38 Two Sudden Strikes part one
A few hours later Nix arrived at the Trifelez platform, from there it was only a short ride to camp. An unexpected dark beauty was waiting, her full lips curved in a smile when she saw him.
"Sharl!" Nix offered her a hug and then stepped back to greet the rest of the Daybreakers, most of them he already knew.
Sharl responded to his big smile. "Missed you too, Nix."
He pointed to tent city. "That's where we sleep, the mess tent is right next to it."
"Ronnie tells me you guys are really kicking ass."
He favored the younger sister with a nod, "for once she isn't exaggerating. Follow me to the TOC."
Sharl followed him into the TOC after directing the rest of her people to stand fast. Wind, Jun Li, Semmi and Mina were sitting around a table talking.
Nix noticed that Wind had come back. "The stone is gone isn't it?"
Wind nodded, "no one had even noticed until I asked about it."
Nix pulled a chair out for Sharl and then sat down himself. "The Daybreakers are going to join us for the next two raids."
Jun Li smiled at Sharl, she had seen the Daybreaker in action before. "Welcome back."
"I think we should hit Neptia right now, and consider a joint mission into Valis." Nix figured that the statement would meet with some resistance.
Instead, Semmi nodded in agreement. "We spoke to the jeweler that mounted the black diamonds onto the crowns. Removing them takes some time, Neptia is without a doubt the most difficult to steal."
Nix brought up a map of Rhatia, the capital city of Neptia. "We airstrike it hard, hit the castle with everything from the roof and ground at the same time."
Wind pointed at the channel that ran the length of the walled city. "The ground team can come in here, me and Semmi with stealth directly to the Throne room and attempt to stall any removal action."
Sharl stared hard at her scout. The usually quiet Wind was thriving in this small raid group. "I can lead the ground assault. I brought a half dozen fighters with me, four of them are mages."
Pon and Banza chose that time to enter the TOC, both of them had come to see their guild leader. The old fire mage took a seat on the other side of her while Banza stood behind Wind's chair.
Nix considered their last mission where they were able to pick up several stealth bracers for Aquarions. "Mina... you should take a stealth team directly into the throne room of Valis and attempt to secure the crown."
Jun Li didn't bother to hide her surprise. "You want to hit Neptia and Valis at the same time?
"We can put six stealthed Aquarions in the Throne room, with their combat strength they will be able to hold it." Nix glanced at the Aquarion leader, "I'll come with you to reinforce your Vila."
An hour later Nix was in tent city, surrounded by members of the Souza Accord. He had friended each of them and was attempting to customizing one of the enhanced wolf masks for Aquarions to use.
Mina watched him as he worked. "Are you sure this can even be done?"
Nix nodded, "I think so." The beastmaster artifacts have to be a version of the Ricoli artifact that was customized for human use." After several attempts at creating a new recipe, he met with success. He placed several more in the crafting queue. Within a few minutes, he handed the first one to Filamina.
Enhanced Wolfman Mask [Aquarion]
Enables Nightvision, enhanced
hearing and +5 to all stats.
Custom Made for Filamina.
Crafted by Nix.
Mina slipped the mask on, immediately gasping in surprise. "I feel strength surging through me." She removed it a moment later. "So if the crafter's skill is high enough, they can use the customize option to switch from one race to another."
"You should keep the mask on Min, it's a good look for you."
Shortly after Midnight, the first group's ground assault team, consisting of Pon, Sharl and the mages from the Daybreakers guild, closed in on the castle. They were flying low through the channel and had managed to enter the city without alerting anyone. They came up out of the channel quickly and hovered above the Courtyard.
There were three beastmasters in the courtyard, outside of the castle entrance. Sixty wolfmen prowled the courtyard, the musty smell, and growls of canines lingering in the air.
Pon came in hard and leaped from his manta to the doorway of the castle.
[Fireball Mass AE]
The rest of the mage-heavy group landed and started laying down AE effects, the stench of scorched hair was pungent enough for Sharl to pull off her wolf mask before equipping her shield. She moved to the front and protected the mages behind her.
Jun Li led her group from the top floor, they weren't bothering with to hide their arrival. Semmi and Wind were stealthed in the middle as group members continually peeled off to defend, leaving the two scouts to continue their route to the throne room.
Wind was the first to enter, the King was sitting on his throne, his face as white as snow. "You seek the crown of Neptia? There is nowhere you can hide if you leave this room with that crown."
Darsi scowled, "Oh shut up you idiot. I just need to remove this damn jewel." There were three beastmasters in the room, two of them had summoned their beasts.
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Semmi was stunned when Wind decided to unstealth in the middle of them, for a moment the entire room seemed frozen in time. A small movement on the scout's shoulder announced the arrival of the tiny gecko.
