The soft wet ground suddenly moved and soil slowly got pushed out, forming a small burrow. A bald greenish head appeared and it took a deep breath of the fresh spring air and giggled. Before long several more burrows appeared and like rabbits, goblins started to crawl their way out of the soil.
Outskirts of Haven, Agriculture District 2
A yellow green hue covered a plot of land as several farmers maintained a spell over the land. Furrows appeared on the soil as the farmers used magic to tilt the plot of land. A tractor hooked up to a high capacity fertilizer spreader sat on the end of the plot, the driver waiting for the spell to end.
Once the mana dissipated away, the farmer moved the rumbling tractor forward and switched on the fertilizer spreader. The nozzles on the spreader sprayed out a liquid compost which was made from the city wastes.
The other farmers headed off to the next plot of land to cast the next spell to tilt the land while the tractor continued to spray nutrients to prepare the land for crops.
"Thank you for your hospitality here," Fleet Master Megan said as she stepped on the boarding ramp of her ship. "We will bring your wishes of an alliance to the Council to decide. With luck, we will return in time with good news!"
With that, she disappeared into the ship with Akron who gave a bow before boarding. Dijon stood on the pier with an unsure expression before he rubbed his head hard and said, "Oh well, my apologies on offending you by courting you while you are engaged to another man."
Sherene smiled, "The fault does not lay completely on you, I never told you I was engaged, and that led to some misunderstandings."
"Well, best wishes!" Dijon gave a curt nod before he walked up to his own ship and boarded. "I will try my best to convince the Council for an alliance, but from what I see, your man seems strong enough to protect you all."
He gave a wave and disappeared into his ship while the crew started to prep the ship for departure. Tug boats started to pull the sailing ships out of the docks and towards the open sea, and before long the ships dropped their sails and with the winds filling them up, they started to move and slowly disappeared over the horizon.
"Phew!" Sherene finally relaxed. "That's one problem gone!"
Cracks of rifle shots broke out along the roofs of the mining facilities as a small horde of goblins attempted to climb over the series of barb wires and electrical fences that surrounded the locked down outpost.
The workers and miners had all trained to be part of the Local Defense Force as militia troops. The attack from the goblins came just after midnight when most of the workers were asleep.
The hungry goblins blinded by the powerful spotlights of the facilities ran headlong into the rolls of razor shape concertina wires. The sharp blades slashed and trapped the goblins in their rags, making the creatures yelp in pain and surprise.
The outpost's alarm rang out and the workers jolt awoke before they grabbed their weapons stored in the armory and took up positions on the roof tops as they were drilled and trained.
Lights flooded the outpost surroundings, exposing the pale green skins of the goblins and cries of dismay and shock. The outpost commander barked an order and the men fired in aimed shots, shooting at those nearest to the outpost.
Some of the luckier goblins managed to avoid getting trapped in the concertina wires hit the next line of defenses of electrical fencing. The voltage running through the fence was barely enough to stun silly any goblins but was enough to make the goblins jump up in shock and pain.
It slowed the goblin rush as they stood there looking at confusion at the strange fence, not understanding why does it hurt and makes them feel funny when they touch it. The defenders quickly made full use of the confusion to fire at the goblins and not long, the goblins fled in useless anger.
These similar incidents occurred throughout the night at different outposts, as the goblins came out to raid for food only to be beaten back. The Air Force scrambled its fighters into the air and they drop bombs and rockets at any large gatherings of goblins that were found.
UNS Singapore, Captain's Quarters
Blake rubbed his tired eyes and gratefully accepted the mug of steaming hot tea from the steward and continued to listen to reports streaming in from Air Force Command and Marine Command.
"Nine of our outposts were hit, but so far none breached," Commander Ford yawned as he stretched himself out on one of the chairs. "We got a few injuries, mostly from falls and someone accidentally shot himself on his leg."
"3rd Battalion barely had to mobilize to support any outposts," Blake said. "Frank is trying pushing for a major sweep through the forest to clear out the goblins."
"Well, the number of goblins in each raid barely amount to two hundred," Ford replied. "Why not? Let Frank and his boys go hunting in the forest. the goblins seemed to be overstretched and in disarray."
Blake nodded and he hit the comms, "Frank, go kick some ass!"
"Aye aye, Captain!"
"Shouldn't you be on the Matador?" Blake asked as he ended the comms.
"Oh, there's still plenty of time," Ford grinned. "Intel estimates that the Goblin invasion fleet needs a half a week to get here."
"How many damn ships do those green shits have?" Blake frowned as he dug through his computer records for the Intel report.
"Well, the last report said that they counted like four zero vessels of various sizes," Ford replied. "I will sail out in the afternoon, and will expect to meet them within 28 hours."
"Compared to the previous fleet, I see our single bombing effort has shown some results," Ford pointed out. "That's like a third of their previous fleet!"
