441 Four Corners: Dhou part two

    Shae led the way through the earth's crust.  The rock and soil melted as soon as it contacted her salamander form.  The small group traveled downward at a steep angle, Pon had his hud up and was monitoring their progress.  In the middle of the group, Hyai moved easily; her Djinn form had no problems keeping up with her Archon teammates.

    /Fire: Shae: You doing okay, Hyai?

    Not much was known about the Gemini Djinn; unlike other fire mages, mana wasn't consumed when it fought.  The salamander kept a close eye on her friend; the innkeeper was an important part of Nix's inner circle.

    /Fire: Hyai: Yes.  This is like walking for me, no problems at all.

    /Fire: Pon: Hold up...

    The group stopped while Pon studied his hud.  "We're close to where Tai's scouts stopped. There are passages ahead."

    The iridescent salamander closed her eyes for a moment.  "There are people close by, lots of them."  Shae morphed into her human form and quickly found the entrance to the passage. The group paused for a moment at the sight of a large arched entrance.

    /Fire: Pon: Stealth up!

    The fire team stealthed up just as the passage glowed; a moment later, the sound of footsteps walking away could be heard.

    /Fire: Pon: I'll go first.

    The old man stepped into the archway, his eyes darting in all directions.  Unexpectedly he felt a bit of pressure from being in a group with Hyai and Shae.  If something happened to either of them, he'd have to explain it to Nix.

    /Fire: Pon: Damn... A portal, wonder where it goes?

    /Fire: Shae: Oasis, perhaps?  There's no way to know without using it.

    /Fire: Hyai: It could be a one-way trip, we won't know unless...

    Shae nodded in agreement.  "Just this once, I'll summon him."

    A surprised Nix appeared in front of the group a moment later, the angry look on his face quickly fading when he found himself among his friends.

    Nix has joined the Fire Team.

    /Fire: Nix: Need back-up already?

    /Fire: Pon: No.  We need a Breach Commander.

    Pon pointed toward the portal behind Nix.  "A group arrived through that platform and headed down this passage.  It would be nice to know where they came from."

    "Makes sense."  Without saying anything further, Nix stealthed up and stepped onto the platform.

    [You have entered Khione's Stronhold]

    All Elemental abilities, with the exception of Ice, Water, and Lightning, have been disabled.

    Personal Communications have been disrupted.

    Nix opened a breach and returned to his previous location.

    Nix has rejoined Fire Team. He smiled at the group.  "Guess where it leads?"

    /Fire: Pon: Oasis.

    /Fire: Shae: Colonial.

    Nix shook his head slightly.  "Khione's Stronghold."

    /Fire:Pon: F*ck... Really?

    /Fire: Nix: Yep.  Proceed with the mission, find out where this passage leads, and I'll contact you in a few hours.

    /Fire: Shae: Understood.  Cya Nix.

    /Fire: Hyai: Bye, Hun.


    Instead of creating a breach back to Belatora, Nix went to the old guardhouse in Ionova.  All three Trams were sitting at a small wooden table busily fletching arrows.

    "Put those away and grab the Orions.  I'm taking you into the field."

    Nix struggled to keep the smile off his face when all three of them exploded into action.  Within a minute, three of the large black predators were standing in front of him.  "Time to go."

    [Create Breach: Ionova: Belatora War Camp]

    /Alpha: Ronnie: Nix is back.

    Alpha Team was standing in a group outside of the Command Tent when Nix returned.

    Ginger has joined Alpha Team.

    Theo has joined Alpha Team.

    Mik has joined Alpha Team.

    /Alpha: Bali: My kids!

    The tiny ranger charged at the nearest cat and hugged its neck tightly.  "Which one are  you?"

    "Ginger..."  The black pushed her soft muzzle against the side of Bali's face, making her smile even wider.

    /Alpha: Bali: Thanks, boss.  I'll put them to work.

    /Alpha: Nix: What's the latest on the missing army?

    /Alpha: Wind: Bali was able to track them to a dead-end valley a few miles from here.  I sent Fey back to Zags to brief Darsi and Ducky, the three of them are going to keep tabs on Aledo.

    /Alpha: Nix: Good thinking.  We have our first Titan convert.  Hostil from the Desert Fox Clan has activated his bloodline.

    /Alpha: Ronnie: Holy crap... Already?

    /Alpha: Nix: Yes.  Also, I sent Nihlus to challenge the Red Lion Clan's totem beast; with any luck, they'll become the White Lion Clan.

    /Alpha: Bali: You've been busy, boss.  Anything else?

