The parade square roared with thousands of voices as the viewing stands erupted in cheers when the marching Marines entered in near perfect formation. Rifles held diagonally across their chests, the freshly graduated Marines and the newly commissioned officers marched in step to the marching band's tune. Their heads tilted at an angle towards the reviewing stand as all the major VIPs stood saluting or clapping the soldiers' march pass.

A dozen F/A - 1 Cobras in three diamond formations did a fly by over the heads of the speculators, earning more cheers and waves. The last plane on each diamond formation released a trail of colored smoke trailing behind, in three colors, red, blue and white for each formation. The left and right formations broke formations as they came over the parade square, earning Ooos and Ahhhs from the crowd at the display. It was the first time the inhabitants of this world had ever seen an aerobatic display despite just a simple maneuver, but it wowed the hearts and minds of all present.

As the parade came to an end, Captain Blake strolled up to the front and spoke into the microphone set at the podium in front of the formation of Marines. "Today marks another extraordinary day for our people. In less than a year, we achieved many things. From fighting off an enemy ten times our size to fighting off goblins invasions and building a community for our families and loved ones." He paused and looked around the parade square where everyone who can make it to the graduation came.

"We have humans and elves. And now the Oerkins join us, and we even have dragons now." He continued, "In the past, who amongst you would have thought of that? Now we have enough food and thriving industry and... military strength. But we must not become conceited as there are still many dangers in this unclaimed lands and nations wanting to swallow us all. Therefore we must persist in our efforts, and stay strong together! Forget that you are humans, elves, orcs or even dragons, we are now one family. And as a family, we help each other and grow together, for being united we can be the strongest!" The stands exploded into cheers at Blake's speech.

"United we stand, divided we fall!" Blake yelled into the mike over the dim of the cheers and the whole parade echoed his words while fireworks exploded overhead, lighting up the evening sky.

"United we stand, divided we fall!"


Camp Alpha, Meeting Room

Blake nodded and greeted everyone as they gathered into the meeting room. "Alright people settle down, we do a quick brief than you guys can go party!" Blake grinned at the faces of his department heads as they quickly settled down.

Major Frank stood up and started the meeting going, "542 freshly minted Marines and 61 Officers graduated from this batch. They will have a few days of leave before we send them their orders."

"Most will, of course, form the backbone of 2nd Battalion. We will also be posting replacements to 1st Battalion to cover their loses, especially for 1st Battalion, Alpha Company." Frank said. "Those currently still on sick leave once they have recovered will instead be posted over to 2nd Battalion to boost the overall experience of the men."

"The new officers will also be spread out among the two battalions and also some will be posted to the Airforce," Frank nodded towards Commander Tommy. "And also we will be taking out selected personnel out for extra courses and advanced training. And also for the formation for the second ATI team."

"Claymore Two?" Blake raised his eyebrows.

"Yes, Sir," Master Sergeant Pike replied, "We all have seen the effectiveness of an arcane commando unit, therefore we will be having a selection course for candidates for the second team."

"Nice," Blake nodded in approval, "Next?"

Tommy stood up next and started his report, "After this parade, we will be starting our next recruitment drive for pilots and service crew among the civilians. As of now, we have a total of 17 combat operational F/A - 1 Cobras, one heavy weight, and two medium weight dragons and two Valkyries. The current pilots are also undergoing night time operations so in the near future we can expand our flight operations to include night ops."

"Next we are also looking at developing aerial transportation for both troops and cargo," Tommy replied, "We are working with Chief Matt and Chief Gale to come out with a design for that."

Chief Gale stood next, and said, "Under production, we are currently splitting our resources to 25% consumer products, 25% machinery, and 40% military needs and 10% maintenance. We took out fabricator production line to primary focus on pumping out fabricator parts and have one line primary just replicating fabricators out."

"But due to the lower quality of materials we have, the newly built fabricators require more maintenance and also the new parts break down faster than normal," Chief Gale reported, "Unless we have better materials like aluminum, titanium, cobalt, nanomaterials or even composites materials, the fabricators all will be required to undergo major downtime for maintenance and servicing."

Princess Sherene gave her report next, "We have confirmation of the supply convoy heading our way under escort of our soldiers, and will be expecting the shipment of seeds within two weeks. Food stocks are adequate for this year, but it will be good to be able to stockpile more for winter."

"Public works have been ongoing in terms of housing, roads, schools, hospitals, and markets for the civilian population," She continued, "There had been increasing cases of unrest and unlawfulness in the city but we are managing to keep it in check so far."

"I see," Blake nodded again, "Do what you need to, to deal with the unrest and lawbreakers, you have the full support of the police and security force."

