18 Rescue the Prisoners part one

    The last trip to Lapu only required him to pick up 15 Manta.  He brought them quickly back to Cyphix then made one last trip to the Lake Cavern to grab his turtles.

    "Display Stable content."

    [19 Elite Black Sea Turtle, 1 Aviante Manta: Mount Type)

    He had found only one white manta all day, of course, he kept that one.  Soup didn't need to be stored in the stable to be summoned.


    "Why did you need our Aquatic Gear?"  Ronnie was flying next to him.  He decided to stick close to the Daybreaker Guild, even though Jun Li had invited him to stay with Salamander.

    Nix checked the queue on the upgrades, still a bit left before it finished.  "The Aquarion Badge we received for first clear, enabled me to increase our speed from +18 to +36.  It doesn't sound like much, but any advantage we can get at this point."

    "That's fast, " Sharl was on the other side of Ronnie and was listening in on the conversation.

    They traveled due east for nearly four hours before Semmi gave the signal to stop.  At this time Nix gave everyone back their Aquatic gear and then moved beneath the water.

    The rest of the force had older, less evolved aquatics for underwater travel and definitely noticed that the Daybreakers had some advanced gear. The moment they submerged, Nix summoned Soup and got rid of the Manta.  He sat comfortably on her shell while she easily kept up with the Manta mounts.

    They dived nearly straight down for about a half-hour before leveling off.  It was here that the group stopped and sent out scouts. The seaweed from the ocean floor was thick, enabling the force to hide quickly, Sharl and Nix were joined by Semmi, Ton and Jun Li.

    "Tilde says we are very close, the scouts should have no problem finding them." Semmi was staring hard at the Sea Turtle that Nix was sitting on.  As a pet owner, she knew another spirit animal when she saw one.

    June Li finally asked the question on everyone's mind.  "How did you tame the Mantas?"

    Nix didn't want it to seem like too big of a mystery so he came up with a plausible story.  "I stole an artifact from the Aquarions at the Lapu Crater."

    Jun Li's dark eyes locked on him, "getting into that colony is not easy."

    Nix nodded in agreement, "took me half the day to kill my way in.  Things got a bit scary when I entered their nesting grounds."

    Sharl smiled to herself, she knew exactly where the next Daybreaker raid would be. "The Lapu Crater is a nesting ground?"

    "Yes,  one of their Mount Tamers spotted me and chased me into a water cave.  I got the artifact from her."

    Ton scowled at the idea of Aquarion Mount Tamers.  "That's how they get the mounts?  I had assumed that it was some natural ability they had as Water Creatures."

    Nix shook his head, "nope, it's just a device.  Not sure how many they have or how they get them."

    Semmi moved closer to him and placed a hand on his pets shell.  "Did you take this turtle from them too?"

    "Yes... Her name is Soup."

    The pretty blonde didn't hide her smile when he said the name, "she's beautiful, don't you dare eat her."

    Wind and a Salamander scout name Rival returned to the commanders together.  Rival gave his report first.  "They have established a camp a few minutes east of our position.  The camp has about 30 guards, most of them are melee, but I counted a dozen casters."

    Jun Li considered her scout's words carefully. "So we outnumber them three to one, that's good enough odds for us."

    Wind shook his head, "there's more.  There's a second group west of them, eight in all.  Four Casters and four melees."

    Sharl cursed softly, "we'll have to divide our forces."

    Juni Li glanced at her second in command, "how many would we need to divert to handle eight Aquarions?"

    Semmi frowned at the question, "At least sixteen, but if you want to win that fight, then more like twenty-five."

    "Shit!"  Ton's mailed fist slammed into his palm.  "We have a hundred people, that sounds like a lot but it isn't when you consider that one Aquarion has no problem handling two of us."

    "Why fight the smaller group?"

    Everyone looked at Nix when he asked the question.  Only Sharl knew that he was a complete noob, but he was also quite smart.  "They will most certainly join the fight if we leave them alone."

