Aurora – Epilogue

(Daybreak on a Peaceful World)


Peace came to both the Ameci Region and the Thekohnian Region for years to come. After the new treaty was signed, these lands oversaw a new era of peace and an opportunity for an even better future. Amos Ahnle, who had no intention of ever becoming king in the first place, adapted quickly and became a respected leader not only in Ahnlikohn, but throughout the region.

Over in the island nation of Kikuisha, the next-in-line empress Kiku Izumi began her training. After marrying Noa Mzade, Kiku then succeeded her mother and became the youngest empress in her country’s history. People regarded her as a benevolent and sociable leader, even seeing her at the park from time to time, though she still traveled alongside her guards Ayame Hayashi and Igor Kuznetsov, who married not long after. Noa, meanwhile, continued his work in the Kikuishan tourism industry, leading to a boom in tourists from all around the world.

Luna Del Bosque’s career as a singer found roaring success once she was discovered by an Ameci manager in Admorse. She traveled all over the lands, bringing her talent to many an audience and an eventual career in the theater. Luna later met a charming man around her age and eventually married him. The two continue to tour around the world as a duet.

Pekka Varjostaa left behind his past as an ex-convict and found a purpose working with Luna’s father as a construction director. He helped rebuild many abandoned buildings in Glora, leading to many businesses establishing inside the mountain city. Pekka never did forget about Johan, but did eventually hit it off with a fellow worker. Soon after, Pekka moved to Rezar with his husband and found jobs working with Gavin Power.

Law Power and Ayanna Ansa grew to have a stable marriage. Law proved himself to be a faithful and supportive husband to Ayanna, who kept her last name. He continued his career on the stage while she became a general of the highest regard. Some have even wondered if she would eventually decide to run for prime minister. The two have a son on the way with many more planned, at least according to Law. Ayanna still continues with her work in making Iiayikohn a better place.

Gavin Power remained a single man, though his love for cooking became known across the world. Many travel in order to experience the fine cuisine for themselves and give their regards to Gavin. He has to remind himself daily not to let the praise go to his head. Alongside his work as a chef, Gavin has begun selling coffee all over the world.

Eva Bellamy quickly returned to Ameci and proceeded to assist Henry in his mayoral duties. Though she misses the days when she was a nurse, Eva soon found herself working as an advisor in Henry’s campaign for senator. She then fell in love with a journalist and the two wed eleven months afterward. She still keeps her sword in her house, though she never uses it anymore. Eva still keeps up with the other members of the Swords of Eight, though they have lives of their own as well.

Henry and Tori Randolph welcomed their daughter into the world, though he soon returned to work. As mayor, Henry saw high approval from the citizens of Admorse. This led him to pursue higher office, which in turn helped him to become senator. But Henry did not stop there as he had aspirations of presidency and of helping Ameci and its people. His two sons followed in his footsteps, with one becoming an up-and-coming junior lieutenant and the other attending law school. Tori, meanwhile, still keeps up with Rohan Fercewend’s wife Laila and wonders when Fercewend will finish serving his time.

Rain Zano Thedam became regarded as a highly popular leader and well beloved by her citizens. She was able to lead effectively in organizing the treaty and has helped humanitarian efforts all throughout the Thekohnian Region. Her consort, Mina Rask, became the trainer for a newly formed Royal Guard, and her strength became well known to many across the region. The two live a happy life together and occasionally travel the countryside by themselves. Rain’s sister and Mina’s mother became quick friends, while Drake still continues his work as a locksmith in Rezar. Mina still visits him often.

No one ever saw Johan Kuu again, though some have said that the Moonlit Silence still continues their work behind the scenes. Whether or not Johan was able to see the results of his work was unknown. Sorin still wonders about him and surmises to himself that Johan is still out there somewhere. Whether or not that is true, however, is another case. But no one ever forgot about Johan, even as the years went by.

Sorin and Gale quickly got married after their trip and she took his name. Gale then proceeded to leave the Kunigunde name entirely behind and renamed her father’s company. As the owner and president of Wilk-Hudde, Gale turned the company around and it quickly became the number one name in travel, with plans of flight becoming a possibility. Off work, she and Sorin spend as much time as they can together.

Sorin Wilk, meanwhile, sought a career in art. He soon became well known for his paintings, but remained in Ameci so he could support his wife. His friends come to visit him time to time and he does much the same. Still, though, he chose to stay in Ameci with Gale and the two have a happy and healthy marriage. Sorin knows that none of this could have been possible without everyone’s support. Each night, Sorin looks up to the sky and wonders if his family can see him, but he knows that they would be happy with the man he has become. To this day, Sorin Wilk looks on Ameci with a beaming smile upon his face.


The End


Previous | END

Aurora – Chapter 50 (Part 1)

[15th of May, 2741 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Hall]


“Happy birthday, Gavin!” Mina exclaimed.

Gavin chuckled. “You honestly didn’t need to do all this,” he said, shaking his head. “A simple gathering would have sufficed.”

“Oh, Gavvy, come on and be happy,” Kiku said. “We’ve all gathered here to celebrate not just your birthday, but because you became a chef, too!”

“Is it really necessary?” Gavin asked. “It’s not as if all of you will have the time to come and see the restaurant.”

“We’re all just happy for you, bro,” Law said. “After all, you went out and made something of yourself!”

Everyone gathered at the castle to celebrate Gavin’s success in addition to it being his birthday. Sorin and Gale had arrived the day prior in order to meet with everyone and catch up on what they were doing. The next day, everyone planned out a surprise party for Gavin in the main hall of Thedam Castle, even though it looked as if Gavin was fully aware of what was going on. The smile on his face as Dustin and Gamel brought out the celebratory banner made it difficult for Sorin not to laugh out loud.

However, despite the abundance of people in the castle, there were a couple of people that did not make it. Henry was not able to attend, which Sorin understood because he wanted to be with Tori in order to witness the birth of his daughter. The other person that did not come to the castle, however, was Johan. In fact, Sorin still had not heard from Johan ever since he went to see Dia in her home. By the time he and Gale arrived, Dia stated that Johan had already left Ameci the day before. All Sorin could do at that point was to tell Dia to let him know when Johan returned, but as time began to pass, no message of any sort came about. 

“Wilkie, are you and Gigi just going to stand there?” Kiku asked.

Sorin snapped out of his thoughts. “Oh, what’s up?”

“We’re heading to the ballroom,” Kiku replied. “Come on and join us! It’s going to be a lot of fun if you do!”

“Let’s do that,” Gale said.

“Go on ahead,” Sorin said. “There’s something that I want to talk to Rain about.”

Kiku rushed up to Gale and grabbed her hand. “Seriously, Wilkie, there’s even going to be a band,” she said. “I think Gab’s going to make her big debut as a singer, too!”

“I don’t want to make you guys wait,” Sorin said.

“Let’s just go, Kiku,” Gale said. “We can save a seat for Sorin.”

“It seems you don’t mind if I take your girlfriend for a bit,” Kiku said. “Okay then, I’ll take care of her until you arrive.”

With that, Kiku whisked Gale away to the ballroom. Everyone else began to head towards there as well, leaving Sorin to seek out Rain. She had to be upstairs, so Sorin decided to go up and look for her. He found her standing on the balcony outside and greeted her, to which she waved back.

“Are you not interested in the party?” Rain asked.

“Of course I am,” Sorin replied. “But I thought that you were going to be there as well.”

“You wanted to talk to me,” Rain said.

“Just curious about everything regarding the summit,” Sorin said. “I heard that the talks are going well with Amos.”

“So far, we’ve set out some ideas,” Rain replied. “After all that’s happened, Amos understands what needs to be done. It hasn’t been completely easy, but our talks have been effective.”

“That’s good to hear,” Sorin said.

“In fact, I’ve even had some cooperation from President Hasker,” Rain said. “It came as quite a surprise to be honest.”

“Do you think it has to do with his relation to Foundation?” Sorin asked.

“He did express regret about what happened,” Rain said. “Hasker knew he was being used, but if he truly does feel sorry, then we shouldn’t have a problem in trying to reach an agreement.”

“I guess we’ll have to see, then,” Sorin said.

“I’d like to have faith in him,” Rain said. “The main problem has been taken care of, so all that’s left is what we can do to make sure something like that never happens again.”

Sorin agreed. “It’ll be a future to look forward to.”

“I truly can’t thank you enough,” Rain replied. “You’ve been an invaluable ally and friend, as has everybody else.”

“Shouldn’t I be the one thanking you?” Sorin asked. “You stood by my side even when the pressure mounted. If not for you and the kingdom, there would’ve been no place for me while Harold Mars conducted his business as usual.”

“What matters is that we came out of that with the chance to change our world for the better,” Rain said. “I already know that Gale’s going to contribute so much to help make people happy.”

“It’s surprising how much can change in a few months,” Sorin said. “I never would’ve guessed we’d be able to use that industry, much less use it for good.”

“I look forward to seeing what Gale will do with it,” Rain said.

“So am I,” Sorin replied.

“Since we’re on this topic, perhaps you can answer my question,” Rain said. “About you and Gale, I mean.”

“What is it?” Sorin asked.

“You and Gale are going on a long trip, right,” Rain said, “So what I want to know is—and this can just be between us—when is the wedding?”

“Oh, I don’t know exactly,” Sorin replied. “Neither of us do, really. We just had a certain goal in mind and based it off of that.”

“So it’ll be when you’re done traveling?” Rain asked.

“That’s basically it,” he said.

“Well, if you need a place to plan, you’ve always got here,” Rain said. “I know it just sounds like I’m just renting out the castle for all sorts of events, but you’re my friend and I want to make you feel welcome whenever you’re here. Just remember that.”

“I will,” Sorin said. “Whenever the time comes, I’ll be sure to let you know.”

Rain smiled. “That’s good.”

“Now I gotta ask you,” Sorin said. “It’s only fair, after all.”

“About Mina and I?” Rain asked. “Well, she and I have already picked out a date for that.”

“You have?”

“But I’ll let you and Gale know in due time,” Rain said. “That’s part of the deal, I’d say.”

“I guess that’s fair,” Sorin replied.

“I’m glad we agree,” Rain said. “Now let’s go and see what everyone’s up to. I don’t want to miss Gavin’s party, do you?”

“Let’s go,” Sorin said.

They went downstairs together and headed directly towards the ballroom. Inside, Sorin and Rainwatched the event unfold as everybody celebrated Gavin’s accomplishment. He sat at the table by the side with Law, Mina, Ayanna, and Gale as Sorin and Rain went over to join the group. At the table next to them sat Kiku and Noa, while Ayame and Igor were busy talking with Dustin and Gamal. Sorin took a seat next to Gale while Mina teased Gavin about his sunglasses.

“It’s not like I’m going to take them for too long,” Mina said. “I just want to know what I look like in them!”

“That’s not happening,” Gavin replied. “I don’t take these sunglasses off for anyone, not even you, Mina.”

“Aw come on,” Mina said.

“He’s pretty strict about his shades,” Law said. “Perhaps you shouldn’t be pressuring him.”

“So you’ve never taken them off?” Ayanna wondered. “Not even when you go to sleep?”

“What an asinine question,” Gavin said. “Of course I do!”

“Maybe you should just entertain Mina on her request,” Rain said. “It’s not as if it’ll be the end of the world if we saw you without your sunglasses.”

“Give me a break,” Gavin said. “I already told you I’m not going to.”

“It does seem a little silly to be so adamant about it,” Gale said. “There’s not that much sunlight in here, anyway.”

Gavin turned his head. “My answer remains the same,” he said. “I’m not taking them off.”

“It’s a shame,” Kiku said. “I bet you’d look really cool even without them.”

“What makes you think that?” Gavin asked.

Just as Gavin asked that question, Mina reached from behind and took off Gavin’s sunglasses. He turned around and found that she had already put them on and crossed her arms.

“Look at me, I’m Gavin!” Mina exclaimed, trying her best to imitate Gavin’s deep voice. “I never take my sunglasses off, not even when I shower!”

“Give them back!” Gavin said, covering his eyes.

Everyone had a small laugh as Mina took off the sunglasses and handed them back over to Gavin. Once he had his sunglasses back on, he breathed a sigh and looked over to Sorin.

“Stop smiling already,” Gavin said. “The ‘joke’ is already over, so why don’t we just move on?”

“I gotta admit it was pretty funny, though,” Law said. “This is your party, bro! Have a little fun!”

“You think I’m not?” Gavin asked.

“Well, sometimes, it’s hard to tell with you,” Gale said.

“Then I guess I’ll just have to show you how I have fun,” Gavin said. “Why don’t we get the band to play a tune, Rain?”

“That’s up to them,” Rain answered. “But I think Luna’s actually going to sing soon.”

“She is?” Law asked. “I guess Luna’s worked up the courage to take on the stage, after all.”

“It’ll be her first time in front of this many people,” Kiku said. “I talked with her just before the party started and she seemed so nervous, it was so cute!”

“God, having to do that in a place like this sounds awful,” Noa said. “I don’t envy her at all.”

“When you hear her sing, you might change your tune, Nona,” Kiku said. “Then again, I love you most when you’re so sweet and shy!”

She huddled together with Noa as the band stopped. Everyone watched as Luna made her way onto the stage in a purple dress. Sorin had heard her singing voice before, but did not know how her debut was going to go. Before she began singing, Pekka joined the group at the table and took a seat near Gavin.

“I can only assume she’s beyond terrified up there on stage,” Pekka said, “So let’s be supportive.”

“Got it,” Sorin said.

Luna stood behind the microphone and looked around. “Hello everybody… Um, my name’s Luna,” she said. “I… I wanted to greet you all because I wanted to sing for you…”

Everyone in the ballroom clapped as Luna smiled. Sorin watched as Luna waved back and set her sights on his group. She nodded her head and appeared to take a deep breath. Once she opened her eyes, Luna looked back at the band and then back to the rest of the room.

“But that’s not the only reason we’re here,” Luna said. “We’re here to help celebrate an important friend’s birthday. Gavin, am I doing okay?”

Gavin gave a thumbs up in response.

“And I don’t want to take any of this away from you, either, but there’s so many people I’ve gotta thank,” Luna said. “That can wait for later, though; you guys want to hear me, right?”

Everyone clapped again.

“Got ya,” Luna replied. “Well, Gavin, I hope you enjoy this one most of all. I don’t have a name for this song just yet as I wrote the lyrics just last night, but I hope you like it anyway because I really worked hard on it, so let’s begin!”

As the band broke into an upbeat, powerful tune, Sorin sat back with Gale as everyone else listened. Sorin was happy to see Luna get a handle on her nerves and sing with confidence as she captivated the entire ballroom with her singing. The party continued into the night with multiple celebrations and a reassurance that everything was good. Nothing could deter Sorin and his friends from the fun they had, temporary as it may be. It was a night no one wanted to see end.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 44 (Part 1)

[2nd of January, 2741 AD; outside of the Ameci Embassy, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]


Sorin and Gale arrived outside the Ameci Embassy and caught a glimpse of the commotion inside. It had taken them several minutes to get there from where they started at, but still Sorin did not expect it to be any different. He had many questions that only Isaac Kunigunde could answer for and only so little time for him to answer. So when he and Gale entered the main hall, Sorin was met with a great surprise as several soldiers and General Fercewend crowded together in a huddle. Fercewend was barking orders at the soldiers as they then began running around the embassy with haste.