[Fear the King]
Wind grabbed the crown from the woman in the orange jumpsuit a moment before she screamed in terror. Semmi followed him Wind the way they had come, both sprinting as hysteria spread in all directions.
Jun Li and Tess were holding the second-floor exit when they saw the two scouts running toward them. Semmi wacked Jun Li's butt as she ran by, "Time to go Junie!"
Darsi sat on the floor, a sheen of sweat covering her skin while she gasped for air. "The hell was that?"
Two of the beastmasters that had been in the throne room were dead, killed when they beasts went crazy. The third was leaning against the wall. "Some kind of mass fear." He shuddered when he said it, he had never felt such overwhelming terror in his life.
"It's over." She looked at the artifact in her hand and then stowed it away. Nix was at the heart of this, she couldn't bring herself to resent him, but that doesn't mean she was going to let him off. Without saying anything, she vanished from the throne room.
Nix and Min put their Manta down in the empty courtyard in front of the Valis castle. They both summoned a few of their beasts before entering.
Mina followed Nix through the empty first level to the stairs, "Where is everyone?" The stealth group was coming from the roof, they were told to avoid any unnecessary fighting.
"I don't like it." He ran up the stairs to the second floor and a few seconds later arrived in the throne room. A man and woman sat on the throne, both of them looked relieved.
"I guess we have you to thank for the sudden retreat?" The crowned man stood up and walked toward them.
Nix nodded, "we are a strike force from the Souza Accord, sent to break the beastmaster's hold on this castle."
"The entire group left a few minutes ago." The woman on the throne spoke softly. She was a stunningly beautiful person, wavy red hair and smooth pale skin made it seem like the goddess of fire had come to life. Nix thought she looked a bit like Shae.
The roof assault team chose that moment to enter the room from the upper level. The royal couple looked alarmed when the raid group appeared out of thin air. Milat slipped off his wolfmask and bowed. "We are from the Souza Accord your Majesty."
[Sea-Farer Faction Quest Completed]
Quest: Sea Farer Faction
Description: You have raised
your rating to ally level with
one of the Kingdoms of Broyan.
Achieve this with two other Broyan
Colonial System Message: You have raised your rating to ally level with four Kingdoms of Broyan. A newly discovered Island has been located North of the Broyan Continent. This small island has been awarded to the Inferno Guild.
[Sea-Farer Faction has been raised]
[Navy Shipyard can be built]
[Naval Officers may be recruited]
By dawn, the fragmented raid group reunited next to the Rhatia city portal platform. Jun Li looked particularly happy, she received two more Navy Frigate bottles from the King's of Neptia and Valis. This brought their total to four.
They had been talking about the sudden unexpected retreat of the beastmasters. Nix had made his best guess. "I believe they retreated because the artifact they are trying to build requires four black diamonds. Losing even one of them makes their cause useless."
Ronnie was smiling from ear to ear, she had talked her sister into taking a leave of absence from the Daybreakers in order to join them. "So now what?"
"We head back to the Sea World and start planning our path to Naval power." Jun Li caressed one of the Navy Frigate bottles she had pulled out of her inventory.
"Let's head back then." Nix glanced around the group, a sense of danger suddenly overcoming him. "Aquarions first, I'll meet you guys back at our camp in a bit."
Without asking anyone he activated Deep Blue and waited while the members of the Souza Accord joined hands. After dropping them off, he delayed a few minutes before returning. Something was bothering him, but he couldn't quite place it.
The trip to camp was quite short, but the entire place had been packed up by the time Nix arrived.
Ronnie waved to him when he circled the camp before landing.
One of the mages that had accompanied Sharl was smiling at him. He was an average looking man with brown hair and a small goatee. "We didn't get a chance to talk earlier. I'm Severon Kosk, one of the Daybreaker mages."
Nix shook his hand when he offered it. "Nice to meet you Severon, and thanks for the assist."
The group quickly finished cleaning up the area and gathered in a small circle. Nix examined the group for a moment, not reaching for Deep Blue.
Ronnie was standing next to him, she squeezed his hand, "let's get going Nix!"
The yellow-eyed man shook his head, "you four will have to find your own way back." He pointed to the four mages that had accompanied Sharl from the Daybreakers.
"Nix?" Sharl's eyes showed confusion, the area around him was warming up as if he was getting ready to fight. She sensed the same build-up from Pon.
"I'm not bring four unknown Water Mages back." Nix stepped away from Ronnie suddenly.
Severon's smile turned into a smirk, "I'm afraid I must insist Mr. Nix."
Pon cursed under his breathe. "Damn it Sharl, Water Mages!"