20 Unexpected Company
Nix smiled at the rather impressive view. Hyai was sitting at the foot of his bed dressing while humming softly to herself. There was something incredible about the way she put on her bra. Gently holding her soft breast in one hand while lifting it and placing it neatly in its silky pocket. He sighed contently, it's great to be the Underwear King.
Two weeks had passed since the Allied Raid on the Aquarions. The Provost Office in Jenza built a Manta Stable right inside the city. They oversaw the operation and sales in exchange for a slightly bigger piece of the pie. A pie that they shared with the Salamander Guild and the Daybreakers.
The Sea Beast bracelet he had given the Alliance was only capable of taming Mounts. It didn't have a stable or any other options. Because of this, Manta hunting had become big business. Originally Manta mounts were going for 8 or 9 million credits. These prices dropped to around 5 or 6 million as more people began hunting Manta and selling them to the Provost Stable. Nix was one of these hunters, he would get one million per animal. Unlike other hunters, his mantas were never damaged, and he'd sell them in groups of twenty. The rest of the hunters would turn in slightly injured beasts and in quantities less than five.
Hyai looked over her shoulder at him. "What are you planning for the day?"
Since the show was over, Nix decided to get dressed. "I'll drop off some product at Shana's, then I'm going to meet up with the Daybreakers and resume the search."
With humans suddenly possessing flying mounts, the Aquarions were being constantly hunted. The predator had become the prey. The Burning Sea guild had colluded with the enemy, once the word had been spread, they were forced to hide. Nix had taken up a quest to root out the Burning Sea once and for all.
Hyai bent down and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Be very careful Nix. They are a bit more powerful than they were when I ran with them. I hear rumblings of someone called Alpha."
"We've heard those same rumblings. Don't worry, I'll stick with the Daybreakers."
An hour later Nix had dropped off the product for the boutique and was heading for his rendezvous with the Daybreakers in Broyan. At the last minute, he decided to leave the Turtles at the Lake Cavern. Broyan was completely landlocked and the turtles would be at a disadvantage on land.
He turned them loose in the lake, but not before giving each of them a Manta pearl to eat. He had saved a white one for Soup like he always did. "You're so spoiled. Stay and relax, I'll summon you if I need too."
Although Soup didn't communicate with him, he had the feeling she knew exactly what he wanted. He laughed when she took the pearl and hid at the lake bottom. All the turtles had their own places they would eat.
"It's interesting that you've brought so many animals here." A figure spoke softly from the doorway of the hut. She wore black leather gear with a mask that covered her face, she had her hands held out straight in a gesture that showed she was unarmed.
Both of Nix's hands glowed orange. He had been working with Pon every day, he could now hold five flame strands. He had locked his level at 50 and was working on building his strength. He kept his face expressionless, he had thought that he was absolutely safe here. "You're trespassing friend and I'm in a bit of a rush."
"I mean you no harm. On the contrary, we are allies."
"I'll choose my own allies. Five seconds to explain things before I motivate you."
"I'm Filamina of the Souza Accord."
[You have discovered the real name of the Hidden Faction]
[Your actions have allied you with the Souza Accord.]
Nix studied the mysterious woman. "So we are allies. We'll get back to that, how did you enter this place?"
She held up her arm and showed him a bracelet. "The same way as you, of course, Deep Blue."
He stared at the bracelet she was wearing, it appeared to be just like his. "Where did you get that? I'm getting tired of having to press through your vague answers."
"Sorry... Truth is I'm scared of you, even though we are allies." She raised up her hands and pulled down her hood.
Nix stared in shock, of all the things... She had shoulder-length white hair that was tied up in a ponytail. Her face was ghost white, she stared at him with pale alien eyes. "An Aquarion?"
She watched him for a reaction. He was already being talked about among her people. Stories of his fire ropes were widely known, once he put them on you, you were dead. "Please don't attack me."
"Okay, I'll admit that surprised me." Nix's heart was slowly starting to recover, an Aquarion was the last thing he expected.
"I have this bracelet because this Lake Cavern once belonged to my family. The bracelet you have was in the possession of my brother."
"He ambushed me, and I took it off his corpse."
"I figured so, he was someone who liked to kill, even when it had no purpose."
