294 Killing Menial
"We're ahead of schedule." Scarlett easily matched her husband's pace with her smooth fluid stride. Her Dire Wolf puppet moved like the wind. The last six months had been hard for the Titan Clan leader, finally some hope had entered her life. She glanced at her husband, although it wasn't his bear form, she could tell he was loving every second of it.
"Nix said to attack as soon as we made contact." Mortimus crested a tall ice ridge, in the distance he could see the Keep where Menial ruled. He sniffed the air, although painful to admit, the puppet's senses were much sharper than his own. "Do you think Dire Wolves are all this strong?"
"No. This is an Emperor Dire Wolf, Nix said that normal dire wolves would only be as strong as one of his Revenant-level works." Scarlett raised her head to the sky and howled loudly.
Mortimus listened to the howl echoing in the distance. "What are you doing?"
Scarlett nudged him with her nose. "Calling my army. Go find your own." She raised her head toward the sky again, thinking about anguish and pain of the last few months. She howled again, her call was answered from dozens of different directions.
Mortimus trotted back to the Titan pack. "Time to split up. Kill the smaller wolves and control any Dire Wolves you find."
Mina dove deep into the water, welcoming the embrace of the sea as she followed the coastline North, all four of her Vilas following closely. When she saw the map of Everspire, her heart had jumped in excitement. The entire western coast was open sea all the way to the Zintian Icecap. She would find him without having to cross any deserts. In a few days, they would be together again.
The two wolves padded softly down the corridor, every few minutes Nix would stop and sniff the air.
"Are we lost Nix?"
"Yep," Nix admitted. The halls were a maze of twists and turns that made little sense. Sometimes they would end in nothing but a bare wall. "You're no help, can't you use those natural animal senses?"
Gil's long wolf tongue lolled out of one side of his mouth while he trotted alongside him. "I'm a turtle. I can pick up scents in and out of the water."
Nix stopped suddenly, his ears pricking forward. "They're here."
Gil skidded to a stop. "Who? Menial?"
/Titan: Nix: Welcome to Zintia.
/Titan: Mortimus: Nix! You beat us here?
/Titan: Nix: Let's call it a draw. Start hitting them.
"FOOL! GET CONTROL OF YOUR OWN MINIONS!"
A shout echoed through the lower halls, super-sensitive wolf ears weren't needed, Menial was angry. The two stealthed Dire Wolves ran down the halls, finally finding a door that led upwards they loped up the stairs a dozen at a time.
"This way." Nix exited the stairway and slowed to a walk. The overwhelming sense of Ice radiated from a set of double doors. The sound of voices and footsteps could be heard from the other side.
Gil sniffed the door and then shook his wolf head. "Bad smells Nix."
The two wolves jumped in opposite directions when the door opened suddenly, a servant exited and left the door to close on its own. Nix leaped through and moved to one side, a scuffling at his heels told him that Gil had managed also.
The doors led to a smaller room where tables of food and wine were laid out. Dozens of cushions lay on the floor.
An archway provided the only entrance into a much larger room. Unexpectedly this room was warm, the crackling sounds of a fire burning filled the air. Thick luxurious carpeting covered the floor, there were only two occupants.
[I can sense you, pretend wolf.]
Nix's head turned toward the throne, a robed mage sat comfortably with a plate of food in front of him. He was obscenely thin, his emaciated body looked like a skeleton sitting on the overly large throne. His long white hair hung down in several braids. He cluelessly continued eating with one hand while his other toyed with his hair. The only other occupant was a brown wolf, it was chained with silver links to an iron ring that had been bolted to the floor. Its yellow eyes were staring directly at him.
[You can't destroy him without first dealing with the Pandemonium artifact.]
Nix eyes moved to the center of the room, where a crystal goblet was on display like some sort of trophy.
[That's a fake. The real one sits on the arm of his throne.]
/Titan: Nix: Get ready Gil.
/Titan: Gil: Do I really have to blow myself up? Can't I kill a few things first?
/Titan: Nix: Stop whining or I'll do it for you. On my signal.
[I'll create an opening.]
The brown wolf morphed slowly into a woman. She was completely nude, her long brown hair fell over her perfect behind. She stretched her back slowly, her sinuous movements drew the attention of Menial.
