424 A Different Path part one
A few characters pop up in this chapter that haven't been seen in a while.
Tharaka: Former Dragon Master of Icaraphet that Nix put inside an Ashobel puppet.
Cyan: High Priestess to Shi at the Gladis Hub.
Banzi "Banz"- A tank with Inferno, he concentrates mostly on the embassy because it's convenient for regular travel to the Gladis Hub. He's in a relationship with Wylie. He's Inferno's back-up tank.
Shi: Former Ice Spirit from Cyphix, she ranked up and has turned the Gladis Hub into her Temple.
Wylie: Knight of Colonial that is assigned to Nix. Currently serving as the Ice Champion for Shi.
Nix stepped off of the gating platform in the Gladis Hub a few moments later. It hadn't changed at all since his previous visit. Wylie and Cyan were training a small group of Acolytes while the rest observed them. Tharaka caught his attention right away, the Ashobel was by far larger than any of the Acolytes.
"NIX!" Tharaka's big booming voice drew everyone's attention as he called out the Inferno Guild Leader.
Nix smiled at the giant furred Ashobel. His coat was much whiter than it had been since they last spoke, the black claws still looked long and deadly. There was a power radiating from him that hadn't been there since he left his dragon form. "Archon level?"
Tharaka nodded. "This form is ideally suited for the element of Ice, with it I have managed to restore many of my old spells."
"I'll have to see what a flying Ashobel looks like." Nix followed him to a set of chairs overlooking the training mats on the far side of the hall. Shi and Wylie sat watching the group of acolytes, they had both already noticed him.
"Commander." Wylie stood up and bowed respectfully when he approached. She stared at Nix's companion for a few moments. "Have we met?"
Fey nodded. "Many, many times."
Nix kept the smile off of his face with a bit of effort. Shi, Fey, and Wylie had nearly identical features. Fey's hair was actually silver instead of white like the other two. However, both Fey and Shi resembled females in their late teens. Wylie would never be confused with a teenager, she had the muscles and curves of a grown woman. "This is Fey."
Wylie's pale face broke into a wide smile. "Very tricky. You evolved a human form, congratulations."
Fey's thin face blushed slightly. "Thank you."
Nix spotted three Ice Furies moving toward them, they were much larger than he remembered. "Holy crap... What are you feeding these guys?"
Two of the furies held back, but the third pushed ahead and stuck a wet nose in Nix's face. Alpha team accidentally wiped out a Fury pack while on a quest. The six pups that survived were brought back to the Gladis Hub and given to them.
Wylie grabbed the Fury and shoo'd him to one side. "Mostly meat and fish. We have to import it from the other continents."
"It's nice to see you again, Nix." Shi stood up and offered him her hand. Nix had personally defended her on a number of occasions and because of this, there was a bond of trust between them. "I've been doing as you asked, getting stronger. Everyone here has."
"She is ranking up with me?" Nix turned to Tharaka who nodded in reply.
"I need the two of you to follow me." Tharaka led them to a large enclosed room with high ceilings. From appearances, it looked like it might have been a gym at one time. It was the only room in the Gladis Hub that was cut off from the heat. The walls and floors were coated with ice while the ceiling presented a jagged collection of icicles.
Nix was no longer someone that was bothered by the cold. He no longer needed to activate a heat ability to stay warm. A large Ice platform was the only object in the room, so both him and Shi took a seat on the edge of it
"Could you display your spells for me Nix?" Tharaka already examined Shi so he focused on the Inferno Guild Leader. "I don't need to see everything, just your paths, and elementals."
"Sure. I ranked up my Air abilities earlier, but they haven't been manifested yet."
Tharaka nodded, thankful that his Ashobel features didn't allow him to show expression. Nix was vastly different than he was the last time they spoke. He read through the impressive list while Shi and Nix chatted.
