250 Raising Inferno part one
Nix heard a contented sigh and felt a cool hand caress his forehead; it was a moment before he recognized that the sound he heard came from him. Slowly he opened one eye, a beautifully alien face was staring down at him.
"I don't like it when you do things like this Nix." Mina's warm voice was laced with concern.
"I agree, death sucks." He opened and closed his hand a few times before sitting up. "Better that then trying to spend the next few weeks using one arm."
Nix had deliberately left his amputated arm untreated. It had taken longer than he would have believed but eventually, his health completely expired because of it. He died sometime during the trip back to the Dias Fortress. A glance around the room told him that he was back in Halla's study. Milat was sleeping nearby on the floor while Mina was acting as Nix's headrest.
"I find that I like taking care of you Nix," Mina stated innocently.
"Right... Thank you, Min." Nix pointed to Milat. "Why is he on the floor?"
Mina shrugged slightly. "Seems like the Copyright skill takes a lot of energy. He could barely walk up the stairs."
"How did I get here then?"
Mina offered him a guileless smile. "I carried you."
Nix glanced at his hud and noticed an unread message from Beta. "Beta stopped by?"
Mina nodded. "She seemed very happy."
Nix opened his hud and read the message from Beta.
Thank you for bringing me here. My memories of my family were mostly lost except for a few fleeting images of my parents. My mother and Yuli's mother are sisters. I don't want to get into everything but I am happy to have this chance. I will stay here for a few days. I already notified Commander Mtui that I'm taking some time off.
[Whisper Nix to Beta] Take some time and get to know your family members. I'll send you back anytime you like.
[Whisper Beta to Nix] I owe you one. Two actually since you saved my cousin earlier.
[Whisper Nix to Beta] We're friends, so it's expected that we help each other on occasion.
[Whisper Beta to Nix] Chiba says the same thing.
[Whisper Nix to Beta] Right before she asks to borrow credits for booze.
Bali gave Ronnie a crooked smile. "Ready?"
The dark archer nodded and held out her hand. "Better if we step on the 3-way at the same time."
Bali took hold of the hand she was offered. "It's called a 2-way."
"Is it? I like 3-way better." Ronnie's dark eyes held the spark of humor. "Too bad Nix isn't here."
"Take this serious." The ranger bit her lip to keep from smiling. "The range on 3-ways is about 800 meters."
"Don't you mean 2-ways?"
"....." Bali. "Damn you."
An instant later they stepped onto a crudely carved platform that had one set of stairs leading down. The only light was from an opening at the bottom of the stairs. Ronnie notched an arrow on her bow and activated her stealth.
"Is that the camo-overlay that I've heard about?" Bali followed her down the steps, had they not been in the same group she would have been completely invisible to her.
"Yep." Ronnie cursed the narrow passageway. She felt exposed without Rocky present. "Nix will make it for you if you ask."
"Shit... we've left Elynmoor." Bali grabbed Ronnie's arm and stopped her from going further.
Ronni stopped with a few feet of the exit. "Is that bad?"
"Yes. We're returning!" Bali turned and fled up the stairs giving Ronnie no explanation for her sudden withdrawal. She stopped suddenly at the sound of footsteps coming down the steps. "Shit... There were two of them."
Ronnie peaked around her. "It sucks that I'm right all the time."
With nowhere to retreat to, both archers went for their bows.
Ronnie has scored a critical hit on a Krayven footsoldier.
Bali has targeted her opponent's legs. A Krayven footsoldier has been slowed by 40 percent.
Ronnie has fired a stunning shot, a Krayven footsoldier is stunned for 5 seconds.
Bali has hit her target three times in succession.
Ronnie has hit her target three times in succession.
A Krayven footsoldier has been mortally wounded.
Bali's shot has ignored armor protection and scored a critical hit on a Krayven footsoldier.
A Krayven footsoldier has been slain.
Ronnie ran up the steps toward their slain opponent. She slapped a Black-hand on his shoulder and then started dragging him back toward the 2-way.
