Sundown – Chapter 49 (Part 2)

[Various dates, 2728-2740 AD; downtown Admorse, Ameci – Wyse District]


(Unending Dream)


Johan Kuu was born into a decent middle-class family in Gardner’s Peak, Ameci. It was a quiet town that overlooked the beach and the Amthe Ocean and was about an hour drive from Admorse. That was where Johan’s father, Voitto, worked as a government official. He made decent money, being able to provide for both Johan and Dia, the latter of whom occupied herself with becoming a teacher.

Johan himself was an attentive student in school; he did not get the highest marks of the class, but did come close many times. However, what set Johan apart from his peers was that he was always the most outspoken and perceptive out of the entire school, even for a child of his age. Despite receiving praise for his rich intelligence, Johan grew bored of the usual routine that was his school life, until one day, he met someone who would end up creating a lasting impact on him.

“Hi, my name is Sorin… Sorin Wilk… What’s your name?”

“Johan Kuu,” he replied. “Nice meeting you, Sorin!”

He shook Sorin’s hand in the back of the classroom and from that day on, Johan had a friendship he was sure would last for many years to come. Sorin lived only a few minutes away from Johan, so the two were able to meet up after school and do whatever it is that they wanted to do, or at least what two young boys were able to do in a small ocean town.

Some things were not meant to last, however, as Sorin met up with Johan one day at Johan’s house. Right there, Sorin learned some devastating news that was sure to have an effect on him: Johan was leaving with his mother for the big city of Admorse. At the time, Sorin had no idea that Johan’s father had died, nor did he know anything else about the attack that took Voitto’s life. But still, in Johan’s young mind, he knew that this was something that neither boy wanted to hear. It had to be said, though.

“I’m sorry,” Johan said.

“No, it’s okay,” Sorin replied.

“I… I promise I’ll call you every day!” Johan exclaimed. “And if not that, I’ll write letters to you! I’m sure my mother will send them!”

And from that day, Johan and Sorin continued their talks via letter. It wasn’t always the most efficient, but the two were able to maintain their bond over a long distance. Johan enjoyed being able to read tales of Sorin’s adventure with his “uncle” Raymohnd Smith. However, as time passed, Johan was not able to write to Sorin as much.

With each passing year, Johan noticed his mother’s condition continue to decline. She was not getting sick physically, but rather, Dia began to withdraw from society. Each day that went by, Dia remained holed up in her house, unable to go outside or even communicate with other people save for her son. Johan was not sure what to do about it, which was why he began to seek out solutions to his mother’s evergrowing reclusiveness. That was when, at the age of sixteen, Johan had an idea: he was going to create a better world. A world where people did not need to fight. A world where no one had to die because of war. Johan was going to make that world happen because he did not want what happened to his mother to happen to anyone, but first, Johan had to plan. On one breezy day, Johan stood outside his house and looked up to the cloudy sky above.

“Mother, I feel your pain,” Johan said. “When I heard the news that father had died, I… I didn’t know what to say. All my life, I had grown up with this belief that you and father were invincible, like nothing could ever bring you two down. It was foolish of me to think that and for that, I’m sorry. I’m sorry… I’m sorry that I couldn’t do more. That ends now, though.”

He eyed the carrier bag by his side and held it close to him. Inside Johan’s bag were a few essential items: his identification card, some money, a small bag of cookies, a change of clothes, and the most important thing of all, a framed photograph of Johan and his father from when he was very young. Johan remembered that day well because it was when his father took him to the place where he worked. Johan did not remember the name of the place due to the fact that it had been a long time ago, but he knew now that it was of vast importance in passing Ameci laws. However, Johan’s destination was not there, but rather with the military. He approached the recruitment agency nearby stared at the glass doors.

“I don’t necessarily want to do this, but I have to if I want this dream of mine to come true,” Johan said. “The general’s name is Fercewend, right? I know that I’ve got this…”

And thus, Johan went into the Ameci military with a simple goal in mind. He had to use these means if it meant succeeding in creating his vision, but even so, Johan knew that he was not meant for such work. The thought of training for battle displeased him and he had nothing but contempt for the usage of violence to achieve one’s goals. That did not mean that Johan was willing to use means that would be considered questionable to some, and he was willing to close his eyes and fight if his life was on the ling. But what it did mean was that Johan did not want to take anyone’s life, even if they were the enemy. That was why he had opted to become a spy for Ameci instead.

“At least I won’t have to worry about fighting anybody,” he said to himself. “This seems like a good start. Don’t worry, mother…”

He had just made it into the military and was ready to go. Johan’s plan was set forth and now he just needed to take the proper steps. The problem, however, was that he was not sure where to start. There were many out there that were looking to create a world that was the antithesis to the one which Johan desired, and thus, Johan knew that they had to be eliminated. At that point, he knew that he had to lay low and out of sight until he saw the right opportunity to put his entire plan into motion.

Then, one day, it happened. After his mission to find Pekka Varjostaa in the town of Hurst, Johan knew then and there that it was the right time to move along with his plan. He had made a valuable ally at the time and was only getting started. Once that was done, Johan knew that there was a much larger enemy than the True Thekohnians. One that had aligned itself with Walton Lokke and were only getting started. To find this enemy, however, Johan knew that he had to draw them out. Fortunately, a chance meeting in Oelaans with Lauren Ahga was all that Johan needed for him to work his magic.

“Ah, do you mind watching where you’re going?” Ahga asked.

“Sorry about that,” Johan replied. “I can’t help but notice the sword at your waist. Are you, by chance, a member of the Royal Thekohnian Military?”

“Not at all,” Ahga said. “Though I wonder what caused you to come to that conclusion…”

“Just a guess,” Johan said. “But you are from the kingdom, aren’t you?”

“Let’s just say that I am,” Ahga said, “And we’ll leave it at that, okay? Now, if you’ll excuse me…”

Though it was a brief moment, Johan saw Ahga long enough to remember all of the important details about him, as well as his outfit. There was no mistake about it: Johan had the chance to make his plan happen and he was going to take that chance without hesitation.




[18th of November, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Rio Grove]


“You’re leaving already?” Rain asked.

“I’m afraid so,” Sorin replied. “Gale and I have to hurry back over to Rezar. Looks like it’s really important.”

Rain met with Sorin and Gale at the Rio Grove two hours after she gave her speech to the residents of the kingdom. She had expected her friends to leave, but seeing Sorin and Gale be the first to go surprised her.

“If that’s the case, then I won’t stop you,” Rain said. “Just promise me that you two will come back and visit, okay?”

“Of course we will,” Gale said. “Once I’m done with my presentation, we’ll be sure to come back and tell you the good news, hopefully.”

“I can’t wait to hear all about it,” Rain said. “I truly hope that your vision is realized.”

“Well, if what Lowell said was true, then he wants this to come true just as much as I do,” Gale replied.

“I believe he said that he wanted to show off your success and stick it to Isaac Kunigunde,” Sorin said. “I, for one, can’t wait to see that happen.”

“Yeah, I can understand why,” Rain said. “Gale, I know you’re not on the best of terms with him, but still, it must be devastating to know what your father did to influence the Neu Thekohnian Order…”

“It’s not much of a surprise to me,” Gale said. “At least I know that I have Rohan to look up to, as well as Sorin… Oh, and I can’t forget you and everybody else, can I, Rain?”

Rain smiled. “You will always be appreciated here,” she said. “I’m sure that we will find a way to bring Isaac to justice.”

“I hope that you’re right,” Gale said.

“Don’t worry about it,” Sorin said. “If the Neu Thekohnian Order can be defeated, we deal with Isaac just fine.”

“And I’m sure we can do that without much of a problem,” Rain added. “Anyway, I guess I shouldn’t hold you two up any longer, should I?”

“Thank you for everything,” Gale replied.

“Yeah, thank you, Rain,” Sorin said.

“You are very welcome,” Rain said. “Thank you, too.”

Sorin and Gale then said goodbye to Rain and left the Rio Grove, leaving the queen by herself. Rain knew she would have to say goodbye to the others as well, but at least she knew that they would always be there. Mina, especially, would be there for Rain and would drop everything if Rain called for her. Rain had so much more to do, though, and headed back to the castle to see what awaited her next. Once she made it to the castle, she went and met with everybody else and sent them on their separate ways.

Kiku, Noa, Ayame, and Igor were the first to leave. Noa was able to meet with General Khadir and found out that he did not have any issues with Noa leaving the Maeitakohnian military. Rain could see that Kiku was pleased to meet the general as well, with her saying that Khadir praised both her and Noa. With both the party and ceremony over, Kiku said that they would head right back home and relax. She and Rain promised to meet again, as well as get together with the others and catch up.

After Kiku’s group left, Rain met with Luna and Pekka. They were going to head back to Ahnlikohn and to Luna’s family, where Pekka would stay for an indefinite amount of time. He was not sure where he would go next; there was no place for him in Iiayikohn, nor was there much else for him to do. Luna said that she would try to carry on her brother’s legacy in any way that she could, but said that if she were ever in the area, she would hurry over to see Rain.

Gavin, Law, and Ayanna were next, as Rain noticed them leaving through the side entrance. According to Gavin, he did not want to cause too much of a ruckus, but Rain wondered why they had to leave so quickly. Ayanna stated that she had to head back and meet with General Reiss and the prime minister in order to discuss future options with Ahnlikohn. It seemed that any possible option for war was averted, but they still had much to discuss with the country of Ahnlikohn. Rain reminded Ayanna of the summit and said if Ayanna was able to, to meet with her to discuss further. Ayanna promised and left with Gavin and Law as Rain waved goodbye to them.

Finally, there was Mina. Mina did not go with Gavin and the others and opted to stay in the kingdom for a little longer. Even if Rain was busy, Mina wanted to be there for her. Rain was delighted and promised to Mina that she would spend as much time as possible with her. Mina smiled as she hugged Rain, who returned the favor. They were about to share a moment together, however, Eva walked in.

“I’m sorry if I’m interrupting anything,” Eva said, “But I need to tell you something, Rain.”

“What is it?” Rain asked.

“I think… I think that I need to leave,” Eva replied. “I’ve just been such a burden on you that I’ve forgotten what it feels like to be useful… I’m very sorry, but I need to go.”

Rain tried to ask Eva what was wrong, but the swordswoman walked as fast as she could out of the castle. The sudden outburst caught Rain off guard, but she had no idea what to do. It was easy to let it go and write it off as an isolated incident, but Rain knew that Eva would not just act without reason. She looked to Mina, who nodded back in agreement as the two decided to follow after Eva.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 42 (Part 1)

[22nd of September, 2740 AD; Ahga Manor – Backyard, just outside of Oelaans, Thekohn]


Swords clashed as Rain and Ahga fought in the backyard of his mansion. The wind did not prove to be a factor as Rain moved forward. She moved in a deft manner, spinning around as she defended herself against each one of Ahga’s attacks. Rain continued to look for an opening as Ahga continued his attack. Every second on defense meant that Rain had to stay sharp.

“You’re moving quite well, Your Highness,” Ahga said, “But you can’t dodge this!”

He thrusted his sword forward at Rain. She turned to the side as Ahga’s blade missed her. That was when Ahga tried to swing at her again, but Rain stopped that attack as well. No matter what happened, both fighters could not land a hit on each other. Rain was fortunate not to have suffered any damage, but she still needed to hit him.

“I’m not going to let you win!” Rain said.

“Persistent as ever,” Ahga replied, stepping back. “It seems like I’ve truly met my match.”

“You’re pulling back now?” Rain asked.

“If anything, it means I am honored,” Ahga said. “I would have thought that you’d buckle against adversity, but it seems that my teaching has paid off for you. I’m happy knowing that I’ll be granted the privilege of a killing a warrior worthy of my praise.”

“Not if I have something to say about it,” she said.

Though Rain had to admit that she was indeed on level with Ahga. There was nothing she could do to say otherwise. However, what she had over him was the fact that he could not expect what she had planned. All Rain had to do was make that plan happen, but first she had to catch Ahga off guard.

“I’ll take you down!” Ahga exclaimed.

He thrusted his sword forward once again as Rain dodged. It was not as clean a dodge as she thought, though, as the blade came into contact with the sleeve of her shirt. It created a tear in the sleeve as well, grazing Rain’s upper arm as well. She stopped herself and gasped as she realized the cut on her body.

“Now I’ve got you,” Ahga said. “Prepare to die!”

He swung at Rain again with a horizontal slash. She looked on at him and started to smile. Now she had won.

“There’s just one problem,” she said.

