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Goblin Island, Eternal City of Burns, Palace of the Burning Hill

Strurruilk, the Mighty King of All Things Under His Feet and Ruler From The Throne of The Burning Hill and Sea Master of Thieves and Giver of All Goblin Life and Conquerer of All Lands and Grand Lord of Magic and Happiness! and the Only Chief of Love and Destruction sat on his throne full of pokey bits and had a massive grinned on his pockmarked face.

"MUHAHAHAAHAHAA!" He chortled proudly. "None can stop the might of me! Strurruilk, the Mighty King of All Things Under My Feet and Ruler From The Throne of The Burning Hill and Sea Master of Thieves and Giver of All Goblin Life and Conquerer of All Lands and Grand Lord of Magic and Happiness! and the Only Chief of Love and Destruction! MUHAHAHAHAHAAAA!"

"Hail Strurruilk! The Mighty King of All Things Under His Feet and Ruler From The Throne of The Burning Hill and Sea Master of Thieves and Giver of All Goblin Life and Conquerer of All Lands and Grand Lord of Magic and Happiness! and the Only Chief of Love and Destruction!" The goblins and hobgoblins chanted happily as they were high on drugs.

Strurruik leaned back on his throne, winching internally from a particularly sharp poke from a piece of metal on the throne, but he kept his face expressionless, as befitting a King! He reached over and picked up a joint of roasted goblin and ripped the juicy flesh off with his teeth as his people had a celebration feast involving roasting parts of their deceased kin.

Inwardly, Strurruik let out a sigh of relief. He did not know what kind of powers those invaders used, but they were mighty. If his people were not high on Life Powder, they would have been broken by the invader's mighty powers long ago.

He did not know why the invaders suddenly left, if they had continued on, Strurruik himself would have been the one being roasted on the firepits before him now. But since they had left, Strurruik shall use this opportunity to show his people he was the chosen one!

Thinking how about how this turn of events not only made him stronger in the eyes of his people, Strurruik felt that the Gods were also on his side! He needed to get the shamans to make more Life Powder so that he can fully control all!

"Muhahahaaaa! I am Strurruilk, Strurruilk, the Mighty King of All Things Under My Feet and Ruler From The Throne of The Burning Hill and Sea Master of Thieves and Giver of All Goblin Life and Conquerer of All Lands and Grand Lord of Magic and Happiness! and the Only Chief of Love and Destruction and Favoured by the Gods!"

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United Nations, Haven, School of Science and Magic

The school bell rang and moments later, the doors to the classrooms burst open as students came flooding out in a chaos of noise and activity. Elizabeth Ragner, once the genius of the Bluewood School of Magic and a high tier adventurer, shuffled her books and papers as she packed up her teaching materials.

Now as an assistant lecturer on Magic Studies, she had a life that was strangely peaceful. The events of her past with the Hero and her party seemed just like a dream. She waved goodbye to the students and she headed towards the staffroom where she kept her teaching materials away. She chit chat with the other teachers about their classes and students before she left the staffroom to return back to her rented place.

Despite living in Haven for over two years, she did not feel homesick. She read and watched the news on the radio and television about the deteriorating situation back in her hometown. Yet, she did not feel any pity nor sadness at the news, which was accounts given by traveling merchants and refugees.

Having her eyes opened to the realities of the world, she no longer felt any sense of loyalty to the Empire and her House since her family treated her as a bragging object and something to be used in political marriages to improve their power and standing among the Houses, hence it was one of the reasons why she went off to be an adventurer to prove herself.

To her surprise, after living in Haven for two years, she found she liked the small city nation. It was surprisingly clean and constantly full of interesting little innovations that keep popping up around the city. Crime was low, and discrimination of different races or birth was greatly frowned upon all through a series of government sponsored propaganda promoted to the people.

She entered a building called a mall by the locals which had many small stalls inside. She bought some packed food and returned home, taking a bus which dropped her off near her house. Liz used to stay inside the School's dormitory until a year ago when she was given more freedom in her movement after proving herself.

So she went and rented a simple apartment at the city edge. Putting her food on the table, she turned on the television and started eating while watching the news, which was talking about the signing of an alliance with the Isles.

As she was putting away the remains of her meal. The phone in her house rang, and she picked it up, "H- hello?"

"Liz?" Magister Thorn's voice sounded fuzzy over the call. "I need your help!"

"Magister?" Liz was confused. "What help do you need?"

"I need you to go to the School's Library!" Magister Thorn's voice sounded excited. "Note these down! I need you to find these..."

Liz nodded as she wrote down the titles of several scrolls and things she needed to research. "I understand, I will go look for these materials first thing in the morning!"

