33 Assault on Berma part two
The door led to another half flight of stairs and ended in a storage room. Crates and containers were all stacked neatly in sturdy-looking wood shelves. There were a few torches lit in the room, Nix snuffed them out before moving to the next door which opened into a huge cellar. This room was kept dark but Nix had no issues seeing as he ducked and weaved his way around the hanging vegetables to the exit.
There were two men working in the kitchen when he stepped in. Neither one of them seemed to mind his sudden appearance, they had both been beaten badly, bruises and cuts covered their swollen faces. Nix understood immediately and slid his mask off. "I'm not with them."
The larger of the two men had cuts and scrapes on both knuckles so it was obvious that he had put up a fight. He had brown hair and pockmarks could be seen through the bruises. "Are you with the army sir?"
Nix shoot his head, "I'm with the Alliance. Tell me everything you can about the wolf-masks on this floor."
"I'm Topper, the cook here and this is my assistant. What alliance are you talking about?"
"The Inferno Guild and the Souza Accord. How many wolf-masks on this level?"
"This level is primarily for staff. It has the laundry, kitchens and the servant's quarters." Topper took a quick look down the hall, "you'll want to head up to the next level. That's where most of them are."
"What's in this thing?" Nix opened the top of a steel barrel next to the stove. "Cooking grease?"
Topper nodded, "Lard sir."
"Throw that barrel on the stove, I want it all melted. "Where are the exits?"
Topper and his assistant lifted the heavy barrel onto the top of the stove. "There are two exits, two men are guarding each."
"They inside or out?"
"Outside in the courtyard, along with their beasts."
"Need you to help me, Topper. Is there a way for the help to leave without alerting the men outside the door?"
Topper glanced at his assistant and then nodded, "we've been told that if we leave, all of us will be hunted down by their beasts and eaten."
Nix laughed at the lame threat. "There won't be a single person or beast left to carry out that threat. Get everyone out of here now."
Nix spent the next ten minutes dragging every piece of wood furniture he could find into the two rooms with the exits. It was quiet and not many people were moving about. He was just finishing when Topper found him.
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"I'm the last one sir." Topper handed him a small metal device. "You might need this."
household item used to
start fires, Refillable. 44/100
Nix grinned, "thanks Topper, make sure you get out of here."
Mina and her team landed on the roof, as soon as they did they stowed their mounts. The main raid force was waiting next to a small steel door.
Jun Li checked her hud when she noticed Mina landing. They were late and no sign of Nix. She noticed immediately that Chael was with them. "Something happen to Nix?"
Mina shook her head. "No idea. They had some hidden reinforcements at the gates. We had to make adjustments."
"Don't worry about Nix." Pon grabbed the knob on the steel door.
[Hands of Fire]
The steel knob melted in his grasp and he pushed the door open smoothly.
Jun Li moved down the stairs and waited at the floor exit. "Wind and Semmi scout the floor and then report back."
Mina summoned one of her beasts and set it in Defend Mode. "We could use our Manta to start evacuating."
Jun Li stared at the Aquarion, she hadn't really talked to her much. "Good idea, if we can nab the royal family, then the army can rush this place."
Ronnie put her bow away, "I can help with evac, my bows going to be nearly useless for this kind of fight."
A few minutes later the scouts returned. Semmi came up to report while Wind kept a lookout in the hall. "The fourth floor has the King's daughters, and their maids. Besides that it's clear."
Jun Li checked the sky one last time for any sign of Nix. "Ronnie, you and Chael start getting those people out. The rest of us will head down a floor to the next exit."
"Never actually used lard before, but at least it smells nicer than gasoline." Nix started both fires and then quickly moved to the stairs where he summoned his beasts.
[Command: Defend Me]
He sprinted up the stairs and slammed into the closed wooden door. There were four men in the room, all of them had wolf-masks on. He put four fire strands around the two closest, pinning their arms to their sides.