Rain ducked, Ahga’s blade missing her, and returned the favor with a vertical swipe. Ahga could not react in time to stop the attack as Rain’s blade struck him from his left leg all the way up to his chest. His scream could be heard all throughout as Rain caught her breath. The sword strike caused Ahga to fall backwards and drop his sword. As Rain looked at the wound on her arm, she also had to make sure that Ahga could not get back up. She walked over to him, her sword still in her hand, and looked as Ahga groaned aloud.

“Your Highness, it’s… it’s not over,” Ahga said. “As soon as I pick up my sword, I will get back up. I’ll get back up on my feet and finish you off.”

“Do you not see the state you’re in?” Rain asked.

Ahga looked up. The large cut on his body was obvious, even from his point of view. Blood started to stain his clothing as he struggled to sit up.

“You can’t move,” she said. “No matter what you say, it is impossible for you to continue fighting.”

Ahga sighed. “Then finish it,” he said. “If this is the fate I’m doomed to, then at least kill me. I can’t afford to look Isla in the eyes now…”

“I’m sorry,” Rain replied. “I am truly sorry for this, Sir Lauren.”

She walked over to Ahga and looked over his body. The wound was deep enough to cause massive bleeding, but it was not the lethal blow that Rain had thought that it was at first. There was comfort in her heart that Ahga was still alive, because she could end this fight with no more room for doubt. She lifted her sword and pointed it downward at Ahga. Rain closed her eyes and sighed as she thrusted down into the ground next him instead.

“You missed me,” Ahga said. “Was that on purpose?”

“It was.”

“But why? Why are you deciding to spare my life now?”

Rain picked up her sword and sheathed it. “Because even though I know that what you’ve done is horrible, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re still like family to me,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean I will let you get away with what you’ve done, nor will I excuse my mother’s actions either.”

“So you intend to lock me in prison instead?” Ahga asked. “Would it not be easier to kill me right now? You’ve already inflicted such a major wound on me, so what are you going to do about that?”

“I don’t know,” Rain said. “What I do know, however, is that you do need to answer for everything involving the Neu Thekohnian Order. That is why I just cannot end your life here.”

Ahga started to laugh, but stopped. “And what of Isla?”

“I’ve already told you,” Rain said.

“Did you now? Okay, well then, I won’t ask about her any further,” he said. “Isla, I’ve failed her.”

“If I had to be honest, the only you’ve failed is yourself,” Rain replied. “You were once someone I respected. I guess I still respect you but now, I guess, it’s more out of nostalgia than anything else.”

“You’re going then, I assume?” Ahga asked.

“Before we do, there’s the matter of dealing with you,” she said. “I know you can’t move very far, if at all, but I can’t just abandon you.”

“There you are!” Luna exclaimed.

Rain looked up and saw Luna and Pekka step out into the backyard. They both ran right over to Rain’s side with Luna hugging Rain and Pekka looking down at Ahga.

“Go ahead and gawk all you want,” Ahga said, “I’ve got no strength to fight back anyway.”

“You should be fortunate that she was kind enough to spare you,” Pekka replied. “Though I can’t say how long you have left.”

Ahga gasped out a parted laugh. “Her Highness is only sparing me because she believes I should suffer for all that I’ve done,” he said. “To be honest with you, I find it difficult to disagree with her.”

Rain sighed. “Thank you guys,” she said to Luna and Pekka. “I’m so glad that you two are okay.”

“I should be saying that to you,” Luna replied. She then noticed the cut on Rain’s arm. “Oh my god, I can see your blood! Are you okay?”

Pekka shook his head. “Well, what do you think?”

“We should get you all taken care of,” Luna said to Rain. “You wouldn’t want to make Mina worried, would you?”

“Please, Luna, don’t concern yourself so much,” Rain replied. “I can just cover it up with some cloth for now and have it taken care of once we arrive in Oelaans.”

“You also jumped out of that window, too, didn’t you,” Luna said. “Is your body sprained in any way?”

“Again, she looks okay to me,” Pekka said. “Besides, we’ve got bigger things to worry about.”

He motioned over to Ahga, who was still lying on the ground. Then, Ahga began to sit up as his wound began to aggravate.

“Sir Lauren, you really shouldn’t be sitting up,” Rain said.

“I want you to grant me one last request,” Ahga said. “There’s something that I need to check before they come and take me away.”

“Then I’ll go with you,” Rain replied.

“No, I’m sorry, but it’s something personal to me,” Ahga said as he clutched his wounded side with his free hand. “I promise to you that I will not run away. Not that I’d be to in my current condition, anyhow.”

Pekka looked to Rain. “What do you think?”

“Very well,” Rain said. “It’s not likely that you’ll run, anyway, nor do I expect you to call my mother, either.”

“It will only take a few minutes,” Ahga replied. “And to show you that I am serious, I will leave my sword to you.”

He took the sheath of his sword from off his side and tossed it next to his blade. Rain went over and picked both of them up and placed the sword back into the sheath. Then, she turned back over to Ahga.

“You had a gun as well,” she said.

Ahga nodded. “Yes, guess I should give you that, too.”

“Allow me,” Pekka said.

He reached over to Ahga and retrieved the gun. Pekka then unloaded the gun and put the bullets away in his pocket while taking the gun and holster and attached them to his right side.

“Now you can go inside, Sir Lauren,” Rain said.

“I see, then,” Ahga said.

With that, Ahga made an effort to stand up. Rain decided to help him back up to his feet, to which he thanked her. He staggered back to the mansion as he held his side. Meanwhile, Luna took out a piece of cloth and wrapped it around Rain’s arm.

“It looks good now, don’t you think so?” Luna asked.

“It’s not like I wasn’t going to change out of these clothes,” Rain said. “But thank you.”

Pekka looked over at the mansion and furrowed his eyebrows. “You’re absolutely fine with him going about, Rain?”

“There’s nothing he can do now,” Rain said.

“I wonder where Mina and Sorin are,” Luna said. “What do you think is holding them up?”

“I have no idea,” Rain replied. “What I do know is that they’ll be fine. They should come soon, hopefully.”




Korbin hurried out into the main hall of the mansion. He wanted to find Bradley and get out of Ahga Manor as soon as possible. He decided that he would not go after Sorin or Johan at this time because he knew that they would make it out in some way. To Korbin, this was a good thing because he wanted another chance against Sorin alone, as well as Johan Kuu.

“Bradley!” Korbin called out. “Damn it, where are the fuck you?”

He looked around in the main hall for Bradley, but he could not find him anywhere. That was when Korbin heard some groaning coming from only a few feet away from him. A closet door was near the stairs as Korbin went over to try and investigate. He opened the closet door and found Bradley tied and seated up against the back wall.

“Holy shit!” Korbin exclaimed. “What did they do to you?”

“Ugh, what happened?” Bradley asked.

Korbin knelt down next to Bradley. “It doesn’t matter,” he said. “We gotta get out of here and blow this shit up!”

He proceeded to cut the rope surrounding Bradley and helped him up to his feet. The two men hugged each other and began to head to the door. Bradley rubbed his aching head while Korbin put his knife away.

“I feel like I’ve set a bad precedent,” Bradley said. “Those guys… they’re no fucking joke, you should know.”

“Believe me, Bradley, I know,” Korbin replied. “If only that damn asshole wasn’t here, I’d have gained my victory.”

“Right,” Bradley said. “I’m going to remember this just in case… No one humiliates me like that. No one.”

“So where did you hide the switch?” Korbin asked.

“It’s back at the truck,” Bradley replied. “It’s locked up right now but once I activate it, the bombs will go off in this place.”

“Cool, we’ll get to see this place blow over,” Korbin said.

They stepped outside and hurried as fast as they could back over the Ameci truck. Bradley took the key from his pocket and opened the safe in the back. In the front, Korbin took the communicator and saw that there was a call waiting to be picked up. He grabbed the receiver and turned on communications.

“Private Mars speaking.”

“You idiot, you can’t fool anyone with that half-assed attempt at formality,” Harold said. “What has become of Ahga Manor and the princess?”

“Well pop, I, er, we’re about to blast the whole place!” Korbin exclaimed.

“So you’ve failed to kill her, then,” Harold replied.

Korbin’s hand began to shake. “How… How did you know?”

“I can tell that you were doomed to fail the moment I heard that Wilk’s son would be there,” Harold said. “You had to go and divert from your duty, didn’t you? You’re lucky that I’m here in Rezar, you incompetent dumbass!”

“I’m sorry,” Korbin said.

“No matter how many times I beat it into that thick head, you never seem to learn your lesson, so why should I bother,” Harold said. “Go ahead and blow Ahga Manor up, but know this: the princess and her allies are preparing to head over to Oelaans.”

“I know that,” Korbin said.

“That’s why I want you two to let them go for now,” Harold said. “Right now, both you and Bradley need to regroup and head to the rendezvous point in Helm.”

“What? Why should I let her go?” Korbin asked.

“Because everything has changed,” Harold replied. “Our plan is moving fast and we have no need for those who can’t play by our rules.”

“Got it.”

“Ahga seemed to have figured it out, anyway,” Harold continued. “But he realized too late how far his usefulness went.”

“Then what about Ahnlikohn?” Korbin wondered.

“You’ll get your time,” Harold said. “Right now, I’m going to attend a very important meeting with President Hasker. Until I’m done, don’t even think of contacting me.”

Before Korbin could respond, Harold closed off communications. Korbin set the receiver down and stepped out of the truck. Bradley had just taken the switch out of the safe and was getting ready to turn it on.

“So what’s the deal?” Bradley asked.

“I’ll tell you later, man,” Korbin said. “Ready to go?”

Bradley looked down at the switch. “Almost,” he said. “Got one last thing to do before I turn it on and blow this motherfucker up.”

“That’s good,” Korbin replied. “Looks like you’re getting another day to live, Johan Kuu…”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 41 (Part 2)

[22nd of September, 2740 AD; Inside Ahga Manor, just outside of Oelaans, Thekohn]


The battle ensued with Sorin landing the first strike, his blade clashing against Korbin’s as the two stood off against each other. Sorin stared Korbin in the eyes while Mina decided to run in and attack Korbin from the side. She threw a punch at him, but Korbin backed off of Sorin and swung at her. Sorin was quick to block the attack, however, as Mina landed the punch on Korbin’s face. Korbin reeled backward and clutched his face.

“There’s no way you’ll be able to stop us,” Mina said.

“You stand no chance at beating us,” Sorin said. “Withdraw your sword and surrender, Korbin. It’s clear you can’t win.”

Korbin started to laugh. It was a gasping, maniacal cackle that unsettled Sorin and Mina, who remained on guard. Korbin stood up straight, laughing all throughout, and pointed the tip of his sword at Sorin. A large smile was on Korbin’s face as he began to laugh again.

“I can’t win?” Korbin asked. “You really have no idea, do you?”

“We’ve already proven we can take you on,” Mina replied. “Nothing could be clearer than that!”

“Shut the fuck up!” Korbin yelled. “I’m not done talking yet! Now, where was I? Oh, yes, isn’t it obvious what Bradley is doing?”

“What are you talking about?” Sorin asked.

“We’re not here just to kill that princess, but we’re here to destroy the trail as well,” Korbin replied. “Bradley is a goddamn genius… He’s got it so that this entire mansion will blow once we’re done here! I’d tip my hat to him, but as you can see, I’ve got no hat on.”

Sorin gasped. “What the hell?”

“You intend to destroy this place?” Mina asked.

“Isn’t that what I just fucking said?” Korbin said. “You must not listen well, woman, so I’ll say it again: we’re blowing this shithole up to the sky and there’s nothing that you two can do about it!”

“Damn it,” Sorin said. “What the hell were you even thinking, Korbin!?”

“Don’t blame me,” Korbin replied. “Shit, I wonder if Bradley has already finished the job. Couldn’t be too hard, could it?”

“You’re wrong,” Mina said, “Rain would never lose a fight to a villain like him and certainly not to Ahga, either!”

“Well, he hasn’t said anything yet,” Korbin said. “I wonder which one of us right, though? What do you think, Sorin? Do you truly think believe what she’s saying? Hehehe…”

“Nothing has happened yet,” Sorin said. “That is to say, Mina and I haven’t even begun to fight you, Korbin.”

He raised his blade and directed his view at Korbin. Mina raised her fists as well and nodded at Sorin. Sorin looked back at her and nodded as well. For some reason, he felt like he had no need to tell her what was going to happen next because there was the notion that it was obvious what they had to do in order to defeat Korbin. Now was the time for both of them to act.

“Begun to fight me?” Korbin wondered. “Is this some sort of trick you’re pulling on me? Some sort of psychological-tastic bullshit or something? Whatever it is, there’s nothing you can do, so fucking bring it!”

“Oh, we will,” Sorin replied.

He looked again at Mina and nodded as she did the same back at him. Sorin set his left foot forward while Mina set her right foot forward and stood next to the end table. There was only one chance to do this right and Sorin could not afford to make any missteps in fighting Korbin.

