Nix smiled drowsily, this bed was quite possibly the most comfortable bed in all of Colonial. Mina had stopped by the Kindled Spirit while he was finishing up the dishes with Hyai. She said she wanted to talk, so Nix had followed her to the beach cottage in the Sea-World. Oddly enough, they had started drinking instead and never really got around to a serious conversation. "I need to bring this bed to the Ranch."
Mina peeked into the room when she heard his voice. "Isn't this early for you?"
Nix nodded and pulled himself into a sitting position. "I suppose. Seems like I'm constantly on the run nowadays."
She gave him a smile and took a seat on the bet. She was wearing a pair of blue pajamas that Nix had made for her and her hair was hanging down. "I wanted to talk last night but instead I put it off."
"This is about Ishna?" Nix leaned back on the bed, he was starting to get good at reading Aquarion facial expressions. Mina felt guilty. "You're not the first person to want to trust their friends."
Mina's pale blue eyes instantly began to tear up. "With that Black Hand artifact, they could have imprisoned you indefinitely. It was my judgment that put you at risk."
Nix reached for her hand and pulled until she fell across him, instead of resisting, she hugged his waist while she rested her head on his chest. "If I'm being honest, as I am now. They couldn't have taken me, even if I had been alone."
Mina nodded, her soft hair tickling his neck. "Your strength has grown faster than the Elder Matriarchs could have imagined."
"Ishna asked me to tell you that she's sorry."
"She did? Do you think the Aquarions can survive in Oasis?" Mina looked up at him, her eyes were red with emotion.
"Ishna is smart, the Oceans of Oasis are unknown at this time. There may be a water race already there."
Mina eased herself up and kissed his cheek before scooting beside him. "If it was me, I'd pick someplace close to Loki."
Nix glanced at her to see if she was serious. "You think Ishna will settle close to us?"
Mina nodded. "If she hasn't, then she definitely will if Panyu becomes pregnant with a female child."
"You know her better than I do."
"I'm sorry Nix. There won't be any more mistakes on my part." Mina leaned her head on his shoulder. "I've decided that I want to see Oasis one day."
"Once we destroy the Cai'Song Artifact and face the Elders, I will take you there."
Two hours later, Nix had showered and enjoyed a hot breakfast with Hyai. They walked together to the Parliament Courtyards until Hyai parted for the market area. Pon and Wind were waiting for him when he arrived at the North Courtyard, they had already ordered him a beer.
"All the lifestyle players in Inferno have switched over to Oasis crafting?" Wind shook his head in amazement, they'd been busy in recent weeks and had made quite a few gains as a guild.
"That's all part of the Master plan that I came up with Semmi and Jun Li," Nix smirked at his two friends, he could tell they were curious.
Pon ignored the obvious bait. "And how much of this master plan did you come up with?"
Nix considered his question for a few moments. "A solid 4 percent."
"That much?" Wind's smile said he doubted the number.
/Inferno: Rico: Nicky, when you combine cloth to make Camo, why didn't you add an enhancement?
/Inferno: Nix: You mean during the combining? There was an enhancement slot, but I couldn't find a single item that worked.
/Inferno: Rico: Found one. Enhanced Camouflage.
Description: A unique set
of colors specifically designed to
make you blend in.
Additional Effect: This cloth is
made with Enhanced Mere stone.
/Inferno: Nix: Enhanced Mere Stone? Good job! I've been meaning to craft some new gear for Fey, send me some and I'll let you know the effects.
/Inferno: Rico: Going to make an enhanced material line, blending different colors and adding the enhancements, should increase the effectiveness of everything you make with it.
/Inferno: Nix: Try making some Under Armor gear so we can compare them, with ones I've already made.
/Inferno: Rico: Okay Nicky.
/Alpha Team: Pon: Looks like the old man is showing you up.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Well... He is an actual Tailor in real life.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: You guys in the North Courtyard?
/Alpha Team: Nix: Yes.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: We're almost there.
A few minutes later, Fajii and Semmi arrived and took a seat with the group. The blond officer spent most of the morning in the Ain'Dhassi Clan Office. In the end, they had agreed to let Alpha Team explore the area North of the capital city of Fraya'Selene, or as the natives called it, Fraya.
/Alpha Team: Pon: When are you going to hit the 11th floor?
/Alpha Team: Nix: Not for a few days. The Power leveling teams will be cycling through the Embassy floors of 60-70.
/Alpha Team: Pon: Why do our crafters need to be power leveled?
Traditionally Crafters could maintain low levels while still maxing out their crafting skills. However, crafters in Oasis were sent on missions at different times to gather rare materials. They didn't need to be combat specialists but they did need to have decent gear and levels.
/Alpha Team: Wind: Is that why Chael volunteered to head up one of the teams?
/Alpha Team: Pon: I am fairly sure Nansu made him do it.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Ready to hit it? I expect to see some serious Gemini slaughter since everyone has had some time with their new skills.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Yes. We'll take the Phai City Portal to Fraya where we will be met by Binam Manu.
/Alpha Team: Nix: How many groups did you catch and release yesterday?
/Alpha Team: Pon: At least a dozen.
Nix had tasked his team of Gemini Elites to finding wandering groups of Aquarions and capture them without fatalities. After telling them how mating with human males resulted in female Aquarion babies, they were released.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: That was smart Nix. If a high ranking Matriarch like Ishna doesn't know, then it's a safe bet that only a few of the Elders do.
/Alpha Team: Wind: The rumors will start, well-played boss.
/Alpha Team: Nix: Let's make it an ongoing mission whenever we have some downtime.
/Alpha Team: Semmi: Sooner or later, Aquarions from outside the Souza Accord are going to test the theory. Once that happens...
After stopping in Phai City to pick up a few last-minute items, Alpha Team stepped onto the gating platform and chose Fraya'Selene.
Nix and his group arrived in Fraya shortly after lunchtime. As expected from a polar cap city, the roads and buildings were covered in ice and snow. The market square was filled with Ain'Dhassi wearing all different colors of furs. Heavy boots and knee-length coat seemed to be the fashion, Alpha team were clearly foreigners with their Camo gear and lack of winter attire.
An Ain'Dhassi man wearing a long white coat approached them. He stopped in front of them and pulled down his mask. "You must be the group from Inferno?"
Nix pulled down his own mask and extended his hand. "I'm Nix, this is my team. Semmi, Pon, Fajii, and Wind."
The Ice Dhassi shook his hand and bowed low. "It is my pleasure to greet you. I am Binam Manu."
Nix returned the bow. "Manu? There's a Manu that works in Parliament."
Binam nodded, "My younger brother. I understand that you are in a hurry? Follow me and I will start you on your way."