155 Spirit Sister
[Spiritual Healing: Day 4]
Nix stood at his balcony railing enjoying the view. The four mares from the Saigon Compound had been placed in his stable. Bev had taken it upon herself to take care of them and make sure they were able to get daily exercise. His dad had already agreed to stay in Colonial, it had been a simple thing to extend him into a one-year Stay. In the interest of avoiding confusion, his father had taken his recommendation and changed his name from Rhy to Rico.
From his viewpoint, nestled neatly into the base of the cliff, most of the large plateau was obstructed by the dense forest that hid the large ranch house. Had he been back home he would classify the forest giants as some sort of fir tree, perhaps Redwood or even Sequoia.
"I think all of Inferno might be in your house Nix." A familiar voice caused him to smile. Mina hadn't been spending too much time in Haven lately.
"You may be right." Any other time the idea would have annoyed Nix, but a few days earlier Eron had asked for a Spirit host. The Ain'Dhassi girl was fading too fast, she would need the help of someone with a compatible spirit. Unexpectedly when the word went out, everyone had shown up for the testing. In the end, only one compatible person was found, Rhylia Thundercloud, the Air Nemesis.
The test had been as easy as entering her room and touching her hand. Eron was overseeing the healing and he could instantly tell the compatibility level. There had been a handful of good matches but when the Air Nemesis entered the room Eron had declared that a perfect match had been found. No one who had seen the frail girl could bring themselves to leave.
Mina slid a hand through Nix's arm and leaned against him. "What do you think of the dhassi ?"
Nix shrugged, "That's a hard question. I've really only met a few of them. I haven't lived among them or seen their normal day to day interactions."
"When I go to Parliament, many of them stare at me." Mina thought that after a while the staring would stop but it only became worse.
"They've never seen Aquarions, they don't exist in Oasis." Nix studied the maps of Oasis regularly. It was predominantly water. If Aquarions were to find a way through the Gate, they would certainly be able to thrive.
The leader of the Souza Accord almost always wore the same black-masked gear when walking around Parliament. Occasionally she would remove the hood to eat or drink, the striking change of snow-white hair and pale blue eyes caught many by surprise. Then they'd notice the Seashell shaped ears, webbed hands, and slightly pointed fangs. She was clearly alien among the other inhabitants of Oasis.
[Whisper: Gideon to Nix] Am I disturbing you Nix?
[Whisper: Nix to Gideon] Not really.
[Whisper: Gideon to Nix] We are really looking forward to building on Loki.
[Whisper: Nix to Gideon] Good to hear, are you getting flak from the Guilds who weren't invited into the Alliance?
[Whisper: Gideon to Nix] Quite a bit, it's fine though. I instructed my members to post on the forums about how excited they are to finally be able to build in Oasis.
[Whisper: Nix to Gideon] Wait a week or two and open up recruiting.
[Whisper: Gideon to Nix] Sounds good. What are we going to do about the existing town?
There was one large port town in Loki. Nix knew from his territory manager menu that the Fir'Dhassi were still there. He also knew he could expel them whenever he liked.
[Whisper: Nix to Gideon] Eviction. I don't care who built it, it belongs to Inferno now.
[Whisper: Gideon to Nix] Want some company? I'd like to get a good look at our new home.
[Whisper: Nix to Gideon] Yes. Bring a group of five. I'll do the same, there no telling what kind of things we'll find. I'll give you 2 days' notice when I'm going.
[Whisper: Gideon to Nix] Sounds good. Cya Nix.
"Sorry Min, the Salamander Guild Leader sent me a personal message." Nix nudged the Aquarion leader who had been leaning against him without talking.
"It's okay, you are an important person among the humans and the Aquarions." Mina stepped away from him and bowed unexpectedly. "Your growth is sometimes frightening to watch."
Nix offered her a slight smile. "You have grown also Filamina. You have surpassed the strength of the Matriarchs, our road to the Cai'Song artifact grows shorter every day."
Mina stood on her tiptoes and kissed his cheek. "I promised to help prepare dinner, it isn't fair to let Hyai do everything." She turned toward the door and stopped with her hand on the handle. "Nix... Do you still think about her? Our child from the Black Gate?"
Nix nodded. "Yes, but it isn't good to become fixated on her. You should wait patiently for the day when you have a real daughter."
"Super nice place Nix." Wind squeezed in beside him on the long bench that lined his dining room table. "Could be a bit larger though."
Pon nodded his head in agreement and thanked Mina when she sat a platter full of meat on the table in front of them. "Eron said that Cora is out of danger now."
Some time since she arrived at Haven, their Ain'Dhassi guest went from being the 'dhassi girl' to Cora. The entire guild waited while she recovered. Eron had mentioned that she would definitely receive some positive benefits from her association with the Air Nemesis.
Because of the number of guests, meals were eaten in shifts. The ones who ate first were then expected to serve the ones who had served them. It was confusing and chaotic, but the atmosphere was light and joyful, the news that Cora was out of danger seemed to put everyone's heart at ease. Rhylia had finally left the ranger's side and when she appeared in the dining room, the entire guild erupted in applause. No one had seen much of her in the last few weeks, the Air Nemesis had been staying close to the Palace on most days. With Shae gone, she felt an obligation to ensure it was properly defended.
