56 Lapu Crater

    An hour later all the healers from the guild were crowded onto Nix's houseboat.  No one was able to figure out the issue with Fajii.

    Wylie shook her head, "it's some sort of infection.  Like a poisoning..."

    A glowing presence on the outside deck announced the arrival of Shae.  The surrounding water creatures knew her well, but their instincts still told them to flee.  She was wearing a red dress with her salamander suit underneath.  Her bare feet padded silently toward the sliding door.

    Shae smiled the moment she glanced at Fajii.  "Well... that's interesting."

    Mina stared at the salamander, her perception was far beyond anyone else in the Sea-World.  "Do you know what's wrong with her?"

    Shae knelt beside the patient and placed a hand on her abdomen, her hand glowed for a moment before she removed it.  "Nothings wrong with her, she has a fire essence."  She glanced at Nix and clucked her tongue.

    The room went quiet, Mina squeezed Fajii's hand slightly.  "What did you do Shae?  Her color is already improving."

    "Hmm?  Oh, I absorbed a bit of the girl's fire essence, it's building up too fast for  a water creature."  Shae was smiling at Nix, her expression unreadable.

    "Fire essence?"  Mina placed her hand on her friend's stomach, trying to sense something.  "Why would Fajii have fire essence?"

    Shae shook her head and stood up.  "Fajii having a fire essence does raise a lot of questions."

    "Is it related to me having the Salamander's Path of fire?"  Nix had been standing next to the wall while everyone examined Fajii, he moved closer and sat on the foot of the bed.

    "Perhaps it had something to do with Nix and I exchanging pointers?"  Fajii was already looking stronger, a relieved smile on her face.

    "Pointers?"  Jun Li looked confused, she had been following the conversation while working on the next day's raid.

    "They've been intimate."  Mina cleared it up for everyone since Nix was oddly quiet for once.

    "Oh  god..."  Ronnie started chuckling at the door.  Wind and Pon were struggling to keep a straight face.

    Jun Li's face had turned red, but she spoke anyway.  "I've never heard of sex causing fire poisoning in Colonial.  How many times are we talking about?"

    Fajii shrugged, "many times.  We are very good friends."

    Shae patted Nix's head gently, "You've been so busy."

    Mina still looked worried for her friend, "is she going to be okay?  Will you be able to remove the essence?"

    "Not sure, but I will take good care of her."  Shae picked up the Aquarion effortlessly and vanished a moment later.

    Shae leaving with Fajii caused the room to go suddenly quiet.  One by one they started to filter out.

    Everyone had left except for Mina, Nix crawled back in bed.  "I'm tired Min.  Something else you need?"

    Mina shook her head, nothing that happened today was a surprise for her.  "Are Aquarions ugly?"

    Nix pounded his pillow a few times, trying to find a comfortable position in bed.  "Some are.  Your brother was for sure."

    Mina smiled, "my brother was known to be extremely handsome by our standards."

    "What would the Aquarion males here say if they were asked about Fajii?"  Nix already knew the answer.

    Mina looked at the floor, her face gloomy.  "Fajii is beautiful, no matter what my people say."

    "No argument."  Nix stared at Mina, being an Aquarion she didn't understand that she was supposed to leave now.

    She made a face at Nix, "you aren't very handsome.  Sometimes it's hard to look at you."

    Nix laughed, "thank you Min."

    She bent down and kissed the top of his head.  "Good Night."  She stopped at the door and turned toward him, "that doesn't mean you aren't very important to me."

    "Right... I'm your ugly buddy."

    Mina nodded in agreement and then left with a quick wave.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Does this mean that Nix is Fire Mage trainer now?

    /Guildchat: Pon: Nix, you should make a list, we'll have to check everyone.

    /Guildchat: Nix: You two are hilarious.

    /Guildchat: Ronnie: Sis does this mean we can't have sex with Nix anymore?

    /Guildchat: Sharl: Are you a complete idiot?

    /Guildchat: Tess: Oh my... I didn't realize.

    /Guildchat: Wind: Nix is boss.

    /Guildchat: Ronnie: So... Is that a no Sis?

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    /Guildchat: Semmi:  hahahahahaha


    Nix woke bright and early, his back deck was empty for once.  In the past Fajii would sit out there in the sun.  "I'll go check on her when we get back from Lapu."

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: We taking the ships today?

    /Guildchat: Nix: Yes.  We get faction points whenever we win a sea battle.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: I'm already interviewing captains for the Galleons.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Meet at the docks in two hours.

    He slipped on his armor and ported to the dock area.  His store was already open and doing business.  Some of the ferry passengers from the day before had stayed the night in Glory.

    The Kindled Spirit was busy for once, Nix grabbed a table in the corner, ignoring the invitations of his guildmates.  Hyai smiled at him when she came to get his order.

    "What can I get you, hun?"

