354 The Second Blade part four

    Elena stared at the group for a moment; her ancient eyes seemed to be analyzing their chances. "If it becomes too much, I won't think less of you for returning without it."

    Chiba bowed slightly.  "Rest assured; we will do our best Master."

    Elena nodded slowly.  "One last thing, many parts of the Armory are meant for larger groups. Yellow torches indicate small groups of 5-10.  Blue torches mean that you will need 20-30 people to complete safely."

    The gating platform sent the group to a small staging area where they took a few minutes to prepare for the inevitable conflicts to come.

    [Summons: Morti]

    [Summons: Ducky]

    Nix greeted his companions, both of the Qi demons immediately climbed on Morti's back.

    Ducky favored the demon hybrids with a smile.  "So nice to see you again.  Uta isn't here?"

    Rabi shook his head.  "He's teaching the course in Loki still."

    [Whisper: Nix to Chiba] How does the head of your Order reside in Everspire?

    [Whisper: Chiba to Nix] The Spellsword Order has spread across all the planes.  Colonial has no Spellsword ranked higher than me. Initially, my motivation for moving to the higher planes was to find other members of our Order.

    [Whisper: Nix to Chiba]  What do you gain from this advancement?

    [Whisper: Chiba to Nix] A second blade.

    [Whisper: Nix to Chiba] Dual wield?

    [Whisper: Chiba to Nix] I can already dual wield, but not with two Spellswords and not without penalty.

    [Whisper: Nix to Chiba]  Let's do it then.

    [Whisper: Chiba to Nix] How did you learn the new blades?

    [Whisper: Nix to Chiba] Must be the excellent instruction I've been receiving from you.

    [Whisper: Chiba to Nix]  Teach your lovely master at once!

    [Whisper: Nix to Chiba] Maybe... Let's get going.

    /Inferno: Nix: Anyone in the Great Desert region?

    /Inferno: Jun Li: What are you doing here, Nix?  Thought you were in Dhou.

    /Inferno: Nix: I was.  We jumped into a quest that has a backdoor into the Eidengal Amory.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: Think you can open the door from the inside?

    /Inferno: Nix: Going to send Ducky to look for the exit.

    /Inferno: Jun Li: I'll bring some backup and meet her there.

    The staging area was a square room that exited into an archway.  A long hallway lined with yellow torches led away from it.

    /Alpha Nix: Rabi, you're in front.  Morti, you'll be behind him.

    /Alpha Rabi: Are we expecting traps?

    /Alpha Nix: No idea.  Ducky, I need you to start searching for the exit.

    /Alpha Ducky: If I find it should I let Jun Li in?

    /Alpha Nix: Contact us first, the entrance is probably guarded.  Be careful.

    /Alpha Ducky: Understood.

    Nix watched as Ducky walked away from them, her steps seemed casual, but the distance between her and the group widened very quickly, and within a few moments, she faded from view.

    After a few minutes of walking, the hallway finally ended in a large room that was nearly fifty meters wide and a hundred meters long.  There were dozens of tables set up in exact rows, artisans of all shapes and sizes were busying working their craft.

    The group entered the room from the south hall; there was an exit directly opposite of them to the north.  Two additional doors at the East and West also exited into yellow flamed hallways.

    Chiba whistled softly.  Everyone in the room seemed to be a named boss.

    /Alpha Nix: This is a giant workshop like the Gladis Hub use to be.

    /Alpha Chiba: We should take one and see what happens.

    [Summons: Shadai, Cal, and Tor]

    Nix's Arch Wings appeared in front of them, their sharp eyes darting around the room.  The ceiling was several meters off the ground and more than high enough for them to stay airborne.  "Morti is tanking, we'll try for single pulls, but you never know."

    In the first row of tables, there were three possible targets-Indir The Alchemist, Pulz Bor, a jeweler, and Qu Winz, a tailor.

    /Alpha: Pull the Tailor Rabi, we'll see how lucrative this room is.

    /Alpha: Rabi: Ok.

    The team retreated into the hall and waited.

    Rabi has [Quartered] Qu Winz.

    Qu Winz has been crippled.

    The jeweler chased Rabi back into the hall, one leg dragging behind him as he left a trail of blood.

    When he arrived in the hallway, Morti turned him around and swatted him in the face with a massive paw.

    Qu Winz has been stunned.

    Nix has cast [Incinerate] on Qu Winz.

    Gil moved to one side and slammed both of his maces into Qu Winz.

    Qu Winz has been permanently crippled.

    [Viper Strike]

    Sasi has landed a critical strike on Qu Winz.

    Chiba has initiated the [Elemental Masterpiece]

    Each successive Elemental strike scores double the damage of the previous one.

    Chiba lands a critical strike with the element of Silver.

    Nix lands a critical strike with the element of Fire.

    Beta lands a critical strike with the element of Shadow.

    Qu Winz had been slain.

    A spool of platinum tread has been added to your inventory.

