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Duke Sturm hammered both his fist on the wooden table top, scattering the map pieces onto the floor.

What in the thirteen hell is going on! Are two heavy fighting dragons gone?

The scout delivering the news, trembled as he kneels in front of Sturm and his lieutenants.

Sturm drew his sword and hack downwards, cutting halfway down the unfortunate scout's shoulder causing a fountain of blood to spray out.

He left his stuck sword in the body and slumps down onto his seat. His temper temporary sated, asked his men, "Do they have a powerful mage supporting them?"

"That is quite unlikely, I dealt a mortal wound to their magister. I highly doubt he has any power left to cast two level 10 spells to kill the dragons?" A voice rasped out from a fully enclosed set of metal armor.

"Lord Kean, are you sure those are level 10 spells?" Sturm asked. "Those rebels shouldn't have so much strength, won't they be using it when their cities were under attack."

"I do not know where or how the rebels have gotten such spells." The being inside the armor spoke. "But the power to instantly kill a heavy dragon requires at least a level 10!"

Sturm leans back against his seat, complementing Kean's reply. "Than all the more need to caught the rebels and force them to give up the level 10 spell."

"But my Lord," One of braver lieutenant voice out, "The path leading to the Pass, is totally blockaded by the rebels."

"And?" Sturm's green eyes glinted dangerously.

"Er... I… we should use other ways to attack, instead of rushing in headlong." The lieutenant trembled as he replied.

The officer looked left and right for help, but rest avoided his eye. He sighed and quickly came up with an idea, hoping he won't turn into another cooling pile of meat on the floor.

-------------------

After that display of spell power, the hoomans brought everyone to visit the Iron Castle.

Thorn and Joseph were practically excited, pointing and asking questions about the hoomans tek-no-lo-gees but were unable to understand anything.

Thorn kept asking about the spells that destroyed the dragons, but when shown the device, he couldn't detect a single trace of magical power, leading him to wonder if the hoomans had tricked him.

Afterward, they went around the city, showing the farms, strange blocky looking buildings with seamless looking walls and a short walk along the great wall.

The Base Colony was arranged in a grid-like design, with roads branching out to other places like the farms, factories, and the ship.

The design of the walls was very special, built in a star shape with another star overlapped the insides of the outer wall, like a compass rose.

As Sherene stood looking over the parapet, she felt very conflicted. The city itself felt very alien, with perfectly paved straight streets and perfect looking structures.

And the emptiness. There was barely anyone at all, she doesn't even see any children nor elderly. Could they be all inside the Iron Castle?

Something seems wrong, the hoomans are keeping back some things.

"Why are there no children?" She plucks up her courage and asked the hooman Blake.

Blake surprised by her question hesitates awhile before simply saying, "There are none."

--------------

Later that night after the dinner with the hoomans officers. Sherene laid on the incredibly soft mattress and comfortable pillows. What did he mean by that?

She was troubled by his words. Could be they are impotent? Or is that why he wants her people so the hoomans could mate with them?

She turns red at that thought. How do I make use of this? Should I use it as a bargaining chip for my people?

Flopping herself hard on the bed, she buried her warm face into the soft pillows and tried to fall asleep.

Yet she couldn't fall asleep no matter how she tosses and turns. Finally, she got up, still dressed in her simple yet elegant silk shift, and tiptoed to the door.

She opened the door by pressing the green rune set on the wall as she was taught and the door splits into two, one half sliding upwards while the other half slide downwards.

At the start, when the door opened, she nearly shrieks in fear, as the maw like doors opened in front of her. She thought that the hoomans finally has shown their true colors and were offering her to some demons.

Looking at the amused expressions on the hoomans especially that Blake, she felt deeply embarrassed.

She peeked left and right out of the doorway, finding no one around, not even guards and set off to find Blake.

-----------------

"XO! We got movement along the VIP corridor!" The night watch officer reports. "Putting up on visual."

The screen shows a bared footed female elf in a white spaghetti strap dress walking cautiously down the hatchway.