"Why did you change forms?" Menial continued to eat while he watched her.
She lay back on the floor, one hand holding the heavy steel collar around her neck. "It chafes my coat. I can still function in this form."
Menial grabbed a handful of meat from the plate and stood up. "Function? Hundreds of your minions are revolting. You call that functioning?"
"Your will is my life. I cannot disobey." The wolf-woman bowed her head from her spot on the floor.
The thin man stared at her. He licked his lips obscenely and dropped his robes. "Service your master bitch."
/Titan: Nix: Now!
Nix leaped for the goblet that Menial left behind while Gil's wolf jaws clamped down on the other.
[Dire Wolf Emperor: Self-Destruct]
[Dire Wolf Emperor: Self-Destruct]
Nix's eyes popped open, the entire room was shaking from side to side. Immediately he climbed over the crates and sprinted out the door. Without bothering to stealth he ran down the hallway.
[Aura Ignition: Gemini Flame]
He pushed flames into Wrath and turned into the stairway, the entire Keep was moving and rumbling. The smell of fire and smoke was thick in the air as Nix exited the stairs.
The hallway had been destroyed, the light of day shone through the roof. Nix stepped into the room where'd he been a few moments before, most of it was destroyed beyond reckoning.
Neither of the occupants of the room had been killed by the devastating explosions, although both of them had been altered.
The wolf-woman was still bound to the floor. Most of her left side was burned away, blood bubbled from her smiling mouth. "Now we see your true form bastard."
Nix thought he was talking about him until he sensed the attack. Without thinking he dived to one side, an instant later a sword sliced through the rubble where he'd been standing.
Menial was about the same size as before but he no longer resembled a human. His skin was like ivory and his eyes devoid of any color other than white. He had two large horns coming out of his head and he carried a long sword made of ice. "Who are you?"
Nix blocked a second attack and then jumped out of range.
[Comet Strike: Emerald Flames]
A half dozen orbs of green flame struck Menial in the chest, he screamed in anger and pain. "A FIRE MAGE HERE?"
A blizzard sprung up out of nowhere, thousands of tiny ice particles bit into Nix's skin.
Deep Freeze has been resisted.
You have resisted Ice Storm.
Nix raised both hands and a dozen strands of emerald flame stabbed into the Ice Demon. Pulling back with all his strength, he slammed Menial on the floor.
Menial has been stunned.
Menial has resisted Silence.
Nix ignored the ground that flash froze beneath his feet, and slammed the creature onto the floor again.
Menial has resisted stun.
[Black Ice Armor]
A coating of black Ice formed around Menial, causing Nix's strands to drop.
"Think you can kill me?" Menial's laughter echoed as his blade sliced at Nix.
Nix blocked the attack and pushed forward to lock the Ice Blade in place, his free hand formed a fist and slammed into Menial's grinning maw.
The floor shifted beneath Nix causing him to stumble as he pursued his target.
[Balefire: Fury Flames]
A ball of white-hot flames incinerated the right arm of Menial. The Black Ice armor, immediately closed over the wound, causing the Ice Demon to howl in anger.
Nix's body felt weighed down, a quick glance told him that ice was accumulating on him. Within a few seconds, he was completely bound in ice.
Nix has activated his bloodline.
[Second Form: Emerald Salamander]
The ball of ice instantly evaporated, a moment before an Ice blade stabbed through his shoulder. Nix bit down on the wrist before it could withdraw the blade.
[Flame Throw: Fury]
From point-blank range, white flames poured into Menial, the raging scream of horror was deafening as the Ice Demon threw himself backward. His black Ice armor melted and puddled onto the floor.
Nix gasped painfully, his mana was completely gone, using Fury Flame was a bitch. He dropped his Salamander form and pushed flames into Wrath. "Time to pay."
Menial's screams turn into laughter, crazy and twisted. The power of Ice grew around him, his strength skyrocketing. "I can tap power from the land, you idiot! It's why I rule here! I will never be defe..."
An instant later his upper body disappeared with a noise that sounded like a metal door slamming shut. His legs dropped onto the floor, twitching slightly.
Menial has been slain.
The enormous snapping turtle stared at Nix, his powerful jaws chewing slowly. "A bit crunchy... and kinda gross."