476 Sentence Reductions

    Raine couldn't take her eyes away from the woman sitting on the dock.  Dozens of Air Raptors and Sea Hunters flocked around her as she sang quietly.  She knew from Fajii that both the Raptors and Hunters had started out as animations that Nix created before inserting the elemental essences that Inferno had recovered.  [Reference Chapter 334] Inferno was actively changing the world around it, while her own people were too self-involved to bother.

    "I like the song."  Raine was wearing the armor that Nix upgraded; she felt uncomfortable in normal clothes.  "I'm Raine."

    The woman turned toward her, causing the Fir'Dhassi to gasp in amazement.  She possessed an ethereal beauty that was similar to Chiba.  "I am Delia, an Intrepid."

    Raine recognized the name from one of the stories Nix had told her.  Delia the Beautiful had the ability to create magic-free zones.  The drawback was that doing so would result in her death.

    "Why do you look sad?"  Delia could sense the various emotions going through the Fir'Dhassi's head.

    Raine forced a smile and shrugged.  "Man troubles... As unlikely as that would be for me."  She nearly laughed when she said it. A rival sabotaged the nice moment that she was about to share with him.

    "I'm sure everything will work out." Delia smiled and held her hand out to one of the Sea Hunters that was trying to crawl onto her lap.  "Is this man trouble related to the Inferno Guild Leader?"

    "Indirectly, but I'm not afraid of a little competition."  Raine knelt next to her when one of the Sea Hunters extended its soft nose.

    "If this is Nix, then you know it's a bit more than a 'little competition."  Delia smile widened, "rumors say you have the advantage."

    Raine clucked her tongue at the sea hunters, stroking the head of the nearest.  "Normally, I'd be upset if there were rumors, but that particular one makes me feel better."

    "Ready?" Jun Li stood at the edge of the dock with Pon, an Aquarion male and a woman she'd never seen before.

    Raine nodded.  She had asked Nix to let her come with them to Mocai, but admittedly being stealthy wasn't one of her strong points.

    Raine has joined Bravo Team.

    /Bravo: Jun Li: Welcome.

    /Bravo: Pon: Hey, Raine.

    /Bravo: Nezbit: Heyas.

    /Bravo: Milat: Welcome.

    /Bravo: Raine: Thank you.


    "Three deaths is a bit much."  Semmi shook her head when LuAnne finished explaining the predicament of the Guild.  "This affected 9 members of the guild?"

    LuAnne nodded solemnly.  "Since the no-casualty pact was broken, we were obligated to compensate the families of those who were killed.  Additionally, we have to serve fifteen years for each victim."

    Nix glanced at Wind, who seemed to be staring extra hard at LuAnne.  "You're talking incarceration?  Each member of the mission team gets forty-five years?"

    LuAnne shook her head slightly.  "The team can divide the penalty however they like.  They elected for five years each."

    [Whisper: Nix to Wind] Why are you staring at her?

    [Whisper: Wind to Nix]  She looks exactly like my first girlfriend.  Even the voice is the same; it's a bit uncanny.

    Semmi whistled softly.  "Even five years will cripple the guild."

    "Cut to the chase.  How can we gain your support?"  Nix wasn't sure how trustworthy she was but the quest obligated them to assist her.

    "Recruitment or City service," LuAnne paused before continuing.  "Perhaps a bit of both."

    Nix shared a glance with Semmi, his pet peeve was people who talked in circles.  "Define both of those for us."

    "Recruitment is exactly like it sounds.  We need at least a half-dozen viable candidates to replace the ones in prison."

    /Alpha: Semmi: Let's just do a jailbreak!  I always wanted to take part in your specialty!

    /Alpha: Wind: Yes!  Let's do it!

    /Alpha: Nix: Wait... My specialty is breaking out of jail?

    /Alpha: Semmi: Obviously.

    /Alpha: Wind: Fraid so.

    /Alpha: Del: Really?  That's so interesting!

    Nix gave his team a sour look before turning back to LuAnne. "Is jailbreak an option?"

    LuAnne shook her head.  "No, then we'd be outlaws and never be able to work again.

    /Alpha: Wind: No jailbreak?  This is lame.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Agreed.  You did bring rat puppets, right?

    /Alpha: Nix: Of course.  I am the Rat King after all.

    Semmi nodded happily.  "What is City Service?"

    "We are allowed to do jobs for the city.  The reward for these tasks are reductions in sentence."  LuAnne studied the group while they held private conversations.  In addition to being well equipped, two of them walked like thieves.  "With hard work, we are allowed to reduce the prison time significantly."

    "How significantly?"  Nix felt a warm muzzle nudge his arm, without thinking about it he scratched the panther's ears.

