458 Tembai Academy: Short Break
"It's really unbelievable." Raine shook her head in dismay, Chiba and Nix were in the courtyard while the Xai Clan leader talked with Ducky and Fey. She had seen Chiba's disguise before, but seeing the ugly old woman sparring shirtless with her apprentice was somehow captivating. Chiba's pasty complexion and her flat chest were too far away from reality. Beyond that she could see how good Nix was, although relatively new to the blade there was potential in his movements.
Ducky glanced at Fey, nudging her slightly while Raine was distracted. "He's handsome too."
Raine nodded. "I think so." It was a few seconds before she realized her words, her pale face blushed.
The white-haired mage nodded in agreement. "For a human, he's nice to look at. Although, I believe Floyd is best. Muncie is also very nice."
"Everyone likes Floyd. Too bad there are two hundred Lamia Acolytes that follow him around." Ducky's smile widened, "Muncie? Haven't you been helping him with aerial combat?"
"Yes." Fey opened her hud, her pale blue eyes showing confusion. "Why would she be here?"
Ducky peeked over her shoulder, Fey had her friend's list up. There were hundreds of names. "You have that many friends?"
Fey nodded and pointed to one that was lit up, indicating they were in the same zone. "She shouldn't be on any of these teams... How would she even get here?"
Ducky shrugged. "Adventure takes you places, right?"
"May I ask where you are from originally?" Raine found the two female spirit companions to be easy to talk with. Neither seemed shy around her.
"I use to live in a swampy area in the Trifelez Kingdom, although at the time I didn't know the name of it." Ducky noticed the confused look on Raine's face and continued to speak. "I've evolved twice since then, my current form is fully sentient."
Raine didn't comment, she'd heard from Fajii and Bev about Nix's companions. Ducky's CC abilities were formidable. "You met Nix in a place called Dunham's Cove? That's in Colonial, right?"
Fey pursed her lips slightly. "I was the drake companion to an Aquarion Mage." The white-haired teen shuddered slightly. "Then out of nowhere, this human/salamander roasts her and I'm left high and dry."
Ducky leaned over hugged Fey tightly. "Nix does smart things."
The Fir'Dhassi leaned closer, her brown eyes watching the taxidermist as he experimented with different types of puppets. She pushed a stray strand of hair behind one pointed ear, her beautiful face showed her obvious interest. "Amazing. These are low-level puppets?"
Nix nodded slightly while studying the queue. Raine stayed behind to talk with him while he worked. The rest of the group had gone to bed. "It's cost-effective to work with the lower-level ones. Once I figure out what the mutated result is, I can make the same thing with more advanced puppets."
"Aren't you tired?" Raine covered a yawn, it was already past midnight. Fajii had told her that Nix loves to sleep in, she was beginning to understand why; he barely slept at night. "Nix?'
"Hmm?" Nix looked up from the winged Nether Rat he was trying to create. "Oh sorry. I'm not tired yet, still got an hour or two in me."
Raine wagged a finger at him. "Shouldn't you be well rested for tomorrow?" Instead of leaving she curled up on a large cushioned chair under the window.
Nix watched as she grabbed a blanket and sunk down into the cushions. "Gonna throw you out of here if you start snoring."
Raine popped her head up, her face showing a serious expression. "With no warning? First offense and I'm kicked out?"
Nix nodded. "Gonzo..."
The group ate breakfast together the next morning. Nix read the message from Ronnie while the rest of Alpha team talked amongst themselves.
Sorry for the delay, I spent most of the evening reading up on Necromancy in my library. The only related thing I could find that connected Dragons and Necromancers was a small story about Ayulla the Dragon Lich. There is a second story that contradicts the first, saying that Ayulla was just a normal Lich King. However, both agree that he was the most powerful of them all. My take-away on this is that dragons plus Necromancers are a lethal combination. On a side note, Bali and I want to take you camping when you get back. We can say we're training! Remember the Turtle Cave where we found Soup? Let's get more turtles!
Nix chuckled and closed his hud.
/Alpha: Una: We still have a few hours until the finals. Here's the scouting report, although we've already seen three of their fights.
Dotha: Necromancer: DPS, CC
Raya: Spellsword: DPS
Milamber: Spellsword: DPS
Moktaw: Guardian: Tank
Nini: Cleric: Heals.
Shoman: Ranger: DPS, CC
/Alpha: Nix: I'll let Morti play with their tank, we can play the rest by ear.
