74 Bay of Flames conclusion
Nix sliced downward across the blade of a sailor that had rushed him when he jumped on deck. His strength caused his opponent's blade to be knocked to one side, a quick backslash opened up his throat. The pounding of heavy feet caused him to turn back toward the hold. Two knights were charging at him.
Both knights wore heavy red plate armor, the one who he rooted was carrying a shield and a mace, while the other closed quickly with a wicked-looking ax.
Nix backed away and allowed two of Mina's Vila to attack. He motioned for Ducky to come closer from the rail. "I need you to find someone, Ducky. They are in one of the rooms downstairs. Look for someone different than the rest. Do you understand?"
Ducky nodded, "Find someone different and bring them to you?"
"Do your best but also be careful." Nix watched her walk calmly away. She didn't have traditional stealth, more like an ability that caused others not to pay attention to her presence. Since she had been promoted to Siren, her abilities were much stronger.
Nix jumped forward just as Wylie used her staff to sweep the knight's legs, he didn't fall completely but he did drop to one knee. Nix grabbed him by the shoulders and tossed him overboard like he was weightless.
Nix slowed the knight attacking Min, her Vila were hard-pressed to deal with the other
two dozen heavy armorer wearers. The Aquarion was wielding a water mace that her opponent was fending off with a kite shield. The power of the strikes sounded like the beating of a drum. Nix was about to attack when an image of him leaping, spinning and striking appeared on his hud. "You kidding me? I'm not a f*cking acrobat." He leaped into the air, doing his best to imitate the movements of the tutorial.
[Flight of the Gryphon]
He leaped into the air and landed behind the knight, slashing across his back, he instantly brought him down. The emerald blade cut through plate armor like it was warm butter. Nix's emerald flame blade hissed as it burned off the blood that splashed on it. The sweet coppery smell made his eyes water.
"Was that a jump attack?" Mina finished the spasming knight off with a blow to the head. Her assault team and Vila were slowly clearing the deck of knights. Many of them took a page from Nix's book and chucked their opponents overboard, no one was going swimming with a hundred pounds of steel on them.
"Yes, unless I miss my guess, there should be at least one more." Chiba had told him that eventually, his repertoire would include a dozen or more attacks.
A moment later Ducky returned leading a young man dressed as a merchant. Nix could tell by his face that he was charmed. "Grab this guy Wylie and bring him back to the ship."
"Are you returning also?" Wylie was starting to understand how Nix operated, he didn't like to endanger other people.
"In a bit." Nix doused his flame sword and stowed it away. "Mina, bring your team and follow me."
He headed into cannon galley and started loading up on charges. The charges were made of very light paper and shaped like a cylinder. Each one held the exact same amount of power. "Grab as many as you can carry."
Nix picked up an entire pallet of charges and headed out. He entered the hold and moved down a dark walkway to the front cargo area located just under the deck. He sat the pallet down and turned back toward his Aquarion friends. "Let's pack this room full of these."
Over the next few minutes, they completely filled the forward hold full of the cannon charges. Nix took a few minutes to craft the largest shape charge ever attempted. By the time they were done, the rest of Inferno had logged several kills. The bay was a cluttered burning mess of wrecked ships. The ships that could still fight were boxed in and could only watch in frustration.
/Inferno: Semmi: We're back on the Phoenix Nix. You were right, Soup really hit that Dreadnought hard.
/Inferno: Nix: Is she taking on water?
/Inferno: Semmi: She was but not anymore. Her hull is compartmentalized, only a small area was affected.
/Inferno: Nix: Anything else?
/Inferno: Semmi: It would be an easy thing to enter the ship through the flooded compartment.
/Inferno: Nix: I am curious about what we might find in her hold.
/Inferno: Semmi: Me too. Are we going?
/Inferno: Nix: Head back there with Milat, I'll meet you there in a few minutes.
/Inferno: Ronnie: Can I go too?
/Inferno: Nix: No. I've got a special mission for you. I'm giving you a flagship.
/Inferno: Sharl: What?
/Inferno: Jun Li: What?
/Inferno: Pon: What?
/Inferno: Ronnie: Hey... Why so many?
/Inferno: Nix: Come to my location, Captain Ronnie.
/Inferno: Ronnie: Yes!
A few minutes later Ronnie was onboard and standing next to the helm. Her pretty, dark face was frowning at Nix. "You want me to ram the Dreadnought?"
"Yep, I'll leave you with a skeleton crew, just steer right into her." Nix placed a hand on her shoulder, "Don't forget to have your manta out or you'll end up back at Glory Island."
Ronnie sighed heavily. "Fine, I'm a team player you know."
"Thanks, you handle this properly and we'll feed Salamander a big shit sandwich." Nix couldn't keep the smile from his face, Ronnie was someone who never put on airs, she said and did exactly what she wanted.
