157 Archon Blade

    [Embassy Arena: training Yard]

    Nix stared at the longsword in his hands.  It was thin and light and felt nothing like the blade he had wielded in Solomon City.  A surge of strength coursed through his body when he gave it a practice swing.

    Archon Long Blade

    Basic: blade [Archon Class Only]

    (Statistics Unavailable)

    Nix studied the blade, it looked nearly the same as any other blade he'd held.  "I equipped it. Does this mean my hidden class is Archon?  Or perhaps a sub-class of Archon?"

    "Talking to yourself is a bad sign."  Nix jumped at the sound of his master's voice.

    "Master Chiba."  Nix bowed politely, "I wanted to show you this blade."

    Chiba touched it once and immediately handed it back.  "An Archon blade... Where did you get that?"

    "Solomon City, in the Sky Kingdom," Nix admitted.  Chiba was someone he trusted, so he didn't consider making something up.

    "You've been there boy?"  Chiba smiled crookedly at him.  "You must have been brought in, I see no sign of the Planar trial on you."

    Nix nodded, "I was brought in.  The world felt like it was crushing me."

    Chiba was wearing brown leather pants and a white shirt.  She pulled up her shirt and showed Nix a ragged scar that started at her side and extended around her abdomen to her spine.  "There was a time apprentice when I was a step away from moving to the Upper Planes."

    Nix frowned at the wound.  "That must have killed you.  Why do you still bear the scar?"

    Chiba shook her head, greasy gray hair flopping from one side to the other.  "The scars of the trial remain forever."

    "How did you even get to the trial?"  As Nix understood, Oasis would be the realm between Colonial and the Sky Kingdom.

    "There are many paths to the Upper planes, all of them are difficult."  Chiba lowered her shirt, wincing slightly.

    "Are you okay Master Chiba?"  Nix couldn't imagine someone skilled enough to wound her so grievously.

    The old woman's face showed vulnerability for the first time.  "I... Did you face one of the Masters?"

    Nix shook his head.  "No, but one of them taught me a skill called Flashblade."

    Chiba drew her own sword and walked out to the middle of the training area.  "One of the trainers taught you something?  You're registered then?  What was his name?"

    Nix grinned at the questions the old woman spouted.  "I believe his name was Baiter.  Perhaps you know him?"

    Chiba lowered her sword for an instant before her face twisted into an ugly version of a smile.  Her chortling laugh cackled through the training yard.  "NIX!  I do know Master Baiter, very well!"

    Nix tried to keep a straight face, but it was difficult.  "Want to see Flashblade?"

    Immediately Chiba nodded and pointed to the training dummy.  "Strike it Nix, but first..."

    Nix moved toward the training dummy, stopping 20 meters away. "First?"

    "Try pushing flames into that blade, the same way you do with that hilt I gifted you."

    Nix nodded and focused on the blade, instantly flames encircled the blade, licking at it with a crackling noise.  The flames that enveloped the blade weren't green like his, but rather silver instead.

    Chiba whistled... "you flamed an Archon blade.  Which branch are you?"

    "No idea," Nix muttered with a shrug.  "It's hidden, my level isn't high enough to open it up."


    A blur of motion and Nix appeared beside the training dummy.  An effortless swing cut the target completely in half, leaving a deep cut on the stone wall behind it.

    "Shit Nix... That kind of power makes me wet.  Chiba licked her lips and wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.  Let's take a break and go at it."

    "Um... No."  Nix shook his head vehemently.

    Chiba grabbed her side where the scar was now hidden.  "Maybe you can you rub some liniment on my scar? It helps with the pain.  Then I'll coat you with it too.  Real good for training."

    Nix activated Deep Blue and chose the Glory Docks.  He waved at Chiba, but not before she started rubbing her crotch suggestively.

    A nauseous feeling Nix appeared on the docks a moment later.  "God... I can't unsee that."

    An hour later Nix, Mina, Pon, Wind, and Chael had gathered at the 8th-floor staging area.  They were prepping to enter 8.1 while 10 members were waiting patiently to try 8.2.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: As soon as you finish and exit, we're going to hit it.

    /Inferno: Nix: 8.3 is a 20 person instance, so I'll grab the rest of our people and take it on when you guys finish.

    /Inferno: Pon: All three parts of 8 in one day.  It's ballsy...

    Fajii stepped away from the second group and approached them.  She smiled sweetly at Nix.  "Ready Nix?"

    /Inferno: Pon:  Yeah... there's five of us going.  Not just the punk.

    "Of course." Fajii patted the old Fire Mages shoulder.

    [Flaming Rock Wall]

    Everyone in the raid felt strengthened as a rock barrier instantly became part of their armament.

    [Charred Rock Blade]

    The weapons of the raid seem more dangerous as their weapons are instantly modified to do Scorched Earth Damage.

    /Inferno: Nix: Let's move in and then we divide up and explore the zone before attempting it.

    The group of five appeared over the platform, a hallway curved away in opposite directions.  They stealthed and then started swimming.  Two heading one way while the other three went the other.

    The hallway curved in a long circle, blue stones set into the tiles illuminated their way.  The walls were coated with a thick green sea-moss, chunks of it would flake off when you swam too close.

