386 Back to Parliamen
Author's Notes: Quick info on some old characters that are popping up in this arc.
Tura Raine Xai: The leader of the strongest Fir'Dhassi Clan. Nix saved her life when she was abducted by rival factions within her Clan.
Tura Delyn Xai: Master to Raine, he taught the Wrath course at the Loki Academy.
Tura Umi Strom: Daughter of the Strom Clan Leader. Inferno protected her when an Archon Zar tried to restore the Fallen House.
Bael Strom: Parliament Guard Leader.
Cora Tali: Ain'Dhassi ranger that Eron performed a spirit heal on. She stayed at Haven during her recovery and is a trusted friend to Inferno.
Nix entered Parliament a short while later with Chiba and the Qi siblings in tow. The two demon hybrids had seen the occasional Dhassi in Solomon City, but never in such numbers.
Rabi wrinkled his nose at a group of Ain'Dhassi that were staring at him. "Too many pointy ears here, Nix."
Sasi nodded in agreement. "Way too many."
"Hmm... Both of you have pointed ears also." Nix opened the Inferno Guild office door and ushered the group in. "Have a seat anywhere, while I figure things out."
Chiba sat comfortably on Nix's sleeping couch while the siblings shared Semmi's chair. The old woman quietly slipped off her ring and started braiding her hair.
"Old ugly man has become a goddess, Nix." Rabi stopped spinning the chair that he was sitting in with Sasi.
Nix looked up from his desk hud, Chiba was brushing her long golden hair. "I like the other version better."
Chiba ignored the stares. "We are gathering info, right? It just so happens that lovely women like myself are very good at that."
Nix considered the idea while he perused his messages. "You might hear something if you head down to the courtyards. You'll have to mind your manners."
"I grew up in court Nix." Chiba's beautiful face frowned at her apprentice. "I know how to act properly."
Nix gave her a doubtful look. "That means you can't spend your time trying to figure out how to make other people say masturbater in a sentence."
Chiba gave him a confused look. "Wait... Since when is that a thing?"
Nix's desk hud buzzed, he picked it up immediately when he saw the name. "Cora!" Nix smiled at the Ain'Dhassi ranger, he hadn't seen her since the Ever Flame battle. "How did you know I was here?"
Cora returned his smile. "Are you kidding me Nix? The moment you entered Parliament, it spread like a wildfire."
Nix considered her words for a moment before crossing his eyes. "So I'm kind of a big deal?"
Cora laughed at the goofy face. "It's nice to see you. Will you be visiting our compound?"
Nix shook his head. "I'm here looking for someone."
Cora lowered her voice. "I'll help if I can."
Nix trusted Cora more than any of the Dhassi, even the finicky Eron thought highly of her. "A Fir'Dhassi named Seibel. It's important that I find him, discreetly."
Cora's reaction said that she knew the name. "I'll come to see you. Don't mention that name to anyone else."
"Cya in a bit." Nix nodded and closed his hud.
[Whisper Nix to Chiba] Don't mention the name Seibel to anyone.
[Whisper Chiba to Nix] Understood.
Nix moved from his desk to the couch. The pillow and blanket he used often were still stacked neatly on the soft cushions. "I use to sit here and fly around Inuit. Back before Khione..."
A knock on the door announced the arrival of Inferno's favorite Ain'Dhassi ranger. After receiving permission to enter, she slipped in and shut the door behind her.
Nix greeted her with a smile. "Thanks for coming."
Cora was wearing her ranger armor. Among the younger generation, she had risen to the top. She took a seat on the couch next to Nix. "Did you talk to Tura Raine about Seibel?"
Nix shook his head. "No. I was going to contact Umi Strom and then Raine. I figured someone probably knew him."
Cora sighed in relief. "Umi would have been a better choice than Raine. Seibel is actually Tura Seibel Xai. He is the oldest son of Delyn Xai, Raine's Master and main backer within the Clan."
"Shit..." Nix didn't know much about Delyn Xai. Even though the Wrath Master taught at the Loki Academy, they didn't really discuss personal matters.
"Sorry for the bad news." Cora comforted him. "It gets worse."
"Really? What's worse?"
"Tura Seibel Xai is a Sun Devil." (Reference Ch 145) Cora shuddered slightly when she said it. Sun Devil's were too much like vampires for her to feel comfortable around them. "I saw him in Parliament a few weeks ago."
Nix withheld the string of curses streaming through his thoughts. "Sun Devils are immune to fire?"
Cora nodded. "They drink blood like vampires and sleep during the evening hours. They are very difficult to kill, at least permanently."
Nix considered Cora's words carefully, not sure if he wanted to involve her further. There was a hundred percent chance that Seibel would be put down in the next few days. "Know where he lives?"
"No." Cora thought about her last sighting of Seibel, "he comes to the market every few weeks. I'm not sure where he goes from there."
Their conversation was interrupted by the return of Chiba and the Qi siblings. Chiba had already reverted to her old woman persona.
Nix gestured to the Sasi and Rabi. "Cora, these are my friends from the Qi family."
Cora didn't know what to make of the two siblings. They had a combination of human and demon features. The female had a tail that swayed back and forth behind her. "Very nice to meet both of you."
"Pretty!" Rabi moved closer, his dark eyes staring up at the young ranger. "Cora is pretty."
Chiba snorted from behind them. "You didn't say I was pretty you little rascal."
Rabi shared a look with his sister before shrugging at the old woman. "Chiba is half pretty."
Nix held his hand up to prevent further conversation. "Did you find out anything?"
Chiba shrugged. "No, but one of the shopkeepers took an interest in my beautiful self."
"How is that relevant?" Nix leaned back on the couch and gathered his thoughts. "Seibel is a Sun Devil."
"Wait!" Chiba interrupted him, her wrinkled face creased with a creepy smile. "In that case, I did learn something relevant!"
Nix gave her a doubtful look. "Continue."
"The shopkeeper I mentioned, had a small bandage on her neck," Chiba recalled their conversation. "When I asked jokingly if she had been bitten by a vampire, she said. "Something like that."
"Sun Devils feed like vampires but aren't capable of turning others into their kind." Cora jumped slightly when the door opened again. "Pon!"
The old mage's face was creased with anger, however, he managed a smile for the Ain'Dhassi ranger. "Cora, it's nice to see you."
Nix didn't comment when the two hugged. He hadn't seen Pon hug anyone before, even Semmi. It was the old mage and Wind that found Cora being tortured at Saigon's complex. "Time is important, so let me brief you on what we know so far."
In the interest of expediting matters, the team decided to split up. Nix took Sasi and accompanied Cora to Fraya'Selene, while Pon, Chiba, and Rabi investigated the Parliament shopkeeper.
Sasi frowned at the massive amounts of snow and ice in the city.
/Qi Family: Sasi: Why did we come here again? Our target is in Inuit.
/Qi Family: Nix: There's a vampire expert here in Fraya'Selene. Although Seibel is a Sun Devil, our expert should be able to give us some insight.
/Qi Family: Cora: And she owes Nix a favor.
/Qi Family: Nix: Where we headed?
/Qi Family: Cora: The Tali estate. Morana resides there.
Nix had been surprised to learn that after working hard to reunite the Ain'Dhassi of the North and South, Morana left Isla'Fairbal. Apparently the memories of the place were too unpleasant to stay.
/Qi Family: Nix: Why would Morana be at the Tali estate?
/Qi Family: Cora: She has been helping with Del Tali.
/Qi Family: Nix: Helping with Del? Del is in a dragon egg? Probably stuck there for the next few years.
/Qi Family: Cora: You will see.