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…


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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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Sundown – Chapter 29 (Part 1)

[16th of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Main Hall]


Sorin could only stare in disbelief at what he had heard: his friend Johan was now an ally of the Neu Thekohnian Order. He thought about it, but still Sorin could not process this information. None of it made sense whatsoever. What could he possibly do at a moment like this? Lauren Ahga continued to stand at the stairs with his head held high as Noa stepped forward.

“That’s it, my friend,” Ahga said. “Come forward and admit your sin to everyone right now!”

“I’m not your friend,” Noa replied.

“Really? After everything Mr. Mzade did for you?” Ahga asked. “Oh, that’s right, you haven’t told them that, have you?”

Sorin was the only one that knew Noa’s deep secret. It was a secret that he had sworn to never tell anyone but that was useless now, too. Ahga just shook his head as he looked over to Noa.

“It’s funny,” Ahga said. “The last fifteen years you assumed the identity of a dead man. Easy to do when the rest of your family is dead, isn’t it?”

“You can’t possibly mean what I think you’re saying, are you?” Rain asked. “Noa… Who are you?”

“Don’t you see?” Ahga asked. “That man you say you are? Noa Mzade, am I right? That man has been dead for fifteen years!”

“You… you were lying to us, Noa?” Mina asked. “That’s gotta be a joke, right? Because heroes don’t lie, not at all! Right?”

Noa stood in silence as Ahga laughed.

“How unfortunate that this man has been deceiving you this entire time,” Ahga said. “The real Noa Mzade, as far as I know, took care of young boy that hailed from Kals Dale: a pathetic, insignificant South Maeitakohnian by the name of Guda Rhostami!”

Rain clenched her fist as she looked over to Noa. “Noa… just please say something!”

“Looks like the past has come to bite me in the ass,” Noa said. “It’s exactly like you said, Lauren Ahga. I am Guda Rhostami, not Noa Mzade.”

“Perfect, perfect,” Ahga replied. “You see? Telling the truth does wonders.”

“You’re hardly one to talk!” Mina exclaimed. “So what if he has a different name? It doesn’t change the fact that you’re a villain!”

“Oh, it doesn’t, does it?” Ahga asked. “How naive. Young lady, do you have any idea who the leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order is?”

“I’m not a fool, I know for a fact that it’s Jelka Arne,” Mina said, “She’s the one who orchestrated the attack on Helm and played a big part in Prime Minister Alan Berry’s assassination!”

“Oh how clueless you are,” Ahga said. “Johan, perhaps you could shed some light on the matter?”

“Well, I think it’s easy once you put the dots together,” Johan said. “I’m just surprised that Her Highness never figured it out.”

“You’re talking about my sister, aren’t you?” Storm asked.

“I’m as in the dark as you are, Storm,” Rain said. “I only wanted to prevent the assassination of my father, that was all.”

“How sad, Your Highness,” Ahga replied, “You went on your journey to help recruit people for your cause, but all you’ve done was waste time. Isla had taken care of the deed a mere few days after you left for Iiayikohn.”

“No, I don’t believe you!” Rain exclaimed. “Why in the world would mother want to do such a heinous act?”

“Sir Lauren, please, this must all be just one terrible joke,” Storm said. “You can’t possibly say what I think you’re implying, are you?”

“Believe it or not, Your Highness, but the king is dead,” Ahga said, “He was holding back our plans, so we had to take some extreme measures. Looks like it turned out to be the right move.”

Storm had no answer as she placed a hand upon her mouth as she tried not to scream. Meanwhile, Sorin still had questions.

“The right move?” Sorin asked. “What move could possibly justify murder? Not just murder of anyone, but the king of Thekohn! Why, damn it!?”

“Sorin, you know what happened in Bel better than most of the people in this room, including I,” Johan said. “People were close to a revolt had you and your friends not stepped in. What the Neu Thekohnian Order is doing is similar in method.”

“Don’t you even dare give me that crap, Johan!” Sorin exclaimed. “The Neu Thekohnian Order relies on intimidation and violence in order to achieve their goals. You can’t just tell me that the ends justify the means when it involves using people’s lives!”

“I just thought that you were on the side of good,” Luna said, “But you just wanted to play everyone while fulfilling your own selfish goals.”

“Am I the selfish one for wanting to end all wars?” Johan asked. “Perhaps, but sometimes to get to truth, you need a lie. A simple, yet effective lie that will one day result in the foundation of a world that is just and true. That’s the kind of goal that the Neu Thekohnian Order strives for in this world.”

“And it is by invading Ahnlikohn that we will create that world,” Ahga said. “Everything that we do works in order to make our dream a reality! It was by Her Majesty’s request that we deal with Alan Berry and it was Her Majesty’s request once more that we invade the ones responsible for assassinating him!”

“You’re the ones who assassinated him!” Mina exclaimed. “The ones who wanted the prime minister dead, that was you! No one else!”

“Ah, but Alan has had his fair share of enemies,” Ahga said. “He may have been a friend in the past, but he too was getting in our way.”

“So is that how you deal with those that oppose you?” Rain asked. “You just have them killed? Mother… she wanted father dead?”

“You should have paid attention, Your Highness,” Ahga replied. “He was already ill by the time I poisoned him, which only helped to speed up his eventual death. That said, Her Majesty is willing to make big sacrifices in order for us to succeed. I’d say ‘nothing personal,’ but it would indeed be very personal for you, Rain Zano Thedam.”

“Are you threatening me, Sir Lauren?” Rain asked.

“Well, let’s just say that I’m not going to be taking care of you,” Ahga said. “Rather, I’ve already got someone waiting for you in the wings. I believe you all know him well, right?”

At the top of the stairs the double doors opened. Out walked Victor Wihll, his presence enough to have everyone focused on him. He carried a knife on him, brandishing it as he walked down the stairs. Each step echoed throughout while Sorin could not turn away. No, Sorin continued to maintain his focus on Wihll and wondered what exactly Johan had gotten himself into.

“Let’s just make this quick,” Wihll said.

“Why would you work with him?” Pariton asked. “You hated the royal family, so why would you do this Victor?”

“This is what I consider a mutual benefit,” Ahga said. “Victor takes care of my problem and I will take care of his.”

Victor laughed as he angled his knife. “Yes, he made me a great offer and who am I to say no to something like that? I don’t really care what happens to any of you, nor do I care for Mr. Kuu over there, but a deal’s a deal and I’m going to enjoy slitting this woman’s throat.”

“Don’t you dare put your hands on Rain,” Mina exclaimed, “I’m going to pummel you and then we’re going to defeat you next, Ahga!”

“How cute that you think you’ll stop me,” Ahga said. “Not that it matters, since it’s all Isla’s plan anyway. She’s already won.”

“Stop it! Just stop it already,” Storm said. “All this betrayal, this deceit, the Neu Thekohnian Order. This isn’t the Sir Lauren that I know!”

“Oh will you shut up?” Wihll asked. “Perhaps I should kill you first in order to put the fear in your sister’s eyes!”

“Anyway, it’d be best if I made my exit,” Ahga said. “I’ve got to help Isla start a war and I can’t stand to see the sight of blood, if I am to be completely honest with you lot. Come now, Johan.”

Lauren Ahga walked towards the door and left while Johan turned to everyone.

“It’s looking like the curtain’s about to close on all of you,” he said. “How sad that none you still don’t get it.”

“You can’t get away with this, Johan!” Luna exclaimed as she ran up to Johan and grabbed him by the collar. “I swear to god, I’m not going to let you leave here!”

Johan chuckled as he placed his hand on Luna’s. “I’d advise you to run,” he said. “The Neu Thekohnian Order is already on their way here as we speak, so if you value your life, Luna, then you should heed my words.”

He pushed Luna off of him and followed after Ahga. She tried to run after him but was stopped by Pariton.

“Let him go,” Pariton said, “We’ve got a bigger problem now.”

Wihll looked at Storm, who stood in place unable to move. He charged at her with his knife at the ready, but Rain and Sorin both jumped in with their swords drawn and blocked his attack.

“Get out of here, sister!” Rain said as she looked back at Storm. “You know where to go, right?”

Storm broke out of her fearful stance. “Yes… yes! I’ll go right away!”

She ran off as fast as she could to the doors at the corner of the room. All Wihll could do was growl as he moved his focus to Rain. She and Sorin were locking their blades with his as he backed off of them and twirled his knife.

“This is fine,” he said. “I’ll just hunt her down and kill her later. I still have you to take care of, after all.”

“Not so fast, you brute!” Brook exclaimed.

“Who the hell are you?” Wihll asked.

“Sister, get out of here right now,” Brook said, “I’ll take care of him!”

With no time for Rain to respond, Brook charged forth towards Wihll and jumped him. Wihll swiveled around as he tossed Brook to the ground.

“No, I can’t just leave you behind!” Rain exclaimed.

“What a pathetic, ignorant whelp,” Wihll said. “Just sit right there while I run this knife through Her Highness’ neck!”

Wihll readied his next attack at Rain as she got ready to defend herself. He advanced on her but was stopped by Brook. Once again, he leapt up and grabbed onto Wihll’s arm.

“What are you standing there for?” Brook asked. “I’ve got him in my grasp! Now run!”

“I’m not going to do that,” Rain said, “But I do have a better idea!”

She then thrust her sword forward and stabbed Wihll in his abdomen while Brook continued to hold onto his arm. With the sudden stab, Wihll turned his head towards Brook.

Wihll growled. “Get off of me!”

Rain removed her sword from Wihll. “It’s over for you,” she said. “There’s no way you’ll get out of here on your own.”

With a bloodstain rapidly forming on his coat, Wihll laughed. He laughed as hard as he could, coughing along the way, as he threw Brook off of him. The young man tumbled backward and ended up rolling back onto his feet in a miraculous manner.

Mina pumped her fist. “Yeah, you better surrender now, villain!”

“Surrender?” Wihll asked. “What a ludicrous notion!”

“It’s all you’ve got,” Brook replied, “So it would be wise that you drop your weapon!”

“I’m getting really tired of hearing you speak,” Wihll said. “It’s time to silence you, right here and right now!”

He rushed Brook, who moved out of the way. However, Wihll spun around from behind him and thrust his knife deep into Brook’s back. The quick stab was enough to catch Brook off guard, dropping him to his knees.

Rain put her hand out open faced. “Brook!”

Brook coughed, blood spilling out of his mouth. “This… this isn’t good…”

“Seems I’ve hit your weak point,” Wihll said.

Rain gripped the handle of her sword as she pointed it at Wihll. “You… I won’t let you leave here alive!”

Rain attempted to rush Wihll with her sword pointed out, but Wihll dodged the attack and grabbed her by the throat. She tried to struggle out of his grasp, but Wihll lifted her up into the air.

“Time to finish the job,” Wihll said.

Sorin readied his blade. “Let her go!”

Mina, however, screamed as she charged at Wihll. She was determined to take him down and make him unleash Rain. When she made it to Wihll, though, he was fast enough to knock her to the side and onto the ground.

“I’ll deal with you next,” Wihll said, “But first, I’ve got business to attend to with your lovely princess.”

