421 Air Nemesis: Nix
Mid-afternoon on Nix's second day off turned out to be one of the beautiful days of summer. The sun floated gently on a cloudless blue sky; the clear water of the cove made it possible to view the wide variety of fish and fauna that inhabited the area.
The peace of the tranquil day was broken a moment later when the Mariner flashed passed a group of Aquarions, quickly leaving them behind as he hugged the bottom of the cove, he darted towards the surface in a steep climb.
Fajii clapped her hands excitedly when Nix cleared the water by several meters, executed a somersault, and then vanished back into the depths with splashless dive. "I didn't know he could do that!"
Mina watched with interest; it had started with Nix was goofing around in the water with Soup and Ducky. Several Aquarions, including Zhava and Milat, started joining in. The Aquarions lived most of their Colonial lives underwater; in the past, they wouldn't have dared play on the surface. "He's using the Mariner form again."
Fajii nodded. She'd already noticed that half of the group were Aquarion women. She grabbed her friend's hand and dragged her to her feet. "We should play also."
An hour later, Nix, Mina, and Fajii lay comfortably on Soup's shell while Ducky floated nearby. Mina drifted off to sleep, giving Fajii and Nix some private time to catch up.
"Going to see Rhy soon?" Fajii had her head propped up with one hand while the other rested on his arm.
"Yes. I will be meeting her tonight in Air'Voila. According to Rhy, the process will be very simple with the Arch Winds helping."
Fajii moved closer until their bodies were touching. The Aquarion wore a yellow one-piece swimsuit that matched well with her tan skin and red-streaked hair. "And the Ice?"
"Right after that, I'll be heading to the Gladis Hub. Tharaka has agreed to help me with the process." The Ashobel chieftain was thriving in his new form and had progressed to the Archon level blazingly fast. Being a former dragon apparently came with a lot of benefits. "You are going to start training with Tai?"
"Yes. After today I'm going to spend some time at her sanctuary in Houdinya." Fajii smiled slightly; she knew she lacked real offensive skills as a Scorched Earth Defender. However, her buffs and CR (Combat Rez) were game-changers. "What's your next step after settling your Ice and Air abilities?"
Nix slipped off the side of Soup and started swimming leisurely toward the shore. "I'm going to visit the Krayven Clan. I need to recharge their Totem and ask their leadership some questions."
Nix sat on the couch next to the Black Table. Fajii, Shae, and Hyai lay comfortably on the overly large bed. They had already verified that all of them could easily sleep at the same time. However, non of them were sleeping now. "You sure you three are up for this?"
Rat-Shae nodded her head. "Of course, we're just scouting."
Nix was letting them use all three of his Nether rats for a scouting trip to the Everspire Clans. According to Ronnie, the Fire Lion Clan were most likely descendants of the Scorpion Titans. "You'll have to travel on foot for a few miles. Try not to get my rats eaten."
The three rats stared at him, apparently unimpressed with his concern for the puppets he spent a fortune making.
Nix patted each of them on the head. "There are bound to be rats in the camp, make them your minions, and use them to create distractions."
[Create Breach: Ionova: Mid-Everspire Lowlands]
Nix took one last look at the three of them on the bed. The temptation to prank them was very high, but in the interest of self-preservation, he decided to ignore the tiny laughing voice in his head.
A few minutes later, Nix exited the Turtle House and walked outside. The last light of day was turning the sky pink, and the busy day was gradually turning into a quiet evening.
Nix has activated [Air'Voilla].
He watched as the wind tunnel formed; he'd only used this mode of travel twice before. Once on the way to Elementia and the other when he picked up his three Arch Winds; Shadai, Cal, and Tor.
Nix approached the wind tunnel at a run and dived headfirst into it. He disappeared almost instantly; a few seconds after that, the wind tunnel disappeared.
Everyone who enters Air'Voilla is given temporary wings unless they fly in on their own. "Not bad for loaners." Nix flapped the long black wings that sprouted from his back. Air'Voilla was a large world of endless sunny skies. Rhy told him that there were a few floating islands, but that he would have to travel for a few hours to reach them.
A hand on his back caused him to look up. "Holy crap... Warn me first."
Cal's narrow face smiled. "We are here to escort you."
Nix scanned the area and immediately found Shadai and Tor flying beneath him. "How'd you find me so fast?"
Cal dipped a wing and moved in beside Shadai. "Arch Winds can travel anywhere in Air'Voilla instantly."
"I wish you would have entered with your Archon wings, Nix. We never did finish our race." Shadai flapped her wings effortlessly; they both knew she was much faster than him.