/Alpha: Una: I think we should eliminate Dotha right away.
/Alpha: Pon: He has that necro-fire, so odds are he's immune to fire damage.
/Alpha: Ducky: I will handle him.
/Alpha: Wind: Raine and I can take out the ranger.
/Alpha: Pon: That leaves the cleric, Fey and I will handle her.
/Alpha: Una: I will jump in where needed.
/Alpha: Nix: Relax a bit and walk around, I'm going to mess around with my puppets.
[Whisper: Fey to Nix] I have a concern.
[Whisper: Nix to Fey] Let's hear it.
[Whisper: Fey to Nix] My friend Cadie is here, she was part of the caravan that we saved from Aledo's raid.
[Whisper: Nix to Fey] Cadie? Could she be part of one of the teams?
[Whisper: Fey to Nix] I don't know. We only met briefly but she was very likable.
Nix grabbed Fey's arm and pulled her to one side. "She's in Tembai?"
Fey nodded while bringing up her hud. "Sometimes humans trick me but the feeling I got from her was very warm."
Nix nodded, his eyes serious. "Let's take a ride then."
Fey's beautiful face broke into a wide smile as she spread her arms wide. "I'd love to."
The drakon's arms extended and became wings as her body increased in size many folds. Nix stepped onto her extended claw and vaulted into riding harness at the base of Fey's neck. The silver drakon turned her head toward Raine. "I'm strong enough to carry you also."
Raine froze for a moment before offering a polite smile. "You don't mind?"
Fey's silver head shook from side to side. "It will be a short flight."
Raine grabbed the hand that Nix extended down before vaulting upward behind him. "Thank you."
/Alpha: Nix: Any idea on her location?
/Alpha: Fey: The barest scent of her comes from the east.
/Alpha: Nix: Let's head that way and see if we can narrow it down. Don't suppose you have track, Raine?
/Alpha: Raine: No, sorry.
Nix scanned the compounds below as Fey slowly gained altitude. Tembai Academy wasn't a proper city. It was kept in the air much like the Dragon Cities, but beyond that, the Academy was a mystery to the members of Inferno. There was a large central building that Una called the Academy, family compounds surrounded it in all directions.
"Seems nice, right?" Nix turned his head slightly so that the second passenger could hear him. "No fishing though... That's a big drawback."
Raine had abandoned holding onto the harness and had her arms around Nix's waist. "You could put a pond in perhaps?"
Nix shook his head slightly. "That's what we call a fixer-upper."
[Whisper: Fey to Raine] Don't worry, Nix often says things that don't make sense to anyone.
/Alpha: Fey: This is about as close as I can get. She could be in any of these compounds.
/Alpha: Nix: Make a few circles, while I check things out.
Nix studied the different compounds below, the thermal images of the occupants stood out even through the buildings. In a smaller building near the northeast corner, there was a large red blob that was obviously under the first floor.
/Alpha: Nix: See the smaller building? There's either something really big or a bunch of people huddled together.
/Alpha: Raine: Does Una know the area? We could ask her who that belongs to.
/Alpha: Nix: Good idea. Let's head back.
A half-hour later, Nix sat across the table from Una while he brought up his hud and pointed to the building in question. "What can you tell me about this building?"
Una took a moment to glance at the map before leaning back in her chair. "That's where the Dotha Team is staying."
Pon's old face showed his amusement. "I'm in."
Wind nodded. "Me too. It's a rat rescue... Or maybe just a rat diversion."
Chiba was back in her goddess form, her lips curved in a smile. "Ya know... A bunch of people huddled together like that. Could be an orgy. I feel like we should investigate, so I'm in."
Nix clucked his tongue loudly. "Sorry... I find myself short of Nether Rat puppets, I just have the one."
Pon watched as Nix stood up and walked to a more comfortable chair before laying the rat puppet on the floor. "You gotta be back in four hours."
The Rat-King jumped to his feet, fixing the fire mage with a yellow-eyed stare. "Right... I'm not actually going anywhere, so if it gets close just shake me and I'll dump the puppet."
/Alpha: Pon: This is bull shit. I want my own rat puppet, I'll pay for the mats.
/Alpha: Wind: Same here.
/Alpha: Pon: Four hours, Bastard.
/Alpha: Nix: That's three more than I need.
Rat Nix chittered his teeth at them and stealthed. "Get the door for me!"