“You are just a spineless coward,” Rain said. “All you can do is negotiate with violence.”

Wihll grinned. “This is just what I’m good at,” he said. “You dare mock a man for wanting to achieve his goals? Then you must die!”

Before he could do anything, though, Sorin attacked him. Wihll defended himself from Sorin’s strikes, but that was when Mina joined in. She grabbed from behind his arm that was holding Rain until he could hold onto her no longer. Rain fell to the floor as Mina unleashed Wihll’s arm from her grip. With Sorin now engaged and fighting with Victor Wihll, Mina hurried over to Rain.

“Rain, are you okay?” Mina asked.

Rain groaned. “Is… Is my brother okay?”

“I don’t know,” Mina replied. “Sorry.”

Rain crawled over to where Brook lay and examined him. The wound in his back was producing blood at a rapid rate and spilling onto the floor beneath him. As she attempted to sit him up, Brook continued to cough.

“Forget… about me, sister,” Brook said. “You… need to escape…”

“I’m not going to leave without you,” Rain said. “I’m not the kind of person that will abandon her friends and family!”

Pariton ran over to Rain and knelt down. “I don’t know about you, but we’ve gotta get out of here,” he said. “I already see the Neu Thekohnian Order out by the front entrance from here.”

“You’re going to help us?” Rain asked.

“I’ve not much else to do right now,” Pariton replied. “Luna, we need to secure a route out of here!”

Luna hurried to him. “Got it, Pekka!”

“There’s a secret exit,” Rain said. “Only us in the royal family know about it, not even Sir Lauren is aware.”

“Got it, secret exit,” Luna said. “Pekka, what are we going to do about her brother, though?”

“We’ll have to carry him,” Pariton said. “What about that man?”

Luna looked to Noa. “Hey you!”

“Me?” Noa asked. “Yeah, I got the message.”

Noa moved forward, not wanting to be a part of Sorin and Wihll’s fight, and went over to Brook. He picked up the wounded prince and proceeded to carry him on his back.

“But what about Sorin?” Mina asked.

“That shouldn’t be a problem,” Pariton said. “You guys just focus on getting out of here.”

Luna eyed Pariton. “You don’t mean you’re going stay here and fight him, are you?”

“That man is Johan’s friend,” Pariton said. “At the very least, I should try to help him by distracting Victor.”

Pariton stood up and took off his shirt, exposing his build and numerous scars upon his body. He walked over to the fight scene and whistled.

“That’s enough,” Pariton said. “Sorin, was it? You need to escape.”

“And what do you think you’re going to do?” Wihll asked.

“I’m going to help the best way I can,” Pariton replied, “By taking you out, even it costs me my life!”

“What!? But you can’t just throw your life out like that!” Sorin replied.

“You’re Johan’s friend, right?” Pariton asked. “If you were to die here, would that be acceptable?”

“Just shut up already, Varjostaa!” Wihll exclaimed.

“I recommend you go now,” Pariton said. “Hurry!”

Sorin nodded and sheathed his sword as he followed after Rain and the others. He had to meet Johan again, that much he knew. Not only that, but he needed to help Rain any way he could not. As he escaped with the rest of the group, Pariton turned to Wihll.

“Get out of my way!” Wihll said. “I don’t care if I have to kill you, I just need to kill the princess!”

“It’s funny,” Pariton said. “I spent that past few years a member of the True Thekohnians thinking I’d be making a change, but now I know that at least I’m helping to ensure the future of this great land by letting the princess of Thekohn escape with her life!”

“You’re just another pawn to her,” Wihll replied. “What could you possibly prove by doing this!?”

“Even if Johan betrayed me, I still believe in his dream,” Pariton answered. “I want to help create that world he speaks of and I’m going to do it by not letting you go anywhere!”

“Enough!” Wihll yelled. “I might as well kill you, since it looks like you’re only going to be another obstacle to me!”

“I’m no obstacle,” Pariton said. “I’m Pekka Varjostaa and I will not waver against you, Victor Wihll! Come at me, if you dare!”

Wihll wiped his mouth clean of blood and wielded his knife once more. Pariton was ready as he got into his fighting stance. It did not matter that he was unarmed because Pariton knew that he’d have to hold Wihll back as long as he could. No, Pariton had to win. He had to stop Wihll right here and he knew that he was capable enough. With all the others out of the room, Pariton stood his ground as Wihll charged at him.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 28 (Part 2)

[16th of September, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Rio Grove]


Sorin entered the park to see Noa pacing around back and forth. He had already seen Rain and Mina off as they spent their time treating Storm to a walk around the city. Meanwhile, Sorin had to know where Noa had gone off to and to find out if he was doing well. Noa was busy muttering something to himself as Sorin approached him.

“Are you okay?” Sorin asked.

“I’m fine,” Noa replied. “It’s nothing you should be concerned about, not when Her Highness has more to worry about.”

“Still, if something’s on your mind, it wouldn’t hurt to seek out some help,” Sorin said. “We’ve traveled long enough for us to be considered as acquaintances, if not friends.”

“Did Mina put you up to this?” Noa asked. “She always seems to target me for some reason.”

“I’m doing this for my own reasons,” Sorin replied. “At least tell me if you aren’t going to tell anyone else.”

“Why should I tell you?”

“Because if you don’t tell anyone, it’ll just get at you,” Sorin said. “It will continue to be a burden on your back and it really doesn’t have to be that way at all, Noa.”

“You don’t have to say my name like that,” Noa said. “Fine, if it will saitsify you, I guess I can say to you what’s on my mind.”

“Really?” Sorin asked.

“I could continue to refuse and you would keep pressing on,” Noa replied. “It’s a real pain in the ass, but maybe if I told you it would all be okay.”

“All that matters is that you take a step,” Sorin said. “Just one step forward does wonders.”

“Whatever it is, I’ll do it,” Noa said. “I just want to know if you knew the full truth, would you think of me any differently?”

“The full truth of what, exactly?” Sorin asked.

“What I told you all back in Helm, it was not the entire story,” Noa said. “Something that I couldn’t mention… No, I did not want to mention. Something that would change how you felt about me entirely.”

“I’m sure that it’s nothing that would change my opinion of you,” Sorin said. “If it’s too embarrassing to admit to everyone else, you can at least confide in me about it.”

“Then I guess it would be okay to tell you,” Noa replied. “Fine…”




At the front gate of the castle, Johan led Luna and Pariton to the guarded area and hid behind the nearby bushes. He was going to have to pull off a difficult move, with or without their help, and needed his plan to go off without any problems. Of course, Johan knew that things would have to work out regardless of what happened next. He still owed Lauren Ahga another visit, after all. He eyed the two guards with intent while Pariton turned to him.

“Mr. Johan, you’re certain that Ahga is here?” Pariton asked.

“He’s going to want to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch,” Johan replied. “That’s why Victor is going to through these gates without a single question asked to him. Preferential treatment, obviously.”

“We’re so close to stopping them, I can tell,” Luna said. “This close to taking down the leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order. I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when we thwart their plans and laugh in victory, don’t you, Johan?”

“Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves, yet,” Johan said. “If we fail, then we’re going to end up paying the price with our lives.”

“I do wonder why Victor is able to join up with the Neu Thekohnian Order so easily,” Pariton said. “You said it yourself that he was on the run from them when you saw him over in Helm.”

“The game has changed,” Johan replied. “Right now, their side has made a very powerful acquisition at a very low cost. They’re going to need Victor right now if they’re to get what they want without too much hassle.”

“What do you mean?” Luna asked.

“If what my deduction is correct, then they’re going to eliminate a major threat to their plan,” Johan said. “That obviously cannot be allowed to happen if we want to avoid seeing a potential war break out.”

Luna grabbed onto Pariton’s shoulder. “War!? But we’ve been at peace for years, haven’t we?”

“Hey, let go of me,” Pariton said.

“That is their goal,” Johan said. “They’ve been wanting to see the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn to go to war with Ahnlikohn for a while now. Now that they’ve got a reason and an ally in the cause, it’s that much easier to do.”

“They lucked out with that prince,” Pariton replied.

“War’s the logical conclusion to that whole mess,” Johan said. “They were going to get their war one way or another.”

“If that’s what they’re after, then they’re even worse than I thought,” Luna said. “Not only are they cowardly enough to get the crown prince of Ahnlikohn to do their dirty work, but they want a war, too? It’s absolutely horrible!”

“Hold on, I think I see him coming,” Johan said. “Duck down.”

They crouched down behind the bushes as Victor Wihll arrived at the gate by himself. The guards took one look at him and nodded, which appeared to be enough to let Wihll pass through. Johan turned to Luna and Pariton and then over to the guards.

“I have a feeling that something’s up,” Johan said. “Follow me.”

“What, really?” Luna asked.

Johan stood up and hurried for the gate. Pariton could only follow, as did Luna. At the gates, Johan eyed the guards that were appointed as he walked up to them with Luna and Pariton right behind him.

“Hello,” Johan said. “I believe I have business here at the castle today.”

The right guard raised his eyebrow. “Do you now?”

“My name is Johan Kuu,” he said. “You would be able to check, wouldn’t you?”

“Hold on,” the right guard replied.

He walked over to the left guard and whispered a few words into his ear. The left guard whispered back to him, to which the right guard nodded. It was only for a few seconds but to Johan, it felt like minutes. Not that he minded, though he knew that he’d have answer ready regardless.

“Sir Lauren has anticipated your arrival,” the right guard said. “Am I to assume that they are with you, Mr. Kuu?”

“Yes they are,” Johan replied. “Thank you for confirming.”

“You’re very welcome, Mr. Kuu,” the right guard said. “Please go on in, and make sure not to cause too much of a ruckus.”

“Very well,” Johan said. “Let’s go, guys.”

With his entry confirmed, Johan walked past the guards and towards the castle. Luna and Pariton hurried after him, with Luna walking by Johan’s side.

“Wait, you actually have business with him?” Luna asked.

“Let’s keep going,” Johan said as he kept walking.

“Hold on, she had a question for you, Mr. Johan,” Pariton said. “Are you just going to ignore her like that?”

“We can’t waste any time,” Johan replied.

He entered the castle as Pariton looked over at Luna. She could only look back at him while Johan disappeared into the castle. There was only one thing Johan needed to do now and he needed to confront Lauren Ahga in order to do it. He stood in the middle of the main hall, which was currently empty, as Luna rushed in after him with Pariton not too far behind her.

“Just tell us what the hell is going on,” Luna said. “Do you or do you not have business with Mr. Ahga?”

“He does indeed have business with me, miss,” Ahga said.

She looked up to the stairs where Ahga was. He slowly walked down the steps as he grabbed the railing on the side. Pariton gritted his teeth and clenched his fists, going into a fighting stance as Ahga made it to the bottom of the stairs.

“Victor Wihll, where is he?” Johan asked.

“Oh, he’s off to complete the hit,” Ahga replied, “But I thought you already knew that based on the eavesdropping you did back at the hotel.”

“How do you know that?” Luna asked.

“My dear, I’m not stupid,” Ahga said. “And I know as well that Johan isn’t that daft, either, which is why I wonder you why haven’t told them yet.”

