Crucial Round Epilogue

By John Boske

State army soldiers arrived on the scene within minutes of learning that an armed criminal had the president of the republic held at gunpoint, only to find that the situation had been resolved. Clive and Maas exited the wagon first, followed by John, who had an arm around Eilie.

Eilie turned to face John. "John, I need to go tell Rina and Bolgan that we’re all okay, wait here, okay?

John nodded and smiled. "You got it." He then turned to Clive and Maas. "Thanks for your help, guys. I couldn’t have gotten her out of there without you."

Clive managed another rare smile. "’s aright, pal. Thank you for helping me nail Elza, I owe you for this."

"We’ll call it even for now. So what are you going to do?" asked John.

Maas spoke up. "John, I heard that a master smith named Tessai works in your employ. If you wouldn’t mind, I would like to accompany you to meet him. I still need much training in my art."

Maas’s question was followed by a broad grin from John. "Sure thing, Maas. After the way you handled yourself back there, I got a feeling you’ll be a big asset to the republic."

Maas could only grin back. "Thanks, master John. What about you, Clive? What’re your plans?"

Clive thought for a moment, then shook his head. "I have to tell of Elza’s death to the Howling Voice guild, I will be gone for quite some time. Rest assured, though, I will return." Clive extended his right hand to Maas, who promptly shook it, then to John, who shook it as well. "You have my word."

John smiled. "Take it easy, Clive."

Clive nodded, then turned and left the camp, his rifle slung over his shoulder and long cloak flowing behind him.

Maas spoke up again. "Well, shall we?"

John shook his head. "Nah, we wait for Eilie. I haven’t seen her in about a year, no way I’m leaving without at least saying goodbye."

"That won’t be necessary, handsome." John glanced to his right to see Rina, Eilie, and Bolgan approaching.

"Huh?" was all he could manage. After a few seconds, more followed. "Rina, Bolgan, Eilie…"

"Camp quiet, too quiet! Bolgan lonely, Rina lonely too! Eilie miss John, we want to go too!" Bolgan chanted with his usual lopsided grin.

"Hoo hoo hoo, isn’t this just a cute turn of fate, hmm? Who’d have thought you would see each other again, huh?" Rina implied, adding a knowing wink to John for effect.

Eilie blushed a bright red. "Shut up, sis!" she replied.

Rina chuckled again, and strolled up to Maas. "Hmm, you’re kinda cute too, what’s your name, stranger?"

"Uhm, er… well, I-I’m Maas, miss…" stammered Maas.

Eilie and John exchanged a glance, and nodded. They chuckled together slightly. After a few seconds, John instinctively embraced Eilie, and at once they felt whole again. They lost track of what was going on around them as they held each other tightly. All that they cared about was that they were together again.

At last.

Rina chuckled once more. "Isn’t that sweet… I knew it was gonna happen sooner or later." She turned to Maas. "Sooo, Maas…" she began as she grinned.


"Yes sir, that’s right. Elza is dead. I shot her myself."

"Hmm… well done, Clive. Too bad it had to come to this… for the past few years the guild has been under a handicap without you."

"I promise to be more expedient in my future assignments, master."

"Never mind, you did well. All that remains is to make sure that what she found isn’t found again… but that’s for another time… yes, another time…"


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