Crown Prince Yemen Winterborne, Duke of Warren, Supreme Commander of the 3rd Iron Fleet was enjoying a splendid lunch of roasted local game and greens when ear shaking thunderous roars made him jump in shock and he dropped the piece of perfectly grilled meat on to his pristine clothes, leaving a stain of meat sauce.

The crystal chandeliers swung wildly above him as the ground shook underneath his feet and his personnel manservant and steward rushed in, half dragging him out of his chair with the help of his guards. Crown Prince Yemen was half angry and surprised by the sudden actions and as he turned around to voice his displeasure, he saw out of the crystal windows, balls of rolling flames and smoke covering the docked airships.

His mouth remained wide open as his earlier protests were forgotten, allowing his manservant and guards to drag him away from the windows and out of the dining halls. When the doors of the dining halls slammed shut, the sound and actions shook him out of his shock. He pushed the hands away from his body as he demanded, "What is happening? Are we under attack?"

"Yes, my prince!" His Chief Guard gave a bow. "We need to move you away from the windows and towards the command throne now! It is the safest location in the Fortress!"

"Who has such guts to dare directly attack us?" Crown Prince Yemen regained his pose and angrily swept at the stain on his clothes. "Get me a fresh set of clothes! These are ruined! Take them away and burn them when I have changed!"

"My Prince..." His Chief Guard restrained the urge to groan as he urged his prince with a worried tone. "We need to get you to safety now!"

"I am very safe now!" The prince growled back. "This Fortress has a level ten magic barrier! And I have you all around me! What do you think your salaries are being paid for?"

"I need to change!" The prince snapped as he stormed off towards his bed chambers. "This is totally unpresentable!"

The guards could only resign themselves as they hurried after the prince back to his bed chambers to change. Prince Yemen impatiently gestured his guards to leave him as they entered his chambers first and checked around for any intruders.

As he was halfway deciding on which clothes to change into, more thunderous roars broke out and the ground shook again. Prince Yemen frowned at the interruption and finally settled on a martial looking set of clothes. His manservants with a worried expression quickly helped dressed him before they exited his chambers, finding his guards has doubled.

Under the harried urging of his Chief Guard, he finally made his way into the Command Throne room, where most of the senior nobles and their staff had gathered. The gathered nobles bowed and saluted the Crown Prince as he settled down on the throne that overlooked the throne room.

Large ground to ceiling crystal windows covered the U shape of the command throne room, and the crew were busy as they manned their stations. Outside the windows, the view was slightly distorted by a rainbow shimmer as the magic barrier was engaged and the shores of the lake which the island fortress had landed in were on fire and covered with smoke.

"What is happened? Who is attacking us?" Crown Prince Yemen demanded as he glared at the communication crystal which a floating image of Duchess Manarva could be seen. "What are your pickets doing?"

"Dying, I am afraid," Duchess Manarva's distorted image snapped back. "We do not know who is casting these spells! I have already put out the order for all ships to be on battle alert!"

More thunder rolled over and the ground shook once more, making the chandeliers and crystal windows shake and creak. Crown Prince Yemen's face turned dark and he yelled, "I gave you the command of my ships! Now do your job! Find the enemy and destroy them!"

Duchess Manarva's eyes turned cold and she threw a deadly stare at the Crown Prince. She spoke in a frosty tone, "I know what to do... You do not have to teach me... boy!"

With that, the image of the Duchess fizzled away as she cut off the communication magic leaving the Crown Prince speechless with anger at the slight he has taken. "That... bitch! She dares look down on this prince?"

"My prince!" Lord Ableman suddenly appeared next to his prince. He quickly calmed his lord's anger down. "We should depart immediately! We do not know what spells are those and when will they target us!"

"Why run like a coward?" Crown Prince Yemen sneered, as he directed his displeasure onto Lord Ableman. "Who even has the ability to even scratch this Sky Fortress?"

"We must prepare for all kinds of scenarios!" Lord Ableman did not give up as he urged his Prince with his advice.

"Stop being a defeatist!" A follower of the Crown Prince's faction said from the side, loud enough for everyone to hear. "The Crown Prince's bravery is something we all should aspire to follow!"

Lord Ableman sent a warning glare to the noble who spoke out. The noble instead rise his head back and send a stare back in challenge. The Crown Prince bobbed his head as if in agreement. "He is right! We just can't run like cowards!"

"We must stand and show whoever is attacking us the iron in our resolve!" The more the Crown Prince ranted on, the more confidence his tone and bearing became. "And show that bitch how the Iron Kingdom fight!"


UNS Vengeance, Flag Bridge

The Imperials has finally quietened down as their eyes and ears were glued to the main display on the Flag Bridge that was showing a rain of destruction being visited upon the Outlanders by the main guns.

