484 Demon Disappearance

    Tai watched while Nix considered her proposal.  "It's a lot to ask."

    Nix nodded in agreement.  "You want me to enhance the Titan puppets that Nihlus and Sindi are currently using with the dragon eggs they are encased in. That's a horrible idea."

    The Earth Dragon pursed her lips slightly; she had expected as much.  "I know they are using valuable puppets, but I'd be willing to compensate you."

    "Let's put aside the fact that they are Titan puppets, and I can no longer access Khalam'Zur to make more. If either of them is in a fatal fight right now, we lose the puppets, but they remain safe in your nursery."

    Tai placed her hand on his, a habit she was prone to doing.  "They'd keep the Titan bloodline and would probably develop their human form very quickly."

    Nix frowned at her words.  "They could die when we face Khione."

    "I know.  This is my request, not theirs.  They would possess both the Dragon and Titan bloodline."  Tai brought out a small stone token.  "If it comes to that, I will add my Khalam'Zur token to your payment.  That way, you wouldn't lose anything."

    "I'll consider it.  In addition to payment, there would be at least two prerequisites.  The first would be that we've already dealt with Khione.  The second would be that they permanently join Inferno."

    Tai leaned closer and kissed his cheek.  "You can be very diplomatic when you want to be."

    Nix crossed his eyes at her.  "That's what I keep saying."

    "I'm going to be keeping an eye on the Mayor's Mansion tomorrow when you guys go in.  There's something odd about it."  Tai stood up and opened a breach.  "Stop by the nursery when the job is done."

    Nix nodded and waved, well aware that the entire market was staring.  The ability to open a Breach was limited to Breach Commanders and Dragons.  He caught the eye of the old food vendor who had suddenly turned pale.  "Yeah... Remember what I said?"


    "Hun..."  Hyai nudged him gently while using a pillow to shield her eyes from the bright light of the holo that had suddenly appeared over their bed.  Fajii and Shae pulled the covers over their head and ignored the hovering dragon.

    "Deidra?"  Nix sat up slowly, his eyes focusing on the life-sized image of the Dragon Master.  "Something happened?"

    "Yes.  Sasi Qi has disappeared from the House of Tempest.  Her current status says that she can no longer be reached?"

    "Not be reached?  That isn't good."  Nix carefully slid out of bed.  "I'll be there in a few minutes."

    "Thank you."  Deidra showed a relieved expression; the House of Tempest was important to Solomon City and to her personally.  She closed the direct contact, leaving the ranch bedroom in darkness.

    Nix finished gearing up and glanced toward the bed, where three sets of eyes watched him.  "Heroes only on this one, until we figure out what is going on."

    Shae propped her head up with one hand.  "Make sure to report in when you know something."

    Nix nodded.  "I'll keep you posted. Bring Mina and Raine back from the Great Desert; I don't like the two of them out there by themselves."

    Shae smiled sleepily.  "Of course.  Go find Sasi."

    /Inferno: Nix: All available Heroes, report to the Gemini Temple.

    A few minutes later, Nix walked into the Gemini Temple.

    Nix has joined Alpha.

    /Alpha: Nix: Report.

    /Alpha: Jun Li: We're ready to go, sending you our raid sheet.

    Sharl: Tank

    Donri: DPS

    Darsi: DPS

    Ronnie: DPS

    Del: DPS

    Wind: DPS

    Semmi: DPS

    Pon: DPS

    Nix: DPS: CC

    Jun Li: Off Tank/DPS

    Nezbit: Heals

    Nix nodded to himself, a bit heavy on the DPS, but they could bring in companions to make up for the shortcomings.  He noticed Del on the list but didn't protest since she was a puppet and would be protected in the event of unavoidable death.

    /Inferno: Nix: I'm letting you come, Del, but keep in mind that if you get my puppet killed, the next puppet you get will be the pig from the Harvest Fest.

    /Inferno: Del: Noted, and thank you.

    /Inferno: Sharl: We are a bit light on heals.

    /Inferno: Nix: I can summon Shadai once we figure out what we are dealing with.

    /Inferno: Fajii: Eron is en route; he insists on coming.

    /Inferno: Nix: Thanks, that works.

    A few moments later, the small black fox appeared in front of Nix.  The Inferno Leader scooped him up and placed it on his shoulder.  "Thanks for coming."

    Eron's soft fur tickled the side of his neck as he yawned sleepily.  "You are worthy."

    /Inferno: Nix: Let's go.  We'll make adjustments as we go.