“Call an ambulance,” Fercewend said, “We’re not going to have a casualty in this embassy. Not here, not now!”

He then knelt down as Sorin proceeded to get a better look. He could not believe what he saw as Isaac Kunigunde lay on the ground in what appeared to be a puddle of his own blood. Gale hurried towards Fercewend as he looked over at her and reacted with great surprise.

“Gale?” Fercewend asked. “What in the world are you doing here?”

“We’re here because we wanted to confront Isaac,” Gale said. “But I can see that that’s not important right now. Is he doing well?”

“He’s still conscious,” Fercewend replied. “It’s a miracle, really.”

Sorin walked up to Isaac and looked down at him. “Who did this?”

“I… I’m not going to answer you,” Isaac said. “I’d rather die than surrender to you…”

“We’re not going to allow you the satisfaction of escaping with your crimes, Isaac,” Gale said. “Once we’re at the hospital, you’re going to confess to all of what you’ve done from the True Thekohnians to the Neu Thekohnian Order, as well as Foundation itself.”

“You… You would stab me?” Isaac asked. “After what I’ve done, you’d still stab me in the back?”

“It’s always been about you, hasn’t it,” Gale said. “Even now, you’re lying on the floor because your selfish ways caught up to you and yet you still think about no one but yourself.”

“Gale, please,” Fercewend said. “Isaac… he’s the victim of an unfortunate encounter with a rogue soldier. I’ll make sure the one responsible is caught and punished severely for his crime.”

“He’s not a victim at all,” Gale replied. “Can’t you see that, Rohan? Isaac is only using you. He’s been using you all this time!”

Fercewend sighed. “I can’t afford to go back now,” he said. “If I must face the consequences, then I will do so, but I’m not going to allow any disruption to the order. Not as long as I’m general.”

“That’s absurd,” Sorin said. “After all that’s happened, you still want to side with him?”

“It’s not as if I’ve got a choice,” Fercewend said. “If you want to say Isaac is guilty, then so be it. But it would also mean that I, too, am complicit.”

“That’s… That’s right,” Isaac said. “No matter what happens next, Rohan will remain loyal to me…”

“So you intend on dragging him down with you to the very end,” Gale said. “Even if that means you’ll go to jail for the rest of your life, you don’t want to be the one to suffer alone.”

“I… I’m not going to suffer,” Isaac replied. “I… My body… I will remain… on top…”

Isaac lifted up his arm, which dropped to the floor the next second. Gale held back a gasp as Fercewend checked his pulse. The sound of sirens began to grow louder as Sorin glanced out the window.

“He’s alive,” Fercewend said, “Though we’re going to need a lot of hope now.”

“Please tell me, Rohan,” Gale said. “If Isaac won’t admit it, then you’ll have to do it instead. You saw what happened to him, right?”

Fercewend stood up with his fist clenched. “That I did,” he replied. “If only I weren’t so hesitant, then maybe Isaac wouldn’t be so wounded right now. Damn my foolishness!”

Gale looked over at Isaac once again. “Who was it that shot him? You did say it was a soldier, after all.”

Before Fercewend could respond, Sorin spoke up.

“I think we already know,” Sorin said. “There’s only one person with a deep connection to Isaac, and he has the exact method to do it.”

“I know,” Gale said. “But Rohan doesn’t want to admit it.”

“It isn’t that I can’t admit it,” Fercewend said. “I don’t want to believe what I saw earlier, but that man with Private Mars… He truly walks again?”

“There’s more to Isaac’s relationship with Harold,” Gale said. “A lot that I believe he never let you in on.”

“I can’t believe it,” Fercewend said. “After all that happened to his family, I could not even begin to imagine that Private Mars would be working alongside his father all this time.”

“Korbin was never in it for Ameci, or anyone, for that matter,” Sorin said. “He only has his own desires to fulfill and I’m sure that some of them relate to what Harold wants as well.”

“And Isaac, I assume, never suspected a thing,” Gale said.

“None of us could,” Fercewend said. “Though it does make me wonder…”

“What is it?” Gale asked.

“It’s nothing,” Fercewend replied. “It appears as if the ambulance is here. Let’s go.”

“Go ahead,” Gale said. “We’ll catch up with you later.”

Fercewend nodded. “Very well.”

Sorin left with Gale as they wondered what to do next. As they stepped onto the sidewalk, they were met with Gavin, Henry, and Law who made it all the way from the new prime minister’s office. As the three looked over towards the ambulance, Sorin and Gale went over to greet them.

“There’s a lot to explain,” Sorin said.

“You’re telling me,” Gavin said. “We’ve got news for you, too.”

“Yeah, some pretty good news, in fact,” Law said. “Gale, are you ready to be wowed by what I’ve got to say?”

“Just say it already,” Gale replied.

“Geez, fine,” Law said. “I was really going to talk up Mina, but I suppose we can only really account everything after the fact.”

Law explained to Sorin and Gale about Dezine’s ousting and what Mina did to insure his removal. With Wilson Dezine gone, another member of Foundation was defeated and Isaac’s power diminished because of it. Still, Sorin felt as if that was not the only news Law had.

“What about Reiss?” Sorin asked.

“What of him?” Law asked. “He’ll be here soon enough, don’t worry.”

“I guess,” Sorin replied.

“You don’t really seem that enthusiastic,” Law said. “Man, we really came at a bad time, didn’t we?”

Everyone turned as the doors to the nearby ambulance opened up. Two paramedics rushed into the embassy with a stretcher as Sorin looked back over to the other three. Gavin, Law, and Henry remained focused as they caught sight of who was being carried out of the embassy, with Fercewend following after the paramedics as he went into the ambulance with them and Isaac.

“He isn’t actually dead, is he?” Henry asked.

Sorin shook his head. “Still stable,” he replied. “Though we’ve still got a lot we want to talk to him about.”

“As well as a lot he has to answer to,” Gale said. “And I’m sure that Queen Amelia wants to let the people know exactly what happened between her and Foundation.”

“I can’t help but feel it’d be better if he actually did die,” Gavin said. “I’m sorry, I’m still pissed off after what happened.”

“This should be good news,” Henry said. “As long as Isaac’s still alive, we’ll be able to hold him accountable for what he’s done.”

“I wonder about that,” Sorin said.

He then explained to the others about how Korbin, directed by Harold, shot Isaac. Sorin surmised that Isaac was supposed to die but Korbin messed up the shot and left with Harold in an instant before they could confirm whether or not Isaac died.

“If I had to guess, it was pressure,” Henry said. “Having that man breathing down your neck can’t be good for you, even for someone like Korbin.”

“He has been acting a lot more paranoid,” Sorin said. “It’s pretty difficult to believe that Korbin could even act that way, but it makes sense.”

“Harold’s ramping up the pressure, that’s why,” Law said. “Whatever that guy wants, no one was offering enough to him. That’s why he saw it fit to have his son attack Isaac.”

“Either way, we’d have to hurry to the hospital,” Henry said. “As long as both Rohan and Isaac are together, Isaac will continue to use him. I’m not about to let him keep doing that.”

“Rohan is set on falling with Isaac no matter what,” Gale said. “Even if he knows that Isaac’s a criminal, I can’t convince Rohan to stop what he’s doing and denounce Isaac.”

“It doesn’t mean we can’t keep trying,” Henry replied. “I’m going to keep believing in my friend even if he can no longer do so, because I know he has done the same for me. Because I know how it feels when everything seems lost.”

“Looks like we should move on, then,” Law said. “I’ll be sure to let Ayanna know where we are.”

Everyone agreed and headed in the direction of Helmut Hospital. Still, the fact that Harold and Korbin were roaming around the city remained prevalent in Sorin’s mind while he walked with his friends. The rule of Foundation seemed to be all but over, but still the lurking terror in the darkness worried Sorin. He had to wonder if Johan was getting any closer to the truth, and if it would be enough to take down the last remaining leg of Foundation.




[2nd of January, 2741 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Hall]


“Wilson Dezine’s reign is finally over,” Rain said. “I am beyond glad to hear that from you, Mina.”

It had been a long day in the castle as Rain spent most of her time speaking to the other leaders about what to do in Iiayikohn. With the news of Dezine’s fall, however, Rain was ready to turn that discussion towards one of productivity. It all began when Amelia called her earlier in the day. Ahnlikohn’s queen wanted to come forward with everything she knew about Foundation, even if it came at the cost of her own status. Rain agreed, the two settling on the next day for Amelia to inform the citizens of her country about all that had happened and what she had to do next. Still, Rain knew that this was only the first step of many and could not call it a day, not when there was much to resolve with Ameci.

“So I guess we’re just waiting for Reiss, aren’t we?” Mina asked.

“Has he not arrived? I was hoping to speak with him,” Rain said. “Tell him this when he gets to your location: it’s up to him whether or not he wants the task of leading Iiayikohn. Other than that, tell him ‘thank you’ for everything.”

“I’ll be sure to let him know,” Mina replied. “Hope to see you soon!”

“Me too, Mina, me too,” Rain said. “I’ll see you soon.”

She said her goodbyes to Mina and hung up the phone. The empty room was an odd, but welcome, sight. Everyone had gone to take a break from all of the talks, but Rain still remained inside because she was awaiting the call from Rezar. Now that the call was over, however, Rain saw little need to stay in the war room and headed out into the main hall. There, she found Kiku and Noa talking with Khadir, who started to laugh aloud. Gamal was also there, as was Rado, the two speaking with each other as Rain approached them.

“Good news, isn’t it?” Rado asked.

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Rain said. “It’s all going well, but still we’ve got one last matter of business to take care of before we can truly move forward and bring peace across the region.”

“Indeed, we’ve got Mr. Kunigunde to worry about,” Gamal said. “I wonder what he’s thinking right now with one of his closest allies ousted from power. To be honest with you, I don’t believe he sees it as much of a scratch.”

“He’d drop Dezine in an instant,” Rado said. “Then he’d claim that Dezine was never strong at all. Not worthy.”

“So, Your Majesty, what will be the next course of action?” Gamal asked. “I would think that our priority now is to go forth and confront Ameci’s officials on their actions regarding Mr. Kunigunde, but it’s all up to you.”

“We don’t have much of a clue about Casper Bradley’s whereabouts,” Rain said. “Hasker will also be difficult to reach as he’s still crossing the sea. I believe it would be best if we let the others take care of Mr. Kunigunde right now, because if we don’t, he’ll find a way to escape.”

“She is right,” Rado said.

“Then I hope we’ll find out soon,” Gamal said. “For now, I’ll keep waiting until we hear more from Rezar. I will inform you if anything interesting comes up, Your Majesty.”

“Very well,” Rain said.

“Your Majesty, are you going to just stand there and not pay some mind to our guests of the hour?” Khadir asked.

Rain looked over as Khadir cracked a smile. Kiku and Noa noticed, too, as Kiku motioned to Rain to come over. Rain decided that it was a good time to see for herself what was going on and went over to the three who were still deep in conversation.

“I was just saying to Noa here that he should really think about coming back to Maeitakohn,” Khadir said. “Not forever, obviously, but at least to see all of the sights he’s probably missing.”

“And I was saying to Khaddy that it would be a wonderful idea,” Kiku said. “But I don’t want it to be just us, you know, right Ray?”

“I suppose I do,” Rain replied.

“When this is all over, you and Minnie could join us,” Kiku said. “It’ll be just like a whole trip and everything. We’ll see all the sights in Maeitakohn and have a lot of fun! You could really use it, too!”

“I’ll certainly think about it,” Rain said.

“It would be fun,” Noa said. “Then again, what’s this whole region going to look like after this is all over? I really don’t know…”

“That’s for all of us to figure out,” Rain replied. “We’re here because we’re trying to put an end to the problems at hand. We’re closer now, but questions do remain in regards to what we’re going to do once this is all over.”

“True,” Khadir said. “This is merely the starting point once again. I’m sure with Kunigunde and Foundation both taken down, though, we’ll be able to work together towards peace once more”

“I know that we will,” Rain said. “As long as we have hope, then none of this is impossible.”

Just then, Rado approached the group and interrupted the conversation. Gamal followed behind him as Rain turned towards the two as she wondered to herself what happened now.

“You have a moment, Your Majesty,” Rado said.

“What’s going on now?” Rain asked. “Has something happened in Rezar?”

“Could say that,” Rado replied.

“We just got a call from Ayanna Ansa,” Gamal said. “She wanted to tell you that Mr. Kunigunde is in the hospital right now.”

“Does Ayanna know why he’s in there?” Rain asked.

“That I don’t know yet,” Gamal replied. “According to Miss Ansa, she heard it from Law. Seems like whatever happened to Mr. Kunigunde may turn out to be serious, though.”

“So we don’t know for sure,” Rain said.

“Isaac is a coward,” Rado said. “Whatever is the reason, he must be trying to draw sympathy.”

“Perhaps, but we should gather all the details we can first,” Rain said. “I’ll see if I can reach the hospital.”

“That’d be a good idea,” Gamal said. “Mr. Power should be there as should his brother, according to Miss Ansa.”

“If that’s the case, then I want to know, too,” Khadir said. “Hell, we might even learn a thing or two about what this son of a gun’s going to do now.”

“I feel like I ought to know as well,” Kiku said. “Since I’m next in line to lead Kikuisha, it’d be important to learn this sort of stuff so we can never have to deal with problems like this ever again. Wouldn’t you agree, Nona?”

“If it means no more wars, then I’m all for it,” Noa said.

“Come along, then,” Rain said.

Rain knew that there was much that she wanted to ask but getting answers out of Isaac himself would be a difficult task, even in his fragile state. Still, Rain could not give up. Not when Foundation’s end was nigh. The kingdom depended on Rain and her leadership, and she was not about to let an opportunity like this slip away from her. This was her chance and she had to take it.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 40 (Part 1)

[1st of January, 2741 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Hall]


Rain expected a visit from the government of Kikuisha, but she did not expect to see Kiku Izumi and her bodyguards to arrive out of nowhere. Noa also attended, which led to a brief confrontation between him and Gamal. All Rain could do was watch as the two men talked it out.

“I promise I’m not that suspicious!” Noa said. “You’ve seen me before, haven’t you?”

“Of course, we’ve met before,” Gamal replied. “I just wanted to greet you, that is all. That’s the polite way of doing things, isn’t that right?”

“But… But I heard that President Khadir would be here,” Noa said. “How am I supposed to remain calm when he’s here?”

“Nona, we’ve been through this before,” Kiku said. “It’s no different than what happened last time. You don’t need to worry because you have me at your side!”

