479 Bonded Demon part one

    Semmi tiptoed out of the open barracks.  There were a dozen beds in the large room they were staying in. Wind was still gone, and a large black Orion took up Nix's bed.  The recruits were staying in the same room but closer to the door.

    She found him in the common area, with three rat-puppets in front of him.  "You're reputation for sleeping all the time is undeserved."

    Nix smiled at the blonde officer. "I do like to sleep in... However, I get a lot done in the late evening hours."  He scooted over when she plopped down beside him.  "You and Pon feel like a Virtuna excursion?"

    "Really?  Sure!  Who's coming?"

    Nix shrugged slightly.  "Perhaps Gideon, Darsi, Wind, and maybe a friend of mine from the outside."

    "Didn't realize you had friends outside of Colonial.  You never talk about them."  Semmi picked up one of the rings that Nix had already finished.  "You're placing Emperor level rat in these rings?  That's not like you."

    Nix gave her a deadpan look.  "Really?"

    Semmi blushed slightly and elbowed him.  "You know what I mean."

    Nix nodded slightly.  "I do.  However, these aren't Nether rats, just the common ones you find in any city.  You can buy 100 pelts for five credits, and there's an endless supply of them at the auction house."

    Shapeshifter Ring [Emperor Rat]

    Custom: Witchie Only

    Description: The common rat can go anywhere without being noticed. Rat's are immune to pestilence and have excellent night vision.

    1) Stealth: Common Rats have the ability to break off combat and immediately go into stealth.

    2) Dominate:  Although Common Rats do not possess high intelligence, this one can directly influence up to 100 other common rats.

    Semmi noted the size difference and the much lighter color.  Emperor Nether Rats were black and much larger.  If more than three of them came at you, it would be wise to retreat.  "You know... We aren't allowed to kill anyone when we do these city missions.  The pact still binds the Thieves Guild."

    Nix looked up from the crafting queue he was working on.  "Yeah, I know.  We'll go the diplomacy route."

    A loud laugh escaped Semmi's lips before she managed to suppress it.  "Are we talking real diplomacy?  Or Nix diplomacy?"

    "Is there a difference?"

    Semmi smiled widely, not bothering to hide her mirth any longer.  "Maybe a bit... Just do your best."


    A few minutes of walking brought the Gemini Thief to an intersection.  The path had widened to become two separate walkways with a vile looking river trickling through.  He had found the sewer.  There were small wooden footbridges crossing the sewage at regular intervals; the only real issue was dealing with the stench.  Lubo moved from Wind's shoulder to the inside pocket of the cloak he wore, a sure sign that the gecko didn't appreciate the smell either.

    Wind walked down the first side passage for less than a minute before turning around; he was in the middle of doing the same with the second when he spied another symbol drawn onto the wall.  He walked back to the intersection and dug an 'I' into the wall with an arrow pointing left.  The next ten minutes saw no other turns, and shortly after that, the tunnel dead-ended.

    "Fuck..."  Wind ran his hands over the nearby walls, looking for obvious triggers.  After finding nothing, he did the same with the floor and the low ceiling.

    Wind has activated [Shadow's Path]

    No secret paths have been located.

    Wind has used a [Discover Illusion] scroll.

    For a moment, the outline of a door formed in front of the Gemini thief.  Ignoring it, he spun around and quickly scanned the area behind him; a faint glow halfway down the passage caused him to break into a run.  By the time it faded, he was already standing in front of it.

    "Clever."  Wind touched the brick in question; his hands moved through the illusion and brushed against something metallic.  He pulled the lever and walked back toward the dead-end passage as the sound of rock scraping against rock filled his ears.  A second hall led from the sewers; this one was lined with torches.

    The steady beat of chanting caused him to hug one side of the passage, bent low with his dagger held outward; he advanced slowly.  His steps took him to a large room that looked like it was used for food storage; lights could be seen pulsing in the distance.  Instantly he was reminded of the old strobe lights from night clubs.  He found the source in the next room.

    A moment later, Wind stepped into a large circular room that was adorned with glowing symbols.  The chanting beat of an unknown language kept exact timing with the light given off by the runes.  He tightened his grip on his dagger and stared at the shadows gathered in the center of the room.

    Wind has activated Shadow's Vale.

