40 A short Trip

    Nix walked inside of his new place, the door opened into a small galley kitchen and a tidy dining room.  Through a small archway was a living room which exited into a short hallway that led to a bedroom and a bathroom.  "I've seen worse."

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    The small man had followed him to the living room but stopped there while he checked out the rest of the apartment.  "I'm Dalton Moore, the Floor Director. Do you have any questions before we get started?"

    Nix walked back into the room, gazing out his living room window.  "This place seems quite large.

    How am I suppose to get around?"

    Dalton tapped his hud bracelet and downloaded a map directly to Nix's hud.  "This should help you quite a bit."

    "We came up two flights of stairs, right?  So I'm on the third floor."

    "That is correct."  Dalton Moore smiled pleasantly.

    "I hope you have a good reason for bringing me here.  I went through hell to escape here the first time."

    The small man shrugged, "I'm not sure what you mean."

    "Don't come back here without the artificer."  He grabbed Dalton Moore by the front of his shirt and tossed him through the living room window.  The shattering of glass, followed by a surprised scream that ended in a sickening crunch put a smile back on Nix's face.

    He walked back into the kitchen and opened the fridge.  Someone had stocked it for him, he grabbed a bottle of milk and poured himself a glass.  "Damn... That's really good."

    Half an hour later he heard a knock on his door, he opened it to see the frowning face of Dalton Moore. A nervous-looking blonde was standing behind him. "Come in."

    He left the door open and walked into the living room, after a moment they entered and shut the door behind him.  "This is as patient as someone like me gets.  You better have a hell of a reason for bringing me here."

    Darsi held up her hand to placate him.  "We were attempting to assemble an artifact that would enable us to change the binding point of anyone we wish."

    "Towards what end?"  Nix shook his head at the idiocy, "Gladis might ignore one or two strays, but what do you think will happen if a few dozen or more escapes?"

    Darsi tried not to stare at the broken window. "Gladis has nearly fifty thousand lifestyle employees working across dozens of different VR games."

    "Why am I here then?"  Nix stared at the woman who was responsible for his revisiting the Gladis Hub.  "If it's merely for revenge, you should start practice screaming in agony right now."

    Dalton Moore didn't have to pretend to be scared, although dieing had no real effect for him, there was still a moment of terror and a bit of pain.  He had found the experience very disconcerting.   "We want to know the method you used to escape originally."

    Darsi nodded patiently, "we'll pay you.  One hundred thousand credits."

    Nix kept a straight face when he heard the amount, he could sell a pair of custom underwear for that much money.  He regularly transferred his credits to the Colonial Banking system, his current balance was just a bit over 3 billion credits.  "Pay me?  How are you going to compensate me for losing the Sea-Beast Master skill?  Do you realize how many hundreds of millions that was worth?"

    Darsi slowly went pale, she felt an overwhelming desire to flee.  "What are you talking about?"

    "When I respawned here.  All of the skills I attained in Colonial were erased, as well as several priceless artifacts."  Nix kept his voice calm, he only needed one thing.

    "I'll make you a Beast-Master Artifact."  Darsi had been the one supplying the Wolf-masks with beastmaster skill.

    This time Nix laughed loudly.  "The beastmaster skill?  Want to know how many humans had the Sea-Beast Master Skill?  None... Compared to the dozens who have your artifact, which would you say is more valuable?"

    Darsi glanced at Dalton and licked her lips nervously. "We are just trying to free a few people, it wasn't our intent to inconvenience anyone."

    "Why not just take them with you?  You can already leave whenever you like."

    Darsi held up an artifact.  "This artifact can only transfer one person."

    Nix glanced at the artifact and instantly two flame strands wrapped around her neck, he sent two more at Dalton who was frozen in shock.  They both screamed soundlessly and flailed their limbs.  He watched them for a moment, pinching his nose at the stench of burnt flesh in the small room.  "Inconvenience?  That's funny."