“There’s only one chance now,” Sorin said. “Mina, let’s do this!”

“Got it,” Mina replied. “Take this, villain!”

Mina picked up the table next to her and spun around three times as Sorin stepped aside. With the last spin, Mina aimed for Korbin as she unleashed the flying table at him. Korbin smirked and took out his sword with the table coming at him with increasing speed.

“You call this an attack?” Korbin asked.

He used his free hand and made a fist as the table neared him. With his fist, Korbin punched the table out of the way, but that was when he saw Mina running at him with Sorin’s sword in her hands. She screamed out loud as she swung as hard as she could, but Korbin blocked with his sword. The two matched up well, but Korbin had the edge. His experience made it so that he could turn the blades downward and gain control.

“Unexpected, but a stupid choice!” Korbin exclaimed.

Mina grinned. “You’re wrong,” she said. “This was our plan all along! Sorin, vanquish him!”

She dropped to the floor and rolled out of the way as Korbin swung his blade sideways. In that split second, Korbin lifted his head and saw Sorin running right at him. He had no time to react as Sorin delivered a punch to his face. The impact made Korbin reel and spin as he dropped his sword to the floor. Korbin spent a moment to catch his breath when he realized what he had just done. He tried to reach for his blade, but Sorin and Mina were already there. Sorin placed his foot down on the floor and kicked Korbin’s sword away from him while Mina stretched her arms.

“It’s over now,” Sorin said.

“You really think it’s over?” Korbin asked. He started to laugh. “This isn’t… Hahaha… This isn’t over, not until I say so!”

“Then you leave me no choice,” Sorin replied.

Korbin tried to move, but Sorin surprised him and grabbed his right arm and twisted it behind him. Sorin then used his other hand to subdue Korbin’s other arm and hold him back.

“You’re going to tell us where Bradley is,” Sorin said, tightening his grip on Korbin. “You’ll tell us everything we need to know, otherwise, Mina here will not hesitate to use her special moves on you.”

Korbin grunted. “Fuck… Fuck you,” he replied. “Fuck you and that dumb, screaming, idiotic bitch over there!”

“You villains don’t like to remember names, do you?” Mina asked. “Well, I’d be glad to help you remember. My name is simple, see?”

Mina pounded her fist into her palm and walked up to Korbin. He could only struggle in Sorin’s grasp while Mina punched him in the stomach. Korbin reacted with a gasp of air as the she punched him in the same area again.

“It’s easy,” she said will each sequential punch. “It’s starts with an ‘M,” an ‘I,’ an ‘N,’ and an ‘A!’ My name is Mina!”

She landed her last punch on Korbin’s face instead. It was almost the same place where Sorin had struck him. Sorin loosened his grip on Korbin as the other man fell to his knees and tried to catch his breath.

“You… This is totally unfair!” Korbin said. “I can’t win like this!”

Korbin tried to crawl away, but Mina was able to catch up to him without much effort on her part.

“You’ll be the first one to experience this move!” Mina said. “I call it the ‘Mighty Mina Elbow Drop’ and it goes like this!”

She jumped up and dropped down with her elbow first. Korbin tried to turn around but was met with her elbow striking him in the back of his head. It knocked him out cold as Mina landed on him. She then sat up and got back up to her feet while Korbin did not move another inch.

“He’s going to be okay, right?” Sorin asked.

Mina rubbed her elbow. “That should knock him out for a bit,” she said. “You know, I was practicing this move on Law a while back and you would not believe what he suggested to me!”

“I’m afraid to ask,” Sorin said, “But what was it?”

“He told that I should use my butt instead of my elbow when dropping on people,” she replied. “I mean, I guess I could understand it, but it feels much more satisfying to punch villains instead of sitting on them, don’t you think?”

“I agree with you,” Sorin said. “Law’s pretty skilled, but he’s good at what he does and you’re good at what you do. Trust me, I would know.”

Mina giggled as she brushed Sorin’s arm with her fist. “I knew that you’d agree,” she said. “How about that punch of yours, though? I had no idea you were able to hit so hard!”

“I guess it just came naturally,” Sorin said.

He knew it was part of his plan, but Sorin was surprised at how well he was able to pull the trick off. It was easy to let Mina in on his plan with little communication, but he did not imagine how well he was able to use it in action against Korbin. But as Sorin thought to himself, he heard the sound of a door opening and closing, then another door opening.

“Sorin, look!” Mina exclaimed.

Sorin spun around. The door at the end of the hall shut but he was certain judging from Mina’s reaction that Johan had passed through.

“There’s no time to waste,” Sorin said.

Mina punched the air before her. “Alright!”

They hurried after Johan and went further into the mansion. However, Sorin could feel as if he and Mina were straying further from what they were meant to do here. He could only hope that Rain, Luna, and Pekka were able to take care of Lauren Ahga, because Sorin knew that he could not let Johan run away. Not again. This time, Sorin was going to confront him and get him to say everything.




Rain found herself in the backyard of Ahga Manor, looking back at the mansion as Ahga opened the door and emerged outside. She hoped that the open yard would be a benefit to her, but it was still Ahga’s territory and she had to acknowledge that. He walked towards her with his sword drawn while she stood in place with her sword out as well.

“You’ve proven to me that you haven’t given up,” Ahga said. “I wonder how long that will last until I cut you down with my blade, though? I didn’t earn my title for nothing, you know.”

“I do,” Rain said. “But even though I have learned a lot from you, there was much more I’ve learned alongside my friends.”

“Friends only carry you so far, Your Highness,” Ahga replied, “Which is why I will kill you right here and now, so you can feel the despair of dying with no one around to help you!”

Rain felt her eyes begin to water. “You’ve spoken a lot about how other people are useless,” she said, “But even so, you fight for my mother, do you not? What makes you different from me?”

“You are just trying to get in my head, aren’t you?” Ahga asked. “Isla is more than just a friend to me! You wouldn’t get that at all, would you now?”

“Perhaps not,” Rain said. “What if I did, though?”

“All you’re is delaying the inevitable,” he said. “If you were truly a warrior worthy of the Thedam bloodline, you would quit your crying and realize what we are working for!”

Rain rubbed her eyes as tears ran down her face. “These tears aren’t running down my face because of weakness,” she said. “They are a reminder of the pain I have gone through and the people that have been lost because of my mother’s plans.”

“Your brother died because he could not stand aside,” Ahga said. “Very much the same reason you’ll meet your end, too.”

“And yet, Sir Lauren, I stand here before you,” she replied. “I cry not because his death has weakened me, but rather, because it motivates me to end this madness.”

“Is that so?” Ahga asked. “Do you plan on taking my life? What is the point behind what you are saying?”

“If it comes down to it, then yes,” Rain said. “If stopping you means killing you, then that’s the risk I have to take.”

“You’d kill me, your own mentor,” he said. “Did you not just say that the pain you feel is due to the people you have lost? You would kill me, even knowing that? Do you even realize what you’re saying, Your Highness?”

“I do,” Rain replied. “If the key to peace is having to deal with you, then I should not be hesitant.”

Ahga scoffed. “You’re just another liar, then.”

“No, not at all,” Rain said. “The thought of you dying had crossed my mind, and of course it was something I could not stand to bear. However, that has now changed.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?” Rain asked. “Of course, you’re only acting this way due to my mother’s influence, which is why you don’t understand. You wouldn’t understand what it means to face an opponent that doesn’t listen to reason, because you’ve become that very thing yourself.”

She steadied her blade and took a step towards Ahga. He responded by doing the same.

“I will say it again,” Rain said, “These tears of mine aren’t falling because I am weak, but rather because I am strong enough to face against your despair and do what is right.”

The wind began to pick up. Rain took another step forward. She had been grateful for all that Ahga had done to teach her, but she knew that she could not hold back anymore.

“But, Sir Lauren, I should thank you,” she said. “I could not have become the person I am today without your guidance. It’s why I’m able to move forward, no matter what.”

“You really think that will happen?” Ahga asked.

“Yes,” she replied. “Which is why I’m going to put an end to this. I know that Storm would agree and Brook would have as well.”

Rain lifted her hand and rubbed her eyes once more. She could see Ahga unobscured, his long hair lightly flowing in the wind. The Ahga that Rain knew was gone now and she accepted that.

“I am ready,” Rain said. “Whatever you may throw at me, Sir Lauren, I will be sure to counter it with everything I’ve got.”

“Then come!” Ahga exclaimed. “If you believe that you can defeat me, I welcome the challenge! Please, put an end to this!”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 41 (Part 1)

[22nd of September, 2740 AD; Inside Ahga Manor, just outside of Oelaans, Thekohn]


Luna moved the shower curtain of the upstairs bathroom as the search for Rain continued. There was no one inside the shower, but Luna expected that to be the case. On the other side of the hall, Pekka tore apart the guest room, his search revealing nothing of note.

“It’s not like she’s hiding in one of these cabinets or something,” Luna said. “There’s not that many rooms up here at the top, are there?”

“Well, there’s the other end,” Pekka said. “Besides, I think we’re done looking around here anyway.”

They had been through one of the other bedrooms, an empty storage room, and an antique room as well. No matter where they looked, however, Rain could not be found. There was only the other end of the upstairs hall, where several more rooms awaited them. Pekka walked first, with Luna trailing him. As they got closer to the other end of the hallway, though, they heard a loud crash and the sound of a man yelling.

“That must be them,” Pekka said. “Get ready, because we’re going to go in headfirst!”

He attempted to open the door, but found it locked instead. However, Pekka decided to break down the door, cracking his knuckles as he charged the door with his shoulder. It was to no avail, however.

“Are you kidding me?” Pekka asked.

“Remember what Sorin and Mina did,” Luna said. “I may not be as strong as those two, but I can lend you what strength I have!”

Pekka nodded. “Okay, we’ll have to go on three,” he said. “One… Two… Three! Now!”

They lined up side by side and hurried to the locked door. Pekka charged with his shoulder once more, but Luna had something different in mind as she led with her foot. The combined strength of both his shoulder rush and her kick was enough to jar the door and reveal Ahga, who was looking out of the window. To both their surprise, though, Rain was not there.

“Where is Rain?” Luna asked.

“Where do you think she is?” Ahga said.

Pekka gritted his teeth. “You don’t mean…”

“She’s just hanging on, that lucky one,” Ahga replied. “Tell me, Your Highness, did you do only this because you knew that they would come rushing to your aid?”

Outside the window, Rain grabbed onto the railing just below the window and turned around. She had tried to move along and enter through a different window, but with Ahga looking down at her, it proved impossible. She could have made the drop to the ground without any worry of a major injury, though she could not afford to at this moment.

“Those friends of yours, you wouldn’t abandon them at all, would you?” Ahga asked. “I could go ahead and take care of them first, but since I’ve got you here, I should finish the job.”

“You would do so, even though I’ve no way of fighting back?” Rain asked. “I thought that you’d told me that it was dishonorable to attack someone with no way of fighting back.”

“Honor only means so much,” Ahga said. “But I’m talking about you.”

Ahga reached for his gun, but before he could grab it, Luna rushed in with her knife and planted it into his left shoulder. She held onto the handle as Ahga let out an agonizing scream, though he reacted quickly as he shoved Luna off of him and onto the floor.

“We aren’t finished with you yet,” Pekka said as he rushed Ahga.

“Are you an idiot?” Ahga asked. “I will kill you!”

Ahga pulled out his gun and tried to fire, but Pekka had already grabbed his wrist and brought himself closer.

“You underestimate me,” Pekka replied. “That’s an erroneous line of thinking, if you ask me.”

Ahga grinned. “You think I was talking about you?”

Pekka’s eyes lit up as he looked behind him. Luna still remained on the floor as she tried to get back on her feet as Ahga had focused his aim on her. With only a few seconds to act, Pekka moved Ahga’s arm to the side but was met with a knee to his gut, with Ahga pushing him away.

“Nice try,” Ahga said.

Pekka covered his stomach as he caught his breath. “Damn it,” he said. “Luna! Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” she said.

“If you are fine, then it would do you well to take back what you gave me!” Ahga replied.

He reached for the knife in his back and pulled it out, wincing throughout, and dropped it on the ground. He kicked it towards Luna, who tried to pick it up but was stopped by Pekka.

“You would do well to stay away,” Ahga said with his gun pointed at the two. “If you take another step forward, I won’t hesitate to shoot you. Now to deal with my other problem…”

But as Ahga looked out the window, Rain had already escaped. He looked all around the immediate area outside, but Rain was nowhere to be seen.

“Damn it, this really was all part of her plan, wasn’t it?” Ahga asked. “Oh well, I guess I can use a little target practice.”