“I know, I know, I may just be overthinking it,” Noa said. “The last time, it wasn’t even that bad… but what if he was just putting on an act just to make me feel secure so he could let me have it the next time we meet?”

“I doubt that will happen,” Ayame said. “That man doesn’t seem the type to hold a grudge, especially not against you.”

“You think so?” Noa asked. “Wait, what exactly do you mean when you say that he especially wouldn’t hold a grudge against me?”

“It means you shouldn’t worry about it,” Ayame replied. “We can keep on talking about this or we can talk to Her Majesty. Thank you for letting us in, Sir Gamal.”

“Yes, thank you,” Igor said. “It’s a pleasure to see you again.”

Gamal shook Ayame and Igor’s hands. “You’re very welcome,” he said. “Of course, President Khadir won’t be here until tomorrow morning.”

“Wait, really?” Noa asked. “I thought that he’d be here today! Then what in the world was I getting worried about?”

“See, I told you not to worry,” Kiku said as she grabbed Noa by his arm. “We don’t need to worry about the little things.”

“Yes, there are greater problems to worry about,” Rain said. “I was under the impression that Yamazaki would make her way here, though. Is something the matter?”

“There isn’t,” Ayame replied. “She will also be arriving tomorrow. Madame Izumi just insisted on coming a day early because she wanted to see you, Your Majesty.”

“Let’s not be so formal around our friends, Aya,” Kiku said. “I know how serious this is, but we can afford ourselves a little break in the work, can’t we? I certainly would like to think that we could spend a little time with Ray here; she must be so bored without Minnie around to comfort her… Speaking of which, is Minnie a jealous type?”

“Why do you ask that?” Rain asked.

“Oh, forget about it, Ray,” Kiku said. “Please forgive me for asking a trivial question.”

“I don’t think now is the time for trivial questions, madame,” Ayame said. “We’re here because Her Majesty believes we need to set out a course of action before we go about tackling this organization.”

“That’s exactly why we’re here and why we’re having Khadir as well,” Rain said. “But that isn’t all I’ve got to say. There is some good news.”

“Well, I like hearing good news,” Kiku said.

“It’s fortunate that you arrived when you did,” Gamal said. “Her Majesty’s made a breakthrough with the Ahnle royal family.”

“You did?” Kiku asked. “That’s great, Ray!”

“None of it would have happened without the help of others,” Rain said. “I must thank them for their efforts, though I can’t say that they escaped completely unscathed.”

After she spoke with Amelia, Rain received another call from Sorin. As she found out from him, Rain knew that she could not do much in the moment to go and support them after Jelka’s demise. She knew there was no reason for her to blame herself, but Rain felt like she owed it to Jelka for what she had done. That was the least Rain could do for her. But for now, Rain had to remain focused on what was ahead of her now that she had that connection with the Ahnle family once again.

“I’m so sorry,” Kiku said.

“Life is pretty unforgiving sometimes,” Noa said. “Even when something goes right, the cost can be pretty high.”

“We won’t let her death be in vain, that much I can guarantee,” Rain said. “She wanted to take down Foundation as much as the rest of us, so I’m sure she’d be encouraging us no matter what.”

The room turned silent as no one had another word to say. Rain was not sure if she should add to it or move on to the next topic at hand. Soon enough, though, Kiku had something to say.

“I know that I never knew her, but I believe so, too,” Kiku said. “I want to help in any way possible, Ray, so if there’s anything that we can do, then please let me know!”

“Madame, are you sure about this?” Igor asked. “The empress hasn’t even arrived yet, so I’m not sure we should act so outlandishly before she arrives to give her statement.”

“Oh come on, Iggy, this is important,” Kiku replied. “Mother would say the same thing too if she were here, but she isn’t, which is why I’m saying it! We need to act now before things get out of hand! Kikuisha must unite with the Kingdom of Thekohn and put a stop to Foundation!”

“How long has it been since you were this passionate, I wonder,” Ayame said. “Normally, I would agree with Igor, but sometimes we can’t just stay on the sidelines while injustice is abound.”

“Then you agree, Aya?” Kiku asked.

“I think you’re right, madame,” Ayame replied. “No, I know you’re right. I don’t want things to escalate any further than they already have. That is why we have to unite with Rain here.”

“Well, I don’t know if I can call this official, given that Yamazaki isn’t here yet,” Rain said. “Until I talk with her, I can’t exactly move forward.”

“You can,” Kiku said. “Just let me handle things with my mother. I know I will be able to convince her because she will understand the plight!”

“Consider it official, Your Majesty,” Ayame said. “She may not wield all the power, but Madame Izumi is still an important figure. After all, she is the next in line and this is a good example of the leadership that she is capable of showing in trying times like these.”

“Then all I need now is President Khadir’s help,” Rain said. “That should be easy, I believe. Thank you, Ayame. Actually, thank all of you.”

“You’re thanking me?” Noa asked. “What did I do?”

“It’s obvious, you know,” Kiku said. “You were such a help to Ray back then, she just wanted to give you a proper thanking.”

“I figure that since we have some past together, we can cooperate together and see how we can take on Foundation,” Rain said. “You wouldn’t mind lending us your insights, would you Noa?”

“You… You really think my insights are valuable?” Noa asked.

“We’ve got some good allies helping the kingdom,” Rain said. “It wouldn’t hurt to add another, especially since you’re trained in a field that none of the others have that much expertise in.”

“See, Nona?” Kiku asked. “You’re already valuable!”

“Just my luck, I guess,” Noa said. “I mean, you’re really sure about this? I’m not that much of an expert, but I suppose that I can help you out.”

“I’m asking you this because I trust you,” Rain replied. “Maybe you don’t think so, but I like to think that we can operate on that trust.”

“I understand,” Noa said. “If you believe in me, then I’ll do it. I will lend my hand to this cause, because I know you’re fighting for what’s right. Foundation is no different from the True Thekohnians and the Neu Thekohnian Order, and I’ll do what I can to help you stop them.”

“I’m glad to hear that, Noa,” Rain said.

“It’s because the way you speak your message is real,” Noa replied. “I can believe in you because of that… and I can consider you a friend because of it, as well. You, Sorin, Mina, and all the rest.”

“As do I,” Ayame said.

“Then I’ll be looking forward to working with you,” Rain said. “Right now, however, the sun has already begun to set. You’re welcome to lodge here at the castle if you want.”

“That wouldn’t be a problem, would it?” Kiku asked Ayame.

“I don’t see why not,” Ayame said.

“You could ask me too, madame,” Igor said. “Though I don’t have a problem staying here as long as you want to stay here.”

“Is it me or have you gotten better at speaking the local language, Igor?” Rain asked. “That is, if you don’t mind me asking you that question.”

Igor chuckled. “Ayame’s been on my neck about learning advanced Theias,” he replied. “So I’ve been reading and reading and reading and I feel like I’m at the point where I can grasp some of the regional phrases, though I guess I’m not at the final point yet.”

“It certainly shows,” Rain said, not bothering to correct Igor’s mistake. “Keep it up.”

“I will,” Igor replied.

“Iggy really has come a long way, hasn’t he?” Kiku asked. She then went up to Rain and whispered in her ear. “Maybe he’ll finally be able to ask Aya out after this is all over…”

“Oh my,” Rain said.

“Madame, what did you just say to her?” Igor asked.

“You don’t need to worry,” Kiku replied. “It’s just a little exchange between a queen and the empress’ daughter. Pay no mind.”

“Whatever it was, it sure managed to leave an impression on Rain,” Noa said. “Well, maybe I shouldn’t ask…”

“I wonder what she said,” Ayame said. “Though I would guess that it most likely doesn’t matter at this point.”

Rain felt no need to comment any further. She had already attained full support from Kikuisha thanks to Kiku. She thanked the four, as did Gamal, with them accepting the thanks as they then went upstairs. Everything was beginning to move in the right direction, Rain thought. However, as she wondered what to do now,  Rain noticed Ayanna walking towards her with a concerned look on her face. Something had to have happened.

“Rain, I have some urgent news,” Ayanna said.

“What is it?” Rain asked.

“I just received a call from Gavin,” Ayanna replied. “Looks like Dezine just placed Drake Rask under arrest. Foundation is acting quickly.”

“They’re moving fast,” Rain said.

“What’s our plan, Your Majesty?” Gamal asked.

“Well, I’m wondering about Mina first,” Rain replied. “I think it’s important that she knows what’s happening right now.”

“They’re staying at that hotel,” Gamal said. “Do you want to call them right away?”

“Before you do so, Rain, I’ve got more news,” Ayanna said. “Gavin said that he heard from one of the officers that Dezine’s has begun lockdown in Iiayikohn. No one can enter or leave the country, even if they are of Iiayi descent.”

“So to protect Isaac Kunigunde, he’ll take drastic measures,” Gamal said. “I have to say that this Wilson Dezine has some dedication to his cause, twisted as it may be.”

“Measures that are against Thekohnian conventions,” Rain said. “There is no way he can get away with closing off Iiayikohn to the rest of the region. We’ll make sure of that.”

“It will be a matter of time before people realize,” Ayanna said. “Travelling between Iiayikohn and Ahnlikohn is popular, and for those stuck in between, the change will be noticed. Absolutely no one will stand for it.”

“No, of course not,” Rain said. “We established this after the War of the Lands ended. Dezine’s sudden actions will be felt immediately.”

“If you ask me, I have my doubts that this is to protect Isaac Kunigunde,” Ayanna said. “Regardless, we must act now.”

“Then let’s go,” Rain said.

Ayanna had a point. Why would Dezine do something against Thekohnian convention in order to protect Isaac? Rain had to think about it, but for now, she needed to reach out to Mina and the others in Ahnlikohn.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 33 (Part 1)

[31st of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Main Hall]


Eva was a step too late as Sorin and the others had already left. She knew they were leaving in the morning, but Eva had slept in for a few minutes too late until she realized what was happening. Disappointed, she went downstairs to see Mina and Rain speaking with Sosimo. Eva could recognize that distinct grin from anywhere as she hurried over to the three.

“And look who’s here,” Sosimo said.

“You’ve got some nerve showing up here,” Eva said. “The last I saw of you, it was when the Swords of Eight disbanded.”

Sosimo laughed. “My bad,” he replied. “It’s been quite too long of a time, now hasn’t it?”

“It’s been too long, yes,” Eva said.

“Sorry about that,” Sosimo said. “Really, I mean that. I heard about Alan and Kirk’s passing, but I’d been so wrapped up in my work that I couldn’t just drop it.”

“The only thing that matters now is that you’re here,” Rain said. “Eva, I can understand your frustrations, but it’s good that we’ve received more help.”

“I’m not frustrated,” Eva replied. “I just want an explanation.”

“And you’ll get one, of course,” Sosimo said. “It’s my fault for not contacting any of you sooner and for that, I apologize. Had I had the foresight, I’d have taken my break a long time ago.”

“Just what do you do anyway, Mr. Hudde?” Mina wondered.

“Glad you asked, Miss Mina,” Sosimo replied. “See, I’ve been using the last few years in my ‘retirement’ to figure out what it was that I could do. You know, all that wandering the world and whatnot.”

“Gale did briefly mention that,” Rain said. “You were struggling for a few years before you found success as an inventor.”

“No, no, no, it’s not like that,” Sosimo said. “You make it sound like I’ve got this big brain when really I’m the guy that helps make people’s dreams happen. I don’t even bother asking for much money, but people in Kikuisha really liked the advancements my pals made to their homes.”

“So what exactly did you do?” Eva asked.

“Simple quality of life things, you know,” Sosimo answered. “Eva, if you’d been there, you would see one of the greatest wonders of the world: Mikahana Casino and Recreational Resort!”

“You’re in luck,” Eva said. “I’ve been there myself.”

“I totally understand,” Sosimo replied. “So then you saw for yourself those wonders that brought so many people joy.”

“Certainly the empress’ daughter felt that way,” Eva said.

“But that’s not all you’ve done, is it?” Rain asked.

“Guess you got me, Your Majesty,” Sosimo said. “It was only when Gale was able to reach out to me that I realized where we could go next in this world. The moment I heard her idea, I knew I had to help make Gale’s dream a reality.”

“So you came all this way,” Eva said. “I knew you had something to do, but I didn’t expect you’d actually show yourself.”

“Well, when it comes to making the world a better place, I couldn’t say no,” Sosimo replied. “If it all goes as Gale expects, then we’ll be entering a new era of prosperity like the ones written in all those old books.”

“That’s why you’re helping, then,” Eva said.

Sosimo sighed. “It was devastating to hear what happened to my brothers, but I know that Kirk’s boy is out there doing what’s right,” he said. “He certainly did choose a good bunch of people to travel with, that’s for sure. If it weren’t for my body’s age, I’d be happy to pick up a sword and fight along with them, but all I really can do is show my support like a fan at a baseball game.”

“It’s no game,” Eva said, “And I’m not going to sit this one out. As long as I am able to do so, then I will keep fighting.”

“You’re sure about this?” Rain asked.

“It is a tough battle, no doubt about that,” Sosimo said. “But Eva says she’s made her decision, so who am I to stop her?”

“And you shouldn’t just sit around doing nothing, either,” Eva replied. “This is just as much about you as it is anybody else.”

“That’s right!” Mina said. “We’re doing this for every person who lacks the power to defend themselves, those who have been hurt by injustice and villainy, and everybody else, not because we’re supposed to do it, but because we know that that’s just the right thing to do!”

“Sorin and the others may have gone on ahead already, but that doesn’t mean we have to stay at home waiting to hear back from them,” Eva said. “Mina’s right: we are helping people who have had to deal with the pain of losing a loved one, those who have been devastated by tragedy, because that’s what the Swords of Eight have always fought for.”

“Indeed, that’s something we did in the past,” Sosimo said.

“When I found out that Kirk had died, I felt like there was no way out,” Eva said. “But there was always that one bit of hope out there, even when I felt like it was the end. Even so, I felt despondent.”

Eva looked down at the floor and took a deep breath. It had repeated in her mind over and over how she would keep fighting for Kirk, but now she felt as if she had made it official. With an exhale, Eva looked up at everyone again.

“I won’t forget him,” Eva said. “Not that I even wanted to, but this pain is still here because of what happened. No matter what, there’s no changing what has already taken place, but I can be a part to help establish a better future, and I know that Kirk would have agreed.”

“Yeah, he would,” Sosimo said. “Of course, I never said I wouldn’t help you out. I’m ready to do what I can to make sure everything goes well.”

“That’s greatly appreciated,” Rain said.

“Now I can’t help you directly, Your Majesty, but I can offer a bit of info that will be useful to you,” Sosimo said. “When I was in Ahnlikohn, I overheard from a couple of people that there was to be an announcement from the prince. Can’t say what he’s going to talk about, but it must be quite important for the young man to open his mouth, don’t you think?”

“That does interest me,” Rain replied. “Perhaps it would be wise to find out what he’s going to talk about.”

