United Nations, Seacliff Mining and Dungeon Town, Adventurers' Inc.
Karl had a frown as he looked at the people crowded in his office. He looked at one group on the right which consisted of his remaining adventurers, on the middle was the military and on the left was the Witch, who has come for her brother.
"Mr Freeman, I am sure you received the government's letter regarding the management of the dungeon," Warrant Officer Tyrier said. "Due to your current situation, we are here to help."
Karl gave a snort of laughter as he recalled a phrase from back home. He said in a mocking voice, "Don't worry folks! I'm from the government and I'm here to help!"
Tyrier had a frown on his face and he nodded, "Yes that is right, I am here to help."
"Oh never mind," Karl waved his hand dismissively as he realised none of the elves had gotten the joke.
"Well, I can't really stop you guys from doing what you want since the dungeon is not my property..." Karl gave a sigh. "And my manpower has been badly depleted in the recent dungeon incident..."
"But, Boss!" Karl's people protested from the side. Leon who had his wounds wrapped up in bandages stood forward and said, "This isn't fair to our brothers and sisters who died clearing the dungeon!"
"Yea!" The rest of the people from the Adventurers' Inc. yelled out. "How can they come and take away all the credit and the hard work and blood we spilled to reach the final level!"
Tyrier raised a palm up to quiet down the room, "Calm down... We are not here to steal your credit or what so ever..."
"Still this doesn't mean you can just walk in here and take over everything?" Justze snapped, feeling unjust. "We fought so hard to reach this point..."
"I understand," Tyrier cut him off. "First, we are not here to take over anything."
"We are here to support you in clearing the final stage of the dungeon."
The Old World, Protectorate of Ramuh, City of Ramuh, Clergy of Ramuh
The usual toiling of prayer bells in the early morning woke Sherene from her sleep. She carefully climbed out of bed and stretched her heavy body. Petting her large tummy she stood next to the long rectangular windows and watched the sunrise.
The window gave her a view of the city, as the prison she was in was sited just at the edge of a cliff, with a sheer drop to the dark green water of a running river. The sun's ray slowly crept over the roofs of the city buildings that architecture seemed to involved many spires and towers. Thousands of red and white prayer flags fluttered in the weak breeze and would make a spectacular view if she wasn't locked up in a prison cell.
Her cell was spartanly furnished, with only a small cot, a table and chair. She sat down on the rickety chair as her feet hurt and waited patiently for the morning priest that came every morning to deliver food and also a sermon to her.
As if on cue, the light scrape of slippers could be heard and the lock of the heavy door turned. A soldier wearing the strange beetle like helmet swung open the door and bowed to a red robed bald priest. The priest held a tray which contained a bowl of porridge and a thick booklet and he carefully set the tray down before opening the booklet.
Sherene quickly went down on her knees and bowed low as she was taught, placing her hands together in the proper praying manner. "The Judgement see you."
"Today, my child. We shall talk about the Coming of the World," The priest spoke in a soothing tone in their own language which Sherene had been forced to learn, under the punishment of cutting her food rations. She had to give in due to her unborn child and she did not dare to offend the people here.
"He moulded the Earth in one hand, and cast away the Shadows with Fire and whose Breath brought the Wind of Life while in His other hand, He formed Water!" The priest recited from the Writ of Creation. "Next, He created Hearts and life was born."
"With the Prime Elements combined, We were formed in His holy Image," The priest continued. "We became his children to protect the World and His Teachings. Laws he set to in Stone to prevent his Children from losing their Ways in this World."
The priest droned on for a better part of an hour before he finished. "We the Children will meet our Judgement when our lives end... For He is the Judge."
"He is the Judge..." Sherene mumbled after the priest who gave a nod and carefully kept the Writ away.
"Eat now, my child," The priest gave a smile as he eyed the belly of Sherene. "Your child needs nourishment."
With that said, the Priest knocked on the door and it opened, allowing him to exit before it was slammed shut again. Sherene painfully got up from the floor and sat on the edge of her bed and massaged her aching legs.
She sighed deeply and picked up the bowl of cold meat porridge and quickly filled her stomach. She rubbed her belly, humming a tone she barely remembers from a movie she watched with Blake and looked out of the window, seeing tiny dots of airships floating amongst the clouds. "Baby, be strong! Daddy will be here soon!"
The Old World, Protectorate of Ramuh, City of Ramuh, Inquisition Halls
"What?" Inquisitor Mathias cried out in disbelief. "This is my quest! Why am I not in command?"
The Head of Inquisition stared at Mathias from behind her desk, her eyes shone coldly from the eye sockets of her white mask which unlike the rest of the Inquisitors' featureless white mask, she had a red teardrop below her left eye socket.
"The Grand Jury's condition for marshalling a fleet was that Inquisitor Rism be in command of the expedition," She said in a stern voice. The Head of Inquisition flicked her long black hair over her shoulders and continued to stare at Mathias. "Any other questions?"
