403 House of Tempest: The Second day
Nix pumped his fist. Finally he was able to flick a spell away. He reset and nodded to Talot, who volunteered to come back for a second day.
Talot has cast [Uncilliary].
Nix focused and pushed the tip of his blade into the first gap, a flick of his wrist sent it away from him.
"Well done, Nix." Chiba clapped from the edge of the yard. For whatever reason, Chiba wasn't wearing her ring. Her thick golden hair was braided and tied off with a red ribbon. Talot had nearly collapsed in shock when they showed up for training.
The streak of success continued for another dozen spells before Nix finally missed one.
"Move the sword to your offhand, Nix." Chiba walked to the center of the yard and stood behind him.
Unlike many swordsmen, Nix was ambidextrous. By lunch on the second day, he ranked up to Level Three 1/30. Chiba called a halt to the training as soon as he told her.
"Take the rest of the day off, Nix. You need to absorb what you have learned." Chiba smiled at her apprentice's obvious disappointment. "Starting tomorrow, we'll work on dual-blade spell defense. Steady progression is the key."
Nix nodded. "Fine. What are we going to do then?"
Chiba shrugged. "Get away for a bit, maybe do some crafting. No sword work if you can help it."
After cleaning up, Nix decided to stretch his legs by walking. He left the House of Tempest and wandered aimlessly. Market street was crowded, once the cities were connected again, foot traffic between them created an economic boon for crafters and vendors.
Soup sat comfortably on his shoulder, taking in the view with a mixture of curiosity and nervousness. "You haven't got out much, it's the noise, right?"
Unexpectedly after buying lunch from a street vendor, Nix found himself standing in front of the large empty space that used to be the Greater House of Oasis.
"Kinda hate seeing it empty like that, boss."
A familiar voice spoke from behind him, Nix turned to see Wind. "I've been thinking about that too. This Everspire expansion derailed some of our plans."
Wind was wearing his upgraded Nether Armor. His dark hair had recently been cut much shorter, it made the lean Gemini thief look dangerous. "We gonna head to the 90th floor and finish it?"
Nix nodded. "When I finish training at the House of Tempest, we'll do it."
/Inferno: Pon: The hell did you go, Wind?
/Inferno: Wind: Am at the Empty lot where the House of Oasis used to be. Nix is here.
/Inferno: Pon: On my way!
Nix chuckled. "Should we bolt on him?"
Wind nodded, "it would serve him right. The old man's been walking around smiling all the time. It's disgusting."
Nix has joined Alpha channel.
Wind has joined Alpha channel.
Pon has joined Alpha channel.
/Alpha: Pon: You slacking today, Nix?
/Alpha: Nix: Just since lunch. We were talking about raising the House of Inferno.
/Alpha: Pon: Is that still a thing? F*ck yeah!
/Alpha: Wind: How big a raid is it?
/Alpha: Nix: Nine in all. The five foundation stones and the four corner pillars.
/Alpha: Pon: Shit... I can't remember who they were.
/Alpha: Nix: Of course not, you're an old man. You're lucky you remember where your dick is.
[Five Foundation Stones] Nix, Shae, Vooni, Chiba, Rhylia.
[Four Corner Pillars] Fajii, Wind, Semmi, Pon.
/Alpha: Wind: Let's do it!
/Alpha: Nix: Put the others on call. If I get another break in training this week, we'll knock it out. If not, we'll do it when I get back.
/Alpha: Pon: What are you going to do with Icaraphet?
/Alpha: Nix: Join it to the rest of the Dragon Cities.
Pon shared a glance with Wind before continuing.
/Alpha Pon: What if you didn't?
/Alpha Nix: You've something in mind? Spill it.
/Alpha: Pon: Move it offshore near Loki.
/Alpha: Wind: The Aquarion Colony built an underwater settlement, but they aren't exactly thriving.
/Alpha: Nix: You're talking about Ishna and her people.
/Alpha: Pon: Yep. And my daughter Ayla.
/Alpha: Nix: You do remember that Ishna tried to nab me?
/Alpha: Wind: Old news boss. Ayla isn't the only Aquarion baby there, a whole lot of daughters have been born recently.
Nix remembered Gideon telling him that there was a list of preferred fathers, both he and Nix were on it.
/Alpha: Nix: I'm not against it. We currently have a lot of space.
/Alpha: Pon: I'm not asking that you give it to them.
/Alpha: Wind: Even with the elites from the Neptiphago fight, there's less than fifty of them, including children.
/Alpha: Nix: To tell you the truth, I forgot about the Archon Aquarions that were serving Neptiphago.
Aquarius City was hidden in the Polar Ice Cap of Colonial. A squad of Archon Aquarions under the Command of Aki was pretending to serve Neptiphago while their true master grew stronger. Nix freed them of Khione's influence by baptizing them in flames. Afterward, Inferno placed the elite squad of Aquarions in Oasis with Ishna, the former Aquarion Matriarch who once tried to kidnap Nix.
/Alpha: Wind: That leaves a lot of space. We could open it up to some of our other allies.
/Alpha: Pon: Just a thought.
/Alpha: Nix: Talk to the other officers and see what they think.
/Alpha: Wind: Damn... Fajii is still with Eron and that third Bo'raz guy. We can't finish the Greater House quest until she gets back.
/Alpha: Nix: I expect she'll be back before this week is over. No worries, we'll get it done.
