351 The Second Blade part one

    The warmth of the afternoon sun shone directly on the sleeping guild leader's face; it had been there for several minutes but was no threat to his continued slumber.

    "Nix!"  A raspy voice whispered in his ear, followed by the crunching sound of the tiny demon biting the head off of a fish.  Sasi shrugged at her brother, who climbed on the bed next to her.  "He sleeps like an old man."

    Rabi frowned at the fish she held in her tiny hand.  "You were going to share that."

    Sasi smiled sweetly, her tiny fangs flashing when she handed it to him.  "Sure, Rabi.  Take it."

    The demon hybrid begrudgingly took it from her hand.  "You ate the head again, always taking the best part."

    Sasi shrugged, biting her lip to keep from laughing as she attempted to use the tip of her tail to tickle the side of Nix's face.  "I catch it."

    "Lies... Turtle man gave that to you." Rabi finished the fish quickly, licking his fingers before reaching for Nix's pillow.


    Rabi froze in mid-action and glanced at the Inferno leader, who now had one eye open. "Yes?"

    "Don't wipe fish hands on my pillows."  Nix used one hand to shove him off the bed before sitting up.

    The tiny demon squealed in protest and slid over the edge of the bed, the sound of his sister's laughter filled the room.

    "Nix pushed you off, Dum-Dum."  Sasi's dark eyes danced when she laughed; she quickly let go of her own tail.  "Special mission Nix."

    "Mission?  Who and where?"  Nix turned slowly until his feet were on the floor. He dimly recalled Fajii saying that she was going to Free Trader City with Nansu and Hyai.

    Sasi slipped off the bed nimbly, at just under five feet tall, her tail brushed the floor when she stood. "We go to Favi City in Dhou.  Chiba requires your presence."

    He got up slowly, when everything seemed to still be working correctly; he made his way toward the bedroom closet.  "Chiba?  Is Beta already there?"

    Sasi nodded, her dark eyes watching curiously while he dressed.  "Turtle house is fun."

    Nix nodded in agreement.  "Things do get a bit lively." The smooth roof of his home had quickly turned into a water slide as the entire guild took turns cannon-balling into the pond.  Somehow Morti managed to get up there... Hopefully, there was still some water left.

    Rabi stomped into the closet, glaring up at Nix as he walked by to wash his hands.  Unlike the Sasi, the male demons in the Qi family didn't have tails.  "Beta went to help, but now they want you too."

    Nix finished dressing and walked into the kitchen, Gil was sitting at the island waiting.  "Coming with us, Gil?"

    Gil nodded, his round face watching as Nix pulled out a boxed lunch and started eating. "Hyai spoils you."

    Nix chuckled but didn't deny it.  "How do we get to Favi?"

    Gil pulled up a map of the four corners area, that included the provinces of Dhou, Mocai, Vespri, and Lana.  "Favi is in Dhou, south, and west of Free Trader City.  It should take an hour with horses."

    "Is this an emergency?"  Nix hadn't visited Free Trader city and wanted a chance to look around a bit. There was also a Taxidermist that he was hoping to see.  One of Ever Flame's crafters had given him the name Wallace.

    Sasi nodded.  "She said to show up ready to fight."

    Nix stopped eating for a moment.  "If it was that urgent, why didn't you and Rabi handle it?" Although their personalities were friendly, the two hybrid demons were also very dangerous in any kind of a fight.

    Rabi moved beside him, his quick hands snatching a piece of food from Nix's plate. "As part of her advancement, Chiba must demonstrate the strength of one of her students."

    Nix moved his plate away from Rabi while nodding slowly.  "I better not let her down then."

    A New Class Quest is Available.

    Clash of Swords [Spellsword Only]

    Description: Your Master has been challenged, and

    so you must demonstrate your skill.

    Objective: Stand on the fighting platform at the

    Favi Fighter's Guild and defeat as many fighters

    as you can.

    [Required Objectives]

    Defeat Beryl Vorn

    Defeat Borsha

    Defeat Malice.


    Nix exited the Turtle house a few minutes later, closely shadowed by his three companions.  The three mountain ponies that he purchased in Ever Flame were waiting for him.  Molls, Lu, and Circa, enjoyed the victory party with Inferno before going back to the Neva province to continue questing.  Since Nix had been incapacitated at the end of the Mountain Pass battle, the Breach Commander Interface had automatically rewarded all participants with a battle mount.

