70 Spellsword Conclusion
Bela was waiting for them by the time they approached the Ton home. It was a nice two-story house with white stucco walls and a red tile roof. Mrs. Ton was a petite woman with dark hair and an easy smile. At first, Nix couldn't see the slightest resemblance between mother and daughter, but when the younger woman introduced herself, it was there in her smile.
Bela gave her husband a quick kiss before hugging her mother. The brunette turned her eyes toward their visitor. "Nice to finally meet you Nix." She grabbed both his hands in hers and squeezed them warmly.
"Same here, Hyai has been wanting to visit you for some time." Nix handed her a box of Tailored goods, "these are for you and Bane."
Bela accepted the box with an easy smile. "Thank you Nix, please make yourself at home."
Hyai and her daughter disappeared into another room, leaving Nix alone with Bane. The big man glanced at the side door that led to their small courtyard. "Chiba is out there."
"Chiba?" Nix grinned at the name, he had a dog named Chiba when he was a child. [Prounounced-Cheeba]
Bane nodded. "He is the Sword Master that you've been hearing about. Just head out there and introduce yourself."
Nix stepped out into the brown bricked courtyard. It was a square about fifty feet across. Several wine bottles were scattered haphazardly around the yard. A squishy feeling under his feet made him look down. "That's just gross." His nose wrinkled just as the stench of fresh vomit assaulted his nostrils.
"HUHHH!" A moan right next to him caused him to start. An object Nix could have sworn was a shrub started to move and then staggered upward.
Nix stared at the vagabond. His clothes were tattered and one side of his face was crusted in his own vomit. The man had close-cropped gray hair and stood about five feet tall. "Master Chiba?"
"Master?" The man squinted at Nix, "I'm the master of your mum boy."
"You smell like the inside of a bottle, one spark and you'd be a bonfire." Nix was sorely tempted to turn the drunkard into a roman candle.
"You must be Nix?" Chiba was staring off into space, like a man seeing double and talking to the wrong image."
"Over here, Master Chiba." Nix waved a hand in front of the man's face.
"Right... Has my assistant showed up yet? He's a great Master and I can't teach properly without his input." Chiba rummaged through the shrub he had been passed out under and grabbed a long sword.
"I'm not aware of any other visitors sir." Nix gave Chiba the quick once over, he was standing barefoot in his own vomit. His brown eyes were somewhat dazed and he seemed to be having a conversation with himself.
"Baiter isn't here yet?" Chiba shook his head, "You must have run into him before you entered the courtyard."
"No sir, I didn't see a Master Baiter in the..." Nix stopped when Chiba started cackling. He had a creepy laugh that made Nix want to take a bath. "Very funny, Master Baiter... Are you a child or just an idiot?"
Nix felt an overwhelming urge to burn the idiot swordmaster.
"Woah there handsome, just calm down a bit." Chiba stepped closer, unfortunately the smell also advanced.
"Handsome?" Nix decided that Chiba would be better off dead, Hyai would be sure to understand.
Chiba nodded, "awfully quiet. I suppose it's not every day you see a stunning beauty like myself."
"The f*ck are you talking about?" Nix breathed through his mouth to ease his upset stomach.
Chiba grabbed his wrist and yanked it in a strong grip until it was against his wet crotch. Apparently the swordmaster had pissed himself when he was sleeping. "Feel that? Now you know what you are dealing with."
NIx yanked his hand away like it was on fire, his nose wrinkled in disgust. "You're a woman?"
Having enough of the Master's antics, Nix decided to ash him on the spot.
A flash of a silver blade easily deflected the white-hot flame, it splashed harmlessly onto the bricks causing them to instantly glow red. Chiba smiled at him, "such a way to treat a fine woman like me."
"Right..." Nix raised a hand and six emerald strands shot out. The swordmaster blocked all but one, that one wrapped around the wrist of her sword arm.
Chiba grimaced in pain but calmly grabbed the blade with her other hand and sliced through the strand. "Very nice," she rubbed her wrist that was quickly starting to blister. "I like your temperament. What do you know about the way of the sword?" Chiba had put her sword away and had her hands clasped behind her back.
"Nothing." Nix let his Aura burn out, even though the urge to scorch the ugly woman was still very tempting.
Chiba nodded, her face looking quite pleased. "Perfect, nothing to unteach then."
Bela sat in the kitchen of her home talking with her mother. The sound of swords clashing outside told them that Chiba had decided to train Nix. "Mother... It's not really my place but."
Hyai smiled at her daughter's hesitation. "Nix and I are close friends."
"I see." Bela decided not to pry further, it was no one's business if she wanted to warm a younger man's bed. "You seem very happy. Are you enjoying Glory Island?"
Hyai nodded, "it's quite lovely. I love the warmth of the south."
An hour later Nix reentered the house, a fine sheen of sweat glistened on his forehead. "Master Chiba decided to clean up a bit before dinner." He took a seat at the table, even though no food had been served yet.
Bela noted with interested that her mother immediately fetched a pint for him. "Nothing fancy I'm afraid. Mum brought us some Kraken. Have you ever tried it?"
Nix nodded, "inside and out."
Hyai covered her laugh with one hand. "Nix killed the Kraken dear."
Bela's smile widened, "oh I see. I'll grab Bane from his study and we'll sit down to eat."
Dinner was a quiet affair with easy conversation, Master Chiba did not return until they had finished. She motioned for Nix to follow her into the courtyard.
Nix followed the swordmaster without speaking. Chiba had cleaned up but still looked like a man.
She pulled out her sword and gave Nix a hilt from her bag. "I want you to have this Nix."
Nix turned the hilt over in his hand, The was the barest nub where the blade should have been. "Not much I can do without a blade."
Chiba shrugged. "Is that right? That was once the most terrifying blade in Colonial."
Nix couldn't tell if the swordmaster was joking or not. He had discovered over the past few hours that Chiba had the humor of a teenage boy. "Where's the blade now?"
Chiba held her blade out in front of her with a very steady hand. "It's inside you, you just have to bring it out."
NIx sighed loudly. "If this is another masturbater joke, I'm going to kick your flat ass."
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Chiba looked over her own shoulder. "F*CK... Is my ass flat?"
Nix grimaced at her and held the sword in front of him. He stared at it patiently, trying to focus his attention on the blade.
Chiba nodded in approval, "that's the start of it Nix. Feel where the blade should be, remember the flame aura you used? Try to push the green flames into your focus."
She watched in patiently, every once in a while she would nod to herself. Nix's forehead was beaded with sweat, his yellow eyes glowed. After many long minutes, the hilt of the blade began to glow with the lightest shade of green. A moment later a long thin flame shot out from it.
"This is critical Nix, focus now on shaping. Exactly 33.3 inches in length, 1.88 inches wide and a thickness of .15." Chiba placed a calloused hand on his shoulder, "concentrate on exact dimensions."
You've learned the rare skill: Spellsword.
[Do you wish to appoint Spellsword as your secondary skill]
"Yes." Nix let out a long breath, the blade vanished when he relaxed. He smiled in interest, a quick thought made it appear again. "Oh... that is nice."
Chiba clapped his back hard. "That's not even the best part."
Nix stowed the hilt and turned to face the swordmaster. "What's the best part?"
"Secondary skills come with a forty percent penalty. However, since your blade has the backing of your Primary skill..." She left the rest unsaid.
"Are you saying I can use it as a primary skill?"
Chiba shook her head, "better actually. So Nix..." She looked at him with expectant eyes.
"Since I helped you out. Fancy a quick one?" Chiba winked at him.
"Oh god..." Nix scowled at her.