Johan did not respond and only continued to stare at Ahga.

Ahga smirked. “Even your lovely friend is badgering you for answers,” he said. “Do you think that little of your friends that you would keep a secret from them, no matter what the cost?”

“Johan, just answer us,” Luna said.

“You bastard,” Pariton said. “What have you got on Mr. Johan?”

“Oh, I’ve got nothing on him,” Ahga replied. “No, the choice he made was all his own doing. It’s a smart choice, but still I’m curious as to why you couldn’t have told them sooner.”

At that moment, Sorin entered the main hall with Rain, Mina, Noa, and Storm with him. Johan noticed him in an instant as Ahga laughed out loud, the laughter echoing through the room.

“Good, good, almost everyone is here,” Ahga said. “Well, except for one, but I guess he’ll be here soon enough.”

“Johan, what are you doing here?” Sorin asked.

“You’re his friend, yes?” Ahga asked. “And Your Highness, I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed.”

Rain looked at him. “What do you mean?”

“You honestly don’t understand,” Ahga said. “Then again, where are my manners? When you’ve got a guest in the house, you should let them speak first. Tell them, Johan, about your newfound allegiance with the Neu Thekohnian Order!”

Almost everyone gasped while Johan chuckled. There was no holding back now that it was all out in the open. He had no other choice, but then again, it all went exactly as he planned it.

“You can’t be serious!” Luna exclaimed. “No, I refuse to believe you!”

“He’s wrong, Johan,” Pariton said. “He is… isn’t he?”

“Johan, what is he talking about?” Sorin asked. “You’re not actually working with them, are you?

“Go ahead, Johan, tell them,” Ahga said. “You and I are allies after all now, aren’t we?”

Johan laughed. “You really know how to put a man in a corner, don’t you? Not like it matters anymore. Fine then, I admit it.”

“There’s no way this is possible,” Sorin said. “What would compel you to join with the Neu Thekohnian Order of all people!?”

“They’re villains of the worst kind!” Mina said. “How could you?”

“I can’t forgive you,” Pariton said. “To use my trust just to turn against us all… You are a coward!”

Pariton charged at Johan with his fist raised high. Johan, though, countered Pariton’s attack by grabbing him and throwing him to the ground. With the now devastated man flat on his back, he could only gaze up at Johan, dumbfounded at his betrayal.

“Nice try, Pekka, but you seem to forget that I used to be soldier,” Johan said. “Anything you can throw at me, I’m capable of striking back in self-defense. As for you, Sorin, I thought you would be better than this.”

“Just tell me why, Johan,” Sorin said. “You can’t actually be serious about this, can you?”

“Sorin, I’ve been a man of my word,” Johan replied. “I mean exactly what I say when I want to create a world without wars. I’m just choosing the side that will make it so.”

“But you just told us that the Neu Thekohnian Order wants to start a war,” Luna said. “You’re just a liar, aren’t you?”

“Well, he’s not the only one,” Ahga said. “I notice that particularly pathetic looking man alongside Her Highness over there. Now I remember where I’ve seen him from. You’ve betrayed the princess too, haven’t you?”

Noa grumbled as he slouched his shoulders. Rain turned to him, which only made him turn away in response.

“Noa, what is Sir Lauren speaking of?” Rain asked.

“I haven’t told you the absolute truth, Your Highness,” Noa said. “I was certain that this secret would be taken to my grave, but I guess I have to admit that I’ve lied to you, too.”

Mina looked at Noa with disbelief in her eyes. “Really, Noa? You would betray us, too?”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 27 (Part 2)

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


Inside the quiet tavern, Johan took a seat at the table across from Pariton and Luna. He had just made it into the kingdom as he planned out his next move. There was little going on as one of servers approached the table. After the three took their orders, the server left as Johan looked over to Pariton.

“It’s easier than I thought,” Johan said. “Anyway, Luna, I’m surprised you insisted upon this place. Are you old enough to drink?”

“Oh come on, Johan, you never ever wanted to go into the depths of a seedy bar?” Luna asked. “This is the kind of place where all sorts of types just come in and discuss their diabolical plans! We’re kind of like that, aren’t we?”

“Well, I wouldn’t call it ‘diabolical,’ per se, but I can see where you’re coming from,” Johan replied. “What we’re doing is helping change the world, and I guess a few people would find that problematic.”

“They’re worried,” Pariton said.

“And it’s nothing we should worry about,” Johan said.

“You should know that I am an adult,” Luna said. “I can drink all I want… if I wanted to, of course, but I don’t actually like beer or liquor or anything like that because one time I had a couple of drinks at a family party and made a complete fool of myself. I can still remember what my mother said to me, you know?”

“But it’s the atmosphere here that you like, right?” Johan asked.

“That’s true,” Luna replied. “Boy, it’d be nice to actually eavesdrop in on a conversation or two. Too bad it looks like we’re the only ones here.”

The door at the front opened as a man walked in. Johan gazed at him as he instantly recognized who it was as the man approached the table behind Luna. She turned around and upon looking up, she almost fell out of her chair as she tried not to scream.

“It’s… It’s… It’s that guy!” Luna exclaimed. “That guy from those True Thekohnians! Victor Wihll!”

“Get out of the way,” Wihll said as he took the empty seat next to Luna. “Looks like I’ve finally run into you again, Johan Kuu. You’ve been ever so elusive, haven’t you?”

“I take it you’ve found your purpose now,” Johan replied.

“Why are you here?” Pariton asked. “We’ve got no business with you now.”

“Guess I have you to thank, too, Mr. Varjostaa,” Wihll said. “If not for you, I would be dead by now and that would have been very bad for my new friends.”

“Your new friends?” Johan asked. “I thought you didn’t want to have anything to with the Neu Thekohnian Order.”

“Very perceptive,” Wihll replied. “They made me an amazing offer that I just couldn’t turn down, so I took it and went all this way here for a business matter on the request of the leader.”

Johan raised his eyebrow. “And you’re telling me this because why, exactly?”

“Come on, do you think you can fool me?” Wihll asked. “Just because I look like a brute doesn’t mean I play the part to a ‘T.’ No, I feel like you have to know this, because if you don’t, then there’s no point to meeting you.”

“I see,” Johan said. “Do you mind sharing me this plan of yours?”

“Let’s just say I’ve been asked to take care of a little nuisance,” Wihll said. “If the Neu Thekohnian Order’s plan is to go off without a hitch, then it is up to me to wipe out the threats that stand in their way.”

“If there’s one thing I’d admire about you, it’s your confidence,” Johan replied. “The way that you’re acting tells me you believe that there’s no way in hell that I’m going to try to stop you.”

Wihll smirked. “What nonsense,” he said. “Aha, now I get it. You’re playing your cards close to your chest right now, aren’t you?”

Johan raised his hands up open palmed. “Good job.”

“Maybe I shouldn’t bother you, then,” Wihll said. “The way things are, I know that you’re going to be in my face again. I will guarantee that next time, however, I will deal with you and your friends personally.”

Wihll stood up and left the table as Johan shook his hand. He relaxed his arms as the server brought everybody’s beverages. Luna, though, had a whimper that turned into a frustrated groan as she pounded the table three times, which caught the server off guard as he walked away.

“Are you okay?” Pariton asked.

“Of course not!” Luna replied. “That man could’ve killed me if I looked at him the wrong way! What could I possibly do in that situation?”

“Victor’s not much of a pleasant man, I’ll give you that,” Pariton said. “It was Mr. Johan’s request, however, to break him out of prison and I do trust his judgement.”

“There really is nothing we can do about him, is there?” Luna asked.

“Well, he did give us a hint,” Johan said. “He owes a great debt to the Neu Thekohnian Order, which means that they had a hand in helping him somehow.”

“Which means they’re not that far from here,” Pariton said. “Do you think that Lauren Ahga is here now?”

“That’s the only explanation,” Johan said.

He knew that Ahga was already in the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn, though. It was why Johan had to come to the kingdom, because he had a reason to help Ahga out. All he needed to do now was find a way to distance himself from both Pariton and Luna so he could meet with the man himself once again before the rest of the Neu Thekohnian Order arrived in the kingdom.

“What could they possibly want here?” Luna asked.

“They want to enact chaos,” Johan answered. “What more chaos could they bring to the Thekohnian Region than to take out the king?”

“And they already assassinated Iiayikohn’s prime minister,” Luna said. “We’re going to stop them, right? The Moonlit Silence doesn’t go quietly in the night, right?”

“We do work well in the shadows,” Johan said. “Come on, I think we’re done here. Let me just pay the tabe and we’ll head towards the castle and see if we can’t enter.”

“So we’re really going to see the castle,” Luna said. “That’s great! If we’re lucky, we might even see a royal or two along the way!”


Outside the tavern, Johan could see a couple of cars pass by on the street. There was nothing particular about them, but in that same direction Johan could see Wihll heading towards the nearby hotel.

“That’s our next stop,” Johan said.

“I thought you said we were going to the castle,” Luna said. “We were going to see the princess, perhaps, or maybe the prince if not the other princess. Maybe even the queen if she’s there!”

“Not everything is some grand story,” Pariton said.

“I know that, Pekka, but wouldn’t it be great if we saw something cool like that?” Luna asked. “That one princess, Rain, I heard was down in Helm a few days ago. If only I could’ve been there I would have seen her in person and maybe even meet her!”

Johan sighed. “Anyway, there’s a reason why Victor Wihll went into that hotel,” he said. “We might be able to get a closer eye on him talking with Ahga and see what we can learn from the both of them.”

“And we’ve got the chance to see the castle should we need the reason to,” Pariton said. “Okay, Mr. Johan, let’s get to it.”

They walked across the street and entered the hotel that Wihll had gone into, making sure not to cause much attention to themselves. Johan reminded both Pariton and Luna to keep quiet as he watched Wihll open a door close by and enter the room, closing the door behind him.

“We can’t follow him in there, can we?” Luna asked.

“Just wait,” Johan said.

He crept up to the wooden door and proceeded to place his hand on it. A light push on the front was all he needed to know as he looked back at Luna.

“It’s hollow,” he said. “We’ll probably be able to hear, but I want you two to be on the lookout while I try to listen in.”

“Got it,” Pariton said.

He turned around as Luna did the same. Johan closed in, placing his ear on the door as he heard Wihll talking.

“I’ve finally made it,” Wihll said. “Now what exactly do you intend to have me do? Who do I kill?”

“Now, now, Victor, I want you to think before you go off on this mission,” Ahga said. “There’s no telling what will happen if you happen to botch this one up.”

“I was a high ranking member of the True Thekohnians,” Wihll replied. “I couldn’t have gotten that far without stepping on a few insects. No, it was practically a requirement!”

“Quiet down,” Ahga said. “I don’t want you to draw out any unneeded attention to ourselves.”

“Very well,” Wihll said. “You would do me well to tell me the name of my target, however.”


Silence followed as Johan wondered who Ahga wanted dead. There was a growing concern now that he was at the behest of Ahga and the Neu Thekohnian Order, but Johan had a suspicion that this person was much closer than he thought.