    "Eggs with anything."  Nix noticed that was she was hiding a smile.  "Someone told you."

    Hyai grinned, "I use to be a Fire Mage you know.  Nowhere near as strong as you though"

    "Let me know if you suddenly become super-powerful."  He sipped the coffee that she had sat down in front of him.

    Hyai laughed at his expression.  "Go burn something Nix, it'll make you feel better."

    "Great idea."


    Lapu was one of the Phelinomia Islands,  Nix had visited it twice before.  All four Inferno ships anchored in the small bay, Pon, Chael and Mina's Assault team were left to guard them while the rest of the guild went ashore.  Mina accompanied Wylie and Nix as they joined up with the rest of Inferno.

    They stood onshore for a moment, while the utility boats returned to the ships.  Wylie was admiring the new gear Nix had given her.  The green leather shirt and pants were much snugger than Nix had intended, it hugged the Knight Captain's curved figure.  The kicker was the boots that Dalton had made, they were knee-high boots that matched the outfit.

    Wind watched as Wylie showed Jun Li and Semmi her outfit.  They were all interested in its impressive stats.  "You did that on purpose, right? "

    "No... but she does look good, " Nix admitted.

    Wind nodded in agreement.  "Can I have one of the Galleons as a flagship?"

    "Sure. You'll have to form an assault team."

    /Guildchat: Nix: How are the applications for members looking?

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: We have about three hundred applicants.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Bring in about three dozen.  No one gets in without knowing one of us personally.

    Nix led the group through the shallows area, slowly they started clearing manta.  "There should be way more manta here."

    Wind was sitting the fight out while getting patched up by Tess.  "You took a lot of manta from here before right?"

    Nix nodded, "they should have respawned to normal populations.  Scout out the crater, I don't like it."

    The scout vanished and Nix started cleaning up the manta.  Skinning and harvesting their meat.

    "Thanks again Nix, the gear you made is amazing.  Finally, something I can move around in."  She thumped her wooden staff on the ground drawing his attention.  "Those are my kills you are skinning.  What's my split?"

    "Eighty/twenty."  Nix smiled pleasantly at her.  "Of course when I charge for processing, storage, and transportation..."  He did the math in his head, "you actually owe me a few credits, but I'll take your share as payment."

    Wylie shot him a gloomy look, "I was only teasing Sir."

    /Guildchat: Wind: Was there an Aquarion city here last time you visited?

    /Guildchat: Nix: A few Aquarions, but definitely no settlement.

    /Guildchat: Wind: Then I have a nice surprise for you.

    Guild vidchat opened up and the entire guild watched as Wind zoomed in on the city that had been built right in the middle of the nesting grounds.  Mina was leaning over Nix's shoulder so she could see.

    Mina squeezed his shoulder with a pale hand. "Why are all the mantas white Nix?"

    /Guildchat: Wind: Aren't white manta very rare?

    /Guildchat: Nix: Yep, only a couple in ten thousand.

    /Guildchat: Pon: Boss, we are about to have company.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Who and how much?

    /Guildchat: Pon: Looks to be about twenty ships, two guild IDs-Nottingham and Marauder.  You have an hour tops, so hurry it up.

    /Guildchat: Nix: You and Chael mount up and slow them down a bit, stay out of their range.

    /Guildchat: Pon: Got it Nix, we'll buy you some time.

    Jun Li brought up a map of the bay.  "Why would that many ships be heading this way?"

    Semmi shook her head, "they show up after we arrive?  My guess is that we are being hunted."

    Nix scowled at the map. "We leave anyone back at Glory Juni?"

    Jun Li nodded, "Tyrant is back there, he isn't quite high enough to join in yet."

    /Guildchat: Nix: Tyrant, has the afternoon ferry come in yet?

    /Guildchat: Tyrant: No sir.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Conduct a quick search of all non-guild members.  Find someone with a Nottingham or Marauder guild tag.

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: they could be anonymous Nix.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Right, until I change the settings in the Island menu.

    /Guildchat:  Jun Li:  F*ck yeah!  Do it Nix.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Calm down Junie...  Start the search now Tyrant, I'll change the settings.

    Nix brought up the guild leader menu and accessed Guild properties.  He wouldn't have known that it existed if he hadn't been messing with it earlier.  Under Island Access, there was an option to disallow anonymous visitors.  He quickly selected it.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Okay, find them for us.

    Nix waited while keeping up the game menu.  It only took a few minutes for Tyrant to get back to them.

    /Guildchat: Tyrant: There are two of them sir.  A Marauder and a Nottingham person.

    /Guildchat: Pon: Have the Acolytes grab them and bring them to the temple.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Gread idea.  Do it.

    Nix summoned Ducky and eased himself over the edge of the crater.  The water was much cooler than he remembered.  "Semmi, find us the best route in."
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