171 Pon the Magnificen
Nix couldn't keep the smile off his face as he stepped off the platform in the Gemini Palace.
/Inferno: Jun Li: Nix! You asked me to meet you!
/Inferno: Nix: Damn. I'm sorry Junie, lost track of time while out on a mission.
/Inferno: Jun Li: I'm still awake, want to meet up now?
/Inferno: Nix: Sure, if it isn't inconvenient.
/Inferno: Jun Li: Meet you in the Altar room.
Nix finally took a look at the stone while he was walking. Vooni had drawn a complicated rune with her own blood.
Dragon Eyes: Elemental
Description: The body heat of
your enemies will glow like fire.
Caution: This is Descended Dragonblood, use at
your own risk.
[Do you wish to learn Dragon Eyes?]
Nix felt his body heat up suddenly, by instinct his aura flamed on, the emerald flames fluttered for a moment before turning to silver and finally combining into the Gemini Flame. Nix's vision clouded slightly and then turned red. The effects lasted a few seconds before fading away completely. He braced a hand against the rough stone of the hall and rested briefly, the learning left him completely exhausted.
The walk to the altar room was much more difficult than it should have been, an exhausted Nix plopped down on the throne and waited.
Jun Li walked in a few minutes later, her expression told him that she was mildly irritated at being stood up. "You look tired Nix."
"I am." Nix sat up a bit straighter. "I would like you to be my Temple Champion Junie."
"What?" Jun Li's pale face blushed slightly. "Am I good enough for something like that?"
Nix nodded. "You're a smart and creative fighter. Please accept my offer."
A smile crept out on Jun Li's face. "I was going to be mad at you for a bit longer Nix, you've ruined it. Fine, I accept your offer."
Nix motioned her forward. "Please take a knee and accept the blessings of the Gemini Palace."
[Do you wish to appoint Jun Li as the Gemini Palace Champion?]
Jun Li has received the Blessings of the Gemini.
Jun Li has learned Gemini Bond.
Jun Li has learned Ghost Step.
Jun Li has learned Unbalanced Chain.
Jun Li has learned Critical Chain.
Jun Li has learned Swapped Out.
Jun Li has received the Gemini Champion's Medal.
Jun Li has received the Gemini Sword.
Jun Li held the beautifully crafted sword in her hand, she caressed the flat blade with a fingertip before turning it over. One side of the blade reflected everything it touched while the other was the darkest black that seemed to absorb the light around it. "Nix... This is a peerless blade."
"Make sure you work hard Champion." Nix wanted to stay and examine her new abilities but the haze at the corners of his vision told him that he was overtaxed. It was an effort to get to his feet. "I have to go, Junie, make sure to learn your new abilities well."
Surprisingly Jun Li bowed low. "I will not disappoint you."
The trip back to the Ranch House was a haze. Fey dropped him off near the front door and he walked slowly to his room. As he undressed, he dimly realized that Fajii was sleeping soundly in his bed. The comfortable warmth of an occupied bed greeted him when he slid under the blankets and fell into a deep sleep.
Nix woke up slowly the next morning, the light from the mid-afternoon sun was shining in his face. The room was empty except for him, only the fragrant scent of flowers lingered in the air. He stretched in place and slowly rolled out of bed. It was only then that he checked the time.
/Inferno: Nix: How was the raid?
/Inferno: Semmi: They cleared it with no issues. The Crimson Key dropped from 10.3.
Nix nodded in satisfaction while slowly getting dressed. There were three doors that needed to be unlocked on the 12th floor. Only the Ivory Key was left, this would allow them to finish 12.1 and move directly to 12.5. If Inferno didn't find the Ivory key on the 11th floor, they'd have to do all seven stages on the 12th floor.
/Inferno: Nix: Awesome, hopefully, we can find the Ivory Key. You guys start yet?
Before he had left, Nix had tasked Alpha Team with a special mission. He was planning on joining them but instead had slept the morning away.
/Inferno: Semmi: We've managed to catch and release a half dozen different small groups.
/Inferno: Nix: Damn, you guys move fast.
/Inferno: Semmi: Not everyone sleeps until 1300 hours.
Nix smiled to himself, Semmi seemed to back to normal.
[Whisper: Nix to Pon] You make peace with Semmi?
[Whisper: Pon to Nix] Of course I did!
[Whisper: Nix to Pon] She didn't run you through the wringer first?
[Whisper: Pon to Nix] I had to agree to call our product Semmi Beer.
Nix laughed aloud as he made he way into the kitchen. There was a boxed lunch from the day before that he didn't get a chance to eat.
He ate by himself in the peace of his dining room.
[Whisper: Semmi to Nix] Thank you Nix.
[Whisper: Nix to Semmi] What for?
[Whisper: Semmi to Nix] Making Junie your Champion, that means more to her than anything she's accomplished in the game.
Nix would have stayed with Junie to test out her skills, but the evening in the Sky Kingdom had taken its toll on him.
He finished his brunch and headed toward the stables, he wanted to check on the pregnant mares he had penned up. Nix was halfway there when he stopped. "It's not like it has anything to do with me!"
Nix continued on his way and was nearly there before he stopped and started cussing loudly. He kicked up a cloud of dirt in anger before finally pulling out Deep Blue.
Captain Vooni waited near the start of the exercise. Pheno and Wagner's teams had already finished the training course. Her group almost always went last. She wore her normal black scaled armor, her red eyes stared at each member of her team. "After today, we will no longer be able to stay ahead of the progression line, I won't let that happen to this team."
The progression line was the minimal score a team had to maintain to stay in training. If they fell below it, the team would be broken up and washed out. They would have to start from scratch after they separated. If a team is pulled by their trainer before they fall below the line, then the group will be able to stay together when they washed out. It was a small consolation, but learning to work together often took months.
"Pon the Magnificent, reporting for duty!" The Emerald Salamander walked past Vooni and stood next to the group she had been talking to.
Vooni stared at him for a moment, her face slowly turning red before she hid it behind her hud. "I'll have to give you a proper name to add you to my recruits."
"What's wrong with Pon the Magnificent?"
"Fine, since this is temporary, I'll deal with the jokes," Vooni added his name and then displayed her team.
Aja: Fire Wyvern
Nunzo: Flame Knight
Omak: Fire Drake
Pon the Magnificent: Salamander
Nix was the only member of the team that wasn't in human form. Vooni didn't have to ask, it was likely Pon wouldn't be able to move if he took his human form.
The Fire Wyvern was the only female in the group, she kept looking from Nix to Vooni, unsure if this was a joke. "You're a 50 level Salamander, Pon?"
Nix eyed the Wyvern, her hair and eyes were dark gold, she had a long scar that went from her hairline to her chin. The thin white line progressed through her eye and lips. The affected eye had turned completely white and the beautiful lips tilted downward slightly, making them crooked. "Pon the Magnificent! My job here is only to stay alive, outside of that there is not much I can do."
Omak nodded, his face showing his determination. "Good enough! That will land you enough points to keep us above the progression."
Nunzo pulled out his shield and produced a beautiful red sword made from flames. "Stay close to me, let's do this!"