61 Growth and Developmen

    Nix was by himself on the docks by the time Mina arrived.  She was wearing her traditional black gear that she used to travel about freely in the human cities.

    Mina offered him a polite smile and opened the crate he was standing next to.  "This is from one of the elite Aquarion Assault forces, we can really use this gear Nix."

    Nix nodded, "it's all yours.  Can't have your people undergeared when we are fighting the same war."

    She picked up one of the pineapple sized objects that had been found with the invasion force, right away she gasped in surprise.  "Nix... Do you know what this is?"

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    "No, but I'd assume it's some sort of bomb."

    "Yes.  There is a tiny air sprite enclosed within.  When you throw it at something the liquid fire inside breaks the compartment and destroys the sprite.  This causes a massive explosion of air."

    "So it sends shrapnel blasting everywhere?"  Nix shook his head, it was the magical version of a hand grenade.

    "These are very lethal but extremely hard to build because of the rarity of air sprites."  Mina did a quick count, "There's fifteen of them, I'm surprised they were able to make so many."

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Nix have you read the forums?

    /Guildchat: Nix: No.  Something I should know?

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Just that the guild HQs for Nottingham and Marauder have been reclaimed by the Phelinomia government.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Serves them right.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Not just that.  All the businesses owned by the guild and its members in Phelinomia have been confiscated by the crown.

    /Guildchat: Wind: The forum is eating it up too.  With all the announcements from Phelinomia, everyone is convinced that they colluded with the invasion force.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Taking a bite out of us needs to hurt. Are you still around Lena?

    /Guildchat: Lena: Yes.  Do you need anything?

    /Guildchat: NIx: Coming to see you.

    "Grab one of those Min and come with me."  Nix walked with her toward the shops' area.

    Mina was holding the bomb like it was an egg, but she didn't look scared.  "Lena is the guild carpenter?"

    Nix nodded, "yep."

    Of all the people from the Gladis hub, Lena was the one who looked most like a criminal.  She had a shaved head and was covered in tattoos and piercings.  That was just on the outside however, Lena had been a social worker for inner-city youths.  Nix wasn't sure what landed her in prison.

    Nix held the door for Mina as they walked into Lena's store.  "Hey, Lena.  Have you met Min yet?"

    Lena shook her head. "Not officially.  Nice to meet you, Mina."

    "Nice to meet you also Lena."

    Nix smiled when he noticed all the carvings on the shelves.  "What are the prerequisites for a carpenter?"

    "Construction and Wood carving," Lena replied.

    "I want to commission a figurehead for the Phoenix."

    Lena smiled at the request.  "I haven't done one of those yet.  I'm assuming you want a Phoenix figurehead?"

    Nix nodded, "I want you to add two enhancements, Air and Fire."

    "You a crafter Nix so you know I'll need something to base those enhancements on."

    Mina handed her the Aquarion bomb.  "Careful this is an explosive."

    Lena carefully set it in her enhancement block, instantly her face lit up.  "It has a strong Air enchantment, the fire part is much weaker but I can strengthen that a bit."

    Nix couldn't stop smiling. "What kind of final result can we expect?"

    "Not really sure, stop back tomorrow after 1500 and I'll have something for you."  Lena covered a yawn, she had been working all day.


    A few minutes later Nix watched as Mina and her team removed most of the crates from the dock.  They left the ones that were filled with the explosives.  They had given Lena a good idea of what they wanted and then left her to her business.  Finally, Nix head to the Kindled Spirit for some rest.

    Hyai was cleaning up the dining hall when he walked in.  She offered him a smile, "want some company Nix?"

    Nix nodded as he trudged slowly up the stairs.  "No matter what I'm sleeping in tomorrow."

    When she opened the door to his suite a half-hour later, Nix was sleeping soundly in the bath.  She clucked her tongue at him and placed a gentle hand on his head.  "Sleeping in the bath Nix?"

    "No."  Nix denied it even though it was obvious he'd been sleeping. "I only closed my eyes for a bit."

    Hyai held out a towel, "climb out of there Nix.  Let's get you in bed."

    The warmth of thick blankets combined with the innkeeper's soft skin made Nix fall asleep instantly, even though he had entertained other ideas.  His eyes opened for the first time when the morning light started to come in from the windows.  He smiled sleepily, he felt as comfortable as he had ever been.

    Hyai moved slightly, propping herself on one elbow.  "I have to get up in a bit Nix."

    "Hmm... in that case."  He pulled the warm and very willing Hyai on top of him. "I must apologize properly for falling asleep before my work was done."


    The second time Nix woke up it was already mid-morning.  Hyai was working when he finally made it downstairs he waved and headed outside.  Ronnie and Jun Li were already waiting for him when he left the Kindled Spirit.

