room and knocked on the door twice.

“Mina, get up,” he said.

Mina’s eyes opened as the sunlight greeted her, which caused her to shut her eyes due to how bright it was. She then fell out of her bed and onto the floor below. It was a welcome shock to her system as she sprung up to her feet and looked around.

“Oh, there’s no one here,” she said. “That’s too bad, because I really feel like kicking someone’s butt today…”

“I can hear you, Mina,” Drake said through the door. “Start getting ready. I’m going to go make breakfast.”

“Breakfast?” Mina asked. “Okay, well now I have to get ready!”

Mina rushed to get herself ready, hopping into the shower and cleaning herself off. After that, Mina rushed back to her room and got dressed. Her usual “training gear” was the outfit of choice today. It was all topped off with a new pair of steel-toed shoes that Drake had given her yesterday. She eyed herself in the mirror and felt like she was ready to take on any evildoer that crosses her path.

“Look out, villains, because Mighty Mina is ready for you!” Mina declared.

“Mina, breakfast’s ready whenever you are!”

“Okay, uncle!”

Mina slammed open the door and hopped downstairs, landing feet first in front of the kitchen. She saw the bounty of food placed upon the table as Drake took a seat, to which Mina soon followed as well. She began piling food onto her plate as Drake attempted to get her attention.

“Mina, I don’t know how I can start this,” he said, “So I guess I will get this out of the way: there is something important I need to tell you.”

“Hmm?” Mina asked. She had already started to eat as there was food already in her mouth.

“Swallow your food first,” Drake said. “Mina, I have not been completely honest with you. Namely, what happened to your family.”

“But you’re my family, right?”

“I don’t mean like what we have,” he said, “But your blood family. Have you not known for this long, Mina?”

“I mean, I do, but…”

“This is important,” Drake said. “You and I are not related.”

“What!?” Mina exclaimed. “Not at all!?”

“How do you explain your strength, then?” Drake asked. “One look at myself should tell you I’m no warrior. You, on the other hand, have had quite a history since you were young.”

“What are you saying, uncle?”

“Mina, please,” he said, “Call me Drake. I took you under my wing and even let you work. Looking back, I feel guilty that I even asked you to help me.”

“Don’t,” she said.

“I’m having a hard time just conveying what I want to say,” he said.

“Uncle, I… I just can’t drop that!” Mina said. “We’re family. No silly rules like bloodlines should have to tell us that!”

Drake beamed. “I know that,” he said, “I just want you to find your purpose in life. You shouldn’t be holed up worked for me; you need to get out there and see the world!”

“Are you sure?”

“It’s the last thing I ask of you,” Drake replied. “I want you to gain some experience. You have too much potential to have it all go to waste.”

“Where should I start, then?” Mina asked.

“I can’t tell you that,” he said. “You’re clever enough, though. I bet you’ll figure it out. After all, you have me to take inspiration from!”

“Oh, uncle,” she said, “Of course I will! I’m the hero this world needs! I’m every villains worst nightmare! I’m Mighty Mina!”

“Great,” Drake said. “Glad to hear that. Now let’s finish this breakfast before it gets cold.”

“I’m already ahead of you!” Mina said.

The two of them proceeded to finish off their breakfast and headed right to work afterwards. With a newfound desire to find her purpose, Mina was ready to take on the world.


To be continued…


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