355 The Second Blade conclusion

    "It's Archon Nix, right? The leader of the Inferno Guild."  A deep voice spoke from nearby.  A lean man with reddish-colored skin and horns jutting from his forehead was watching their group.

    /Alpha: Beta: F*ck... It's a dragonspawn Nix, specifically Nihlus the Red.  His mother is Tai'Qui, the Dragon Master of Houdinya."

    Nix nodded in reply. "I am Nix."

    Nihlus glanced at Beta, his face tightening slightly.  "Does Deidra plan on making an appearance?"

    Beta shook her head. Although she worked for the Breach Commander, in Solomon City, everyone eventually answered to the Dragon Master. "I am here independently."

    "Interesting."  Nihlus waved for his companion to come closer.  "This is Sindi, a dragon descendent from Houdinya.  He is here to challenge for the blade.  In the event that he fails, I will challenge also."

    Sindi bowed slightly, his tone free of any arrogance.  "I will not fail. Are you planning on fighting for the Blade Nix?"

    Nix shook his head, "No.  My Master is." He pointed to the ugly old woman who was talking to one of the attendants.

    Sindi titled his head to one side.  "That old man is your Master?"

    Nihlus stared at Chiba for a long moment before a smile widened his face.  "That expert is not old, nor is she male."

    Chiba returned to the group a few minutes later.  Nihlus and Sindi had stepped away to talk.

    /Alpha: Chiba: There's good news and bad news.

    /Alpha: Nix: This sounds bad.  Spill it.

    /Alpha: Chiba: Firstly, there's a small portal in this room.  If you came here through that portal, you aren't allowed to leave this room.  You can only use the exit portal to leave.

    /Alpha: Beta: That must be why everyone is staring at us.  We came through the door.

    /Alpha: Chiba: Yep.  Most of them have no idea where they are right now.

    /Alpha: Nix: Is that the good news or the bad news?

    /Alpha: Chiba: Neither, general info.  The good news is that only 12 people are allowed to challenge, and I would be the 12th.

    /Alpha: Nix: Convenient.  What's the bad news.

    /Alpha: Chiba: This is a fight to the death, the loser is consumed by the blade.

    /Alpha: Nix: We're leaving.

    /Alpha: Beta: Taking you out of here, Chiba.

    /Alpha: Rabi: Bad... That's a bad deal.

    Sasi was shaking her head, the little demon's face showing anger.  "Why do that for a blade?  It's only a tool."

    /Alpha: Chiba: Seems like my friends are against it.

    /Alpha: Gil: I don't know you, old man, but this seems like a bad idea.

    Chiba licked her lips suggestively and grabbed Gil's hand before he could resist; she rubbed it against her crotch. "Old man?  I'm a woman, you fool!  A fabulously beautiful woman." Her cackle echoed in the room, drawing the attention of nearly everyone.

    Gil's face slowly turned red; he jerked his hand away like it was in a fire.  "The heck was that for?  Just tell a turtle next time!"

    Chiba's creepy smile made the amphibian shudder. "I'll make it up to you after this.  Never bagged a turtle before."

    /Alpha: Chiba: I really want my second blade.  I believe in myself.

    /Alpha: Nix: I'll stop you if you even attempt it, Master.

    /Alpha: Beta: Me too.

    /Alpha: Sasi: Yep... you'll have to fight all of us.

    /Alpha: Chiba: They might get mad if I don't challenge.

    /Alpha: Nix: Why?

    /Alpha: Chiba: There has to be 12 challengers since the blade has a dozen enhancement slots. He's not even the Swordmaster who stole it originally.

    /Alpha: Beta: What?

    /Alpha: Chiba: The old bastard that stole the blade died on the third challenge after setting up an epic quest and getting the word out to other swordsmen.

    /Alpha: Nix: So this guy is one of the challengers?  12 slots?  That's crazy. Why didn't he just leave when he won?

    /Alpha: Chiba: Greed, I guess.  The blade gets stronger with every life it drains.

    /Alpha: Beta: Even so, you're a great Sword Master, but you don't have any magic or artifacts to speak of.

    /Alpha: Nix: Why not grab the blade and run off?

    /Alpha: Chiba: There's an enchantment on it that transfers to the winner, only that person may leave with the blade.

    /Alpha: Chiba: Fine, I won't fight.  We should both watch, though, watching hard-fought sword duels is a great way to gain insight.

    /Alpha: Nix: As you say.  Let's stand to one side and watch.

    The battles were fairly quick.  The holder of the blade dispatched three fighters in succession without taking a break.

    /Alpha: Chiba:  He's holding back.  I can't tell how good he is at this point.

    /Alpha: Gil: How many battles so far?

    /Alpha: Chiba: That's the 9th.

    Sindi fought next, he moved quickly while fighting, causing Chiba to compliment his footwork.  He managed to score first blood but then over-extended and took a deep slash to his sword arm.  One mistake led to his death a few minutes later.

