Fleet Master Akron woke up groggily with his head feeling like it was hit by several goblins or trolls many times. It was the third day of heavy drinking since he came onboard the short people's flying ship. Since the first drinking session, he understood that these short people loved to drink and he got his man to attempt communications with these people and had all the cococane liquor onboard his three ships brought over.

What followed after was a three day drinking fest, which the short people rotated in and out of the Great Hall, and Akron and his men being forced to drink. He looked around the Great Hall where his people and the short people were laid out snoozing in puddles of vomit and drool. He stumbled his way out of the Great Hall where the guards laughed behind his back at his state.

Finding an opened viewport, he vomited out the contents in his stomach when someone handed him a towel and clay jar of water. He muttered his thanks and used the water to wash his face before taking a gulp to clear sour taste in his mouth.

"Feel better?" The helpful person asked as Akron nodded gratefully in reply. He wiped his face with the wet towel and froze, turning around in surprise at the short person grinning next to him.

"H- How?" Akron was in shock. He groped around his suit vest, finding his monocle and fixing it to his eye as he took a good look at the person. "You?"

The grinning person next to him was the Lord in the golden armour that appeared the other day and started the drinking fest. Now, he was dressed in a dark green double buttoned jacket and black pants and boots. His mop of flaming red hair was combed back and held by a simple gold circlet while his long bushy beard was braided up.

"I am Grand Lord Hammerfall of the Silver Mountains!" The squat person said in a strong voice while he held up a glowing pendant, clearly magical. "This here is a Pendant of Understanding!"

Grand Lord Hammerfall handed over a similar pendant into Akron's hands and patted him on his back. He tapped the side of his head as he explained its usage. "Just wear it and languages you do not understand will be translated in your mind. It uses magic to convert words into something you can understand, as long the magic of the language is recorded in the stone."

"But... How can I understand my words if... you all came here for the first time?" Akron was shocked still as he wore the pendant.

"Hmm... good question," Grand Lord Hammerfall rubbed his head as he pondered on Akron's question. "It will seem like your language used to come from the Old World... Not surprisingly... As most of your ancestors should be from the Old World!"

"I- I see..." Akron can see Lord Hammerfall's lips moving and the strange tongue he was speaking in but in his mind, he could understand what he was saying. "Then... I thank you for this precious gift!"

"Hahahaha!" Lord Hammerfall's smile turned widened. "You can send us more of that... sweet nectar!"

"Cococane liquor?" Akron was about to agree but his merchant mind took over, overriding the pounding in his head. "Ahh... it is possible... maybe we can work out a deal?"


United Nations, Hope Naval Station

Black smoke huffed out from the smokestacks of half a dozen tug boats as they pulled the massive supercarrier into Super Dock One. Lines and chains were transferred over to the ground crew and they took over the tug boat roles, dragging the ship snuggly into the docks.

Side hatches opened up and ramps were deployed. Waiting sailors started marching off the ship and formed up at the docks as officers debriefed the sailors. Commander Ford remained on the bridge with the rest of the senior officers of the UNS Vengeance as they had many things to do to ensure the Vengeance remained fully operational.

"All department heads, please ensure you submit your departments' report to the yard boss," finished Commander Ford. He left the bridge and headed down to the deck and crossed the linkway connecting the central battleship hull to the carrier hull. The crew saluted him as he walked past, and Ford found Captain Blake waiting for him inside a waiting Jeep at the end of the exit ramp.

"How's the ship?" Blake asked when Ford entered the Jeep. "Up to expectations?"

"Well... Better than I expected," Ford replied. "Except for the plumbing..."

"How long before the ship can leave the dock?" Blake asked again as the driver started the engines and drove off the docks.

"Two weeks?" Ford made a guess. "There's quite alot of things needed to be fixed. Why?"

Blake silently handed over a stack of documents which Ford took and started reading. After a while he frowned and said, "Another force in the north?"

"Yes," Blake replied. "Seems like everyone wants to come here for vacation..."

"Some kind of vacation," Ford snorted. "So... I am guessing that you want the UNS Vengeance to head up north?"

"No..." Blake shook his head. "I want the Vengeance to head towards the Isles..."

"The Isles?" Ford was surprised. "Why?"

"Continuing reading the report," Blake suggested and Ford returned to the documents.

"Hmm..." Ford frown's deepened as he read through the report. "Seems like they want to make some kind of deal with this force?"

"Yes," Blake nodded. "As to what kind of deal, we have no idea yet."

"Judging by Megan's character," Ford shook his head. "Most likely something that will grant her an advantage over us..."