"But... I spent half my life finding the Seven!" Mathias said unhappily. "Why?"
The Head of Inquisition grabbed a scroll and tossed it over to Mathias. "You have several complaints involving your... zeal in preforming your Inquisitions duties..."
"These... reports are not true!" Mathias unfurled the scroll and read through it in disbelief, "I always been true to the Clergy and the Inquisition!"
"I know," She replied as she took back the scroll. "That is why I did not do anything to you..."
"I know of the pregnant woman you had kept at the Clergy," She said as she tapped the scroll against the palm of her hand. "And I know that you have been picking up lawless children and putting them into the Clergy..."
Mathias bowed and quickly explained himself, "The sins of their parents shall not be carried by the children!"
"I have the lawless children placed with the Clergy in hopes that they could be converted over to the teachings of the Judge!" Mathias said. "Their minds are young and their hearts uncorrupted by the evils of people!"
"I approved of that," The Head said as she stood up and circled around her table to stand next to Mathias. She placed a cold hand on Mathias's shoulder and whispered into his ear. "But there are many other Inquisitors and Jury members that think that all the Lawless and Infidels must die, regardless of their age or sex."
"Stay low for now!" She advised as she patted Mathias's shoulder. "The Inquisition does not play politics but politics does not care for what we want or wish for."
"We are the Clergy's Sword," The Head continued on. "The Grand Jury wants to weaken the Clergy's power and we do have some Inquisitors that are more inclined to the Grand Jury's ideals."
"You, unfortunately, has become a target for those people," She pointed out. "Hand over all the Seven you had collected to the Clergy. Do not do anything to make our enemies have an excuse to use it against us!"
Mathias sighed inwardly and he bowed in acknowledge, "Yes your Grace! It shall be done."
The Head of Inquisition turned her back to him and waved him out. Mathias walked through the hallowed halls of the Inquisition with a heavy heart. He had normally spared any child during an Inquisition, sending them to the Clergy, in hopes that the children could be saved and find their way back to the Judgement.
Now, there were people, colleagues using that as an excuse to attack his faith! He gritted his teeth and clenched his teeth in fury as he walked faster and faster down the halls. He stormed his way out of the Inquisition Halls, ignoring the Guardians who saluted him and looked up to the skies, where several airships were slowly gathering
"Rism! You bastard!" He growled softly to himself. "The Judgement will find you unworthy!"
Inquisitor Rism lounged comfortably with his legs crossed onboard his personnel air yacht. The air yacht was small and can carry up to ten passengers comfortably and a small crew of four. He took a sip of the finely aged wine and leaned back on the soft leather chair.
The air yacht was a prize he has taken from a merchant suspected of trading without Holy Sanction from the Grand Jury. Most of the merchant's wealth and assets went to the Grand Jury and Clergy while a small portion was appropriated by Rism for further investigation.
He still recalled the screams of merchant and all his family and servants being burnt on the stake while he watched from onboard the very vessel that belonged to the condemned.
"Lord Inquisitor," His aide bowed respectfully from the hatch. "We have arrived."
"Good!" Rism put down the goblet and adjusted his mask before he stood up. His booted feet barely making any noise on the rich thickly carpeted decks as he made his way up to the open deck.
Rism's face broke into a wide smile underneath his mask. The majestic sight of the warships gathering together made his heart skip a beat. The sense of power from the vessels that floated neatly in formation was enough to make him feel hard.
"My Lord," His aide spoke again. "The captains of the fleet are all waiting for your arrival on board the flagship Aggression."
Rism nodded as he continued to admire the ships that would bring dread and fear to any corner of the Old World. His air yacht drifted closer and the pilot expertly docked the yacht into the massive hangars of the Inquisition 'Overlord' class battleship, Aggression.
Roughly twice the size of the 'Penal' class heavy cruiser, The Innocence, which Inquisitor Mathias rode in, the Aggression was one of the Inquisition's mightiest airship. It had a contoured and flattened hull with two distinctive bumps like two flattened oval bumps merged halfway with one another.
Stubby wings and sails protruded from its sides and it had eight gigantic aerial screws serving as propulsion. It carried twice the guns of The Innocence, and had more troops capacity and even have enough interior docking space to carry a dozen steam powered ornithopters.
Gusts of steam vented out from the exhausts of the air yacht as it landed on the hangar deck on stubby legs next to several ornithopters that had their wings folded up. A ramp slowly lowered down from the rear and the Paladins formed up in neat formations snapped to attention.
Eight red coated Guardians marched down the ramp and formed up in two rows as Inquisitor Rism strolled down leisurely, with his cloak swirling around him from the warm air currents. Two rows of Protectorate Captains standing before him saluted and greeted him as one.
"The Judgement sees you!"