Next, Chief Matt started his report, "We have been testing the Dragonite fuel and found that it can be used as a petrochemical substitute to our combustion engines but it produces much much more waste heat compared to fossil fuels. To offset that, we have to install large radiator panels to disperse the heat. All the current F/A - 1 Cobras have upgraded engines with radiators panels, improving their heat management."

"We also have built up a prototype Dragonite generator to provide power, which is still under development and testing stage," Chief Matt smiled proudly, "It should be able to provide enough power for the city. We will be undergoing heavy testing soon, and if it works, it will also be able to power our point defense lasers thus increasing our defensive capabilities."

"Good work on that," Blake grinned at the news, "What you need, just inform Ford, he will get it approved for you."

Magister Thorn rosed, "I have been studying the creatures we have found in the Dungeons and found them to be thought to be extinct in our time. The mutations and the monsters in the dungeon were most likely due to the higher concentration of magic and cannibalism among the monsters, which caused some kind of mutation or evolution that made them vastly different from what we know. That is why the monsters are a lot harder to defeat and more dangerous."

"To determine the Boss of the dungeon, we found that the primary dormant species normally will be the greater variants. For example, the spider ant queen, and the silver dragon. The dungeons were massively populated by spider ants on level 1 while on level 2, it was a lesser rock dragon." Thorn explained, "So if we went down to level 3, and determine which monster is the dormant species, we can roughly estimate or guess what the boss will be, thus improving our response to fighting it."

"Got it," Blake said, "But we will not touch level 3 for the time being till we are ready for it."

"I see," Thorn looked disappointed.

"Dr. Sharon?" Blake called out to the doctor who was strangely quiet throughout the meeting. "Are you alright?"

"Huh?" Dr. Sharon snapped her head up, she looked quite pale and has dark eye bags. "I-I am fine, just thinking about something."

"Ok, so do you have anything to report?" Blake raised an eye at her condition.

She rubbed her head before standing up and say, "Well, I made a breakthrough in identifying the ingredients of the healing potions. I know what they are made of, and I know how to make them."

The room became silent as everyone stared in surprise at her. Even Magister Thorn's mouth dropped out in shook, "B-but that's something lost since the Age of Gods! No one has successfully made a healing potion for hundreds of years!"

"Err... well, yeah I found out how, and what was inside the potion," She gave an absentminded shrug, "Just that we need to find the herbs for it."

"How?" Blake asked, he read the report of the healing potion effects and found them incredible, it has the ability to close wounds, repair bones and torn muscles, and with a higher dosage, it can even regenerate lost body parts! It was more amazing than their medical nanites!

Dr. Sharon rubbed her hair, messing it up more, "Well, first you need the flower of a White Poppy, you dry it and grind it into powder and boil it with Lunar Nectar collected from the Lunar Tree. Next, you drop in Blood Grass and wild Sageroot and simmer it for two hours. You then strain the solution out and infuse a Greater Healing spell into the clear liquid and voila, one bottle of healing potion!"

Everyone in the room looked blankly at her explanation and were dumbstruck, as they did not understand half of what she was staying, except Magister Thorn who bounced up in excitement. "Really? Is that it?"

Dr. Sharon nodded, "You have to control the temperature and of course the number of herbs and order which you put it in."

Thorn's eyes glowed and he went over to Dr. Sharon and started discussing potion making in excitement. Blake gave a cough and said, "I guess that's it for the meeting. Good work everyone, now go enjoy the party!"

The room started to file out and Ford gave Blake a wink before leaving the room laughing to himself. Blake shook his head and as he turned around he saw a blushing Sherene still seated at the table. "Princess?"

"Ahh?" She jumped and lowered her head again in embarrassment. "Y-yes?"

"Do you want to join me at the party?" Blake asked gently, raising a hand out to her.

She looked up and smiled charmingly at Blake who flinched slightly at the dazzling smile. He felt his heart rate increasing and his face flushing and Sherene took his hand and stood up, "Let's go!"

"Damn, am I still not immune to that charm effect?" Blake whispered softly as he led the princess out of the room.


Falledge, Merchant District, North Star Trading

Etoro Arther balled up the message that just arrived from the Isles via a message wyvern. He read the message twice before he released the wyvern who had landed on his window frame and stood before the fireplace. He slowly chanted a flame spell and dropped the smoking message into the fireplace, watching the flames turning the balled up message into ash. He returned to his desk and rang a bell, and in less than a minute, his clerk reappeared at the door. "Boss?"

"Prep our goods to move, and also inform my friend, Tyrier, that my client has agreed to his terms," He instructed, "Tell him we will move the goods within five days."

The clerk bowed and gently closed and door and left to do his bidding while Etoro sat down on his chair and rubbed his brows, wondering if all this was a good idea after all and how many will survive the travel to freedom.

A note from neo Koh

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