Wuxiaworld > Out of Space > 668 Retired
The welcome party slowly winded down and after the majority of the guests had departed, a tired Sherene carried Coa up to the bedroom to rest. Blake left the bedroom after ensuring Sherene and Coa had fallen asleep and made his way to his study. The waiting officers stood up when he entered and waited for Blake to sit down behind his desk before they took their seats once more.

"Sir, is it true you intend to retire?" Chief of Air Force, Commander Tommy unable to keep his silence anymore, asked. His once youthful looks had now matured over time under the weight of command, making him look older than his actual age.

"Yes," Blake nodded as he accepted a glass of local spirits from Commander Ford. "I have decided to retire to spend time with my family. Ford will take over as Captain and commander in chief of the UN territories here, effective immediately."

Seeing the disappointment in his officers, Blake sighed and added, "I of course will still be around if you wish to consult me on any matters. As long it is in my capability to do so, I will help as much as I can."

"I have full confidence in Ford's ability to run the UN," Blake continued. "After all he has been the one holding the UN together after... my... illness... I am very sure he will continue to do a good job at leading the UN."

"As before, continue to support Ford to the best of your abilities," Blake added. "We are now no longer just the crew of the UNS Singapore, but a nation. A whole nation of people is counting on us, on you, to lead them into the future."

"I am very proud of you all," Blake stood up and gave a salute to everyone. "You all have gone far and beyond your duty!"

The officers saluted back and settled down after Blake reassured them once more. After a few drinks, the officers bid farewell and departed to return to their residences. Blake gestured to Ford to stay behind and once they were alone, he said, "Ford, think of this promotion as both a punishment and reward."

Ford nodded as he understood the meaning behind Blake's words. Blake continued as if he didn't notice his nod, "Punishment for failing to ensure the Princess's protection... You will have to make sure the UN thrives in this world and prep the military against the Old World forces if there is a day when total war breaks out between the two continents."

"As for the reward," Blake patted Ford's shoulder and from the side drawer of his desk, he took out a pair of ranks tabs and handed it over, "Congratulations, you just made Captain!"

"It is a tradition that a superior hands over his former rank tabs to his XO when he gets promoted," Blake explained as he helped removed Ford's rank from his shoulders and pinned up the new rank tabs. He stepped back and saluted Ford, "Captain Kevin Ford."

"Thank you, sir!" Ford saluted back. He did not expect the promotion as it normally would require a four panel committee of Captains or Admirals to review and promote a naval officer to Captain. Blake had broken the tradition and directly promoted him instead.


"Well, this promotion might not hold with UNM naval standards, if we ever get back to Terran space..." Blake admitted. "But here, you now hold the highest command authority. I expect nothing but the best from you."

"Now go home and get some sleep," Blake smiled as he chased Ford out of his house. "I'm officially retired now and I need some sleep too!"

-----

Ford now wearing the rank of Captain, did not feel the joy that he thought he would get when he made the rank. Instead, he felt the weight of command even more on his soul. He returned to Fortress Singapore, which it's partial destroyed and later restored hull had long become part of the city's landscape.

Inside his office, he stared blankly out of the armoured windows that overlooked the city's night scene and after a long while, he let out a soft sigh. He sat down on his chair and ran through the report that he wanted to hand over to Blake to look over. Listed inside, were the reports on the UN's economics, industrial, military, and population growth.

Instead, the report was now a wasted effort since Blake had just effectively handed over everything to him. He tossed the report to the side and instead login into the system where he dug out the intel reports on the Old World. Blake had specifically told him to be on the watch against the Old World and this made Ford curious about what the Old World had to offer.

By the time he finished reading the reports on the Old World, Ford felt a sense of unease at the size and scale of the Old World. While technologically, the UN were superior, the Old World has numbers and a higher understanding of magic and Gods on their side and Intel even suspect that there were a few minor Gods still around in the Old World.

The UN economy had taken a hit when they built the supercarrier to cross the End Zone to get to the Old World despite the generous amount of donations from the public. The additional airships, aircraft, and wing ships would have crashed the UN economy if it was not for the annexation of the Isles. The wealth of the merchant nation had helped keep the UN's economy afloat long enough for it to recover and with the majority of the industry retooled for consumer products instead of military ware, the UN was finally seeing positive economic growth.

Wars were expensive, especially deployments on another continent. If Blake haven't decided to stop the campaign in the Old World after finding the Princess, Ford would step forward to advise him to stop. Suddenly a smile broke out on Ford's face as he put down the reports, he laughed to himself while saying, "This is it!"

He had found a way to ensure a constant flow of income to the UN! The New World has an abundance of one resource that the Old World will kill to get their hands on. Mana stones!

-----

The Old World, Capital of the Suugon Dynasty

A massive jade palace sat in the middle of an artificial island. Canals and bridges connected the island to the mainland and dozens of boats could be seen moving along the waterways. Imposing walls glided with gold and jade surrounded the massive palace and hundreds of soldiers standing still like statues guarded the walls.

Inside a huge chamber of the jade palace, the Eternal Emperor, dressed in rich brocade robes covered with embroidery of dragons sewn with gold thread, sat ramrod straight on a throne of gold and jade. A golden mask covered with elaborate carvings covered his face as was a tradition as the mask represented the eternity of the Suugon Dynasty.

Arrayed before the throne was several steps that were lined with incense and candles, while further down, over a hundred officials wearing both civil and military uniforms in six rows kowtowed as one and chorused. "We greet the Eternal Emperor! May the Eternal Emperor live for a thousand years!"

"Rise, my loyal minsters," The Eternal Emperor spoke in a sing song voice.

As the ministers and officials rose to their feet, the flames of candles and incense smoke in front of them barely moved and the Eternal Emperor gave a satisfied nod. The lit candles and incenses were a form of detection of murderous intent. It was said that one could sense killing intent with the array of candles and incense and it became one of many methods of the Eternal Emperor to prevent assassinations.

"We gathered you here to discuss the current situation that is happening to the other nations..." The Eternal Emperor said. "This situation worries us greatly!"

"Your Majesty," A valiant looking general stepped fore and clasped his fists together in salute as he spoke. "Our forces have been massed along the borders in preparation for war."

"Give us your command and we will lead our troops to victory against those uncultured barbarians!" Another general stepped forward and said. "

"Your Majesty, we must not act in haste!" A civil minister hurried spoke out. "We should let them fight among themselves and conserve our strength instead."

"We have an agreement with the Dragons!" Another minister said. "They are asking for help, should we bring dishonour to our word?"

"That treaty is only against the barbarians of the Iron Kingdom!" The ministers started arguing. "Fighting against those crazed religious fanatics is not part of the treaty!"

"The Protectorate poises a great threat to the world," Another general pointed out. "They must be destroyed to the last child or they will grow like a blight to threaten the world!"

"The affairs of the barbarians are not our business to interfere," A minister added. "With or without them, our Great Suugon Dynasty still grows strong and prosperous!"

"Enough!" The Eternal Emperor suddenly spoke and immediately, the gathered ministers and officials bowed toward the Emperor. "Double our troops at the borders and have them be ready for war."

"As for the Dragons... Continue to observe them," The Eternal Emperor ordered. "Only offer our aid when they have reached their end! The Dragons must come under our control!"

"With the blood of the Dragons, the Suugon Dynasty will reign eternally!" The ministers and officials chorused.

"With the Eastern barbarians at each other throats, we shall reap the rewards once they are exhausted!"