47 Brown Flames
Nix had been expected a world of flame and molten rock, however, the reality was quite different. The air was a bit heavier, and it bore the faintest hint of brimstone. There were dozens of pools with steam coming out of them. The entire area was lightly forested.
"Nice of you to finally show up." A voice spoke to him from close by. He turned to see Shae floating casually on the surface of one of the pools. Her red hair was slicked back on her head, she beckoned him with a finger.
He removed his armor while he walked toward her. "This is way more water than I was expecting Shae."
He placed a barefoot in and right away pulled it out. "Trying to cook me?"
Shae nodded, "That coincides with my plans to eat you... so yes."
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Nix laughed and ignited his aura. This time when he stepped in he felt only the pleasant warmth of his own flames. The bottom of the pond was a spongy porous stone that he had never seen before. "Is that brimstone?"
"Yes..." She moved closer, not hesitating to embrace him despite his flames. She placed a hand on his shoulder and closed her eyes in pleasure. "Did you know that your emerald flames have an extreme pain modifier attached to them?"
"I figured it was something like that. Doesn't seem to bother you though."
Shae laughed softly, "just the opposite actually. For me, there is a pleasure modifier. I dare say you could be very popular with fire creatures."
"Is that right?" Nix sent a dozen strands to her limbs, while he wrapped his arms around her waist. She could have easily broken free, instead, she leaned forward and pressed her lips against his.
Shae let her arms and legs be spread apart, her breathing was labored from the pleasure. His warm hands gripped her hips tightly before he entered her causing her to arch her back and moan loudly.
Her body glowed with red flames that mixed together with his green ones. The colors fused together, making a brown flame both participants seemed to become frantic with need as they pushed against each other.
"Nix! The flames are brown!" Shae thrust her hips against him while she let the brown flames envelop her, her entire body vibrated as her moans grew louder.
Afterward, they lay in companionable silence on the grassy banks. Nix had his hands behind his head while he stared up at the reddish sky. Shae had her head on his chest and had decided to entertain herself by tickling him with a blade of grass.
"Going to scorch that piece of grass in a bit."
Shae laughed at him, "such scary threats Nix."
"I've been told I'm scary, it's the eyes."
She moved over him and planted a kiss on his forehead, "those lovely yellow eyes? Not scary at all."
"What's the significance of brown flames?"
Shae sat up slowly, her hand caressing his face. "Brown flames are a very high ranking flame, to advance further than Nemesis, I must cultivate a brown flame."
"Oh... How are you supposed to do that?"
Shae gave him a sly look, "until a few minutes ago, I had no idea."
Nix grinned at her, "so we need more practice then?"
Nix stepped onto the altar and then hopped onto the marble floor of the Fire Palace. He suspected that time flowed differently within the Elemental World, he could see the rising sun through the open doors of the Fire Palace.
He used the platform to access the Sea-World and stepped onto the soft sand. On a whim, he decided to check out the cottage. The home had increased in size, adding a second story, two more bedrooms, and a bathroom. The kitchen was now separated from the living room by a large island that had a half dozen stools around it.
Mina walked in while he was checking out the space, she had been living in the home ever since Nix moved into the houseboat. "Going to move back in Nix? There's plenty of room."
Nix shook his head. "Maybe when I get tired of the houseboat. I kinda like the gentle sway of the water."
"We can attempt an advancement in Mermaid City after Shae distributes some more fire gear."
/Guildchat : Semmi: I hired a dozen shop workers in Espana today, one for each shop and two for the inn.
/Guildchat: Nix: Nice job Sem.
/Guildchat: Semmi: And one huge ferry. Come down to the dock and see the fleet, the frigates have been launched.
/Guildchat: Nix: Be there in a bit.
/Guildchat: Semmi: Bring my 500 mil.
/Guildchat: Nix: No idea what you are talking about.
"Come on Min, you're going to be with me anyway."