    [Create Breach: Gemini Temple: House of Tempest]

    Nix stepped thru the breach and was nearly bowled over by a hysterical Rabi.

    "Gone!  They snatched our Sasi!" The sobbing demon wrapped his arms around Nix's waist, stopping the Inferno Leader in his tracks.

    A familiar figure placed gentle hands on the tiny demon and eased him away from Nix. Mimi offered Nix a slight smile even though her beautiful face seemed worried.  "Diedra and Uta are upstairs in Rabi's suite. That's where Sasi was last seen."

    /Inferno: Nix: Semmi, come with me, the rest of you find out what you can down here.

    Nix made his way toward Rabi's room. To his surprise, Sinfaya was also there when he arrived.  "Why are you here?"

    Sinfaya forced a smile; the Inferno Leader made her nervous and was never overly friendly with her. "Deidra asked me to come when she noticed the presence of spatial magic." The dragon gestured toward the Bone Throne that was sitting in the center of Rabi's room.  "It's centered around this throne."

    Nix stared at the throne for a long moment.  "Nice chair.  Where did it come from?"

    Uta chose that moment to step from behind Deidra.  "Rabi brought it back from Mocai; Sasi was sitting on it when she disappeared."

    /Inferno: Nix: Need you up here, Wind.

    /Inferno: Wind: On my way.

    If Wind was surprised by the presence of the Throne when he entered the room a few minutes later, his face didn't show it.  Rabi had asked for the throne after they killed Atilla.  "What's up?"

    Nix gestured toward the Bone Throne.  "This thing seems related to Sasi's disappearance. What can you tell me about it?"

    "It belonged to Atilla, the boss of the Witch's Sanctum."  Wind considered the throne for a moment before taking an object out of his inventory.

    /Inferno: Wind: Let's ask him; I'll link the ring.

    Ring of Graves: Legendary

    Description: Summon up to three enemies you've slain to fight on your behalf. Enemy identities may be locked in.  The Ring of Graves will permanently store any three of your fallen foes.

    Spirits: 1/3

    1: Atilla

    /Inferno: Pon: Damn, you've been holding out on us.

    /Inferno: Sharl: Wear that when we kick Khione's ass, and you'll be the next Overlord.

    /Inferno: Wind: I didn't think of that; thanks for the heads up.

    Nix gestured toward a large empty space in the room.  "Let's have him.  He should know something about what's going on."

    Wind nodded and equipped the ring.

    [Summons: Atilla]

    A pale figure appeared in the room an instant later.  His skinny body was covered in tattoos, and dark antlers protruded from either side of his head.  He looked exactly the same as Wind remembered, except for the silver collar around his neck.

    Atilla scowled noticeably, his hand going to the collar around his neck while the other hand held a gnarled staff.  He bowed his head toward Wind.  "How may I serve you?"

    Wind ignored the malice in the Warlock's eye's and grabbed one of his antlers.  "One of our friends disappeared while investigating this throne.  Tell us why!"

    Atilla grimaced when his head was forced to one side, but he did nothing to rebel.  "If someone not of 'the blood' sits on the throne.  They would be taken to the Bone Fortress."

    /Inferno: Nix: This bastard's a witch?

    /Inferno: Wind: Yep.  Weak against flames too.

    /Inferno: Nix: Perfect.

    Bright Emerald flames enveloped Nix, instantly heating up the room.  Atilla's black eyes stared at the Inferno Leader as he instinctively pulled back from the flames.

    "Listen, Shithead.  I'm about to motivate you if you don't explain everything in detail.  I'll start by burning  off those branches that are sticking out of your ugly mug."

    Atilla panicked and stepped behind Wind, his pasty body instantly breaking into a sweat.  "The Bone Fortress belongs to the Undead!  Although by now, they should have been defeated."

    /Inferno: Semmi: Undead?  Keep him talking.  Ronnie, can you look up the Bone Fortress for us?

    /Inferno: Ronnie: Accessing my remote interface now.  I was hoping you could give me a bit more, but keep feeding me information through the guild chat.

    Nix let his flames go and stepped around Wind.  "Continue."

    "The Bone Fortress resides on an isolated Seed World.  It is the Undead's ancestral home; several decades ago, they were invaded by the forces of the Ice Witch.  She who leads all Covens."

    Nix smiled at Semmi; he could almost see the gears turning in her head.

    /Inferno: Semmi: Reference Seed World, Bone Fortress, and Ice Witch.

    /Inferno: Pon: Ice Witch?  Would that be Khione?

    /Inferno: Semmi: Maybe, but not necessarily.
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