325 A Quiet Interlude

    You have received the Blessing of Water.

    You have learned Deep Abyss.

    You have learned Waters of Life.

    You have learned Water Seeker.

    You have learned Mariner.

    Deep Abyss [Water]: Up to 5 targets.

    Enclose your enemies inside

    of a water orb.

    Duration: 20 seconds.  Cool Down 2 minutes

    Water Seeker [Water]

    A simple spell that

    leads you to the nearest

    water source.

    Mariner: [Water] Self only.

    Your hands and feet become

    webbed and gills form on your neck.

    Duration: Lasts until you exit the water.

    Your Air Rank has been upgraded from Spirit to Lord.

    You have learned Air'Voilla.

    Air'Voilla [Air]

    Creates a Wind Tunnel to Air'Voilla

    Air Aura [Air]

    Forms an Aura of Air around you.

    Your Ice Rank is ready to be upgraded.

    You have learned Ice Shield.

    You have learned Fields of Ice.

    You have learned Ice Aura.

    Ice Shield [Ice] Self Only

    Creates a Shield of Ice around

    you.  Absorbs damage equal to

    twice your current health.

    Fields of Ice [Ice] Area Effect

    Lays down a field of Ice on your

    enemies that causes Ice damage.

    Duration: 30 seconds Cooldown: 3 minutes

    Ice Aura [Ice]

    Forms an Aura of Ice around you.

    Nix slowly dressed, his entire body felt like it had been frozen and thawed thousands of times.  The fog that hung on the marsh seemed to vanish, making it possible to see for miles.  Fey's silver wings could be seen in the distance, still circling the area.

    "Ready to go, Nix?"  Mina's expression was neutral, but her voice was filled with warmth.

    "Yeah, it's time to head home."


    Nix let Nightmare carefully pick her footing as they made their way out of the marsh while Fey continued to keep watch overhead, keeping an eye out for trouble. Mina rode behind him, both of her arms wrapped around his waist.

    "Explain to me why you can't ride your Vilas Min?"

    "I'm exhausted Nix, what if I fell off?"

    "Makes sense, I guess." Nix's tone told her he wasn't buying it.

    Mina had the side of her face pressed against his back; her lips were curved in a smile.  "There's no need to be awkward.  I asked Shae, Fajii and Hyaii months ago if they'd be okay with this."

    "Please stop talking now."

    "Okay." Mina smiled against his back. "The Oracle said our daughter would be born in the spring."

    "I thought you were going to stop talking."

    An hour later, they exited the swamp and entered the flatlands where several fields had been planted with seed.  A cloud of dust coming toward them caused Nix to pull off the road.

    /Spire: Lu Ban: Is that you, Nix?

    /Spire: Nix: Yes.

    /Spire: Mollie: You okay?  We thought we saw your dragon carrying you this way.

    /Spire: Nix: Yes.  I am fine.

    Nix squeezed Mina's hand and leaned back against her.  "Owe ya one Min."

    Min shook her head. "Not even close."

    They arrived back in town a while later; Nix headed to the Market Square to talk with Tanner Benton, with nothing better to do, the rest of the group tagged along.

    Tanner was easily recognizable from across the market; his bright orange-colored hair painted an easy target on him.  Several bundles of pelts were stacked high enough to block Tanner's work area from the rest of the market.

    Nix whistled softly.  "You get a shipment of pelts or something?"

    Tanner Benton smiled when he saw him.  "Several shipments actually, take a look at my manifest and choose your reward."

    Nix grabbed the manifest and started scrolling through it.  "What's a Sea King?"

    Tanner peeked over his shoulder. "Medium-sized blue sea turtle."

    Nix looked skeptical, "why is it called the Sea King?"

    Tanner shrugged.  "Want them or not?"

    "I'll take them."

    Five crates of Sea King leather has been sent to your inventory.

    The Tanner smiled and started closing up his shop; his glance moved to Mina. "You can accompany me to the town hall."

    [Whisper: Nix to Mina] Why would he want to take you to the town hall?

    [Whisper: Mina to Nix] Because I am Enu Bak.

    [Whisper: Nix to Mina]  I'm not following.

    [Whisper: Mina to Nix] I assumed the position of Enu Bak when I accompanied you.  Had I not been there, the Water Sprite would have been your helper.

    [Whisper: Nix to Mina] My helper?  Cute...  You're the NPC in my quest then.

    [Whisper: Mina to Nix] Yes, but only because I am stronger than the Sprite.  The default seems to be the strongest water ally in the area.

    Quest Updated

    Quest: Curse of the Ice Goddess

    Objective: The Provincial Council

    of Neva is meeting to appoint a

    new Prefect.

    Objective: Wait for the results.

    Mina hugged him close for a moment and then left with Tanner.


    It was sunset when Nix returned to the Turtle house.  The outside lights were on,  giving the small home a warm glow. He entered through the backdoor and stowed his things in the closet before stepping into the bathroom.

    "Dinner is ready, Nix, going to get cleaned up first?"  Hyai's warm voice put a smile on his face.

    "Just a minute, I'll wash my hands."