“You really want me to go after this person, Lauren Ahga?” Wihll asked. “I’m surprised.”

“As you should be,” Ahga replied. “Still, it would be terrible if any sort of interference were to be left unchecked, no matter who they may be.”

“You’re a much more ruthless man than I gave you credit for,” Wihll said.

“Sacrifices must be made in order for our plans to work,” Ahga said. “There was a nice little breakfast I had earlier, which muddied my decision, but that’s why I’m asking you for help.”

“What’s in it for me?” Wihll asked.

“It will come in due time, Victor,” Ahga answered. “In due time.”

“How do I know you’re not just going to stab me in the back later?”

“After what she told you, you’re still not convinced?” Ahga asked.

“Let’s just say I want to read the fine print before I sell my soul away to you,” Wihll said.

“Read the note again,” Ahga said. “Don’t you wish you could have taken action earlier? But of course, things might have ended poorly for you.”


“Consider this a mutual benefit,” Ahga said. “You take care of my problem, and the leader will take care of yours. She’s a nice woman once you get to know her, Victor.”

“You’ve been praising her for a while now,” Wihll said.

“It’s an admiration I have for her,” Ahga replied.

“I see how it is,” Wihll said. “Fine, consider the task done.”

“Thank you,” Ahga said. “By the way, have you heard about what’s happened in Bel?”

“Can’t say that I have,” Wihll answered.

“Well, you’re probably going to thank me later,” Ahga said. “Now go on and go forth!”

Johan separated himself from the door as he motioned over to Pariton.

“Let’s go,” Johan said.

“What happened?” Pariton asked.

“No time to talk about it now,” Johan replied. “Just get out of here.”

“Okay!” Luna said. “Where are we going?”

“To the castle,” Johan said. “We’ll find a way in, one way or another.”




Brook stepped off the bus as he was now in the kingdom. There was little time for him to waste as he had to hurry to the castle. Rain had to be notified about what Brook learned back in Rezar.

“Damn it all, why now?” Brook asked.

He sprinted as fast as he could towards the castle, unaware of what was waiting for him. Still, if he was correct, then Rain was already there.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 26 (Part 1)

[15th of September, 2740 AD; Tulip Lane Station, Oelaans, Thekohn – Felis District]


At long last, Rain had made it back to Oelaans. With Sorin, Mina, and Noa in tow, she had come back all this way in order to enter the kingdom she called home. With her mission still incomplete, Rain hoped that her newfound friends would be able to help. If she was to stop the assassination of her father, Rain needed to stay strong.

“So, Rain, what’s going on around here?” Sorin asked.

As they got off the train, they watched as a group of soldiers blocked off the nearby road. A lot of people tried to get by, but ended up being turned away or shoved to the ground. Rain knew that they had to get moving, so she decided to take charge and walk up to the soldiers at the blockade.

“Excuse me,” Rain said. “May I ask what is happening?”

The leading soldier turned his head and almost jumped when he saw Rain. “Your Highness! We had no idea you would come this way,” he said. “It’s nothing, really! Just a request from the queen!”

“Mind you share that request with me?” Rain asked.

“I’m really sorry,” the soldier replied, “But I was told not to share that information with anyone besides Her Majesty and Sir Lauren. I hope you understand.”

“I still don’t get it,” Rain said. “At least let us through so we can get into the kingdom.”

The soldier shook his head. “I’m afraid we’re not allowed to do that,” he said. “At this moment, we’re not to allot anyone access into the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn except for Her Majesty and Sir Lauren.”

“What does that mean for me?” Rain asked. “For us? For the people of this great land? Please answer me!”

“I’m must say I’m sorry once more, Your Highness, but that’s not for me to answer,” he replied. “If you have questions, you’ll have to ask Her Majesty for yourself. She’s currently in Rezar last I heard.”

“Rain, I think we should do what he says for now,” Sorin said as he helped Rain away from the blockade. “We’ll find a way to get in, I know it.”

“Yeah, we’re going to get into the kingdom no matter what!” Mina said. “Let’s just go, Rain.”

“I suppose your right,” Rain replied. “I almost let my anger get the best of me.”

“If that what you’re like when you’re angry, then I really don’t want to piss you off,” Noa said.

“You shouldn’t worry about that,” Rain said. “We’re just going to have to think of a different approach.”

“That’s the right idea,” Mina said. “Nothing’s going to stop us! Not even the queen herself!”

Rain covered her mouth as she tried not to laugh. “Well, I would hope it doesn’t come to that,” she said. “I’m sure that it’s just a misunderstanding of some sort. I honestly do not believe that there’s any way that my mother would act without a purpose.”

“So what can we do now?” Sorin asked.

“I suppose we’ll have to look around until I speak with my mother,” Rain said. “Perhaps we should head to the Oelaans Gardens first.”

“I used to go there a lot, actually,” Noa said. “It… makes me feel something, that much I know.”

“Oh, that was with that man, was it not?” Rain asked.

“Well, yes,” Noa replied.

“Then I guess it would be okay to go, if that’s fine with you,” Rain said. “There should be a phone in there, plus you’ll get to see all the displays.”

“Wow, what kinds of displays?” Mina asked.

Rain smiled. “You’ll see,” she said. “Let’s go there now.”

They took no time in heading for the Oelaans Gardens. For the the four of them, though, they were not alone. Off in the distance was a man clenching his fist dressed in an Iiayikohnian soldier’s uniform with a hat and sunglasses. He stood atop the steps leading to the courthouse as he continued to watch Sorin’s group head towards the gardens.

“They actually thought that they were rid of me,” he said. “Looks like I’m going to have to pay them a visit, after all.”




Inside the Oelaans Gardens, Sorin viewed in on a small, but colorful, plant in the left area of the greenhouse. He admired the long leaves that lead up to the stem of the plant, but also liked the mixture of yellow and green on the petals. If only he were able to share the moment with Gale, he would have, but for now it would just be a tale until the she could see it for herself once the two come back to Oelaans on their own terms. He had to admit, though, that it was somewhat lonely not being by her side and he assumed that it was the same for her back in Rezar. Sorin knew he had to stay focused, but wished he could talk to Gale right now.

“You look so lost in thought,” Mina said.

“Is it that obvious?” Sorin asked. “I guess that I’m just thinking about the things that have happened so far.”

Mina slapped her hand on Sorin’s back. “I knew it! Anyone could see it a mile away! So, what are you thinking about?”

“It’s Gale,” he answered. “I must admit that I miss seeing her. We’ve been together for the past few months, almost inseparable I might add, and this is the first time I’ve gone on without her by my side.”

“Well, it must be tough,” Mina said, “But that’s what being a warrior is about, isn’t it?”

“Maybe it is,” Sorin said.

“Warriors like ourselves have to take whatever challenges come our way,” she said, “And when we win, we get even better! You’ll get through this in no time, I’m sure of it!”

“I hate to break it to you, Mina, but you really can’t relate to how I’m feeling,” Sorin replied. “At least, not yet.”

“What do you mean?” Mina asked.

“When you have someone you care about as more than just a friend, things change,” Sorin said. “What I feel when I talk to Gale is much different than when I talk to you or Rain.”

“I guess so,” Mina said. “Do you mind if I ask you what that feeling is?”

“Not at all,” Sorin answered, “Though it’s difficult to describe.”

“You can’t say that!” Mina said. “Remember, we’re warriors; nothing should be too hard to overcome!”

Sorin chuckled. “Thanks for that,” he said. “So, I guess you could say that I want to do everything possible for Gale, especially now. If you had somebody like that, you would do the same, wouldn’t you?”

“Of course I would,” Mina replied. “That kind of person you speak of, well, I’d feel exactly the same as you do.”

“It’s not just that, either,” he said. “Actually, maybe I shouldn’t go into it, after all.”

“Why not?” Mina asked.

“It’s… something personal I’d rather not say out loud,” Sorin answered. “Say, have you seen Noa around here?”

“No, I don’t think I’ve seen him ever since we entered,” Mina said. “I know Rain wanted to talk to her mother, but I haven’t seen her either.”

“That’s odd,” Sorin said. “What’s taking her so long?”

“You know, she might miss her,” Mina replied. “She’s been traveling with us for so long, she probably just wants to see how her mother’s doing!”

“Maybe, but I had the feeling that it wasn’t going to be such a personal call,” Sorin said. “I think we should go and see for ourselves what’s taking Rain so long.”

Sorin then headed off to the front with Mina following behind him. They walked past one of the displays, which was a large orb that was covered in silver, and towards the entrance to the garden. What awaited them there was a shock for sure as Noa cowered behind Rain as she confronted the man that was dressed in an Iiayikohnian soldier’s outfit. He stood in the entrance, his intimidating physique helping block off several people from going in.

“Just who are you, anyway?” Rain asked.

The man pulled on his gloves. “It doesn’t matter, now does it? No, what I’ve really come for is him.”

He pointed over to Noa, who could only stand and look at him in fear. Sorin and Mina joined Rain as they noticed the “soldier” as well.

“Come on, we don’t want to have to resort to violence, do we?” The man adjusted his sunglasses as he walked up to Rain. “Now, let me interrogate him like I’m supposed to…”

“I’m not going to let you do that, sir,” Rain said. “No matter what your reason is, whatever it is you’re looking for, I’m sure that Noa has nothing to do with it!”

“Who is this man?” Sorin asked.

“Just a soldier who happened to be in town,” the mysterious man replied. “I happened upon you lot the moment I saw you leave the train station.”

“If you’re a soldier in the Iiayikohnian military, then you’d have no trouble telling us what your name and rank are,” Sorin said. “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen you during my time in Rezar, if I’m being honest.”

The man laughed. “That’s… that’s because I’m a special agent,” he said. “Only the best in the world would keep his identity hidden.”

“I have trouble believing you,” Sorin replied. “Perhaps you should just admit that you’re just an imposter.”

“Show us your face, you liar!” Mina exclaimed.

“Are you sure that you want me to show you? Maybe you won’t like what you’ll see,” the mysterious man said. “Fine, it wasn’t like I was going to stay in town for long, anyway.”

He unraveled his gloves and tossed them to the ground. Next was the hat upon his head, dropping right next to his gloves as he revealed his blond hair for all to see. Last were the sunglasses, which instead of being thrown to the ground, the man gently removed them from his face, folded them, and tucked them into his breast pocket. Sorin, Rain, Mina, and Noa were all too busy looking in shock as they realized who stood in front of them. The familiar, sinister smile could only belong to the man they thought had been escorted back to the cell that he escaped from back in Aesker.

Mina pointed at Wihll. “You! I thought we took care of you back in Helm!”

“You really think a single, simple soldier would be enough to apprehend me?” Wihll asked. “No, I’m no fool. Not anymore, at least.”

Sorin moved his hand to the handle of his sheathed sword. “What do you mean?”

“Don’t bother withdrawing your sword,” Wihll said. “Besides, I’m only here for that man cowering behind Her Highness.”

“You’ve got business with Noa?” Sorin asked. “How were you able to attain that outfit, anyway?”

“I bid my time during my capture back in Helm,” Wihll replied. “The dumb bastard never saw it coming and I took his clothes as a reward. After that, I made my way here and found out a very interesting fact regarding your friend along the way.”

