255 Scarlet Temple Challenge

    An instant later Jun Li appeared on a gating platform.  Rock walls and a torchlit room led her to believe that she was underground.  Beneath her feet was a black mat that matched the one she had stepped on in the Cabal Chamber. "Maybe these mats have a limited range."

    /Inferno: Donri: Still okay Jun Li?

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Yes.  The mat brought me to a gate.  Back in a bit.

    Jun Li stepped onto the gating platform and disappeared once again.  Her arrival seemed to take several seconds in her head.  Was her destination that far away?  She had been in Oliphia.  That meant that the Cabal had an interplanar gate like the one in the Gemini Temple.

    A wide expanse of clear blue sky and bright sunlight caused her to shield her eyes.  She was standing on an elevated platform in an empty stadium.

    [Welcome to the Scarlet Arena: Today's matchup is Gemini vs Scarlet]

    Jun Li glanced at the empty seats and then as the barren stage, she was the only person around.  "The hell is this?"

    An instant later that changed, dozens of guests appeared at their seats in succession giving the stadium a strobe light effect as it began to rapidly fill up.  A lean man wearing all black appeared in front of Jun Li. He approached her with his hands spread wide.  "Gemini Champion Jun Li?"

    Jun Li nodded, he definitely looked like a stealth-type class. "Are you the Scarlet Champion?"

    The man's handsome face broke into a smile. "Goodness no.  I'm today's official for the Arena."

    Jun Li tightened the grip on her blade just in case he was lying. "Do we need an official?"

    The self-appointed referee shook his head.  "Not for this matchup, but sometimes the fights have rules."

    A woman appeared on the opposite side of the stage.  She wore sleeveless red silk robes that announced her as a magic-user.  A flame aura hovered around her, reddish-colored skin and a body covered in tattoos made Jun Li instantly cautious.

    "I am Ri, the Scarlet Temple Champion."  The woman bowed slightly.  Jun Li decided she was beautiful, despite being completely bald.

    "Jun Li, Gemini Champion."  Jun Li held her sword up to her face in a fighter's salute.

    "Hmm... That's a nice sword Gemini Champion. Would you care to wager it on the outcome of our match?"

    Although Jun Li loved the sword, to her it was just a tool.  She had grown up in a Traditional Martial Arts Dojo owned by her family. Her father would often tell her, 'your mind is the best weapon.'  "What do you have to offer in return?"

    Ri held up one arm and displayed a rather beautiful image of a large cat that closely resembled a tiger.  "This is a Saber Dire Cat. Do you like it?"

    Jun Li shrugged.  "It's lovely, but I've no interest in tattoos."

    Ri placed a hand over the image and a moment later it jumped onto the stage.  It was nearly double the size of a normal tiger, however, this one was long razor-sharp fangs protrude from its mouth. "She can fight and makes a fine mount. My pet against the Gemini sword."

    Jun Li glanced at the cat, trying not to let her excitement show.  She was definitely a cat-person irl. "Done."

    The Arena Official clapped his hands loudly. "The wager has been recorded.  Betting Venues are now closed.  Champions move to your designated areas."

    A small circle with the image of a Gemini lit up, Jun Li stood on it and waited calmly.

    The Offical raised his hands and glanced at both contestants.  "Fight har.."  The air next to Jun Li seemed to distort slightly, making him stop his words.


    Nix sat comfortably at the table Hyai had pulled into the Inn's kitchen.  They had just finished eating when he received a notification.

    /Gemini Temple Message: Your Champion has accepted a challenge from the Scarlet Temple Champion in the Everspire Continent.

    "Scarlet Temple?" Nix opened his hud and moved to the Gemini Interface.  He could locate the Gemini Sword no matter where it was. It was something he learned from Delyn Xai who had done something similar in order to keep tabs on his apprentice, Raine Xai.

    "Something up hun?" Hyai watched Nix's reaction, he seemed more curious than concerned.