Ahga turned away from the window and found that Pekka and Luna had also escaped. The knife was gone as well. Ahga looked down at his gun again and shook his head. Then, he started to laugh aloud.

“Oh please, Your Highness,” he said. “If it’s a fair and honorable fight you want, then a fair and honorable fight you will get!”




Outside, Rain moved to the back of the mansion and looked for another point of entry. She had landed on the ground with her left foot first, which had caused her to stumble backward and roll onto her back. It was an inconvenience that she had to take in order to gain the advantage, but even so, Rain felt the slight, nagging pain in her lower back and left elbow. She shook off some of the remaining shards of glass from the window and ran over to the back door. This had to be the entrance through the kitchen, Rain thought.

“There’s no time to hesitate,” she said. “I can only hope that Luna and Pekka are okay…”

Rain pulled the door open and went into the kitchen. It was empty and the only thing that illuminated the room was the outside light. As Rain expected, no one was here and she could not hear anyone coming, either. At first, she was relieved and felt like this was a moment to rest, but then she remembered that Sorin and Mina were pursuing someone as well. She could only hope that they would be successful, too, as she did with Luna and Pekka.

“No one is here,” Rain said. “Sir Lauren has to be downstairs by now, so I have to counter him in any way I can.”

If there was one place where Rain knew she had the advantage over Ahga, it was her quickness. She knew that even he would admit to that, which was why Rain had to move to an area with more space. The kitchen was not that sort of place, but there was the main hall. Luring Ahga outside was also a possibility that she could use as well, as it was the most open of all the places around Ahga Manor.

Rain hurried through the kitchen and out towards the main hallway. As she assumed, Bradley was not around even though it was obvious from the dent in the wall that the fight from before had taken place.She ignored the site of impact and headed for the front door.

“Leaving so soon, Your Highness?” Ahga asked.

Ahga’s voice rang through the hall and through Rain’s ears. She turned around and saw him standing at the top of the stairs with his sword drawn out. Rain, in return, drew her sword as well.

“I see that there’s been a bit of roughhousing in my humble home,” Ahga said. “Seems like those Ameci have been up to no good. I’ll see to it that those stupid ravens pay dearly for wreaking havoc upon my house. You know, once I’m done with you.”

“I’m not going to run away, Sir Lauren,” Rain said. “Not when my friends still need me.”

“So it’s all about your friends, then?” Ahga asked. “You always were too attached to these sorts of ideals, weren’t you? Always believing in the absolute goodness of people, even those born of a different land… All those people are nothing more than disgusting worms writhing around in the dirt!”

“What of you?” Rain asked. “Was it not my father who hired you after all you’ve done for him? He may have not been perfect, but he was willing to learn from his mistakes and work towards a better future.”

“A better future? Don’t make me laugh,” Ahga said. “This dirt we sit on is all we’ve got and god knows how many years we have left on it. Why bother with unity when you and I both know that they’ll just turn on you in the end? Have you not been paying attention to what is going on in Ahnlikohn?”

“It was all because of you!” Rain exclaimed. “You and my mother… You wanted Alan Berry dead but you used others to do your dirty work. Not only is that deplorable, but cowardly as well!”

Ahga scoffed. “Cowardly? The only coward was the bumbling nitwit who couldn’t see,” he said. “He was only good for one thing, because regardless of whether he got away with assassinating the prime minister of Iiayikohn, Isla still won in the end!”

“You haven’t won yet, Sir Lauren,” Rain said.

“Is that all you can really say?” Ahga asked as he walked down the stairs. “Not that it matters to me, anyway. For you, however, it’s time for your journey to come to an end!”

“You’re forgetting something very important, Ahga,” Pekka said, “I’m not going to go anywhere and I’m certainly not going to let you go without a fight! Bring on your worst!”

Pekka and Luna arrived at the top of the stairs only a few feet away from Ahga. He looked at the two as Pekka got up on the railing while Luna edged closer with her knife drawn.

“When it’s three against one, you’ve got little choice,” Pekka said. “Right now, however, we have all the choices in the world!”

“What are you doing?” Rain asked.

Luna took her place at the top of the stairs. “Don’t worry about him,” she said. “He knows what he’s doing for once! We’re going to help contain Ahga so you can beat him!”

“What do you mean ‘for once,’ Luna?” Pekka asked. “You know what? Forget about it; I’ve already got all the power that I need in order to make this happen!”

Rain could only watch as she saw Pekka leap from up top the railing towards Ahga. He had his sword ready as Rain tried to figure out what to do next. She knew Pekka stood no chance unarmed against Ahga and Luna carried a disadvantage too despite carrying a knife.

“You think you have me beat?” Ahga asked. “Clearly, you underestimate why I am called ‘Sir Lauren Ahga’ of Thekohn.”

Luna hurried in with her attack, which Ahga tried to defend himself with his sword. Meanwhile, Pekka had made it to the guard rail of the stairs and held onto the rail with his fingers. Now Ahga had his back turned against Rain, who had all the opportunity she needed to make a strike from the back.

“H-Hurry up!” Luna said. “I can’t hold up much longer with him!”

Pekka attempted to crawl up over the railing. “I got it,” he said. “Come on, Rain, take your sword and do what needs to be done!”

Rain gazed off until she realized what Pekka said. “I know,” she replied. “Sir Lauren, even though this is the most painful decision I’ve ever had to make, it must be done if we are to achieve peace!”

She raised her blade and began to run towards Ahga. But as she did, he spoke out once more.

“You really don’t have a clue, do you,” Ahga said. “These two are nothing to someone like myself!”

Ahga pushed away Luna with his physical power behind his sword, to which she ducked underneath the swing. However, Ahga kicked her away and turned his attention to Pekka and backhanded him in the face. Pekka remained with his hands on the railing, but Ahga slammed his free hand down on Pekka’s fingers and made him lose his grip. Because of that, Pekka could not hold on anymore and fell to the floor below.

“Luna! Pekka!” Rain exclaimed.

“They’ll be fine,” Ahga said. “At least, for now.”

Pekka sat up, rubbing his head. “Damn, he had that coming this whole time,” he said. “Ugh, it hurts…”

“Ow… my head,” Luna said.

“Tell me, Your Highness, what good would it do me if I were to let you go outside now?” Ahga asked. “As long as I have the advantage inside, there’s no way I’m going to let you escape with your life!”

Rain knew now that she needed to run. Not because she was not able to take Ahga on, but because she had to create a better advantage for herself. As Ahga charged at her, Rain moved out of the way and into the next room. There was furniture all throughout, so Rain continued to move. As long as she had the speed to outrun Ahga, Rain continued to believe that she would be able to gain the advantage over him.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 40 (Part 2)

[22nd of September, 2740 AD; Copper Hotel, Oelaans, Thekohn – Felis District]


Gavin arrived at the hotel lounge where Noa and the other Maeitakohnian soldiers waited. He came alone due to the fact that Law and Eva wanted to call Ayanna and find out what was happening over in Iiayikohn. There was little that Gavin or the others could do to help ease the tensions with Ahnlikohn, but they could stand a chance of doing something if everything was to go according to plan. With one more look around the room, Gavin walked up to the table where the soldiers sat and sat down in the empty chair before him.

“Are we going to move towards the kingdom today?” Noa asked.

“There’s not much we can do right now,” Gavin replied. “All we can do is wait for the others to arrive.”

Noa gazed down at his feet. “Oh, I see,” he said. “Then what are we going to do in the meantime?”

“Like I said: we wait,” Gavin said. “There’s no point in acting recklessly, otherwise we’re going to be at a vast disadvantage.”

That was when Gavin spotted from out of the corner of his eye three men sitting at a table located a few feet away from him. It would not have mattered much to Gavin, but seeing the trio staring at him caught him by surprise. He did not show any reaction, but pushed his sunglasses up as he turned back over to Noa. The other soldiers continued to drink and talk amongst themselves even though Noa did not participate.

“Not much of a drinker, are you?” Gavin asked.

Noa shook his head. “Only once,” he replied. “It was a bad experience.”

Gavin crossed his arms. “That so?”


“Is that all you have to say?”

“I guess…”

Gavin looked up and sighed. “Give me a fucking break,” he muttered. “Where the hell are those two, anyway?”

“Sorry about that,” Law said. “Got held up a bit, but now we’re here!”

Gavin turned to the side and saw Law and Eva in the doorway. They walked over to the table but could not sit since the other chairs were already taken by the soldiers.

“You can get a couple of chairs, can’t you?” Eva asked Law.

“Heh, of course I can,” Law replied. “Listen up, Noa, because this is vital information: when a lady asks you to do something, you should do it without hesitation.”

“Are you going to listen to yourself speak or are you going to go get the chairs?” Gavin asked. “We haven’t even begun discussing our plans yet!”

“Well, you’re the one holding things up, bro,” Law said.

He walked over to the next table and got his hands on two empty chairs, but stopped in his tracks. Gavin wondered what Law was doing, but soon found out why he stopped. The three men were glaring at him, not once breaking their focus as Law lifted his hands from the chairs.

“It’s funny, isn’t it?” Law asked.

Gavin stood up. “Those three have been there the entire time,” he said, glancing over at the men. “Hey, you! I hope you have an explanation for this, because if you don’t, we’re going to have some problems!”

“Seems like they’re up to no good,” Eva said.

Gavin, Law, and Eva walked up to the table the three men occupied. Upon closer look, each man possessed an intimidating physique underneath their coats. One had brown hair, one had a buzzcut, and the other had no hair at all. Law stepped up first and slammed his palm on the surface of the table.

“I couldn’t help but notice you staring at me,” Law said. “Now, I’m used to having the women gaze upon my irresistible beauty, but I would have been fine with having you three ogle me if it weren’t for the fact that you’re obviously part of the Neu Thekohnian Order.”

The three men leapt up to the feet, which was when Law rushed the nearest one, the bald one, and held him from behind.

The bald man struggled in Law’s grasp. “Unhand me, asshole!”

“I may not look it, but I possess quite a bit of strength,” Law replied. “Well, enough to hold you back, anyway.”

The brown-haired man took out his gun and pointed it at Law. “You think you’ll get away with this?”

“Pal, I think you picked the wrong group of people to fight,” Law said.

“I’ve had my eye trained on you this entire time,” Gavin said as he pointed his gun at the other man. “Tell us what we need to know, because if you don’t, we’ll have our buddies over there take care of you instead.”

The other two men looked over and saw the soldiers stand up from their seats, save for Noa. They surrendered instantly as Law let the bald man go. Gavin and Eva remained focused on the three as the Maeitakohnian soldiers walked over to the table.

The leading soldier stepped up first. “Should we interrogate them? There may be others lurking around here.”

“That would be a good idea,” Gavin said. “Though I’m not exactly a fan of doing it here. Is there another place we could use?”

“Don’t worry about that,” Law said. “I’ve got a good place for these guys. The rest of you guys round these fools up, because I want to get that information out of them myself.”

“Fine, I guess you’ll be the one to handle talking to these assholes,” Gavin said. “I do trust that you’ll be able to pull something from out of them, after all, so you don’t really need my help, do you?”

“Of course I appreciate your help,” Law replied. “Come on, we can’t break up the team, can we?”

“Then we’ll see you in the room,” Gavin said.

“See you there, bro,” Law said.

Law, with the help of the Maeitakohnian soldiers, then took the three men out of the lounge. With that out of the way, Gavin sighed and looked back to Noa. He was still at the table when Gavin made his way back with Eva, only looking up when Gavin got his attention.

“What is it?” Noa asked.

“Get up,” Gavin said. “There’s somewhere we need to be right now.”

“Okay, I got it,” Noa said, standing up. “Don’t need to tell me twice…”

“So, what do you think?” Eva asked Gavin.

“I think something stinks around here,” Gavin replied. “No doubt in my mind these guys aren’t the only Neu Thekohnians in Oelaans.”

“Agreed,” Eva said as she crossed her arms. “Maybe that’s why he’s coming here… Gah, that stubborn man doesn’t know how to give up, does he?”

“Something up?” Gavin asked.

“Never mind,” she said. “Let’s just go.”

Eva walked away out of the lounge as Gavin looked onward. Perhaps there was no reason to ask further, Gavin thought to himself, but there was concern regardless. As long as Sorin’s group was not here, there was nothing that Gavin could do in the meantime besides wait.




[22nd of September, 2740 AD; Inside Ahga Manor, just outside of Oelaans, Thekohn]


There was a feeling in her mind that Rain was being watched, but she had no choice but to move forward. It was the only way she could confront Ahga and begin to put this whole thing to an end. The only sound that Rain could hear now was the sound of her own footsteps, though she kept herself on edge just in case. Facing Ahga was the only thing on her mind right now and eventually she ended up on what she believed to be Ahga’s study.