“I honestly don’t know what to make of this,” Sorin said.

“What is this fact you speak of?” Rain asked.

“I thought that you would have known, Your Highness,” Wihll said. “Anyway, perhaps I shouldn’t divulge that information so easily. What would that spy think?”

“That spy?” Sorin asked. “You don’t mean…”

“You sound interested,” Wihll replied. “Too bad, I’ve got places I need to be right now, but I’ve given you a little something to gnaw on in the meantime.”

Victor Wihll turned around and made a dash out of the garden and onto the street. Mina tried to hurry after him, but was stopped by Rain at the entrance.

“No, don’t go after him,” Rain said.

“But Rain, I can’t just let him get away with it,” Mina replied, “He’s the villain and we have no clue what he’ll do next!”

“It’s not that,” Rain said.

At that moment, a truck sped down the street. It looked as if the driver was aiming for Wihll, who saw the vehicle coming as he dove out of the way at the last possible moment. The truck went and crashed into the nearby lamppost as Wihll then ran off.

“I can’t believe it!” Mina exclaimed. “Are they okay?”

“Let’s go check them out before we do anything else,” Sorin said.

Sorin exited the garden and walked towards the truck that now had smoke coming out from underneath its hood. As he got closer, however, he heard the most recognizable voice that he did not want to hear.

“For the love of fuck, Erik!”

Korbin thrust open the door and hopped out onto the street. Erik and the rest of the other Ameci soldiers soon made their way out of the truck as Korbin grabbed Erik by the arm.

“It wasn’t my fault,” Erik replied. “That asshole just leapt out of the way at the last second!”

“You goddamn dumbass, that was Victor Wihll!” Korbin yelled as he punched Erik in the face. “You think that general’s gonna like it when he hears you let an escaped man get away?”

“I’m sorry, Korb,” Erik said, “I’m not going to let it happen again!”

Korbin panted as he let out his frustration on Erik once more. “You let him get away, shithead,” he said, “As in you weren’t able to splatter his guts all over the fucking road!”

“How can say that?” Sorin asked.

Korbin stopped his assault and let Erik go as he turned around. “Ah, hey, Sorin! How’s life treating ya?”

“Just fine, thanks,” Sorin replied as he looked away.

“Oh, don’t be like that, man,” Korbin said.

“Hey, I don’t know if you know this, but our guy’s getting away,” Bradley said. “You can catch up with your buddy later.”

“Whatever you say,” Korbin replied. “Looks like we’ve got a job to do. I’ll happen upon you later, okay, Sorin?”

Korbin and the rest of his troop grouped together and hurried after Wihll in the direction he had ran off in while Sorin looked on dumbfounded at what had just happened. Rain and Mina were quick to join up with Sorin soon after as Noa slowly trailed them both.

“Dare I ask what that was about?” Rain asked.

Sorin shook his head. “I have no clue,” he said. “The past few minutes feel like a distraction.”

“It’s been like that since we’ve arrived,” Rain said. “Fortunately, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of damage here.”

People gathered around as they were all focused on the truck that sat there, the front of the car dented thanks to the lampost. Sorin turned away from the wreck as he regrouped with the other three.

“You were really quick to notice that truck speeding in,” Mina said to Rain. “I don’t know what I can say except thank you!”

“It’s nothing, really,” Rain replied as Mina hugged her. “Oh, well, I guess that’s fine… Fine, indeed…”

Mina pulled herself off of Rain and laughed nervously. “Sorry, I guess I got carried away,” she said. “Wait! What about the blockade? Maybe now with what’s happened, we can get into the kingdom!”

“Well, this is certainly the way we can get in,” Noa said. “I have to admit I’m a little enthusiastic about seeing it for myself.”

“We can be happy once we get there,” Rain said. “There should be a bus that heads out to the kingdom in the Rio Plains, so let’s not hesitate any further.”




Johan entered Oelaans and watched from the window to see the chaos slowly unfold as Luna and Pariton watched with him. He had come at the worst possible time as he knew that there was a chance that the Ameci military was already in town. A couple of soldiers stood around the entrance while the bus made its final stop. He would have to hurry to the next bus, Johan thought to himself as he got up from the back seat.

“It seems like we’ve been beat,” Johan said.

“That’s bad, right?” Luna asked. “Can we still make it to Oelaans?”

“This might actually be the break we need,” Johan replied. “With the Ameci military running around, there’s probably a diversion that’s got the task force here scattered.”

“Oh, so I guess we don’t need to do much,” Luna said as she looked down at the floor.

“You sound disappointed,” Pariton said.

“Well, I wanted to try out my skills,” Luna replied. “Those guys would have probably wanted to hear the call of a cute girl like myself, but I guess we’ll never get to see what would really happen.”

“I bet they would’ve fallen for it,” Johan said. “With your gift, I’d bet they’d listen to whatever you had to say.”

“You really mean that?” Luna asked. “Hearing you say that really lifts my spirits now! I can totally do this!”

“Let’s go now,” Johan replied. “Hopefully we don’t get caught out there…”

Johan hurried off of the bus and onto the streets as he watched the Oelaans officers run down the street nearby. With all the commotion, Johan knew that he would have an easy time getting onto the bus to the kingdom. Pariton and Luna came to his side as they moved past the crowd and towards the other side of the town. With nothing left to hold them back, Johan, Pariton, and Luna eventually arrived at the station and hopped onto the bus. What none of them knew, however, was that there was another passenger onboard. As the bus began to move, the blond haired man sat a few seats away from the three.

“So we meet again,” Wihll said. “What a nice surprise, Johan Kuu.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 24 (Part 2)

[15th of September, 2740 AD; Odd Road Way, Habicht, Ahnlikohn]


After spending the night over at the Luna’s home, Johan, Pariton, and Luna made their way to bus station. Johan had already gotten what he needed from the Neu Thekohnian Order’s camp, but now he had a new plan in place and needed the help of both Pariton and Luna along the way. The next bus sat idling by the curb as the three got on and took a couple of seats in the back.

“I’ve never actually left this country before,” Luna said. “You obviously have a lot of experience traveling this region, don’t you?”

“It’s part of my job,” Johan replied, “But I guess I’m probably going to be working independently from here on out. That is to say with you two by my side I will continue my work.”

“Well, as long as we’re working to stop the Neu Thekohnian Order, then I will follow you and Pekka to the ends of the earth,” she said. “After what you said last night, it inspired me.”

“I’m glad my words can evoke that reaction from you,” Johan said. “I’m sure that your brother would think you to be a noble young woman for joining my cause in helping to create a world without wars.”

“It’s something Lenne would have loved to hear,” Luna replied. “He was a member of the army that served under the Ahnle family, but died about a month ago when the Neu Thekohnian Order started popping up. What we heard was that it was an ambush during an occupation in Glora.”

“That was when you made your decision, right?” Johan asked.

Luna nodded. “It’s because of that I wanted to get revenge,” she said. “Their leader is the one I wanted, because once you kill the head, the body should drop, shouldn’t it? Anyway, I like you method of attack better, boss, so that’s why I want to come along with you and Pekka.”

“Then you’ve made a fine choice,” Johan said.

“So what’re we doing over in Oelaans anyway?” Luna asked. “If it has to do with taking down the Neu Thekohnian Order, do you already know about their next attack?”

“Let’s just say that it’s a hunch,” Johan replied.

He kept the fact that he had joined with the Neu Thekohnian Order to himself because he knew exactly how Pekka and Luna would react. For now, it was all about patience for Johan now that he had joined alongside the enemy. He also had a feeling that Korbin went and informed General Fercewend about what he had seen on the day of the attack on Helm. Despite Korbin’s reputation, Johan knew that there was no risking going back to the Ameci military any time soon because of that.

Luna leaned in towards Johan. “That’s towards the kingdom, isn’t it?”

“I’ll admit that it’ll be my first time heading there,” Johan said.

“As it will be mine,” Pariton said.

“I wonder if we’ll have to show any ID,” she said. “I’ve heard many stories about the royal family. Do you we’ll see them?”

“It’s not really something I’m sure of,” Johan answered. “Then again, I’m not exactly sure if we’ll be able to see them anyway.”

“Being a royal must be so demanding,” Luna said.

“You might be right,” Johan said

There was one question that continued to eat away at Johan and it involved the queen’s aide, Sir Lauren Ahga. Was he the true leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order? Johan considered it to be possible, but the next question was why would Jelka Arne be propped up as the leader. Did she know something about Ahga that could bring him down? Or was it the other way around? And what about the Queen of Thekohn herself? Johan did not want to assume the worst, but he still had to consider even that to be a possibility. After all, it affected not only the Thekohnian Region, but the entire world.

Luna snapped her fingers in front of Johan’s face. “Hey boss, are you just going to stare off into space like that? Or do you have anything else to say about Oelaans?”

“There’s one place I know we’ll have to go,” Johan said. “It’ll be hard to get into, but I’m certain we can find a way in.”

“Really?” Luna asked. “Then I trust you, since you’re a master spy and all.”

“You really like to deliver such high praise for my abilities,” Johan replied. “Perhaps I should deliver praise onto you in return: you were really good at sneaking up on us last night. I didn’t hear a single peep out of you until it was too late.”

“A surprise, all things considered,” Pariton said.

“Hey, I was actually really good at hide and seek as a kid,” Luna replied. “One one end I could find all my schoolmates no problem, while the other end I just was able to hide for a really long time. There was this one time I thought that no one could find me, and after a while, people started to get really concerned about where I went, so that was when I popped out of my hiding place and laughed, though I guess no one actually found it that funny, but I still think it was pretty hilarious.”

“Do you have any other skills?” Johan asked. “Anyone can be halfway decent with a knife, but do you have anything else?”

“I used to be a pretty good percussionist back in school,” she answered. “I used to clash a pair of cymbals for hours, or at least until one of the teachers told me to stop playing so hard.”

“With a story like that, I’m surprised you haven’t gone deaf yet,” Pariton said. “Then again, I used to work by a train station, which made me go partially deaf in my right ear.”

“Seriously?” Luna asked. “Like can you only hear about half of the things I’m saying to you?”

“That’s not it,” Pariton replied. “I’m still able to hear everything you say, after all.”

“I’ve seen you fire guns before,” Johan said. “That’s not a problem for you?”

“No doubt the ringing is bad, Mr. Johan,” Pariton said, “But in combat I’m able to focus all of my energy and ignore the pain.”

“Then it has to hurt after a fight, doesn’t it?” Luna asked.

“It’ll keep hurting and hurting until it doesn’t,” Pariton answered. “Who knows when that will happen, but it will happen.”

“You’ve never been to a doctor, then,” Johan said.

“If there’s a doctor that’ll treat an ex-True Thekohnian, I’d be all for it,” Pariton said. “Unfortunately, it’d probably involve me heading back to prison and don’t want that.”

“And that’s probably all you’ll say about that,” Johan said. “Anyway, we’ve got quite a bit of time until we hit Oelaans.”

“Oh, maybe we should sing a song,” Luna replied.

