Dozens of white masted ships sailed majestically into the stone pier under the watchful gun forts covering the harbor. A boat without a sail and oars raced ahead of the flotilla, escorting them into the docking piers.
Fleet Master Dijon stood at the bow of his ship and took in all the changes that have occurred since the previous time he was here at Far Harbor. Those walled off areas had were taken down and large barn like structures stood in their places.
A second stone pier was constructed at the other side of the harbor and strange yellow colored structures that looked like the ribs of some monster towered over the piers and the docks. The harbor also had more ships and activity now compared to before and several small fishing boats and barges were docked at the newly constructed pier.
A couple of fishing boats were even returning to unload their cargo of sea product that they caught off shore. The strange magical boat did an amazing 360 degree loop that shocked those new sailors in the arriving ships that never came to Far Harbor before.
The PT boat painted in dazzle camo paint scheme of greys, white and black powered past the line of sailing ships with ease against the wind and currents. The tiny crew onboard gave a friendly wave before the magical boat speed past the ships that left most of the sailors in stunned wonder.
The Isles' ships slowly docked one by one against the pier and a welcoming party headed by the Princess waited patiently for them to disembark from their ships. It appeared to Dijon that each time he came to this place, there was something new and exciting waiting for him and he doesn't know if it is a good or bad thing.
Fleet Master Dijon smiled when he saw who was in the welcome party and quickly stormed down the gangplank eagerly and gave a gentlemanly bow to Princess Sherene before taking the back of her hand and kissing it. "My, you look gorgeous as ever, Princess!"
Sherene dressed in a black turtle neck sweater and long woolen skirts gave a forced smile and tactically kept her hands behind her back and gave a curtsy. "Welcome to Far Harbor again, Fleet Master Dijon. How was your trip here?"
"Uneventful, your navy must has done a very good job in defeating the goblin pirates!" Dijon gave a dramatic sigh. "But the weather is turning bad and soon the seas will be closed for the rest of the winter months. I guess I will be staying here until the weather is fair again!"
"I- I see," Sherene politely smiled and felt a headache coming. "We have plenty of entertainment and activities here that should keep you pretty occupied!"
"Hahaha! Sure! I will take your offer then!," Dijon gave a wink at Sherene who acted like she didn't see it. "Oh yes! I bring gifts for you from lands afar!" He turned and gestured to his men to bring the chests over.
"Pearls from the deep seas, gemstones from the fire islands and the finest and the rare colored silk from Emporer silk ants!" Dijon proudly showed off the gifts to Sherene who appeared to be stunned.
"All for you!" Dijon gave his most charming smile.
"I- I... Thank you," Sherene sighed inwardly, "But I can't accept such valuable gifts!"
"Take it as a token of my... appreciation," Dijon insisted strongly. "All these will only be wasted on others but could only truly shine in your presence!"
"Ahem..." An aide coughed from behind Sherene, "Fleet Master, why don't we adjoin to another location with freshments first?"
Dijon looked at the female beast girl behind Sherene and frowned. The beast girl quickly said, "The Princess has been standing here for some time in this cold, and it is not very good for her body!"
"Ahhh!" The hostility in Dijon's eye faded and he quickly nodded and agreed, "Yes! yes! Too much cold sea wind is not good for the body! You must be cold!" He reached out to take Sherene's hands when the beast girl quickly bundled Sherene up in a thick coat.
Dijon looked at this half stretched out hands and coughed to cover his embarrassment. Sherene winked at Kaga and mouthed a thank you at her quick actions.
Kaga sighed inwardly and wondered why did she listen to Billy to work in the City Hall? This group of sailors doesn't seem to have any good intentions to the Princess! She felt her tail standing at the way that guy looks at the poor Princess.
"Fleet Master Dijon, why don't you introduce your sweetheart here to us?" A silky voice came from behind Dijon. A tall striking looking woman with raven black hair covered in a long coat made of fine wolf fur walked over with a white ornate jacket of office dangled over her shoulders. She blew a puff of smoke out from the slim smoke pipe she held in her fingers.
Another person stood next to her, shorter by half a head with a monocle stuck to his left eye. His carefully groomed and wax mustache stood out against his pale skin. A similar ornate white jacket draped over his shoulders and he hugged a leather case against himself.
"Ahh!" Dijon expression turned serious and he gave the introductions, "This is Second Fleet Master Megan Luza and Fourth Fleet Master Akron Willer."
"I am Sherene Goldrose, City Governer here," Sherene smiled and gave a curtsy to the other two VIPs. "Welcome to our humble little place."
"Humble?" Megan took a drag on her pipe and blew the smoke at Sherene's face. "This place doesn't look humble at all!"
"Ahem," Kaga coughed and quickly suggested, "Let's all retreat indoors out of the cold and have some refreshments? I think everyone is tired from their long journey here..."