Nix moved a few steps closer, she wasn't as tall as most Aquarions, but her ears and serene beauty bore the trademarks of her kind. "Are you here for revenge?"
"No, my brother and I were mortal enemies. I only dared come here because he hadn't been seen in such a long time." She took off the bracelet and tossed it to him. "There are only two of these, so no more surprise visits."
Nix stowed the second Deep Blue bracelet. "Why are you here?"
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"My people have been split by rebellion. My faction desires peaceful co-existence with your race. Our ideas of peace have caused us to be cast out and hunted down by our own kin."
"By exposing the Aquarion agenda to Colonia, I helped you?"
"Yes, mostly." She took a few steps closer, her hands clasped behind her back. She had been looking for him for weeks, it had only occurred to her recently that he may have been the one to slay her brother.
"Say I believe you. What do you want from me?"
"I"ll share everything I know, even if you don't help." She stared at his yellow eyes, they weren't nearly as frightening as the stories stated.
"The Ricoli artifact you have. It would have given you the Sea-Beast Master attribute. Right?"
She unconsciously took a step back, a sense of danger emanated from him. "The Ricoli artifacts are charged with a single-use support skill. You took yours from Phaedra, she already possessed a rare attribute, so the Sea Beast Skill in her artifact would have been unused."
"Isn't that a huge waste of power?"
"The rare attribute she possessed was the Matriarch Skill, that takes up all the rating points. All future Matriarchs have it. Once she became a Matriarch, her skills would have reset and then she would have used the Ricoli."
Nix considered the possibility that she was telling the truth but something didn't seem right. "So all Matriarchs have the Sea Beast skill?"
"Yes, after they become Matriarchs, they use the Ricoli artifact to become Sea Beast Masters."
"Then why didn't the Matriarch from the raid, use it on my people?"
"She had recharged it and gave it to Phaedra to replace the one that you took. The Sea Beast Master skill can only be used when wearing the Ricoli artifact."
"Is that right?" He slid off the Ricoli artifact and stowed it away.
A moment later the surface of the lake erupted as the turtles burst out of the water and surrounded him.
The Aquarian gasped in surprise, "you don't need it."
"No, Not after I learned the skill."
She shook her head and repeated herself. "None of us can use it without wearing the artifact."
"I only need it to tame new Sea Beasts or mounts. I don't wear it otherwise."
"What about the artifact you gave the Allies?"
Nix frowned at the Aquarion woman," you are remarkably well informed."
She looked down at the ground, "I want to gain your trust, but I have no idea what I should say."
Nix nodded, " On that we agree. As for the allied artifact, they have the original one that I used to train the skill."
"That means that the charged artifact that Matriarch Selune gave to Phaedra..."
"Is in my possession," Nix finished the sentence for her. "Wait, you can recharge the artifact?"
Nix nodded, "okay, that is reasonable. Why would the Matriarch do that?"
"Phaedra was an extremely important person."
"I'm having a hard time trusting you. Sorry."
"I can tell you about this place if you like. My father created it with a world seed."
"Shit... I've been trying for weeks to find out what they are used for. Why would I be awarded something without any directions?"
"World seeds create a world space like this." She hesitated before continuing, "World seeds can also be added to existing spaces."
Nix looked around the Lake Cavern, although a bit small, it had grown on him. "Why would I want to do that?"
"World spaces have limited space, so two added together make a bigger one."
He looked at the small hut, "I definitely don't want to lose that bed."
She smiled knowingly, " As I remember, it is very comfortable. I use to come here often as a child."
"So you know how to activate the World Seed?"
"Call me Mina." She stepped closer and held out her hand.
"Nix," he shook her hand. It was small but he got the sense of incredible physical strength.
"To use a World Seed by itself, activate it anywhere and it will build the space according to its specifications."
Nix nodded, "that makes sense. What about the adding thing you mentioned?"
"To add it to an existing space, you must be inside the space when you activate it."
"I see, so if I want to keep the space from the Lake Cavern, I could activate it now."
Nix grinned at her. "That's very interesting."
[Do you wish to activate the World Seed?]
[You are inside an existing World Space, the two spaces will be combined and the current portal keys will remain active. Do you wish to continue?]