One week ago, UNS Vengeance, Battleship Central, Magic Converter Array Room

"Be careful!" Magister Thorn resisted the urge to hop around as he nervously watched the group of mages handled the metal crate with its edges painted with yellow and black stripes. The group of Marine guards continued to remain on guard after they delivered the package but upon seeing the nervous Magister, the Marines instinctively edged as far to the bulkheads as possible.

The junior mage techs who had recently just graduated from Haven's School of Science and Magic, and signed up with the UN military's Occult Division, still jumped to Magister Thorn's orders as if they were still kids in school. Hence it was a chaotic scene as Magister Thorn half directed and half yelled at the mage techs as they carefully opened the thick crate and revealed a palm sized golden pyramid with ancient runes etched on all its sides.

The mage tech wearing thick dragon hide gloves lined with lead gently lifted the core of the Seacliff dungeons with a nervous Magister Thorn hovering over their shoulders. The mage tech set the pyramid shaped core onto a triangle slot in the middle of a massive magic array filled with hundreds of complex runes.

The dungeon core fitted into the indent with a tiny click and the once inert core immediately lit up and glowed with a bright golden sheen. The magic array slowly lit up, golden arcane energy tracing the runes and complex lines, spreading outwards until the entire magic array was glowing.

The mage techs and Magister Thorn stepped back from the magic array as they watched in awe, seeing the tiny core powering an array that would take hundreds of high grade mana stones to do the same. Once the magic converter array was fully activated, more glowing lines spread out and disappeared into the wall conducts and powered up the Vengeance's scavenged magic barriers.

Reports started coming in from observers stationed at each magic crystal node, the mage techs recorded the power levels and other readings. MCNs that did not respond had their magic lines traced and checked, the mage techs crawling into tight maintenance ducts and corridors looking for any broken lines.

The tracing and testing of the MCNs took over the entire time it took the Vengeance to reach the territorial waters of the Empire before the entire system was functioning correctly. Magister Thorn had stayed mostly buried deep in the bowels of the super carrier, never leaving the Occult Division as he watched over the dungeon core's operations, so much so that his newly made friend from the Iron Kingdoms, Professor Hamlot, did not even know he was on board!

Magister Thorn was finally satisfied when there were no anomalies reported after days of testing and he finally pushed his old tired body out of the armoured hatches of the Converter Array Room and waved off the salutes of the Marines. Behind him, as the hatch slammed close, the dungeon core pulsed gently with a rhythm like a heartbeat.


Somewhere Northwest of Exile Island, UNS Vengeance, Flag Bridge

"Sir, we dallied long enough on these waters..." The Vengeance's Captain said sullenly. "The Imperials are clearly wasting our time, we have already marked the targets and our guns have long calculated firing solutions! All we need is just your order!"

Captain Nimo was feeling impatient with the Empire, despite knowing he needed to calm down and be patient, yet the hold ups and slow communication between the UN and the Empire were slowly testing his patience. He had learned from Commander Ford since the days of the first converted seaplane carrier, UNS Matador as acting Captain. When the UN Navy first came about, they needed people with naval experience, but the most experienced personnel they could find were fishermen.

He started off as a fisherman who did not even experience the sea as he pried his trade within the inland sea, which unlike the ocean, did not have waves taller than an Oerkin. Like many others, confused and overwhelmed by the whole situation, a whole new series of studies that, he and the others had never even heard of were crammed in their heads.

Open water navigation, astrology, marine engineering and systems, maritime operations, logistics and many other topics were taught to them, including naval tactics and operations, flight ops and naval combat!

Nimo felt like his head was about to explode as daily he was taught by different instructors, and the worse of all, most of the topics were new and even being constantly revised. Physical training and exercises were included as well, including firearms and combat were taught. Other training included simulated exercises onboard mock up vessels and many failed to meet the requirements.

At the end, where the training ended, only a handful out of the already small class of sixty candidates was deemed acceptable to captain the UN's fledgeling naval fleet. After that, even when they passed out from the Naval Academy, training has not ended.

Nimo was one of the few who managed to get a passing grade on most of the subjects and was awarded an acting Captaincy position after several interviews with Commander Ford and The Captain, he was posted on board the UNS Matador when it completed its retrofitting.

Now, having a couple of years of real naval experience, he was placed as Captain of the UNS Vengeance, commanding the super battle carrier vessel and he, his ship and his crew were itching for a fight.

"Commander," Nimo pressed on, "We do not know what tricks both sides are doing. The longer we sit here, the higher the chances of being spotted by Group Alpha's patrols."

Commander Ford had a frown pasted on his face as he replied in an unhappy tone. "Yes, I understand the risks we are taking in sitting here wasting time."

"Than give the order to engage the enemy!" Nimo requested. "We can bombard Group Alpha from here and our aircraft can move in to mop up the remnants!"

"No..." Commander Ford suddenly broke into a smile. "The Captain said he wants us to show the flag here right? I got a better idea..."

