332 Elementia conclusion

    Nix glanced at the City Interface.  "Enable Earth Sentry Company."

    "What?"  Hierophant's legs collapsed under him. "NOOO!!!"

    [Viper Strike: Backstab]

    Combination Attempt Successful.

    Gideon has landed a critical hit on Hierophant.

    Gideon has landed a critical hit on Hierophant.


    Nix has landed a critical strike on Hierophant.

    "STOP!  I surrender!"  Hierophant seemed to slowly shrivel up, his strength fading until he could no longer move.

    Nix moved beside the dragon, his black-ice blade resting against the scaled, waist-thick neck.  He could no longer hold his head up.  "Tricky..."

    The defensive mechanism holding Mina finally released her, the Aquarion looked angrily at Hierophant and immediately summoned her Vilas.  "Can they eat him now?"

    Nix shook his head before glancing down the tunnel for the sentries that never came.  A breach had been opened across the entrance. "You opened a breach?"

    Leva nodded. "Figured they were going to charge in here."

    "Good job.  Where'd they go?"

    Leva's dark eyes stared at the breach for a moment. "Sent them to your house," she admitted.

    Mina shook her head and ran toward the breach with her Vilas.  "Back in a bit. Keep the breach open, please."

    Ronnie picked herself off the ground and dusted herself off. "All of Inferno is at your place Nix; they can handle a few Earth puppets.

    Nix nodded but still frowned at Leva. "Those really aren't puppets, lesser golems, I believe. I didn't put it together until he started getting stronger."

    "Golems?  Permanent ones?"  Ronnie still held her bow in one hand; her own stone golem had de-summoned.  "How's that possible?"

    "Essence transfer."  Shae's Orion form was covered in Bhalachi's blood.  "It's his specialty when you deactivated the Earth Spirits, the strength he gave them started to return to him."

    Rhy had already changed into her natural form; her sword was gripped in one hand as she approached. "The sentries were golems?  Programmed for simple responses and duties?"

    "His second mistake.  Puppetmasters can't split their consciousness; our arrival here went unnoticed because he was inhabiting the Silia puppet." Nix nodded before kicking the dragon's car-sized head.  "Your continued existence hinges on you being forthcoming."

    "I will tell you everything."  Hierophant's deep voice rumbled in the room. "Initially, I stored my  Earth Essence in several containers to preserve it.  Unlike the other dragon-masters, I moved my city long before I was drained."

    Nix considered the statement. "The containers eventually became the sentries?"

    "Yes,  after using the city interface to control them, I didn't even have to monitor them anymore."

    Shae finally changed back to her human form and moved next to Nix. "Where is the real Silia?"

    "She's dead.  I drained her essence and used it to enhance the puppet I made in her image," Hierophant admitted.

    "Makes sense, I guess.  Couldn't have an Ice Nemesis without any ice abilities."  Nix thought back to the test in the warehouse; she'd only used a basic ice-ability to test his theory.

    "That's why she used those damn earth spells during the fight?"  Pon's old face wore a mask of disgust.  "Let's just kill this bastard Nix."

    Rhylia moved toward the giant air crystal that was still siphoning essence from the long line of unconscious elementals.  "Is Wilo in this thing?  Make him stop the process now!"

    Mina chose this time to reemerge from the open breach.  "The earth sentries are piled up outside your house.  Your living room is splattered with golem parts."

    "I can't stop the process now; My Silia puppet is unusable."

    Nix nodded.  "Then you're useless, kill him, Ronnie."

    "Yep."  Ronnie lifted her bow and aimed at the dragon's head.

    "WAIT!"  Hierophant could feel the killing intent in the room.  "I can form one more Earth Sentry; I'll need a basic amount of earth abilities to make it work."

    Nix walked around the head to Hierophant's shoulder.  "Make an earth puppet, but do not inhabit it."

    /Alpha: Ronnie: Let's just kill him.

    /Alpha: Rhy: I agree.

    /Alpha: Pon: Yep.

    /Alpha: Nix: I believe he may be able to help us restore Wilo.  If he can't, then we will finish him.

    /Alpha: Shae: Careful Nix, I believe he is an Arch Elemental, like you.  It's the only way he could set everything up.

    Nix cursed quietly while he watched Hierophant form an earth puppet.  He was an absolute master. Within a few minutes, a petite looking female with brown hair and tan skin lay on the ground in front of them.  He knelt next to it and inspected it.

    Earth Sentry [Puppet]

    Description: A human-shaped

    puppet with minor Ice

    and air abilities.

    The dragon's voice interrupted his inspection. "I will have to inhabit it this puppet, in order to work."

    Nix smiled and picked up the puppet.  "No worries."  Without warning, Nix stabbed his black-ice blade deep into the flesh behind the dragon's shoulder.  Blood dripped on the floor as he quickly made several deep cuts before disappearing into its body.

    "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"  Hierophant's anguished scream filled the Infusion chamber.

    "Holy crap."  Gideon watched as Nix vanished inside the dragon, he emerged a minute later covered in blood, with the still-beating heart in his arms.

    Nix opened his animator screen.

    [Earth Sentry Puppet] [Minor Ice Enhancement] [Minor Air Enhancement] [Hierophant's Heart]

    Without pausing, he activated the [Animate] icon on his hud.

    The puppet's eyes opened a moment later, her chest rising and falling.  "What have you done?"

    Nix shrugged.  "You're a slippery bastard, just making sure you aren't going anywhere."

