[17th of September, 2740 AD; Copper Hotel, Oelaans, Thekohn – Felis District]
Inside the hotel, everyone met inside the lounge as Sorin began to explain to Gavin, Law, and Eva everything that had happened within the royal kingdom. Rain and Mina also added in details, as did Storm, with Gavin not once breaking his focus away from Sorin. Once Sorin finished going over the details, they were all ready to speak until Mina jumped in.
“You guys actually found my mom?” Mina asked.
“Seems like it,” Gavin replied. “Of course, there’s no way to confirm it until we head back to Rezar.”
“Well, thank you, Gavin,” Mina said. “I don’t know how I can repay you guys for what you’ve done.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Gavin said. “I’m just happy that we’re able to give you a chance to meet your mother.”
“I’d think Mina has a lot of questions she would probably like to ask her,” Eva said.
“Speaking of questions, I’ve got one,” Law said. “Who do you think I should congratulate: Her Highness or Mina? On one hand, Mina’s the kind of woman one would love to have a chance with, but on the other is the Princess of Thekohn.”
“Get serious, Lawrence,” Gavin said as he slapped Law on the back of his head. “We’re here to discuss our next move, though I guess I should say that I’m happy for the two of them.”
“Thank you for that, Gavin,” Rain said. “As for our next move, I think we should make our way back to Iiayikohn. We’re not in the kingdom, technically, but I don’t feel like we’ll be safe staying here in Oelaans for much longer.”
“They’ll be too focused on setting up their attack,” Law said. “It’s a damn shame it’s come to this. All of Ahnlikohn is going to be under duress when we should be trying to take down the real leader of the gang.”
“I still can’t believe that the queen would be behind the Neu Thekohnian Order,” Eva said. “It shouldn’t make sense.”
“It must be especially tough for both of you,” Law said to Rain and Storm. “Not exactly a candidate for mother of the year, is she?”
“She was always so nice before,” Storm said. “I remember when I had finished my preliminary studies, she and father congratulated me. To think that she would just turn on us…”
“Even if we don’t know why, we have to stop her,” Eva said. “Do the two of you understand?”
“I do,” Storm replied. “She might be my mother, but she and Sir Lauren cannot be allowed to get away with this.”
“Don’t worry, sister, we’ll take care of them,” Rain said. “I’m not going to waver even if it hurts in my heart, because I know what we must do to defeat the Neu Thekohnian Order.”
“That’s good and all, but how will we do that?” Pariton asked. “It’ll be tough to gain access back into the kingdom as long as we know they’ll be there.”
“No doubt they’ve got their military ready as well,” Law said. “They’re not exactly something a small team like us would be able to overpower, no matter how skilled we are.”
“We can’t just give up!” Luna exclaimed. “You guys took down those True Thekohnians, didn’t you? Why couldn’t you just do it here?”
Law snickered. “Well, lovely Luna, I wasn’t there,” he said. “My bro would tell you that a lot had happened there, though.”
“By the time we came face to face with Victor Wihll, many of his men were already dead,” Gavin said. “All thanks to Sorin’s brother, of course. That’s a man that doesn’t know the meaning of the word fear.”
“I don’t think that that’s possible,” Sorin said. “I mean, we did see him in Jiaikohn and he was certainly surprised to see us there.”
“Who knows?” Gavin asked. “What matters is that things are different this time around. The True Thekohnians were not controlled by such a high ranking person, whereas the Neu Thekohnian Order is being led by the Queen of Thekohn. We’re going to need a real plan this time.”
“So we’re going to need to get back to Rezar in order to do that, then,” Sorin said. “We should hurry.”
“Then we’ll waste no time,” Gavin said. “I hope all of you are ready.”
“Yeah, and perhaps I should sit next to Luna on the train ride back,” Law said. “I’ve only just met her and I’d like to pick her brain on the way.”
“That sounds gross,” Luna replied. “Are you going to use some sort of hook to go in my ears and pull out my brain and look at it or something?”
“That’s not exactly what that means,” Pariton said.
“And I wouldn’t suggest sitting next to him, either,” Eva said.
“Really? I mean, I guess I should trust what you say,” Luna said, “Because there must be some reason you don’t want me sitting next to him besides the whole wanting to see inside my head thing.”
“Come on Lawrence, you’re sitting next to me,” Gavin said.
“Guilty as charged, I guess,” Law replied. “Oh well, I guess I’m going to have to learn about our young, new ally later.”
Everyone then decided to leave the hotel and head for the train station. As they arrived, however, there were several guards blocking off the entrance as a crowd of people started to form.
“What’s happening now?” Sorin asked.
“This can’t be good,” Rain said as she walked up to one of the guards. “I’m sorry, but we need to head to Iiayikohn immediately.”
“I can’t do that, Your Highness,” the guard replied. “As of today, we are to bar anyone from entering Ahnlikohn.”
“You’ve got to be kidding,” Rain said. “Damn it all, we can’t let this happen!”
Rain turned away from the guard and headed back to the group. A blaring horn sounded out as everyone turned towards the exit to the kingdom where the sound came from. Many people began heading towards the source of the sound as Rain and the others decided to go see what it was all about. At the right of the gate was a stage, set up for a presentation as members of the Royal Thekohnian Army made their way on stage.