/Alpha: Pon: It'll be nice to have a place here in Solomon City. These taverns have the best fights.
The trio continued walking, enjoying the afternoon without the hassle of constant fighting.
/Alpha: Wind: What's the House of Tempest like?
/Alpha: Nix: Hmm... What have you heard?
/Alpha: Pon: That it's loaded with smoking hot demon women who wear skin-tight black leather and carry whips.
/Alpha: Nix: That's very solid intel.
Nix stopped suddenly, his mind whirling. "Who are our top crafters?"
Wind opened his hud and brought up the list of crafters. "Let's see. The former Gladis Hub people are rated the highest. We can take out Lena, she switched from carpentry to shipwright.
Pon hovered over his shoulder, scanning the list. "And Pinwall, he became a chef for one of the royal families in Colonial."
Nix brought up a list, and sent it to both of them. "Did I miss anyone?"
Blitz: Bladed Weapons
Wind glanced at Pon, his face showing amusement. "You forgot Rico."
Pon laughed at the look on Nix's face. "You been to Colonial lately?"
Nix shook his head. "No. Why?"
"Sorry boss, but your old man has passed you up." Wind grinned widely when he said it, all of his white teeth on display. "Every shop, vendor, and traveling merchant are carrying his clothing lines."
Pon nodded, eating up every sweet moment. "He has branched out into swimwear, undergarments, formal attire, casual clothes. His damn blue jeans are scooped up faster than he can make them."
Nix chuckled. "I'm not jealous. He deserves that and more." When his dad starting playing Colonial, Nix sat him down and discussed all of his successes. He knew that a real-life tailor, with time on his hands, would flourish.
/Alpha: Pon: You're no longer the Underwear King.
/Alpha: Wind: Or the Swimwear King.
/Alpha: Nix: Fine, we're getting sidetracked. Anyone else?
/Alpha: Pon: How many do you want? Your dad and the Gladis hub crafters are the top in Inferno.
/Alpha: Wind: Oh wait, and Nansu.
/Alpha: Nix: That makes ten, which is the max I can bring.
/Alpha: Pon: Bring where?
/Alpha: Nix: Khalam'Zur
/Alpha: Pon: The dragon graveyard?
/Alpha: Wind: Let's go now boss!
/Alpha: Nix: Three of those players are lifestyle, I don't want my dad getting ganked by some trash mob.
/Alpha: Pon: This old man will protect your dad. My word on it.
/Alpha: Wind: Right. Just a bunch of bones and scales, right? Darsi and the others are snipers.
/Alpha: Nix: We should have enough firepower if something happens.
Nix: Gemini Lord
Wind: Gemini Thief
Pon: Gemini Mage
Dalton: Gemini Sniper
Darsi: Gemini Sniper
Blitz: Gemini Sniper
Moki: Gemini Sniper
/Alpha: Wind: We gonna do it boss?
/Alpha: Nix: Assemble the group and bring them to Inferno City. I'll head back to the House of Tempest and get my gear. If we can't gather everyone in the next hour, we'll put it off until another day.
/Alpha: Pon: An hour is cake.
When Nix stopped by the suite to pick his gear, there was a note from Chiba pinned to his door.
Going to hang out with Master Beta! Won't be back until later.
Nix laughed when he read the note, Beta and Chiba seemed like odd friends, but he knew they were very close. He quickly scribbled a reply under her note and pinned it to her door.
Heading out with some crafter friends to farm materials. I'll check in on you when I get back.
[Whisper: Wind to Nix] Assembled and standing by.
[Whisper: Nix to Wind] Already?
[Whisper: Wind to Nix] What can I say, they are pumped to be going someplace cool with the boss.
When Nix gated into Inferno City a few minutes later, the entire group was waiting. His dad stepped out of the group and approached him.
"Is it okay if I go Nicky?"
Nix nodded. During character generation all his father had done was make himself appear younger. It was the same old familiar face, without the wrinkles. "Love to have you with us Pops."
Rico nodded, his handsome face smiling at his son. The two of them looked enough alike to pass for brothers now that they appeared the same age. "Great."
/Inferno: Nix: Listen up. We're heading to Khalam'Zur. That's the dragon graveyard. I'm not sure what we are going to find, hopefully, bones, teeth, scales, and leather. It's an unknown, so we are playing it by ear. Questions?
/Inferno: Nansu: What if there is fighting?
/Inferno: Nix: Lifestyle players will be partnered up with members from Alpha team. Nansu is with me, Sorbie is with Wind and Rico is with Pon.
Nix turned when he felt a hand on his shoulder, Darsi's pretty face appeared in front of him.
"Question, Trip-7." The Gemini Sniper wore Inferno Armor, her trademarked blond ponytail rested on her shoulders.
"Hey Dars. Go ahead and ask." Nix knew that the sniper squad was questing together in Everspire, since they enjoyed the same Gladis advantages that he did, he assumed they were very effective.
"This doesn't count as your promise take me on the next set of expansion quests, right?"
Nix shook his head. "We will probably pick the Mid-Everspire quests up in a few weeks. Don't worry, you're in."
/Inferno: Nix: Form a circle, place your right hand on the shoulder of the person next to you. Soon as we arrive, lifestyle players step into the center.
Nix waited until the group was ready, his old man was directly across from him.
Nix has activated a [Khalam'Zur Token].