    He released them right as they died. Quickly he searched their corpses before they were recovered to the spawning platform.  "Bingo."

    Phelinomia Bracer

    Description: This bracer can

    transfer the wearer to the

    Phelinomia portal.

    Ricoli Artifact [Aquarion]

    Description: Enables the

    training of the Sea-Beast Master Skill.

    "I'll take all of these."  Nix activated the Phelinomia Bracer just as he heard steps running in the hallway. He waved at the shocked faces of Dalton and Darsi.

    He took the portal from Phelinomia back to Cyphix. He trotted through the streets under the light of the stars.  In less than a minute he found the building he had jumped down from.  Scaling the wood building as quietly as he could, he walked softly to the chimney and pulled out the bag he had stashed earlier.  As they were closing in, his biggest worry was losing Deep Blue and his other valuables.  He reequipped it and hopped down.

    He activated Deep Blue and chose his binding point, which was still the Gladis Hub: LifeStyle Village. A moment later he appeared in the lifestyle village, he took a moment to save the location to one of his empty slots.  Then he ported directly to the Sea-World.

    Soup and Ducky came to greet him when he stepped into the surf.  He patted them both affectionately before heading towards his Houseboat.  Fatigue started to seep into his bones while he was climbing the steep steps to the third level deck.

    Fajii and Mina were both in his hot tub.  He gave them a smile and walked into his bedroom to put on some shorts.  "Looks like I missed the party."

    Mina watched as he eased into the hot water.  "Fajii said you wouldn't mind if a few of us use your hot tub."

    Nix nodded in agreement, "Fajii is right.  This many is okay."

    "You look tired Nix.  I thought you said you'd be right back."  Mina was wearing the yellow bikini he had made her.

    "I was captured by the leader of the beastmasters and taken back to their lair."  Nix opened one eye and displayed his stats for them.


    Level 50

    Strength 65

    Endurance 63

    Intelligence 25

    Dexterity 25

    Perception 25

    Cold Resistance 100 [Ice Blessing]

    Fire Resistance 100 [Burning Aura]

    Flame Strands  24

    Weapon Skills:


    Support Skills:


    [Spirit Animal 2/4]

    1: Soup [Elite Black Sea Turtle]

    2: Ducky [Water Nymph, Special]


    Hunter 100

    Leather Making 100

    Tailor  100

    Mina's pale face stared at him. "Nix!  Where are your skills?"

    "They are gone, taken from me.  I did, however, get one of these."

    Ricoli Artifact [Aquarion]

    Description: Enables the

    training of the Sea-Beast Master Skill.

    Mina sighed in relief.  "Thank goodness, it's a small setback, but you can retrain the skill and get everything back."

    Nix shook his head, "you will pick an Aquarion from the Souza Accord to train this skill.  I will walk another path."

    Mina took the artifact from his hand.  "The path of fire?"

    Nix nodded, "Yes.  All my paths seem to lead to the flame."

    Fajii moved closer to him until her leg brushed against his.  "I talked to Nansu, she told me all about kissing.  You were joking with me right?"

    Nix laughed at the look on her face.  He had told her that Chael and Nansu were feeding each other. "Yes, that was a joke."

    Fajii laughed softly.  "It's really very funny now that I know you were joking with me."

    Mina looked from Nix to Fajii.  "What's with the two of you?"

    Fajii shrugged, "we exchanged pointers regarding the mating habits of Humans and Aquarions."

    Nix laughed at the explanation.  "Pointers..."

    The Aquarion leader looked surprised.  "Fajii, you and Nix engaged in..."

    Fajii nodded, "I couldn't help myself.  He said I was beautiful."

    Mina frowned at her alchemist friend.  "You are beautiful."

    Nix yawned and nodded in agreement.  "See? I told you so."

    All of them sensed the sudden build-up of power and turned toward Shae's lair.  A flash of blinding light and wave of power swept outward in all directions.   A moment later a huge explosion rocked the Sea-World.
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