413 The Greater House of Inferno part five

    Rat-Nix scurried across the floor, his sharp claws clicking on the marble tile.  Nix has activated [Dominate].

    The rat cloak flowed gently to the floor and moved toward Rat-Nix.  Taro seemed unconcerned and didn't notice since he hadn't been attacked.

    The Dominate commands were fundamental, attack, and follow.  Rat-Nix readied himself.  "Get-em Boys!"

    The rats charged at Taro; they were halfway up his legs before the charm finally broke.


    Taro has cast [Diseased Shield].

    Rat-Nix watched as the rats attacked since he wasn't being threatened, he paced back and forth.  The disease shield didn't seem to affect the rats at all.

    Taro has cast [Plague][Wither]

    Combination Successful.

    An Emperor Rat is immune to Plague.

    An Emperor Rat is immune to Wither.

    Taro screamed in anger, producing a staff he charged at Rat-Nix, leaving a trail of blood behind him.

    Rat-Nix jumped nimbly to one side and bolted into open space while Taro vented his rage, smashing rats from his own body.  Screaming in frustration, he targeted the Rat-King again.

    Taro has cast [Drought][Putrid Rot]

    Combination Successful.

    An Emperor Rat is immune to Drought.

    An Emperor Rat is immune to Putrid Rot.

    Taro held the staff high in one hand, staring at Rat-Nix with hate-filled eyes.  "You will be food for my minions!"

    Taro as cast. [Vermin Wave].

    "Oh... Great, more boys."  Nix has activated [Dominate.]

    The pestilence rats moved toward Rat-Nix, stopping suddenly they slowly turned and aimed their sites at Taro the Dreaded.

    "NOOOO!"  Taro produced his staff again and charged Nix; he limped badly, smearing the tile behind him with his blood.  The staff slammed onto the marble floor, missing the agile Rat-King as it circled, dodged and feinted like a caffeinated mongoose.

    After a few more minutes of agony, the gnashing of teeth, the chittering of claws, and the screams of Taro marked the end of the Dreaded Pestilence Mage. Without slaying or even injuring anyone, the boss of the Foundation floor died miserably.  Unfortunately, when Taro died, the Rat-King lost his rat army.

    A single clapping could be heard across the room; the ever cheering Ducky was always sure to applaud the efforts of her companion.

    /Alpha: Vooni: Uh.. well, that was...

    /Alpha: Chiba: Lame.  I felt like you were bullying him a bit.

    /Alpha: Nix: The Rat-King is mighty. Would it be better to lose a few of us in this battle?

    /Alpha: Shae: Good job, Nix.

    /Alpha: Rhy: Very nice, Champion.

    /Alpha: Fey: Looks like there's a drop and an exit.

    /Alpha: Chiba: Why is your tile a Golden Crown, Apprentice?

    /Alpha: Nix: Because I am the Rat-King.

    Nix put the three Nether rats back in his inventory and led the group back to the dead boss. A single stream of white light pointed upward from the corpse.  "Let's see what we got."

    [Query: Skill Stone]

    Description: Query is the ability

    to discover your target's weaknesses.

    /Alpha: Vooni: I have never seen a query skill stone before.

    /Alpha: Shae: Very nice, Nix.

    /Alpha: Chiba: Congrats, Apprentice.

    Nix shook his head slightly, "this seems more like a scouting skill; we'll save it for Wind or Semmi."

    A black door appeared on the North wall.  The group walked toward it; spirits were high since the Foundation fight had proved less than awe-inspiring.  They stepped through the doorway and disappeared from sight.


    The Foundation group stepped out onto a brightly lit courtyard.  The overhead sun seemed to indicate that it was mid-afternoon, even though it should have been closer to sunset.  The courtyard was decorated by several flower gardens and fountains that shot streams of water high into the air.

    /Alpha: Pon: Well... Look who finally decided to show up.

    /Alpha: Fajii: Welcome, everyone.

    /Alpha: Nix: How could you guys beat us here?  We went super fast.

    /Alpha: Semmi: We've been discussing that.  This quest is meant for a guild just starting in the Sky Kingdom.  We've been fighting in Everspire, which is a slightly higher tier.

    /Alpha: Pon: We've been killing dragons, and these aren't dragons.

    /Alpha: Nix: How do we compare with the Greater Houses in Solomon City?

    /Alpha: Vooni: I estimate Inferno's strength to be slightly stronger than the House of Dragons, which is the strongest House in Solomon City.

    /Alpha: Semmi: We got a pretty cool Query Stone, which I won the roll on.

    /Alpha: Nix: We have the same one.  Want this Wind?

    /Alpha: Wind: For me?  Awesome.

    /Alpha: Nix: If the same stone drops from both bosses, you can bet we need it for the next fight.

    /Alpha: Semmi: That's a good point.

