167 Wasteland Confrontation
"Sir, we have arrived, and there's someone down there waiting for us."
Cornelius Rellen looked up from his desk at the nervous officer that had addressed him. After a moment he got up and straightened his coat, making sure that his ribbons and medals were straight on his chest, then he took the weapon that was sitting next to his desk and left his cabin.
On the upper deck of his new flagship he walked to the railing and looked down at the sight below. His armada was sitting in the air in a semi-circle formation around a small section of the massive sinkhole they had tracked Markus to.
His poor little brother, so naive thinking that he had broken free with his own strength. Cornelius smiled to himself. It had been one of his better plans, to let his brother break out of his control and 'run away'. Sure enough, the infatuated fool had led then straight to their target. Now the only thing left was to collect the reward.
He unfolded his long distance glass and peered through it to see what the officer had been referring to. It was quite the distance from where he was standing so he couldn't make out any details, but there was only one person standing near the edge of the sinkhole as if waiting for them.
"Is everything ready?" He tersely asked the officer behind him.
"Yes Sir. Everything has been prepared as you ordered," came the reply.
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"Then lets not keep her waiting," Cornelius said as he put away his scope.
It was time to begin.
Zoey watched as a small skiff detached itself from the biggest ship hovering in the sky above and headed her way. She was back up on the rim of the sinkhole by herself this time to see what Cornelius would do. Her emerald eyes were calm as she surveyed the armada consisting of over 30 ships of many different designs and origins. The armada was led by the Rellens and their flagship, but most of the Kreppelins were from other noble houses that were under their control.
The flagship was a big one, bigger than the last one that Cornelius had come after her with. She guessed that it was over 150 meters in length with 4 huge masts sprouting from its decks. From what she could see it had 3 decks dedicated to weapon platforms, just like Markus had said. She could not see the weapons from where she stood, but if the rest of Markus's info was accurate, those decks would be lined with magic powered ballista that hurled out ammunition implanted with magical power.
She had no way of knowing for sure if the weapons would be effective on her cruiser's armor, but she was still confident that it would be fine. Magic was the only thing that could possibly do any sort of damage to the cruiser, and it would have to be a considerable amount at that.
She had tested the Stella Tenebris's armor with her own attacks and weapons, and only the FAMR had managed to penetrate the armor at full charge. If those primitive siege weapons managed to come close to that amount of firepower, she would be impressed.
As the skiff drew closer, the Kreppelins in the sky began to turn in unison. Zoey raised an eyebrow as she witnessed weapon ports along the sides of all the airships open up. Following that, hundreds of ballista were run out, sticking their noses out of the ports and slowly tilting their angles towards where Zoey stood alone.
It was an intimidation attempt. Unfortunately, the attempt was made against the wrong person. Zoey was someone who had faced the corrupted without hesitation when ordinary men could not remain standing. She had survived the destruction of an entire universe and become stronger for it. When faced with overwhelming odds, impossible scenarios, and battles that could not be won, the only thing that she felt was stubborn resolve. If the enemy could not end her, what hope did a pesky noble on a power trip have?
Eventually, the skiff landed not too far away from where Zoey waited, and several people disembarked from it and headed her way. She recognized the ramrod straight emotionless iceberg that was Cornelius Rellen, but there were some unfamiliar faces there as well. There was a woman in a uniform following Cornelius that was quite beautiful, but her eyes were dead, completely empty with no trace of any soul remaining.
There were also some other nobles that her interface could not identify following behind, all of them showing various expressions as they approached. Most were curious about this strangely dressed woman that had caused this event, some were bored, and a few had greed in their eyes, looking at Zoey as if she was a slab of fresh meat. Zoey's interface was collecting info on them as she watched them approach, recording the crests they wore and other information that could be useful.
Looking at the rest of the group, there was a large bearded man that her interface quickly identified as the Barron, the current 'owner' of Brumau. Following the Barron were some of his subordinates that her interface tagged as the people in charge of various districts and organizations in Brumau.
Someone that Zoey had not expected to see was Loxon and Serena, the leaders of the Sand Sharks and the Siren Vultures mercenary groups from Sand Pit. Zoey was surprised to see them, and noticed that they looked uncomfortable, as if they were standing on needles. Zoey did not know their circumstances, but they were certainly not happy about them.
The group approached and stopped 15 meters away from Zoey, but Cornelius kept walking as if he intended on walking right up to where she stood. She was not too keen on that so when he stepped past the 10 meter mark, Zoey pulled aside the left side of her trench coat to reveal the double-barreled DAAC hanging on her hip. She rested her hand on the grip and narrowed her eyes at Cornelius, who stopped abruptly where he was once he noticed the glowing lines on her weapon flaring to life.
Silence fell on the wasteland as the mysterious lone woman faced an entire armada led by one of the most powerful nobles in the north. Any normal person would have been scared out of their mind, kneelin on the ground and begging for mercy, but Zoey faced them all with a rather casual, relaxed stance. Of course, she was ready to react in an instant if necessary, but her attitude and demeanor was that of someone out on a stroll.
The events that followed would be remembered by every single person there for the rest of their lives.