Megan turned and looked at Kaga, who flattened her ears by the intense stare. "What a cutie!" She reached over and rubbed Kaga's head. "Lead the way, girl!"
Kaga felt a chill down her spine at the way Megan looked at her, like a Boa eyeing her meal! She shivered and quickly moved out of range of Megan who looked slightly disappointed.
Sherene pasted her smile on her face but she felt her blood pressure rising. What a bitch! She thought to herself but she kept on smiling as she was the host and they were guests from afar.
"Please board this cart," Sherene invited the VIPs to sit inside the five seater open top electrical cart. The two Fleet Masters looked with curiosity at the cart and asked, "How does this thing even move? You push it?"
"HAHA!" Dijon laughed at Megan's septical look. "It's a wonderous magical wagon!" He gave an air of superiority and sat down on one of the comfortable seats and sighed in comfort.
Akron gave a shrug and climbed into one of the seats. He gave the seat a couple of bounces and pats before nodding in approval before he turned his attention to the harbor, seemingly ignoring everyone else.
"Please take a seat?" Sherene gestured again to the cart where everyone was waiting for Megan to enter.
Megan gave a huff and gingerly climbed into the seat next to Akron, the seat molding to her contours once her full body weight had settled down. She leaned back and put on a face of indifference despite feeling the material of the seat to be super comfortable.
So far everything here appeared to be out of the ordinary. If what Dijon said was true, these Goldrose peasants had built this whole harbor up in not even a year's time!
Sherene sighed and sat down next to Dijon who looked quite excited and happy while Kaga took the seat next to the driver. "Let's go!"
A similar vehicle with armed soldiers followed the cart as they sped down the pier and towards the harbor's Civic Centre. Along the way, Arkon and Megan appeared to be visibly surprised by the smoothness and the speed of the magical cart. They held tightly to the handrails and looked at their surroundings with wonder as they passed by the strange yellow rib-like structures that turned out to be cargo cranes but in a much larger and grander scale!
Finally, the carts stopped at a grand looking building with a large circular facade that had two thick black sticks, one long and one short and fat. Another thinner stick appeared to be constantly moving! What kind of socery is this?
Dijon snickered at both Arkon and Megan's expressions and said, "Don't be a country pumpkin! Come on there are more interesting things to see later! Hahaha!"
Inside the reception room, Arkon and Megan marveled at the grandeur of the furnishing and decor of the huge room and sat down on comfortable sofas. The temperature appeared to be just nice, not too hot nor cold, prompting them to remove their jackets and hand them over to the servants who collected their coats.
Megan nodded to herself as she observed her surroundings, thinking that this place was designed and made to impress people. She wondered how much gold the Princess spends to just maintain this place.
"So, we all heard about all the magical and wondrous things that your kingdom of rebels are making," Megan said as she leaned back into the cozy sofa. "Dijon has been telling us all sorts of stories about here and of you too."
Dijon gave an embarrassed cough, "Well if you saw what their single ship could do against a fleet, you will be amazed. And those flying things of theirs."
Megan smiled, knowing that Dijon likes the Princess and she can't resist teasing them both. "So you want to propose an alliance between the two kingdoms?"
Sherene sat up in surprise, "An alliance? With the Isles?"
"Dear Dijon here came back talking about demon powered weapons and flying machines," Megan continued. "He seemed to think that as long as we ally with you all, the Isles can be taken to new heights."
"That is why I and Akron are here to take a look and see if it is worthwhile for an alliance between the two kingdoms," Megan stood up and walked to the refreshments table and gestured to Kaga. "Now, my cutie, tell me what is all this?"
Kaga sighed and went up to the buffet table and starting to introduce the food and drinks available, quickly forgetting about the way Megan looks at her as she viewed the buffet spread longingly.
Sherene turned and looked at Dijon, "An alliance? You did not speak of it the previous time you were here!"
"Well, on the way back, I thought over it for some time," Dijon smiled. "And I think it is good to have strong ties with the Isles, we can offer you many necessities that you lack. Not to mention, the Empire will also think twice in making any moves against you should they know we are allied."
"I- I need to discuss this with my people!" Sherene felt surprised. "It is too sudden!"
"Yes, yes, we will need time to prepare for everything to be perfect too!" Dijon replied, "I think a good time is around spring?"
"W- wait? Prepare for what?" Sherene tilted her head in confusion. "Why in spring?"
"Oh, its for our alliance!" Dijon gave a wide smile. "The avenue, gifts, invitations, even the clothes to be tailored and other preparations. We can do it here or back in the Isles."
"Huh? Why would an alliance need all that?" Sherene was feeling more and more confused by the minute.
"Hahahaha..." Megan laughed while she was holding a visibly struggling and panicking Kaga in her arms. She shooked her head at the complete clueless expression on the Princess's face. "Dijon is proposing an alliance between two kingdoms and what's more easier for that than in marriage?"