"Well well well… What do we have here?" Ford rubs his chin and grins evilly. "Seems like our little chick has flown the coop!"

The rest of the night watch crew in the bridge lowers their heads, choking back laughter at the way the XO is behaving. "Where's the Captain?" He asks.

"Cap, just left the Med bay, five minutes ago, heading back to his bunk." Someone replied.

"Goodie, we are so gonna have some fun!" Ford gave a laugh, rubbing his hands in glee. "Use the way finders for our lost princess to find our Captain."

"Aye aye XO!" The bridge crew gleefully chorused back.

-----------------------------

Blake left the Med Bay, feeling comprehensive, after a full medical checkup by Dr. Sharon. Base results have shown his body reacting to an unknown chemical and he also had a tiny spike in his radiation readings.

Dr. Sharon hypothesized that he might be affected by a spell, thus leading to a spike in his rads reading, increased heart rate, adrenaline, and blood pressure. "You probably got Charmed and failed your willpower save."

"What? What willpower save?" Blake confused asked.

Dr. Sharon grabs Blake's tablet and after a moment of rapidly tapping of keys, shoves it back to Blake. "Here go read these when you are free." Before shooing Blake out of her office.

Blake scratches his head as he walks back towards his bunk. He opens up the files that Dr. Sharon sent him, and several e-books with titles like Dungeon and Dragons Forever and Forgotten Realms appeared. Wow, he didn't know that Dr. Sharon was such a geek. Oh, well I just read them before I go to bed.

------------------------------

Sherene wandered aimlessly around the hallways, trying to remember the way back to the bridge when she noticed something blinking at the side of the walls. She peers closely and noticed several glowing runes appeared, that looks like an arrow.

She stares at the flashing arrow rune, with suspicion, and wonders should she follow it. As she was about to make up her mind, the flashing arrow disappears and reappears further down the hall. "Wait!" She cried and ran after the arrow.

----------------------------

Ford facepalmed as he watches the silly princess chasing after the way finder. Are they that stupid? Well whatever, as long as it is working.

---------------------------

Blake enters his room and removed his uniform and boots, laying down on his bed before flipping open his tablet and starts reading Dungeon and Dragons Forever. It appears to be some kind of fantasy setting in medieval times with magic, there were some illustrations besides descriptions of monsters and beast.

No wonder the good Doctor called those two green skins captives we got from the ruins in the holding cells as goblins. The description and drawings in this book are quite realistically similar! Blake enthralled, kept swiping the pages one after another.

--------------------------

The blinking arrow stops next to a door, and the door silents split open, revealing a dark interior. Sherene gulps nervously, thinking of all the childhood stories of demons of the 13 hells. She steps into the door and the door silently slid shut behind her.

-------------------------

"Hehehehe..." Ford smirks evilly. "Good work people. Now just pretend nothing has ever happened tonight..."

--------------------------

Sherene suddenly feels a chill running down her spine. She shivers and hugs herself close, before walking deeper into the room, where a tiny glow shone from around the corner.

She peeks around the wall to see Blake half-naked laying on the bed with his eyes glued to that magical device, he appears to be engrossed in reading something.

She shyly shuffles quietly with her bare feet closer to Blake. In the dim light, she could make out his body features, which appeared to be similar if not the same as her race, as she used to watch her brothers and father train half naked in the training yard.

Her eyes end at Blake's left leg, his upper thighs ended in a stub, connected to a dull gray skeletal prosthetic leg frame. Which Blake currently is using his skeletal leg to scratch an itch on his right leg.

"Ohh..." Sherene gasps out in surprise at seeing his prosthetic leg. "What is that?"

"WAA?" Blake jumps up in fright, grabbing his service Glock 88 from under his pillow and nearly squeezing off a shot at the whitish figure hiding behind the bulkhead.

"Princess Sherene?" Blake yells, "What are you doing here? Wait, how did you enter my room? I nearly shot you!" He places his pistol on safe.

"Th-the spirits led me here..." she whispered timidly, suddenly realizing that she is alone in a room with a half-naked male.

"What? Spirits?!"

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neo Koh

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