“Let’s see,” Rain said as she placed her hand on the doorknob. “If he’s in here, then I’ve got no other choice.”

She evaluated her options before opening the door. Though she would have the advantage given that the room was at the end of the hallway, Rain had no idea what Ahga had in store for her. The other option would be to make him open the door, but that carried a risk as well. But that was a risk she had to take and so, Rain knocked on the door with a soft tap of her knuckles. A few seconds passed until no response was given, which probably meant that either Ahga was waiting for her or he was not in the room.

“Well, if there’s only one way to find out, then I’ve got to do it,” she said.

Rain opened the door, creaking it open inch by inch until she discovered that there was no one inside. The study was empty except for all of the shelves and desk at the other side of the room. That was when Rain noticed the small frame on the desk and walked over to it. Her jaw dropped when she saw the frame: inside was a photo of the Thedam family from what Rain deduced to be from ten years ago.

“Oh my god…”

It was a burst of nostalgia that made her think of the day when she first set off on her journey. Rain picked up the frame and looked it over. She wondered if this frame meant anything anymore now that Ahga and her mother had betrayed her and her sister. The moment would not last, however, as the door to the study slammed shut.

“It is a shame, isn’t it,” Ahga said.

Rain turned around, the frame still in her hand. “Why? Why go through all of this? Why me? Why Storm?”

“Believe me, in the beginning, I did not want to go through this either,” he replied. “Isla, however, is difficult a woman to say no to. That, I guess, was what helped influence my infatuation with her.”

“I don’t understand,” Rain said. “What is my mother looking to achieve by killing us?”

“It’s not about achieving anything,” Ahga replied. “She is merely trying to restore what was lost in the War of the Lands. Unfortunately, because Merton had wanted to achieve peace instead, Isla was left with little choice.”

“What do you mean by what was lost?” Rain asked. “Everybody lost something in that war. It wasn’t just us.”

“Wrong, you didn’t lose anything, Your Highness,” Ahga said. “But for Isla, she is proud of the kingdom’s power. The name of the Thedam royal family demands respect and obviously you and your sister would have never understood what Isla wanted!”

“Maybe so, but it doesn’t justify what you and her have done,” Rain said. “Nothing in the world could ever excuse any of it.”

“Same could be said of Ameci and Iiayikohn,” Ahga said. “They’ve been glad to do our bidding, but they will receive their retribution in due time. It’s only fair given what they’ve done to Isla.”

“It’s not about her,” Rain replied.

“Sadly, Your Highness, you fail to understand yet again,” Ahga said. “Isla is only taking what is rightfully hers.”

“Then I have no choice,” Rain said. “We have to stop her at any cost, even if that means I have to go through you, Sir Lauren!”

“I’ve got no clue on what those others are up to,” Ahga said. “It seems that the Ameci doubt what I’m capable of. I’ll show them what a man can do when he is motivated by love! I’ll show them all!”

“You’re mad,” Rain said, dropping the frame to the floor. “I can’t believe it. I don’t want to believe it, but you’ve changed. This isn’t the Ahga that mentored me, not at all.”

“To be honest, I saw a lot of Isla in you, which is why even now I hesitate,” Ahga replied. “But it should be over soon… I’ll take care of you, and then I’ll make sure that no one ever finds the evidence by burning this place to the ground!”

Rain knew that at this moment, she had the disadvantage. It had to be a trap, that was the only explanation. Ahga had anticipated Rain going into the study and cornered her instead. But with no way of escape, there was little that Rain could do but defend herself. If Luna and Pekka were close, then Rain could have their help, but nothing suggested that they would be headed this way. Rain looked around the room again and that’s when she saw the window. Of course, she was on the second floor, but still, she had to take the chance and gain a better advantage against Ahga.

“You have been quite a nuisance to us,” Ahga said. “No different from the man himself. That was why he had to die, too, you know.”

Rain did not care to listen to what Ahga had to say. Instead, she made a quick dash for the window. There was little time to waste, so Rain decided not to open the window itself, but rather, she would try and dash through it instead and try to make a landing somewhere outside. Using all the strength in her body, Rain dashed elbow first into the window and broke it with all the power she was able to use, which made the glass to shatter. Ahga realized what she was doing and tried to go after her, but Rain had already leapt outside.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 40 (Part 1)

[22nd of September, 2740 AD; Inside Ahga Manor, just outside of Oelaans, Thekohn]


Sorin and Mina entered the library in search of Johan but found that this was just another room left empty. The only light inside came courtesy from the outside, the beams pouring through the window as Sorin took another step forward. Johan had to be close by, Sorin thought.

“You’re getting warmer,” Johan said. His voice echoed throughout, which caused Sorin to look around.

“There’s nowhere you can run!” Mina exclaimed. “Just come on out so we can deal with you!”

“My, do you have to make it so personal?” Johan asked. “You’re getting awfully close, anyway, so maybe I should just give you a hint instead.”

“Now’s not the time to mess with us,” Sorin said. “Just reveal yourself already so we can get this over with.”

The silence followed afterward. Sorin took a deep breath and exhaled as he walked up to the door in front of him. Another door was on the side right next to him while Mina readied herself for a surprise attack. The silence continued to remain intact as Sorin reached for the doorknob and started to turn.

“We’re coming in,” Sorin said. “Mina, stay right behind me.”

“Got it,” Mina replied.

Sorin pushed the door open and stepped inside the large, empty hall with Mina following behind him. The door slammed shut the moment they entered, causing Sorin and Mina to turn around. The surprise that awaited them almost made Sorin jump as Korbin Mars stood next to the closed door.

“Surprised to see me?” Korbin asked. “Well, you should be!”

Korbin drew his sword and swung at Sorin, who defended himself in an instant with his blade. He did not expect to run into Korbin, but now Sorin knew he had to play on the defense.

“Where the hell is Johan?” Sorin asked.

“That’s what I’d like to know,” Korbin replied. “That son of a bitch must be hiding somewhere! You know where he is, don’t you, Sorin Wilk!?”

Sorin backed away as Mina hurried to him. Korbin lowered his sword and stretched his neck. True as it was, Sorin could not see Johan anywhere despite talking to him only a few moment prior.

“I’ve got no idea why you’re here, but if we have to fight you, then me and Sorin will do just that,” Mina said, “So you better get ready!”

“Are you seriously going to challenge me?” Korbin asked. “Maybe you should learn your place and let me deal with Johan Kuu myself!”

“We’re not going to let you do that,” Mina said. “Not at all!”

“Hey Sorin, maybe you should shut her up for me,” Korbin said. “I’m getting really tired of hearing her talk and I know it’s only going to piss me off further.”

“I think you should answer me instead,” Sorin replied, “Why are you here?”

“We were asked to come here,” Korbin said. “Bradley and I… Well, let’s just say we’re taking care of something that that geezer Ahga couldn’t.”

Sorin positioned himself with his sword raised and pointed at Korbin. “And where is Bradley, exactly?”

Korbin scoffed. “Fuck if I know,” he said. “He’s the one going for the gold here. I’m just in it because I know that shithead’s here, too.”

“Don’t even try with me,” Sorin said. “Who gave you the order? Was it General Fercewend?”

“You really think he’s got an idea, what a fucking idiot,” Korbin said.

“Answer me, damn it!” Sorin harped.

“What makes you think I’m going to tell you?” Korbin asked. “Just for that, Sorin Wilk, I’m just going to have to break you until you can’t get up!”

“He’s serious,” Mina said to Sorin, “But we’re going to beat him! I just know that we will!”

Sorin agreed. “Johan, he must have known Korbin and Bradley would be here, too,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it now…”

This was no practice fight, Sorin though, nor was this a fun, friendly duel between him and Korbin. If anything, Sorin knew he could not afford to take Korbin lightly and had to defeat him right here and now. With Mina on his side, Sorin acknowledge that they had the upper hand, but there was no telling what Korbin had in store for the two of them.

“Be ready for anything,” Sorin said to Mina.

“I understand,” she said. “There’s no way a villain like him would ever fight fairly, so we’ve gotta give it everything we got!”

“Just what the fuck are you two going on about?” Korbin asked.

Sorin turned away from Mina and trained his sights on Korbin. “We aren’t going to let you get away with whatever you have planned,” he said. “I assure you that the Neu Thekohnian Order will be defeated!”

“I don’t really care that much about the Neu Thekohnian Order,” Korbin replied. “Whether they fall or not, it doesn’t concern me. I’d much rather dispose of Johan, but since he chose to be a coward and hid himself, I guess I have no choice but to fight you as my consolation, Sorin Wilk!”

“Don’t forget me!” Mina said.

“Anyway, since I love you so much, Sorin, why don’t I just give you the first strike?” Korbin asked. “Go on ahead and give me everything you’ve got!”

Sorin observed the area around Korbin. He was still near the door that Sorin and Mina passed through, which made leaving through the same way difficult. Behind Korbin, however, was a window and gave Sorin an idea. If he and Mina could force Korbin towards that window, then they could push him through the glass and outside of the mansion. In addition, Sorin glanced behind him and saw a door to the other end of the hall as well as two more doors on the side. Several side tables were next to either wall with lamps on top, which Sorin felt would be a good tactical advantage for him and Mina if they had to use them. He was confident that he would not need to go that far, but even so, Sorin had to remain cautious.

“Remain behind me,” Sorin said to Mina. “I have an idea.”

“Okay,” Mina said.

He felt as if she understood what he had planned, even if he did not tell her about it. With his right foot in front of him, Sorin led the way as he began to rush towards Korbin. He would make sure that he would corner Korbin and put his back up against the window. As long as he was teamed up with Mina, Sorin had the upper hand.




Rain ascended the stairs with Luna and Pekka following her. She had a feeling she knew where Lauren Ahga was hiding, since Rain was familiar with this place. It was many years ago, but one of Rain’s earliest memories was meeting Ahga for the first time at Ahga Manor. It was then that she learned from her father that Ahga would be the one to mentor her growing up. That all felt distant now in Rain’s mind, now that Ahga tried to kill her and her sister. There had to be some explanation as to why he had changed and Rain intended to hear it from him before she had to do what was necessary to stop the Neu Thekohnian Order.

“Do you think that Mr. Ahga ever used this place for some sort of party, Rain?” Luna asked. “It seems big enough on the inside, so it would only make sense to use this place for some sort of extravagant gala where people dress in fancy suits and dresses. Oh, maybe we can use this place after we defeat Mr. Ahga and hold some of our own parties here. That would be kind of a nice thing to do, don’t you guys think?”

“I think you’re thinking too far ahead,” Pekka replied.

“Now’s not the time to ponder about what comes after,” Rain said. “We have to focus on what’s happening now. That starts with finding Sir Lauren and defeating him.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Luna replied.

“So, this is where the princess of Thekohn has run off to, has she?”

The voice came from the bottom of the stairs as Rain turned around. One man stood at the bottom: Crawford Bradley. He was armed with a pistol as he begun making his way up the stairs. Everyone stopped as he loaded his gun while Pekka stood still and faced him.

“You’ve come this far,” Bradley said, “But for the sake of Ameci, I won’t allow you to go any further!”

“Really?” Rain asked. “What does Ameci have to do with this?”

“Please, like I’ll reveal that to you,” Bradley replied. “If you know what’s best for you, you’ll surrender now while you still have the chance.”

“I’m afraid I cannot do that,” Rain said. “I’m not planning on giving up, nor will I ever consider surrendering to you.”

“Yeah, we’re pretty sure you’re just going to attack us no matter what we do,” Luna said. “You’re not going to do a single thing to her and you’re not going to get through us!”

“Do you really think you can deny me my glory?” Bradley asked. “Don’t tell me you have no idea who I am or who my father is, because I am the next in line in the Bradley family! I will have my victory!”

Bradley tried to aim his gun but Pekka jumped down and delivered a swift kick to his chest, which sent him rolling down the stairs. Pekka stood there and watched as Bradley kept rolling down until he dropped to a heap against the front door. Upon impact, Bradley did not appear to move, though Pekka took two more steps downstairs with his focus remained on the other man.

“What are two doing?” Pekka asked. “Go ahead. I’m going to take care of this guy before he causes any more trouble.”

“You’ll be okay?” Luna asked. “Well, if you say so…”

Luna turned and looked back up the stairs, but Rain was nowhere to be seen. Not on the stairs, nor was she at the top floor.

“She’s gone,” Luna said.

“She’s looking for Ahga,” Pekka said, “I guess this means she wants to handle this on her own.”

“Come on already,” Luna replied. “You can’t just say that! We have to help her out, so let’s hurry up and take care of this creep!”

Pekka grumbled. “I guess I got carried away.”

They hurried down to the bottom floor and over to Bradley’s body. He continued to remain immobile, but Pekka wanted to make sure that he was unconscious and walked over.