    Nix unsummoned the ponies and handed each of the Qi Demons a bridle.  "We'll take the Ionova Gate to Free Trader City and then ride to Favi from there."

    Sasi nodded, and the four of them joined hands before Nix activated Deep Blue.  A moment later, they stepped into the busy City Center of Ionova.

    [Whisper: Nix to Nebula] It Looks like business is picking up.

    [Whisper: Nebula to Nix] Lots of business coming in from the four corners.  We are also getting a lot of commerce from within Titania since we have access to Free Trader City.

    [Whisper: Nix to Nebula] Heading to Free Trader City on business.  Need anything?

    [Whisper: Nebula to Nix] Yes, actually. One of our Smiths has paid for several shipments of steel. For some reason, it has been confiscated by the Free Trader City guard.

    [Whisper: Nix to Nebula] No worries, I'll look into it.

    [Whisper: Nebula to Nix]  Thanks.  And bring a girl back something pretty from the big city.

    [Whisper: Nix to Nebula]  Denied.

    Nix whistled in appreciation a few minutes later when he got his first look at Free Trader City.  As a city that was built at the nexus of four provinces, it enjoyed a wide variety of shops and citizens.  The town was made primarily from wood, but there were a few stone structures visible from the market square.  The streets were paved with crushed rock, a practice that Nix personally found more efficient than the more expensive cobblestoned streets of bigger cities.

    "Crap, it's hot here, Nix."  Gil wiped his bald head with a bandana; the Turtle Titan kept his hair shaved close to the scalp.  Sweat started dripping down his face as soon as they began walking toward the gate.

    "It's humid."  The moisture in the air surprized Nix.  Although he'd experienced just about every kind of weather imaginable since starting Colonial, it was the first time he felt the thick presence of moisture in the air.

    The city itself was massive in size; the sprawling structures seemed to go in all directions as far as the eye could see.  It was loud and crowded, a refreshing change from the relative quiet of Ever Flame.

    "If it's this bad in the city, it will be way worse in the countryside."  Nix tried not to laugh when Gil tied his bandana over his head, making him look like a short, squat pirate.  "Shouldn't a turtle do better in this weather?"

    "Sure.  Want me to change right now?  I'll give you all a ride, and we'll get to Favi sometime next year."  Gil smirked and then stumbled when Nix suddenly stopped.

    Nix stared at the creature before raising a hand to stop his group from pulling their weapons. They were face to face with a rather large looking sea beast.  Huge luminous eyes and bulging muscles caused everyone using the boardwalk to step into the street.  "What are you doing here?"

    Nonoa's dark eyes didn't show the alarm she felt.  Her beast had stopped in the middle of the walk-way and was staring at the group in front of it.  When the Spiritualist stepped around to speak to the group, she was greeted with a very familiar face.  "So... Mina must have found you."

    Nix switched his stare from the Sea Devil to the woman beside him.  She was dark and very attractive. "Mina did find me.  Why do you have this creature?"

    The Sea-Beast moved closer, not alarmed by Nix's presence since it remembered him.  More importantly, it recalled the bond from its previous owner.  It made a soft yodeling sound but didn't offer any sort of aggression.

    Nonoa kept her face calm; this was the person Mina searched for; she had called him the ugliest man she'd ever seen.  The Spiritualist coughed once to cover a laugh. "I helped Mina track you to Nescari; this beast was my payment."

    Nix remembered how exhausted Mina had been when he found her.  She had wandered directly into the Oblivion Spider. "I'm Nix, if Mina paid you with this beast then I have no argument."

    "Nonoa, it's nice to meet you."  The Spiritualist extended a dark hand and then greeted him with a slight bow.  She had seen the Aquarion again a few days ago. She would have missed her, but the Sea-Devil charged across the street to greet his former master.  Although it was her bond now, she felt its longing for the previous owner.

    "Same here.  I have business in Favi; perhaps we'll see each other again."  Nix patted the Sea-Devil on the shoulder and then carefully stepped around the pair.

    "Okay, good day, sir."  Nonoa watched him walk away; the Aquarion woman must have been joking with her when she called him homely.
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