    Nix nodded, "Of course, I'm not saying we should ignore them."  He patted Soup's shell.  "She's faster than anything in the sea."

    "Distract them?"  Semmi considered the idea, "it might work for a while, but they'd turn around sooner or later."

    June Li hid her smile behind a hand.  He had guts, "even a few minutes allows us to trim the main group down."

    Wind continued his report, "the prisoners are being kept in a stasis pen  at the center, they are being guarded by six humans."

    "Me, Wind and Rival can take down the guards and free the captives,"  Semmi spoke casually, those in Salamander knew that she was formidable.

    Nix had seen Nez fight and assumed that Kyla could handle a weapon. "Cyan, Kyla and Nez are all experienced, if you bring them weapons you'll gain two clerics and a dps right away."

    Semmi nodded, "that would help."  She smiled at her friend and patted her on the shoulder.  "You have to do the heavy lifting Junie."

    Jun Li pointed to Nix. "You let the smaller group see you and then lead them off.  I'll  bring Salamander directly in on the main group, while the Daybreakers and Provost team come in from the other side."  Jun Li glanced at her second, "thoughts?"

    Semmi shook her head, "Us scouts will already be in place, the three of us will take out the human guards and then free the prisoners.  We'll make sure that whoever is in shape to fight will have a weapon to do so."

    Jun Li looked around at the rest of the command group.  "Anything else?"

    Ton's eyes were bright with excitement.  "If we do this, it will be the first time that the Aquarions have been run down and punished for their raids.  It will show everyone that they aren't untouchable."

    Sharl looked at Nix and then motioned back at her guild.  "I'll brief my people and be ready in five minutes."

    Nix followed Sharl back to the Daybreakers, she kept stealing glances at him.

    "Nix... don't let them catch you."  She lowered her voice and leaned closer, "use your bracelet if it appears that you are going to be captured."

    "I will. Be careful yourself."

    She stopped and glanced over her shoulder.  "You should lose the Mount Artifact Nix."

    He nodded, "I understand."  With only one mount artifact, unless humans found more, everyone would want it.  Holding onto something like that in the long term would paint a target on him.


    Nix headed west in a large circle, the stopped a few miles from his target where the plant life was the thickest.

    He activated the Sea-Beast Menu and summoned the turtles.

    [Command: Hide]

    Nineteen Elite Black Sea Turtles faded into the thick weeds.  From a few feet away Nix couldn't see any of them.


    Sharl led the Daybreakers and the Provost team to a position just north of the main group.  She rode her Manta next to her sister, occasionally their eyes would meet.

    Ronnie pursed her lips, "think Nix will lead them away?"

    Sharl nodded, "you've seen how fast his turtles are."

    "Right... Did you tell him our thought regarding the Mount Artifact?"

    "Yes."  Sharl knew that he understood.  Let everyone think it's gone, and hide it back at the Lake Cavern.


    Jun Li checked her people and made sure they were in position.  As the leader of the Main Assault force, she would carry most of the burden in the rescue attempt.   Something like this would get out quickly if they were successful, with the exception of Mermaid City, Aquarions had always been given a wide berth.  "No more free passes."

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    All three scouts stealthed and were moving into the Aquarion camp.  Semmi felt her heart pounding in her chest, she had never attempted anything like this before.  She was following Wind as he moved easily.  As a scout, she could stealth and see through stealth.  Normally she wouldn't have followed behind, but the Daybreaker scout gave off a fierce sense of danger.  What other tigers hid in that small mid-tier guild?  She frowned at the sleek aquatics Wind wore, she'd make Nix craft one for her after they rescued his friends.

    They moved into position and then waited.  When Nix made his move, there would definitely be a ripple effect at the main camp.  The operation would start then.


    Nix lay prone on the turtle's shell, holding himself in place with both hands.  She swam easily toward the Aquarion camp, while he kept an eye out for them. "Come on Soup, let's go get us some Aquarions."
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