442 Four Corners: Dhou part three

    A black orb formed in the small space between Nix and Sinfaya, it exploded almost immediately causing his Earth Shield to fracture.  The Inferno leader was tossed into the air, he activated his bloodline and landed safely a few meters away from his opponent who was climbing unsteadily to her feet.

    "You are working with Khione?"

    "What?"  Sinfaya's pale face showed both pain and anger, she had one hand pressed to her chest.  "That really hurt!"

    Nix stared for a moment, the dragon's face scrunched up like she was going to cry.  "The hell are you doing?"

    Sinfaya ignored him and healed her wound. "I'm part of the rebellion." She sniffed her nose loudly, her voice shaking with emotion.

    "Er..."  Nix frowned and took note of his surroundings.  They were no longer in the valley outside of Belatora.  "Where are we?"  A quick look at his hud map told him that he was somewhere in Southern Oasis.

    "We aren't very far from Fraya'Selene."  Sinfaya stowed her hammer and walked toward him.  "I used a chasm stone to randomly send you to one of a dozen areas."

    "Right... You're here too."

    Sinfaya sighed.  "I'm actually not very good at most magic.  I specialize in spatial casting, unfortunately, that puts me in a support role."

    Nix grimaced as he put his weapon away.  "What kind of ** is that?  Can't you breathe fire? Do you even have a dragon form?"

    Sinfaya's human form morphed into a white dragon.  As dragons go, she about the same size as Fey and nowhere near Deidra's size.  Her scales glistened in the daylight and her lines were very sleek.  An instant later Nix was bathed in white flames.

    Nix gave her a deadpan look.  "Are you even an adult?  What's with those weak flames?"

    Sinfaya morphed back into her human form, her face red.  "You don't have to say such mean things."

    Nix frowned when she turned her back toward him and slumped her shoulders.  He found himself reminded of a moment when he hurt his younger sister's feelings as a kid.  Inexplicably he felt a rush of shame.  "I said too much."  He walked toward her and lay a hand on her armored shoulder, she was definitely crying.  A movement from the corner of his eye caught his attention.  Apparently, one of the Trams was caught up in the transport.  "You okay?"

    "Yes."  The black Orion answered with a distinctly feminine voice.

    "Stay close to me."  Nix waited while the large black cat moved beside him.  He scratched her ears out of habit before turning his attention back to Sinfaya, who was just managing to compose herself.  "Explain your relationship to the rebellion."

    Sinfaya nodded.  "My people aren't very powerful, in order to contribute, I've been fostering a force here in Mid-Everspire."

    Nix didn't have to fake a puzzled look.  "Contribute to what?"

    "Your war with Khione.  I could sense General Remis was one of Khione's people, so I was pushing back at them from behind the scenes."

    Nix scratched his head while considering her words.  "We don't even know each other.  Why would you get involved?"

    Sinfaya's dark eyes watched him. "Do you think Khione will stop if she beats you?"

    "No."  Nix understood Khione's motivation, her conquest would never stop.  "How did you build the rebellion?"

    "Half of them are my people in disguise.  My champion is the leader of the rebellion."  Sinfaya watched his reaction to her words.  "I've been expecting your arrival for a few weeks."

    Nix's guilt climbed slightly higher.  "Where is Remis's army?"

    "Dragon Fir Forest. I took advantage of their retreat into the valley to send them far away."

    "Dragon Fir?  Isn't that where the trials for the Provincial Dragon Academy were held?"  Nix remembered the week he spent hiding in his treehouse there while crafting.

    "You know about the Academy?"  Sinfaya smiled slightly for the first time.  "I guess it's true about you and Deidra."

    Nix frowned at the statement.  "What's true?"

    "That Deidra has taken a human lover."

    *Cough, Cough*

    "Really?  Who would say something so ridiculous?"  Nix felt a surge of nausea threaten to bring up his breakfast.

    "Jargon inquired about it during the parade.  Deidra refused to answer so I assumed it was true."

    "No.  Not true."  Jargon's name caused Nix's mood to worsen.  "Why would you say that just because I know about the Academy?"

    "Rumors said that Deidra brought a human challenger to the trials, but no one could confirm it."

    "Take me to the Rebel Camp. I'm already getting tired of Mid-Spire."  Nix waited while she opened a breach, he gestured for the black feline to follow and stepped through.

    [Whisper: Wind to Nix] You okay boss?

    [Whisper: Nix to Wind] Yes.  I sensed a hidden dragon, so I sent everyone away.

    [Whisper: Wind to Nix] Was it Jargon?

    [Whisper: Nix to Wind]  No.  It was Sinfaya, she walked with Deidra and Tai'Qui during the parade of dragons.

    [Whisper: Wind to Nix]  How would you know that boss?  Since you didn't come with us?

    [Whisper: Nix to Wind]  Fine... I was flying the Titan Falcon.

    [Whisper: Wind to Nix] Knew it!  What should we do now?

