223 Serasu Deploymen

    "I don't recognize the area."  The Breach exit was located in a small wooded valley.  "Scout around Ducky, there could be more Tainted here."  Nix checked his map and verified they were on an uncharted landmass north of Jhabi.

    "Those things smell bad, Nix."  Mort pushed a wet nose into the back of his head.

    The corpses had only been dead a few minutes; however, they were already starting to decompose.

    Nix started walking north down the valley. "I wonder if removing the dragon scale hurried things along.  At this rate, they'll be bones in a few days."

    Morti waddled alongside him, his big nose high in the air as if tasting it.  "This place is kinda scary."

    "Don't be such a baby.  You're the biggest one here."

    Morti nodded in agreement.  "I'm very big.  Ferocious, too, that's what Ducky says."  The black cave bear halted his steps and turned his head toward the dense undergrowth.  A moment later, Ducky exited.

    "There's a small tunnel leading down at the far end of the valley."  Ducky had her bow slung over one shoulder.

    [You have received a package through Direct Communication:1 Vial of Pure Dragon Blood.]

    Nix raised one eyebrow.  "Guess I should pay more attention to what my skills can do. " He opened the package and stowed the vial in his inventory before turning back to Ducky. "How big is this tunnel?"

    "You and I will have to crawl through, but Morti definitely won't fit."  She patted the black cave bear's head when she said it.

    "I'll send you back Morti when we get to an area that's big enough to fight, I'll call you back in."

    "Okay.  Send me to the River, please."

    "You got it."

    [Create Breach: Haven]

    Nix waited until the bear waddled through the breach and then started towards the end of the valley at a trot.

    A few minutes later, he stopped at the narrow looking tunnel dug into the red dirt.  There were thousands of claw marks scratched into the walls.  Any normal-sized person would have to crawl on their hands and knees to get through.

    /Inferno: Nix: I can't decide who I should deploy, so everyone needs to get ready for a Guild deployment.  15 minutes.  That means the Inferno Rangers also Captain Locas.

    /Inferno: Locas: Understood, Sir.

    [Breach Commander Deployment Menu]

    Available Allies

    1) Alpha Team

    2) Pathfinder Team

    3) Colonial Knights of Glory

    4) Souza Accord

    5) Fire Palace Acolytes

    6) Earth Temple Acolytes

    7) Air Palace Acolytes

    8) Gemini Palace Acolytes

    9) Central Kingdom: 1st Regiment Archers

    10) Ain'Dhassi: Inferno Ranger Company

    11) Broyan Alliance: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Regiments

    12) Captain Vooni's Fire Team

    13) 12 Pillar Alliance

    14) Clan Strom

    15) Clan Xai

    16) Ain'Dhassi: Shadow Rangers

    17) Izzin Naval Fleet

    18 Miscellaneous Friends

    Nix whistled when he saw the new Deployment options. Two Fir'Dhassi Clans, the Ain'Dhass Shadow Rangers, the Izzin Naval Fleet, and the Pathfinders had all been added.  The big surprise came from the Miscellaneous Friends category.

    [18: Miscellaneous Friends]

    1) Elan Mtui

    2) Beta

    3) Raine Xai

    4) Del Tali

    5) Cora Tali

    6) Sai Tali

    7) Severance

    8) Shipwright Vy

    9) Morana

    10) Deidra Mtui

    Nix frowned at the last name on the list.

    [Direct Contact: Breach Commander Mtui]

    A life-sized holo of the dragonspawn popped up in front of him.  He had a sword in hand and was obviously instructing some sort of class.  "Nix!  What can I do for you?"

    "You look busy, so I'll be quick.  What're the criteria for people showing up under the Miscellaneous Friend Option in the Deployment Menu?"

    Mtui grinned. "You showed up in mine recently, my first new addition in quite some time."

    "Did I?"  Nix hadn't received any kind of notification.  "You're on mine also.  How's that work?"

    "It's a hazy area and a favorite discussion topic of Breach Commanders.  My opinion is that it shows a willingness to fight for what the other person deems important."

    "You're saying it's a mutual alliance, not one-sided." Nix was about to close the holo when Mtui continued.

    "Although some areas are sketchy, that part isn't.  When someone appears on your deployment list, you are definitely on theirs also."

