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Orwell's Point, Marine Stronghold

Titanna Rothschild paced anxiously in her comfortably decorated cell. She has heard from the servants, guards, and even that magical entertaining box that played music and current topics of the city that the Imperial Army had been defeated with over half of its strength destroyed and the rest either surrendered or running.

She did not believe that this group of barbarians had the power to wipe out her families' military might in barely a week! It was such an impossible feat that she dismissed the rumors and news that the Imperial Army was defeated as propaganda!

But a small voice in her head kept telling her that these barbarians might just have the ability to do so and that thought kept nagging her every day.

She tried to discuss her worries with her brother during the times when they were released for their mealtimes together but he dismissed her worries as womanly nonsense for how could a barbaric force win against the highly trained and disciplined Imperial Army!

Now, she glanced out of her barred window, the constant thunders coming from the battlefield had quietened down since yesterday. She did not know if the barbarians had won or did her father won.

She sat restlessly next to the radio box and waiting impatiently for the gentle tones of music to end. Normally, she could sit there and just immerse herself in the strange but enjoyable music but this time, she wished that it would stop and the daily 'news' to start its broadcast!

Finally, after a long agonizing wait, the familiar tones heralding the start of the news broadcast played from the music box and Titanna eagerly leaned closer to hear the voice speaking.

The female voice spoke of the usual minor happenings of the city and even some advertising for some pub before the voice spoke of the battle that had occurred between the two armies.

"We now bring to you the latest information from the front lines!" The voice said. "As of today, hostilities have ended as the UN Marines has claimed victory over the Imperials."

"A decisive battle between the Marines and the Imperials occurred just yesterday afternoon. And sources from the Marines stated that they have destroyed at least half of the Imperial Army and taken as much as nine thousand Imperial soldiers as prisoners of war!" The voice continued on excitedly. "Casualties among the Marines remained low despite the Imperial Army overwhelming them by at least twenty times!"

"This calls for a great celebration for the United Nations as the city of Orwell's Point is no longer under threat of the Imperial Army!" The female voice spoke with great fervor and passion. "The war is over!"

"Now onto other news, the Riley Mill is looking for fit worki-"

Titanna fell back against the chair as she laid stunned at the news that reported her father's army has lost the war. "Impossible! This can't be true!"

She stood up and quickly banged against the locked cell door urgently. "I need to speak with Lord Joseph! Please let me speak to him!"

-----

UN Forward Trench Alpha Two

Mills gave a look of irritation at the order he received from the radioman. "HQ wants me to what?"

He and his men had been manning the trenches since the battle the day before due to shortage of manpower, and they were tired, dead tired. Mills was covered in dirt and dried blood as he hasn't had the opportunity to change into a new set of uniform as he stayed at the front lines ensuring the remnants of the Imperial Army has truly ran away.

"Eh... they want you to watch over the prisoner and ensure she does not run away and is kept safe, sarge..." The radioman repeated the order from HQ.

"What the hell?" Mills glared at his radioman. "Is HQ nuts?"

The radioman gave a shrug, "Orders..."

"I damn well know it's an order!" Mills cursed silently. "Where is she now?"

"HQ wants you to pick her up at the rear," The radioman grinned and gave a wink to Mills. "Have a nice date!"

"Goddamnit!"

-----

Titanna stood uneasily with the two guards watching over her. She managed to get her request to Lord Joseph but only after a day did she receive a reply.

Now she took a boat ride, followed by the fast moving magic open topped wagons before her escorts stood her here waiting for someone to bring her to the battlefield.

She ignored the curious stares from the mud covered soldiers and workers around her and her eyes widened as she recognized a muddy soldier appearing before her. "Mills?"

"Yup, that's me!" The dirt and blood stained soldier broke into a frown. "What the hell are you thinking of doing here?"

"I am here to find my father!" Titanna quickly explained. "Lord Joseph gave me permission! Are... are you alright?"

"Hmph... I'm fine, this is not my blood," Mills gave a grumpy grunt before he waved the two Marine escorts away. "I will take it over from here."

"Come along now," Mills growled at the girl. "Stay close and don't run away. I got orders to shoot you if you try to run away or do anything funny!"

"I- I understand!" Titanna felt a strange sense of ease after seeing the strange barbarian who was always rude and teasing her, still alive.

Titanna quickly followed Mills as he led her towards the POW zone, where hundreds of disarmed Imperial soldiers could be seen setting up tents and cooking fires or doing some odd jobs here and there. "Have you asked if he has been taken, prisoner?"

Titanna shook her head, "They told me that my father wasn't among the names of the nobles or commanders that had surrendered."

"Damn," Mills gave out a sigh. "Come on, let's see if he's hiding with the common soldiers."