“Lucky for you, I mentioned it to Gale and Sorin before they left,” Sosimo said. “I even suggested that they call you before they headed over to meet with the Ahnle family.”

“They’re heading to try and meet with the royal family?” Mina asked. “But isn’t that dangerous?”

“For Sorin, yes,” Rain answered. “However, this may be the work of Johan we’re talking about.”

“So they’re heading with Johan,” Eva said. “If we move, then we’ll be able to catch up with them.”

Mina looked to Eva. “When you say ‘we,’ are you referring to me and Rain as well?”

“Who else would I be talking about?” Eva asked. “Of course I mean the two of you. It would be better to go in a group than for us to go alone.”

“But Rain can’t really go with you because she’s got a lot to do right here!” Mina replied. “And… I don’t really think I can leave, either…”

“Mina, it’s fine,” Rain said. “You want to get out there and help our friends. I understand that and am absolutely fine with it. I don’t want you to think you can’t do anything because of me.”

“If that’s the case, then I guess it really can’t be helped,” Eva said. “I know that with you, Mina, I can trust that you’ll be able to fight with every bit of your being.”

“If you say so,” Mina said. She closed her eyes and nodded her head, then shot her eyes open and pumped her fists. “Okay! Now I’m ready to go! As long as it’s okay with you, then we can go any time!”

“Then it’s all set,” Rain said.

“I’m always happy when we’re able to make a little progress,” Sosimo said. “As for me, there are a couple of things I’d like to talk to you about if that’s okay with you, Your Majesty.”

“I’ve got some time,” Rain replied. “Of course, I did want to talk to Ayanna and Reiss before contacting the Kikuishan officials. You don’t mind walking with me along the way, do you, Mr. Hudde?”

Sosimo clapped his hands together. “I’m just glad you got the time,” he said. “Last time someone said they had the time, their time was not all that much. But I know you want to explore any and all peaceful options here, so I don’t mind it at all one bit.”

“Glad to see you understand,” Rain said. She then turned to Mina. “If you happen to need any help, Mina, please let me know.”

“Of course!” Mina replied.

“It would be helpful, but I think we still have the advantage regardless,” Eva said. “That said, we shouldn’t waste any more time. Let’s go.”

“You’re ready?” Mina asked. “I mean, yeah, you’re ready! I’m ready to go as well, so we’ll see you really soon once we’re done, Rain!”

“It’s okay,” Rain said. “I know what you want, so come here.”

Eva watched as Mina wasted no time and embraced Rain, with the queen reciprocating the favor as the two spent a few moments close to one another. As it came to an end, Mina looked at Rain and smiled before turning back to Eva and leaving out of the front door. With that out of the way, Eva and Mina were ready to catch up to Sorin’s group before it got too late.




[31st of December, 2740 AD; on the road to Iiayikohn, entering Ahnlikohn on the way to Helm]


It had been nearly an hour as the car several distances behind Gavin, Law, and Henry continued to remain in sight. Gavin had originally paid it no mind, but was now concerned as he began to wonder what to do next.

“What say to you that we pull over to the side and see what the hell we’re dealing with here,” Gavin said to Henry. “It’s already been long enough for us to try and see if they’d just go away, but they’re following us for sure now.”

“I know that,” Henry said. “Something tells me they’re from Foundation but we have no way of knowing if that’s true or not.”

“I’d say it’s a pretty good hunch,” Law said. “How about turning on the road towards Helm over there and see if they’ll follow?”

“We have been on the straight road for a while now,” Gavin replied.

“I suppose we’ve got no other choice,” Henry said. “Okay, I’ll make a quick turn and if they’re still following us, we’ll do something about it.”

At the next split in the road, Henry turned the car to the right. As expected, the car behind them did the same and continued to keep a considerable distance away from the three.

“Looks like there’s a good chance that that hunch may be right,” Gavin said. “So what’s this ‘something’ that you want to do now, Henry?”

“One second,” Henry said as he eyed over to the right side of the road. “I’m going to make a stop here; I think we ought to find out for ourselves whether or not we’re dealing with the enemy here.”

Gavin watched as Henry took the car over to the side of the road, letting the car slow down in the process. Henry got the car to a complete stop and turned it off while the other car pulled over a few meters behind them and stopped. Once the three men got out of the car, Gavin eyed over in the distance a large building that appeared to be abandoned. However, that lost his interest as he looked back over to the other car as the doors opened. Gavin looked on in shock and watched as the people who stepped out of the car turned out to be current Ameci president Casper Bradley and two of his guards.

“President Bradley?” Henry asked. “What… What the hell are you doing out here?”

“I could ask you the exact same thing, Mr. Randolph,” Casper said. “Did you honestly think we wouldn’t have noticed the stunt you were trying to pull? It’s all because I’ve got good connections thanks to some valuable allies.”

“We know,” Law said. “Do you think you can skip past the gloating and get to why you’re here already?”

Casper scoffed. “Fine, I may as well,” he replied. “I’ve decided to follow you on my volition, but of course I’m not stupid. I made sure to bring along a little extra help in case I had to get my hands dirty.”

“I’m going to guess that Isaac tipped you off somehow,” Henry said. “And to do that, he had to have some sort of inside information.”

“You’re right that it was Isaac who told me about what you were going to do, but you truly underestimate the man’s genius,” Casper said. “Of course, the fact is that once all the impossible options were eliminated, the only option that remained was the one where you defected to help Rain Zano Thedam.”

“What’s it to you?” Gavin asked. “All Isaac Kunigunde is is a criminal in a suit and tie. If working for a government where Isaac thrives is impossible, then of course Henry Randolph would choose the other option!”

“You’re speaking like Her Majesty is the one who committed a sin,” Henry said to Casper. “I don’t need to see much to realize that anything Isaac says can’t be trusted.”

“So you’d rather throw your second chance away,” Casper replied. “All that Ameci has done to help you and this is how you repay us?”

“I’ve done my part,” Henry said. “You and Isaac, however, are not men who are worthy of honor. Anyone who would seek chaos in hopes of benefiting from said chaos deserves no respect.”

“Isaac’s a businessman,” Casper said. “Is it so wrong to desire more? Is it wrong to want power and wealth? You have dreams in politics, do you not?”

“That I do,” Henry answered, “But if you think for a second that I believe in working over the less fortunate in order to advance my own career, then you’re one hundred percent wrong, President Bradley.”

“That’s your response, then?” Casper asked.

“Do you honestly think that Henry would sell his soul?” Law asked. “Nah, it doesn’t get any easier to spot evil staring you right in the eyes.”

Casper chuckled as he reached to his waist. “I guess there’s no use holding back,” he said, looking back to his guards. “You two know what to do, don’t you? Take them out, right now.”

“Move, damn it!” Gavin exclaimed.

Gavin alerted both Henry and Law, leading the two men away from Casper and his cronies. Henry then made a subtle nod to Gavin as the three scattered out and headed for the abandoned building. But Casper did not give up the chase as he and the two guards made their way after them. It would prove to be a tough task, but Gavin knew that he, Law, and Henry had to deal with one of the main members of Foundation sooner or later.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 31 (Part 1)

[30th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Hall]


As the sun went down outside the castle walls, Rain waited in the main hall with Mina and the others. It had been some time since Sorin had left the castle to look for Eva and Rain began to wonder what sort of news she would hear next. But even as she pondered about the endless possibilities, the west doors opened. Gavin and Law looked as Sorin entered the castle with Eva next to him. Everyone rushed over to greet the two, with Mina giving Eva the warmest welcome of all as she fully embraced the swordswoman and held her head near her chest.

“I’m so glad to see you, Eva,” Mina said.

“I’m… I’m glad to see you, too, Mina,” Eva replied. “You don’t have to hug me so hard.”

“Oh, sorry about that,” Mina said as she lifted her arms off of Eva. “I guess I was getting a little too excited to see you, you know…”

“It’s fine,” Eva said. She then looked to Sorin. “Did you say anything to them about what happened?”

Sorin shook his head. “I didn’t tell them anything,” he replied. “They were just worried about you, that’s all.”

“It’s good to have you here with us,” Rain said to Eva.

“Come on, Rain, don’t you see she’s tired?” Law said. “Clearly, Eva’s been through a lot and needs time to rest up.”

“Thank you for your concern, everyone,” Eva replied. “However, I’m not that tired right now, though I could use some relaxation.”

“Of course,” Rain said. “You have everything you could need here and I’m sure that someone would be glad to help you out.”

“So what are you thinking?” Law asked. “Maybe a long bath or something in that nature?”

“Give me a break, Lawrence,” Gavin said. “You’re really going to try and make some quip like that at a time like this?”

“Sheesh, give more credit than that,” Law said. “Who doesn’t enjoy a little relaxation and the chance to wash off the day’s endeavors? Eva, please, feel free to take as long as you want up there.”

“I suppose I can do that,” Eva said.

“I can go with you,” Mina said. “You know, just in case you don’t remember where the bath is.”

“I think I’ll be fine,” Eva replied. “I go upstairs, down the hall and to the left and enter the second door. Am I correct?”

“That’s right,” Rain said. “Please don’t hesitate if something’s the matter, Eva. We’re always here for you.”

“Okay,” Eva said. “Thank you, Rain.”

Nothing more needed to be said as Eva went upstairs. Everybody chose to remain in the main hall as Rain decided on what to do now. She had spoken with Khadir a few minutes before Sorin and Eva returned, guaranteeing a meeting with the Maeitakohnian president in two days. There were still many calls that Rain knew she needed to make, but she was one step closer to her plan. The next step would be to reach out to the other leaders, Rain thought. Still, Eva remained on everyone’s minds as Gavin looked over at Rain.

“So what do you think?” Gavin asked.

“I’d say it’s up to her,” Rain answered. “No reason for any of us to pressure her into rushing forth.”

“Well, it would make sense to leave it up to Eva,” Law said, “But she’s got a lot of unfinished business.”

“As do the rest of us,” Gavin said. “If she says she’s ready, then so be it, but I can’t say for certain that it’d be a completely good thing for Eva to fight if she isn’t up to it.”

“You can’t say for certain?” Law asked. “Come on, bro, we both know that that kind of uncertainty just isn’t your style.”

“I just don’t want anything bad to happen,” Gavin replied. “We all know exactly what she was trying to do not even two hours ago, and it’s only because Sorin arrived at the right time that she didn’t go through with it.”

“Actually, that’s not exactly what happened,” Sorin said.

Mina looked at Gavin. “Why are you wondering if Eva can still hold herself up? She’s been at this longer than any of us have! If she wants to keep fighting on, then let her!”

Gavin sighed. “I guess I’m the only one in this room that thinks this, aren’t I? Well, fine then, I won’t fight it.”

“There’s nothing to fight here,” Sorin said. “We’re all looking out for each other, that’s all.”

“You’re not wrong to have some concerns,” Rain said to Gavin. “We’re all trying to move forward in the best way.”

“Thanks for that, but I think I’m going to go and see what’s happening with Henry Randolph,” Gavin said. “He says that he’s supposed to have something vital for us. Let’s go, Lawrence!”

Law shrugged as Gavin motioned to him to move along. “There’s no choice here, it seems,” he said. “Well, I guess I can leave you three to take care of Eva for the time being.”

Law ran after Gavin as Rain could only have faith in their abilities, as well as have faith in Henry’s information. The scene in the main hall was much more quiet than before, though Mina was already headed towards the stairs while Rain watched her go up.

“I’m going to go check up on Eva,” Mina said. “I mean, she says she’s okay, but I wanna see how she’s doing anyway!”

“Very well,” Rain said. “Sorin, what are you going to do now?”

“I don’t know,” Sorin said. “What’s your plan right now?”

“That’s something I’m still working on,” Rain answered. “I’ve already set up the necessary meeting, but I have to reach out to the other leaders. Plus, there’s the fact that we have to deal with Dezine, and I don’t know if the other leaders besides Khadir are willing to go up against him.”

“What about Kiku?” Sorin asked. “Didn’t she say she would try to convince her mother into allying with you?”

“She did mention that, but I’ve heard nothing from Yamazaki herself,” Rain said. “I am planning on reaching out to her, though Kikuisha has historically been a country that prefers to stay out of conflicts.”

“Is that so,” Sorin said.

“Regardless, there’s no reason for me not to try,” Rain said.

It was then that Rain noticed Gamal running towards her. She turned as Gamal stopped before her and bowed his head.

“Is something wrong?” Rain asked

“Excuse me, Your Majesty,” Gamal said. “It appears that we have a visitor from Ameci. A very important visitor, to be precise.”

Rain could only think of a couple of people that fit that description. No way could it have been Isaac, nor could it have been President Bradley. She could see no reason for either man to enter the kingdom, not during this time.

“You’re sure about this, Sir Gamal?” Rain asked.

“Yes, there’s no mistaking it,” Gamal replied. “General Fercewend himself is headed towards the castle as we speak.”

“Thank you,” Rain said.

“So you are comfortable with meeting him, Your Majesty?” Gamal asked.

“I was wondering if I would meet an Ameci official, which makes it all the more important that we welcome General Fercewend,” Rain replied. “If he is willing to speak with us, then I will meet with him.”

“Understood,” Gamal said. “I’ll be sure to let the guards know.”

Gamal hurried off to the front doors as Rain looked to Sorin. With a sudden turn of events, she knew that she had one chance to speak with the general. That meant Rain had to make this meeting count. If there was any chance of changing everything for the better, then Rain had to hear what General Fercewend had to say and move from there. Then again, she needed to know why the general would make this visit in the first place. Finding that out was important.

“Sorin, it may be good for you to join me here,” Rain said. “You don’t mind attending this discussion, do you?”

“Is it just the general himself that’s visiting?” Sorin asked.

“We’ll have to find out,” Rain said. “But I don’t think he’ll do anything that will cause an incident. Not as long as he’s the face of the Ameci military.”

“We should call on Henry as well,” Sorin said. “Maybe he’d want to see the general.”

“There’s no time to do that,” Rain answered. “We could ask Henry to join us if this meeting were planned in advance, but as it is, he’s busy right now.”

“Oh, right,” Sorin replied. “I guess I forgot about that.”

“I’m sure Henry would like to say a lot to the general if he were here,” Rain said. “However, there’s much I’d like to talk to him about and I don’t know how much time I’m going to get with him in order to do that.”

“Still, it’s surprising he’d make his way over here,” Sorin said. “I don’t get it at all.”

“That’s what we’re going to find out,” Rain said. “We’ll see if this is General Fercewend wanting to speak with us or if this is just another set-up by Isaac and Foundation.”

“We can never be too careful,” Sorin said.

“Indeed, we’ll have to see for ourselves,” Rain replied. “Of course, we’ll be able to see for certain once he arrives.”




After a few minutes had passed, Rain and Sorin watched the front doors open up. Gamal entered the main hall and led General Fercewend inside. The general himself was accompanied by two high-ranking Ameci soldiers as they made their way up to Rain. She reached out her hand to Fercewend, who did the same as the two shared a handshake.

