Uncharted Forest

"FIRE IN THE HOLE!" Josa yelled out from behind a makeshift sandbag bunker while a piercing siren wailed out. "FIRE IN THE HOLE!"

He inserted a key into the firing slot and gave it a twist after the wailing siren blared three times to warn everyone of the danger.

The forest rumbled and the earth shook, while hundreds of colorful feathered wyverns burst out into the skies as the planted explosives detonated. Snaps and cracks of broken tree trunks followed after the echoing boom before multiple crashes of toppling trees were heard.

Coming out of the protective bunkers, the workers cheered as they saw the majority of the trees before them had been blown down, making the clearing of the forest easier for the road that they were building towards Orwell's Point.

A small army of woodcutters advanced forward with powered chainsaws when the aftermath of the clearing explosions had settled down. Tractors and bulldozers procced to shove and dig away the hundreds of years old tree roots out of the ground to make way for the paving of the highway.

Josa removed his yellow safety helmet and wiped the sweat off his forehead as he watched the men cut and dug up the tough roots before cranes lifted the wood bits away and dumping down onto the back of the flatbed trucks.

He admired the vehicles and the efficiency of the tools and knowledge imparted by the hoomans. If using traditional means, they would need at least two years just to clear a path for a road to be built!

But with these amazing tools, they could finish the highway in months and with just a hundred men!

Suddenly a whistle blew out loudly, followed by other whistles which indicated a monster attack was taking place. The workers and the Local Defense Force that was providing security had run several drills together and the men knew what to do in an event of an attack.

The workers dropped their tools and abandoned their vehicles. They ran towards the sandbagged bunkers and armed themselves while LDF teams took up positions.

"Goblins!" Someone yelled out, and several rifle barks echoing down the forest was heard.

Josa yelled at the nearby workers to hurry their ass over when suddenly several short green grey creatures burst out from nearby trees shrieking in excitement.

"Shit!" He wanted to duck into the bunker to grab a rifle but the entrance was blocked by the men rushing inside. Seeing the goblins just meters away, he grabbed the first tool he could and brandished it before the yelping creatures.

He pulled the cord and the chainsaw burst into life, rumbling loudly and it trembled in his sweaty hands like a beast eager for blood.

The first goblin giggled as it hacked down with two hands with its crude stone ax and Josa dodged the simple attack easily. He swung his chainsaw downwards and the teeth of the saw bit into the back of the neck and right shoulder the goblin, spewing dark greenish blood all over as the powered saw sawed off the head and arm of the giggling goblin off.

"URGGHHH!" The blood sprayed all over Josa and he cursed loudly. "FARK!"

The other goblins paused for a while before screaming and charging at him again. Josa quickly took up a spearing position by holding the chainsaw out before him. Using his superior reach, he swung the chainsaw horizontally and the saw bit onto the shoulder of a screaming goblin.

The goblin screamed and gurgled as the sawtooth blades savaged its arm off and the chainsaw sputtered as the chain teeth got caught against the ribs of the dying goblin. "Oh shit!"

He shoved his work boots against the child like body of the goblin and kicked the creature off the blades of the chainsaw. Following that, he backed off from the rest of the goblins and tried to kick start the chainsaw again by pulling the cord, but Lady Luck did not favor him as the motor refused to start, most likely the due to the blade getting clogged up with gore.

"Am I going to die here?" He parried a spear thrust with the chainsaw as he backed off desperately when suddenly someone yelled from behind him.

"Get down!"

He ducked to the side and crawled away just as half a dozen rifles roared out. Looking up he saw the goblins that he was fighting off were blown off their feet. Coughing from the smelly black powder smoke that lingered around, he accepted a hand from one of the workers who had armed themselves as he felt his legs seemed to turn soft.

"Boss! That was crazy brave of you to tackle those goblins with just a chainsaw!" The men laughed and praised Josa. "You are like a goblin slayer!"

"If you didn't stop them, we won't be able to arm ourselves in time!" The men thanked him feverishly.

A couple of squads of the LDF appeared and swept their surroundings for more goblins. Occasionally, gunfire could be heard. Josa sat on the side of the bunker and gripped his shaking hands tightly, grinning and listening to the workers spreading the tale of his bravery.

Later on, the workers started wearing hand made patches on their work sleeves with an emblem of a pair of crossed ax and a chainsaw.

The work resumed with an occasionally attack by goblins or monster and work only paused when dozens of heavily ladened supply trucks drove up the half completed highway before they rolled off into the forest on their way towards Orwell's Point.

Marines on the mounted turrets on the tops of the trucks waved at the workers as they disappeared into the forest.


Orwell's Point, Marine Stronghold, CO's Office

Titanna looked around the stone room in disappointment as the furnishing were spartan and dull. A fireplace sat on one side of the large room, while a trio of sofas sat before it. The work desk were piled high with documents of an unfamiliar type of parchment that looked beautifully white and cut into perfect rectangles.