    Wind's brown eyes turned black as night, and the shadows that had been impeding his vision started to fade.

    "The girl will be here in the morning.  We need her blood to ensure his cooperation."

    [New Quest Discovered: The Black Harvest]

    Black Harvest

    A coven of warlocks and witches have been operating in the shadows of Mocai.  After discovering an ancient ritual they have summoned a powerful demon to their cause.  Deal with this demon however you see fit.

    [Secondary Quest: Destroy the Coven]

    The Black Harvest has been responsible for the disappearance of dozens of innocents over the last few years.  Their actions have been without mercy, destroy this menace once and for all.

    A voice from a nearby hallway echoed in his ears; Wind moved back to the wall's edge and crouched down.  Although still steathed, he was well aware that his presence could be detected in other ways.

    Three men dressed in hooded robes walked to the center of the room; they stopped just short of the large circle in which their captive was imprisoned.

    "In the morning, we will bring one of the blood.  She will be our offering to you."  The cloaked man pulled back his hood to expose and old wrinkled face that was covered in tattoos.

    The demon had a long leather belt in one hand; he was scraping the buckle against the floor.  "Offering?  Rabi doesn't know what that means. Bring me some rats to eat... and some straw to sleep on."  He scratched his head while trying to remember what else was needed.

    The old man bowed slightly. "As you wish.  She is young and will make a beautiful bride.  Her screams will show you our dedication."

    The tiny demon stared at the three men, his understanding of humans being somewhat limited.  "Why would she scream?"

    "Humans always scream when they are consumed."  The man backed away slowly, and led the other two back the way they had come.

    Rabi stared for a moment before his dark eyes moved toward the Gemini Thief.  "What does consume mean?"

    Wind chuckled and shook his head slightly as he moved toward the center of the room.  "It means to eat!  What are you doing here, Rabi?"

    Rabi shrugged slightly.  "I was playing with Sasi, and then someone called my name.  Answering the voice seemed like it would be fun."  The demon collapsed on the ground and moaned loudly.  "Now, I have to make a rat so I can escape."

    "Are you a Taxidermist?"

    "No... I'm a demon."  Rabi started scraping his belt buckle again, pausing after a few seconds.  "They want me to eat my bride?"

    Wind stopped at the edge of the circle.  "I've seen her, much too small to eat."

    Rabi's head popped up.  "Small like Rabi?  Maybe we can play games and catch rats together."

    Wind didn't comment; he was unsure what Rabi considered marriage to be.  "What happens if I mess up this circle?"

    Rabi ran his dark finger over the edge of the buckle; Nix had made it look so easy.  "They come back for sure...  There are about two dozen of them."

    Wind whistled softly.  "That's a lot.  Hmm..."

    Rabi banged the buckle on the stone floor before growling at it.  "Stupid belt...  Think of something; Rabi wants to go home."

    Wind walked around the circle slowly; it would take someone versed in old magic to read anything.  "So, this is a group of magic users?"

    "It's a Coven, but they are calling themselves a Black Harvest."

    "Coven?"  Wind frowned as he considered the options.  Without a doubt, if Nix were here, the Coven would have been filled with scantily clad witches with loose morals.  "Any ideas?"

    Rabi shook his head slightly.  "Sasi does all the thinking.  Hey... Call Ducky here!"

    "Ducky?  That's Nix's companion; I can't summon her."

    Rabi made a face and decided to give up on making a rat puppet.  His dark eyes watched Wind as he slid the belt around his thin waist.  "Don't you have a spirit companion?"

    Wind nodded. "He's sleeping in my pocket right now... Try to keep your voice down."

    "Do you have a big bear?  Or maybe a giant turtle?"

    "Again, those are Nix's companions. I only have one."

    Rabi clapped his hands together excitedly.  "I will be your companion!"

    Wind had sparred with Rabi on several occasions while Nix and Chiba were at the House of Tempest.  The tiny demon was a peerless blade user.  "I'm not against it... Maybe I could summon you out of there."

    Rabi jumped up and down on the edge of the circle.  "That's a great idea!  Do that!"

    Wind stood on the edge of the circle and focused his thoughts on Rabi.

    [A Greater Demon-kin has offered you a Spirit Bond.  Do you accept?]
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