The Three Days had passed and the Captain’s ceremony was well under way. Ralta, a mermaid in a pink maid’s outfit with a special choker allowing her to swim in the air as well as her natural water and lava swimming abilities, was serving out drinks while her wife, a human by the name of Pyrina, was belly-dancing with Enfanti on a stage that amplified their respective fire and ice powers. Every time they touched; a mist formed. Everyone cheered as they danced. The Royal family of the Under-realm attended as well; Orbak, his wife Elmpam, and Malnar with hers and Arsha’s Under-realm fiancé, a Minotaur named Gorfanth. Elgrad and Hanako were shown via hologram and watched as their daughter mingled. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so happy,” observed Hanako.
“She’s living her dream of travelling the Realms,” replied Elgrad. “I have a feeling she may stay with Realmfleet.”
“If that’s true,” mused Hanako, “then she’ll be building her castle somewhere where she and her spouses can easily travel the Realms.”
“Wysper City, most likely,” guessed Elgrad.
“Discussing something without me?” asked Arsha as she, Malnar, and Gorfanth approached the hologram.
“Just some theories about your future,” chuckled Elgrad.
“Any bets yet?” asked Gorfanth.
“No, not yet,” replied Hanako.
“Well, I can’t wait to hear who wins,” giggled Malnar.
“If I may have everyone’s attention please!” called Orbak. “We are about to begin the Captain’s Oath Ritual!” The Captain’s Oath Ritual is the same across all three Realms. The ruler of an area would be at an altar with a Realmfleet Captain’s seal on a pedestal. Arsha walked up to the altar and knelt down in front of Orbak. “Ages ago, the Three Realms were divided,” he began. “As time and magic grew, so did our curiosity. The brightest minds of each Realm soon discovered a way to cross the barriers separating Realms, but we were less civilized in the past. Wars soon broke out, threatening to destroy all life across the Realms. After five centuries of conflict, the pointlessness of war was realized and we soon traded, instead of fought over, technology and magic. As the trades went on, it soon became clear that only together can the Realms flourish. We have enjoyed a long, hard-won peace, but it is only maintained by those that serve their Realms and people. As a show of trust, Realmfleet was founded to show that even those in higher positions share the same responsibility and must cultivate trust with service to Realmfleet and the peace it was founded on. Arsha Royana, Princess of Largandra and Crown Princess of the Mid-realm, do you swear to serve Realmfleet with dignity and honor?”
“I do!” replied Arsha.
“Do you swear to uphold the peace we have enjoyed for so long and halt any and all attempts to disrupt that peace?” asked Orbak.
“I do!” promised Arsha.
“Do you swear to expand the knowledge of the Three Realms with any discoveries you make?” asked Orbak.
“I do!” confirmed Arsha
“And do you swear to use your experiences to shape your future?” asked Orbak.
“I do!” swore Arsha.
“Then accept the Captain’s Seal,” directed Orbak as he pinned it to the front of Arsha’s dress. “May it guide you and the Three Realms to an everlasting peace. People of the Three Realms, I give you Captain Arsha Royana of the Combined Realm Ship, Endeavor!” Arsha stood up and faced the crowd as they cheered. The crowd soon cleared a path for her as she made the journey back to the Endeavor. Her now full crew compliment was lined up in the corridors leading to the bridge. The crew was beaming, having heard of her trial by fire. Realmfleet Command had considered it her first official mission and she was ready to accept another one. She soon found herself on the bridge with the entire crew at their stations.
“Captain on the bridge!” called Malak. Everyone stood up at attention.
“At ease,” assured Arsha. She then moved to the Captain’s chair and sat down. Everyone else took their seats.
“Realmfleet Command is ready to give us our next mission,” reported Shalvey. “They are awaiting you.”
“Put them through,” directed Arsha. Shalvey connected the call as her shell glowed. A female Minotaur appeared on the screen. “Admiral Rooshee,” called Arsha. “Another mission for the Endeavor?”