“He could be ready to attack at any time,” Pekka said. “The safety of his gun is still on, it seems…”

As Pekka knelt down next to Bradley, he was greeted with the barrel of a gun pressed against his abdomen. Pekka kept his composure as Bradley turned his head, but he could still feel his heart begin to race.

“Got you,” Bradley said.

But at that moment, before Bradley could get his shot off, Luna screamed as she came in and grabbed Pekka, rolling with him to the other side. The two ended up against the base of the stairs, with Luna bumping her head up on the post.

“Ow, I didn’t expect that to actually work,” she said.

“Fool, why did you do that?” Pekka asked. “I had him right there! Why did you come in and do that?”

“You were about to get shot!” Luna exclaimed. “I really didn’t want you to get hurt!”

“Damn it, I was this close to unarming him,” Pekka said as he got up to his feet. “We’ll have to do this the hard way, it seems.”

Luna stood up, too, as she saw that Bradley had recomposed himself. He began to laugh as he checked his gun once more. Pekka clenched his fist as Luna remained by his side.

“So you two really want to make me upset, don’t you?” Bradley asked. “The guy, I would understand since he is a criminal, but I would have never expected a beautiful young woman like yourself to even consider joining forces with an enemy.”

“The fact that you would align yourself with the Neu Thekohnian Order makes you the enemy,” Pekka said, “And while I may have been led astray once before, I will not allow people like you to rule!”

“You are just delusional,” Bradley replied. “Say, missie, you’d do well to give yourself up and go with me. I might even take pity on you if you end up doing the right things for me.”

“Oh, go and do that to yourself,” Luna said. “I’m not about to abandon my friends here, nor would I ever go along with someone like you!”

“And here I was, a fool, for thinking you would listen to reason,” Bradley said. “Fine, then the two of you can die by my hand if you want…”

Bradley, however, was swiftly interrupted by a punch to the face courtesy of Pekka. He staggered backward as Pekka punched him again. Bradley could not right himself again, nor could he get a shot off. As he began to lose his balance, Pekka delivered the final blow with a kick to the head. The kick dropped Bradley to the floor, which made him drop his pistol in the process.

“You are not the judge of me,” Pekka replied, picking up Bradley’s gun, “Nor are you the jury and executioner.”

“He’s not going to get up again, is he?” Luna asked.

“If he does, I’ll deal with him myself,” he replied. “Let’s tie this guy up quickly and hurry onward.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 39 (Part 2)

[22nd of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle King’s Office]


Isla paced around the room from end to end when the phone rang. Lauren Ahga hurried over and picked up the receiver, understanding that this call had to be from Foundation. There was a lot that was riding on this call and Ahga did not want to jeopardize the deal between the Queen of Thekohn and Foundation. With a spouted sigh, Ahga placed the receiver to the side of his face.

“Hello, this is Sir Lauren Ahga,” he said. “Am I to understand that this call is coming from Foundation?”

“What sort of babble are you on, Mr. Ahga?” Isaac Kunigunde asked. “You should already know why I’m calling you!”

“Right, right, I’m sorry for questioning you, Mr. Kunigunde,” Ahga replied. “You already got the news, didn’t you?”

“You have a hard time of finishing the deal, it seems,” Isaac said. “I abhor such incompetence. Remember that I possess the ability to end this deal any time I want. You don’t want to walk away empty-handed, now do you?:

“I promise that the nuisances will be taken care of,” Ahga said. “I will bring the best of the best to stop them before they even get to Oelaans.”

“I doubt that you would be able to do so, given what you’ve already failed to do,” Isaac replied. “It is looking more and more like a mistake to even trust you to do the simplest of tasks. How hard is it to dispose of that woman, anyway?”

“It’s not like she’s traveling alone,” Ahga replied. “Her Highness has already attained strong allies in such a short amount of time!”

“And what about that backstabbing shrew?” Isaac asked. “You couldn’t even keep her under your control after all we’ve done for her, so what makes you think that the rest of your squad will even listen to you from now on?”

“I ask that you do not doubt me, Mr. Kunigunde,” Ahga said. “I still have the advantage, don’t forget that.”

“I wonder how long that will really last,” Isaac said. He then uttered a soft chuckle. “You would do well to let us handle things from here, Sir Lauren. It does not bode well for you that they’re already closing in on your mansion, you know. Time to let the big boys handle all the heavy lifting, wouldn’t you agree?”

“That’s my job, damn you,” Ahga said. “Besides, there’s no way that your men will ever make it there on time!”

“You fail to listen, Mr. Ahga,” Isaac said. “Or are you beginning to lose your hearing after these years? Oh, maybe I should speak slower so you’ll understand better, or maybe I should put it into a more simple language so a man like you can understand.”

“Don’t mock me,” Ahga replied. “I will get this job done, even if it means I have to kill her myself!”

“I’m not going to hold my breath on that,” Isaac said. “I’ve already won the game, anyway, regardless of what happens. Getting the Blood Ravens to kill the princess is merely just a cherry atop the summit of my sundae.”

“You… You wouldn’t dare go back on your word, now would you?” Ahga asked. “Answer me!”

But there was no response as Isaac had already hung up on the other end. Ahga slammed the receiver down on the phone as he stormed away from the table and towards Isla. She had stopped pacing and looked at him as he reached for her hands.

“Isla, dear, I’m sorry,” Ahga said.

“Don’t be sorry,” she replied. “Once we’re done with our problem, we’ll retaliate against these Ameci and Iiayi scoundrels and teach them not to mess with the Royal Family of Thekohn!”

Ahga nodded and smiled. “I wouldn’t have expected any less of you,” he said. “Your determination is a much needed morale booster, Your Majesty, and I only hope to see the full extent of it once we are together.”

“You’re spending too much time with your head in the clouds, Sir Lauren,” Isla said. “Now go, Sir Lauren! Go and eliminate that pathetic group off the face of this earth!”

“Very well,” he replied. “I promise that I will not disappoint you!”

Ahga then left the room and headed out. With him out, Isla turned to the window as a smirk began to form upon her face.

“That fool truly has no subtlety, does he,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what he does, anyway, since I’m going to be the one who wins in the end!”




[22nd of September, 2740 AD; Habicht Forest – Thekohn Side, outside of Oelaans, Thekohn]


After what felt like hours, Sorin and the others had made it out of the forest and were in the country of Thekohn. It had been a long walk, but everyone knew that the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn and Thedam Castle were not that far off from where they were. Sorin put a hand of his eyes as he tried to minimize the amount of sunlight glaring down on him the moment he left the forest. Rain took a step forward and looked over the large amount of land that stood before her before Mina decided to hug her.

“We made it out, Rain,” Mina said. “Oh, but now we have to head towards Mr. Ahga’s mansion, don’t we?”

“I’m afraid that it’s not going to be that easy,” Rain said.

“We don’t have to go there,” Pekka said. “It would be easier if we just skipped that place and booked it to Oelaans.”

“I don’t want to run from him,” Rain replied. “He may be an awful person, but he still cared for me and was my mentor. To run away from him would be like admitting defeat.”

She looked over the field again. Indeed, Ahga Manor was visible from the distance amidst the fields of grass and trees around. A light wind rusted through the land as Rain took another step forward.

“Mina, Sorin, Luna, Pekka, this will be our toughest endeavor yet,” Rain said. “We’re going to have to face off against him and stop him by any means necessary, even if that means taking the most extreme measure.”

“Is that okay with you, Rain?” Mina asked. “I know he’s a villain, but I know he means a lot to you as well. I can’t imagine that feeling…”

“He’s already made it clear,” Rain replied. “Sir Lauren intends to use the extreme with us, so we should not hesitate to do the same. Besides… I can’t forgive him or my mother for what they’ve done…”

She trailed off and lowered her head. Mina placed her hands on Rain’s face and looked right into her eyes while the other three watched.

“You can sound confident all you want, Rain, but I know this is difficult for you!” Mina exclaimed. “I can’t… No, I won’t allow someone I love to even begin to doubt herself! We are fighting together! All of us! And if you can’t do what it takes to face against these villains, then I’ll be there to help you!”

“That’s right,” Luna said. “We’re all going to be there when we confront this Mr. Ahga, so you don’t have to feel like your taking this burden all on your own. You can count on us to be your cheerleaders!”

Pekka laughed. “We will be much more than that,” he said. “This Sir Lauren Ahga wants us dead? He doesn’t even know how far we’re willing to go just to put a stop to him, that poor bastard!”

Rain felt an ease in her heart as the frown on her face turn to a smile. “I know that you guys are doing your best to cheer me up,” she said. “How would I be able to tell you otherwise at this point?”

“It was never going to be easy,” Sorin said, “But that’s why you set out on this journey in the first place. Now you’ve got an entire group of people doing their best to help and I’m sure that they would agree.”

“We aren’t going to give up,” Mina said. “I’m not going to doubt myself if things get too tough and neither will you!”

“Thank you,” Rain said. “I would never even begin to doubt myself, Mina. Not when I have you.”

Mina giggled. “You… You really do mean that,” she said. “But yes! Yes, it’s all because we’re here now that we have a chance to defeat this evil!”

“It’s nice to hear that,” Rain said. “Now let’s hurry over and pay Sir Lauren a visit, shall we?”

They moved on and went towards the Ahga Manor where Rain knew Lauren Ahga would be waiting. She could feel it, somehow, that inside that vast mansion, her mentor and guardian was waiting there for her to arrive. All Rain could do as she and the others walked was wonder if this was her destiny to face off against the one she had trusted for all her life. There was no doubt in Rain’s mind, however, that she would have to fight Ahga with everything that she had. Now was not the time to hold back, she thought. With Ahga Manor drawing closer, Rain could see that Luna was in awe.

“It’s so big,” Luna said. “Why the hell does this guy need such a big house?”

Finally, they had arrived. Ahga Manor stood before them in all of its glory behind the rusted metal fence. Vines covered the two-storied brick exterior as Rain noticed the rusty gate had already been unlocked, which she had predicted. There was no doubt that Ahga had arrived first.

“I think the more important thing is finding out where Mr. Ahga is,” Pekka said. “I can only imagine how many rooms this joint has, so we have to keep our guard up just in case.”

“There’s no one around,” Sorin said, “But the gate is open and there’s no doubt that he’s got Neu Thekohnians waiting with him on the inside.”

Mina punched the air before her. “Then we’ll have to find him before he finds us,” she said, “And once we do, we’ll kick his butt until he gives up!”

“I should hope that we only need to kick his butt and nothing else,” Rain replied. “Yet even I know that that may not be possible…”

“We will win,” Sorin said. “Not only will we beat Sir Lauren, we will stop the Neu Thekohnian Order and Queen Isla as well. All we have to do is believe that it will happen.”

“All we need to do is believe in ourselves?” Pekka asked. He grinned as he flexed his arm. “I don’t need to do that in order to know that the Neu Thekohnian Order will go down. They were doomed to fail from the very beginning!”

Rain pushed the gate open. “Don’t worry, Sir Lauren, we’ll make sure that this visit will not be one you’ll forget,” she said. “Let’s go!”

On the other side of the fence, Rain walked up to the front door but stopped as she noticed the doorknob turn. She reached for the handle of her blade as the door began to creak as did Sorin while Luna took out her knife.

“Stand back,” Rain said.

The door opened and revealed not Lauren Ahga, but instead Johan Kuu. Rain looked on at him with surprised as her hand drifted away from the handle of her sword. Everyone else slowly did the same as Johan opened the door all the way and walked out.

“Congratulations on making it to Ahga Manor,” Johan said. “If only I had a prize but alas I have nothing on me. Well, I do have some cookies if you want them. Anyone?”

“You can’t tempt us with food!” Mina exclaimed. “Even if I could go for a cookie right about now… No, now’s not the time!”

“Where’s Ahga, Johan?” Sorin asked.

“He’s waiting upstairs,” Johan replied. “I’ve already let him know that you’ve arrived, so it’d be best to come in before anyone notices.”

Sorin stared at Johan. “What do you mean?”

“Buddy, there’s something you and everyone here needs to know,” Johan said. “It’s crucial and we must hurry inside. Just trust me.”

“What makes you think we’ll trust you now?” Pekka asked. “You’ve already double-crossed us once before, you know.”

Johan sighed and shook his head. “Perhaps I expected too much out of you all,” he said. “If I can’t get you get you to listen, then I must walk away.”

He turned around and went back inside the mansion, closing the door behind him. Sorin banged on the door and tried to open it, but found it to be locked instead.

“Damn it, you can’t get away with this!” Sorin exclaimed. “Mina, help me break this door down!”

Mina pumped her fists. “I’d be glad to!”

