334 Tying up Loose Ends conclusion

    Nix yawned and leaned back into the soft chair in his living room.  He had two separate huds up, one for a water creature and the other for an air creature.  He was struggling a bit to stay awake, but the smell of a cooking roast kept him from calling it a night.

    Hyai noticed him nodding off from her seat in the kitchen.  Neither her nor Fajii had left Shae's side since she returned.  "Thirty minutes Nix."

    Nix nodded in reply.  "I'll finish this up and grab a quick shower."

    Semmi had compiled a list of easy to attain items that were reasonably cheap.  All Nix had to do was create two templates, and Inferno would foot the bill while he crafted the puppets.

    [Water Creature]

    [Queue One: Emperor Turtle Skin]

    [Queue Two: Deep Sea Shark Tooth]

    [Queue Three: Bulato Cuda Fins]

    [Queue Four: Otter Bone]

    [Queue Five: Essence Sapphire]

    Nix carefully inspected the first template.  The items were fairly easy to get, but he found it troubling.  Would the Water Elementals be thankful?  This would basically confine them to the seas of Everspire. "Let's use some of the leather I made from Neptiphago's skin to strengthen the template, perhaps they will find it easier to advance."

    [Sea Hunter]

    [Queue One: Water Dragon Leather x50]

    [Queue Two: Deep Sea Shark Tooth x500]

    [Queue Three: Bulato Cuda Fins x1000]

    [Queue Four: Otter Bone x100]

    [Queue Five: Essence Sapphire]

    Nix nodded in satisfaction.  "Now the Air Elementals."

    [Air Raptor ]

    [Dragon Scale x50]

    [Air Wraith Teeth x500]

    [Desert Bat Wings x1000]

    [Queue Four: Spire Osprey Bones x100]

    [Queue Five: Essence Sapphire]

    Nix brought up a preview of what each puppet would look like.  The Water creature closely resembled a Leopard Seal, with a bit of armor protection and larger teeth.  It was a medium-sized predator about eight feet in length and weighed around three hundred pounds.  The Air creature looked like a giant bird of prey. Instead of feathers, it possessed scales and leathery wings.  It would stand about three feet in height and weigh close to fifty pounds.

    He used his hud to send copies of the required materials to Semmi and Jun Li, then he closed the animation interface and stretched.

    The three women stopped talking when he approached the island, making him instantly suspicious.

    "We talking about something fun?"  Nix didn't expect an answer since both Hyai and Shae shrugged.

    "Just discussing Mina,"  Fajii answered truthfully, utterly unaware that her two cohorts were staring at her.

    "I see..."  Nix pursed his lips as if considering the topic. "Want my input?"

    Shae nodded slowly.  "You've always had a close relationship with her. I am satisfied with your choice to give her a daughter."

    "I was drafted into it, but I won't lie and say that the illusion from the Black Gate hasn't affected me.  I would have done it eventually."

    Fajii grabbed his hand and pulled him closer. "You are a man of your word."

    "She wants to stay in the Sea-World after we finish in Everspire,"  Shae said it like she thought it was the worst idea she'd ever heard.

    "Yeah, I know that.  You guys disagree?"

    All three women nodded.  Hyai freckled face was etched with concern. "Ask her to stay in Haven."

    "Yep," Shae agreed.

    Fajii nodded without saying anything.

    "I'll talk to her, no promises though."  Nix exited the kitchen and headed toward the bathroom.

    Shae waited until she heard the water running before she spoke.  "Mind if I have him to myself tonight?"

    Hyai's lips curved in a lazy smile. "Let's negotiate properly.


    Nix woke up slowly, for once, there wasn't any ambient noise or strange people coming in to wake him up. An insanely warm Shae was wrapped around him, giving Nix the best night of sleep he ever had.

    Shae was resting her cheek against his shoulder, but she'd been awake for a while. "You were pretty tired.  No need to get up yet."

    Nix smiled at the salamander.  Her wild red hair was sticking up in multiple directions. "I promised Hyai to help her with her Djinn. Then I want to spend some time with Morti at the training grounds in Nescari."

    Shae leaned closer and pressed her lips against his. "You should get moving then; it's already 0900."

    Nix paused and put a hand to his stinging lips. "Ghost peppers?"

    The redhead nodded. "Want one?"

    Nix made a face at her.  "Pretty sure you just gave me one."

    When Nix walked into the kitchen a few minutes later, Leva was sitting at the kitchen island with Fey and Ducky.  "Morning... Have you guys seen Hyai?"

    Ducky nodded. "She went with Milat and Mina to Free Trader City to do some quests."

    "Crap..." Nix grabbed the boxed lunch Hyai made from the fridge and headed out the door.

    /Inferno: Nix: Pon, Tess, Sharl, and Gypsy.  Do you guys want to help me with something?

    /Inferno: Tess: A mission with the Boss?  Yes!

    /Inferno: Sharl: Sure, Nix.

    /Inferno: Pon: I smell loot.  I'm in.

