465 The Ice Queen Cometh

    /Family: Nix: Did we get the Commander?

    /Family: Ducky: Yes.  Shall we start questioning him?

    /Family: Nix: No, stick a Blackhand on him and stow him at the Nether Fortress.  I want a cleric present when you question him.

    /Family: Ducky: Okay, we'll be back in position in a few minutes.

    /Family: Nix: Be careful, and thanks for the hard work.

    Ashobel Nix trotted back toward the east entrance of the hub, shaking his head slightly when he spotted an Ashobel bounding across the snow like a kangaroo.  "Having fun, Morti?"

    "Yep!"  Without stopping, the Ashobel continued his progress.

    The Ashobel puppets of Wind and Semmi were both standing at the entrance.  Since puppets were all the same, Nix couldn't tell one from the other.

    "That Domain is impressive."  Ashobel Semmi watched the frozen landscape while she spoke.  "How long until they try again?"

    Nix shrugged slightly.  "If I had to guess, I'd say less than a day.  We have everyone on standby, this time they'll be facing the 12 Pillars."


    Gideon sat comfortably on Nix's couch while he waited for word of the Battle at Gladis Hub.  "Damn, this is a nice place."

    "Can I get you something?"  Hyai smiled at him from the kitchen; the smell of baked bread filled the house.

    Gideon shook his head; he spent the morning with the Inn Keeper and was half-tempted to never leave.  "I'm getting spoiled."

    Hyai smiled.  "Nix did say that I should take care of you."

    A life-sized image of Nix appeared directly in front of Gideon a moment later.  "Check now."

    Gideon nodded and inhabited the mud encased puppet on his lap.


    "No contact?  You are saying that they are all dead?"  Khione's cold voice cut through the room. She leaned forward on her throne; a single barefoot was visible under the long pale-blue gown.

    The Su'Dhassi leader who had recommended attacking Loki nodded slightly.  It was Sazo who picked the Colonial target, a fact that caused the Su'Dhassi to breathe a sigh of relief.  "We have to assume that Sazo is either dead or captured."

    The Ice Goddess closed her eyes for a moment; her slender fingers traced a complicated pattern in the air.  A long Ice Sceptor appeared in her grasp a moment before her ice colored eyes blinked open.  "I cannon reach him, either he is dead, or an artifact is preventing my contact.  Nix must have been there somehow; it's the only explanation.  Time for this person to die."

    Gideon's eyes opened suddenly, and he jumped to his feet.  "We have to contact Nix!"


    Nix placed the Ashobel puppet back in the storage room; he decided after this battle he would recraft all of his armor. The Eidengal Armorer could reset the base stats and salvage the puppets he had altered them with.

    /Alpha: Honri: We wait now? Isn't our motto, Prey Waits?

    /Alpha: Semmi: My least favorite part of this.

    /Alpha: Nix: Grab something to eat, there's a...

    Nix's words trailed off when a life-sized holo of Tai'Qui appeared in front of him.  "Tai?  What's the matter?"

    "She's coming to Colonial Nix.  Khione is coming to kill you."  Tai'Qui brown eyes had none of their usual warmth.

    Nix stared at the holo for a moment.  "She coming by herself?  Or with an army?"

    "By herself, it sounds like, but she has the ability to open gates if she needs too.  I will contact Deidra and Sinfaya."

    Nix shook his head.  "I invited you to Haven to safeguard your offspring, not so that you could be slain in a minor altercation.  Do nothing."

    "Minor altercation?"  Tai glanced over her shoulder; Hyai's voice could be heard in the background.  "The Ice Goddess is not a minor altercation."

    /Alliance Command: Tharaka: Eastern fields, she's here.

    "Stay in Haven."  Nix closed the communication and headed toward the exit.

    /Alliance Command: Nix: On my way.

    Nix exited the Gladis Hub and stepped out onto the ice.  It crunched under his feet as he made his way to the edge of the field where Tharaka was standing.

    The Ashobel Chief carried a long spear in one hand.  "It's an Ice Dome."

    Nix summoned Nightmare and then swung easily into the saddle.

    [Battle Aura: Emerald Fury]

    Tharaka took several steps back, shielding his face from the intense heat.  "A Battle aura?"

    "A small upgrade."  Nix studied the space in front of them.  A large translucent dome had formed on the ice field; it was about a hundred meters in diameter and thirty meters in height.  The image of a lone figure could be seen inside.  He patted Nightmare's shoulder, causing her aura to flame up.  "Stay close."

    /Alliance Command: Nix: Gonna see what she wants.

    /Alliance Command: Jun Li:  Open a gate Nix, I'll bring the 12 Pillars!

    /Alliance Command: Nix: She wouldn't have come here if she was vulnerable to real death.

    Nix heeled his horse's flank, and she broke into a brisk trot.  Water splashed in her wake as they made their way toward the dome.  When they were nearly upon it, an archway appeared, and the demon horse entered.

    [You may not open Gates in the Fighting Arena.]

    [Death in the Fighting Arena will result in a permanent reduction in Stats]

    Nix slid off of Nightmare as they both dropped their auras.  He patted her gently on the hindquarters, sending her off to one side.  Unaware of the situation, the demon horse moved toward the edge, content to lick the ice.

    "Fighting arena?  Are we going to fight?"  Nix smiled pleasantly and drew both of his weapons.  He pushed Emerald fury flames into them, the cold air around him suddenly filled with the steady humming and crackling of fury flame.

    "Fight?"  Khione held a long blue scepter in one hand.  "I'm here to kill you."

    "That's unreasonable, isn't it?  Perhaps we could find a diplomatic solut..."

    [Storm Rider][Silent Summons][Flame Root]

    Triple Combination partially successful.

    Khione has resisted Silence.

    Khione has resisted Flame Root.

    Nix appeared behind the ice goddess, swinging both blades at once.

    Khione has been hit for light damage.

    Khione has deflected your strike.

    Khione raised her free hand and cast [Ice Asunder].

    Nix brought his blades up as a three-meter long ice spear rocketed toward him.  Stepping into the attack, he leaned away, and the last moment sent it back with a flick of his blades.

    Nix has used [Ice Deflection]

    Khione brushed the deflected spear aside with a bare hand.  "Not bad."  She raised her staff up when Nix suddenly vanished from sight, a flash of red and orange appeared directly in front of her.

    [Predatory Scream][Rend][Fire Storm]

    Triple Combination Successful.

    Khione has been slowed.

    Nix has landed a critical strike.

    Nix has landed a normal attack.

    A bone-chilling scream echoed in the arena as the flames swirling around the Phoenix transferred to Khione.  Several large slashes appeared on her blue gown just before she threw up an ice shield and retreated from the face of the inferno.

    The firebird pursued her, it flames snuffing out suddenly as it morphed into something else.

    [Petrify][Fanged Strike]

    Khione has resisted Petrify.

    Nix has landed a critical strike.

    Khione has been poisoned.

    The basilisk stopped the pursuit, moving quickly it lashed out with its impressive length.


    The scaled tail landed heavily on Khione's shield, sending her skidding across the ice, her bare feet left deep grooves in the ice.

    "You have grown."  Khione stood her ground when Nix broke off the pursuit.

    Nix dropped the reptile form and resummoned his blades.  "Let's just call this round two."
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