    Nix nodded. "Junie is at a place called the Scarlet Temple Arena. Let's take a trip."

    /Expedition: Nix: Taking a small trip.  Hyai and I will be back shortly.

    The tall redhead walked around the table and held out her hand.

    [Create Breach: Everspire: Scarlet Temple Arena]

    The couple stepped through the Breach a moment later. Nix spotted Junie right away, he also took note of the other two people on the stage.

    "Sir!  This is a private match. You'll have to find yourselves a proper seat." The official stared at the man who stepped through the breach.  He knew exactly what a Breach Commander was, so he purposefully kept his tone respectful.

    Nix nodded in reply. "As you say.  This is my Champion so of course, I'm here to observe."

    "The Gemini Lord?"  A voice spoke from the nearby box seats. "I am the Scarlet Temple Lord.  Please join me as my guest."

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Hey guys.  Thanks for coming.

    /Inferno: Nix: Wouldn't miss it.  Besides... when there are two Gemini...

    [A second Gemini has been located in your vicinity.  Gemini Bond has been enabled.]

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Hmm?  Oh right!

    The Scarlet Temple Lord was a shirtless red-skinned man covered in tattoos.  Like his champion, he was completely bald.  "Please take a seat Gemini Lord."

    Nix nodded. "I'm Nix and this is Hyai."

    The bald-headed man offered them both a smile. "I'm Dhala, welcome to my Temple."

    Once the newcomers were seated, the official raised his hands again.  "Fight Hard!"

    Jun Li brought her sword up and waited.  The tiger would be hard to deal with, traditionally beasts were very strong and some nearly impossible to kill.

    The tiger wasted no time, immediately it sprang at Jun Li.


    A shroud of darkness has been pulled over the eyes of Ri.

    A shroud of darkness has been pulled over the eyes of Fang.

    [Ghost Step]

    Jun Li's form blurred and she appeared behind Ri, slashing at the back of her legs before using the same step to retreat.

    Ri's movements have been slowed by 50 percent.

    From the audience, Nix and Hyai watched the first clash. The Innkeep leaned toward him. "What is that spell Junie used?"

    Nix had a smile on his face. "It's one that dropped from the Chaos Mage at the end of the Onion Quest, none of us wanted it so I gave it to Junie."

    Hyai nodded slightly.  "It looks like a CC ability."

    [Burning Sun]

    Ri has freed herself from the effects of Darkness.

    The Scarlet champion spread both arms wide, the intricate tattoos on her body seemed to shift.


    Ri has released an Epoch Wolf.

    Ri has released a Fire Sprite.

    Jun Li's pretty face remained calm, she was facing a Pet Class.  She ignored the sprite that was already casting and charged past the wolf.

    A surprized Ri watched as three successive fire attacks landed on the Gemini Champion without effect.

    [Gladiator Pursuit]

    Jun Li flashed through the air and appeared next to her stunned opponent.

    [Double Strike]

    Jun Li has landed a critical hit.

    Jun Li has landed a critical hit.


    Ri has utilized a life-saving artifact to retreat from danger.

    [Gemini Bond: Flame Strands]

    Jun Li raised her off-hand, a single emerald flame strand shot out and wrapped around Ri's ankle.

    She yanked backward before taking a giant leap into the air, her blade flashing at the Scarlet Temple Champion's neck.

    Fresh red blood splattered on the stage as Jun Li landed lightly a moment before Ri and her decapitated head.

    [Scarlet Arena Announcement: Gemini Temple Champion, Jun Li emerges victorious.

    Jun Li swiped her blade once in the air, removing the blood before putting it away.  The roar of the spectators took her by surprise, the beautiful warrior bowed gracefully and waited while a cleric attended to Ri.  Her Gemini Champion medallion pulsed with power.

    Your Gemini Champion Medal has been upgraded.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Thanks for the loan.

