98 Request from a Goddess
Zoey raised her head from her scope as the thundering boom echoed away. Her shoulder throbbed from the kick the weapon had given her, and she felt exhausted from expending all her magic energy. In the distance she could see the two masts of the Rellen airship topple to the side, pulling the Kreppelin off balance. As the airship started to nose down and drop altitude, trailing smoke and debris, the crowd watching the show behind Zoey finally reacted to what had happened.
There were cries of surprise and disbelief as the mercenaries realized that a frigate had just been taken out with a single shot. Doris's eyes were wide as he watched the destruction caused by Zoey's shot. He had no idea what kind of magical weapon she had used, but the sheer power of it was incredible. Meanwhile, Nito was shaking his head in disbelief and Athena was laughing heartily as she clapped Zoey on the back.
"What is that thing?! Its power is extraordinary!" Athena asked as she examined the weapon in Zoey's hands.
"It doesn't have a name yet, but yes, it is strong," Zoey said as she sat down to rest. That shot had taken a lot out of her.
"Are you ok?" Nito asked with concern when he saw how exhausted she was.
"I'm fine," Zoey replied. "I used a technique that made the shot extremely strong, but it uses all my magic energy when I do so. That was literally a one time shot. Normally the shot I fired would not explode like it did, but the energy I pumped into it made it unstable."
"Well, whatever you did, it worked. They aren't chasing us anymore," Athena said as she pointed behind them with her staff.
She was right. The other two Kreppelins had stopped to assist their crippled flagship as it floundered. Zoey doubted that they would follow them any further after that.
"Well. I never expected that the nobles would be after us so fast, or that you would be able to deter them. I suppose they are after that weapon you used on them?" Doris asked Zoey as he looked at her quizzically.
Zoey shook her head. "This is only one of the reasons among many. I have a little history with the Rellens, and they don't forget grudges easily."
Zoey did not want to lie to Doris, but she did not plan on revealing the true reason for the nobles being after her. A little redirection should keep him from realizing how valuable she really was. Not that she expected Doris to turn on her if he knew, but the fewer people that knew, the better.
Needless to say, Doris and his crew were very respectful to Zoey after that display of power, and things settled down as they continued on their way east, leaving the nobles behind.
Later on, as night descended onto the airship, Zoey was sitting near the bow of the ship as she inspected her weapon with her interface. The shot she had fired using Dark Star Amp had actually severely damaged the structure of the Mk1 Prototype Armament and the DAAC. It was easy enough to repair now, but she was certain another shot would not have been possible.
As for a name for this specific configuration, she decided to call it the Fusion Anti Material Rifle, or just FAMR for short. The version she had helped design back on Gaia had been called the Magnetic Anti Material Rifle, so the name was a callback to that weapon.
Zoey separated the configuration, repaired both of them and placed them back into her inventory. Closing her interface, she took a seat on the rail and took a breath of the clean night air. The Kreppelin was sailing about two hundred meters above the land below at a decent speed. Doris had shut down the magic arrays powering the sails and had been using the wind in an effort to conserve power, so the night was rather peaceful at the moment.
There was the sound of someone approaching, and Zoey turned to find that Athena walking her way.
"Mind if I join you hun?"
Zoey smiled and scooted over to make room, and Athena quickly joined her in dangling her legs over the side. Athena handed her a cup filled with a sweet smelling liquid, then grinned as Zoey looked at her questioningly.
"This is spiced rum from my homeland! I don't know how Doris got a hold of it, but no matter where he hides it, there is no place that my little Sammy can't find!" Athena said as the small blue salamander peeked its head out of her sleeve.
Zoey could only shake her head and thank Athena for the drink. The two friends toasted one another, then took a sip. Zoey tasted the long forgotten acerbic sting of alcohol and the sweet taste of unfamiliar fruit and spices. It reminded her of cinnamon and peaches in a way, and it wasn't half bad.
Viridi joined them shortly after and sniffed the rum curiously. Zoey gave her a taste, and subsequently burst out laughing at the ridiculous face her feline companion made. Viridi was apparently not a fan of rum.
Later on when the crew had mostly gone to sleep, Zoey and Athena were still sitting up on the bow talking to each other and enjoying the night and each other's company. Shortly after midnight, they were suddenly interrupted by something appearing right in front of them! Both of them froze for an instant before they realized who it was.
Sethrii had appeared, floating in the air before them. She was a goddess, so floating in the air was not such a surprise, but the sudden appearance was definitely a shock.
"Having a party without me?" asked the goddess with a slight smile.
"You came a bit late! All the rum is gone..." Athena said with regret coloring her voice as she looked at her empty cup.
"We will have to do that another time. For now I have a request for my two Arbiters." Sethrii said to them.
Zoey and Athena looked at one another, then nodded to the Sethrii.
"I have detected traces of two corrupted creatures, one is in the east where you are headed, and the other south of here in the region bordering the desert. We can't leave them be, so I would like you two to check out what the situation is and destroy them before they cause too much damage."
After Sethrii finished, Zoey and Athena considered the information for a moment. Both of them knew how dangerous these corrupted creatures could be. Corrupted creatures had to be taken care of, and being Arbiters meant that they were equipped for especially this reason.
"I can go south," Athena said after a moment. "I am familiar with that region and know my way around there, so I can check there. Zoey can keep going east since we were already headed that way."
Zoey nodded to show her agreement.
Sethrii bowed to them. "Thank you both. I will guide you once you are close to the corrupted. In the meantime, I have to leave. Zoey, make sure you open the gift I gave you."
Then she disappeared, drifting away like smoke on the wind.