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"But you are saying these soldiers are actually dead?" Joseph asked. "Won't they rot away or something?"

"I think they are using some kind of arcane blood for them to slow down the decay," Magister Thorn said. "I have some sample of their blood which I will be analyzing it, but my theory is that it keeps them from decomposing and also keeping their bodies alive."


"And the Dark Stone kind of acts as a power source that powers the organs, keeping them working," Dr. Sharon said. "But from the look of the organs of these corpses, we had autopsied, I say, that they will require a constant replacement of organs to maintain the bodies at tip top conditions."

"Wait, are you saying that these soldiers were alive when they turned them into Terminators?" Joseph asked in shock. "For power, how cruel can one get?"

Magister Thorn gave a shrug, "I am guessing somewhere among the Ioot we had captured from the Imperial's camp that there will be supplies and organs for these soldiers."

"I would like to request that they are found as fast as possible so that I can work on my theory involving these, Terminators," Magister Thorn said. "This way, hopefully, we can understand more about how they made these soldiers and stop them."

"Also, we have no inkling of what spell they are using to animate these soldiers," Magister Thorn said. "None of the prisoners we have taken know anything about these soldiers, except that they were being controlled by the Organ Mages."

"Even the prisoners seemed afraid of these soldiers," Magister Thorn said. "We barely have gotten any information on their origins."

"Have you all discovered any weakness of these creatures?" Joseph asked after he gave his orders to his Intel Officer to follow up on the case. "How can we destroy them if they attack us?"

"Here," Dr. Sharon poked a spot on Joseph's chest. "The spleen just next to the stomach on the left."

"The Dark Stone is on located there," Dr. Sharon explained. "Or if you deal enough damage to the body, they will expire too."

"Good!" Joseph nodded and turned to his officers. "Make sure this information is spread to the men on the ground!"

"Yes, Sir!"

-----

Titanna glared at the hagged Knight Captain Judis and repeated her words stubbornly, "I want to accept their offer!"

Judis shook his head. He was tired of all the constant questionings and the lack of sleep, yet he kept his calm and said slowly like he was talking to a small child, "Do you know that once you let this... people into the city, you will lose all control? It is as good as ceding your position to them!"

"I know! But with the situation back at home, it is the lesser evil!" Titanna replied. "We barely have enough troops to hold off our enemies should they choose to band together and uproot the Rothschilds!"

"Your three other brothers would not agree to this offer at all," Judis gave a tired sigh. "Not to mention the other bas- half brothers of yours."

"They are all eyeing and fighting over the head position of the family, you know that right?" Judis added. "If you accept these people's offer, you are giving your brothers a legitimate reason to denounce you and easier for them to take the seat of the head."

"There is no point in taking over the seat of the family if our enemies destroy everything around us!" Titanna said. "They promised as long as we give them some land for an embassy and peace between our people, they will not control what we do!"

"As long as it doesn't bring them deficits?" Judis gave a snort and shook his head. "You might be the most sensible and level headed child of the Rothschilds, but could you take the word of a rebel?"

"At this point in time, we have no other choices!" Titanna pressed her case. "My other brothers, knowing their personality, the other Houses and Barons would most likely have approached them to offer their help and protection!"

"True," Judis nodded. "And you do know that returning to Norshelm, there will hundreds of suitors seeking your hand in marriage?"

Titanna sighed and bobbed her head. "Yes, I know. Everyone will be wanting to take over the Rothschilds' wealth and power. That is why I need the strength of the... United Nations. This war with them has been too expensive!"

"We barely fought twice," Titanna looked out of the window while saying. "And one major field battle, and we lost more men than we ever in the whole history of the Rothschilds!"

"Do you know how much that will set us back in both materials and workers?" Titanna turned back and looked at Judis. "We will take years to recover from this mess!"

"That is if we can survive the enemies at home!" Titanna lamented. "We need allies, and the only allies that are willing to help us at this time is unexpectedly our enemy..."

"Yet, this United Nations wants the same thing as the others," Judis frowned. "Why give power and control to an outsider instead of our own countrymen?"

"Because, this United Nations, is at least for more honorable and trustable compared to those bloodsuckers at the City!" Titanna explained. "At least we do not need to keep watching our backs from being stabbed by those money grubbers!"

"So why are you telling me this since you have decided on your next course of action?" Judis asked.

"I... I want you to lead the army back with me..." Titanna said in a soft voice. "I want you to take command of the troops!"

"Troops? Hahaha..." Judis laughed. "What troops do we have left? Didn't the Knights of Silver and even the Rothschild's army got wiped out?"

"I was given their word that they will release all the prisoners and also weapons, armors, supplies will be given to us too," Titanna answered. "They will also give us the captured barges for us to return back home!"

"Hahaha! What is left is a bunch of demoralized peasants playing as a soldier!" Judis clenched his chest as he laughed hard, the hardest he had laughed since he became a prisoner. "What can a bunch of rabbles do against the rest of the Barons and Houses' might?"