    [Whisper: Nix to Wind] Have Tai or Deidra send you back to tent city.  I'll join up with you guys after I meet up with the rebellion.

    [Whisper: Wind to Nix] Sounds good boss.


    /Fire: Pon: I didn't see that coming.

    /Fire: Shae: Same here.

    /Fire: Hyai: How'd they even build this?

    The Fire Team followed the passage until it opened up into a city-sized cavern. An entire city had been constructed far beneath Khione's stronghold.  Merchant's hawked their goods in an open market while customers of all races walked through the streets.

    /Fire: Pon: Keeping something like this secret is even more impressive.

    [Pon has become the first player to enter Ice'Enguarde]

    [Pon's World Reputation has increased by 100]

    [Pon has earned the Title "Ice Explorer,"  All Stats have been increased by 10]

    Pon's old face cracked in a wide smile.  "Free **... I love it."

    The temperature of Ice'Enguarde was normal, with the exception of being underground, it seemed like any other city in Colonial.  There were men and women of all shapes and sizes, children played in the streets while the city guard patrolled.  Brillant orbs of light hung in the air, providing a 'daylight' experience of the occupants.

    /Fire: Pon: This is trouble...

    /Fire: Hyai: Can we really destroy the ice seeds with this city here?

    /Fire: Shae: No, it would destroy this place.  Let's gather information, Nix will be contacting us soon.


    Author's Reminder: Muncie returns in the next few chapters.  He's the NecroSkeletal Animator that Inferno recruited from the conflict with Vega.  Nix was able to rebuild the damaged dragon puppet by shrinking it down to .25.  Since then, Muncie moved to Haven where he has been staying near the top of the Dragon Fir tree with the Drakes and Fey.

    The dragon spread its wings and shot into the clouds, leaving the pursuing drakes far behind.  They'd been training for several days in Haven's Desert, oddly enough the dragon puppet changed color to reflect the environment.

    The yellow dragon hid in the clouds and activated its dragon vision, the entire group of drakes became visible in the distances.  Muncie discovered that he could use dragon vision and fear in addition to dragon flame. He wanted to show Fey, but she was on a mission with Nix.


    Author's Reminder: Fajii and her Acolytes have taken on the mission of eradicating the Disciples from the Temple of Khione, thanks to Leva and Ducky, they were able to find the locations of the future temple sites.


    Fajii waited patiently while the last team moved into position.  She sat comfortably on the fountain bench near the Jenzi Market place in Colonial.

    /Scorched Earth: Fajii: Report.

    /Scorched Earth: Sori: Safarza team in position.

    /Scorched Earth: Chu: Escovar team in position.

    /Scorched Earth: Meca: Broyan team in position.

    /Scorched Earth: Fajii: Go!

    Fajii stood up, her brown eyes focused on her target.   Three men stood in the center of the Jenzi Market handing out pamphlets and speaking to the crowd.  They'd been coming to the market for a few days, but as of yet were unable to find much of an audience.

    "The great Ice Goddess sacrificed herself to save Colonial from the Aquarions!  Don't let the stories of the outworld Hero sway you from the path of truth!  How would a team of a few dozen defeat a hundred thousand?  You are being lied to!  It was Khione who destroyed the Aquarion Stronghold!"

    Fajii accepted a pamphlet from the man speaking, carefully stowing it in her inventory without looking at it.  "What Aquarion Stronghold were you talking about?"

    The man smiled pleasantly.  "Are you from Oasis?  You look like a Su'Dhassi."

    Fajii nodded in agreement.  "I  have heard stories about a Cai'Song Artifact, but there's never been mention of a Stronghold."

    The man was young and quite handsome.  His intelligent brown eyes were filled with confidence.  "That's just a story, Sister.  Inferno has taken the credit for someth..."

    His words were cut off abruptly when a large leather bag settled over his head, it was pulled down to his ankles before being cinched tightly with a cord.  The dull thunk of a club striking his head caused the bag to collapse onto the ground.

    Fajii nodded to her acolytes as they picked up the three bodies.  She activated Deep Blue and chose Ionova HQ.

    "This way, Fajii."  A familiar voice spoke to her when she appeared in the Courtyard of Ionova HQ.  Tai'Qui offered her a smile and motioned to a small building that was being used as temporary confinement.

    Fajii stood outside the door, waiting while her acolyte teams appeared one by one.  Within a few minutes, all of them had arrived.  "Is this secure?"

    Tai smiled and nodded slightly.  "I've placed enchantments on the building, no one is leaving without my permission. Make sure to keep the bags on them."

    "Understood."  Fajii received the bags directly from Tai, they were designed to stop Khione from spying in case one of them possessed Khione's Eye.  "We have a meeting in a few hours.  Want to stay with me?"

    Tai let a smile curve her full lips. "At the Turtle House?"

    Fajii nodded.  "Everyone else is gone, it's just me and Nansu."
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