“Something a little more calming,” replied Rooshee. “The Kurontar sea has discovered an ancient Mermaid palace on the outskirts of the Velnar Military Base and Commercial Port. They need some help in their dig. Go to the base and see what assistance you can offer.”
“On our way,” confirmed Arsha.
“Good luck, Arsha,” bid Rooshee. “And well done on settling the Falgreth affair.”
“Thank you, Admiral,” replied Arsha. “Endeavor out.” The call ended. Arsha turned her seat around to face Malak. “Any news from Recanth?” she asked.
“He’s alive and well,” reported Malak. “The members of the new Diamond Consortium have decided that Borome’s actions were not to be considered Consortium missions and even helped Recanth get back into Realmfleet Academy. He’s passed the finals and is now a full-fledged Ensign aboard the Veil!”
“The science vessel?” asked Shalvey.
“The same,” replied Malak. “His knowledge in chemistry will be put to good use.”
“Glad to hear it,” cheered Arsha. She then turned her chair back to the front. “All right, Nazay. Get us to the Kurontar sea. Nice and easy.”
“Nice and easy, you got it!” replied Nazay. This time, the take-off WAS nice and easy. It glided upwards and found a Realmgate quickly to head back to the Mid-realm. Now the Endeavor was ready to take on a voyage across the Realms.
“Good luck, Foxy,” bid Malnar.
“She’ll be a fine Captain, Your Highness,” assured Pyrina.
“I’m gonna miss her,” sighed Ralta as she sat down and massaged her tail.
“Allow me,” called Pyrina. Ralta lay herself on her stomach and let Pyrina massage her tension away. “You’re next after her,” Pyrina said to Malnar.
“That would be splendid,” giggled Malnar as she sat down to wait her turn. Gorfanth then approached the three. “May I help you, Hooves?” asked Malnar.
“Just wanted to see how my one of my favorite ladies is doing,” he replied.
“And they say Minotaurs don’t know how to be suave,” chuckled Malnar.
“An ugly stereotype I wish to dispel,” rumbled Gorfanth as he knelt down.
“Well, it’s working for me,” said Malnar lustily as she leaned in for a kiss. Gorfanth then leaned in as well and they kissed deeply. After a few seconds, they broke it off.
“Lardeth’s expecting me at L’obscurité Belle,” remarked Gorfanth. “Would you like to come with?”
“I’m afraid it’s gonna have to be just you two boys,” sighed Malnar. “Falnii’s arranged for me, her, and Foresna to see the Folnath Meteors and I’ve been DYING to see that concert for ages!”
“Lucky girl,” chuckled Gorfanth. “Well, you three enjoy yourselves.”
“You two enjoy yourselves as well,” replied Malnar. Gorfanth then left for L’obscurité Belle.
“Your Highness?” called Pyrina. “It’s your turn.”
“Work your magic!” directed Malnar as she sat down. Pyrina gave her a nice shoulder rub, melting away any tension.
“I had no choice!” protested Borome after Garsheek gave her retirement speech. “Bakurii had already reported…!”
“I don’t care what prompted you to do this!” hissed Garsheek. “You should never have infiltrated the best intelligence network in the Under-realm!”
“But…!” stammered Borome.
“Get out!” barked Garsheek. Borome glared at his mother before leaving. At that moment, a human male approached her. This was Ansark, the head of the Under-realm Splitters, the Supreme Under-Splitter, bent on taking Realmfleet down, just like their Mid and Over-realm counterparts.
“Why would your son,” he hissed, “do something so stupid as to infiltrate the Diamond Consortium near Freedom Day, the day when even THEY are being observed?!”
“Your advisor told him to infiltrate it!” snarled Garsheek.
“Bakurii is not on to go off half-cocked!” replied Ansark.
“And Borome is not one to lie to his fellow Goblins!” growled Garsheek.
“Excuse me,” called a Goblin representative, “but you ARE no longer Chancellor. If you could leave the Decider’s Chambers, we will get on with policy making.”
“…Very well,” sighed Garsheek. Both she and Ansark left the building.