“I’m glad that you’re able to meet with me after sundown,” Fercewend said. “I’ve got much to discuss with you in only a small amount of time, so I’m afraid that there’s no need for us to hold any sort of extensive meeting.”

“I understand,” Rain replied. “You’ve arrived for an important reason, so I will let you go ahead and let you speak your piece, general.”

“Well, first, I do have a question for him,” Fercewend said as he looked at Sorin. “Right now, Ahnlikohn is in quite a precarious position as we continue to speak. I would like to know for myself the answer as to why Chancellor Harring had to be killed.”

“I didn’t kill him,” Sorin replied, “And honestly, I don’t care whether or not you think I’m telling the truth.”

“Don’t you believe that there’s much more to the chancellor’s assassination than what you may have heard?” Rain asked Fercewend. “Why do you think that Sorin here had a hand in his death? What do you think that he stands to gain out of this?”

Fercewend shook his head. “I’ve heard a lot, Your Majesty,” he answered. “I have every reason to believe that Sorin Wilk assassinated Chancellor Harring, yet all the same doubt lingers in my mind that he would carry out such an act. That is, unless, there was another connection that you yourself may be unaware of at this time. Tell me, Your Majesty, are you familiar with the Moonlit Silence and its people?”

“I’ve heard a lot about them, sure,” Rain said.

“Then you realize what they are trying to do in the Thekohnian Region,” Fercewend said. “I understand the desire to bring about peace throughout the lands, but you must also be careful as to not inspire chaos. Otherwise, we will have many more incidents like the one in Glora.”

“You’re wrong,” Sorin said. “That was due to the Ameci military that Glora suffered a devastating attack. Rain did nothing to suggest that.”

“I want you to keep in mind the position that you’re in as well, Sorin Wilk,” Fercewend said. “While it is out of my reach to do so, I am able to file the papers necessary for your arrest if I so choose. So I would request you to kindly consider the value of silence in this discussion.”

“General, what is it that you wish to speak to me about?” Rain asked. “We don’t want to waste any more time here.”

“I’ve come with a compromise,” Fercewend said. “It is a simple one, but all the same it is a compromise for you to mull over for the next few days.”

“Tell me,” Rain said.

Fercewend peered at his pocket watch. “Call off the summit entirely,” he said. “We’ve already seen what has happened during the first few days, as it has done nothing but disrupted the order that we’ve worked hard to maintain in the Thekohnian Region over the years.”

“I’m afraid that’s not an option, general,” Rain replied. “I’m not about to give up on bringing everyone together and I’m quite surprised to hear that you would rather accept doing nothing over trying to make this world better.”

“Please, Your Majesty, it would be for the best,” Fercewend said. “President Bradley has stated to me multiple times that these meetings have done little to quell the ongoing unrest and terrorism that plagues this region.”

“And I’m sure he and Dezine have better solutions?” Rain asked. “I’m sorry, but I find it difficult to believe in these circumstances that they would have some sort of solution.”

“Well, if you want their opinions, then you can ask them” Fercewend said. “Right now, it appears that Hasker is on the mend and should be well enough to travel within the next week. You can ask him, too, once this is all said and done and we don’t have to worry about summits or meetings or trying to change the order that has already been set in place for us.”

“With all due respect, General Fercewend, it seems to me that you fail to understand why these summits are necessary,” Rain replied. “I’m not going to stop in my pursuit to make this world better, nor will anybody else that is on the kingdom’s side. I’d kindly suggest that you speak to whoever it was that told you to come over and tell them that we won’t be backing down.”

Fercewend turned towards the door. “If that’s the case, then it can’t be helped,” he said. “You truly intend to drive this entire region down a path of uncertainty, aren’t you?”

“What about you?” Rain asked. “Will you answer for the crimes of your soldiers or are you going to continue to look the other way?”

“I believe we’re finished here, Your Majesty,” Fercewend said. “I wish you nothing but good luck moving forward, because you are going to need a lot of it in the coming days. Unless you’re to change your mind and compromise, you should consider this the last meeting between Ameci and the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn. Farewell.”

Rain let Fercewend walk away with his soldiers as she knew there was no changing his mind now. Not as long as Isaac continued to remain involved with the Ameci government. All Rain could do now was to continue reaching out to the other leaders and move forward without the help of Ameci’s officials. But first, Rain wanted to see if Eva was doing well and if Mina was still checking in on her. However, Sorin had one more question for Rain.

“So that’s it, then?” Sorin asked. “What was the point of Fercewend’s visit if that was all he was going to say to you?”

“He’s being put to task by Foundation,” Rain said. “As long as Isaac has his foot on the pedal, he’ll drive Ameci towards his own wicked goals.”

“I know,” Sorin said. “The fact that he just ignores the actions of Korbin and his group seriously frustrates me.”

“I know it does, but we have plenty more work to do,” Rain said. “However, there’s something I need to do right now. You don’t mind waiting for a bit longer, do you Sorin?”

“I don’t mind at all,” Sorin replied. “In fact, I really should check up and see if Johan’s still around…”

“You do that, then,” Rain said. “I will be back soon.”


To be continued…


Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 30 (Part 1)

[30th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Library]

Sorin turned away from the fireplace. All his hope meant nothing now that the news was confirmed: his father was found dead at the bottom of the cliffs of Ahnle Peak. There was nothing that Sorin could do about it as he tried his best to keep himself focused. Henry had been the one to deliver the awful news one day after the group made it back to the kingdom. Since then, the group remained at the castle as Rain tried to deal with the Ahnle family with little to no result for her troubles. Sorin recalled what Henry said to him after delivering the news of his father’s demise, as he noticed the obvious attempts by Henry to hold back his sadness over the loss.

I’m so sorry,” Henry said. “I don’t think that you will want to hear about the condition we found him in, but I’ll say this: there was nothing the doctors could do to save him, even with their best efforts.

Sorin could not find it in himself to say much except for one thing. “Thank you, Henry,” he said. “Really, thank you.

All that can be done now is to hold a funeral for him and hope for him to find his peace,” Henry said. “Though it’ll be tough, Kirk deserves that much from all of us here. I just wish that there was more I could have done to help him… Damn it all, if only I didn’t hold back and went with him to Glora, then none of this would have happened!

There’s a lot I wish I could’ve done, too,” Sorin replied. “But I’m not sure that any of us would’ve stood a chance against Harold that night. Even Rysol was left severely injured after his encounter…

Henry sighed. “Perhaps you’re right,” he said. “I’m just trying to handle this as best I can. Kirk’s my friend, which is why I’ll never forgive Harold for what he did to him, nor will I ever forgive Isaac.

The two men responsible for Kirk’s death continued to hold their presence over the entire Thekohnian Region, the royal kingdom still the main focus in all of the conflict. As long as Isaac remained involved with Ameci’s policies, Sorin knew that there was no way to avoid the oncoming battles ahead. He had to wonder if this was the only way, but given what took place a few nights prior, the Ameci military would continue to be an opponent. Sorin could tell as much when he asked Henry about it, which was enough to tell him that negotiations would be difficult to pull off.

“You’re still in here?” Gavin asked.

Sorin looked to the library entrance. Gavin entered the room alone and approached Sorin. They did not share too much with each other since the escape from the Lead Campground, but Sorin was glad to see Gavin regardless.

“I’m sorry,” Sorin said. “It’s been a rough couple of days.”

Gavin looked to the side as he pushed up his sunglasses. “I don’t fault you for continuing to mourn,” he said. “What happened was devastating and it’s easy to see how low morale has been since that day. Hell, it’s only going to get worse with Foundation preparing their next attack.”

“Yeah, they’re not going to give up,” Sorin replied. “I know we shouldn’t give up, either, but it’s… it’s really hard to keep going with a brave face when the losses are personal.”

“I would imagine that Rain thought the same thing,” Gavin said. “Quite a few of us have that in common. I suppose in a way, our losses are what brings us all together around here. That’s why you can’t run away just yet.”

“Giving up is not an option for me, especially not now,” Sorin said. “I can’t afford to lose now, which is why I’ll keep fighting.”

“I never expected you to give up,” Gavin replied. “I know that you’ll keep going no matter what. Who I’m really concerned about, though, is Eva.”

“Have you seen her today?” Sorin asked.

“That’s what I wanted to know,” Gavin said. He sighed and shook his head. “She’s not unfamiliar with loss, but ever since we got back to the castle that night, Eva has become much more distant.”

Sorin could understand why. His father was important to Eva, which only made her more distant ever since finding out the news for herself. Sorin wanted to help, but found it difficult to process as well. He was not sure what he could even say to Eva, considering she was the one who had done so much for him in the first place. What Sorin was sure of, however, was that he knew Eva had to be dealing with an unrelenting pain that did not go away easily.

“I noticed,” Sorin replied.

“Lawrence can read people better than I can, but even I can see the kind of agony that’s wrapped around Eva,” Gavin said. “You should seek her out and just talk to her, I guess.”

“I’ll try to do that,” Sorin said.

“We wouldn’t be so worried if it weren’t for that piece of shit,” Gavin said. “I’ll let you know this one, Sorin: we’re going to look deeper into Harold Mars and figure out how we can put that info to good use.”

“How are you going to do that?” Sorin asked. “It’s not like we can gain any of those records easily, especially considering the fact that we don’t know much about him.”

“Don’t worry about that one,” Gavin replied. “Henry and I are going to take care of gathering information; if we’re persistent enough, then we will be able to find a definitive connection between Harold and Isaac. Something that will surely take them both down.”

“Let’s hope so,” Sorin said. “I guess I should just go now…”

“Kirk didn’t give up,” Gavin said. “Even down to his final breath, that man kept fighting for a better world. The injuries say as much: your father did not go until his body could give no more.”

“I know.”

“I know you understand,” Gavin said. “But sometimes even I doubt our chances of winning… That’s why it’s important to say this so we don’t give in to apathy and despair.”

“And we can still win,” Sorin said. “I know if my father were here, there’d be no way he’d ever allow us to give in after our encounter with Harold.”

“Then you should know what to do,” Gavin said.

“Thank you,” Sorin said.

Sorin could not deny that truth as he left the library. He knew that he had to keep on no matter what stood in the way. However, Sorin also knew that it was necessary to keep everyone on the same path to victory and had to do his part in order to keep everyone’s spirits up, even after a devastating loss. Even with the pain still strong, Sorin had to keep pursuing peace. But first he had to find Eva and speak with her.


[30th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Rio Grove]

Mina crossed her arms as she tried to stay warm. She had to do more, Mina thought to herself. It had been too long for her since she had gotten involved and far too long since she exhibited what a hero was. And in this time of need, Mina had to help more than ever. To do that, she had to get out there and contribute once more in order to protect not just the people of the Thekohnian Region, but the people of the Ameci Region as well. Training would be different in the cold and snow, but Mina had to press on if she had to live up to the title she had set for herself long ago. But even so, Mina could not forget the one person that had been with her most of her life.

“I wonder how my uncle is doing in all of this,” she said. “I wish I could see him and my mother, too, but I don’t know if that’s possible right now…”

It was all the more reason for Mina to get back into the fight and help her friends. Everyone important to her was not only counting on her, she thought, but they were also doing their part to protect the Thekohnian Region. Mina knew that she had a goal in mind and she would do whatever she could to make sure that goal became a reality. As she trained, however, Mina noticed Eva walking off in the distance. She stopped what she was doing and hurried over as fast as she could to Eva and greeted her.

“Hi Eva,” Mina said. “How are you?”

Eva paused for a moment before turning away. “Good,” she replied. “I just wanted to take a walk…”

“Do you want me to go with you?” Mina asked. “It’s pretty cold even with a coat on.”

“No, it’s fine,” Eva said. “Just keep focusing on your training… Please don’t worry about me.”

Mina tilted her head a bit to the left. “Where are you going?”

“It’s none of your concern,” Eva said.

She started to walk away as Mina followed her. However, Eva spun around and put out her hand palm first. Mina stopped as Eva looked away.

“Don’t follow me,” Eva said.

“But why?” Mina asked.

“I already told you,” Eva replied. “It’s none of your concern. Please leave me alone, Mina. I mean it.”

“I just want to help,” Mina said. “I can’t even begin to imagine how much pain you’re in, but I want to do everything I can to help! To ignore that cry for help is something that I just can’t do, Eva!”

Eva said nothing and instead chose to turn back around and continue on with her walk. It was a conflicting feeling in Mina’s heart as she wondered to herself whether or not to keep following after Eva. The sorrow was obvious and Mina only wanted to help Eva during the down time. Mina was fortunate enough to not have to deal with losing someone close to her, and that was something she hoped she would never have to experience, but she knew all too well her friends losing those closest to them. It was not too long that Rain had lost her younger brother and Mina was there to help console her lover through the grieving. But now, with everything moving onward, Mina felt like she needed to be there again for yet another friend in pain.

“What can I do now?” Mina asked. “I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t want to leave Eva alone, but it doesn’t seem like she wants my help…”

“There you are,” Ayanna said.

Mina looked behind her and saw Ayanna and Law. In almost any other circumstances, Mina would be delighted to see the two. This time, however, was much different.

“Oh, hi guys,” Mina said.

“So we didn’t miss anything, did we?” Law asked. “Because it looks like you were talking pretty deeply with Eva just a minute ago.”

“You saw that?” Mina asked. “I guess you guys heard me talking out loud again…”

“She’s still grieving,” Ayanna said. “There’s no doubt that out of all of us here, Eva is the one person who would be shaken up the most right now by the news of Kirk’s death.”

“Well, her and Sorin,” Law said, “Though he seems much more determined to fight on than ever before.”

“I just wish I could do something about it,” Mina said, “But no matter what I do, Eva just keeps pushing me away.”

Ayanna sighed. “Yes, she’s been more distant than ever,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve even seen her around the castle since that night, so I’m a little surprised to see her walking by herself.”

“Well, I know she had been in one of the guest rooms,” Mina said. “I usually went to the door to see if she wanted to eat, but she didn’t answer me.”

“So Eva hasn’t left that guest room, hasn’t eaten, and now just went off on her own and told you not to follow after her,” Law said to Mina. “I’ll go and see if I can catch up to her while you go and check out her room.”

“Are you going with him, Ayanna?” Mina asked.

“I think in this situation, Law should go by himself,” Ayanna replied. “It’d probably not be a good idea for us both to find Eva while she’s in this state. I’ll go and focus on talking to Rain instead.”

Mina nodded. “Okay!”

The three went on as Mina could not shake the thoughts from her mind. All she could do now was do what Law suggested. Mina was not sure what she was supposed to do once she got to Eva’s room, but Mina knew that Law had some sort of idea regarding Eva. All Mina needed to do was find out whatever that was and figure it out from there.


