71 Espana Bay

    Nix and Hyai spent the night and left after breakfast the next morning. The mysterious vagabond swordmaster was nowhere to be seen.

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: Nix are you guys still in Jenza?

    /Guildchat: Nix: Yep, about to take the portal back to Glory.  Something up?

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: Nothing big, just that the Provost Marshal isn't releasing Shank and his sidekicks.  They are going to stand trial!

    Nix frowned, thinking of his own trial, the frown quickly was replaced with a smile when Glory popped into his thoughts.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Isn't that normal for someone being charged with a crime?

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: Not in Colonial Nix, you get fined and perhaps a few days in jail if you can't pay.

    /Guildchat: Nix: It breaks my heart when bad things happen to ass hats.

    /Guildchat: Jun Li: Darsi has completed that project you requested, Shae has it.

    /Guildchat: Nix: Okay, I'll head there in a bit.

    Nix escorted Hyai back to the Kindled Spirit.  "It was nice meeting your daughter Hyai."

    "Thanks for asking me, I don't get to see her enough."  She squeezed his arm and opened the door to the Kindled Spirit, "will you make it for lunch?"

    Nix nodded, "I'm planning on it, not sure when though."

    "No worries hun, I'll save you something."

    Nix headed toward the Fire Palace, spending time with Hyai always made him feel good.  She was one of those people whose presence he found comforting.


    Fajii held the Earth Pearl in her pale hands, it was smooth and warm to her touch.  She glanced at Shae who nodded in encouragement.

    [Do you wish to activate the Earth Pearl?]

    Fajii inhaled deeply and let it out.  "Yes."

    The pearl expanded outward in a flash, trapping Fajii in a transparent sphere.  The Aquarion started to panic slightly, pounding on the inner walls of the pearl  She spotted Nix running toward her, instantly she calmed down.  "Is this what's supposed to happen?"

    Nix placed a hand on the outside of the enlarged sphere, "Not sure but I believe so Fajii.  "

    A cloud of swirling brown dust started to fill the sphere, it grew larger and denser, completely obstructing any view of the inside.  A coughing sound could be heard from within.  The cloud condensed into solid rock and then expanded further, causing Nix to take several steps back.

    Shae placed a hand on his shoulder. "She is fine. It's not an easy process turning a water creature into an earth creature."

    Nix felt the gathering of extreme power, suddenly Shae grabbed him and flashed away from the pearl.  An explosion rocked them, tossing them into the air and skidding them across the smooth palace floor for several yards.

    [You've been Stunned.]

    Nix saw Shae bend over him, a smooth hand on his cheek.  Her mouth was moving but he couldn't hear anything other than a loud ringing sound.  "Can't hear you Shae."

    Shae nodded and helped him up.  They walked back toward Fajii, the entire area was coated in a thick coat of fine brown dirt.  A tanned woman with light brown hair lay curled up in a ball on the floor.

    Nix stared in shock, "Fajii?"  He lay a hand on her arm and helped her sit up.  "Woah..."  Her eyes had changed into a warm brown, he noticed that her ears and hands hadn't changed.  "Still Aquarion I see, although not like the others."

    Fajii held up an arm and stared at it, her calm face showing a bit of shock.  "I was never like the others anyway."

    Nix patted her cheek, smiling widely.  "Still beautiful Fajii." He pulled her to his feet, the ringing in his ears had faded.  Fajii handed him the Earth Pearl.

    Shae's laughter filled the empty palace hall.  "Look what you've done to my temple Fajii!"

    Fajii took a look around the hall, there was dirt everywhere.  "Maybe do this outside next time?"

    Nix glanced at the pearl in his hand, it couldn't be used for another twenty-four hours.  "Next time we'll have access to the Earth Temple also.  Are we ready to activate the deed?"

    Fajii held the deed in her hand, her eyes held the hint of power.  "I would like to see what I can do Nix."

    Both Shae and Nix nodded in agreement.  No one had any idea what an Earth Mage could do.

    The darkest Aquarion in existence smiled brightly and held up the deed.  "Fine, I'll do it your way."

    [You have an Earth Temple Deed and there is an Earth Mage present. The following options are available.]

    1) Activate the Deed at a different location

    2) Merge the Earth Temple as a Subsidiary of the Fire Palace.

    Fajii's clear voice was filled with anticipation. "Merge the Earth Temple please."

    Fajii disappeared suddenly, leaving Nix and Shae by themselves.

    Shae cocked her head to one side as she read something that Nix couldn't see, "It's a four-hour build. We should go outside."