Mina followed him out the door to the new Sea-World platform that accessed the Temple. "What do you mean?"
They walked through the Temple together, Nix could have used his guild icon to bring him to the dock area, but since Mina was with him he decided to walk with her. "It means I want you to pick a dozen of your best melee fighters, some of the new stealth ones would be great. You and I are going to do some privateering."
Mina looked confused but quickly changed the subject. "I've chosen another person for the spare Ricoli artifact."
Nix enjoyed having pets, they made the sticky situations more survivable. "Who'd you pick?"
"Fajii." Mina watched his expression turn into a frown. "You don't like the choice?"
"It's up to you, but no I don't like the choice."
Mina considered his words while they walked. "May I ask why?"
"She's an Alchemist, in the event of her death you would lose two valuable assets."
"She has high compatibility with magic, but you present a valid point. I will reconsider."
Nix nodded, "And I like her. That shouldn't be a reason probably. I like you also, yet I gave you one."
"It's nice that you want to protect us Nix. We want to protect you also."
He stopped when he stepped onto the docks. The Navy Frigates were like nothing he had ever seen. Three Main masts and two additional smaller sails fore and aft. The cannons had been drawn out, he counted 56 of them. "That is what I call a ship."
The nearest berth was occupied by the Ferry that Semmi had brought back, starting tomorrow he'd have it make a daily trip to the coastal city of Balta, which was part of Rhatia. The next four ships were identical except for the names. The Venture, the Scimitar, the Crane and the Phoenix. He smiled and stopped at the last one.
"This one is mine!" Nix said it out loud, he had just noticed that Semmi and Jun Li were onboard the Crane.
Semmi leaned on the rail of the Crane. "You like that one Nix?"
Nix nodded and headed up the gangplank. A woman with short dark hair stood on the deck. Nix stopped abruptly. "Permission to come aboard Captain?"
The woman nodded and Nix stepped onto the deck. "Welcome Sir, I'm Captain Delphi. I take it the Phoenix is to be your FlagShip?"
"Without a doubt, tell me about the ship Captain."
"She's a 56er with 24-pound cannons, dual deepwater rudders that can turn this girl on the head of a pin. Sturdy hardwood construction with berths for 130 sailors."
"Hmm... Can you pull those sails off for me? The smaller ones too, I just need them for a bit."
"Er... You want to detach the sails, sir?"
"Will that take a long time?" Nix examined the closest sail, there appeared to be dozens of attachment points.
"Well, strictly speaking the crew is loafing a bit since we're a new crew." Delphi considered it for a moment and then a smile spread to her face, "it'll be good for them. All crewmembers on deck, detach the three mains immediately as well as the fore and aft assists."
He had the first sail next to his feet within five minutes, his inventory was opened while he considered his choices. Tailors had all sorts of choices when it came to changing cloth. They could color it, strengthen it, make it lighter and even choose from hundreds of patterns or images to be transferred onto it. He chose to make the cloth white, it was already an off-white, but the color difference was several shades. He cycled through his choices of images until he found a red phoenix that was covered in beautiful orange flames. He chose the sail to be modified and then combined it with white silk for lightness. The end result cost him 200 thousand credits.
Description: A beautiful white sail
emblazoned with the image of a majestic
Phoenix. + 20 to Sail Speed. + 10 to turn radius.
The grumbling crew watched while Nix changed the huge canvas sail. Within a few minutes, the replacement left them speechless.
"Reattach it and bring us the rest!" Delphi barked at them, her eyes staring at the sail.
Within an hour, the Phoenix Sails were in place, Nix was standing with Mina who hadn't taken her eyes off them. "You like them Min?"
"I think so." Mina had only seen the briefest flash of red, but she did notice the sails seemed much whiter Only Nix knew exactly what the design was. Since they were quickly furled, no one could see them.
Nix gave her thumbs up and then turned to the captain. "I want to see the crew below deck please."
Captain Delphi nodded. "Right away Nix."