94 On Stage part one

    An hour later, most of Inferno was sitting comfortably on mats that had been placed for them on the temple floor.  Nix was standing in front of the Air Throne speaking with the Air Nemesis.  It was an impressive sight, a transparent seat that was levitating off the floor.

    "I had thought that my presence here was unknown.  How did your mistress learn about me?"  Rhylia looked nothing like what Nix thought an Air Nemesis should be.  She had raven-colored hair that was shaved to the scalp on the sides.  She was frighteningly beautiful, long furled wings as black as night hung over her throne, her eyes were like twin pieces of shiny coal.  In Nix's eyes, she looked like a fallen angel.

    "I am not important enough for Nemesis Shae to share such knowledge with.  My mission here is to challenge only."

    /Inferno: Nix: Shae, there's an Air Nemesis in Pinnacle.

    /Inferno: Shae: What?  Retreat at once Nix!

    /Inferno: Nix: Too late, I challenged her champion.

    /Inferno: Shae: Ask to summon me, say that we will take the Guest oath.

    /Inferno: Nix: Okay.

    "Nix..."  Rhylia stood up and walked towards him.  "What is Shae like?  She's a Salamander right?"

    NIx nodded, "She is.  Shae has requested that you allow me to summon her.  She has agreed to take the Guest oath."

    Rhylia pursed her lips, "Summon her?"  She stepped close enough for Nix to feel the constant breeze that circled her.  "Are you her mate?"

    Nix shook his head, "I'm the Fire Palace champion, and the Scorched Earth Temple champion," he added belatedly.

    "A Temple of Scorched Earth?  You actually built one?"  Rhylia retreated back to her throne, she turned slowly and started chanting. A large circle, several feet in diameter formed on the tile behind Nix; runes appeared and disappeared quickly while she spoke.  She stopped after a few minutes and sat down.  "If she takes the oath, she may now enter freely."

    Nix lay a hand over his chest and pictured Shae in his head.  "Shae Balefire, Salamander Nemesis of FIre."

    A moment later Shae appeared in her red armor, her hands were open in a display of peace.  "Greetings, I am Shae Balefire, a Nemesis of the Fire Palace."

    Rhylia had returned to her seat, "Welcome Shae, I am Rhylia Thundercloud, Nemesis of Air."  She gestured with a hand and a large chair was placed next to her.  "Let us sit and talk."

    Nix waited until Shae sat down, then he moved and stood behind her chair.  He could sense that this temple was only a structure and not a proper temple. Most likely there wasn't an elemental world anchored to it.

    Rhylia watched the duo carefully, the Salamander radiated strength.  "You must be curious.  Why is an Air Elemental hiding in a water zone?"

    Shae nodded.  "It does seem like an unlikely place to have your temple."

    "There are three known  Elemental Nemesis besides the two of us."

    Shae's face showed her surprise.  "How is that possible?"

    "They hide, I found this out for myself several years ago."  Rhylia glanced at Nix, "I can sense that my temple champion is no match for yours.  However, we both need something.  Don't we?"

    Nix considered the words carefully. "You built a settlement on the God's road so no one would discover it.  Inferno is further along than any of the other guilds.  We are the first to discover that you replaced the Aquarions that were once here."  Nix glanced at the guards, with their carefully wrapped heads.

    "There is a Water, a Fire, and an Earth Nemesis. Each of them wields substantial power. The Earth Nemesis is buried deep in the ground and doesn't involve himself in the affairs of Colonial.  The other two do and actively seek to destroy anyone who unbalances their power base."

    The area around Shae seemed to heat up slightly, her warm brown eyes growing brighter.  "Why wouldn't they have attacked us already?"

    It was Nix who answered.  "We are a ripe fruit, the temptation of a Fire Palace would entice a Fire Nemesis.  With the addition of the Scorched Earth Temple, the balance of power would tilt if the Fire Nemesis were able to take it from us."

    Rhylia nodded, "this is my opinion as well.  The attempt to gain a Fire Palace and a Scorched Earth Temple might even force the Earth Nemesis into acting."

    Shae understood what she was saying.  Everything they've worked for was at risk.  "If they wait too long, our power base will be too established and an attack too risky."

    "I know what you want."  Rhylia leaned back in her seat, her black fingernails clicking on the invisible throne.  "You want to access the exit to the next stage of Mermaid City."

    Shae nodded, "Nix would challenge your temple champion and if he wins access would be granted."

    Rhylia laughed at the Salamander's words. "I've already said that he is too strong four my champion.  However, a 3 on 1 battle could be competitive."

    Suddenly Nix was glad he had unsummoned Morti, if they saw the big bear sitting next to him, they might forbid the Titan cub from participating.  "You want something also.  What is it?"