    /Alpha: Nix: Yep.  The Fire Team found a portal stashed in an underground passage.  Leads directly to Khione's Stronghold.

    /Alpha: Wind: Serious?  Did you go there?

    /Alpha: Nix: Yep.

    /Alpha: Bali: Fearless... That means you can breach directly in.

    /Alpha: Nix: That's what it means. There were a few issues.  Most of my elemental abilities were immediately sealed.

    /Alpha: Wind: She's an Ice user... What else was left?

    /Alpha: Nix: Ice, Water, and Lightning.

    /Alpha: Wind: Lightning?  Can Khione use that?

    /Alpha: Nix: I think we'd be smart to assume that she can, or perhaps she has a minion or artifact capable of lightning damage.

    /Alpha: Ronnie: Too bad she isn't a Nether user, you could just waltz in and kick her ass.

    Nix summoned Nightmare and mounted up.  "Show me where the army disap... The F*ck are you doing here?"

    Nix has used [Napalm: Ice Flames]

    A large blue orb formed in Nix's hands, quick as a flash, he threw it at his target.  Unfortunately, the beast dodged and charged into tent city.

    Ronnie frowned at the tent that was suddenly engulfed in flames.  "Hey... I slept there last night."

    The bleating sound of a goat echoed in tent city, Nix's aura lit up, causing Nightmare to do the same.

    Bali stared at Nix and then Nightmare, her pretty face blushing bright red.

    [Whisper: Ronnie to Bali]  It's hot when he does that, right?  You're staring again.

    [Whisper: Bali to Ronnie] He really hates that goat.

    /Alpha: Wind: Problem boss?

    /Alpha: Nix: Problem?  Why would there be a problem?

    Nix dropped his flame aura and waited while Bali mounted up. "Lead the way."

    Bali nodded.  "Trams, I want you to establish a perimeter here at camp.  Roving single guards, five minutes apart."

    /Alpha: Ginger: Understood.

    Alpha Team rode toward the far end of the valley, the tracks of the fleeing army were clearly evident, even to the untrained eye.

    /Alpha: Nix: STOP!!

    [Create Breach: Belatora: Solomon City: Greater House of Inferno]

    /Alpha: Nix: Through the breach now!

    Used to following orders, Wind charged through in without hesitating, Bali and Ronnie followed close behind.    Nix slid off of the back of Nightmare and unsummoned her; a moment later, the breach closed.

    "Why are you hiding?"  Nix stared into a large empty area before pushing white flames into Wrath.  "Does a dragon need to hide from me?"

    There was no answer to his words.  The soft summer breeze pushed gently at the knee-high grasslands.  "Dragon Master Sinfaya, right?"

    [Note: Sinfaya is a Dragon Master that hasn't been seen since Chapter 406.  She is the third dragon chosen to go through Krelandur.]

    "How did you know?"  A lone armored figure appeared a few meters in front of him.  She wore dark armor; her long black hair flowed down her neck.

    "You breached Remi's army out of here.  Why?"  Nix walked toward her, closing the distance while he spoke.

    "You didn't answer me.  How did you know I was here?"  A large two-handed hammer appeared in one hand.  Unconsciously she took a step back; she could feel threat radiating off of him.

    [Elemental Shield: Earth][Ghost Step][Elemental Fist: Lightning]

    Triple Combination Successful.

    A rock shield appeared around Nix; an instant later, he appeared behind the startled Dragon Master.  Lightning crackled around his free hand, he feinted with a swing and then swept her legs.

    Sinfaya landed flat on her back, her dark eyes showing her surprise as she tried to roll free. She screamed in agony when the white sonic blade stabbed through her armor and chest, pinning her to the ground.

    Nix put a knee on her stomach, his hand steady on the hilt of Wrath.  "Attempt to change or move, and you won't like it.

    Sinfaya grimaced in pain; she could feel the sonic blade vibrating next to her heart.  "You dare attack me?"


    Breach Commander Mtui sat at his desk, a year earlier he would have been busy putting out dozens of different fires or even planning excursions into the Nether.  Things had changed so much since Inferno arrived in Solomon City.


    Mtui stared at the message in surprise.  "Since when did we start monitoring the dragons?"

    An instant later, two holos popped up in front of his desk.

    /Breach Commander Renz:  I received the alert from Belatora.

    /Breach Commander Polai: So did I.  What is going on, Elan?

    Commander Mtui shook his head.  "I have no idea."

    A breach opened up in front of his desk; a moment later, Deidra stepped through.  "Nix is in Belatora. Send everyone in now!" The Dragon Master summoned her weapon and armor with a wave of her hand and then vanished from sight.
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