United Nations, City of Haven, Hotel De Locus
Titanna curled up like a shrimp and burrowed deeper into the sheets and pillows. It felt heavenly making her unwilling to get up from the bed despite the bright sunlight coming in from the windows was telling her mind that its morning and its time to get up.
Suddenly, like a switch being flicked on, she jolted up from the sheets and looked around in surprise at her unfamiliar surroundings. She found her self in a huge bed alone with the softest sheets imaginable, and the room she was in had wall windows where clear skies could be seen.
The decor of the room was strangely alien, filled with sofas in hues of light grey while the walls were ivory. Her cream toned bed sat on top of a thick and rich carpet while the floor was tiled with marble.
Finally, the last vestiges of sleep left her mind, and she briefly remembered that she got rushed off into something they called a 'pain', which was surprisingly loud and noisy, but it flew in the air and she was told it was faster than using dragons!
She was nervous at first but after the frightening shakes and bumps were gone and the novelty wore off, she actually fell asleep on the flight. A few hours later, she was woken up by Mills and was told they have arrived at Sawtooth Mountain Airbase, which they met some high ranking and important people before they were whisked off to the capital of the United Nations.
By the time, they reached the city, it was already past midnight. She barely saw much, except that the streets were incredibly clean and was brightly lit even after so late. She and her people were brought to this strange tower where she had to crane her neck all the way up but still couldn't see the roof.
Despite being tired, she noticed with shock that most of the buildings in the city seemed to have walls made out of glass! And it's not low quality glass either, unlike the murky or tainted glass of the Empire. To be able to have should crystal clear glass, meaning that this place was most probably the nobles or the wealthy stayed.
She was ushed into a large lounge area with a counter at the end and several sets of sofas and chairs formed a resting area. The floor was tiled in some kind of material that glittered under the bright chandeliers and lamps, giving the lounge a classy feel.
Several smartly uniformed servants bowed as she and her group entered and they led them to a pair of strange golden doors. She heard a ding sound and the golden doors slide open soundlessly, and surprising her and her people. To their confusion, the doors did not lead to anywhere, only a small closet sized room. Mills at her side just grinned and gestured for them to enter, and when they hesitated, he gave a chuckle and entered the closet.
Titanna felt silly as she stepped into the closet and wondered what will happen as the rest slowly entered nervously. Once everyone was inside, the uniformed servant touched some runes on the side of the door which glowed and the doors slide closed silently, trapping them inside.
She nervously glanced at Mills who gave a reassuring smile back and she calmed down, putting her trust in him not to harm her and her people. A short while later, there was another ding and a slight shaking of the closet and the doors slide opened again.
The servant gestured for them to exit and they did in a confused manner as they entered a carpeted hallway with doors on both sides. Mills followed behind with an irritating superior smirk on his face, that made Titanna want to hit him. The servants started to open the doors and Titanna realized these were rooms!
It was amazing! Did they enter some kind of magic portal or something? She quietly observed each opened room and found that they were all similar, with a set of chairs and a low table, a large bed and some sort of black painting. The servants were busy explaining how everything worked to her people just as Mills tapped her shoulder.
"Come on, this way," Mills gestured her to follow another servant. "She will bring you to your room."
They entered the golden closet again and after another ding, they exited onto another hallway which looked different from earlier. "Is this some kind of magic?" She asked Mills in a small voice.
Instead of answering immediately, Mills giggled and patted her head, "No, silly, we are just on another floor!"
"But... but..." She wanted to ask more, but felt too embarrassed to, especially seeing Mills's teasing look, making her cheeks turned warm. "Hmmmph! Fine!"
The servant led them to the end of the hallway and opened a pair of double doors. She gave a half bow and gestured for Titanna and her maids to enter. After that, the servant started to teach her maids on how some of the things function while she was too tired to listen. She slumped down on the rich looking sofa and noticed that the three sides of the walls had curtains but she was too lazy to move.
Mills shook his head at her antics and gave her head another pat, "You get some rest, I will see you tomorrow morning."
"Sure..." Titanna mumbled as she sank down into the soft sofa. "See you... tomorrow..."
Now, she stood on the side of her bed and stared out of the window admiring the view. Her maids must have changed her clothes last night before putting her in bed as she was wearing a sleeping gown.
She pushed open the balcony door and stepped into the balcony, feeling awe from the city that spread out before her eyes. Dozens and dozens of high rise towers rose up to touch the skies while the streets were perfectly straight, or beautifully curved, making the city looked like it was divided into squares and rectangles.
Fast moving carriages of the kind she seen the UN soldiers use were everywhere on the streets from the view of her balcony. She suddenly realized that the golden closet she took, must be some sort of magic device which moved people up and down the towers as she was clearly very high up!