“Let’s try not to get kicked off the bus if we can help it,” Pariton said. “We don’t need to draw attention to ourselves, anyhow.”

Luna hung her head. “Then maybe we should think up what we ought to do to help our boss,” she said. “We’re sorta like his hands and feet when you think about it.”

“There’s one thing I want to ask of you,” Johan said, “Do you think you could just address me by my name? No formalities whatsoever, okay?”

“I guess I can try… Mr. Johan, sir,” Luna replied. “A-Anyway! There’s the fact that if the Neu Thekohnian Order is going to make their next strike where we’re going, we should look to undermine them!”

“How do you propose we go about doing that?” Pariton asked.

“It’s simple,” Luna said, “We can go and inform the local police about the impending attack and once they divert their attention to that, Johan can go and do what it is he needs to do. I can do all of that just for you.”

“That’s a great idea,” Johan said. “Pekka would be too suspicious if he were to go to the police, so you would be perfect in that role.”

“And if there’s any Neu Thekohnians that try to sneak past, I’ll just smash them over the head!” Luna exclaimed.

Pariton shushed her. “Are you trying to get everyone’s eyes and ears on us? Lower your voice.”

“Oh, um, I’m very sorry,” she said, “But like I said, my idea may sound a little simple, but sometimes the best executed plans are some of the simplest. It’ll be a three prong attack with me going towards the police, Pekka using his wits, and you going off to your destination.”

“What kind of idea is that?” Pariton asked. “What do you mean by me using my wits, Luna?”

“To be honest, I don’t know,” she said. “It sounded much better in my head and I guess my mouth just decided to plop out that thing I said.”

Johan laughed as he leaned back in his seat. “Don’t worry, I’ve got an idea for what Pekka can do out there.”

“Oh, well then that’s good,” Luna said. “I guess we really are a team after all, aren’t we? Maybe we should come up with a team name or something.”

“I don’t think we need any sort of team name,” Pariton said. “What good would it do for us?”

“Come on, I think we can have a little fun while we’re trying to change the world,” Johan replied. “Lay it on us, Luna.”

“Well, since we are kind of a revolution, perhaps something like ‘Future in the Darkness’ or something similar?”

“Sounds good, but I’d like to keep a little more simple,” Johan replied. He closed his eyes for a brief moment and had an idea. “Maybe, just maybe… From this day forth, we’re going to be known as the Moonlit Silence.”

“Wow, I really like that name after all,” Luna said. “You came up with that one on the fly and it still made my idea look like crap!”

“Don’t put yourself down too much,” Johan replied. “We’re still ahead of the Neu Thekohnian Order in a lot of ways and I’m going to need help from the both of you.”

“Name or no name, we’re going to put a stop to them,” Pariton said.

“That we will,” Johan said. “For now, let’s just enjoy the sights on our way to Oelaans.”

He sat back once more and rested his head against the top of the seat. Whatever came next, Johan was sure to be ready for as he had two competent allies on his side. The plan of his was going along well, despite the small bump in the road at the campgrounds. Johan hoped having Luna join his side would end up proving to be helpful, as she had skills that both he and Pariton lacked. Then there was the fact he would have to run into Sorin again along the way. He could only wonder what would happen once he met with his friend once again.


To be continued…


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Sundown – Chapter 23 (Part 2)

[14th of September, 2740 AD; New Prime Minister’s Office, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


Ayanna arrived back at the prime minister’s office on the request of Wilson Dezine and found General Reiss waiting for her. The two of them were to be present before Dezine to talk about the recent events that had transpired over the past few days and what would happen going forward. What Ayanna knew for certain, though, was that she had to have her rank restored.

“I’d like to offer my condolences to you, Ayanna,” Reiss said. “I can tell that what happened to Silvia has affected you greatly.”

“Thank you, sir,” Ayanna replied. “I’ve decided that no matter what, I’m going to do what it takes to protect innocent people. I want to make sure no one else will have to suffer the pain that Silvia endured.”

“You’re going to ask for your suspension to be lifted, I take it?”

“That’s my goal,” Ayanna said. “While I was able to accomplish what I was able to accomplish, I belong here in Rezar.”

“A great thing to hear,” Reiss said. “Well, come on, let’s not leave the old man waiting.”

Ayanna followed Reiss upstairs and into Dezine’s office where the prime minister waited. With Dezine were General Fercewend and President Hasker as well as Isaac Kunigunde.

“It seems you two finally arrived,” Dezine said. “Sit down, both of you.”

“What is the occasion for this, prime minister?” Reiss asked.

“I was speaking with General Fercewend earlier and it seems a situation happened between you and an Ameci soldier, Ansa,” Dezine replied. “Care to go into detail, general?”

“A couple of days ago, I received a report from Junior Sergeant Crawford Bradley,” Fercewend said. “From this report, Private Korbin Mars states that you raised a gun at him in anger.”

“I have an explanation for that,” Ayanna replied.

“I’m all ears, lieutenant general,” Fercewend said. “I would like to believe that we can keep working together and move past this incident.”

“There was a major disagreement between Mars and I,” Ayanna said. She hesitated to say why due to the circumstances surrounding Silvia. “The reason why…”

“Ansa, you have to know why, right?” Reiss asked.

“I do know why,” she said. “It was all a miscommunication. I mistook Private Mars for a member of the Neu Thekohnian Order and that was why I drew a gun on him. Afterwards, I learned my mistake and I assure you that it won’t happen again.”

Fercewend nodded. “Understood,” he said. “Sometimes in the heat of the moment, you can confuse friend with foe. Fortunately we didn’t have to deal with any friendly fire this time.”

“Unfortunately, it seems as if we’ve been lead through yet another mishap,” Hasker said. “Trust has gone down with Chancellor Harring due to these recent events regarding Ahnlikohn’s royal family. Needless to say, it appears as if things do not look good at all towards future relations with their country.”

“Which is why we need to be more rigid with them moving forward,” Isaac said. “A lack of toughness is the reason why we’re in this mess and it would be a disservice to the previous prime minister if we didn’t do our best to uphold his wishes.”

“So I suppose this is where we discuss our plans,” Dezine said. “Let’s see if we can come up with any ideas.”


After a long and tedious meeting, Ayanna was the last to leave Dezine’s office and walked into the hallway by herself. From the meeting, Ayanna learned that she would return to her rank of lieutenant general immediately. That was only a minor detail, though, as the focus turned towards the rise of the Neu Thekohnian Order and their connection with the royal family of Ahnlikohn. She had suggested that there was something more than met the eye to it, though Dezine seemed to be focused on whatever Isaac Kunigunde had to say. He said that the royal family and government of Ahnlikohn were not to be trusted, to which Hasker did not respond. It seemed odd for Mr. Kunigunde to even be there in the first place, but apparently he was there as an advisor to Hasker. Still, Ayanna knew that this was only the beginning.

“Ah, Lieutenant General Ansa, it’s a pleasure to see you.”

Ayanna lifted her head and saw Henry Randolph arrive at the top of the stairs with Aron Arrington.

“Randolph, I’m surprised to see you here,” Ayanna said. “I thought that you were heading to the hotel.”

“I was here to see General Fercewend,” Henry replied. “He and I have a small personal matter to attend to and I didn’t want to run late.”

“So that’s why,” she said. “Well, I just got done meeting with the prime minister, which is why I feel so exhausted right now.”

“Rohan did mention that the meeting was little boring,” Henry said. “Oh, I do have something I wish to speak to about, however.”

Ayanna adjusted her hair. “What is it?”

“It’s about the incident involving Private Mars,” Henry replied. “I suppose you’ve already spoken with Rohan about it, though, so I only wish that we can try to move past this.”

“You’re free to do so as you please,” Ayanna said. “I, however, am still going to find it hard to move along so easily from this.”

“I feel as if I’m missing something,” Henry said.

“Suppose I can’t blame her, though,” Aron said.

“Well, he is a bit of a wild card, but it’s not much of a reason to get angry,” Henry said, “Though I guess you probably have your reasons, Ansa.”

“It’s not much to think about,” Ayanna replied. “We have disagreements here and there, which is why I don’t wish to burden myself with talking to that man.”

“Ah, so it’s true,” Korbin said, “I found you guys here after all!”

He walked up the stairs and joined with Henry and Aron. Ayanna glared at Korbin as he slapped Aron on the back.

“How’s my buddy Aron doing?” Korbin asked. “Did you miss me?”

“With a greeting like that, it’s pretty hard not to,” Aron said. “You really came at a bad time, though.”

“Oh, so now I’m the bearer of bad fortune, is it,” Korbin said. “I’m just seeing how you guys are doing, talking with such a well respected member of the Iiayikohnian army… How are you, Miss Ansa?”

“Just fine,” Ayanna replied.

Korbin laughed. “Great, great,” he said, “I for one am glad that we’re able to let go of the past and move on, right?”

“I suppose it’s simple for someone like you to say that given what has happened,” Ayanna said. “You’ve never had to deal with the loss of someone important to you before, I take it?”

“You really shouldn’t assume things about other people, you know,” Korbin said. “Besides, it’s not like you lost a friend of yours or something, have you?”

“That was incredibly uncalled for, Mars,” Henry said. “Alan Berry was a very important man in this country. It only makes sense that he would be very important to her.”

“Ah, how could I possibly forget,” Korbin said as he patted Aron on the back again.

“Just watch what you say the next time,” Henry said. “I’m sorry for his insensitivity, Lieutenant General Ansa.”

“You don’t need to apologize, Randolph,” Ayanna said. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take my leave. I have other business that I absolutely have to attend to right now.”

“Then I won’t keep you waiting,” Henry said.

“Thank you,” she replied. “If you’ll excuse me…”

Ayanna moved forward as Aron stepped aside. As she walked down the stairs, Ayanna could only think to herself about what she would do now. For now, though, she had to meet with Gavin and Law to see what they were going to do next.

“Miss Ansa, wait up!”

Ayanna reached the bottom of the stairs and headed for the door, but Korbin had followed her down. She took a look behind her and decided to keep walking instead.

“Talk to me,” Korbin said.

“Go away.”

“Hey, I don’t appreciate your rudeness,” he replied.

Ayanna grabbed the handle of the door and turned it. “Go away, now,” she said. “I’ve nothing to say to you.”

“You don’t have the guts to face me head on, do you?” Korbin asked. “A definite far cry from the woman who threatened to kill me only a few days ago. What’s happened?”

“A lot has happened,” Ayanna answered.

She pushed the door open and made her exit. There was no reason for her to interact with Korbin or even waste her breath talking to him. Not after what he had done. There were better problems to take care of instead of trying to enact her revenge on the man who had killed Silvia. No, Ayanna wanted to honor her name by making sure that no innocent person would ever have to go through what she had to ever again.




[14th of September, 2740 AD; Lead Campground, north of Habicht, Ahnlikohn]


It was deep into the night as Johan exited the building alone. He had just been spared thanks to Lauren Ahga, and now Johan had built a new alliance with an unlikely ally. Pariton and Luna were waiting from behind the bushes as Johan noticed them hiding and walked up to them.

“We can go,” he said.