The two men further away immediately summoned their beasts, suddenly there were forty wolfmen in the room.
Nix's Vila charged in and formed a barrier in front of him, for a moment the two groups stared at each other.
The smell of burning flesh coupled with the painful screams of the two restrained wolf-masks, broke the temporary lull in the action.
Nix and his beasts were slowly being pushed back toward the door. The wolf-masks had given their beasts the generic attack order. He changed the order for four of his beasts and sent them toward the two beastmasters.
[Command: Attack Primary Target]
[Command: Attack Secondary Target]
Nix held the flame strands and focused on heating them up, slowly his vision changed as if a thin red veil was placed over his eyes. The two beastmasters died one after another. Nix dropped his strands then pulled out his rifle and started firing at the remaining beastmasters who were trying to defend themselves against the Vila.
Jun Li was on the fourth floor, waiting next to the stairs that led down. Half of her team was busy bringing the princesses and their maids to safety. "As soon as Wind and..."
The sound of gunfire from below them interrupted her sentence. A moment later Wind and Semmi appeared in the doorway.
An out of breath Wind reported. "The rest of the royal family is on the third floor, there were three beastmasters with them. Two of them went down to check out the disturbance."
Pon closed his eyes for a moment and breathed deeply.
His eyes reopened, flames could be seen flickering within. "The first floor is in flames, we need to move fast."
Jun Li swore quietly. "The army jumped the gun?"
The old fire mage smiled and shook his head, "seems we've found Nix."
Mina pushed her way past them and immediately summoned the rest of her Vila. Jun Li watched in disbelief as the Aquarion charged down the stairway.
Wind pulled his blades and immediately stealthed. "Time to fight then."
The rest of the raid force followed them, Jun Li was silently cursing Nix beneath her breath. He wasn't following her plan!
He unsummoned his Vila, noting that three of them were no longer available to fight. They hadn't received mortal injuries, but they'd be out of commission for a while.
Nix quickly looted all four bracers and sprinted for the stairway, he was halfway up when the door opened and two beastmasters ran through. He stopped and then pointed behind him. "Quickly brothers, the army is coming, all my beasts have been killed."
The one on the left cursed, "F*ck... Head upstairs and wait with Philo, we'll take care of the army."
Nix smiled beneath his wolf-mask and slowed to a walk. He shut the door and resummoned his beasts.
He entered the next room to the sound of fighting, Vilas and Wolfmen were tearing into each other. He spotted Mina right away and split his forces.
[Command: Protect Filamina]
[Command: Attack my Target]
He opened fire on Philo, Wind appeared behind the beastmaster and cut him down with a backstab. As quick as it began it was over.
Nix turned back toward the door, "We need to move now, the two downstairs will be coming back."
Jun Li slipped her Wolfmask off and faced the King, "We aren't with them your Majesty, we are here to free you. Your daughters are already safe!"
Nix watched as she quickly organized the retreat, within a minute the room was empty with the exception of Mina and Nix. He smiled at the Aquarion rebel. "We finish these two and then follow."
Mina frowned at him, "you had me worried."
Jun Li was circling her Manta above the castle, she had coordinated with the army and released the King into their care. The army immediately sent its Knights into the courtyard to deal with the beastmasters that had been trapped outside. She breathed a sigh of relief when Mina and Nix came out the roof access door and summoned their manta.
An hour later the small raid force was back in the courtyard. The city had been retaken and the fire set on the first floor and burned itself out. Nix had made sure to loot the bracers from the beastmasters killed in the courtyard.
"How many does that make Nix?" Semmi coughed and squinted her eyes, the smoke from the fire was still lingering.
"Nearly twenty." He walked with her back to the raid force that was waiting for him. He could see that Jun Li had a big smile on her face. "What did you get?"
Jun Li held up a bottle with a ship in it. "It's a Navy Frigate !"
Nix could see that she was happy about it, so he didn't say anything else. "Let's head back to Safarza and plan the next raid."