"Give the word to the Imperial envoys... Tell them we would like to invite the Emperor on board the Vengeance for a tour of the ship!" Commander Ford's smile deepened. "I am sure word of the Vengeance by would have spread among the high ranking nobles in the Empire. They will be very curious to find out of the words of their messengers are true!"

"But Sir," Nimo asked. "Why invite the Imperials at all? Isn't this our secret weapon?"

"We can't hide the ship due to its size, and besides, their dragons have already reported our presence," Commander Ford said. "And we restrict certain areas of the ship, only allowing them to view what we want them to see."

"We can seriously impress them if they can see with their own eyes rather than reading reports on paper!" Commander Ford added. "And when they are here, we can pressure them to act too... If they still want to drag on, we just take matters into our own hands then... by giving them a live demonstration of the Vengence's firepower..."

"Ohh... that sounds mightly fine, Sir!" Nimo broke into a nasty grin. "I want to see their faces when we engage the enemy!"

"Haha! Yes... but now is to see if the Emperor is willing to come to visit us or not..."


UNS Vengeance, Battleship Central, Crew Quarters, Shrine of the Superior Firepower!

"The Firepower protects!" The members of the Faith of Superior Firepower! echoed after the head goblin priest who started preaching about how to blow up your opponents and combat tactics. "Thy sha remember to return Fire to thy enemies thrice fold!"

The shrine was in a cleared out cabin used for storage. After gaining permission from the higher ups, the members of the Faith of Superior Firepower! moved the stores to another storage and built a shrine dedicated to Firepower!.

Makeshift benches were stacked in two rows in the cabin which was large enough to hold over sixty people comfortably. One side of the bulkhead was stacked with photos and etched out names of fallen soldiers which the goblins painstakingly carved out on the metal bulkheads, which became a sort of memorial for the fallen.

Unsurprisingly, a mug shot of Greg the Great in uniform was the largest sized photo and took up the head of the memorial wall. At the other end of the cabin, was a simple raised platform made out of wooden pallets and the altar was just several stacked ammo crates and cans. Three 155 mm artillery shells formed the Faith's symbol and empty shell casing emitted out thin wisps of slow burning black powder mixed with some other ingredients like some kind of incense.

The shrine was packed full of followers and curious onlookers. The goblin priest, whose real name was Ratchet, a mechanic from Engineering, was reading phrases out from a worn book which if one looked closely, it looked like an infantry tactics manual.

"If thy find oneself, surrounded by enemies... who do thy call?" The goblin priest suddenly asked one of the seated Oerkin in marine greys.


The Orc marine rubbed his head, and made a guess, "Eh... an airstrike? Artillery support?"

"YESSSH! CALL DAT FIREPOWER IN!" The goblin priest hopped happily on the ricky platform as he yelled. "HAIL FIREPOWER!"

"HAIL FIREPOWER!" The members of the Faith cheered. "HAIL THE FAITH!"

"Remember! Nothing kanot be solved without a dose of firepower!" The goblin priest solomnly reminded his followers. "Have faith in firepower and it sall protect you!"

"Tank you all for joining us today!" The goblin priest ended the session and started to pack up his things as the members started to leave. "Advice of the day! Always bring more ammo! More ammo... MORE FIREPOWER!"

The members gave one last chorus as they raised their fists up into the air and yelled, "MORE FIREPOWER!"


UNS Vengeance, Battleship Central, Magic Converter Array Room

Magister Thorn came rushing in through the armoured hatchways as he had been notified that something unusual was occurring with the Magic Converter Array. As he entered the room, he noticed the golden pyramid was pulsing strongly behind the armoured glass, its glow brighter than usual. Even the arcane markings inside the array were pulsing along with the dungeon core.

"What happened?" Magister Thorn quickly asked the mage techs behind the control board of the magic array. "Why is it reacting like that?"

"We do not know, sir!" The mage techs replied in a panicked tone. "It was fine all the way and just then, and suddenly it started giving off high magical readings!"

"Any magical feedback from the MCNs?" Magister Thorn joined the mage techs at the control board which was made out of both technology and magic fused together. Dials were twitching while arcane runes were glowing madly on the panel. "Are there any mana leaks on the ship?"

"No, sir!" The senior mage tech replied as he monitored the radio chatter. "Damage parties are not reporting any damages or leaks!"

As Magister Thorn was thinking what could have caused the dungeon core to start acting strangely, the pulsing glow from the core suddenly appeared to calm down and returned to its previously gentle soft pulse. "Is it back to normal?"

"Yes sir!" The mage techs checked their instruments, seeing the needles in the dials returning to safe levels and the arcane runes started to dim down. "Magic readings are dropping back to normal levels!"

"How long did it last?" Magister Thorn asked as he stood right next to the armoured glass and stared at the dungeon core.

"About thirty minutes!" A mage tech replied to him.

"Strange..." Magister Thorn frowned as he could not think of anything that could have caused the core to go wild. "Check with the bridge and see if they had been doing anything that might have triggered such a reaction from the core!"

"Yes, Sir!"

A note from neo Koh

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