Luna popped up from the bushes. “Oh, we’re done already? I thought you were going to retrieve some secrets. You know, like real dirt?”

“I got what I needed,” Johan replied. “There’s somewhere we have to head to now.”

“Where’s that?” Pariton asked.

“It’s the town of Oelaans,” Johan said. “Our business is there within the kingdom, so says the letter I read.”

Pariton raised an eyebrow. “A letter? Do you have it?”

“Sadly, I couldn’t take it with me,” he replied. “There was a lot I could have taken, but there was no way that I was going to be able to snatch it all up with the security inside.”

“Not even one bit?” Luna asked. “Is this part of the job or something?”

“You could say that,” Johan said.

“What do you want to do about her?” Pariton asked. “If we’re going to Oelaans, then obviously we’d need to make that travel right now and I have no idea if she’d be willing to follow.”

“Are you serious, Pekka? I can’t believe you’d ask that,” Luna said. “I’d love to be an asset to the team, and it’s not because I’d get to follow around the boss either, so don’t get the wrong idea just because I said he was handsome, Pekka, and I know full well about your feelings regarding the boss, too–”

Pariton quickly placed his hand over her mouth, muffling her speech. “Okay, okay, if Mr. Johan doesn’t see a problem with it, then I don’t, either.”

“Looks like there’s nothing wrong, then,” Johan said. “Let’s hurry before they notice us.”

Luna lowered Pariton’s hand. “Great! Let’s get going and find a way to deal a blow to these scoundrels,” she said. “Oh, but maybe we should stop at my family’s house first, because perhaps you’d like to meet the people who helped raise me and also maybe have something to eat, too, because my mother’s a really good chef and you would like her food the instant it touched your lips!”

Johan chuckled as he walked with Luna and Pariton on their way out the campground. “Maybe we should take you up on your offer, then.”

The darkness had overtaken the campground as the three left the premises. Johan knew that survival was important, which was why he had taken the chance and joined Ahga and the Neu Thekohnian Order. He had decided not to tell either Pariton or Luna as he felt that there was an opportunity to be had for later, it all just had to come down to which piece moved first.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Sundown – Chapter 23 (Part 1)

[14th of September, 2740 AD; Lead Campground, north of Habicht, Ahnlikohn]


Night fast approached as Johan and Pariton stumbled onto the broken down gates to the Lead Campground. Off in the distance was the sight of a burning fire near an old building, which Johan could only imagine was the hideout for the Neu Thekohnian Order. One thing was certain, Johan thought to himself: Jelka Arne had to be there. A large rock sat as Johan and Pariton jumped the gates and hid behind it as a member of the NTO passed by.

Pariton peered over the rock and found several more members closer to the old building. “A bit more secure than I thought.”

“Looks like it,” Johan said. “Not that they don’t have a good reason to, which is all the more reason to stay hidden.”


Johan looked over the rock again. No one was in the immediate area, which meant that he had to get closer. Leading Parition behind him, Johan crawled into the open area of the campground until the he and Pariton stopped behind one of the fences. The fire by the building began to die down as several more Neu Thekohnians headed inside until none remained on the outside. A few chairs sat on the outside by the dying fire, but Johan and Pariton moved quickly until the were at the entrance to the building.

“That window there,” Johan said. “Is that who I think it is?”

Johan crept towards the window, making sure not to be detected by anyone on the inside, and peered in. His suspicions were confirmed, at least that was what he thought when he saw the long, grey hair. Johan ducked under window and set his back against the wall as he sat on the ground with Pariton joining him.

“You know this person?” Pariton asked.

“Remember the man I told you about?”

Pariton nodded. “But what is he doing here, though? I thought he was opposed to the Neu Thekohnian Order.”

“What made you think that, Pekka?” Johan asked. “This was the secret I was talking about. A secret so scandalous, that it would rock the entire Kingdom of Thekohn to its core, if not the region.”

“Shit, if that’s true, then there’d be no way that the queen doesn’t know about it,” Parition said. “Knowing what we know about the NTO, it can only get worse from here. What should we do?”

“There’s one thing I want to find,” Johan replied. “It’s going to tough going in there, but we’ll have to sneak in somehow. Hold on.”

Johan moved to the edge of the building and looked past it. There was no one around but the entrance to what looked to be a cellar. He lead Pariton to the side of the building and towards the cellar entrance. A fastened lock was the only thing that prevented the two from going in as Johan turned to Pariton.

“Can you break this lock?” Johan asked.

“It would be hard to do without the right tools, Mr. Johan,” Pariton replied as he knelt down and examined the lock. “Perhaps there’s another way?”

“That’s going to be a problem.”

As Johan and Pariton continued to examine the lock to the cellar, the woman from before snuck up from behind. She carried one of the wooden chairs from the front and approached Johan. No time was wasted as she then used the chair and smashed it over Johan’s head, which knocked him to the ground.

“Mr. Johan!”

Pariton sprung to his feet and turned around. He saw the woman try to escape, but he reached out and grabbed her wrist before she could escape. Johan sat up as he rubbed the back of his head. The woman stared Pariton in the eyes as he did the same back to her.

“Wait a minute,” Pariton said, “You’re not a member of the Neu Thekohnian Order, are you?”

“N-No, I thought you two were,” she replied. “I saw the both of you and thought you were the bad guys, so I took one of those chairs out by the fire and tried to deal with you myself, but I guess that didn’t work out because I guess you two aren’t part of the Neu Thekohnian Order, either, so I guess that makes me look like an idiot, doesn’t it?”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Parition asked. “Do you think it’s okay to bash people over the head and not expect some sort of response?”

“Sorry, sorry, sorry!”

Johan stood up. “You came here because you have business with the Neu Thekohnian Order, don’t you?”

“You could say that,” she answered. “What they’ve done is unforgivable and I want to get my revenge for what they did to my family, so I when I walked by your window and heard what you were talking about, I decided to follow you, which I guess was a good idea because it happened to lead me here and it looks like my hunch was correct because this looks like the hideout for these bad guys and so in my lack of a better judgement I thought you were with them and that’s why I decided to smash you, but I want to say sorry because it was a bad thing to do since you guys aren’t the Neu Thekohnian Order.”

“Excuse me,” Pariton said as he let the woman go. “You talk too fast.”

“That being said, I only have one question,” Johan said. “You mentioned revenge, which means you have a personal connection with these people. How are you going to exact this revenge?”

“I guess I don’t know,” she said. “I have a dagger of my own which I took from my father’s shelf and it was used in the War of the Lands.”

“I see,” Johan replied. “You should know that we’re here because we have business with them, too.”

“But ours is a stealth mission, not revenge,” Pariton said.

“Yet there’s a common ground we both share,” Johan said. “May I ask you your name, miss?”

“I suppose I can trust you,” she said. “The name’s Luna Del Bosque, third oldest of the Del Bosque family. Like I mentioned before, my father fought in the war and was quite a renowned soldier in his own right. I’m here because the Neu Thekohnian Order killed my oldest brother, Lenne.”

“Still, you could have used fewer words,” Pariton replied. “What do you think, Mr. Johan?”

“Luna, I think it would beneficial if we worked together,” Johan said. “I feel like we can find a way to get revenge on these guys without having to resort to violence, so I’d like to know what you think.”

“Well, I wanted to find their leader and kill them, but I guess that wouldn’t be such a good idea,” Luna said. “Also, I’ve never killed anyone, so I guess I’d probably get nervous if I tried to do it.”

“Believe me, killing when you’ve never done it can be pretty messy,” Pariton said. “It’s also… probably not a good idea.”

“Right, I got it,” Luna replied. “You guys are packing, right?”

“Excuse me?” Pariton asked.

“Like, you’d probably have one that’s at least eight inches,” she said. “And you, Mr. Johan, you probably have a long one too. Am I right?”

Johan closed his eyes as he placed his fingers on his forehead. “Just so we’re clear, you are talking about knives, right? Not anything else?”

“What else would I be talking about?” Luna asked. Her jaw dropped as she realized what Johan meant. “Oh my god, I had no idea! I was just talking about knives and you guys were thinking that I was talking about how endowed you two were, but that’s a real stretch to go to think that I was talking about what’s in your pants, so please don’t get the wrong idea because I’m not that kind of girl, even though I would say that Mr. Johan’s pretty attractive if I had to be honest, but just so you know, I’m not a weirdo or anything!”

“I’m not armed,” Johan replied. “That goes against my personal code.”

“I left my weapons at the motel,” Pariton said.

“Oh, well, maybe you’d like to use mine?” Luna asked. “I don’t believe you’ve introduced yourself, guy.”

Pariton turned to Johan. “Are you truly sure that we should be trusting this girl?”

“I can tell that she wants to do good,” Johan said. “Luna, I’d like to get you acquainted with my friend Pekka.”

Luna snickered as she shook Pariton’s hand. “Nice meeting you, Pekka.”

Pariton’s expression remained unchanged. “What’s so funny?”

“It just made me think about what your name sounds similar to,” she replied. “You know: what we were talking about earlier?”

“I’m afraid to even ask what you mean by that,” Pariton said.

Johan patted Pariton on the back. “Better not to think about it,” he said. “So, Luna, if it’s okay with you, I’d like to ask you about your dream. Although, I think it’s best we talk later, since we do have this whole matter to settle.”

“We really did get off track,” Pariton said. “That lock still remains fastened to the cellar door.”

“Excuse me, but I think I can help,” Luna said as she stretched her legs. “Just stand back, guys, because I’m going to bust that thing in!”

Johan did not move. “As much as I adore your enthusiasm, I can’t let you do that,” he said. “Did you already forget that this is a stealth mission?”

“Oh, sorry,” she replied.

“Actually, there might be a way in yet,” Johan said. “Follow me.”

Johan snuck back to the front of the building and towards the front door. Pariton and Luna trailed behind him as he reached for the doorknob and turned it to find that there was no lock. With a deep exhale, Johan creaked the door open and found a member of the Neu Thekohnian Order sleeping on the chair nearby.

“You two stay here,” Johan said.

“What should we do?” Pariton asked.

“If it comes to the worst, then don’t hesitate to barge in,” he replied. “Keep an eye out for any other members that might still be outside.”

“Got it,” Pariton said.

“And Luna, I do want to talk to you later, that much I assure you,” Johan said. “No matter what, we’re getting out of here alive.”

“I understand, boss,” she said. “I hope you don’t mind me calling you that, because I thought it sounded really cool in my head, like we’re all a group of good guys and we’re looking to you to be the leader and all that, so…”

Johan went inside and rushed to the edge of the wall and hid himself. He looked onward as he found no one in the hallway, so he decided to sneak further into the hall. As he went further inside, Johan could hear a faint noise coming from his right as he could only suspect that the meeting was already taking place. His other suspicion proven to be true, Johan had to find the document that Ahga possessed if he wanted to have a chance to stop him.

“A split end, huh,” Johan said.

Two paths stood at his left and right. Johan peeked past the corner to the left and saw no one, so he hurried down that path before anyone had the chance to spot him. At the end of the hall were two doors, one in front of Johan and one to his left. He tried opening the door to his left first but found it locked, so he decided to try the other door instead and found success as it opened for him. With nothing else standing between Johan and the room on the other side, he went inside.

