Rism crack an eye open when a disembodied voice came from the ceiling. He felt his throbbing headache growing worse as he squirmed his eyes against the searing brightness that seemed never ending. He pushed himself up to a sitting position on the bed covered in an unknown leathery material that served as the only piece of furniture in the mirrored prison he was in.

When he first woke up in this place, his faith was nearly shattered as he thought he has died but the Judgement did not judge him worthy, placing him in this ever bright hell. Yet, he could feel pain and even now, his tongue probed the empty spots in his teeth where those teeth were knocked out by that heretical demi person.

He looked up and the hollowed face with hundreds of scars covering his face stared back at him, stretching out to infinity, making him feel giddy each time he looked at the reflection on the walls.

"What is your name?"

Again that disembodied voice asked, again and again, day after day, the exact same questions at the exact same time, as suspected by Rism. He ignored the voice as he covered his ears, "The Judgement shall judge me, for He shall guide me to salvation!"

"Who are you?"

"He is the One God above all Gods!" Rism mumbled underneath his breath.

"Where did you come from?"

"I am his Sword! He is my Shield!"

"Your God has abandoned you!"

"The judgement sees me! I FOLLOW HIS WORD!"


"I AM THE LAW!" Rism screamed towards the ceiling as he jerked up to his bare feet, both his fists and even his teeth clenched tightly. "Do not seek to sway my thoughts! The Judgement will come and all who are unworthy shall be judged by Him!"


Professor Hamlot stared dumbfound at the multiple small windows that each showed a different angle of the ongoing in the other room behind the clear crystal walls with stunning clarity. Even every word uttered by the scarred person inside could be heard clearly.

He sucked in a deep breath of air when he saw the black uniformed soldier placed a white mask that was wrapped inside some kind of transparent bag. "An... an Inquisitor?"

The officer called Tavor gave a nod, "Yes, an Inquisitor of the Protectorate."

Professor Hamlot turned his eyes towards the tiny windows, where the Inquisitor was now holding his head with both hands and mumbling prayers. "What... Why am I here for?"

"Well, as you know, we do not have much... knowledge of the Old World," Tavor explained with a cold smile. "And you are our... next best thing we have as a friend..."

"I would like your help in interrogating our guest there," Tavor waved to the person inside the white cell. "Of course, you can reject this, and we can all forget that you have ever came here."

Professor Hamlot felt a chill down his spine as he looked at the black coated officer's smile when he finished his sentence that came out more like a threat. He swallowed nervously as he carefully picked his next words, "I... shall be happy... to help in any way..."

"Hahaha," Tavor's smile widened as he laughed. "Good, good! I knew you will be cooperative!"


The New World, Empire of Bluewood, Exile's Passage

The fat merchant ship wallowed slowly behind its smaller yet sleek looking escort. The merchant ship's sails were all puffed out, as the ship's mage under the urging of its captain, had filled the sails with wind. The Captain worriedly glanced behind him again into the skies at the ominous flying shapes that were as large or even larger than his merchant ship.

Their only escort, an Imperial war sloop had turned tail and ran with all its sails ran out at the first sight of the strange flying ships that appeared out of the clouds. The unexpected appearance of three flying ships on the uneventful route to the Exile's Island, caught the slacking crew of both ships off guard.

The merchant ship carried dozens of exiles bound in chains beneath its holds, and supplies for the island's garrison. The trip rated an escort as its returning cargo would consist of tribute from the island and maybe valuable dragons' eggs.

Now both ships were fleeing, seeking to turn back towards the mainland but to their dismay, the grey silver flying ships moved faster than they could sail, even with the ships' mages casting wind spells constantly.

The escort war sloop, Sea Slasher, tilted its ballistas up and flung two meter long bolts out in an attempt to frighten or damaged the fast approaching flying ships. But their efforts were in vain when none of their four top decks mounted ballistas could even hit the flying ships. In return, the forward 'nose' of the leading grey silver flying ship erupted into a cloud of white smoke that was rapidly carried away by the wind, exposing four black muzzles.

Tall plumes of water splashed around the Sea Slasher, and its captain yelled frantic orders, and the ship swerved around in the ocean waves. Before the crew could reload the ballistas, another burst of white smoke shrouded the nose of the grey silver flying ship and this time, sharp splintering cracks came from the hull of the Sea Slasher, followed by cries of pain and death as the projectiles hammered into the Sea Slasher.

The leading grey silver flying ship drifted away to the right, and the nosed of the second flying ship behind erupted into smoke, sending more heavy projectiles flying towards the stricken sailing ship. The second flying ship split off to the left, and the last flying ship in the line opened fire, and water plumes and shattered wood flew.

Now all three ships formed ranks side by side, their forward guns mounted in the prow cracked sharply, and before long, what remained of the Sea Slasher was a trail of floating crates, barrels and shattered wood.