The calm weather outside did nothing to take Rain’s mind off of what had happened. Though she had little connection with Kirk, Rain could not help but feel sorrow even as she kept up a brave face for everyone. She knew that she could not give up on her goals, but Rain felt it hard to continue as she knew that her friends were dealing with the loss in their own ways. There was little for Rain to do but to look down at the map laid out on the table as Ayanna and Reiss walked in.

“Has there been any progress?” Ayanna asked.

“Unfortunately, we’re back to where we started,” Rain said. “The best that I could do was come into contact with the prince, but even his people are distant. So far, that’s the best I can do right now.”

“You’re clearly stressed,” Ayanna said. “As your friend, I advise you to take some rest for a bit and then come back.”

“It’s hard not to feel this way,” Rain replied. “After what happened, what we learned has only served to increase the urgency of accomplishing our goals. To sit back and do nothing, even for a moment, would do me no good as a leader.”

“I understand how you feel, but I did not say to forget about pursuing the meeting,” Ayanna said. “Our allies are growing by the day with the news about Foundation coming to light.”

“The only thing standing in our way is Foundation itself,” Reiss said. “But we’ve got Maeitakohn on our side as well as the president of Thekohn.”

“That is true,” Rain said. “I just wish we weren’t fighting so much. To think that these people would actively work against the best wishes of those who have gone through hell is disheartening. But I know that I can’t give up.”

“We’re not alone, not at all,” Ayanna said. “We’re all working towards the same goal, regardless of how we got here or where we’re from. As you wish for a region of peace, I wish for a day where I will never have to see a family broken by the tragedies of war because there will be no need to fight ever again. Perhaps it’s a high goal, but it is one that I wish to see in my lifetime.”

“Well, I’ve got a couple years left,” Reiss said. “Let’s work on kicking these Foundation hooligans in their arses and we’ll be another step closer to that goal of yours, Ansa.”

Just then, Sorin rushed into the room. Rain watched as Sorin looked around the office from right to left, his hands placed on either side of the doorframe. The sudden entrance by Sorin could only mean one thing, Rain thought, as she walked towards him.

“You guys haven’t seen her, have you?” Sorin asked.

“I haven’t seen her,” Rain said. “Eva hasn’t been in this office at all today, to be honest.”

“Well, that was something I was going to tell you,” Ayanna said. “Mina did happen to see her just before I got here.”

“She did?” Rain asked.

Ayanna told Rain all about what she had seen and heard from Mina, which also caught Sorin’s attention. Rain knew that Eva had been going through a rough spot in recent days and the news about Kirk only helped damage that morale for Eva. All Rain could really do was offer her support as Eva had continued to lock herself up in the guest room without leaving. The account from Mina meant just a few possibilities, some of which Rain hoped were not the case.

“So Law is already out there looking for her,” Rain said. “I know why she doesn’t want us to pry too deeply, but I wish that I could’ve done a lot more for her this time.”

“We’ll have plenty of time after we find her,” Ayanna said. “It would be for the best if we don’t bring any of this up to her once she’s back.”

“I agree,” Rain replied.

“That is a good idea,” Reiss said.

“Does that help answer any questions you might have?” Rain asked Sorin. “I am again sorry for what happened to your father.”

“It’s fine,” Sorin said. “I just want to make sure that Eva is okay.”

He stepped into the office and left the door behind him. Mina ran into the room a few seconds after Sorin entered. Rain saw a folded sheet of paper sitting in Mina’s right hand, a piece of paper that looked familiar to Rain.

“Guys! Thank god you’re here!” Mina exclaimed. “I’m so glad I found you all before it gets too late!”

“Mina, you don’t need to be so loud,” Rain said. “Just tell us about what you found, okay? I’m sure you have a lot to say about what’s written on that paper, as it looks like it came from my desk.”

“But it’s important,” Mina said. “I can’t just stay calm! Eva might be… She might be in trouble!”

“I know,” Rain replied. “That’s why Law is out there looking for her. All of us just want to see our friends safe; that includes Eva.”

“But Law just said he couldn’t find her!” Mina said. “He just came back and he said he lost sight of her!”

“He said that?” Rain asked.

That was all Rain could say. Mina had no reason to lie and neither did Law. Rain knew Mina had an honest heart and Law was a trusted friend, so their two accounts were trustworthy. However, that did mean that Eva was still out in the city on her own with no one searching for her. Law came in, shaking his head as he placed his hands in his pockets.

“I could’ve kept following her, but I think we need a few more feet on the ground if we’re gonna find her,” Law said. “I know shouldn’t have come back here until I found her, but I looked around in the immediate area as well as I could. I’m sorry.”

“You don’t need to apologize,” Ayanna said. “You did what you could. We should get to looking, shouldn’t we?”

Rain thought for a moment and then looked to Ayanna. “Yes, we should,” she said. “Sorin… I’m sorry about this.”

“Mina, do you mind if I see that paper?” Sorin asked.

“I… I don’t mind,” Mina said.

She handed the paper over to Sorin, who then unfolded it and began to read what was written on it. His eyes lit up as he folded the paper back up and shoved it into his pants pocket.

“Excuse me,” Sorin said to Law.

He made his way past Law and out the doorway. Rain tried to stop him, but it was already too late as Sorin left. Whatever was written on that paper had an effect on Sorin, that much Rain was certain of as she looked over to Ayanna and Reiss. There was one more call that she had to make.

To be continued…

Previous | Next Part

Aurora – Chapter 29 (Part 2)

[26th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Queen’s Office]


Anticipation. All Rain had right now was anticipation for the safe return of Sorin and the others. She had wanted to go with them but could not do so because of her other obligations. Rain was still waiting to hear from Queen Amelia about setting up another meeting, but with each passing minute into the night, Rain had no idea if Amelia or her cabinet would call tonight.

“She would have to call soon, wouldn’t she?” Luna asked. “I don’t see why she would make you a promise and then not fulfill it.”

“I know,” Rain said. “I’m starting to worry about what’s happening with the others in Habicht, though, and if that’s affecting anything here.”

“Speaking of which, Your Majesty, when do you suppose that we will hear back from them?” Gamal asked.

“A good question,” Rain replied. “I can only hope that Sorin and the others were able to see this through safely.”

“I wish we could have went with them,” Mina said. “Just sitting here makes me so anxious because we’re just doing nothing right now!”

Rain gazed outside the window. “As it does for us all,” she said. “It will do us no good to keep worrying, however.”

“You say that, but I feel like you must be the most nervous out of all of us,” Luna said. “Do you feel nervous? I can make some tea if you want me to… Or maybe I can rub your shoulders… Or I can sing a relaxing song!”

“No, but I appreciate the thought,” Rain replied. “I say we shouldn’t keep worrying because it will only lower our morale if we continue to ponder about what has and hasn’t happened yet. Once we get word back from Sorin’s group, we will know where we stand and what actions we will need to take.”

“It’s complicated,” Pekka said. “I’m sure that Foundation is depending on us being in disarray in order for them to succeed. It’s no wonder why they were able to get the results they wanted in Maeitakohn before Johan did his job.”

“And yet again that young man is at work,” Dustin said. “Mr. Kuu isn’t too afraid of getting his hands dirty, but as for his heart, I can say it’s squeaky clean to a point!”

“You say that, but it isn’t like he’s completely pure,” Luna said. “I guess it’s a good thing he’s on our side… Well, for the most part, I guess.”

“He has similar interests as us,” Rain said. “That’s why he is so willing to lend the kingdom his hand, as well as the fact that I wish to see peace throughout the Thekohnian Region also.”

“I wonder what he’ll do when it’s all over,” Dustin said.

“Yeah, I think I’m wondering that as well,” Luna said. “He’s really left all of us in the dark. I thought I knew him, but now I’m not entirely sure what he wants to do after all this.”

“That’s something you can talk to him about,” Rain said.

“Then it’s up to him,” Luna replied.

No one else said a word as the phone soon rang. Rain looked away from the window and to the phone that now had the attention of everyone in the room. It only took two more rings until Rain picked up the receiver. The others in the room gathered around and listened in closely as Rain began to speak.

“Who, may I ask, is calling?” Rain asked.

“I think you know well who this is by now… Your Majesty,” Isaac said. “It looks as if your little plot won’t be able to go through after tonight. How sad for you that despite—or rather, because of your best efforts, you’ll go down in history as the queen that divided the Thekohnian Region!”

“You and Harold Mars are working together,” Rain said. “He told Sorin as much himself. What do you serve to gain from working with such a dangerous and evil man?”

“Harold and I share a similar drive,” Isaac replied. “I am able to help him with what he wants and he is able to help me with what I want.”

“So you say,” Rain said. “So you know what’s happening in Habicht, right down to the very last detail…”

“I know a lot,” Isaac said. “After what Harold did to Kirk, I just had to find out about what he’d do to his son. Of course, I’m still waiting for the results, but I know that Harold doesn’t leave a job unfinished.”

“What did he do to Kirk!?” Mina asked as she took the receiver out of Rain’s hand. “Tell us now or you’re going to regret it!”

“He’ll tell us, don’t worry,” Rain said, taking back the receiver. “After all, he does like to gloat when he thinks he’s won.”

“What a loathsome person,” Pekka said.

“It doesn’t matter what you think of me, Your Majesty,” Isaac replied. “I’ve indeed won already and there’s little for you or anyone else to do about it. The deed is done and Ahnlikohn will burn bright in the moonlight before the turn of the new year!”

“Just what do you have planned?” Rain asked. “Hasn’t Ahnlikohn suffered enough thanks to you?”

“That’s funny, I don’t remember saying I’d be the one to light the match,” Isaac replied. “But I suppose your hatred for me blinds you to the reality of the situation you’ll find yourself in once it’s all over.”

“There’s no way I or the other leaders in the Thekohnian Region will ever let you get away with this,” Rain said. “The crimes that you’ve partaken in with Harold Mars and the Ameci military will not go unaccounted for!”

“How many times will you say such baffling nonsense before you realize what’s done is done?” Isaac asked. “By the way, I would be much more concerned about whether or not your allies make it out of Habicht alive. I would hope that you’d agree with me on that, at least.”

“Your empty threats are just that,” Rain replied. “Unless your intention is to confess to your crimes, never contact this line again!”

She placed the receiver back on the hook and turned away from the phone. It was a night that carried much uncertainty, but Isaac’s remarks raised that level as Rain walked out of the office. The others were quick to follow her as Rain went to the main hall of Thedam Castle and looked around the interior. She had much to prove now that the stakes rose once more and only so little time until the next time. If what Isaac said was true, then Ahnlikohn was at risk for what Foundation had planned and Rain knew that the Ameci military would be the participants in the impending actions that Isaac would orchestrate. However, that did not matter as much as what Sorin, Eva, and everyone else in Habicht were going through, as even though Rain had no way of finding out until later, she knew that there was much to what Isaac said that she could not disregard.

“Sir Dustin, Sir Gamal, I have an important task for you both,” Rain said. “It will take some time, but I am hoping that you two will be able to do this not only for me, but for the Thekohnian Region as well.”

“Of course,” Dustin said.

“Just tell us what it is, Your Majesty, and we will do it,” Gamal said.

“I want you both to do some reaching out towards the other countries in the region,” Rain told them. “With Isaac’s remarks, we have gone past the point of no return when it comes to dealing with Foundation. Now is the time for us to go and organize a strategy in which we deal with them head on.”

“What about Iiayikohn?” Gamal asked. “Are they not a part of this?”

“Unfortunately, that is the case,” Rain answered. “Dezine has aligned with Foundation for the time being and because of that, he is a potential threat to the region. As for Ahnlikohn, the fact that they are once again in the crosshairs of Foundation means that we must do our part to convince Queen Amelia.”

“Hey, I’d be happy to try and convince her people,” Dustin said. “It may take a good while, but I’m sure we can work something out.”

“Just one question, Your Majesty,” Gamal said.

“Go ahead,” Rain said.

“What will you be doing in the meantime?” Gamal asked.

“There is something I must do with regards to our current situation,” Rain replied. “I will meet with Rado, as well as both Ayanna and Roderick, in order to organize a defense against the current Ameci threat.”

“Very well,” Gamal said. “Then Sir Dustin and I will start making some calls as you requested.”

“Thank you,” Rain said. “Mina, Luna, Pekka, we mustn’t waste time. Let’s go and see what’s happening.”




[26th of December, 2740 AD; Lead Campground Park Trail, north of Habicht, Ahnlikohn]


With Harold, Korbin, Bradley, and the rest of the Ameci military chasing after them, Sorin knew that he could not waste any time with the escape. Jelka and Johan led the way as Sorin kept up his pace, though he was slightly exhausted due to the fighting earlier. However, he could not worry about that as the three ended up at a fork in the path: one way went straight ahead while the other path went towards the left. It was a decision that required no hesitation at all as Johan looked to Sorin.

“Let’s keep going,” Johan said. “We’ll be stuck if we take the left path. Let’s just keep going forward, Sorin.”

“Sure,” Sorin replied.

The three continued on the trail while the wind started to pick up. The light breeze rustled the branches of the trees and caused several leaves to fly off while Sorin could only think about where his father was right now. Henry had given him some hope to hold on to, but Sorin knew it was not enough. He needed to know for himself if his father was safe, and only after exiting the campground could he do that.

“Listen, there’s something I have to say to you,” Johan said. “It may be hard to hear, especially now, but Harold Mars isn’t one to pull his punches.”

“I know,” Sorin said.

“That’s why it may be difficult,” Johan said. “This morning, before Jelka and I came to Habicht, we received a call from Rysol.”

“You did?” Sorin asked. “What did he say to you?”

“That’s what I’m getting to, buddy,” Johan replied. “He escaped from Harold but judging from his tone, it seems that Rysol went through hell. Make no mistake about it, Sorin: we cannot overlook Harold Mars.”

“Indeed, he is a great threat to our goal,” Jelka said, “Perhaps even greater than Isaac Kunigunde is. You and Eva are lucky to escape after running into him, given what he has done over the years.”

“That’s why this next part is tough for me,” Johan said. “Sorin… I’m very sorry about what I’m about to say next.”

However, as the three made it up the higher path, they ended up coming across a wooden bridge being held up by rope. Sorin took one look at the bridge and saw the drop below. While not a deep drop like in Bel Forest, it was still a considerable fall into the river below.

“We don’t need to overthink this one,” Jelka said. “Cross the bridge and cut the ropes. We’re almost out of here.”

Sorin nodded and looked to Johan. “Tell me once we cross the bridge,” he said. “Our pursuers are still after us… I don’t even know how the others are, especially Eva.”

“I understand completely,” Johan said.

After they crossed the bridge, Jelka cut the ropes with her sword and let the bridge fall to the other side. With the Ameci military’s pursuit hindered, nothing stood in the way between Sorin and escape.

“We better hope that’s enough to hold them back,” Johan said.

“What was it you were going to say?” Sorin asked.

But Sorin knew that there was little point to asking that question. The only news Johan could have at this point was bad news. News that would confirm the suspicions and fears that Sorin had regarding his father. Despite all his attempts to disbelieve the truth, there was no running away from it once Johan opened his mouth. Nothing held Johan back from speaking as the three continued to walk down the path.