    "You fool.  My puppet making abilities are gone."  The woman's brown eyes showed real fear as she climbed slowly to her feet.

    Nix caught Leva's attention and gestured toward the dragon corpse.  "Bring in your people to process that thing."

    Leva nodded.  "Right away."

    A breach opened next to the corpse just as Nix grabbed Hierophant by the arm and led her toward the air crystal.  "First, you are going to locate my air friend."

    Hierophant shook her head. "How am I supposed to do that?  I may be an elemental essence genius, but I've no way of navigating through hundreds of different streams."

    Nix glanced at Ronnie; her face seemed to be continually changing from rage to grief. "You have that snowglobe orb that Wilo made you?"

    Ronnie nodded, and a moment later held the marble-sized orb in one hand.  A small gecko appeared on Fajii's shoulder before darting quickly to Nix's.  His dark eyes stared at Nix as it brought out an identical globe.

    /Alpha: Pon: Where the hell would he keep that? It's the size of his head.

    Nix collected the globes and handed them to Hierophant.  "If you can't help us, I'm going to let Wilo's friends have you."

    The brown-haired woman knelt next to the Air Crystal with all the globes in one hand; she placed that hand against the smooth surface of the storage device.

    Nix glanced back at the dead dragon, dozens of small nether creatures were cutting, sawing, and draining fluids as they moved quickly to process the bones and meat. Leva was standing nearby, overseeing the operation.

    After several minutes, Hierophant staggered away from the large crystal.  "Here."

    Nix took the three globes back from her, two of them had gone completely dark, but the third one pulsed brightly.  "You were able to do it?"

    Hierophant nodded.  "Can I assume that this bought my life?"

    Nix shrugged.  "We shall see.  If I can't restore her completely..."

    He walked over to the Silia puppet, even though it had received substantial damage, it was still far better than the Emperor level puppets he made.

    Silia [Heavily Damaged]

    Earth puppet with minor Ice

    Enhancements. Created by

    a Grand Master Puppeteer.

    /Alpha: Ronnie: You can do it, right, Nix?

    /Alpha: Pon:  That thing is junk, maybe a few spare parts.

    Nix nodded to himself and took out the puppet that dropped from the Thornwood Keep.

    Broken Puppet

    The handiwork of a Grand Master Puppeteer.

    However, it is broken and incomplete.

    "What is that?"  Hierophant's eyes showed intense interest as she walked forward only to be yanked back by Ronnie's hand when she grabbed her by the hair.

    Ronnie's dark eyes were menacing. "All I need is the smallest reason... the smallest."

    Nix took a closer look at the puppet from Thornwood Keep.  It looked like a perfect miniature person with dual transparent wings that looked like something a dragonfly might have.  "Absolutely brilliant."

    He opened his animator interface and placed the broken puppet in the first slot.

    [Broken Puppet]

    He paused for a moment and then placed the Silia puppet in the second slot.

    [Broken Puppet] [Silia Puppet: Heavily Damaged]

    Do you wish to use the Silia Puppet to make repairs to the broken puppet?


    Aura Puppet Created.

    Aura Puppet

    Description: A beautifully

    detailed version of a minor

    Air deity.  The Magnum Opus

    of Kellix Warden.

    Nix whistled softly; he could hear Hierophant struggle in Ronnie's grasp.

    "Where did you get something like that?  Do you know a  Great Master?"  Hierophant was desperately trying to get closer, even though she was held tightly.

    "No.  This is for our friend, Wilo."  Nix started setting up the queue.

    "What?  Are you going to put a f*cking Air Lord in that thing?  Don't be stupid, Nix!  I'll be your strongest ally!  Together we'll challenge Khione."

    Ronnie finally tired of Hierophant's struggles and punched her in the back of the head.  "We don't need your help to challenge Khione, dumbass."

    Nix nodded in agreement and placed the globe containing Wilo's essence in the enhancement slot.

    [Aura Puppet] [Essence Orb: Wilo]

    Animate the Aura Puppet using the Wilo Essence?


    Your Animator title has been upgraded to Animator II.

    The tiny person climbed to her feet, her wings instantly started fluttering, causing her feet to hover off the ground.  She was about two feet in height, with short black pixie hair and pale ivory skin.  She glanced around the room slowly, stopping when her eyes rested on the Dark Archer.  "RONNIE!"

    Wilo appeared next to Ronnie an instant later, her small arms wrapping around her neck.  "Someone hurt me!"

    Ronnie's dark eyes shone while she stroked Wilo's back.  "I know.  It's better now, right?  Look how big you are."

    Wilo sat on one of Ronnie's shoulders, her cute face still looking surprized.  "I guess I'm bigger."

    Ronnie couldn't keep the smile off her face when Wilo tried to climb into her hair, a favorite hiding place.  "You're too big for that now, come say thank you to our friends."


    An hour later, only Nix and Shae remained in the Infusion chamber.  Leva had taken everyone back to Nix's turtle house in Ionova.

    Shae was standing where the Air and Water amulets once stood.  "Will they be safe in Ionova?"

    Nix nodded, "I think so.  They weren't filled yet, I'm only guessing, but Khione probably doesn't know they've been taken."

    Shae watched as Nix placed the spectrum in the infusing chamber.  "What are you going to do with Elementia?"

    "Not sure.  Tell the Elementals they can leave now.  I'll put the shields up and figure out the rest from home."

    Shae grabbed his hand and squeezed it.  "Thanks for coming Nix."
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