    Nix followed her out of the temple, she grabbed him by the door and floated easily into the air, there was a large pit in front of the Fire Palace that hadn't been there before. It was completely clouded over, Nix could feel the static of raging power in the air.  "Earth magic is f*cking scary."

    The Salamander nodded in agreement before putting him down gently on the far side of the trench. "Earth Elementals are by far the most powerful, however, they also keep to themselves and don't really involve themselves in the affairs of others."

    "I've some things to take care of Nix, please stop in tonight after the merging is complete."  Shae vanished with a quick smile, leaving him staring into space.

    "Sure would like to know how you disappear like that."  He turned toward the Shipyard, seeing two familiar faces walking together he sped up to catch them.  Mina and Delphi both slowed their steps when they saw him approaching.

    Captain Delphi gave him a respectful bow.  "I was just heading to see how the Phoenix is sorting out."

    Nix glanced toward the shipyard, he had received a notice earlier that the work had been completed.  "I feel like teaching Salamander a lesson.  They've been coming at us since Junie and Semmi left them."

    Mina's pale face looked excited, "I really can't wait to see her."

    All three of them stopped at stared at the ship.  It barely looked the same.

    Navy Frigate: Phoenix

    Craft Rating: Legendary

    The Phoenix soars high above its enemies, a terrifying

    existence that seamlessly blends firepower with pure speed.

    When the Phoenix is outnumbered, she receives a +20 Buff to

    all stats for each ship going against her.

    +150 to Sailing Speed.

    +50 to Turning Radius.

    +500 to Defense

    56 Elite Cannons [Dual Loads]

    Special Buff: The Red Lady

    Effects: Unknown.

    Captain Delphi ran up the gangplank.  "Dual Loads?  What's that even mean?"  She ran into cannon alley and skidded to a stop, her mouth dropped open in surprise.

    Nix shook his head, each cannon had been intricately carved with the logo of the Phoenix, there were two side-by-side barrels on each one.  "Doesn't that make this a 112 now?"

    /Guildchat: Filamina: All Phoenix hands report at once to the shipyard.

    Delphi grinned and nodded her head.

    /Guildchat: Wylie: Something going on Nix?

    /Guildchat: Nix: Shake out run, report to the dock.

    /Guildchat: Semmi: Mind if I join you guys?

    /Guildchat: Nix: Feel free.

    Less than an hour later, all Delphi's crew had reported for duty. The Aquarion assault team along with Semmi, Wylie, and Nix were ready to go.

    Wylie approached Nix with a rolled piece of parchment and handed it to him.  "There are 50 more Knights being placed under your command. "

    Nix glanced at the parchment,  Wylie normally took care of these sorts of things.  "How is Mariner training going?"

    "Sir we've completed the first stage, as soon as the new recruits join us they will undergo the same training."

    "I have a request, Wylie."  Nix had noticed that nearly every Colonial Knight he had ever seen carried some sort of melee weapon as their primary offensive.

    "I want all those with primary melee weapons to transfer it to the second position.  All knights are to incorporate a firearm as their primary weapon.  Unless that person is a mage of some sort."

    "Nix... "  Wylie's face had dropped at the news, she looked like a person attending their own funeral.  "That seems rather rash sir."

    "Those who don't wish to comply will be offered a transfer."  Nix pursed his lips slightly, his eyes falling onto the Fire Palace.  "Also I want a half dozen volunteers from the company to undergo Earth Mage training."

    Semmi came running up the dock a few minutes later.  Banzi was tagging along, both of them were fully geared.  She was out of breath by the time she was standing in front of Nix.  "Where are we going boss?"

    "How big's the Salamander fleet and where are they?" Nix gave her an innocent smile.

    "Salamander?  They are scattered all over the place on different missions.  There should be a rather large contingent in the Bay of Espana."

    Nix caught Delphi's eye.  "Set a course for Espana Captain."

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    /Inferno: Jun Li: Nix are you going hunting?

    /Inferno: Nix: Just a quick shake-out run.

    /Inferno: Sharl: I'm getting my ship, wait for us.

    /Inferno: Wind: Me too!

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Looks like we are all going.

    /Inferno: Pon: Nix you cocky bastard, you better wait!

    Semmi leaned back against the rail, "going to wait  Nix?"

    Captain Delphi was also staring.  "Orders Sir?"

    Nix looked around at the expectant faces of the Phoenix crew, even the Aquarions seemed excited. "Only prey waits.  Let's go hunting."
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