Bali grabbed one of the footsoldier's arms and helped her. "2-ways are paired, so if we destroy the one at the Inn, it will stop them from entering that way."
A heart-wrenching scream came from the bottom of the passage. A moment later the sounds of feet echoed loudly.
"F*ck, hurry!" Ronnie was running up the stairs sideways, unwilling to release the body they were dragging.
They stepped onto the 2-way with only a short lead on their pursuit. Bali immediately drew her sword and started hacking at the small mat on the ground. It shattered almost immediately.
/Expedition: Ronnie: Everyone fall back to the camp now, set up defensive positions and Sniper Nests.
"My attempt to assume Zylanex's Overlord title is being met with some resistance," Leva spoke quietly and without any real emotion.
"Are they worried you aren't strong enough?"
Leva shook her head slightly. "His compound is locked up. No one can access it without his permission."
Nix had to sneak into one of the empty bedrooms to receive Leva's report. "Blow it up, or just break in. Isn't that the way things are usually done?"
"Zylanex has one of the most impressive Strongholds in the Nether. No one has ever come close to breaching his walls."
Nix paused for a moment, considering her words. "He fled to the Nether when his city started to fail. Could his compound be the fallen city of Chyanama?"
"It would make sense Nix. His arrival in the Nether was long before me, but no one knows how he rose to power so quickly."
"Bringing your own city along with its inhabitants is a good start." Nix cursed under his breath. Instead of turning his people into Tainted like Yandro had done, he corrupted them with the Nether.
"I'm exposed. If I'm unable to assume Command, one of the other Overlords will deal with me."
"Explain that Leva."
"My betrayal of Zylanex is seen as an opportunistic and daring move. However, if that ends in failure, none of the other Overlords will dare to take me into their service."
"I know what to do." Nix closed the contact and left the room. He entered Halla's study to find him speaking with Mina and Milat.
"How are you feeling Nix?" Halla had recovered from the shock of being saved from certain doom. Their new allies said they could deal with Zylanexor and Yandro; without a doubt, they had done so.
"I'm opening a breach into Elynmoor right now. Grab the Spectrum and come with me." Nix equipped his armor and motioned for his teammates to do the same.
Halla looked around nervously, neither of the Aquarions showed any surprise. "This kind of thing requires more planning Nix. We should wait..."
"Prey waits," Nix interrupted him. "Elynmoor is some sort of Master Key right? It has the ability to find other fallen cities."
Halla nodded. "Whoever controls Elynmoor could gain access and control of the other six cities."
/Inferno: Milat: I don't like that name Nix.
/Inferno: Nix: Me either. A name change is due.
/Inferno: Mina: Inferno sounds much better.
[Guild Quest Updated: The Fallen Cities]
Nix displayed the Quest on his hud
[The Fallen Cities]
Long ago there existed 25 cities in the air of the Everspire continent. Seven of those cities have disappeared from sight. Continue to pursue all leads.
1) Stop the Spectrum from falling into the hands of a dragon.
2) Discover the Key to raising the Fallen Dragon Cities. (Updated)
3) Uncover the truth about Dragon Marrow.
4) Discover the Identity of Zylanexor.
5) Defeat Zylanexor (Updated)
6) Raise the City of Elynmoor. (Incomplete)
[Point of Contact: The Cabal]
[New Guild Quest Available: Raise Hierophant City]
New Guild Quest Available: Raise Chyanama City]
[New Guild Quest Available: Raise Bo'raz City]
[New Guild Quest Available: Raise Neptiphago City]
[New Guild Quest Available: Raise Tharaka City]
[New Guild Quest Available: Raise Unaqoir City]
Nix whistled when he read the quests that scrolled across his hud. "Let's finish this quest, the new quests will have to wait until we are much stronger."
/Inferno: Milat: I want to take my Planar Trial Nix.
/Inferno: Mina: Same here, I feel ready.