    "Down to one year for each member of the team."  LuAnne felt the pressure of four pairs of eyes watching her.  "I'm willing to be flexible on the recruitment portion, however, I must insist on the sentence reductions.  Do that, and we have an accord."

    "I'll work on recruitment."  Wind spoke up suddenly, surprising the small group.

    /Alpha: Semmi: She just said we could pass on that.

    /Alpha: Wind: I know, but I don't think we should do the bare minimum here.

    /Alpha: Nix: Is recruitment really your thing?  You're a bit gloomy.

    /Alpha: Wind: Thanks, I didn't realize.  Don't worry, I can handle it.

    /Alpha: Semmi: We should be able to handle the jobs with three of us.

    /Alpha: Nix: Have at it then.

    "We agree."  Nix stood up slowly, stretching slightly while waiting for his team.  "Where can we find the job listings?"

    LuAnne pointed to a wall-mounted kiosk.  It bore a remarkable resemblance to the Dragon City interface from the Infusion chambers.  "Do you know how to use this?"

    Nix nodded.  "Will you have to enable me?"

    LuAnne led them to the kiosk and opened the user interface, with a few quick keys she enabled User: Nix.  "I'm only enabling you, and that will be limited to City Jobs."

    "Fine with us." Nix waited until she stepped aside before keying up the menu.

    [Welcome to the Thieves Guild, User: Nix]

    I. Job Search

    II. Performance Review [Disabled]

    III. Recovered Items [Disabled]

    IV. Stolen Items [Disabled]

    V. Active Roster [Disabled]

    LuAnne singled out Wind.  "Let me show you around, and give you a few ideas regarding your task."

    /Alpha: Wind: Sweet... The seedy underworld beckons.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Don't get arrested.  Unless you want to.

    /Alpha: Nix: Keep in touch.

    "Sounds good."  Wind followed her toward the door, nearly running into her when she stopped.

    "Our barracks is currently empty, the four of you can bunk there."  LuAnne left without saying anything else.

    /Alpha: Semmi: We staying here?  That seems a bit more fun than shuttling back and forth.

    /Alpha: Nix: Yeah, we'll stay.

    "Open Job Search."

    [Welcome to the Thieves Guild, User: Nix]

    I. Job Search

    a) City Sponsored

    b) Guild Jobs [Disabled]

    c) Special Hirings [Disabled]

    "Open City Sponsored."

    [Welcome to the Thieves Guild, User: Nix]

    City Sponsored Jobs: Current debt: 45 years.

    (Seven tasks currently available)

    1) Free Trader City: City Production Scroll -5 years.

    2) Ever Flame: Flying Mount Stable Scroll -5 years

    3) Free Trader City: Mayor Huelix's Journal -10 years

    4) Oasis, Inuit:  World Seed, 2nd Tier  -10 years

    5) Dragon City, Talumbir:  Jargon's Trident  -15 years

    6) Oasis, Unknown:  Chiba's Bottomless Flask  -25 years

    7) Oasis, Haven: Demon Horse  -100 years

    /Alpha: Semmi: According to LuAnne, we can reduce the time down to one year each.

    "Mother **ers...  Damn bastard asses!  Demon Horse in Haven?  I'll burn this place to the ground!"  Nix keyed option seven while the air around him started to warm up noticeably.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Careful boss, this place is made of wood.

    [Task 7]

    A demon horse has been seen in Everspire and throughout the known realms.  Several powerful figures have requested that we acquire the horse known as Nightmare.  It has a flame aura and will aggressively defend its master.  The current owner resides in Haven but has been known to leave frequently.  This is a multi-guild event.

    [Difficulty Rating SSS]

    Semmi bit down on a smile.  "Chiba's on there also."

    Nix gritted his teeth, forcing himself to close the screen.  "I know where to go if my horse ever disappears."

    Semmi gave him a questioning glance.  "Seen Chiba's bottomless flask?  What's that about?"

    Nix shook his head slightly.  "Don't even think about taking booze away from someone like Chiba.  It's an artifact level item that creates an endless supply of whatever alcohol is poured into it."

    Semmi laughed at Nix's serious expression.  She was aware that the master/student relationship was quite strong.   His loyalty would forbid him from even considering it.  "Lots of interesting jobs."

    /Alpha: Nix: Preferences?

    /Alpha: Semmi: Jargon Kane, that guy has it coming.

    /Alpha: Del: Anything in Inuit sounds good.

    /Alpha: Semmi: Let's start easy, up to you Boss.

    /Alpha: Nix: Free Trader City has two missions, we can knock them both out.

    /Alpha: Semmi: That's 15 years between the two of them.

    /Alpha: Nix: Right... Unless we decide to keep it and never turn it in.

    /Alpha: Del: Is that an option?

    /Alpha: Nix: It's always an option.
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