136 The Black Gate
The raid force flew inland toward the spot where the original portal to the Necromancer Dark Temple had been located. Inferno had long removed the platform and taken it to Inferno.
/Inferno: Pon: The hell is that?
The rocky landscape should have been completely barren, but instead, a large Arch had been formed. The entryway shimmered darkly like liquid obsidian.
"It's a Chaos Gate Nix," Fey spoke loudly so the entire raid heard her. She glided downward and landed within a few meters of the gate.
"Born from blood and destruction, to make a Chaos Gate requires two things, the gate maker must be a practitioner of Chaos Magic, and they must be willing to use part of their soul to create the gate. Fey stared at Nix. "For the gate to exist, the Chaos Mage must still be inside."
/Inferno: Nix: Kill the Chaos Mage and exit... Pretty straightforward. Prey waits.
Nix drew his sword hilt while running toward the gate, he leaped through just as the emerald flame pushed outward.
Nix spit the brown dirt out of his mouth and coughed out some of the dust from the road. Slowly he sat up. He jumped to his feet but then stared blankly as if forgetting his purpose.
"Papa!" A small girl with black hair and pigtails waved to him from the road. She wore the white dress he had made for her. She was running toward him at full speed, her arms open.
Nix smiled and returned her wave before managing to catch her up in his arms. "Nia... that dress was for your birthday."
Nia smiled and curtsied. "Thank you, Papa, it's so pretty."
Nix sighed and picked her up. "My point is, that you shouldn't be wearing it yet."
"I know." Nia used the end of her pigtail to tickle his ear while they walked toward the Inn. "Forgives?"
Nix laughed, "suppose so."
Hyai looked up from the enormous pot of stew that she was preparing. "Only a sneak comes in the back door."
Nix kicked the door shut with his heel and walked toward her. "I agree... We should toss her in the pot!" He tilted Nia toward the pot until she squealed, then he sat her down.
Hyai was watching them both while hiding a smile. "Trying to ruin my stew?"
Nix nodded, "your customers want it sweeter."
He walked towards the dining door stopping halfway before turning. "The stitching is wrong."
Hyai's smile widened. "What hun?"
"I said... the stitching on the dress is wrong."
A white-hot flame burned through Hyai, the entire room rippled and then went black.
Nix swam toward shore, the surf giving him a needed boost as his tired feet seemed to drag on the wet sand. An enormous Sea Turtle was sunning itself on the beach while a little girl drew on its shell with chalk.
"That was quick Dad." The Aquarion girl jumped off of the turtle and walked toward him.
"Lisa... How many times have I told you not to draw on Soup's back?"
Lisa smiled before raising up on her tiptoes to give him a kiss. "It's fine, I only used chalk this time. It will definitely wash off in the water." This young girl wore a blue one-piece swimsuit, her long white hair hung down to her waist.
Nix glanced at Soup, who seemed content with his life as a sketch pad. "Fine... Mom inside?"
Lisa nodded and marched back toward the turtle with a big smile on her face.
He was almost to the door of the beach cottage when it opened up, the Aquarion woman was wearing the black leather outfit that she often used when exploring human cities.
"You didn't swim very long Nix." Mina stepped closer and placed a hand on either side of his face. "Tired today hun?"
Nix shook his head and bent forward for a kiss. He felt her arms wrap around his neck as she leaned against him.
"Hey!! Kid watching over here!" Lisa was sitting on the back of the turtle, drawing circles on her shell. "Go kissy-face inside."
Mina laughed and pulled him toward the door. "Come on handsome..."
Nix stopped at the doorway, his yellow eyes staring at his wife. "I'm handsome now?"
Min nodded, "I've always thought so."
"Quickly Nix!" Shae tilted a wing and banked toward the palace. She dived suddenly toward the front gate, the flames coming off her heating Nix's face. He followed her closely, two archons flying close to the Ice. Each building they passed burst into flames.
The Archon Queen landed suddenly, the stones of the courtyard splashing like water under her bare feet. "The city of Ice. What took us so long to find it?"
Nix let his firesword flame out. His eyes strayed to his mate, the highest form of their kind, a flame Archon. Her beautiful red hair was the deepest and hottest of flames, the white fire coming off of her wings created a haze in the air. His own wings still burned with Emerald flames, according to his wife it should have changed long ago but it never did.
"This is the Ice Palace?" Shae's cruel laughter shook the gates as she walked toward them.
Nix glanced around, it was familiar. There were bodies littered all over the landscape, a few adversaries he even knew the names of, Cyan, Mari and the Wylie the White Knight. All of them fell before the flames.
"Why are we enemies?" A ragged voice born from despair spoke to them from the top of the gate.
Nix recognized her, Shi the Nemesis of Ice. A strong and valiant enemy who seemed to have countless followers. Now they were all dead... most of them by his own hand.
Shae's cruel laugh mocked the Ice Queen. "You are Ice and I am Fire, it is natural that you bend to my will."
Nix frowned at the Archon Queen. "Shae... you've always been beautiful." Nix's flames changed from green to brown and then to a bright silver. "But... you've never been cruel."
Nix convulsed once and then collapsed on the ground retching. Thick, black gunk that reeked of rot flushed out of his body. He coughed a few times and continued retching until only blood came out.
A soft green light surrounded Nix and healed his wounds.
Nix scowled and spit on the ground. His team was all standing around him, staring into space with empty eyes. Wylie was the nearest, her lips were moving slightly as she whispered to no one.
He checked on each of them, none of them aware of his presence. The last he checked on was Chael. He seemed to be struggling the most.
"Fool... I didn't bring Chael." Nix equipped his scythe and pushed emerald flames into it before swinging it at Chael's head.
Chael dodged nimbly and started an incantation.
Mikiail Dunham has been silenced.
The Chaos Mage appeared in front of Nix, his face a mask of terror. Nix sliced through his neck with one stroke, sending the offending head flying into the air. He grew dizzy suddenly just before the ground rose up and slammed into his face. He staggered back to his feet, managing to stay conscious as the Chaos Gate faded into nothing.
The sound of crying caused Nix to turn back toward his group. Every one of them had tears running down their faces. One by one, he helped them to their feet. The group huddled together for some time before finally feeling well enough to summon their mounts.
[Onion Quest: The Final Layer has been completed]
You have been awarded the Spirit Stone.
All Inferno Members are awarded an additonal Physical Statisic.
The Cabal has sent you a letter.