“Rysol did not escape from Harold unscathed,” Johan said. “In addition to his prosthetic arm, he also lost his right arm as well. It’ll be tough for him to fight on considering it was Harold who gifted him that arm. But that isn’t all, is it? I wish Rysol was lying, but I know that there’s no reason why he’d lie to Jelka or I about Kirk Wilk.”

“Johan, please, it’s not necessary,” Sorin replied. “No one knows where he is right now, but that doesn’t mean a thing. Rysol could just be mistaken.”

“There’s a powerful current sitting at the other end of Ahnle Peak,” Jelka said. “If what Rysol said is true, well—”

“No, we don’t know for sure,” Sorin said. “We’ve only got his account, that’s all. That’s all we have so far.”

“Just listen to me,” Jelka said. “What Rysol said lines up with the geography of Ahnle Peak. If one drops into that current, there is little for them to fight back against it… To be blunt, it is impossible for someone to survive.”

“That can’t be it,” Sorin replied. “I can’t believe it.”

“No one person is invulnerable, Sorin,” Jelka said. “Even someone like your father isn’t safe from death.”

“Perhaps it’s best we continue this later,” Johan said. “Looks like we’ve reached the end of the line.”

Johan pointed ahead as Sorin and Jelka looked to what he was pointing at. At the end of the path lay a large, barren tree that was in the way between the exit and Sorin, Johan, and Jelka. The three looked to one another as Sorin knew what they had to do next.

“I know what you’re thinking,” Johan said to Sorin. “What’s the big deal, right? We just climb over this tree and we’d be home free, so to speak. So why are we still waiting, then?”

“You don’t think they’re still after us, do you?” Sorin asked.

“You tell me,” Johan replied.

Jelka looked back. “It seems like the noise has died down,” she said. “If you want my opinion, I believe that the Ameci have already called off their pursuit. It should be safe to keep moving onward.”

“That seems likely and logical,” Johan said. “They’re not going to go for the other group, either. It’s you they’re after, Sorin, so they must have retreated long after we took out that bridge.”

“You’re right,” Sorin said.

“Then let’s not waste any more time here,” Johan said. “We’ve got a group to reunite with, after all. Let’s not keep them waiting any longer.”

Johan hurried and leapt over the fallen tree, with Sorin following after. He watched Jelka go over as well, the three joining up once more as Johan proceeded to go on ahead. Meanwhile, Sorin continued after him, but stopped to see Jelka on one knee clutching her upper leg.

“Jelka, are you okay?” Sorin asked.

Jelka winced as she pulled her coat inward. “It’s nothing,” she said. “Don’t go worrying about me.”

“Really? What happened?”

“I told you it’s nothing,” Jelka replied, standing up. “Just a minor sprain, that’s all you need to know.”

“You two are coming, aren’t you?” Johan asked. “What’s going on?”

“We’ll be right there,” Jelka said. “There’s nothing to worry about. Let’s go and leave already.”

Sorin was not sure what to make of Jelka covering up an apparent injury, but he could not question it. Not at this time. He had to complete his escape and reunite with the others waiting for him outside the campground. Only after that could Sorin figure out what to do next, as well as find out what really happened to his father. However, as Sorin left the forest to find Henry waving to him, one thing has remained true: Foundation was continuing to get tougher as Harold now became yet another threat to the Thekohnian Region.


To be continued…


Previous | Next Chapter

Aurora – Chapter 27 (Part 1)

[25th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Inside Thedam Castle Queen’s Office]


“And that’s the news, Your Majesty,” Dustin said. “Looks like Dezine’s really trying to start a nasty war with us, huh?”

“Thank you,” Rain replied. “I’ll make sure to discuss this with both Ansa and Reiss later.”

“Don’t mention it,” Dustin said.

Rain watched as Dustin left the room. Rain’s morning had been busy as she spoke with Mina and Law about what to do regarding Iiayikohn. Dustin entered in at the right time as he had news to share of Dezine’s speech, so Rain decided to listen to what Dustin had to say once she finished discussing plans with Mina and Law. After that, Rain took the time to listen to Dustin’s recount of Dezine’s speech. She was already aware of Dezine’s power hungry tendencies thanks to Ayanna’s and Law’s accounts, yet still Rain was amazed at how far Dezine was willing to go in order to win. Law, meanwhile, shrugged as he took a seat in the chair near him while Mina went over to Rain’s side.

“Dezine’s not even half a year into his term and he’s already acting like he’s been there forever,” Law said. “Guess he’s trying to make the most of it in his old age, though we all know that he’s yet another useful tool for Isaac to use. So long as Dezine is willing to get on his knees, Isaac is happy to help.”

“Yet he’s only a small part of the picture,” Rain said. “Still, his speech will make it much more difficult to establish long term peace in the region. We have to stop him, there’s no other way.”

“I agree with you there,” Law replied. “That’s why we came here, after all. Isn’t that right, Mina?”

“Yeah, we’re going to make sure that Dezine will pay for his crimes,” Mina said. “We’ve got Ayanna on our side; she’ll know exactly what we can do about him and the rest of Foundation!”

“I know,” Rain said, “But it won’t do us any good to go in recklessly. If we’re to deal with Dezine, we must find a sound strategy in order for him to step down from his position.”

Law leaned in his chair with his arms behind his head. “If it’s getting old Dezine to step down, that’ll be a tough task,” he said. “I imagine that he’s got way too much pride to even think about giving in.”

“There’s gotta be something, Law!” Mina said.

“Of course there is,” Law replied. “If there’s one thing that I’ve gathered about our silver-haired adversary, it’s that he operates with his cards completely close to his chest. He trusts very few people, with Isaac Kunigunde being one of those select few.”

“So the best way to get Dezine to step down is to have him believe that Isaac no longer trusts him,” Rain said. “That would be difficult, but I doubt that it is impossible. The only I question I have is how will we go about pulling off this task in a way that neither Dezine nor Isaac will suspect.”

“Well, you’re talking to a former spy right here,” Law said.

“But you haven’t done any spying in a while, have you?” Mina asked. “You must be really rusty!”

“Sure, I may not have done my job in a quick minute, but I’m still pretty confident in my abilities,” Law said. “As long as there aren’t any attacks from Ameci, I think that it’s safe to say that we have a shot.”

“I’d be glad to talk about it,” Rain replied.

“Of course, of course,” Law said. “It’s rather easy if we think about it: the key starts with Ahnlikohn.”

“You’re suggesting that we earn back Amelia’s trust, am I correct?” Rain asked. “Because while it’s not impossible, it will be hard to pull off, especially with the situation as it is now.”

“True, it’s pretty much like we’re trying to push a boulder up a mountain,” Law said. “One wrong move and that boulder runs us over and rolls all the way back down the hill.”

“I don’t blame her,” Rain said. “Even if we were prepared for an attack, we still failed to stop Korbin and his ilk from carrying out an attack. We’re lucky that it was only a small scale attack, but it did enough to damage our overall relations with Ahnlikohn.”

“None of it’s your fault,” Mina said. “They just played dirty like the bunch of villains they are!”

“While it’s true that we weren’t careful enough, I’d say that we managed to expose a flaw in Isaac’s plan,” Law said, “Or rather, Korbin exposed the flaw for us to exploit.”

“And what would that be?” Gavin asked. “You’ve got another scheme going on in your head there, Lawrence?”

Law turned his head to the entrance as Rain and Mina followed. Standing in the doorway were Gavin, Sorin, and Henry. Henry walked into the queen’s office and greeted Rain, shaking her hand as he bowed his head before her. Sorin and Gavin entered, too, as they watched the exchange take place. Rain was happy to meet with Henry, though she had barely met with him before now. Seeing as he came in with Sorin and Gavin, Rain had to figure there was something that Henry would like to say to her.

“It’s nice meeting with you, Mr. Randolph,” Rain said. “What happens to be the occasion for today?”

Henry nodded. “You have to thank these two here,” he said as he motioned to Sorin and Gavin. “They told me quite a bit about what’s happening, which is why I’ve decided that I want to help.”

“I’m interested in hearing how you wish to help,” Rain said.

“Your Majesty, I didn’t come in without some sort of idea,” Henry replied. “I may just be one man, but I’m still quite knowledged about the inner workings of the Ameci military.”

“And that’s why you guys brought him here,” Law said to Sorin and Gavin. “I guess that was what you two were doing while Mina and I were having a talk with Rain here. Gotta give you credit.”

“It wasn’t that arduous,” Gavin replied, “And I know that Henry’s got his reasons for wanting to help us.”

“It’s funny, isn’t it?” Henry asked. “You and I used to be on different sides, yet now we’re united together against the one enemy that we should have been fighting a long time ago.”

“That’s the past,” Gavin said. “Things have changed now and I’m not going back to the way things used to be.”

“I’m glad to see that that makes two of us, Gavin,” Henry said. “We’ve got a long road ahead of us if we’re going to take down Isaac Kunigunde and his little group, which is why I’m willing to tell Her Majesty as much as I know about the Ameci military.”

Law sat up in his chair. “Looks like you came ready to play,” he said. “It’s interesting to hear that you’re so ready to tell us what you know, though I wonder what that will mean for your relationship with General Fercewend. Do you think it’s too late to try and see if he’d be willing to tell Isaac to back off?”

“Unfortunately, Rohan has no desire to do so,” Henry replied.

“It must be tough for you right now,” Rain said. “I heard that you two had fought alongside one another during the war, and now you two are on opposite sides.”

“It’s got to be Isaac Kunigunde’s fault!” Mina said, clenching her fist. “Don’t worry, Henry, I’m sure we’ll find a way to help save Fercewend!”

“You’re very optimistic,” Henry said, “But the funny thing is that I continue to believe in Rohan, even though it doesn’t seem like he’s shown any sign of going against Isaac and President Bradley any time soon.”

“We know that Isaac’s influence has increased a lot,” Gavin said. “It’s not a long shot to think that once we take care of him, we’ll see those people who relied on him start to abandon him.”

“If we’re going to do that, then we’ll have to start small,” Henry said. “It’d be dumb to try and aim headfirst at Isaac.”

“What do you suggest?” Sorin asked.

“Let me think for a moment,” Henry replied. “Of all the years I’ve known Rohan, there’s one thing he values most: honor. However, that may not be the case as I’ve already seen him bend to the will of both Isaac and Bradley.”

“Well, that didn’t help,” Law said.

Henry scratched his ear. “As long as Hasker is out of commision, Bradley is the president,” he said, “And that is Isaac’s key into the Ameci government, which he can use as a key to the military… I’ve got it!”

“You do?” Mina asked.

“It’s pretty simple now that I think about it,” Henry said. “In Ameci, the line of succession falls in this order: president, vice president, and leading general of the military. I believe that it’s the same for Maeitakohn as well. Anyway, as long as Isaac has a direct connection to the government via Bradley, he has leverage over Rohan.”

“You’re suggesting that we try to remove Bradley out of power?” Rain asked. “That would be pretty impossible for us to do.”

“If we’re thinking about using force, then yes,” Henry said. “However, were it to be known of a rift between Isaac Kunigunde and Casper Bradley, then there’s a chance that Isaac will no longer need the use of him.”

“So it’s like what Law was saying about Dezine earlier,” Mina said.

“Turning these men against each other is not an easy task,” Henry said, “Yet if there exists the slightest bit of weakness between them, then it’s all the more reason to pursue it.”

“You really are starting to speak to my interests here, aren’t you,” Law said. “Then again, that one guy down in the cellar might be an important key.”

“I don’t know if Erik would be willing to tell us much now,” Sorin replied. “It seems pretty useless to ask him anything at this point.”

“Well, perhaps I should try with him,” Henry said. “I don’t know whether or not he’d talk with me, but it wouldn’t hurt asking.”

“Of course,” Rain said. “Just let Sir Gamal know that you want to visit the holding cell and he’ll lead you there.”

Henry smiled. “I’ll go and let him know,” he said. “By the way, this isn’t the end of our talk, Your Majesty. I will be back.”

“Then I’ll be waiting here,” Rain replied.

“I suppose I can go with you,” Law said as he stood up. He waltzed over to Henry and shook his hand. “Damn, your handshake is almost as strong as my bro here!”

“Yeah, right,” Gavin said. He looked at Henry and raised an eyebrow. “It’s been a couple months since you retired from the military. I bet I could take you on in a one-on-one fight!”

“I truly have no idea where this is coming from,” Henry replied.

“We may be on the same side, but that doesn’t mean that you should think you’re better than me,” Gavin said. “As far as it goes, I’m sure that I’d be able to come up victorious should you ever decide to take me on.”

“I’ll be sure to remember that, Gavin,” Henry said. “Sorin, are you coming with me, too?”

“Sure,” Sorin replied.

“Gavin, what’s the deal?” Mina asked. “Are you just jealous of Henry?”

“No, don’t be absurd,” Gavin answered. “It’s just that I want him to know the score. That way, we’ll be able to work together more effectively!”

“Well, it sure sounds like you’re jealous,” Mina said.

“Mina, I’m going to go now,” Gavin replied. “Let’s go, Henry Randolph! And no snickering!”

Henry tried not to laugh as he followed Gavin. Sorin and Law joined them as well in hopes of obtaining anything new out of Erik down in the basement. In the queen’s office, however, Rain had a call that she had to make. She wondered if there would even be a response, but Rain had to try. She needed to talk with Amelia again. Rain had to have one more try in order to organize unity. There had to be some hope if Rain was ever going to bring peace to the Thekohnian Region.




Downstairs in the basement, Sorin, Gavin, and Henry followed Gamal, who led them to the holding cell Erik was in. Upon reaching the cell, Sorin watched as Erik stood up and approached the bars. There did not appear to be any hostility in Erik’s eyes, only an expressionless star as Henry walked up to him.

“You’re back again,” Erik said. “What’s this? Am I supposed to be scared now that you brought him over?”

“We know your tricks,” Gavin replied. “If you think you can avoid telling us everything you know, then you’re mistaken. Henry, maybe you ought to tell him exactly what’s going on.”

“Very well,” Henry said.

“No matter how hard you try, I’m not telling you a goddamn thing,” Erik said, “So you can forget about trying to shake me!”

Henry sighed. “Listen to me, Erik,” he said. “Last night, Sorin received a call from a very important person. You may have heard of him.”

Erik turned away from Henry. “I’ve told you I don’t want to talk!”

“Harold Mars,” Henry said. “He’s Korbin’s father. I assume that you’ve met with him, though you can tell me if I’m wrong.”

Erik kept silent. All Sorin could do was continue to hope that Henry had some sort of idea to get Erik to speak.

“You could tell me you know nothing about him and I would accept that,” Henry said. “After all, what do you gain from working with him?”

“It doesn’t seem like he cares about what you’re saying,” Gamal said. “I’m not sure if he’s even listening.”