    Rhylia glanced around at her followers.  "A sun."

    Shae stared at the Air Nemesis.  "That would be quite costly."

    /Inferno: Nix: What does she mean Shae?

    /Inferno: Shae: This isn't an elemental world Nix.  It's why the plantlife are all of the ocean variety.

    /Inferno: Nix: Right.  Can't grow trees without a sun.  Why does she expect you to do?

    /Inferno: Shae: She expects me to make one.

    /Inferno: Pon: The f*ck?  Can you do something like that?

    /Inferno: Shae: I can build a small artificial one, more than enough for this tiny air pocket that she lives in.

    /Inferno: Nix: Why would she care?

    /Inferno: Shae: Her and her followers are air creatures.  The absence of a sun weakens them substantially.

    /Inferno: Nix: Wait... These are air creatures? Why fight then?  Let's trade them a sun for access to the exit.

    /Inferno: Shae: Making a sun requires part of my Fire Seed, it would weaken me for a very long time.

    /Inferno: Pon: How long?

    /Inferno: Nix: It doesn't matter how long, I won't allow it.

    /Inferno: Shae: Yes you will.  But you aren't allowed to lose.

    Rhylia waited while they discussed her proposal.  "Will you agree?"

    Shae nodded, "My champion against your best three."

    Rhylia shook her head. "Even that is too risky.  Five matches, the first to win three takes the prize.  Your champion will fight last, and only if needed.

    /Inferno: Shae: Nix?

    /Inferno: Nix: Up to you.  I feel comfortable taking the challenge.

    /Inferno: Pon:  I want to go first Nix.

    /Inferno: Nix: Do your best old man.

    The spectators moved off to one side, Rhylia formed an air barrier between the stage and the spectators.  There were nearly a hundred of the white-robed followers.

    /Inferno: Nix: An air barrier within an air barrier.  It seems a bit impressive.

    /Inferno: Shae: It is, she's quite strong.

    /Inferno: Semmi: You guys are fighting against Air creatures?  Watch their range, they do best from a distance.

    Pon walked slowly forward and pushed through the air barrier.  He smiled pleasantly and bowed his head when a man dressed in white did the same.

    The man took off his head wrappings and shrugged out of his robe. He wore some sort of enchanted black armor and his feet hovered off the ground.  From a distance, it looked like he had black hair, but when he moved closer it was obvious they were short, fine feathers.

    /Inferno: Wind: He really is a bird Pon, it's a safe bet that he can fly.

    Both men turned toward the throne and nodded.

    "I'm Chohai, please advise me."

    "I'm Pon, please advise."

    Rhylia glanced at Shae, the Salamander was nibbling on a red fruit while she watched. "Let's begin then."

    Instantly Chohai took air, his hands flashed twice in succession.

    [Summons: Victonia]

    [Summons: Esmer]

    Immediately the tables turned to three on one, when Chohai summoned two Arch-Winds. (See end of chapter notes) Pon merely shook his head as all three of them drew back bows.

    [Flame Sphere]

    Pon was encased in a ball of orange fire, he stood with his hands behind his back watching unconcerned as arrows tested his defense.

    All three assailants were expert archers and some of their arrows penetrated Pon's shield.  These impacted his Scorched Earth buffs and the old man remained unharmed.

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    White-hot flame burst from Pon's hands and raced toward the Esmer, she raised an air shield at the last moment and deflected some of the damage, the impact sent her flying back against the barrier.

    /Inferno: Wind:  Stop playing with them, you're starting to take damage.

    /Inferno: Pon:  Fine...

    Pon's face lit up into a **-eating grin.

    /Inferno: Nix: Here it comes.


    Pon stepped out of his Fire sphere as all three of his opponents were caught up in a whirlwind of fire. He spammed a low-level fire spell while his health points recovered.

    [Flame Dart]

    [Flame Dart]

    [Flame Dart]

    Victonia has died.

    Esmer has died.

    "Enough!"  Rhylia held up her hand, a tight smile on her face.  "We yield the first round."  She had felt the old fire mages surge of power, he wasn't taking Chohai seriously.  The old man was stronger than he looked.

    /Inferno: Wind: I want some of this Nix.

    /Inferno: Nix: You'll get your chance. Next is Sila, then Nez.

    /Inferno: Sila: What?

    /Inferno: Nezbit: Pardon?

    /Inferno: Nix: Fight hard.

    Author: Notes

    [Colonial Canon Reference: Information Only]

    Arch-Wind: Sometimes called Arch-Wings. A human-bird hybrid, usually the companions of Air Creatures.  They are strong archers and in some instances healers. They are quite slender, and due to having hollow bones can not take much damage.
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