    Nix an Pon swam easily a few feet off the floor.  After about a few minutes they ran into a Matriarch, she was surrounded by a dozen man-sized fish.  The hall branched off behind her with a right turn or you could continue curving around.

    /Inferno: Pon: Think those fish are friendly?  You have the fishing skill right?

    /Inferno: Nix: No and Yes.  I'll take the right turn here, you continue straight.

    Nix swam straight for another few minutes before he ran into another Aquarion, this one was an Elder Matriarch with 20 sea-beasts circling her.  He spotted Mina coming in from the other direction and motioned for her to return.

    They regrouped at the start a few minutes later.

    /Inferno: Pon: It's a circle, I ran into Wind at the top.  There's a Matriarch there.

    /Inferno: Nix: Think of it as a compass, with Matriarchs at the North, East and West position.

    /Inferno: Mina: Don't forget the Elder Matriarch in the middle.

    /Inferno: Nix: I'll take Wind and head toward the western Matriarch.

    /Inferno: Pon: I'll head toward the eastern Matriarch with Mina and Chael.

    [Summons: Soup]

    [Summons: Ducky]

    Nix and Wind stealthed and headed towards their target.

    The scout grabbed lazily onto Soup's back fin to keep up.  "How are we playing this Nix?  We can't let them beat us to the North target."

    "I'll have Soup block for us and we'll double team the Matriarch.  Hopefully, we can survive her beasts long enough."  Nix waited until they were close and was about to give the order when Ducky swam towards the Matriarch.

    Ducky has charmed Matriarch Lera.

    "...." Nix.

    A moment later Ducky, the Matriarch and all of her beasts moved North.  Wind gave Nix a questioning look.

    /Inferno: Nix: Go.

    As a Siren, Ducky was fast in the water. She directed the charmed Matriarch to attack their North target.  Beasts from Matriarchs tore into each other, turning the water red with clouds of blood.

    Nix targeted the North Matriarch.

    [Burning Aura]

    He pulled the Archon sword and pushed flames into the blade. The silver light brightened hall like a torch.


    Nix sliced deep into the Matriarch's side, she screeched loudly and retreated, her left arm dangling by the smallest bit of skin.


    Critical Hit, Wind has slain Matriarch Rul.

    /Inferno: Pon: Shit... You guys already killed North?

    The group of Chael, Mina, and Pon swam up just as the North Matriarch died.

    /Inferno: Nix: Ducky charmed the west Matriarch.

    Nix caught Ducky smiling at him.  "Can you keep holding her?"

    Ducky was in Siren form, her blue hair floating around her head..  "When Nix gets stronger, so do I."

    Mina nodded in satisfaction at the remnants of the West Matriarch's beasts, she still had half of them left. Behind Mina was a creature right out of a nightmare.  It was a man-sized beast with black scales and bulging red eyes. Its hands and feet were webbed and it carried a trident that seemed to be bleeding, a red cloud followed in its wake.

    Nix couldn't help but stare at the creature.  "That's the Sea-Devil?"

    Mina nodded and thanked him with a nod.  "His name is Bezel, beautiful right?"

    "Really?  I'm ugly but that thing is beautiful?" Nix shook his head and headed south toward the Elder Matriarch.

    /Inferno: Nix: Kill the Elder and then Ducky will drop the charm so we can take down the last one. Let the Matriarchs beasts go in first, might as well kill them off now.

    Nix stealthed and swam near the ceiling while moving forward slowly.    The Matriarchs beasts darted in and attacked.


    Critical Hit.  Elder Matriarch has entered a state of high vulnerability.

    Nix raised a hand and then one sharply edged flame strand the width of an arm sliced through the air and struck the Elder Matriarch on the neck.


    The white-haired head floated down to the floor in a cloud of red.

    Elder Matriarch Venik has been slain.

    /Inferno: Wind: Serious?

    /Inferno: Pon: The f*ck was that?

    /Inferno: Mina: Nix...

    The Sea Devil impaled the western Matriarch as soon as Ducky released the charm.  Mina sent her sea-beasts in and they finished the job in a few seconds.  No one spoke while Mina gathered up the Ricoli artifact.

    The water around Nix shimmered and flashed for several seconds, the emerald flames gradually growing brighter until they turned silver.

    [Awakened: Silver Flame]

    Nix glanced down at his aura, it was much too bright for his taste.  Slowly he willed it back to the more pleasant emerald color before letting it flame out.

    /Inferno: Pon: Silver flames?  Damn you punk!  Where did you get Silver flames?


    An hour later Nix was laying on the soft grass of the Air Palace.  Inferno had beaten 8.1 easily, and Jun Li's group had taken down 8.2.  Nix felt that something was wrong, so he had Sharl replace him for 8.3.

    "Not good Nix."  Rhy knelt beside him, one hand placed over his chest.  "I'm afraid the Lord Class can no longer contain your strength.  We must advance you to Nemesis."

    Nix gasped for air, droplets of sweat beaded on his forehead. "What's the not good part?"

    "Something is wrong. I don't know Nix, I'm not a Salamander."  Rhy's dark eyes stared at him.  "What should I do?"

    "Severance... Bring Severance to me."
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