“He’s listening,” Henry replied. “Erik’s not Harold’s son, nor is he the son of the President of Ameci. However, I know he must have his reasons for wanting to work for such a group of people like Foundation.”

“The only reason that I’ve got is that he’s a shithead with no remorse for his actions,” Gavin said as he grabbed ahold of one of the bars. “We can waste all the breath we want, but he’s not going to start squealing on his buddies. Not when he still thinks he’s got an edge over us.”

“Does he have the edge, though?” Henry asked. “Let me ask you something, Erik: do you believe that Korbin and the Ameci military are coming to rescue you from here?”

“Do you take me for a dumbass fool?” Erik asked.

“I don’t think they care much about you, to be honest,” Henry said. “Maybe I’m wrong here and this is all just a bunch of baseless conjecture, but I never had the impression that Korbin and Crawford held you in high regard. Even the other one with you, Lance, they never said much about him when he died.”

“That’s because Korbin killed him,” Erik said. “He was getting on Korbin’s nerves, so he paid the price.”

“I see,” Henry replied. “Thank you for sharing that with me.”

“Korbin is insane, which is why I’d never think about crossing him,” Erik said. “The only one who can really rein him in is Bradley, and even he has trouble doing that sometimes. Well, that’s not completely true. There is one person who Korbin really fears above all else.”

“You mean his father,” Sorin said.

Erik laughed. “I should’ve expected you to piece things together.”

Sorin felt hesitant to tell Erik about the call, but remembered the demand that Harold made.

“But you’re just a ‘lowly lackey’ of the Blood Ravens,” Sorin said. “You told Gavin and I that you were only following orders, that you had no idea about what Foundation had planned.”

“No… That’s not what I said!” Erik exclaimed. “That’s… That’s just a bunch of fucking lies you made up on the spot! You’re lying!”

“We heard you say it,” Gamal said. “Changing your story only makes your guilt more apparent, and your association more likely.”

Erik growled. “Fuck you! I didn’t do shit!”

“You’re going to start telling us everything that you know,” Henry said. “It will do you good in the long run to cooperate with us.”

“Besides, do you truly think Harold will show you mercy?” Sorin asked. “I honestly doubt it.”

Erik’s eyes shifted right to left and back before he dropped to his knees and punched the floor as hard as he could. “Fine, you got me,” he said. “I’m gonna tell you everything I know about Korbin’s father, as well as everything that I know about Foundation.”


To be continued…


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Aurora – Chapter 25 (Part 2)

[24th of December, 2740 AD; The Royal Kingdom of Thekohn – Thedam Castle Basement Cell]


Sorin was not sure what to expect when he went downstairs with Gavin to the holding cell, but he knew that Erik would be there under Gamal’s watch. Rain had also decided to join with them as well as Eva and Mina. At the other end of the room they saw Erik lying on the floor behind the bars. Once the four made it over to the cell, Erik stood up and gazed at them with a curious stare.

“So you’re finally awake,” Gavin said.

“Where am I?” Erik asked. “Where the hell’s my sword?”

“You’re still in the castle,” Rain answered. “As for your sword, it’s currently in our hands.”

“So you’re going to keep me here, aren’t you,” Erik said.

“Trust me, I did not want it to come to this, but these two here insisted that it would be for the best,” Rain said as she motioned over to Gavin and Eva. “You came here by yourself for a reason and the only way we’re going to figure that out is by asking you a few questions.”

“There’s no need to be nice with this asshole,” Gavin said. “He works with the Blood Ravens and Foundation, so he’s not going to tell us anything if we just play nice with him.”

“I’m inclined to agree with Mr. Power, Your Majesty,” Gamal said.

“Then there’s no other choice,” Rain said. “Gavin, I will trust you to handle the interrogation with Mr. Ellis.”

Gavin approached the bars. “I’ll find out what he’s planning.”

“If anything goes wrong, we’re all here,” Rain said.

“Yeah, like if he somehow tricks you and gets out, I’ll just punch him again,” Mina said. “But I know you can do it, Gavin!”

“It’d be hard for Erik to escape, anyway,” Sorin said.

“You really think you can break me down?” Erik asked. “I’d love to see you try, dumbass!”

Gavin slammed his hands on the bars and glared at Erik. “There’s only one dumbass here,” he said. “And that dumbass is you! Quit fucking around with us already and tell us what Isaac Kunigunde has planned.”

“Oh no, it looks like there’s no way out for me,” Erik replied. “Are you going to torture me? Beat me up? Or will you do nothing at all?”

“I’m not going to torture you,” Gavin said. “What I will do, however, is that I will make sure that you don’t cause any trouble as long as we are fighting this battle against Foundation and Ameci. Hell, Rain can just let you sit here and let you think about how good you had it until you decided to fuck with us. So what are you going to do, dumbass?”

“You really can’t be serious,” Erik said. “I’ve got a reputation to keep! I can’t spend the rest of my life here in this tiny-ass cell!”

“Then tell us everything you know,” Rain said. “I can’t say for certain what will happen to you if you confess, but if you do, then perhaps there’s a way you’ll be able to spend your life carefree in exile.”

“Because there’s no chance that you’ll be able to live peacefully after all you’ve done,” Gamal said. “I’m sure that there are plenty of people who will want nothing more than to see you dead; if you agree to tell us everything, then there is a chance in which you can live freely. I can’t guarantee your soul will feel much better, though.”

Sorin had no idea if Erik would agree to that condition. He had seen it once before when they had dealt with Isla, but now they were dealing with a different threat and Erik was just one soldier in the Ameci military and the third in the Blood Ravens. Korbin and Bradley would still be able to operate even without the help of Erik, which frustrated Sorin. However, if Erik was able to unveil any kind of useful information, then Sorin was welcome to hear it.

“Please,” Sorin said to Erik. “Just tell us everything that you know. We both know what kind of person Korbin is, so I don’t know if you would even want to head back when you’ve already failed your mission.”

“You think you can talk down to me?” Erik asked. “You’re the one that’s gone and killed the Chancellor of Ahnlikohn, aren’t you? Or at least that’s what I was told… You know, I don’t really care what you say!”

“What do you think?” Sorin asked.

“I think you’re just a bunch of liars,” Erik said. “Do you really think you can convince me of anything, you hypocrite?”

“If that’s what you think, then there’s no reason I should keep talking to you,” Sorin replied. “You’re just as bad as Korbin. Maybe you should handle the rest, Gavin.”

“I’d be happy to come in there and advance my interrogation,” Gavin said. “Gamal, you’ve got the keys, don’t you?”

Gamal nodded. “I’ll be happy to open the door.”

“Good, I’d really like to teach this shithead a few things,” Gavin replied. “You hear that? I’m going to get the answers out of you, one way or another, and I’m not going to show you any mercy!”

At that moment, Erik proceeded to burst into tears. Everyone reacted with surprise, as even Gavin was taken aback by the sudden change of personality. The man clad in Ameci military gear dropped to his knees as he motioned up to Gavin and began to beg.

“Don’t hurt me… please!” Erik exclaimed as he clasped his hands together. “I’m just a lowly lackey in the Blood Ravens… Not even Foundation thinks much about me!”

Gavin groaned as he placed his hand on his forehead. “Give me a fucking break, jackass,” he said. “Do you really think we’re going to be swayed so easily with this pathetic excuse of a plea?”

“But… But! I’m not lying! I really am just a useless fool to those guys,” Erik replied. “I don’t know anything at all!”

“That’s a lie and you know it!” Gavin said as he pounded the bar. “You can’t fool me one bit!”

“He’s really going to try and do this, isn’t he?” Eva asked.

“This must be desperation setting in,” Rain said. “He’s surrounded with no way to escape. It’s not surprising that he’d try to rely on his instincts.”

“It’s just sad,” Sorin said.

“Erik’s scared,” Mina replied. “If none of us were going to beat him up, then it was going to be Gavin!”

“I’m t-telling you the truth, though,” Erik said. “I’m just doing my job here… that’s all it is. You… You can’t punish a guy just for following orders… can you!? I’m just one guy… one guy who’s caught up in all this crazy mess! Please! Please don’t hurt me!”

Gavin pushed up his sunglasses. “You’re pathetic if you think I’m going to get fooled by that,” he said. “Hell, you’re not even worth my trouble, that’s how pitiful you are right now. Gamal!”

“So we’ll just leave you here for the time being, then,” Gamal said to Erik. “To think you would reduce yourself all to protect one man… That’s truly low, my friend.”

“It is a shame,” Rain said. “I had hoped you would change your mind and do what was right, but it seems like you intend on fighting us every step of the way. We’ll return in the morning and see if things will finally progress. Until then, I implore you to get some rest, Mr. Ellis.”

With Erik lying on the ground, still in tears, Sorin took one look at him before going with the rest of the group back upstairs. There was no way any of what Erik said was true; he was heavily involved with all of Korbin’s activities, after all. Sorin just wondered if they would be able to do enough to get him to confess, or if the entire interrogation was all a waste of time. But until the next morning, Sorin had to keep an eye and an ear out for any more potential threats to the Royal Kingdom of Thekohn.




An hour passed before everyone reunited in the queen’s office. Sorin sat at the table next to Gale, while Gavin and Law sat on the other side. Everybody else sat at the table as well except for Rain and her advisers. Rain was busy taking notes in her book when the phone began to ring once more. As the entire room fell silent, Rain turned her attention to the phone. 

“That must be the junior lieutenant,” Gavin said. “I guess she’s wondering what to do now.”

Rain grabbed the receiver and put it to her ear while everyone in the room listened in. With the attack in Oelaans dissipated, Sorin had no idea what would be said, but he had a feeling that he too had to listen to the ensuing phone call as Rain began to speak.

“Hello? Can you tell me what the situation is in Oelaans now?” Rain asked. A brief silence followed after. “Who are you? How do you know Sorin?”

Now Sorin was concerned. His feeling was right and he hated that he had that feeling about the phone call. Whoever was on that line wanted to speak to him and Sorin felt like he had no way to avoid the call. But the silence broke once again when Rain responded.

“Whoever you are, I do not appreciate what you said right now,” Rain said. “And there is no way I’d ever honor such a request from someone like you. I will be sure of that.”

Sorin stood up. “Rain, perhaps I should hear this person out.”

“There’s no need to,” Rain replied, placing the receiver back on top of the phone. “It will do us no good to speak to a man who offers nothing but ill will toward us.”

“Besides, there’s much more important matters to discuss,” Gamal said. “I suppose that you’ll be contacting the president of Maeitakohn tomorrow, Your Majesty?”

“That’s the plan,” Rain answered.

The phone rang again. No one was sure who it could be this time, as the last person to call was someone nobody expected. Rain looked at the phone and then to both Dustin and Gamal. Sorin, however, had to find out for himself. He had to know why the person on the other end of the line wanted to speak with him, which was why Sorin was sure that that man called again.

“Please, Rain, I think it might be for the best if I answer this,” Sorin said as he hurried over and reached for the phone.

“Sorin, just wait,” Gale said.

It was too late. Sorin picked up the phone and grabbed the receiver in his free hand. Rain stood and watched as Sorin answered the phone. The nagging feeling Sorin had soon turned to worry as the man on the other end answered, his voice hostile enough to make Sorin tense up.

“Is this that woman again? Come now, answer me!”

Sorin took a deep breath and let out his doubts. “No, this is Sorin Wilk,” he said. “Who are you and what do you want with me?”

“Very good, Sorin. My name is Harold Mars.”

There was no trace of doubt in Sorin’s mind as he knew that this man was Korbin’s father. However, he still had no idea why Harold contacted him or how he even found out where he was. What he did know, though, was that he could not hesitate now with Harold on the other end. Sorin had to remain calm as he dealt this hostile man.

“I bet you’re wondering why I’m calling you,” Harold said. “You want to desperately know why I would bother with you, but I will answer those questions in due time.”

“So you’re Korbin’s father,” Sorin said. “Just what the hell do you want with me, damn it?”

“Yes, you’ve managed to best that cretinous son of mine a couple of times already, haven’t you,” Harold said. “Indeed, it would appear that you are much better than he is by a mile and then some. I’m not here just sing praises of you, though. I’m calling because I want to fulfill a promise that I made to a friend of mine.”

“A friend of yours?” Sorin asked.

“It’s no use to play games with you,” Harold said. “You’ve got a capable ally on your side that my maggots-for-brains son hates with such ferverance. The moron keeps speaking about him, crowing on and on like he’ll kill him. Oh, but this guy is too smart. Much smarter than my son.”

“Answer me!” Sorin exclaimed. “Who is this friend of yours?”

“Oh, I was getting to that,” Harold replied. “I’ll say it right now so you’ll quit asking me: I’m helping Isaac Kunigunde.”

It was both surprising and unsurprising to Sorin when he heard that. And yet, Sorin felt more enraged than he ever was before. Was Harold trying to taunt him? Sorin could not grasp a read off of Harold, yet all he could exhibit was anger towards him.

“So you’re our enemy,” Sorin said. “Then answer me this question: why do you support a man like Isaac Kunigunde, who only wants to create wars for the sake of his own gain?”

“Know your place, Sorin Wilk,” Harold replied. “Besides, there is a reason as to why I decided to call you.”

“Tell me already,” Sorin said.

“I’m willing to bet that you’re wondering where your father is, aren’t you?” Harold asked. He then followed up with a short laugh. “Go ahead and get angry if you want, but I know where he is.”

“How dare you!” Sorin said.

“Just as I thought,” Harold replied. “Well, if you really want to know where your father is, then come and meet me in at the Lead Campground in Habicht two nights from now.”

“Do you think I’m going to do as you say?” Sorin asked. “What makes you think that I wouldn’t see this as a trap?”

“That’s entirely up to you, Sorin Wilk,” Harold said. “Of course, I know the location of your brother as well, so perhaps you would see it best to listen to what I say unless you don’t care about him.”

Sorin stared down at the phone. “What’s the catch?”

“There’s no catch, no tricks, and in fact, I can assure you that the attacks on Thekohn and the kingdom will cease,” Harold answered. “Tell the queen that there will be a cease fire for the time being, just as long as you follow my orders. Oh, and be sure to come alone as well. I won’t say what happens if you choose not to honor my request, but it will be a price to pay nonetheless.”

“What makes you think that I’d believe you?” Sorin asked.

Harold chuckled. “Right now, one of Korbin’s friends is in the castle, am I correct? Well, I want you to bring him along,” he replied. “There was a reason as to why he decided to invade the castle, after all.”

“What reason?” Sorin asked.

Sorin was not able to get an answer, however, as Harold hung up without a response. Harold’s call served only to increase both Sorin’s doubt and anger, yet there was no doubt that Harold was keeping an eye on him somehow. Sorin also knew that there was some business between his father and Harold, which made it impossible to shake the bad feeling that plagued him. Yet still, Sorin knew that this man was also a threat, especially so considering the fact that he was Korbin’s father. In a room with everyone watching him, Sorin knew now that he was the one now standing as the center of attention with a lot to answer.


To be continued…


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