As they approached the gate of the camp, they could see rings of razor wire surrounding the camp, while machine gun nests overwatched the prisoners. Teams of prisoners headed off under overseeing Marines to the battlefields for the grisly collection of remains to working the burial details for the collected dead.

"Well, if your father is still alive, he should be somewhere in there," Mills gestured to the guards at the gate who allowed them in.

Titanna stopped the first person she met and started asking if he has seen her father, but the soldier shook his head. Undaunted, she continued asking another person till a couple of hours later, she walked back towards the gate where Mills waited patiently for her.

"Did you find him?" Mills asked softly.

Titanna shook her head as she walked out. Mills sighed and gestured her towards another group of tents with bright red crosses on the sides. "Let's see if he's among the wounded then."

They went and asked around at the medical tents, but no one seemed to know nor match the description given by Titanna. "Could he had retreated safely?"

"Maybe?" Mills gave a shrug. "It's pretty messy out there, it's hard to tell."

"I see..." Titanna gave out a deep sigh and she kneeled down hugging her knees depressingly.

"Hey cheer up," Mills squatted down next to Titanna. "I'm sure you will find him safe and sound."

"Thank y-" Titanna suddenly paused in her words as she stared at the pile of discarded armor and items of clothing piled haphazardness in a small mound. She stood up and half ran over to the pile and started to toss aside the broken and blood stained armor pieces before she held one particularly battered and blood caked plate mail.

"This... this..." Titanna's eyes watered as she stared at the carvings and ornate designs on the badly damaged armor. "This is his own personnel armor!"

"Oh... shit..." Mills whispered softly at the side as he watched Titanna started crying while hugging the armor against herself. "Goddamnit..."

-----

Great Ocean Plains, Dead Frontier

The strange machine rumbled and the leather belt hooked around the wheel of the beast rotated rapidly. The spiked gears linked to the leather belt started to turn and the circular saw spun and bit into the piece of log with a roar and spitting sawdust out from one end.

The watching carpenters and loggers responded with appreciation by clapping and cheering at the effortless of the magical device to cut through the log down.

Leung smirked at the happy and surprised expressions of the natives. He had rigged up the half track's wheels to make a sawmill with a few simple adjustments. Since the engine was powered by electricity and he has several square meters of solar film, he could efficiently run the sawmill as long as there was sunlight.

Wowing these primitives was so simple! By saying he was a Sage and showing them how to do things by making advanced tools, their hostility and suspicions immediately turned into worship! Leung thought to himself as he watched the natives poke around the sawmill.

"Many thanks for sharing your knowledge! Sage Long," The beefy chief that they called Borse, politely gave a bow to him. "We much appreciate your generous help here."

Leung gave an expression of indifference as he waved off the words of Borse. "This is just a small matter! What is important is that with a strong foundation, then the people will be strong!"

Borse nodded at the wise words spoken by the round eared guest that joined their growing town brought back by Taris from his fruitless trip to the City in the plains. The trip to purchase supplies did not turn out as excepted but they managed to recruit someone that held great knowledge and holds strange artifacts!

"Yes, without a strong foundation, we can't survive nor grow strong enough to protect ourselves," Borse replied.

"That is why now, you need to look into improving your agriculture!" Leung said. "The land here is barren, you need irrigation!"

"Not only that, you need to introduce basic sanitary!" Leung added. "This will cut down on the diseases and not only that, the night soil that is collected can be used for many things!"

"Hmmm..." Borse nodded again at the advice given by the Sage. "The soldiers know how to do that but... the refugees that join us..."

"Than you need to be firm!" Leung stated while he stroked his chin as he gave said some Chinese idioms as bullshit. "As they say, kill one to warn a hundred! It is better for one to die now than when regret later when there is an outbreak of diseases!"

Borse's eyes widened as he heard the phrase. "Kill one to warn a hundred?"

"I understand, Sage Long," Borse's respect for this strange person grew. "I will have my men implement measures to make sure the refugees follow proper sanitary methods!"

"Good, good!" Leung gave a small smile to himself. "Now, once you settle these issues, you should look to organizing the refugees to work! If not they are just eating away your resources while lazing around!"

Borse agreed with Leung greatly as he listened to his advice. He had wanted to the refugees seeking a safe haven to work but the refugees instead camped outside his town and constantly begged and demanded food and water.

He had given in due to the fact that he knew these people had lost their homes and did not want to be so strict with them. He shared what he could to the refugees but they only grew bolder and demanded more from him.

"You can't be soft with them!" When Leung first came, he saw the situation and immediately he understood the problem they were facing. "You give them an inch and they'll take a mile!"

"Your words have awoken me!" Borse gravely replied. "I understand what I shall do for the greater good!"

"Yes, do what you must!" Leung smiled at the retreating back of Borse.

"Build a firm foundation for me here!"

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Sorry for the wait guys, was down with a bad viral strain last week. Fever for almost five days and I lost 4 kg after I recovered...


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