“Okay, so let’s see what we have here…”

Johan saw two desks on both sides of the room, both with papers scattered all over their surfaces. He checked desk closest to him first and sped through as many papers as he could.

“A lot of these papers could prove to be useful,” he said. “Wait, what’s this?”

He gripped one paper in his hand. It was a letter addressed to the leader of the Neu Thekohnian Order, but there was no return address. Johan read through it, making sure to take in every word written on the paper.

To the leader of the NTO, Jelka Arne: by the time you read this, I will have set off for Iiayikohn. Nobody will be able to suspect that someone like me would ever even attempt to assassinate the prime minister, not even  all of the Iiayikohnian government. I hope this will be able to satisfy you, so long as you hold up your end of the bargain. Please let this be the last thing that you ask of me.

Signed, A.A.

“Quite astounding, isn’t it, my friend?”

Johan heard the voice from behind him, the familiar and welcoming voice that belonged to Lauren Ahga. Ahga had just entered the room as Johan put the letter back down on the desk and turned around. The two were now face to face as Ahga approached Johan.

“Why did you blackmail Prince Ahnle?” Johan asked.

“Oh, you should ask Jelka that,” Ahga replied. “What I think you should be doing now is trying to tell me why I should let you leave here alive.”

“Don’t try to skirt the question, Sir Lauren,” Johan said. “You were the one who coerced the prince into assassination. Were you too afraid to do it yourself?”

Ahga adjusted his glasses. “You must not value your life if you’re asking meaningless questions like that…”

“I want you to answer me,” Johan replied.

“I’ve already told you I hate using violence as a means to an end,” Ahga said, “So I just decided to find the right kind of idiot that would do it for me. Turns out that that womanizer was the perfect choice.”

“He was arrested not too long after, you know,” Johan said.

“Ah yes, that is true, but everything worked out just as planned,” Ahga replied. “Besides, it’s not like Prince Ahnle is going to spend a single second in prison, anyway.”

“How so?”

“If he doesn’t get killed by some lunatic, he’ll probably go off into hiding,” Ahga answered. “Perhaps he’ll go as far as the islands, away from our society while the rest of the royal family will simply just go away as well.”

“You act as if you know that that’ll happen,” Johan replied.

“That’s because it’s precisely what will happen,” Ahga said. “Do you believe that Dezine will want to put up with the international headache? I know the man well and he’d rather pass off that burden to someone else, that someone being Chancellor Harring.”

Ahga reached down to his waist and to his holster. He pulled out his gun and pointed it at Johan.

“Either way, I’d have gotten the result I’d want,” he said, “Either the prince gets arrested or that woman would have taken the fall instead.”

“You hate using violence, though.”

“Do you think I’m letting you out of here alive?” Ahga asked. “I’ve told you all you needed to know. Besides, I may abhor violent methods, but for you, it’s a special cause.”

“I didn’t expect that I’d be getting such preferential treatment, Sir Lauren,” Johan said. “Before you kill me, though, I have one question.”

“Go ahead, shoot,” Ahga replied. “Pardon the pun, of course.”

“What do you expect to gain from this?” Johan asked. “Working with the Neu Thekohnian Order… They’re said to be worse than the True Thekohnians, yet the advisor to the Queen of Thekohn works with them. What’s your goal here?”

“Why does that matter to you?” Ahga asked. “You’ll be dead anyway, just like your two comrades outside.”

Johan smirked. “What if I told you I could help you?”

“You, help me? Are you trying to make me laugh?”

“I’m being completely serious,” Johan said. “I’d like to think that there’s a common ground we can reach.”

Ahga lowered his gun and inserted it back into the holster. “I’m listening,” he said, “Though I do feel as if you’re only doing this out of desperation.”

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t,” Johan replied. “However, I feel as if I don’t have much of a choice. If you don’t get me, I’m sure the Ameci military will.”

“What do you mean?” Ahga asked. “Never mind, I’d rather not hear about it. Just tell me what I need to hear.”

“Of course,” Johan said. “I’m glad that you decided to come to your sense. Anyway, where should I start?”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Sundown – Chapter 22 (Part 2)

[14th of September, 2740 AD; location unknown, Hurst, Iiayikohn]


Two men entered the dim room as they took their seats at the table near them. One man had black hair with a touch of gray and wore a light blue button up shirt and pants while the other had light blond hair that was thinning on the top and wore a beige suit. Another man stood at the end of the table, though he faced the telephone on the wall as he spoke with someone on the other end. He had short, black hair and wore gloves that felt out of place with his brown suit.

“You know full well about what happens when you go on one of your self-indulgent trips,” the man in the brown suit said. “Pull a stunt like that in public again and I’ll be sure that it’ll be your last!”

Silence followed his words as the two men watched. They then looked at each other as the man kept talking.

“It really is true,” the graying man said. “Are you sure about this, Mr. Paul?”

“If we don’t speak with Harold Mars, then how are we going to get any support?” Paul asked. “Listen, Carsen, we need all the help we can get. Our business isn’t going anywhere.”

“I know that, but is this a good idea?”

“Just follow my lead,” Paul replied.

Harold gripped the phone in his hand as the other person kept talking. “Idiot, I didn’t ask about the girl,” he said. “I asked why you went and picked a fight with that man. What exactly did you hope to gain from dueling Mr. Wilk?”

A long pause followed.

“Should we say something?” Carsen asked.

“Let’s try not to get on his bad side,” Paul said. “Whoever he’s talking to, it must be extremely important.”

“Then if it comes down to it, you know what to do, don’t you?” Harold asked. “You know your role, so play it!”

Harold slammed the receiver back onto the phone and turned around. He came into eye contact with the two gentlemen and grinned.

“And how long have you two been waiting?”

“We… we just got here, Mr. Mars, sir,” Paul answered.

“Long enough to take a seat, it seems,” Harold replied. “I don’t appreciate liars, you should know.”

“I’m sorry!” Paul exclaimed as he bowed. “Please forgive us for our stupidity!”

Harold sighed. “And that pathetic individual with you,” he said, “He’s one of your employees, I take it?”

Carsen kept a wide stare as he nodded. “Oh yes, yes, sir!”

“We came to you today because we were looking for help,” Paul said. “He and I are in need of some money for our business.”

“What is this business?” Harold asked. “Based on your answer, I might think about lending you my assistance.”

“R-Right, sir,” Paul replied. “We’re an up-and-coming transportation company and we wanted to see–”

Harold slammed his fist on the table. “What is your name?”

“Me? Well… it’s Paul, sir.”

“Can you tell me why I should support you?” Harold asked. “There’s enough transportation going around; what makes you so special?”

“Our company–”

“I didn’t ask about your company,” Harold said. “I asked about you. Why do you think you’re so special?”

“I… I don’t think I’m that special, sir,” Paul replied. “Just a businessman trying to help his company.”

“That’s all you are, then,” Harold said, “But you’re not even good at that. You thought you could just roll into my establishment and pitch to me your wildest dream, but all you have is a tame hallucination!”

Paul tried to hold back the tears. “My apologies, sir.”

“Tell you what,” Harold replied, “I will give you something special that will help you in your journey. Hold out your hand.”

Paul did so, his hand open on the table, as Harold walked up to him. Just then, Harold reached into his pocket and pulled out a dagger. Without a second thought, Harold stabbed Paul’s hand into the table. Carsen backed up in his chair as Paul began to scream out loud.

“Will you calm down, you insolent ignoramus?” Harold asked. “If you want to deal with the crows, you’d best be prepared. That goes to you, too.”

“O-Okay!” Carsen replied.

“Consider yourselves lucky that you caught me in a good mood,” Harold said. “Now get out of here!”

Harold then pulled the knife out from Paul’s hand and wiped off the blood with a clean cloth. Carsen helped Paul up to his feet as the two men hurried out of the room. With the two men dealt with, Harold turned back to the phone on the table. There was another call he had to make and he was sure that the other person was going to be able to pick up on the other end. He wasted no time in dialing the number and waited until the other person picked up.

“Hello, it’s been quite a while, hasn’t it?” Harold asked. “How are things going, Isaac?”




[14th of September, 2740 AD; Golding Motel, Habicht, Ahnlikohn]


Just north of Helm, Johan and Pariton had reached the small town of Habicht after their encounter with Korbin. The motel was about the only thing notable in the town as Johan entered with Pariton close behind him. A small room awaited them with only a single bed and bathroom inside. Johan sat on the bed while Pariton leaned against the wall and looked out the window.

“You can sit here too if you want,” Johan said.

“I… As much as I’d like to, I think I’m fine here,” Pariton replied. “I’d like to talk to you about the mission, if that’s okay with you.”

“There’s no problem with talking to me about it,” Johan said, “We are partners, after all.”

Pariton chuckled. “I should never doubt you, Mr. Johan. Anyway, you were speaking about that woman earlier and I did some scoping out around Habicht. Seems like I’ve found out something interesting.”

“Your skills are developing into quite an asset,” Johan replied. “Then again, you always had that potential inside of you. What did you find out?”

“About five miles to the north is a campground,” Parition said. “It’s been abandoned for quite some time but from the conversation I had with the owner of the motel, it seems that someone has been going there and back lately.”

Johan rubbed his chin and closed his eyes. “A lead, then.”

“We have to check it out,” Pariton replied. “They would have to be there if someone is occupying the campground.”

“Why not go there now?” Johan asked. “Sun’s about to set soon, so we can go and sneak in.”

“A great idea,” Pariton said. “Let’s waste no time… Mr. Johan, behind you, outside the window.”

Johan turned around and caught a glimpse of a person, but they quickly ducked under and out of sight. A shrug followed as Johan turned back to Pariton.

“Suspicious,” Johan said. “Or maybe I’m just being a bit paranoid. Best not to think about it, Pekka.”

Pariton got off of the wall and stood up straight. “If anyone tries to attack, I’ll be sure to rough them up. I won’t allow you to get hurt.”

“That’s greatly appreciated, but it won’t be needed,” Johan replied. “This is a stealth mission, so we’re looking to avoid conflict.”

“Then I’ll follow your lead.”

Johan stood up. “We’ll be fine so long as we work together,” he said. “Now let’s go and find the Neu Thekohnian Order.”

They headed out of the room and out into the lot. Johan looked to both his left and right, but no one was there. Whoever was peeking through the window had already left by now, which made Johan think that they were just a passerby that happened to stumble on his conversation. He did not think much of it since he had other plans that involved infiltrating the campground at night.

“If we’re to find her, then that’s only place,” Johan said. “Shall we?”

Pariton followed after Johan as the two walked away from the motel and towards the town’s exit. They were headed to the campground by themselves, but another trailed behind them several yards away. A woman of average height hid behind the corner of the building as she watched the two walk out and decided to follow them. She had brown hair tied back in a ponytail and wore a light blue shirt and pants with a dark blue cloak. Johan and Pariton continued to walk out of town as the woman made sure to keep her distance.

“There’s no doubt about it,” she said. “If I follow them, I’ll be sure to find the person that killed my brother!”


To be continued…


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