She felt a sense of vertigo as she leaned over the parapet of the balcony before she ducked her head back in and patted her chest. Still, she could not tear her eyes away from the spectacular that was before her very eyes.
"Is this some kind of Heaven?"
Haven, Burger Shack
Third Fleet Master Dijon was humming a happy tune as he bit into his second 'bur girl'. The soft toasted bun mixed with the juicy fried wyvern patty and the mildly sweet and tangy of the mayonnaise sauce and fresh crunchy greens were like angels singing to his taste buds.
He finished the wyvern 'bur girl' in a few mouths and leaned back with a satisfied burp before he took a sip of the refreshing root beer. "What do you think, Boss?"
First Fleet Master Kose wiped the sauce stains on his mustache with a napkin and nodded, "I am surprised. This is actually very tasty."
"See, I told you!" Dijon gave a smug smile as he picked up some cheese fries and shoved it into his mouth. "You need to try this too! Dragons love this!"
Kose looked at the pile of golden sticks with a mix of red, yellow and white sauce splatted ontop and frowned. He gingerly picked one of the fries with his fingers and watched as Dijon happily helped himself to some more and eating with relish before he took a nibble.
"Hmmm..." Kose bobbed his head in agreement. "I can understand why the Dragons would like this."
"Hahaha!" Dijon laughed heartily. "You know, Akron wanted to bring this cuisine over to the Isles! This will make us a lot of gold!"
"But?" Kose took another serving of fries. "They are not willing to sell their recipe?"
"No..." Dijon sighed. "They said something about 'fren chsing', which we pay them an annual fee to use their name, products, and services. We have to sign an agreement if we want to sell food like this elsewhere."
"Interesting," Kose replied. "And how did the talks went?"
"Akron says he needs to work out the profit and cost first," Dijon gave a shrug. "With war on the horizon, supplies are in high demand on our side. So we might not be able to afford the annual fee till things settle down."
"True," Kose said. "We have to focus on pacifying the mainland cities first. Once our hold has solidified on the mainland, we can then turn to the markets to make more gold."
"There are a lot of things and innovations here that would interest the markets a lot," Kose's eyes gleamed as he looked out of the glass walls. "Carriages, glass, food, weapons, and even their magic."
Kose and Dijon had arrived a couple of days ago with their fleet which remained docked at Far Harbor. They met up with the high ranking officials before they took a fast moving carriage that looked like a giant squashed snake which the locals called a train.
The ride was surprisingly smooth and fast and made Kose wanting to get his hands on a few of these snake carriages which could not only transport many people but also goods and livestock rapidly over great distances!
The only thing that disappointed him was that he did not catch a glimpse of the fabled naval iron ships of the UN. He had heard many stories from Dijon and the rest about how powerful and fast the ships of UN Navy were. He did not fully trust the reports from them till he came here and saw all the strange and wonderful devices magically running.
Kose will need to negotiate a new deal with the United Nations to either build him or sell him their ships. He could imagine if they had a ship made of iron and with a speed several faster than their fastest wave runners, he could send that ship out to the Goblin Sea and cross the Sea of Endless Storms!
Now, feasting on the cheese fries and drinking root beer, Kose and Dijon started discussing what new deals to propose to the United Nations.
Outskirts of Haven, Valley of the Wolves
A Jeep rumbled up a dirt track and drove under a rustic gate with a large hanging signboard over the gate that read, "Valley of the Wolves."
Mills stopped the Jeep before the cabin and looked around the place. The last time he came here, there was only a single barn and cabin. Now the cabin looked enlarged and another barn was built.
There was even a first generation tractor parked under an open shed and bales of hay were stacked in neat blocks, forming a wall. The door to the cabin opened and a large thick set human stepped out wearing a wide brim hat and work clothes. "Mills!"
"Hey, big guy!" Mills gave a wide grinned and gave Bartley a hug. "Long time no see you!"
"Yes!" replied Bartley, an ex Marine who got dishonorably discharged from the Marines for disobeying orders and abandoning his post. He was about to ask Mills what he was doing here when he spotted another person on the other side of the Jeep. "This is?"
"I'm here to introduce you to someone," Mills grinned and reached out to hold Titanna's hand. "This is Titanna Rothschild. Meet Bartley, my best buddy!"
"Wow!" Bartley gave a silly smile. "You found someone... finally!"
"What finally?" Mills growled. "I have a queue back home!"
"Nice to meet you," Titanna shook hands with the bear like hooman.
"Hey," Mills's expression turned serious. "Got some bad news too... We lost Drake..."