Rain, Luna, and Pekka all backed up as Sorin and Mina lined up side by side and faced the front door. Together they charged at the door and used their combined strength to break the door open. Sorin rammed into the door shoulder first as did Mina. Their impact proved to be enough as the door broke open and revealed Ahga Manor’s interior. However, Sorin was distraught as Johan was nowhere to be seen.

“He got away,” Sorin said as he pounded the front door. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me!”

“The fact remains that he’s still inside,” Rain said. “Both him and Sir Lauren.”

“So how are we doing this?” Pekka asked. “Clearly we’ve got to deal with both of them, but we’ll be setting ourselves up for a trap if we chase one and not the other.”

“That is true,” Rain said. “But we have to find them both and we must stop Sir Lauren. That remains unchanged.”

“I’ve got it,” Sorin said. “I’ll go after Johan and you pursue Ahga. Mina, can I count on you for your help?”

“You need me?” Mina asked. “But I was looking forward to taking on Mr. Ahga with Rain!”

Rain placed her hand on Mina’s back. “I think that you would do well to aid Sorin,” she said. “Besides, once you two finish with Johan, you two can just join up with me later.”

“Then I’ll do it,” Mina replied. “Just you wait, Johan, me and Sorin are going to take you on, just you wait!”

Sorin smiled as he and Mina hurried into the mansion as Rain looked to Luna and Pekka. She had faith that those two would handle matters with Johan Kuu. Now all Rain needed to do was confront Lauren Ahga and defeat one of the heads of the Neu Thekohnian Order.

“You’re thinking about going for Ahga by yourself, aren’t you?” Pekka asked. “At the very least, allow me to assist you.”

“Thank you,” Rain said. “You are coming too, aren’t you, Luna?”

“Oh, of course I am,” Luna replied. “I can’t just forgive this guy at all for doing this stuff! The Neu Thekohnian Order made it personal with my family and I’m going to make sure that Mr. Ahga pays for it! I would be glad to help you take this foul man down!”

“Then I’ve got no choice,” Rain said. “Let’s go.”

Rain led the way inside with Luna and Pekka behind her. Their assistance was much needed, though Rain knew that she had to settle things with Lauren Ahga by herself. Everything came down to this moment, Rain thought, knowing full well that a great confrontation awaited her upstairs.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 34 (Part 1)

[21st of September, 2740 AD; the outskirts of Glora, Ahnlikohn]


After the incident at the Glora Grand Hall, Korbin and Erik reunited with Bradley at the city limits. The rest of Bradley’s troop had already made it back, save for Lance Keld. Inside one of the trucks was Prince Amile, who was being watched by a couple of soldiers. Korbin looked at his rifle as he unloaded it, while Bradley spoke on the communicator.

“Yes, that’s right, general,” Bradley said. “I’m afraid to announce that they have already struck first. The chancellor himself has even decided to declare war on us, even though we acted in self defense.”

“Getting that call to Fercewend done, are we?” Erik asked.

Bradley ignored him and listened to Fercewend. “We’ll be back soon in Rezar soon enough,” he said. “We lost a man during the scuffle, but I think we’re going to be okay. Just have to inform his family, that’s all.”

“Speaking of which, where is Lance?” Korbin asked. “That son of a bitch better not have fucked this up!”

“Well, he was the one driving the truck,” Erik replied. “Perhaps he got lost?”

“The fuck he did,” Korbin said. “The next time I see his face, I’m just going to fucking go all out!”

“Anyway, General Fercewend, I’ll be sure to update you if there’s any changes,” Bradley said. “I’ll see you and Randolph later.”

Bradley switched off the communicator and placed the device inside the truck. He turned to Korbin and Erik while the other soldiers got onto the trucks. Just then, Lance showed up and stopped to catch his breath as everyone looked directly at him.

“Hey guys,” Lance said. “I got lost along the pathway, but it looks like I made it just in time.”

“You did, it seems,” Bradley said. “What of the queen, the prince and the chancellor? I saw that they scurried away like the rats they are.”

“Yeah, about that… I’m sorry,” Lance replied. “It’s just… I got lost…”

“That’s too bad,” Bradley said. “You did a good job of hiding yourself all throughout the speech; not even Johan was able to spot you.”

“Johan was there?” Korbin asked. “How come you didn’t tell me?”

“I didn’t think it was that important,” Bradley answered. “He just wanted to watch the speech from what I saw. We even had a nice little talk.”

Korbin looked away. “That may be so, but I don’t like that he was there,” he said. “What if he decides to tell Fercewend?”

“I don’t think he’s going to,” Bradley said. “He has a different reason for being here and as long as it doesn’t interfere with what we’re doing, it shouldn’t matter to you, right?”

“Fine, I guess you have a point,” Korbin replied. “That Johan Kuu, though… If only I had the chance, I’d go and break his fucking face for trying to make a fool out of me!”

“Maybe you should calm down, Korbin,” Lance said.

“I am fucking calm!” Korbin exclaimed. “Am I not calm to you?”

“Of… of course! How could I be mistaken?” Lance asked.

Korbin grabbed Lance by his jacket. “You’ve been getting on my goddamn nerves for a while, Lance Keld,” he said. “You were late earlier and you managed to fuck up killing the Ahnlikohnian regime!”

Lance’s hands began to shake. “I said I’m sorry, didn’t I?”

“Not good enough!” Korbin shouted as he shoved Lance to the ground. “I’ve had to deal with a shit stirrer like Johan Kuu the past 24 hours, so now I’ve gotta go all out!”

Lance tried to get up but Korbin got on top of him before he could. Korbin gritted his teeth and stared into Lance’s eyes as the man on the ground could only lay in fear. The air felt dense between the two men as Korbin punched Lance in the face.

“Korbin, please,” Lance said, “I don’t know what else to say…”

“You’ve already said enough, bastard,” Korbin replied, “Now lay back and let me punch you!”

Korbin continued to punch Lance in the face, each hit being stronger than the last. As he tried to endure the nonstop onslaught, Lance could only attempt to cover his face his his arms. Bradley sighed as he continued to look on as Erik did the same.

“But I did all I could,” Lance whimpered. “We’ll get them next time.”

“Of course we will,” Korbin replied, “But for you, there won’t be a next time!”

After that, Korbin kept on striking Lance’s face with his fists until the other man could no longer defend himself. Korbin began to scream, which soon turned into a laugh as he could not stop punching Lance. His laughter was the only thing that could be heard in the silence over Lance’s protests and Korbin’s strikes.

“Should we do something?” Erik asked.

Bradley chose not to respond as Korbin’s fists started to bleed. Lance began to bleed as well, his face being unrecognizable as he stopped moving.

“Son of a bitch,” Korbin said. “You made me bleed, asshole!”

Korbin stood up as Lance tried to turn over, but was kicked in the face. Bradley headed for the front seat of the truck as Erik tried to break up the beatdown. With each kick to Lance’s face, he tried to reach out but his hand dropped to the ground. Erik rushed in to restrain Korbin, but Korbin still kept kicking Lance in the face long after the young man could no longer move or breathe.

“Korbin! Korbin! I think he’s had enough,” Erik said. “Shit, I think you might have killed him…”

Korbin caught his breath. “Good,” he replied. “Piece of shit… He deserved it after what he did to me.”

“Hey, Bradley!” Erik called out. “I think we’re going to have to use that body bag after all!”

“Fucker got blood all over my boot,” Korbin said. “Swear to god, if Johan Kuu comes around… I’ll fucking kill him too!”

“Okay, Korbin, it’s okay now,” Erik said. “Yeah, he’s definitely stopped breathing alright.”

“It’s in the back,” Bradley said. “Hurry up already!”

“Right, right,” Erik said. “Korbin, maybe you should go join Bradley in the front. I’ll take care of things here.”

Korbin exhaled and grinned. “Got it.”

He walked away to join Bradley as Erik went to the back of the truck and got out one of the body bags. Erik and one of the other soldiers then walked over to Lance’s lifeless corpse and knelt down as they proceeded to take care of the now dead man.

“He really did a number on you, didn’t he?” Erik asked. “Man, if this is what happens when you get too on his bad side, I’d hate to see him when he’s around Johan again.”




[21st of September, 2740 AD; Sparrow Hotel – Outdoor Lounge, Glora, Ahnlikohn]


Johan picked up the phone receiver and began to call. He had attempted to phone Lauren Ahga earlier, but was not able to reach him. By now, Johan hoped that Ahga would be available as the phone started to ring. A few seconds passed as the phone rang one, two, three times until the person on the other end picked up and spoke.

“Hello?” Ahga asked.

“Sir Lauren, you’ve finally returned my call,” Johan said. “I was hoping to talk to you earlier, but it seemed to be as if you were busy when I had called the castle.”

“Ah yes, I am glad that you called, Mr. Kuu,” Ahga replied. “I had another matter to take care of at Her Majesty’s request, which was why you couldn’t have reached me earlier.”

“I understand,” Johan said. “Queen Isla has quite the long leash, doesn’t she?”

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, pay no mind to that,” Johan replied. “I was just thinking out loud, that was all.”

Ahga laughed. “I don’t do what I do for Her Majesty for the thrill of it, you know,” he said. “No, she’s a woman who demands more from a man like me, and I certainly am not going to be a slouch when it comes to my duty.”

“Does she now?” Johan asked.

“Isla’s much more than just the Queen of Thekohn,” Ahga said. “If I could, I would write an entire novella about her feats, but I’m afraid I would be straying far off the course of where you and I are supposed to be.”

“Then I won’t bother,” Johan said. “You know exactly why I’m calling you, after all.”

“So it’s been done, then,” Ahga said.

“I was worried that they weren’t going to do it, but it seems like they made the first strike after all,” Johan replied. “Of course, their firebrand was there to help drive things in the right direction, even if he’s not too fully aware of it himself.”

“Harold’s son?” Ahga asked. “Well, as long as they took care of business, it will all work out anyway.”

“Fortunately, it seems that Queen Amelia survived as well as Harring,” Johan said. “Perhaps they’ll be forced to surrender once they realize how outnumbered they are?”

“Either way, I must thank the Ameci military for putting their foot in the door,” Ahga said. “Isla will be very pleased once she hears the news.”

“You really do like to please her, don’t you?”

“Is that meant to be a joke, Mr. Kuu?”

Johan chuckled. “I’m being completely serious.”

“Her goals and my own are completely mutual,” Ahga replied. “She wants to attain this land for her reasons as do I. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“Then that answers my question,” Johan said. “What’s next the next course of action, if you don’t mind me asking?”

“Well, if what you have suggested to me is true, then we’re waiting for the next strike,” Ahga answered. “No doubt about it, the Ahnlikohnian military will be looking to punch back.”

“Except this time, it will be seen as the first strike,” Johan said.

“That’s what people will think,” Ahga said. “Those Ameci have been very helpful in getting this plan off the ground. It’s really too bad, isn’t it?”

“I don’t have any ties to Ameci,” Johan replied.

There was one, however, though Johan chose not to say it.

“You’re always welcome here, Mr. Kuu,” Ahga said.

“Thank you,” Johan said. “By the way, what will you do about Rain and Storm?”

“You don’t need to worry about that,” Ahga replied. “I’ve already got a plan in place should she and her friends decide to come back. I also have a little insurance plan, just in case.”

“Insurance?” Johan asked.

“You know her well, of course,” Ahga said. “I still cannot believe that you of all people would allow her to lock you up in the cell.”

“I just needed a way to get this all started,” Johan said.

“And it looked like she believed it,” Ahga replied. “Jelka really does believe in you, you know that?”

“She never told me that,” Johan said. “Guess she’s too proud to admit something like that.”

“Well, she’s leaning on you,” Ahga said. “Not a bad place to be, if I do say so myself. You should treat her sometime.”

“I’ll think about it,” Johan said. “Listen, I think it’s best I hang up now. Looks like someone wants to use the phone now.”

“Very well,” Ahga replied. “Take some time for yourself, though I should recommend that you do it outside Ahnlikohn… I hear it’s about to get messy out there.”

“I’ll definitely do that,” Johan said.

He said his goodbyes to Ahga and hung up. As he turned around, there was no one behind him that had wanted to use the phone. Johan smiled as he walked over to the bar and greeted the bartender.

“Welcome,” the bartender said. “What will you be having today, sir?”

“I’ll just take a light mineral water,” Johan answered.

The bartender nodded and reached for the drink. As Johan received the drink from the young woman, he looked off to the benches over on the other side. He knew there was a chance that everything could backfire, but then again, he had a feeling that he would be able to get out of any problem that arose. That was not his concern, nor was he concerned about Sorin. No, there was someone else that Johan had to look out for now.