Those parchments were the only noteworthy items in this room as she sat on one of the chairs before the work desk. Two burly barbarians soldiers in that strange patterned uniforms stood at attention beside the door, preventing her from escaping if she wanted to.

Not long, the doors opened and the two barbarian soldiers snapped to attention as a middle aged looking solider in the same type of uniform entered with another female and an elderly scholarly looking mage.

The newly arrived soldier sat down behind the work desk while the other two took seats next to the fireplace. He gestured for the two guards to leave the room before addressing Titanna.

Titanna's eyebrows rosed as she thought he must be quite confident of his fighting skills if he asked his guards to leave. She eyed the weak looking female and the old man and wondered if they were more dangerous than they looked.

"I am Captain Joseph, Commanding Officer of the 2nd Marine Battalion of the United Nations," He spoke. "I hope you can forgive us for the lack of hospitality at these... trying times."

"This is Dr. Sharon, our resident doctor, and healer," He gestured towards a short lady wearing a pure white coat with many pockets whose ears were similar as that infuriating barbarian soldier.

"And this is Magister Thorn," Joseph introduced next.

"Now, I am sure you have some questions and is uncertain about your future here," Joseph continued without pause. "Rest assured you will not be mistreated as long as you behave and give your word that you will not attempt any escapes or endanger the lives of the people around you."

"You all do know that my family will not rest till you are dead, right?" Titanna leaned back leisurely on her chair. "They will not stop and will resort to all means to take by this city."

"Ah, yes," Joseph nodded. "Your father, Moel Rothschild is known to be quite the... ruthless man."

"Knowing that you still dare to stand against him?" Titanna sneered. "I don't know if I should praise you for your bravery or stupidity!"

"The Rothschild family has over two hundred Knights!" Titanna proudly declared, "Each as powerful as a Fifth Circle mage or higher!"

"What can you barbaric peons do?" Titanna smiled sweetly. "But I can make you a deal."

"And what deal will that be?" Joseph gave a soft smile. "Pray tell us."

"Surrender and swear fealty to me!" Titanna stood up and declared. "I will promise you all that your lives will be spared but your lives will belong to me!"

She stood them smugly and expected them to be grateful for the benevolence she bestowed to them. But she slowly noticed that Joseph's expression remained the same while the female looked distracted and the old Magister looked at her like she was some kind of alien specimen.

"What?" Titanna angrily stabbed her hands on her waist, "Are you denying my benevolence?"

"Cough, cough..." The distracted looking female cleared her throat. "Please, stop making a fool of yourself. You have nothing to make a deal with us."

"Whaaat?" Titanna spun around in anger. "Granting you your pitiful lives isn't it enough?"

"That is if your daddy can defeat us first!" The female dismissed her words casually.

"Dad-di?" Titanna was confused by the word. "You are courting disaster!"

"Thank you, Dr. Sharon," Joseph spoke up. "Now, Lady Titanna, not that we do not want to make a deal with you, but frankly, the terms you offered us, is unacceptable."

"In fact, it is laughable," Joseph shook his head sadly. "You undermine our abilities, but I can assure you, whatever forces your father sends, my men are more than enough to destroy them all."

"And in the meantime, I hope you obey the rules laid down before you, or you have to forgive us for not giving you any respect," Joseph smiled. "I guess you have nothing else to offer to us. I will have my men escort you back to your room."

"W- wait!" Titanna cried out. "You do not know what is coming!"

"My father will not rest until he destroys you!" Titanna quickly warned as the guards entered to bring her back. "Why do you risk it all? By serving me, you and your men can gain riches and power beyond your limits!"

Joseph raised a hand to stop the Marine guards, "Lady Titanna, rest assured that we already have power beyond your limits and understanding. Your family's two hundred odd Knights do not pose a threat to the security of this city."

He nodded to the guards to gently pulled Titanna out but she cried out as she was being laid out. "No! That is impossible! Unhand me!"

She wanted to possess the magic of these barbarians and not allow it to be destroyed by her father. If she has the knowledge of the magic, she could surpass her brothers and even her father over time! Not to mention, she can surpass that up stuck bitch! "Let me go! I can walk by myself!"

The two guards shrugged and released her on the hallway. She hmphed and straightened the simple gown given to her and tilted her head up and walked off towards her assigned room. She must think of a way to get the magic of these barbarians in her hands!

As she walked down the stone hallway towards her room making plans in her mind, a voice suddenly called out, breaking her thoughts. "Titanna?!"

She turned around to see who was calling her and froze in shock, "E- Elizabeth Ragner!!!"

Liz stood there dumbstruck as she saw the rich spoiled girl who always bullied her when she was studying in Bluewood Royal School of Magic but she always managed to defeated her in all academic fields. Both girls in the hallway and stared at each other and cried out at the same time.


A note from neo Koh

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neo Koh


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