Blake nodded, "Well, destroy them before they come close. I don't want a repeat of last years battle clean up. Damn things can burrow into the sand and beaches!"
"Yea, that was a huge waste of time and resources just to clear them off the beach," Ford agreed. "Alright, I'm gonna get some breakfast before I return to Far Harbor. Want some?"
"No, you go ahead, I still got some reports to go through," Blake declined. "But help me get the steward to send some more tea and sandwiches up will ya?"
Ford looked at the cooling tea on Blake's desk and sighed. "Damn, how I wish they have some local coffee here, I can't bear to finish my last few packs!"
"Well, that's not the worst I can think of," Blake smiled. "Wait till you tell the Princess that the stocks of chocolate are running out!"
The jolt of the creaking wheel of the wagon as it went over a hump on the road incited groans and moans from the people held inside a cage. Several burly men armored in a mixture of leather and steel rode war dragons next to the convoy of wagons.
Inside one of the more lavishly decorated carriages among the convoy, laid a half naked mustached bald male with a large belly on several fluffy pillows. On his side were three young women scantily dressed and giving him a massage on his shoulders and legs.
The convoy slowly came into view of Orwell's Point and they crossed the six meter long draw bridge just behind another similar convoy.
The head guard rapped against the wooden window covers of his master and said, "My lord, we have reached the city gates!"
"Good, good," Kuhm leaned forward from his position and pushed the window panels open and glanced out to the city.
A city guard came up and asked, "Purpose?"
"Purpose?" Kuhm frowned in annoyance, "To trade of course! Tsk!"
"We need to check your cargo!" The guard seemed unperturbed and instead said.
"You," Kuhm gestured to his head guard outside. "Deal with it."
"Yes, my lord!" His guard bowed and hastened off to settle with the city guards.
"Tsk! Lowlives!" Kuhm leaned back on the pillows while the girls fawned all over him.
Not long the carriage moved again and his head guard rode his mount next to the window and said, "My lord, the guards seemed strange..."
"What is it?" Kuhm frowned. "What is strange?"
"They... they rejected my offer of coin," His guard said.
"Guards that rejected money?" Kuhm was intrigued by this news. "How strange indeed."
"Also, my lord," His guard seemed nervous as he gripped his sword hilt tightly. "The city... feels too quiet!"
"Hmmm?" Kuhm pushed away the girls and he leaned out of the window to see for himself. And true enough, he sensed that the energy in the city was different and there were also no people on the streets only than them and the convoy before them.
"Send someone to find out what is going on!" Kuhm quickly ordered and he pitched forward just as the carriage stopped abruptly. "What is going on!" He yelled angrily as his girls helped him up.
"The merchants ahead of us suddenly stopped!" His guard quickly informed his master. "I will go and find out why!"
But before the guard could move his mount forward, a sudden voice loud and clear enough for everyone to hear spoke, "Everyone please step out from your wagons and carriages. Riders are to dismount from their dragons and weapons are to be laid on the floor now!"
The merchants and their guards were in an uproar when they had these demands the unknown speaker. The guards drew their weapons and formed up in a protective circle around their charges while the wagon drivers nocked and loaded their crossbows and looked around nervously.
"What is this?" Kuhm peeked out of the carriage window in surprise. "Has the Empire gone crazy? Are they robbing us in broad daylight!?"
"You have till the count of five to comply, or we will take actions!" The voice thundered again.
"Stay inside my lord!" His head guard sat on his mount and covered the carriage, his helmet head jerking left and right as he tried to find the enemies.
BAAAAM! BAAM!! BAAAM!
Several thunderous roars made Kuhm jumped and the girls screamed in fright. His eyes widen in horror as he saw his head guard's head jerked and the mangled helmet flew off with bits of red and greyish matter.
"Drop your weapons! Get off the wagons and carriages! I will not repeat myself again!"
"Breakout!" Someone yelled and the chops of hooves sounded as some of the surviving guards attempted to ride out of the streets, only to find the side streets were covered up and even the way out of the city was barred!
BAAM! BAAM! BAAAM!
Another series of thunders roared, and Kuhm heard clanks of armor and weapons hitting the ground.
"WE SURRENDER!" Came frightened screams and cries after the loud roars. "Don't kill us!"
"Drop your weapons! Get off the wagons and carriages! NOW!"
Kuhm with shaking hands opened the carriage doors and he kicked the girls out before him. The frightened women kneed with their heads down with tears streaming down their faces seemed fine before he nervous stepped out.
As he stepped out, a pair of rough hands suddenly grabbed him and slammed him down to the rock pavement, making him bite his lips.
"Get down! You fat ass!" Someone screamed at his ear and he felt hands groping his body and he wondered if he was going to be raped!
He turned his face and saw dozens of booted feet move around. The men belonging to those boots wore a strange confusing pattern of blue green and grey colored uniform and they were stripping the guards and other merchants of their weapons and other personal belongings.
"Who are these barbarians!?"