    /Inferno: Nix: No problem, only one strand?  Kinda lame Junie.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Flame strands are such a scam anyway.  Did I mention that we are getting a new Gemini Class from the Cabal?

    /Inferno: Nix: Is that why you are here?

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Yes.  Gemini: Sniper.

    Nix whistled and leaned back in his seat.  He could see Hyai's confused expression.

    Hyai lowered her voice slightly.  "How did she use flame strands?"

    Nix grabbed her hand and stood up. "Thank you for having us Lord Dhala."

    Lord Dhala stood also.  "Such unusual abilities.  Might I talk you into staying longer?"

    Nix shook his head and pulled Hyai toward the Arena floor.  "Unfortunately I have urgent business elsewhere."

    A few minutes later Jun Li was stroking the beautiful tattoo she had on the inside of her wrist.  It had literally jumped off of Ri's arm and onto hers.  The Scarlet Champion's face showed her remorse at making the bet.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: I'll head back to the Cabal and pick up the class stone.

    /Inferno: Nix: Nice job Junie.  Wrap things up with the Cabal and head home.

    Nix smiled when Jun Li exited, he could tell that neither the Temple Lord or his champion had expected to be trounced so easily. "The Gemini Bond establishes Skill sharing.  She used a diluted form of my Flame Strand, but in a fight like this, surprise is everything. She also borrowed my flame tolerance."


    (Progressing Forward Three Months)

    Three months pass in Oasis.  During that time, the clean-up of Inferno City is completed and a good portion of the Core'dium population migrate to their newly minted home.  Rumors flow despite Inferno's efforts; a Fallen Dragon City has been reclaimed and once again floats in the skies somewhere above Everspire.  Inferno returns home, the gate between Loki and Inferno City becomes active, enabling the members of the 12 Pillars Alliance to enter the City.

    Shae returns to Haven and Fajii enters the last days of Phase III training with Vooni's Fire Team. Alpha Team enters Phase II of their training as Vooni's Dagger Team.  In a turn of events that no one expected, the Fir'Dhassi open up their borders to humans, allowing all the guilds free access to Parliament.

    Bev hits her stride as the Governor of Loki while Delyn Xai prepares to give the VoTech its first Wrath Graduates.

    Leva cements her position as a Nether Overlord, providing Nix with valuable Intel regarding their next target. Nix continues his duties as Breach Commander, sending in teams from the 12 Pillar Alliance more and more.  The dragon fir Tree that Nix planted in Haven finally stops growing, it reaches nearly twice the size of normal dragon firs found in Dragonvale.

    [ReCap of the Story until Now.]

    Nix and the Inferno Guild have managed to rise to the top of the Colonial ranks and in the process destroyed the Cai'Song artifact, thus closing Mermaid City to all future adventures.  Through their success on the very difficult 'Onion Quest', a Colonial Embassy was built on Glory, the Inferno Guild's City State.

    Inferno outraced their competition to the 69th floor and was able to attain access to Oasis, the New World that many of the Upper Tier Guilds have advanced to.  Hard work coupled with clever manipulations enabled Inferno to become a notable power in the Parliament Government that deals with Oasis World Order.  During this time Inferno became aware of the Upper Planar  World of Sky Kingdom. Nix uses the power of their Parliament access to form the floundering human guilds into a cohesive alliance know as the 12 Pillar Alliance.  The Guild and their newfound alliance take over Loki as the New World Human Colony.

    As Inferno's power continues to grow, Nix uses his Breach Commander status to gear up his Alliance and give them some much-needed combat experience.  A Seed world called Haven is fully settled and a VoTech Institute is built to teach the Alliance some of the powerful classes that Oasis has to offer.

    Inferno discovers the origin of the Sky-Kingdom cities and claims the Master-City of Elynmoor as their own. During this process, Nix manages to plant a high-level spy into the Nether World hierarchy. The accomplishments of Inferno have been noticed by several Super Powers, notably the Cabal and the Dragon Masters of Sky Kingdom.
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