"That is why I need you at command!" Titanna replied. "I need you to turn that rabble into a force that will give our enemies some pause in their plans."

"If you give me a few months time," Judis sobered up and said. "I could train them into a decent fighting force, not outstanding but at least they could hold their ground, against... more common foes."

"They did say they would send some of their own troops along with us," Titanna added. "Their fighting capabilities are way superior compared to any army here!"

"They?" Judis's eyes widened. "Is it wise? The men had already suffered a great defeat under them, and if they follow us along, what other conflicts would arise between the two forces?"

"I have full confidence that you will be able to resolve that!" Titanna gave a sweet sly smile at the surprised expression of Judis who gave a chuckle at being outmaneuvered by the girl.

"Alright, you win," Judis returned the smile, reminding him of her charm of the girl and the reason why he wanted to marry her. "Get me hold of this hell hole and I will do this for you."

-----

"WHAT?" Mills jerked up from his seat in surprise after hearing the words from Lt Silverstar. "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!"

"Sit down, Sergeant!" Lt Silverstar frowned. "I say again, this is an all volunteers only mission into enemy controlled territory to escort the Rothschild's Princess back home."

"But-" Mills sat down with dumbstruck face. "You know damn well, everyone will volunteer!"

"I know but this is an important mission," Lt Silverstar cut Mills off. "Orders from the top. This mission will be primarily bridging relations between two sides and at the same time, to ensure Lady Titanna takes over as head of the Rothschilds and maintain control over the South Region!"

"But... but..." Mills blinked rapidly. "Only one platoon? Twenty eight men? Into the enemy city? Without support? No reinforcements? No resupplies? Pardon my language, Sir, but WHAT THE FUCK?"

"I understand these concerns, so does High Command," Lt Silverstar gave a sigh at Mills's understandable outburst, for even he had raised the same amount of fuss and points at the CO when he heard about the mission.

"The Hundred and First, Claymore One, will be accompanying you, together with an Intelligence Officer," Lt Silverstar explained. "You will be given a landed manor to which you and your men will fortify the place up and supplies will be delivered by air."

"Goddamnit, Spec Ops and an Intel Puke?" Mills cursed. "This is getting better by the second!"

"Should there be any... unforeseen incidents," Lt Silverstar ignored Mill's words and continued on. "Extract will be by the inland sea. We will have a constant patrol roving that area by the PT boats."

"We only blood have one PT boat operational!" Mills whined. "ONE FUCKING PT BOAT! How the fuck are they gonna respond to us in time when SHTF*?" (*Shit Hits The Fan)

"That is why, soldier," A deep voice suddenly spoke from the door behind. "You have guns!"

"Sir!" Mills jumped up in attention and greeted the CO.

"At ease," Joseph gestured him to sit down and he leaned against the table facing Mills. "I understand your concerns and the mission's tactical options."

"This mission is very important to ensuring our North border would not be threatened by raids or invasions," Joseph explained to Mills. "If both sides could become friends, even if the Emperor sends troops down to attack us, we would have months to weeks of notice, instead of just days."

"The first mission is to ensure the safety of Lady Titanna," Joseph stared at Mills who returned the stare unflinchingly. "Second mission is to establish a secured Embassy within the city."

"Once the Embassy is ready, we will bring in more platoons to reinforce your position," Joseph added. "But that can only happen when Haven sends us more troops. As you know we barely have enough men to go about everywhere."

"But, Sir," Mills objected. "If we do not have troops to send out, why send any at all?"

"A platoon against the whole city?" Mills continued. "With respect, Sir, that is impossible!"

"I know I am asking a lot from you," Joseph said. "But the success of this mission will affect the entire war between us and the Empire!"

"That is why this is a pure volunteer only mission," Joseph gave a sigh. "We will be providing as much support as we can to the troops on the ground once we have the means and the materials."

"But Sir, still, this is a suicide mission!" Mills grumbled. "I can't just ask my boys to go throw their lives away in a far off place!"

"I understand," Joseph nodded. "If possible I would want to go, but High Command wants me here. I would volunteer in a heartbeat!"

"And I am asking you because the Rothschild Princess trusts you," Joseph added. "And I know you two became friends despite being on different sides. That is why I hope that we can all become friends and all these senseless war and deaths will be over."

"Damn!" Mills gave out a deep breath, "Alright, count me in."

-----

The next few days, preparations were well underway for the Imperials to return back. The prisoners were at first skeptical of the news till Knight Captain Judis appeared and gave a speech to the men.

With the fears of the men allayed, the Imperials were reorganized and refitted before they marched back towards the Source Sea where dozens of captured beached barges awaited them.

Following along them, with glances of suspicions, fear, and hatred, were the Marines, Claymore One, and several other tag alongs.

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