    /Inferno: Gypsy: Yes.


    Nix tightened up the helmet on Morti's head and then turned back toward their opponents.  The Nescari training grounds had a few more spectators than usual.  Gil and Jaro were both in attendance, along with Morti's parents.  "Ready for some training?"

    Morti nodded his big head. "We gonna spar with those guys?"

    Nix waved at the members of Inferno, a pleasant smile on his face.

    /Inferno: Tess: Damn Nix...

    /Inferno: Gypsy: Is it too late to say no?

    /Inferno: Pon: Punk, bastard!  Morti has fire immunity.

    /Inferno: Sharl: Don't be such babies, he's just a cub.

    Morti and Nix walked toward the group, stopping about five meters away.

    /Inferno: Nix: Thanks for coming. You guys bring your rings from the Desert King fight?

    /Inferno: Sharl: I did.

    /Inferno: Tess: Got mine.

    /Inferno: Gypsy: Yep.

    /Inferno: Pon: Those things are weak, Nix, he'll squash us.

    /Inferno: Nix: Remember when I said to think outside the box?  Everyone hand your rings to Pon.

    Nix smiled at Morti and scratched his ears.  "Don't worry about hurting Pon; he's a tough old bastard."

    Morti nodded his big head.  "Okay."

    /Inferno: Pon: Which form do you want?

    /Inferno: Nix: I want the Desert King.

    /Inferno: Pon: Huh?

    /Inferno: Nix: Activate them all at the same time.

    Pon slipped all four rings on his hand and activated them.  A moment later, the Desert King appeared on the trading grounds.  Pon roared happily.

    /Inferno: Sharl: Going to need to buy all your rings, guys.

    Nix studied the Desert King; he had lost an arm in that fight to the scorpion-like pincers.  "This is the Desert King.  If it's the two of us, how do we take him."

    Mort plopped down on his big butt. "Think that snake tail is poisonous?"

    Nix nodded.  "Definitely poison."

    "It doesn't look long enough to get someone who is attacking the head.  I'd stun him with a swat and then go after the Lion's head."

    "Let's try that then."

    Over the next hour, Morti and Nix tried a dozen different strategies against the Desert King.  All four of the ring holders took turns as the Desert King; each presented a unique style of fighting.  In the end, Morti and Nix were able to vanquish them.  The group sat in the middle of the field, discussing the fight after they finished.

    "If that snake tail were a bit longer..." Tess had employed a spinning strategy where she attacked with the snake; first, it had caught Morti by surprise.

    "Let's check to see if the Desert King respawns." Sharl had taken the last turn as the Desert King; she gave back the other rings under protest.

    Nix nodded in agreement. "Worth it to check, the single rings by themselves are too weak."


    [Ionova City Center: 1130 hours]

    The former Gladis crafters were each sitting at the long table inside Nix's unopened Tailor shop in the City center. Each of them was using their rare inventories to upgrade Inferno's raid gear.  Alpha Team was in the process of getting their equipment worked on when Delia showed up with the first batch of essence stones.

    The Intrepid's light brown eyes lit up when she saw Nix.  Her black hair was tied up in one of Nansu's braids. "Nix."

    "Welcome."  Nix returned Delia's smile.  The woman was uncommonly friendly.  "How many do you have ready?"

    Delia set the basket down on the floor and handed him one.  "Seventeen in this batch, it takes more energy then I thought it would."

    Nix held up the stone and examined it.

    Essence Sapphire: [Yuna, Air Sprite]

    Nix glanced down at the basket. "Are these all Air Sprites?"

    Delia nodded in reply. "Yes, I thought it would help you to work on one group at a time.

    "Good thinking, that does make it easier for me."  Nix noticed that everyone was watching him.  "Waiting for the first one?"

    Semmi had moved closer and pulled up a stool. "You can do it, Nix.  I'll talk to them when they wake."

    "Good plan, Sem." Nix set up the queue with the items that the guild procured for him.

    [Air Raptor ]

    [Dragon Scale x50]

    [Air Wraith Teeth x500]

    [Desert Bat Wings x1000]

    [Queue Four: Spire Osprey Bones x100]

    [Queue Five: Essence Sapphire: Yuna, Air Sprite]

    Nix nodded in satisfaction before glancing at Semmi. "This one is named Yuna."

    A moment later, the reptilian looking bird flapped its wings once and managed to get on its feet, before looking around with intelligent eyes.

    Semmi moved into its field of vision.  "I'm Semmi.  Unfortunately, you were captured and drained of your elemental powers.  We were able to restore your powers to a different body. You are safe here and free to leave whenever you like."

    Yuna nodded her head; it was apparent she understood but was incapable of speech.

    "Wait a few minutes, and you will be able to leave with others of your kind." Semmi stroked her smoothly, scaled head.  "The body you are in is powerful; as a Sprite, you are probably already ready to rank up."

    Nix was already setting up the next queue, he paused when he noticed Yuna watching. "Don't worry, you'll be able to communicate with the others we animate."
Previous Index Next