69 Spellsword part two
"Didn't know you had a soft spot for kids, Nix." Hyai teased him as they walked toward the Provost Marshal's HQ. Shana had clung to him like a baby koala; the young girl chattered nonstop the entire time they had been there.
"My defense is weak," he admitted. Bane was supposed to meet them. Then he would escort them to his home. "Why are we stopping at the Provost? We could have gone straight to your daughter's house."
Hyai gave him a helpless shrug. "You're a pretty big deal in the Provost Office Nix. You are a high ranking member of the Knights of Colonial, the person who gave them the very profitable Manta trade and the Guild Leader of a City-State."
Nix sighed, "Am I being set up here?"
Hyai nodded, "only slightly. My daughter pushed it when she found out you were visiting. Bane is up for a promotion to captain. We don't have to go if you're against it."
"So sneaky." Nix smiled at her, "I'll say a few words if it will help. He was a big part of getting our friends back."
When they arrived at the Provost Office a few minutes later, Sergeant Ton was waiting for them. He was flanked by two men that were a head shorter than him. He bowed low to Hyai. "Nice to see you, Mum."
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"Thank you, Bane. You remember Nix?"
Sergeant Ton nodded and greeted him with a crisp salute. "Colonel Nix, welcome to the Provost Office."
Nix returned the salute and then offered Bane his hand. "Good to see you again Sergeant Ton. I've been meaning to compare notes with you regarding the Aquarion raid and subsequent hostage rescue, your defensive formations were instrumental in holding the line against much stronger foes."
"Of course Colonel, I'd be happy to." Sergeant Ton gestured toward the man on his right. A slim older man who wore a bow like he was born with it. "This is Captain Belik, he runs the Jenzi office." Bane turned to the man on his left, "this is Director Chang, he is the district manager for the Northern region."
"Just call me Nix please." He shook both of the men's hands. "Nice to meet both of you."
Belik only nodded, but Chang put on a big smile and patted him on the back. "I hear your name daily Nix."
Nix laughed at the comment, "somehow I get credit whenever anyone from Inferno does something. The truth is I'm just a cog in the gear."
"I hear that the Fire Palace on Glory Island is very inspiring." Chang immediate shifted into political mode, unlike Belik who seemed very straight forward.
"Stop in and visit us, Director Chang. My reason for coming today is actually to offer Sergeant Ton a position at Glory Island."
"You are starting a Provost Office in Glory? That's the southern district, under Director Kleau." Chang shared a glance at Belik. "Sergeant Ton is a big part of the Jenza Office."
"We are considering a Provost Office, given Bane's leadership and experience. He's the obvious candidate to head it up."
Hyai placed a hand on his shoulder, "we should get going Nix. Bela is expecting us."
Nix bowed slightly to both men. "Nice meeting the..." An instant later Nix's head snapped forward and his body was thrown into the air to slam face-first into the outer wall of the Provost Office.
[Kraken's Strength: Reflection]
[Nix has been stunned]
Ton was the first to move, He pushed Hyai to the ground and blocked Nix with his body as he scanned the area. "ALERT, ASSASSIN!" Ton shouted into the building.
Belik shielded Hyai and drew back his bow, just as men streamed out of the door. "Bring her inside." Nix was just climbing to his feet, his eyes still dazed.
/Guildchat: Hyai: Someone just tried to kill Nix in Jenza, in front of the Provost Office!
/Guildchat: Wylie: On my way!
A woman's voice screamed out, drawing everyone's attention. Nix shook his head to clear it, immediately swallowing the taste of bile.
He quickly summoned Ducky while he sprinted toward the scream.
[Command: Scout Area]
A corpse lay on the boardwalk, the top of his head had been blown away. Even missing part of his skull, he was easily recognizable. On the ground next to him was a long sniper rifle. "It's Shank. The Guild Leader of Salamander."
Belik had followed Nix, while Ton quickly set up a perimeter. He threw a black disk onto Shank's corpse, his face showing anger. "An Assassination attempt in my town?"
Tula has been charmed.
The sound of fighting caused Nix and Belik to duck through the nearby alley to the back of the building. When they arrived, Ducky was watching while two women were locked in a bitter melee fight with drawn daggers.
"The f*ck are you doing Tula?" Vera dodged her sister's slash and stepped in closer to drive her knee into Tula's stomach. There was no reaction from her other than to slash Vera across the face.