Nix [Race: Human/Salamander Hybrid]
Primary: Path of the Fire Lord [Salamander]
Emerald Flame Strands 100 [Flame Snare] [Fire Root]
Fire Seed [Emerald]
Tides of Flame
Fire Burst [Fire, Air]
Balefire Burst [Fire, Air]
Flame Throw [Fire, Air]
Gusting Flames [Fire, Air]
Pelt [Air, Earth]
Mire. [Earth, Water]
Lance [Elemental: Fire, Air, Ice]
Chained Lightning II
Waters of Life.
Tharaka finished reading, his sharp fangs showing when he smiled. "Some of these spells may be changed or overwritten. "
Nix nodded. He'd been told a similar thing by Rhy. He'd already decided that he would give her the Blessings of Ice when he ranked up. Her Air abilities lacked offense, however, Ice had a number of impressive attacks.
Tharaka directed the two Ice Elementals to sit cross-legged on the platform while facing each other. "Ranking up Ice Elementals is much easier when done in pairs. Focus your thoughts on your Ice seed, there will be a slight ebb and flow, the first step is to find that rhythm.
The Ashobel move to one side and studied them. "I will let you know when it is time to move to the next step."
/Inferno: Nix: Wonderful... that's clear as mud.
/Inferno: Fey: Hmm?
/Inferno: Nix: Nothing.
Nix focused on his Ice seed, he pushed it away from him, exposing it to the air. His yellow eyes watched and looked for patterns. He could feel nothing that resembled an ebb and flow. He did, however, find the smallest bit of darkness.
Tharaka wanted to say something when Nix's Ice seed appeared in the air, but he didn't. Sometimes the path to Nemesis diverged from the normal. Shi appeared to be swaying gently back and forth, it was obvious that she was already lost in the gentle rhythm.
Nix breathed out slowly, he found that he couldn't look away from the blackness within the ice. Whenever he tried, his eyes faltered and reverted back toward it. It was here where he remembered Mina's advice when he was caught in Khione's trap, acceptance not resistance.
The blackness expanded, turning the Ice seed gray and then black. If Tharaka's face could have shown emotion, it was have been confusion. Within seconds, the white crystal seed transformed to utter darkness that seemed to absorb the light from the room. The effect caused Shi to open her eyes, almost immediately the tips of her white hair darkened.
Tharaka cursed himself for putting them together. Nix's volatile personality infused all of his elements, shadows dimmed the light to the point where the two Nemesis candidates seemed shrouded in darkness. Within seconds, Shi's hair turned black as night, both she and Nix started to sway back and forth in identical rhythm. The Ashobel threw up an ice shield to block himself just as the dark seed blossomed outward in an expulsion of power.
Nix struggled to his feet, his ears ringing from being slammed against the far wall. Messages scrolled across his hud so fast he couldn't make sense of them.
Balefire and Balefire Burst has been replaced by Hellfire
Meteor Storm and Tides of Flame have been replaced by Fire Storm
Combustion has been replaced with Elemental Healing.
Comet Strike and Incinerate have been replaced by Salamandra
Fire Burst, Flame Throw, Gusting, and Pelt have been replaced by Elemental Napalm
Mire has been replaced with Scorched Earth Mire.
Lance has been replaced with Elemental Spear
Vacuum and Null have been replaced with Silent Summons.
Burst has been replaced with Accel.
Thunderfist and Stonefist has been replaced with Elemental Fist
Rock Fiend. Has been replaced with Elemental Fiend
Rock Shield. Has been replaced with Elemental Shield
You have become a Black Ice Nemesis.
You have learned Black Ice Field.
You have learned Black Ice Sculptor
You have learned Black Ice Armor
You have learned Avalanche
You have learned Black Ice Weapon
A soft moan a few meters away from him caused him to turn. Shi had also be thrown by the blast. Nix helped her stand, for a moment the two stared at one another. Without a doubt, she had also become a Black Ice Nemesis, her once white hair shone like obsidian. She was slightly taller, and her cheekbones were more pronounced. The thin budding teen seemed older and stronger.
"Black Ice Nemesis," Tharaka spoke softly, in his years as a dragon, he'd never heard of such a thing. He knew about Black Ice and a few uses of it, but this was a first. "Two of you."