Ronnie nodded, her bright smile returning. "Count on me Nix."
/Inferno: Jun Li: Who is the prisoner?
/Inferno: Nix: Unknown at this time.
/Inferno: Jun Li: I tried talking to him, but he wasn't interested.
/Inferno: Semmi: Give him something to make him sleep, we don't want him communicating with anyone.
Milat led the way toward the Dreadnought, they approached the huge ship from a few hundred feet beneath the surface. The calm of the blue depths contrasting with the smoke-filled inferno that raged overhead. Nix felt the close presence of Mina as she swam next to him, lately, she seemed to always be closer than usual.
They stopped under the Dreadnought. She had an exceptionally deep keel, which meant she'd run aground in shallower seas. There was a dark hole about four feet wide near the forward bow. Soup had come from underneath her and angled upward. They swam into the damaged compartment, there was a three-foot space near the ceiling that hadn't flooded.
Nix activated his flame blade. "We'll go in here and take a look around. We'll give ourselves five minutes."
Semmi nodded, suddenly Nix brandished his sword and swung at the ceiling panel. "Hey, Nix! Don't do th..."
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A hole formed and instantly all four of them were shot through it to slam into the ceiling of the room above. They bounced loudly on the floor, each of them struggling to shake off the bone-jarring collision.
Nix grimaced at Semmi, "I suppose you understand the physics of what just happened?"
Semmi nodded, "smooth move Nix."
Milat stealthed, "I'll scout a bit."
Semmi also disappeared, "you two wait here. Try not to break anything Nix."
Nix and Mina followed them at a distance, he was placing small traps in the doorways and tripwire in the darker passages. "Let me lead on the way back, or else we'll end up taking the shortcut home."
Semmi had come back when they hit a dead end. "Shouldn't you be marking the locations down? What if you forget where you put one?"
Nix winked at her. "It's like you don't trust me."
Semmi nodded, "it's just like that."
"Nothing is here." Milat had come back last, his pale Aquarion face seemed to glow in the near darkness of the hold.
"It was worth a try, let's head out and let Ronnie do her thing." Nix headed back toward the hole in the floor, everyone followed except for Mina.
"Wait please, " Mina placed her hand against one of the walls. "There's a water artifact on the other side of this wall."
"Hmm?" Nix walked over, had it been a fire artifact he would have sensed it the moment they entered the ship. "A false wall?"
Semmi winced when Nix slashed at the wall with his sword. "Please don't randomly slash things Nix. What if you break something valuable?"
"Oh? Did you bring a saw by chance?" Nix cleared away hole he had cut, there was a small room with a decent stockpile of weapons and a silver chest. He ignored the weapons and grabbed the chest.
/Inferno: Jun Li: They are opening up a path through the wreckage to get to the ship that we boarded.
/Inferno: Semmi: That could mean they don't realize she's been taken over. With all the smoke in the bay, visibility is shit.
/Inferno: Nix: Okay, let's head back. Ronnie, start moving toward the Dreadnought, it's likely that they won't even try to stop you.
The group swam directly toward the Phoenix, by the time they were back on board, Ronnie was moving steadily through a channel that had been opened up.
Ronnie glanced at the sailors that had been assigned to help her. "Okay guys, everyone overboard now and swim back to the Phoenix."
"You going to be okay captain?" An older man with bowed legs was the last to leave.
Ronnie's face lit up in a big smile, "I'll take it from here, thank you."
She summoned her manta and steered through the wreckage. Inferno had managed to do a lot of damage in a relatively short period of time. She sighed heavily, "this is a really nice ship too."
When Ronnie was within a few hundred feet, the Dreadnought crew finally realized something was wrong. By then it was too late. Ronnie jumped on her manta and summoned Wilo.
Ronnie didn't look back, she kept her manta climbing steadily, the shield around them took several hits before she got out of range. A moment later a thundering explosion shook the bay as the Dreadnought was rammed head-on, a few tons of black powder, aided by Nix's shape crafting, completely obliterated the front of the Dreadnought.
Colonial System Message: Major Faction Event, the leader of the Terran faction has been taken hostage. All Terran factions will receive a substantial penalty if they fail to recover their leader. This event will take place twenty-four hours from now. A ceasefire is in effect until then.
Colonial System Message: Major Faction Event, the Sea Farer's have taken a high ranking member of the Terran leadership. All Sea-Farer ships are ordered to the vicinity of Glory Island.
/Inferno: Pon: Shit.
/Inferno: Jun Li: Now we know why there was a Dreadnought and an entire Armada just sitting in the bay.
/Inferno: Nix: All ships return immediately to Glory Island.
[The Phoenix has been placed as the Flagship of the Sea-Farer Faction. There are currently seventeen fleets responding to this Faction Event.]