Even the constantly criticizing Lord Dietrich had nothing to say as his mouth hung half opened and closed like a gold fish after witnessing the destruction shown. Emperor Aslan's eyes were too glued to the view as his mind tried to comprehend the might of the United Nations was shown.

If he was to take the dragon cannons for comparison, which he had felt was already very powerful, almost equal to a level seven spell, then, the twelve thunder pipes of the United Nation's island ship was at least a level ten or more each!

The pride of the dragon cannons he has gotten from the Great Sage has totally melted and blasted away after witnessing the real thunder weapons of the United Nations. Yet a part of him wanted to deny the images that were being shown were fake but he knew after witnessing the power and shock of the thunder weapons, it was just him trying to run away from the truth.

He cast a glance at the tall short ear hooman whom he was certain must be laughing at their shocked reactions but instead, he saw a worried frown on his face. Was there something else that could make the United Nations worried if they had such powerful weapons?

As such thoughts went through his head, the young Emperor Aslan felt a chill down his spine as he felt like the world he knew has gotten bigger and more unknown to him.



"Why is it still beating?" Magister Thorn had a worried frown on his face as he watched the group of volunteer mage techs sealing the dungeon core into the magic cancelling case. "What is triggering it?"

"Magister!" A mage tech called out and he pointed to a display dial on the control panels. "MU readings are off the charts! It is currently giving off more than fifty times its usual magic radiation!"

"Get them out of there!" Magister Thorn yelled in an urgent voice as he reached one bony hand over to the red switch inside a yellow and black striped coloured box. An hooman English text was printed boldly above it, < EMERGENCY JETTISON >.

He disengaged the safeties and flipped the clear cover off the button and poised his hand over the button as he urged inside his heart for the mage techs still inside the containment unit to quickly exit. "Come on! Faster!"

"MU readings rising to over sixty times!" The mage tech reading the dials yelled out, his voice cracking under pressure. "Temperature rising to above three hundred forty degrees celsius and still climbing!"

Finally, the mage techs in their cumbersome protective suits stumbled out from the hatch. They slammed the hatch closed and spun the hatch wheel to secure the hatch. The mage techs shoved a thumbs up towards Magister Thorn in the control room, who was watching them through the armoured windows.

Magister Thorn lifted his palm up and was able to smash down on the jettison button when the mage tech beside him yell out in surprise. "MU readings dropping! Core temperature dropping! It... It... is stabilizing!"

Magister Thorn's hand shook slightly as he hesitated over whether to eject the containment unit out into the sea or left it be and further observe the situation and try to find out what was going on. From what he knew and studied on dungeon cores from ancient texts, they should not be going crazy like what this particular core was doing.

But as there was only so many dungeons and cores to be studied, there wasn't actually a lot of knowledge on the workings of dungeon cores except for what texts and ancient scrolls spoke of. It was still a field that was lacking a lot of knowledge on, at least on the New World, thought Magister Thorn. And not many kings and Emperors were willing to destroy a resource making dungeon by removing its core for studies, no matter how low level the dungeon was.

"MU levels dropping back to normal!" The mage tech reported excitedly. "Temperature at two hundred eighty degrees celsius and still going down!"

So far, Magister Thorn has not found out what was the cause of the dungeon core overloading. He had reviewed all the reports on the previous event that happened but he did not find anything to suggest the cause nor foul play and this time around, the situation was gotten worse compared to the previous incident.

He took his trembling hand away from the button and wiped the sweat that collected on his palm against his robes, his mind racing as he tried to come out with an answer. "What could be causing it?"


The main guns of the Vengeance had fallen silent as Captain Nimo ordered a new firing solution to target the other side of Group Alpha's base. The turrets slowly rotated several degrees to the starboard side and the barrels changed angles. The gunnery crew reloaded the guns and waited for new orders while the weapon officers keyed in new firing solutions and relayed their guns readiness up the chains of command as they too waited for the firing orders.


"Sir!" The flight ops officer called out. "Carrier strike group is returning to base! Bingo on arms! ETA ten minutes!"

Commander Ford nodded to the report. He turned to the occult officer and said, "Suspend all occult systems until we know what is happening!"

"Yes sir!" The occult officer turned back to his station and relayed the orders down.

"Sir, Captain Nimo has the guns ready for fire on the second set of coordinates," Another staff reported. "He is waiting for your orders."

Commander Ford turned to look at the tactical display of the circling recon plane over Group Alpha's base. He observed the reactions and damages done to the target's base before he turned back to the waiting staff. "Tell the Captain to continue the bombardment."

"Aye, aye, sir!"


The order to resume firing was passed down and the great guns of the Vengeance spewed out flames and smoke again. The guns fired at two shells per minute and in a short span of three minutes, sixty high explosive shells were lobbed across thirty kilometres towards the helpless ground targets that could only endure the one sided shelling.


A note from neo Koh

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