Nix cleared his throat. "Right... I guess I'll give you a rematch sometime."
Nix has activated [Air Burst].
Nix rocketed ahead of the three Archwinds, leaving them far behind. Since he didn't really know where he was going, he didn't try to pull away from them any further.
A few minutes later, the trio caught up with them; their stunned faces told Nix that something was wrong.
Cal moved in beside him. "What was that?"
"Air Burst," Nix answered easily. "I use it all the time."
"Nix... You used it as an accelerant. That isn't possible." Cal moved a few wingspans away from him. "Do it again, please."
Nix has activated. [Air Burst][Air Burst][Air Burst]
Triple Combination Successful.
Once again, Nix rocketed way from the Arch Winds; this time, they were completely out of sight. A structure floating in the distance came into his view; it literally looked like a huge floating rock. This time the Arch Winds didn't try to catch up; instead, they reappeared right beside him. "Instant travel is such a cheat."
Cal stared at him for a moment before looking at his two companions. "Contribution?"
Shadai nodded. "Yep."
"Definitely," Tor agreed.
They landed a few minutes later on the floating rock island. It was littered with countless holes that served as entrances. Nix understood right away that this was the Arch Wind nesting ground. There was no vegetation of any kind, and the top was worn smooth. Rhy could be seen standing next to two other Arch Winds.
"Greetings, Champion." Rhy bowed formally and gestured to the stone slab in front of her. "Please have a seat while we prepare."
Nix cocked his head slightly. "Why does that look like a sacrificial altar?"
Rhy's dark eyes held the barest hint of humor. "Well... We are going to eat you."
"Oh. Well, if it's just that." Nix took a seat; he noticed that his Arch Winds were talking with the two who had been waiting with Rhy.
Rhy placed a cool hand on his head; there was always a breeze flowing around the Air Nemesis. "The two Arch Winds I was talking to are Milabu and Oyette; the two of them are the High Rulers of Air'Voilla."
Nix had never seen either of them, normally they would have been a bit larger than his Arch Wind companions, but the dragon blood he'd given Cal, Tor, and Shadai had strengthened them considerably. "They seem pretty friendly with my Arch Winds."
Rhy nodded in agreement. "I should hope so. Milabu and Oyette are their parents."
Nix sighed guiltily. It was something he should know; they fought for him all the time. "I gotta do better at things like this."
Rhy pushed a small towel in his hands. "Disrobe and cover with this."
Nix eyed the clothe skeptically. "The hell am I suppose to cover with this?"
"The bare necessities." Rhy waited until he was finished removing his armor before pushing Nix flat onto the stone slab.
"The hell are those?" Nix frowned when Rhy brought out dozens of sharp-looking needles from a leather pouch that hung from her belt. The bottom halves of the needles were transparent while the upper halves resembled a black feather.
"Hold still, this doesn't take long, but the accuracy of placement is vital." Rhy placed her pointer finger on the right side of his chest, moving it slowly until he sensed the right spot, without warning she stabbed the first needle in until the feathers brushed his skin.
"F*CK! Why did that hurt? I thought it would be painless!"
Rhy shot him a confused look. "I just pushed four inches of plume into your chest. Why wouldn't it hurt?"
"Damn it. Are you certified to do this? Those don't look like they've been properly sanitized."
Rhy bent over him and briefly touched her dark lips to his.
[Nix has been silenced.]
"I've seen you get your arm chewed off by a dragon without making a sound." Rhy bit her lip to keep from smiling, "no more talking."
Nix spent the next few minutes cursing Rhylia Thundercloud in his head. Not only did they hurt when she poked him, but when each additional plume was added, they would all vibrate for several seconds.
"So many aerial focal points?" Milabu had a surprisingly deep voice. "You've used them all?"
Rhy nodded. "I shouldn't be surprised."
Nix turned his head slightly, his Arch Winds and Oyette could be seen circling high above him. Milabu watched while Rhy finished up and then joined them in the air.
Rhy leaned over him for a moment, her dark eyes close enough for him to feel the cool breeze that constantly swirled around her. "I'm going to cast a simple air spell called 'flutter.' It's the air spell that Arch Winds cast on their hatchlings before forcing them out of the nest. I'm going to join our friends; it won't be safe down here with you."
Rhy checked each of the needles one last time and then patted his shoulder.
Rhy has activated [Flutter].
She reached down and snatched up the cloth she borrowed him. Nix continued cursing her as she quickly gained altitude and joined the others.