    /Alpha: Nix: Now what?

    /Alpha: Pon: There's a platform behind that fountain, it says only the Greater House Leader may approach.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Go get em.

    /Alpha: Pon: Try not to get killed.

    The nine members of Inferno walked as a group to the platform behind the fountain. Nix approached by himself.

    [You have passed the Foundation and Pillar portions of the Greater House Trial. Please approach the platform when you wish to continue.]

    /Alpha:Nix: Here we go.

    Nix stepped onto the platform, instantly a man dressed in fine blue robes appeared in front of him. He had his hand on a large lever that rose up out of the stone.

    The figure had blond hair and blue eyes; he had a slight air of arrogance that Nix associated with Colonial nobility. The man pointed to the fountain on the far side of the courtyard where a group of people had appeared.

    /Alpha: Pon: Party crashers?

    "The lever will be pulled five times, and five battles must you win."

    /Alpha: Nix: This a f*cking riddle?

    /Alpha: Semmi: Pull the lever, I guess.

    Nix placed a hand on the round knob at the top of the lever and pulled it toward him.  It moved about two feet and halted with a loud click before slowly moving back to its original position.  When it finally stopped, a hud popped up, displaying an image.

    /Alpha: Semmi: What is it, Nix?

    /Alpha: Nix: It's Fajii.

    The blue-robed man stepped in front of the lever.  "The chosen must now choose."

    /Alpha: Nix: Bull**. I don't like it.

    /Alpha: Fajii: I will fight.

    The Aquarion Alchemist placed a brown hand on his arm; her slightly webbed fingers felt soft against his skin.  "Believe in me."

    Nix stroked her face and kissed her forehead.  "Fine... This sucks, but I'll put my faith in you.

    Fajii nodded slightly.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Hey!  This is what the query skill is for!  Fajii gets to choose.

    Semmi and Wind moved to the front of the group, both studying the nine people across the courtyard.

    /Alpha: Shae: Faji is Scorched Earth, so look for someone with a weakness to flames.

    /Alpha: Wind: All of them have average fire resistance.

    /Alpha: Semmi: What's Fajii weakest against?

    /Alpha: Fajii: Lightning.

    /Alpha: Wind: There is a lightning Elemental, so we can rule her out.

    /Alpha: Nix: Look for someone weak against Melee.  Fajii is strong, and so is her pet.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Found one, check him out.

    Grinder Umax

    Air Elemental

    Primary Weapon: Air

    Secondary Weapon: Blessed Bow of Air

    [Notable Weaknesses]

    Melee Fighting/Nether

    [Highest Resistances]


    /Alpha: Fajii: That's the one.

    /Alpha: Shae: Go get him.

    /Alpha: Nix: Strike first and stay close to him.

    Nix moved closer and held out his hand.  "Tai'Qui made this; it will slow him down."

    Fajii accepted the mudpie with a slight smile and walked out to the center of the courtyard.

    [Summons: Rock Golem]

    Fajii has activated an Earth Shield.

    Fajii equipped a brutal looking mace and pointed it toward her target.  "Grinder Umax."

    The blue-robed man nodded in satisfaction.  "Begin."

    Fajii has activated her bloodline. [Second Form: Scorched Earth Archon]

    A flash of brown wings and Fajii closed on her target. Grinder's bow came up immediately and started firing.  The Alchemist responded by raising her Earth shield in front of her.

    Grinder has used [Clipped Wings: Artifact]

    One of Fajii's wings seemed to freeze in place, sending her spiraling downward at a steep angle.  The Aquarion slammed into the courtyard, making everyone in Inferno wince.

    Fajii has been stunned.

    Grinder has activated [Trueshot: Burst]

    Fajii has been critically wounded.

    Fajii has been Injured.


    Grinder pulled his string back again, but the Rock Golem moved in front of her and obstructed his shot.  "Gotta finish her!"

    Grinder has activated [Air Accel].

    Grinder's movement speed has been increased by 50 percent for 10 seconds.

    Grinder pulled out a dagger and flashed around the much slower Rock Golem. He slashed at the downed opponent, only to have his blade deflect off the rock shield that she suddenly raised.

    He retreated in a panic, switching out his dagger for his bow, just as he felt something strike him in the back.

    [Earth Slow: Dragon Master]

    Grinder has been slowed by 70 percent.

    Eron has cast [Healing Spirit] on Fajii.

    Grinder shouted in alarm, putting on a burst of speed, that lasted only a few seconds before he was put into slow motion. He spun and brought up his bow, but it was too late.

    [Rock Slam]

    Grinder was sent skidding across the courtyard, by the boulder encased fist of Fajii.

    Grinder has been stunned.

    The Aquarion charged the downed opponent and pounded him until he disappeared.

    [Winner: Fajii]
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