    Jun Li had her island map open and was looking at the best options for the shipyard placement.  The legendary shipyard came with twelve berths for ships.  More than enough to hold its rapidly growing fleet.  "We decided on the west side of the island right?"

    Nix nodded, "you get that built and I will head over to the temple to see Shae."

    Colonial System Message: The Inferno Guild has constructed the first Legendary Shipyard.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Go us!

    /Guildchat: Pon: I hear if your ship is upgraded and you bring it to a legendary shipyard, it enhances it even further.

    /Guildchat: Sharl: Nix come fix my sails!  I know you did something to the Phoenix to make it faster!

    /Guildchat: Nix: Fine.  All interested personnel head over to the dock and talk to Captain Delphi.  She will let you know how to upgrade the sails and weapons.

    /Guildchat: Pon:  You upgraded the weapons too?

    /Guildchat: Nix: Can't have an old bastard like you showing me up.

    Ronnie and Nix entered the temple a few minutes later.  Shae was leaning against her altar, her acolytes were close by, hanging on her every word.

    "Giving them some pointers Shae?"  Nix noticed that her hair was braided, it was definitely Fajii's work.  She had learned that braiding style from Nansu.

    Shae nodded, "can't have them continuing to disappoint the Temple lord."  She gave him a kiss on the cheek before glancing at Wilo who was perched on Ronnie's shoulder.  "Ready to promote?  I'll take care of everything."

    Ronnie looked like she wanted to cry when Wilo entered Shae's world.  Her gloomy face stared at the altar where she had disappeared.  "She didn't even say goodbye."

    Nix threw an arm around her shoulders and squeezed gently.  "She's focused Ronnie, this is a dangerous time for her."

    "Right... I'm being silly."

    Nix felt Shae's eyes on him, he waited until Ronnie left the temple before speaking.  "Can I see Fajii?"

    Shae shook her head.  "Give it a few days Nix, she's at a very dangerous time." She handed him a small bag.  "She made some potions for you."

    Nix smiled and accepted the bag. "Hey, what happened to Severance after she ignited the volcanic core?"

    Shae shrugged and moved closer to him before grabbing one of his hands.  "More than likely she is starting a new reign as a Salamander lord."

    Nix had seen first hand what the brown flames had done to her.  Her age had quickly moved backward from a middle-aged woman to a younger version that looked to be about Shae's age.  "You seem different Shae."

    "I'm progressing towards my next promotion decades ahead of schedule.  We will have to stop cultivating the brown flame so often.  No more than once every few weeks.  Otherwise, my foundation will weaken."

    Nix nodded, "I have a few things to do Shae.  Let me know if you need anything."

    Shae leaned closer and hugged him for a moment.  "I will Nix."  She smiled at his back when he started walking toward the exit.  "Hey, Nix!"

    He stopped and looked back. "Hmm?"

    "If you start feeling really bad sometime in the next few weeks.  Come find me immediately."  Shae waved and disappeared from sight.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Who wants to investigate the Quarry quest with me?

    /Guildchat; Wind: I'll go.

    /Guildchat: Chael: Me too.

    /Guildchat: Pon: I'm in.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Meet at the Phoenix in fifteen minutes.

    /Guildchat: Wylie need me to come Sir?

    /Guildchat: Nix: No, I'm setting up the Mariner training for the knights.  You'll need to oversee it.

    /Guildchat: Wylie: Yes sir.

    While walking back to the Phoenix, Nix used the barracks menu to bring up the Mariner training for Captain Wylie and her knights.  There was also a Marine Commander training available, so he quickly lined that up for her.

    /Guildchat: Nix: I'll come by the barracks tomorrow and check your progress.

    /Guilchat: Wylie: Look forward to being impressed, Sir.

    Nix received permission to come aboard and shook Delphi's hand.  She was standing at the notched rail where they kept unofficial track of their kills.  "You're counting my two individual kills as part of the Phoenix's record?"

    Delphi nodded with a sly smile.  "You are part of her crew."

    Pon, Wind, and Chael arrived a few minutes later.  They were a group that leaned heavily toward fire damage.  Exactly the type of teammates you wanted if you ran into trouble.

    A few minutes later they left port, waving at the Ferry that was arriving just as they were leaving.

    /Guildchat: Wind: That Ferry is packed today.  Standing room only.

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: Make sure to upgrade the fleets sails as soon as possible Nix.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Bring all the sails to my shop tonight.  I'll take care of it.

    Nix opened the bag he had received from Shae.  There were four small bottles in it.


    Potion: Invisibility

    Description: Offers an hour

    of invisibility. Effect may be turned

    on or off repeatedly for the duration.

    Chael noticed the potion bottles right away.  "Fajii make those?"

    Nix nodded, Chael recognized them right away, Nansu made something similar for him.  "She is still with Shae."
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