Nix raised a hand and four strands encircled Vera. Tula mercilessly stabbed her sister in the stomach several times.
Belik ran toward the combatants, tossing another black disk at Vera when she finally collapsed and then quickly tackled Tula before putting her in restraints.
Nix took a deep breath and looked at his map. Ducky's scouting had only picked up the sisters. He glanced at Belik who had dragged the shocked Tula to her feet. "This is Tula and her twin sister Vera, they are both officers in Salamander."
The sound of heavy steps announced the arrival of Sergeant Ton, surprisingly he was flanked by Captain Wylie and her Knights.
Belik's calm face was scowling at Tula. "Bring the prisoner and the two corpses inside the office."
Ton nodded and picked up Vera by one leg before dragging her through the street. The black disk that Belik had used was stuck onto her chest.
"Salamander again Commander?" Wylie's silver hair hung loose, she was wearing the gear that Nix had made for her.
Nix nodded, "Seems like the intel you found was accurate. Salamander was attempting to assassinate Director Chang."
/Guildchat: Wylie: Commander?
/Guildchat: Nix: Just go with it.
Wylie grimaced slightly, "good thing you were here sir. To try such a thing in broad daylight."
Belik raised a hand, stopping further conversations. "Let's return to the office and discuss this matter behind closed doors."
A few minutes later, Nix, Ton, Belik, Chang, and Wylie were sitting around a large table. The bodies of Vera and Shank were placed in a cell before being rezzed.
Chang's face had turned lily-white. "You think I was the target?"
Nix nodded, "more than likely. I was standing directly in front of you."
Belik was still scowling, "you mentioned intel?"
"Our sources inside Salamander said the higher-ups were planning the assassination of a high ranking member of the Provost Office." Nix smiled apologetically at Ton, "this was the real reason for our visit."
"If I may sir." Wylie interrupted him, "Shank took the shot from the top of the build across the square, he must have aimed low because of the elevation. The two sisters were waiting in the alley with their mounts."
Chang swallowed heavily. "Why isn't Nix dead?"
"I wear an artifact that deflects first attacks." Nix didn't consider it a lie just because it was actually an ability. "What were those disks you used outside?"
Belik held up one in his hand, "it prevents recovering corpses and gating."
Black Hand [Artifact]
Description: You feel a terrifying
hand grip your neck and hold you in place.
You may not gate or resurrect without the permission
of the person who used it.
"May I see that?" Nix held it in his hand, it was cool and smooth to the touch. "Luckily you have these or else all three of them would have escaped."
Belik nodded in agreement. "We only have a dozen of them, but you can have that one Sir."
"Thank you." Nix stared at the backroom where the Salamanders were being held. He couldn't bring himself to feel anger since he had been hitting them regularly for the last few weeks. "I do have other business to attend to. Mr. Chang, I recommend a full protection detail until we are sure the threat has been removed."
Belik stood up and shook Nix's hand. "The Director will return immediately to the district office. I must thank you for your actions today sir."
A few minutes later Belik and Chang watched as Ton, Nix, and Hyai continued on their way. The Inferno Knights had followed them.
"What do you think Captain?"
Belik grinned, "it's hard to say. Sooner or later Nix will have to stand in front of the Cabal."
"Do you think I was really the target?" Chang no longer looked shaken or scared.
"No, he made that part up." Belik's eyes glanced toward the holding cells. "We'll have to act accordingly anyways or our plans will be exposed."
"I agree. Give the Salamanders a quick trial and then hang all three of them." Chang smiled nonchalantly like he was discussing a baking recipe.
A few minutes later the trio was walking toward the Ton residence. Hyai would occasionally comment on something random, but for the most part the group was quiet. The events of the past hour had each of them thinking.
Nix was deep in thought. The truth was he hadn't considered a Provost Office, but the more he thought about it, the better it sounded. Glory was eventually going to be big enough to house a population of fifty thousand or so. At least that's what Semmi was counting on. She had taken over as the city planner for Glory Island. The Provost Offices was largely independent of each other. They were divided into four district branches, North, South, East, and West. They handled and investigated crimes in the city and the surrounding area on both land and sea.
/Guildchat: Hyai: What will happen to Salamander?
/Guildchat: Nix: Nothing probably, they'll pay for the release of their people and then come to me for payback.