    Chiba shook his head angrily.  "Losing such a young bladesman at that age, it isn't right."

    Unfortunately, although Nihlus was game, he wasn't quite as good as Sindi.  He extended the fight to several minutes that saw both fighters covered in sweat and blood. The blade-holder slipped on the slick stage, falling to one knee.  However, when Nihlus went for the kill, he was impaled when the sword was spun towards him.

    /Alpha: Beta: Feint?

    /Alpha: Chiba: Yes.  Masterfully done with patience, I probably would have fallen for it also.

    Nix felt sick to his stomach, his blade skills needed to be improved.  After seeing Masters battling to the death, he realized how **ty his own ability was.  "Let's get going.  I need to absorb these fights a bit."

    "Not going to challenge?"  The blade-holder was toweling off the sweat and blood that covered him. He drank a potion while walking toward them.

    Chiba shook her head.  "It's not worth it; thankfully, I have friends that care about me."

    "You sure?"  The man handed Chiba the blade, letting the old woman feel it.

    Chiba stared down at the weapon, her eyes seeming to dull a bit.  "It's beautiful."

    /Alpha: Sisa: Cut silly mans head off, and the blade is yours.

    /Alpha: Chiba: I can't raise it against him.

    /Alpha: Beta: Guess we can't cheat this one.  Give it back, and let's go.

    Instead of handing it back, Chiba continued to stare at the blade in her hand.  "If its a fight you w..."

    Beta punched her in the back of the head, knocking the blade out of her hands. The Albino rogue caught it and quickly handed it back to its owner.

    /Alpha: Beta: It has a desire geas on it, don't touch it.

    Chiba's old ugly face broke into a sweat.  "F*cking bastard, handing me a blade that influences will."

    The Swordmaster shrugged nonchalantly. "It only amplifies what you want, one of the first victims of the blade had strong charm abilities."

    "Can I see it?"  Nix put his hand out, a friendly smile on his face.

    /Alpha: Beta: Don't touch it, Nix.

    /Alpha: Nix: Don't worry, I'm immune to control effects.

    The sword owner looked at him with a practiced eye.  "You're a spellsword also?  Fire element?"

    Nix nodded. "And Lightning."

    Phedor smiled and handed Nix the blade.  "You would make a good enchantment."

    "Probably," Nix agreed before turning and throwing the blade toward the rooms, only exit.  The blade sailed end over end before clanking loudly in the hallway, the sound of it making everyone stare.

    Belzo's eyes were wide with shock.  "Y-You can't leave with the blade!"

    Sasi was the first to recover, laughing loudly; she skipped toward the exit.  "Nix didn't leave with the blade; it left by itself."

    Rabi joined her in laughing. "Stupid man has ** on his face."


    Nix has stunned Phedor

    /Alpha: Nix: Let's go.

    The group quickly retreated out the door; a few seconds later, Phedor charged after them only to bounce harmlessly off of the barrier.  "YOU F*CKERS!  GIVE ME BACK MY BLADE!"

    The screams of rage followed them as they retraced their steps.  Nix kept the blade in his possession so that it wouldn't influence anyone.

    /Alpha: Chiba: My apprentice cheats best.

    /Alpha: Sasi: Nix would make great demon.

    /Alpha: Rabi: Heh... Demon Nix.

    /Alpha: Gil: Heading back now?

    /Alpha: Ducky: I found the exit, Nix.

    /Alpha: Nix: Can you come back to the crafting room without worries?

    /Alpha: Ducky: Yep.  I'll be there in a bit.

    The group waited a few minutes for Ducky to return; she smiled casually at many of the crafters who acknowledged her with friendly waves.

    /Alpha: Beta: You're very impressive, Ducky.

    /Alpha: Ducky: Thanks, I think you are too.

    Nix handed Ducky the blade they took from the room. "I need you to bring this back to our Intrepid friend, Delia, the Beautiful."

    Chiba sighed when the blade changed hands again, although she wanted to touch it, she dare not.  "Who is Delia the Beautiful?"

    "She is a recent member of Inferno, particularly good at separating essences and enchantments." Nix turned back toward Ducky, "Have Darsi make some new essence containers, they probably have to be Nemesis level to hold these."

    /Alpha: Beta: You're going to disenchant the blade?

    /Alpha: Nix: We are only obligated to return the blade to the school; the enhancements are ours.  If we could get another dragon on our side, that's better than a few enchantments.

    /Alpha: Beta: You want to return Nihlus to Tai'Qui?

    /Alpha: Nix: Yes.  I need to visit all the Dragon Cities anyway.

    Chiba threw an arm around Nix's shoulders.  "You've shown how much you care for me Nix, as your Master, I will work harder on your instruction."

    "Don't be so clingy."  Nix waited until Ducky left and then led the group back to the Taxidermist.

    /Alpha: Beta: He's done and working on something else.

    /Alpha: Nix: Yep.  Let's take him now.  I want that Phoenix."
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