“Is this some sort of show, perhaps?” Luna asked.
“It’s not that,” Rain answered. “No, this is far from some sort of show.”
“This hasn’t been done in years,” Storm said. “I can’t believe they would actually go through with this.”
“Must be to set an example,” Rain replied. “They found someone they could use as a scapegoat.”
“What are you two talking about?” Mina asked.
“Long ago, the kingdom used to hold public executions,” Rain said. “Mostly to make a statement against people who’d break the law. They ended up retiring the practice when my father took the throne but now that he’s gone, it looks like they’re bringing it back for this moment.”
“Public executions, huh,” Law said. “Sounds like Queen Isla’s ready to flex that ruling muscle all over the Thekohnian Region and what better way to show it than to perform an execution.”
“Not a lot we can do about it, is there?” Sorin asked.
“I… don’t think I can watch,” Luna said. “This all sounds so gruesome.”
Up on the stage, Lauren Ahga made his way to the center with Johan right behind him. Johan angled his head toward one of the soldiers at the steps, leading them to direct the person set to be executed onto the stage. The person’s face was obscured by a sack on his head and his arms tied behind his back as he was led to the center where Ahga stood.
“Very good, very good,” Ahga said. “Let’s get this show going, shall we?”
“If you must, Sir Lauren,” Johan replied. “Sit him down on his knees, now.”
The soldier forced the man to his knees and bound the restraint holding his hands together to another rope that then got tied to a latch on the floor. With no possible way to escape, the man struggled as Ahga removed the sack on his head. To most of the crowd’s surprise, Victor Wihll’s bruised, beaten face displayed for everyone to see.
“They turned on him?” Mina asked. “But they were working together!”
“Calm down, Mina,” Rain said. “I have a feeling that they were planning to turn on him from the start.”
“And Johan seems to be okay with this,” Pariton said.
Luna covered her eyes, but took a peek between her fingers. “He would do this, that traitor!”
Sorin sighed. “I still can’t understand…”
With no warning, Ahga pulled out a gun and pointed it at Wihll’s head. The Thekohnian soldiers then started to push the crowd back as everyone started to move away.
“Victor, I must say it’s truly a wonder you’ve been able to survive for this long,” Ahga said. “To think you were crushed beneath a chandelier, beaten to near death, and stabbed several times is quite a testament to your willpower. But no longer!”
Wihll started to cough, hacking up blood all over the floor. “When I see in you hell, I’m going to make your life ten times worse!”
“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t make a mess of this stage,” Ahga said, hitting Wihll with the barrel of his gun. “You have always been that insignificant little worm that always manages to find a way to keep on living. If you were born a better man, then perhaps that trait would be admirable. Alas, you are but a simple thug that turned to a life with the True Thekohnians.”
“I don’t need your false pity,” Wihll said. “If you’re going to kill me, then make it quick.”
“Ask and you shall receive,” Ahga said as he loaded his gun. “What’s really funny to me is that all you’ve ever fought for turned out to be a lie.”
Before Wihll could have any chance to answer, Ahga put the barrel of his gun to Wihll’s temple and pulled the trigger. A single shot rang out throughout the city of Oelaans. A single shot was all that it took to end Wihll’s life as his corpse leaned forward, only to be stopped by the restraint behind him.
“Oh god!” Luna dove her face into Pariton’s shoulder as he held her tight.
“That’s how it ends for Victor Wihll, I suppose,” Law said as he clenched his fist. “I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but I’m angry.”
“Wihll was used,” Eva said. “He’s killed someone important to me, but I can understand why you’d feel so angry.”
“He and I weren’t that different,” Noa said. “If the circumstances were any different, then it might’ve been me on that stage with a bullet through his head.”
Gavin grumbled as he adjusted his sunglasses. “There’s no way any of us would ever forgive him for what he’s done, but I agree,” he said. “Especially when it’s Ahga who killed him.”
“We can keep talking about Wihll later,” Rain said. “We have to leave now, though, or else they’ll notice us.”
“Good point,” Eva replied.
“How are we going to leave, though?” Mina asked. “They blocked off the way to Ahnlikohn!”
“Don’t tell me you forgot how we got here, Mina,” Law replied. “Bro, we’re gonna make some room for the rest of them, right?”
“It’ll be crowded,” Gavin said, “Though I’m sure we’ll find a way.”
“There’s a better way,” Rain said. “There’s a bus that heads out towards Bel which will take us a bit longer to get to Rezar, but it’ll be worth it.”
“What are we waiting for, then?” Law asked. “Sorin, you still with us?”
“I am,” Sorin said. “I was just deep in thought. Let’s go.”
As Sorin and the others left the area, Johan was busy watching over the stage as he noticed his friend leaving. He decided to keep his mouth shut as Ahga and some of the Thekohnian soldiers wrapped up Wihll’s corpse in order to carry it off the stage. Johan continued to watch as Sorin left with his friends, though, as a smile formed on his face.
“This game is getting a lot more fun now, isn’t it, Sorin?”
To be continued…
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