    "Wait here."

    Nix activated his stealth package and moved carefully to the table that the Tailor was working at.

    A complete set of Elemental needles has been added to your inventory.

    Elemental Needles[Tailoring]

    Description: This set of thirty needles

    represent every element in Everspire.

    NIx whistled softly and headed back to the group.

    /Alpha: Nix: I'm not sure we can afford to leave any of these tables alone.  Let's take the Alchemist.

    Rabi nodded and approached the table of the Alchemist.

    Rabi has [Quartered]  Indir The Alchemist.

    This time as Rabi retreated back to the hall, Cal and Tor peppered him with arrows.  When the Alchemist aggroed them, a single taunt from Morti pulled Indir into the hallway.

    Chiba danced toward the Alchemist, [Ghost Step: Master Strike]

    Successful combination attempt.

    Chiba has landed a critical strike on Indir.

    [Double Strike]

    Sasi has landed a mortal strike on Indir.

    Sasi has landed a critical strike on Indir.

    Indir has been slain.

    Alchemy Recipe: [Ressurection] has been added to your inventory.

    /Alpha: Gil: These guys die so fast, I don't get a chance to hit them.

    /Alpha: Nix: Well, you are a turtle.

    /Alpha: Gil: Don't hate.

    /Alpha: Rabi: East hall torches just changed color.

    Nix glanced at the east hall, the torches that had been yellow now glowed with a blue light.

    /Alpha: Ducky: I think I found the Sword of Kings, there is a man named Phedor the Swordsman down the North hall.  He seems to have created some sort of quest.

    /Alpha: Nix: Thanks, Ducky.  No sign of the exit?

    /Alpha: Ducky: No, going to take a quick peek at the East hall again, I'll tell you what's changed.

    /Alpha: Nix: Okay. Let's hold off on the next pull until we hear back.

    Nix activated his stealth package and moved to Indir's table.

    The Potion of [Liquid Gold] has been added to your inventory.

    Liquid Gold: [Potion]

    Description: Grants you

    the element of Gold.

    /Alpha: Chiba: May I have that, Nix?

    Nix was tempted to tease the Swordmaster, knowing she already possessed the Silver element, but he refrained and handed it over.  "You'll use it for the second blade?"

    Chiba nodded, unlike the real element, a Spellsword blade made from Gold would be a highly effective weapon.  "Gold is one of the rarer elements.  I will personally make it up to everyone in the group with adequate compensation."

    /Alpha: Rabi: I want some fish.

    /Alpha: Sasi: Nether Rats, please.

    Alpha: Nix: One thousand head of horses, any Everspire breed.

    /Alpha: Sasi: I want to change mine to a herd of Nether Rats.

    /Alpha: Rabi: Same... A herd of fish for me.

    /Alpha: Ducky: The amount of people in the room off the East hall has tripled.

    /Alpha: Beta: We had to have triggered that by killing, is it still passable?

    /Alpha: Ducky: Not without a guild to back us up.

    /Alpha: Nix: Damn... I hate to abandon this room, but we are here for the sword.  Thanks, Ducky, go back to hunting for the exit.

    /Alpha: Nix: Stealth up, let's find the Swordmaster.

    Nix ruffled Morti's ears before unsummoning him and the Arch Winds.  The overly large Titan cub was not made for sneaking.

    "Call me back if you need to, Nix!"  Morti pushed a big nose into Nix's chest and then vanished.

    There was a large aisle down the middle of the room, so the group carefully moved toward the North hall.

    /Alpha: Beta: Nix, check out the crafter directly west of us, three tables down.

    Nix glanced west and nearly stumbled over Chiba.  It was a Taxidermist; there were three complete puppets on his table while he worked steadily on a fourth.

    /Alpha: Chiba: We can take him quickly, Nix.

    /Alpha: Nix: Can't risk making the North Hall unpassable.  Let's continue.

    /Alpha: Beta: You sure, Nix?  The one he's working on now looks kind of like a Phoenix.

    /Alpha: Chiba: Phoenix are way bigger than that, but I don't mind taking the risk.

    Nix shook his head and motioned for them to continue.  His heart was beating hard at the sight of the reddish-orange bird. The Taxidermist was obviously more advanced them him, taking it now would mean getting an unfinished puppet.   Nix wasn't sure he'd be able to complete it.

    The North hall led to a small training yard.  A lone figure sat comfortably on a raised platform while attendants dragged away a corpse and wiped up the spilled blood.

    The Swordsman looked directly at them when they entered; his smile was filled with malice. "The line is on the left if you are challenging for the sword."

    /Alpha: Rabi: Ugly man can see us.

    /Alpha: Chiba: Oh... He's taking all-comers.  Let me find out the specifics.

    /Alpha: Beta: The last person in line is a Dragonspawn from one of the other Dragon Cities.

    /Alpha: Nix: Let's see what Chiba finds out and go from there.
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