    When Nix walked into the kitchen a few minutes later, he was surprised to see Gil and Scarlett sitting comfortably.

    "Good evening Nix."  Scarlett stood and hugged him.  "How's Ever Flame?"

    "Eventful."  Nix was too tired to go into details and was thankful when Hyai sat a plate in front of him.

    Scarlet pushed her food around with her fork before picking out a piece of meat and popping it into her mouth.  "Nix... You know about the difficulties Morti has been having with the Chevalier we chose for him?"

    Nix nodded. "Want me to talk with him?"

    Scarlett smiled slightly.  "I'm not sure that would help.  He's stubborn... a trait he inherited from his father, I'm sure."

    Nix covered a smirk by taking a bite out of his steak.  "I'm sure."

    "The duties of a Chevalier are somewhat flexible.  Morti needs to learn discipline, battle strategy, and teamwork."

    "All good things," Nix agreed.

    "I would like you to take over as Morti's Chevalier. He's far more advanced than any of his peers, and honestly, he doesn't really listen to anyone other than you."

    Nix felt a smile start to threaten his neutral expression. "He is still adjusting to things here."

    Scarlett nodded in agreement.  "Know what he tells his trainer when he asks Morti to wait while he demonstrates?"

    "Prey waits?"

    Scarlett's warm eyes narrowed slightly.  "So... you're the culprit."

    Nix laughed suddenly, and a bit of the fatigue from the day seemed to drain away.  "Fraid so."

    Gil watched Nix's expression; his human friend was always remarkably composed.  Being asked to be the Chevalier for Morti was a considerable honor and showed a tremendous amount of trust. "Hurry up and answer, Nix!  We've been waiting all day."

    Nix patted Gil's arm, "Soup went back to Haven?"

    Gil nodded.  "Dunno what's so great about that place, she's got a great pond right here."

    "I accept, of course.  I love Morti.  He's part of my family."

    Scarlett breathed a sigh of relief.  She was certain Nix would say yes, but at the same time, she understood he was very busy. "Thank you, Nix."

    Nix shook his head while scraping the last bit of food from his plate. "It's my honor to be associated with your family, Clan Leader."


    An hour later, Nix was sitting next to the fire working on the Orion puppets.  Fajii had returned and was having a conversation with Hyai; the two of them were sitting on the adjacent couch.

    "Nix?"  Fajii's voice pulled him away from his task.

    Nix glanced up to find both females watching him.  "What?"

    Hyai's warm eyes were filled with humor. "We were talking to you."

    "Really?"  Nix started a new Orion queue and closed his hud.  "What did I miss?"

    Fajii had a large stack of dried plants on her lap; her hud was also open.  "I asked if Tintin and her helpers could assist me.  It will be a while before the local plantlife recovers."

    Nix nodded.  "Great idea, I'll assign them to you and Nansu."

    Hyai offered him a smile and switched to his couch. "You going back to Ever Flame tomorrow?"

    "Nope.  I need to accomplish a few things here.  I haven't seen the City Center yet, and I have to get started with Morti."

    Fajii closed her hud and joined the two of them.  "How are you going to thank Nebs?"

    Nix shrugged, "I'll probably make her something nice."

    "Can you help me with my Djinn, Nix?  I'm having trouble deploying him properly." Hyai's expression said she already knew what his answer was.

    Nix dimly remembered the Djinn that dropped from the Gemini Temple.  "The 5th tier companion, right?  I can try."

    "Hey Nix..."  Fajii slipped a hand through his arm.  "Something bothering you?"

    Nix shook his head.  "Not really, I should tell you about my day."

    He carefully described the events of the day, trying to remember every detail.  It took several minutes, and when he finished, he felt much better.  Neither woman spoke for a few minutes; Nix took it as a good sign that they were still sitting next to him.

    Hyai finally broke the silence.  "It sounds like she saved your life, or at the very least prevented the curse from disabling you."

    Nix nodded slightly.  "Accurate, I guess."

    Fajii squeezed him arm slightly. "You did promise to give her a daughter."

    "Nix... What happened at the Black Gate?"  Hyai knew that the people who took part in that raid were all significantly affected.

    "We were brought into an illusion, or in my case, three illusions.  I no sooner broke free from one before another took hold."  It had been several months; he could finally discuss it calmly.

    "One of the illusions he shared with Mina, in it, the two of them had a daughter named Lisa."  Fajii filled in the story for Hyai; Mina had obviously shared it with her.

    "And I was forced to destroy them to break the illusion."  Nix gritted his teeth at the memory; it had been difficult.

    "Was I in the illusion too?"  Hyai must have suspected that she was, Nix usually confided in her.

    "Yes.  We had a daughter also.  A dark-haired girl named Nia."  Nix understood that the illusion targeted his love for family and his weakness for kids.

    Hyai smiled suddenly, her freckled face lighting up.  "I like that name Nix.  I wish you would have told me."

    Quest Updated.

    Curse of the Ice Goddess

    Quest: The council has chosen

    a new Prefect.  You are to report

    to Ever Flame for the results.

    [Warning: Do not report to Ever Flame until you are ready, the road ahead is dangerous.]
Previous Index Next