"She has shown to be very clearly wanting our gunpowder tech for so long..." Ford said. "Now, if she can secure a friendly deal with this group, she might get some tech or magic that can increase the military strength of the Isles."

"And you want the Venny there as a show of strength?" Ford asked. "To remain them of our alliance?"

"Yes, and no," Blake replied. "I want the Vengeance there to show to the newcomers that there who is the boss here. And to show our... allies our support against a possible invasion from an unknown enemy..."

"After all... we do not wish to see the tragedy that had happened to the New Kingdom of Mecca... to befall the Isles..."


Sea of Clouds, ???

Flying shapes emerged in a cluster from the wall of storm clouds without any warning. A riot of colourful airships trailing smoke formed up in a messy cluster while another group of black boney airships lined up one after another. Dragons appeared from the dark airships and they circled the air, find the opportunity to stretch their wings after weeks and weeks of confined travel.

The cries of dragons covered the skies as the two very distinct fleets set fore to explore the New World.


Waters off the Border of The Isles, The Cartel, The Hammer of Obsidian

The Great Hall was silence as every Lord and Officer inside listened to the words of the tall native called Akron. He told a tale of how a small powerless island nation, that had to fend off goblin pirates, dangerous monsters both on land and sea, and even feral dragons.

They cheered when a victory was told and sighed in deeply when a defeat came. Now they listened to how their small island nation was forced by another vastly superior nation to give a tribute of food and other resources in exchange for some pitiful tools and equipment that were considered junk.

Lord Copperstone remained expressionless as he listened to the words of the one named Akron. He had woven a fine tale, but how much was it truly was another thing. But the others, drunk in the new alcohol made by these natives were sympathetic to the supposed plague of the tall native's nation.

The words of the tall native, resonated with the others, Lord Copperstone himself too find it similar to how it was for their people before the Cartel was founded. Their short stature and hairy faces were shunned by many others, treating his folk as half people, or demi beasts. After many wars and years of their ancestors proving themselves to the rest of the world, they finally had the recognition from the other races.

Even the Grand Lord himself was reacting to the words of the tall native. Lord Copperstone remained sceptical but he remained quiet, after all, he was just an eccentric artificer. Finally, the tall native finished telling his tale of how his enslaved nation had cooperated with the other nation and now, he under the behest of his leader, had come to request a peace treaty.

The other Lords called out for the Grand Lord to accept and help the island people of the exploited nation. The tall native had even expressed their nation was willing to trade any goods they needed, food, alcohol, precious metal and even magic crystals!

If they could trade for all these goods without even the need for bloodshed, it would be a great accomplishment back at the Old World! And if they can lay claim as allies or trade partners with this native island nation, they will have an unending source of resources coming from the New World. And the other Great Nations have to either step back or declare war which currently, none of the Great Nations in the Old World were willing to do so... yet.

The Grand Lord waved his hands and everyone quietened down. "What do you need in exchange for trade? An alliance? Military support?"

"Ah..." The tall native cleared his throat as he laid out his terms. "What we request is only the exchange of your magic, tek no lo gee of your flying ships... and weapons..."

His words made a small uproar from the gathered Lords. While weapons and flying ships were traded and sold amongst the Great Nations for many years, it was generally done secretly as it was actually treasonous to sell weapons to other Nations.

Lord Copperstone frowned as he stared at the smiling native face, as he made the requests. The tall native continued on as if he did not hear the mutter of disapproval from the Lords nor seen the frown on the Grand Lord's face. "Ad you all have heard the plight of my beloved nation, we need weapons to be able to make a stand against our oppressor..."

"You all will not be here forever," The tall native said. "While I can request for military support from your... great flying fleet... but ultimately... You will return to your lands."

"With you gone, how will we be able to defend ourselves?" The tall native spoke in a convincvingly to the Lords. "If you teach us... Provide weapons for us... We will be able to protect ourselves and in the many years to follow... You will have a staunch ally and trade partner here in the New World!"

"Isn't this course of action benefit not just my people and yours at the same time?" The tall native adjusted his single round glass on his eye. "I am not just looking at short term goals... but the future of my nation!"

Some of more hot headed Cartel Lords started banging their flagons against the table. "Hear! Hear! He speaks the truth! If we leave, their nation will be swallowed up by their enemies! Then we will lose a trading source!"

"But we can trade with the other nation instead since they are more powerful?" Another Cartel Lord pointed out. "Why help this small nation? Won't the stronger nation be able to provide even more trade opportunities?"

The Grand Lord's expression was like a stone as he considered the words of the native and his Lords. He tipped back his flagon filled with the local brew down his throat and wiped away the foam on his beard and mumbled to himself.

"Hmmm... Deal or no deal..."

A note from neo Koh

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