“Jelka, if only I could just tell you,” Johan said. “Maybe then you’d truly understand what it is I’m working toward.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 30 (Part 2)

[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…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 29 (Part 2)

[16th of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Thedam Royal Hospital]


Night had come as Sorin leaned on the wall. He looked out of the window to the castle that was not that far from the hospital that he had made it into. Rain and Storm had stayed at Brook’s side the moment they had arrived, never once leaving him while Mina tried to offer her support. Noa, meanwhile, sat outside the treatment ward and sighed to himself.

“It’s rough, isn’t it?” Noa said.

“I know it is,” Sorin replied. “I hate to admit it, but it’s pretty bleak right about now.”

“What are you guys going to do now?” Noa asked.

“I’ll have to talk to Rain, I guess,” Sorin said. “This was her mission and I guess we never had the chance to succeed.”

“When the enemy is your friend, I guess it’s that much more difficult,” Noa said. “Sorry about what happened with that Johan guy, by the way.”

“You don’t need to apologize for that,” Sorin said. “No one could have seen that coming, not even me. To think he’d just turn on us like that…”

That was when Storm barged out of the room Brook was staying in with tears in her eyes. Mina hurried behind Storm and tried to console her. Storm just cried as Mina embraced her.

“What happened?” Sorin asked.

“It’s Brook,” Mina replied as she had her hand on Storm’s back. “He’s… they said that the wound to his vitals were very bad.”

Sorin was confused. “Very bad? Don’t tell me he’s already…”

“Dead,” Noa said. “They can’t treat him because the wounds he sustained did enough damage that it’d be too difficult to operate on.”

“No, this isn’t right,” Sorin said. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”

A dreadful silence filled the room as Rain entered. She had her head down as she walked over to the wall nearby. Nothing could be said now that one of the most important people to her had now departed. With a pained sigh, Rain slammed the palm of her hand directly on the wall.

“Why?” Rain asked. “Why are we the ones to suffer? Was this all just one big lie? Was this journey all for naught?”

“Rain, I’m so sorry,” Sorin said.

“My mother and my most trusted ally, they were just planning to kill us all from the very beginning,” Rain said. “I thought that I would be able to prevent my father from meeting his end, but in the end I was a fool. A stupid fool to even believe that I could make even the slightest bit of difference.”

“We can’t give up now,” Mina said, “We have to stop them!”

“Can we, though?” Rain asked. “They’ve got the Neu Thekohnian Order plus the Thekohnian military on their side. There’s very little that we can do now, lest we just run away.”

“I wouldn’t mind doing that,” Noa said.

“Is that really what you believe?” Sorin asked. “That doesn’t sound like the Rain I know.”

“It’s no use,” Rain replied. “What can we really do?”

“I’ll tell you what you can do,” Mina said, “You keep fighting with us. Fight for Brook. Fight for Storm. Fight for all of the good people that live here in the Thekohnian Region, because that’s what heroes do!”

“Mina, thank you, but I don’t know,” Rain said. “How are we going to keep fighting against a force like the Neu Thekohnian Order and my mother?”

“I have no idea,” Mina said, “But we can’t just sit here and do nothing! We have to keep fighting!”

“Is that going to work, though?” Rain asked. “I don’t know if we can really do it. I’ve always believed that we’d be able to succeed, but now I don’t know if I can believe any more.”

“We believe in you,” Sorin said. “Every last one of us believes in you, so you should believe in us and in yourself. They may have the upper hand now, but that’s no reason to give into despair.”

“Yeah! We have to do this for all of the people who believe in us,” Mina said, “And I’m not just saying this because I believe in you, but because I love you! Nothing is going to stop us as long as we keep believing in each other!”

Rain rubbed her eye. “Thank you, Mina,” she said. “You, Sorin, and Noa… I really should thank you three for still believing in me, even when I could not.”

“Even me?” Noa asked. “I couldn’t do anything. I almost ran away; I could have left you to die!”

“But you didn’t,” Mina replied. “You stayed with us even if you were about to pee your pants in fear of Victor Wihll! That’s really heroic of you!”

“Well, thanks,” Noa said. “That means you still want my help, even if I still lied to you?”

“Of course,” Sorin said. “Though I wonder what you are going to call yourself now.”

“You can keep calling me Noa,” he replied. “That’s the man you know me as and that’s the man I’ll continue to fight as. It’s the least I can do to honor the man who took care of me all those years ago.”

Luna then entered the room with Pariton, who had part of his shirt torn off and wrapped around his shoulder. He moved away from her and approached Sorin as Luna tried to stop him.

“You’re still bleeding!” Luna exclaimed. “Just let me take you to one of these doctors and they’ll help you out because that’s their job and they’ll really make sure that you’re all patched up and ready to go!”

“It’s nothing but a scratch,” Pariton said.

“You’re okay?” Sorin asked.

“I was able to hold Victor off for long enough,” Pariton replied. “He just shrugged me off in the end and left as soon as he could. I guess Luna here was lucky enough to be standing outside, because that’s why she dragged me in here. Guess it was a good thing she did.”

“You’re right about that, Pekka,” Luna replied. “Any longer and you’d be lying on the ground getting an infection or something and you’d no longer be able to use that arm, which would have meant that you’d have to get it amputated!”

“I’ve been in worse fights,” Pariton said. “Anyway, if it’s not too much to ask of you, would you be so kind as to let us join you?”

“Wait, what?” Luna asked. “I mean, I’ve got nothing against them, but are you sure that we can trust them?”

“There’s no other choice,” Pariton replied. “Mr. Wilk, if it’s okay with you, we would like to help you in any way we can.”

Sorin looked over to Rain and Mina. “What do you think?”

“Right now, we need the help,” Rain said. “If they want to help us, then I see no problem in letting them join our cause.”

“We’d be happy to,” Mina said. “What you did back there really helped us out, you know!”

“Well, I’ve got to atone for my sins somehow,” Pariton said. “Victor and I were once colleagues, but Johan had shown me the way. Since you’re his friend, I assume you can feel the same sort of betrayal that I feel, and that’s why I want to help stop him and the rest of the Neu Thekohnian Order.”

“You know, there is one thing I want to ask Johan before you do anything to him,” Sorin said. “That’s my main reason for helping Rain right now: so I can hear from him his answer.”

“I want to hear it, too!” Luna said. “Fine, then I’ll join you guys as well! I’m Luna Del Bosque, the third oldest of the Del Bosque family. Glad to make your acquaintance, everyone!”

She shook Sorin’s hand and then Mina’s, followed by Rain afterwards.

“Nice meeting you too, Miss Del Bosque,” Rain said.

“I still can’t believe that I’m actually shaking hands with the princess of Thekohn, though,” Luna said, “It’s like one of my dreams, except I’m actually living it and you and your sister are here! Wait, what about that Judy guy, though?”

“It’s not ‘Judy,’ it’s Guda,” Noa said, “And I prefer to be called Noa.”

“Don’t you worry about Noa,” Mina said. “He can aim a rifle pretty good, but talking to women isn’t exactly his strength!”

“Oh no, that won’t do,” Luna said. “You need to get out there and stop being so afraid of women!”

“I think not,” Noa replied. “Just let me be and let me do what I’m good at.”

Luna nudged onto Noa. “No, I’m serious.”

“Luna, drop it,” Pariton said. “Anyway, it looks like we’ll need to get out of here before they find out where we are.”

“What should we do?” Sorin wondered.

“A regroup is necessary,” Rain said. “I think having Gavin and the others with us would be imperative to helping stop this mess.”

“That would be a great idea,” Mina said. “Certainly with Ayanna, she could help and maybe even with the help of the Iiayi and Ameci militaries as well, we could begin our counterattack!”

“No, I don’t think it’d be wise to enlist the help from any of the militaries,” Rain replied. “All it would do would drive us deeper into a war we don’t want.”

“Then what do you suggest?” Pariton asked.

“Let’s head over to Oelaans and see if we can get in contact with them,” Rain said. “If they’re still in Bel, then we’ll know where to call.”

“What about me?” Storm asked. “I guess I can’t stay here, even if I wanted to be with brother one last time…”

“I’m sorry,” Rain replied. “I know it’s very painful to leave him behind like this but we have to keep moving forward, at least for his sake. He would have wanted us to do so.”

Storm sniffled. “Okay,” she said. “I suppose we can go now before the busses shut down for the night.”

“It’s settled, then,” Sorin said. “Let’s go now before it’s too late and find us!”

Sorin then led everyone out of the hospital as they made their way for the bus station. Back in Oelaans, they would have to find a way back to connect with the rest of the group and devise a plan to stop the Neu Thekohnian Order. That was not all, though, because Sorin did want an answer from Johan. He wanted to know exactly why his friend betrayed everyone; even if Sorin had to resort to fighting Johan, he would get his answer.




[16th of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Thedam Castle Royal Queen’s Room]


Victor Wihll entered the lighted room in the nighttime as Ahga and Johan both awaited him there. He had to shake off Pariton and escape before he could do any serious damage. Wihll felt that he was lucky enough to come back to the castle that was now under siege by the Neu Thekohnian Order, all of whom were now dressed up in Thekohnian military garb. Ahga sat down in the chair while Johan stood as Wihll approached them both.

“You made it back,” Ahga said. “Not a moment too soon.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t finish the job,” Wihll said. “I find her and I’ll kill her, as well her friends just to make sure!”

“No, no, you don’t need to do that, Victor,” Ahga replied. “Let them run away with their tails between their legs and tears in their eyes. You’ve done enough damage by eliminating the prince to send a message that we’re not to be messed with.”

Wihll grumbled. “Wasn’t my job to kill her? Why would you ask me to back off now?”

“Oh, I did tell you to kill her, but I came with a back-up plan because I had a feeling that you’d fail somehow,” Ahga said. “Why else would I end up bringing the Neu Thekohnian Order here to guard this castle?”

“I have to admit that I’m envious,” Johan said. “You prepared in case of the event that he’d let you down. If only I were capable of pulling off such a feat.”

“You have to watch and learn, Mr. Kuu,” Ahga replied. “That said, Victor has long outlived his usefulness by now.”

“What!?” Wihll asked.

“Don’t you see?” Ahga asked. “Whether or not you fulfilled your end of the bargain, I’m going to deal with you personally. It’ll send a message to the rest of the region that the leader of the True Thekohnians is dead and that Queen Isla is not a woman to messed with!”

“You traitorous bastard,” Wihll said. “You were planning to double-cross me this whole time, weren’t you!?”

Ahga laughed. “That’s rich that you thought that I would trust a scoundrel like you,” he replied. “Why would I trust a South Maeitakohnian to do anything right? No, it’s better to take out the trash.”

Ahga snapped his fingers as several members of the Neu Thekohnian Order entered. They surrounded Wihll in an instant as he clenched his fists. Though he tried to fight them off, Wihll was no match for the multitude of men that had piled on top of him. A few moments later, Wihll lay on the floor with his hands cuffed behind his back as Ahga walked up to him.

“Just so you know, once we’re done with Ahnlikohn, we’ll be storming your country next,” Ahga said as he looked down at Wihll. “If we’re to truly restore this region’s glory, there must be no mistakes!”

“Piece of shit,” Wihll muttered.

Ahga placed his foot down on Wihll’s head. “Mind saying that louder for me? I couldn’t quite catch what you said to me. Something about a needed wit?”

“I said that you’re a piece of shit!” Wihll exclaimed. “Johan Kuu! You knew that this was going to happen, didn’t you!?”

Johan shook his head. “Ahga came up with the idea all his own,” he said. “I’m just a bit player in all of this.”

“That’s right,” Ahga said. “Oh, and I hope you’ve made your peace with god, because your execution is due morning. I’ve got a place prepared in Oelaans so that the rest of the region sees this glorious man put an end to one of its most notorious terrorists!”

“You’re no better,” Wihll said. “Neither of you!”

Ahga pressed his foot down a little harder on Wihll’s head, which caused him to scream out in pain. “Funny, I thought that I was better,” he said. “I’m the one standing with his foot on your head, right?”

“Fuck you,” Wihll replied. “You can go to hell.”

“Before I do, I’ll be sure to send you there first,” Ahga said, “But I’m tired of looking at your face for tonight, so if the rest of you will do me a favor…”

Wihll was helped up by some of the Neu Thekohnians as he was forced out of the room as Ahga turned away. With the doors now closed, Johan looked over to Ahga.

“You’d do best not to cross me anymore,” Ahga said. “After all, you wanted to join, did you not?”

“Of course I did,” Johan replied. “I trust your judgement as do I with Her Majesty.”

“Good,” Ahga said. “I’m going to make my way to my chambers now. Hopefully you can get a good night’s sleep so you’ll be able to see the execution firsthand.”

“I’ll be sure to do that,” Johan said. “I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”


To be continued…


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