278 Khione conclusion

    Morti slammed both his paws against the ice barrier, shattering it as he charged in.

    [Ground Pounder]

    Morti has stunned Tipha.

    [Execution: Gemini Flame]

    Nix stowed his blade as a strand of Gemini Flame thickened in his grip; he sliced deeply at the neck of Tipha.

    Nix has landed a mortal blow.

    Shae was an instant behind him, striking with both of her swords.

    [Double Strike]

    Shae has scored a critical hit.

    Shae has missed.

    [Ice Field]

    Shards of Ice erupted from the ground, critically injuring everyone who has damaged Tipha.

    Tipha has landed a critical hit on Nix.

    Tipha has landed a critical hit on Shae.

    Tipha has landed a critical hit on Chiba.

    Tipha has landed a critical hit on Morti.

    Tipha has landed a critical hit on Floyd.

    Tipha has landed a critical hit on Locas.

    Tipha has landed a critical hit on Aki.

    [Ice Fury]

    Tipha has used the power of Ice to create an unblockable attack.

    Her ax cleaved deep into Aki's shoulder, sending her skidding across the floor.

    Aki has been slain.

    [Summer's Day]

    Zinu neutralized the crippling power of Ice and healed her group for half of their remaining health points.

    Tipha roared once in anger and spun toward Nix with her ax. "Cut off the head, and the body dies."

    [Ice Barrier]

    Tipha has thrown up an Ice barrier between her and her foes.

    She stared at them through the Ice barrier; her blue eyes were blazing with anger.  Her white hair was splashed with red, several strands of her braids had worked themselves loose.

    "Don't go anywhere."  She turned away from Nix and walked toward the stacked Ashobel.

    /Gemini: Nix: NOW!!

    When Tipha reached for the Ashobel, it leaped at her, pinning her arms against her sides while sinking its teeth into her neck.  An instant later, four other Ashobel jumped up and tackled her to the ground.  Claws and teeth turned the floor red with her blood as Tipha screamed out in helpless rage from beneath the pile of Ashobel.

    Neptiphago has been slain.

    Five bloody Ashobel climbed to their feet, all of them howling in victory.  A sudden explosion of power send them flying in all directions; the ice barrier shattered instantly.  A large blue corona hovered in the air above the corpse of Neptiphago.  For a moment, it stayed in place; then it slammed into the nearest Ashobel.

    Nix charged toward it, skidding to halt when an Ashobel stood up slowly.  It had an aura of blue light around it.

    [Summons: Heart of Winter]

    A large crystal stone appeared in the air, the Ashobel gripped it with both hands, its deep laugh echoing through the chamber.  "A body, one meant to be inhabited by others." Ageless eyes turned toward Nix.  "You are?"

    /Gemini: Nix: I'm ordering everyone to retreat now.  No exceptions.  Rez Aki and get out of here.

    Nix paused long enough for Zinu to rez Aki before turning back to the Ashobel.  "I'm Nix.  The Guild Leader of Inferno."

    "I am Khione." Khione stared at him in amazement; all of his people were leaving. "I don't intend to fight.  You've gifted me with something valuable.  In return, I shall leave this land and return to my own."

    "Sorry.  That's not something that I can allow."  Nix frowned and walked slowly towards the Ashobel.

    [Archon's Armor]

    "Even in this form, you aren't my match.  You can't possibly beat me."

    Nix shrugged.  "Pretty sure I can."

    [Ashobel Revenant: Self: Destruct]


    Gideon opened his eyes and sat up from the bed he'd confiscated.  "Damn... Pushed out of my cool-ass Yeti."

    He jumped to his feet and stepped into the hallway, passing doors as he headed toward the steps.  The other members of his team were still down.

    He went down the steps two at a time, and a moment later was running toward the Grate that marked the entrance to the infusion chamber.  "Dragon Cities, Yeti puppets... that guy has all the cool stuff."

    The Grate had been left open; just before he arrived, a familiar red-haired fighter stepped through.  She was followed by the rest of the Gemini Group, Aki, and four Ashobel.

    Gideon didn't see Nix among the group.  "Where's the boss at?"

    "Sorry, Gid. He ordered us to leave." The gruff voice of one of the Ashobel spoke, Gideon recognized the speech pattern as Nebs.

    "You left him in there?"  Gideon looked shocked that the members of Inferno followed the order, especially the protective Shae.

    Chiba's ugly face broke into a grin.  "Don't worry; my Apprentice will handle things from here."

    An instant later, the entire city shook with the force of an explosion. Fire and debris shot out of the tunnel, leveling everyone as it was blown upward against the inside of the city shields.

    Morti climbed to his feet and sniffed the air.  "I'm gonna go back in."

    Both Ducky and Shae stepped in front of the Titan cub.  The Water Witch lay a gentle hand on the bears head.  "We should wait Morti."


    Nix felt a cold hand on his brow when he appeared on the Gemini altar.  He looked up to see Elune sitting next to him, Mina and Fajii were standing next to the throne.   "Hey, guys!"

    Elune handed him a large crystal box.  "This is imbibed with the laws of fire and thunder. It will neutralize an elemental artifact."

    [Your equipment is damaged and must be repaired.]

    [You have lost two levels.]

    "Thank you, Elune."  Nix stood up and grabbed the box, and motioned for the two Aquarions to follow him.

    [Create Breach: Aquarius: Infusion Chamber]

    The trio stepped through the Breach into ground zero.  Most of the well-built room was intact, a dragon corpse and a square-shaped artifact were in the middle of the floor.  Without hesitating, Nix used the containment box to remove the artifact quickly.

    [Do you wish to skin Neptiphago?]


    [One large Ice-enhanced Water Dragon Skin has been added to your inventory.]

    Nix bent and looted the corpse.

    You have received the Ocean Trident.

    You have received the Water Crown.

    You have received the Water of Life Shard x 6

    You have received the Water Ring.

    You have received a Master Key. (Aquarius)

    "Shit."  Nix cursed his luck and headed up the ramp. "We need to hunt more fire creatures."

    [Whisper: Raka to Nix] What happened?  Gaeda went crazy a few minutes ago; he killed three of his own clan before I was able to stop him.

    [Whisper: Nix to Raka] By stop you mean killed?

    [Whisper: Raka to Nix] Yes.

    [Whisper: Nix to Raka] Did that get you in trouble?

    [Whisper: Raka to Nix] No.  Fabri proclaimed it to be fair combat and has appointed me Chieftain of the Ashobel.

    [Whisper: Nix to Raka] We'll be there in a few minutes.  Few odds and ends to clean up.

    The trio exited through the open Grate and was reunited with the rest of the Gemini group.

    /Gemini: Chiba: You survive that apprentice?

    /Gemini: Nix: No way.

    /Gemini: Floyd: Did she get away?

    /Gemini: Nix: Nope. Shae, I need you to come with me.

    /Gemini: Gideon: Lost my Ashobel boss.  I didn't see that coming.

    /Gemini: Nix: No worries.  I'll give you another.

    /Gemini: Nebula: You're giving us these puppets boss?

    /Gemini: Nix: Yes, you played a vital part.  Keep in mind that you need to release them every two days, or they will expire.

    /Gemini: Nebula: Thanks, boss!

    /Gemini: Nix: No worries, Nebs.  Impressive the way you bit into that thing.

    /Gemini: Nebula: Yep. I was a biter growing up.

    [Create Breach: Icewind Wall]

    Nix waited while everyone except Shae exited.

    [Create Breach: Palace of Fire and Air, Glory Island]

    "Let's go. I want to get back so we can wrap up the quest." Nix grabbed Shae's hand and pulled her into the Breach.
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