-----

Goblin Sea, UNS Victory, Command Deck

Colonel Joseph's expression was grim as he read the latest communique from High Command. His command staff looked at him as he put the message slip down. "HQ wants us to return and resupply at Far Harbor and await further instructions."

"But Sir!" His officers protested. "We were so close at destroying the goblins! We are right at their gates!"

"Something must have happened for them to recall us," Joseph calmed the unhappy officers down. "They will brief us when we return."

"For now, don't think so much!" Joseph advised his men. "Go look after your boys, and get some rest. If they recall us urgently in the middle of a battle... I am sure there is something major going on that will need us. So tell the boys to get some rest while they can!"

"Yes, Sir!" The officers replied before they filed out of the Command Deck. Joseph waited till they before he looked at the message slip again.

"Dammit... who the hell took the Princess?"

-----

United Nations, Uncharted Forest, Crossroad Town

Cork, aka the Rock, ex Legion Commander of the Black Scorpions was now just a three striped Sergeant of the SDF living in Crossroad Town. He took the offer for resettlement in the unclaimed wildness of the Uncharted Forest, where a working town has grown at the crossroads of the superhighway and train tracks that linked the cities of Falledge and Orwell's Point to Haven.

Originally the town was just a series of dormitories for workers that cleared the land and constructed the infrastructures, it grew as refugees from the war were resettled here. More land was cleared and farms built while apartments and houses popped up around the old dormitories.

As the town grew, its needs grew too. Soon markets to food stalls and even a proper garrison were needed for the growing town and the SDF volunteers were given an option to relocate if they wished to.

The Rock took up the offer since he had no family nor ties in Orwell's Point and he wanted to start anew. Those that took up the offer of resettlement were given a small apartment of their own within the growing town while those moving with families were given a larger apartment.

He was impressed with the amount of effort and care are given to the common people and soldiers which made him did not regret his choice to join the enemy. There was daily news ongoing the situation of the Empire but to his surprise, he felt nothing inside.

The only thing on his conscience was the deaths of his men, but war was war. There are winners and losers. And his men knew and had accepted their fate when they joined the Empire's legion. He now has a new life and identity which he quite enjoyed compared to his previous role.

He started his day by reporting to the garrison, check in with his men and duty stations. They rotated duties every three days and had three days off afterward. When on duty, he has to stay inside the garrison, which they ran patrols around the town's perimeters or perform escort duties to convoys.

If required, they will also venture into the Uncharted Forest to guard the loggers or surveyors looking for resources. Sometimes, reports of goblins or a monster nest come in and they had to respond to that by destroying the nests.

What he most enjoyed was watching the moving images on the T Vee, which told many interesting stories. He could just sit on his sofa for hours, just watching show after show. The other guilty pleasure he had was driving. The military Jeeps he drove were faster than anything he has ever ridden on other than flying on dragons or the Air Force's flying machines.

"Hey, Cork," The Rock's only friend and buddy he made in the SDF called out to him as he entered the Garrison's office. "Good morning!"

"Morning," The Rock replied as he signed in for duty. "How's everything?"

"Quiet so far," His buddy who followed him over to this posting said. "Patrols haven't spotted any monsters when they are out."

"Good, I like quiet," The Rock said as he poured himself a cup of tea.

"Hey, did you hear that they recalled the Marines from Goblin Island?" His friend said as the Rock sat down. "I heard from a friend in the Air Force that they too were in high alert. Think there's trouble headed our way? Another war?"

The Rock shrugged as he glanced through the reports of the night before. "I'm not sure, but I am sure they will notify us if there is anything major."

"Yea..." His friend nodded. "Well, we can say goodbye to the SDF soon since Colonel Joseph is returning. I heard that he will become the commanding officer of the Army once he is back."

The Rock gave a raised eyebrow at his friend and asked, "Where the hell did you keep getting these kinds of news?"

"Hahaha!" His friend grinned. "Well... I have my sources! Its a secret!"

"Well, it's just a rumor till its confirmed," The Rock sighed. "Once we get integrated into the new Army... We will know for sure who will be our new commanding officer..."

"Hmmm..." His friend leaned back on his desk. "I heard that we might need to close our borders..."

The Rock gave up and shook his head as his friend blabbered on about things he heard from somewhere. Still, it felt nice and peaceful as he sat in the office listening to his friend talking about random things.

"Say, Cork," His friend asked. "Do you think the Empire will ever recover? The news has been saying how there is a lot of unrest and even some cities are breaking off from the Empire's control."

"The Empire is definitely breaking apart," The Rock said after a moment of silence. "They won't be able to recover from this, especially with the Emperor dead. He ruled by fear and now, without that fear, there goes the one thing that held the Empire together."

"Oh, well... Sucks to be them now..."

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