Seeing the fate of their escort, the merchant ship raised its sails in a gesture to surrender, the crew staring fearfully at the unknown enemy that could easily sink one of their own without effort. One of the flying ships hovered over the merchant ship and dozens of ropes dropped on to the deck. Soldiers in grey armour rappelled down the ropes and the surrendered crew was forced to sail towards the island under the watchful eyes of their captives.


Eastern Border of the Isles, No One's Island, Cartel Expeditionary Force

Majority of the Cartel's airships were beached and tied down across the vast stretch of white sandy beach. The remainder, remained hovering in a protective cordon around the large 'L' shaped island, serving as sentries. Already tents and other makeshift facilities were set up on the island. Large copper tanks with a complicated array of pipes were built along the beaches, with some pipes sticking into the sea.

A simple dock had been constructed on one end of the island and there, docked several sailing ships bearing the flag of the Isles. Goods were being transferred out one by one by gangs of tall and short workers, making the scene look comical.

"Here is the promised supplies you have requested for, Great Lord Hammerfall!" Fleet Master Akron gestured to the offloading work in progress with a flourish. He had to look down at the short hairy person who had his thick arms folded as he too was observing the ongoing work. "I have delivered the end of my bargain..."

"And as a sign of goodwill..." Akron tilted his head to the side where one of his aides opened up a crate and under the wood shavings, were dark green bottles of aged cococane liquor. "A small courtesy from Fleet Master Megan who regrets unable to meet you here in person."

The short outsider lord picked up a dark green bottle and a smile was hidden under his thick beard broke in his stern face. "Good! Good!"

"I like very much!" The outsider lord exclaimed, the translation jewel glowing around his neck. "Come! Come! We feast tonight!"

"My Lord!" Akron gave a weak protest as he was dragged off towards the latest tent in the distance. "How about our deal?"

"Hahaha!" The outsider lord laughed as he popped a bottle of liquor. "We talk business later! Now we enjoy first! Drink and be happy! Come!"

Unable to convince the outsiders, Akron could only smile as he took a mug filled with potent cococane liquor and he made a silent prayer to the Gods of the Sea before drinking it all up.


The New World, Loose Confederation and Dragon Lords Fleet

A meeting between the Loose Confederation and the Dragon Lords was underway when Princess Saphia sneaked out of her chamber. Despite her size, she can be very sneaky and quiet when needed, especially if supplemented by her innate magic and honed by the days when she wanted to sneak out to play without the servants finding out.

The meeting was taking place onboard the inner grand chambers of the Great Dragon Ship, Eternal Song, which Saphia was onboard. A dark cluster of misty shadow slowly crept over the dragon guards on the ceiling as Saphia, cloaked in her shadow magic, climbed on the walls and sneaked into the chamber.

The chamber was in a square, with seating spaced evenly in three sides of the chamber, all which were filled by people in colourful clothing. The side without seating was instead covered in three humongous cushions sewn in gold thread to which two were occupied by dragons.

One dragon was larger in size compared to the other and both had black glossy scales and a jagged ridge running down the back of their heads and spine to the tail. Their wings were both swept back, as they laid down with their arms and feet tucked underneath their bellies and their tails curled up. Their heads were raised up in a dignified manner befitting a Dragon Lord as they listened to the meeting.

And in the middle of both dragons, laid an empty spot which used to be occupied by the late Dragon Lord Vasuk, the mentor to Saphia. She pushed away her unhappy thoughts and crept close, mentally forcing herself to remember not to gouge the pillars and walls with her talons.

"- an unprovoked attack! We must retaliate to these... barbarians!" A brightly clothed official from the Loose Confederation was saying. "If not how can we answer to the families of those who has died without just?"

The representations from the Loose Confederation and even some officials from the Dragon Lords mumbled their support. The official continued on, "Even the Great Lord Vasuk, whose passing sorrows us all has fallen prey to the barbarians... How can we all not be angered? How can we not seek payment in blood?"

"Blood for blood!" The Loose Confederation representatives yelled. "They must pay the blood price!"

"Lord Yates," A fully armoured Dragon Lord soldier stood up from his seating and bowed with both fists together. "Lord Jesper speaks the truth. This is a blood debt! Our Great Lord has fallen, and many others along side him! I beseech the Lords to allow us to revenge the Great Lord!"

"Allow us to revenge the Great Lord!" The rest of the Dragon Lord commanders and generals stood up from their seats and hurried forward before the dragons and kowtowed, chorusing the same statement to the two Dragons.

"Raise!" The larger dragon let out a deep sigh as he ordered his people up. "This is a blood debt... But, can we win? How many did we lose to just a handful of fliers?"

The dragon's words seemed to cause a rippled in the grand chambers as the people hesitated. They glanced at each other as their confidence waned after being reminded of their defeat by a handful of flying machines.

Lord Jesper stepped forward and said in a sneering voice. "They strike us with underhanded methods!"

"Thus we shall do the same!"

A note from neo Koh

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