    "Thanks for the information." Nix closed the contact and reopened the Deployment Menu. Looking at it objectively, he understood that although his Deployment List was extending, it was mostly like vastly inferior to the other three Breach Commanders. His allies were mainly from Colonial and Oasis; someone like Mtui was bound to have Allies throughout the Sky Kingdom.

    Nix used the Deployment Menu to summon all of Inferno, including the Rangers.  He placed the Rangers on high ground within firing range of the tunnel.

    /Breach Commander Nix: This is most likely overkill, but we need to deploy more often.  Changing to Guild Chat.

    /Inferno: Nix: Sharl, could you come to see me? Milat also please.

    /Inferno: Sharl: On my way.

    /Inferno: Milat.  Be right there.

    Nix had given it a lot of thought while he spent the week crafting. All the pieces were in play for Inferno to become an Ascendant Guild; they just needed to continue moving forward.

    The Inferno tank was the first to arrive.  She'd recently become a Gemini Defender; Nix was confident that she would pass through the Planar trial without issue.

    Sharl offered him a smile. "At your service Nix."

    Nix laughed at the words.  "That sounds like something Ronnie would say."

    Sharl nodded in agreement.  "Only it would mean something vastly different coming from her."

    "Summon Floyd for me, please." Nix had given her a Naga companion a few months earlier, his growth rate and intelligence were accelerated.  His current appearance was that of a young male adolescent.  He looked similar in appearance to Fajii, dark skin, pointed ears, and verticle irises.

    "Floyd?"  Sharl tried not to frown.  "He doesn't really fight yet Nix."

    Nix put a hand on her shoulder. "According to Sorli, Naga's are natural fighters.  He's part of your strength, and I'd like you to take him off the bench."

    Sharl sighed heavily.  She had named him after a beloved grandfather who had passed away.  "You're right; I've been holding him back."

    Floyd appeared a moment later wearing black leather armor, he carried two daggers, and a bow slung over his back.  He seemed surprised to have been summoned.

    "I want you to watch our group and guild formations during this battle.  Stay out of trouble and guard this."  Nix handed him the Guild Guideon.

    Guideon: Inferno Battle Flag [Silver Standard]

    + 2000 AC

    +50 All Stats.

    +100 ATK

    +100 Defense

    Description: Plant your Guild Flag

    on the battlefield and reap the benefits

    of unity and loyalty. This effect is not

    stackable with other flags or guideons.

    Floyd's handsome face lit up in a big smile.  "Thanks, Nix!"  He took a step away and then stabbed the pointed ended into the dirt.  All of Inferno noticed a sudden increase in strength.

    Sharl started walking way, but Nix grabbed her arm.  "Wait, please."

    Milat arrived a moment later; the Aquarion scout had been with him from the beginning.  Nix felt confident that he and Mina could also pass the Planar Trial.  He was planning to have Jun Li, and the three of them take it soon.

    "Are you interested in using this Milat?"  Nix handed him one of the Trickster stones that dropped from the lower levels of the Gemini Temple.

    Milat took the stone from his hand and examined it carefully.

    [Gemini Trickster: 4th Tier]

    Nix handed the other Trickster stone to Sharl.  She seemed more shocked than anything else until Nix pointed to Floyd. "The Trickster Class combines rogue and crowd control elements.  Elune has told me that their presence would often turn the tides in battle. At this point in our development, we need to strengthen ourselves and the companions we fight with."

    Milat didn't need much time to consider it. "Thank you, Nix. I will accept your confidence."

    Sharl nodded slowly, she seemed hesitant, but she buckled under the pressure of Floyd's stare. The tank stowed the stone in her inventory before turning toward the Naga.  "You'll learn it with Milat, and I expect you to do your best."

    Nix had to bite his lip to keep from laughing.  It was precisely as Ronnie said, Sharl treated her companion like a little brother.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: What's the plan, Nix?

    /Inferno: Nix: Set up a kill zone outside of this tunnel. I'm going to sneak in and start pulling them out.

    [Whisper: Nix to Jun Li] Set up the raid however you like, I want you, me, Milat, Sharl, and Min all in one group. Charlie team was a bit of a bust; let's change the designation to Hunter.

    [Whisper: Jun Li to Nix] Understood Nix.

    [You've joined Hunter team Chat]

    /Hunter team: Nix: I'm going to start pulling in a few minutes.  Once the immediate area inside the tunnels is clear, the rest of you will join me.
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