Rhy took a seat at the table, the dark Air Elemental seemed unusually vibrant. "Cora Tali has asked that I thank the members of Inferno for their kindness and the gifts."
Cora rubbed her nose and rolled over in bed, the bushy black tail swished across her face one more time before she finally woke up.
"Hmmm... I must compliment you little dhassi, you're spirit is pure and beautiful." Eron sat next to her on the bed, one small paw set gently on her shoulder.
The white-haired dhass sat up slowly. She pushed her slender hands into the soft mattress, it was by far the softest bed she had ever slept on. "Thank you, Eron." She smiled at the stacks of gifts and flowers that littered the room. She had never received so much attention before.
The black fox's eyes glowed for a moment before he nodded in satisfaction. "Completely healed, we were fortunate to find someone so compatible with you."
Cora knew that the Air Nemesis was close, she could feel her presence. "I fell like getting up and walking around."
Eron leaped nimbly to the table next to the bed. "Feel free to eat and move around, I'll check on you later."
"You are looking good today Cora." Fajii stood in the doorway for a moment before entering. "I bet you want to get dressed and move around."
Cora struggled not to stare at the Scorched Earth Mage. She was one of the most beautiful women the young dhassi had ever seen, her verticle irises were mesmerizing. "Yes... I feel like I've been in bed for weeks."
Fajii stepped over the stacks of gifts and picked up a white box. "This is the box Nix left, so you'd have something to wear." She peeked in the box before nodded in satisfaction. "Follow me please."
Cora followed Fajii into a large bathroom. "This is Guild Leader Nix's place?"
Fajii nodded and shut the door. "Let me show you how everything works. Then I'll leave you in peace so you can enjoy the bath."
"I don't mind if you stay, you're hair is pretty. Will you show me how to do that?" Cora had noticed that several of the Inferno women wore the same braid.
"I call it Nansu's braid because she's the one who taught everyone how to do it."
The two women talked quietly while Cora washed and then soaked in the hot bath. The young dhassi was very curious about Inferno and its members.
"My Master Del Tali has a very good impression of Nix." Cora sat in front of Fajii while the Aquarion carefully braided her hair.
"Nix is good at making impressions, but they aren't always good."
Cora peeked over one shoulder, "your voice changes when you say his name."
"I never noticed, but it doesn't surprise me. Nix is someone that I love." Fajii finished the braid and then tied off the end. "Do you like someone?"
Cora's pale face blushed. "One of the rangers that work with my master. I don't think he even sees me."
"I understand the feeling. I grew up feeling invisible." Fajii moved around to the front of Cora and helped her to her feet. "I'm an Aquarion like Mina, the way I look now is completely different from what I was before."
"Like Mina?" Cora had talked to the Aquarion leader a few times, if her ears were covered she'd easily pass of an Ain'Dhassi. "She's beautiful."
Fajii laughed good-naturedly. "I was not. At least that's how I felt."
Cora returned her smile. "Nix must have thought you were."
"Yes. He saw me through different eyes than the others."
A short while later all of Inferno was standing on the balcony. Cora was walking through the crowd, making sure to thank everyone. The young dhassi's face was flushed slightly from all the attention. She stopped in front of Pon and Wind. They were the two men who had found her. She hugged both of them tightly. Inferno had gone there to rob Saigon, if they hadn't checked the stairs going down to the basement, she would have died in that place. Nix and Rhylia were the last two people she thanked.
"You seem strong Cora." Rhylia's dark eyes watched the young dhassi.
"I feel good. Thank you everything Nemesis Rhylia." Cora bowed low only to have Rhy grab her arm and gently pull her up.
"We are spirit sisters now Cora, there is no need for such formalities." Rhy smiled and placed a slender hand on her head. "Because of the sharing, I can feel Air Coursing through you. I must, of course, give you a proper send-off."
Cora's smile widened, "spirit sisters? Thank you, it is my honor."
"Receive the Blessing of Air little sister." Rhylia's hand glowed for a moment and a swirling breeze enveloped Cora.
[Cora has received the Blessing of Air]
Cora has learned Null
Cora has learned Air Burst
Cora has learned Whirl Wind.
Cora has learned Air Throw
Cora has learned True Shot.
Nix finally managed to drag Cora away, they walked together through the woods. "We will gate to Phai City, Del Tali is waiting for us."
Cora nodded, she sniffed loudly and wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. "I didn't expect that."
"The Air Blessing? Rhy told me that with the Spirit mend, those abilities would have developed in a few years. She knows you are in training and wanted you to be able to incorporate it properly."
Nix held out his hand and grabbed Cora's. "Time to bring you back." He activated Deep Blue and then chose Phai City.
Nix smiled at the waving Cora, Del Tali had arrived on time and was bringing her back to the Ain'Dhassi Camp in the Neutral Zone. Master and apprentice enjoyed an emotional reunion, the normally cold Del seemed to care about her student quite a bit.
Nix was walking toward the market square, the warm sun on his face causing him to slow his step slightly.
[You have been summoned by Shae Balefire. Do you accept?]
Nix stared at the message in shock for a moment before replying. "Yes!"
[You have arrived at Solomon City]