Chapter 179:

Final Steps of the Plan

The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

The top floor of the Hilbert Hotel and Casino was dedicated to a massive penthouse suite. The floor took up all three rotating sections. The middle was a large round bed that took up most of the center section. Within the rest of the room sat all manners of ornate furniture and décor—made of golden and silver trimmings and brightly colored fabric.

Each of the rotating sections of the hotel was marked with equally spaced pillars around the ring’s edges. They served as a reminder for anyone staying in the suite of the slowly spinning hotel. As time went on, the pillars would come closer until they passed just close enough that they would almost scrape against each other.

It was in the center of the slowly approaching pillars that a lone Netzian man lay. His arms and legs were tied, and he was laid on his side so that he could see one post moving to his stomach and was fully aware of the second moving to his waist.

On the bed in the center sat a Zenotote man. His scales were light blue which looked as if they had been bleached once in the past, and his tail had been split down the middle sometime in his past; it was forked but not cut off enough for a new one to grow. A white Needaimus lined his arms, and his clothes were an ornate winding of fabrics that challenged even the best-dressed king on earth for visual status.

He had his scaled arms crossed as he looked down at the bound man with light grey slitted eyes. A forked tongue flicked from a head that closely resembled one of a bearded dragon.

“Please let me go,” the Netzian man begged as he stared at the slowly upcoming doom.

“I think not,” the Netzian replied with a hiss fitting for his lizard appearance.

A door opened at the end of the room, and a small crowd began to shuffle in.

Leading the group was a man that wore a mask with a mischievous smile. Close behind was the orange Zenotote, Ripple. After which, Thorir and Nighthawk entered the room. The last to come in was Sabia, who flipped her long ponytail off her shoulder as she walked in.

The man in the mask walked close to the tied-up Netzian and bent down so the smile was in clear view.

“Evron, should we really have this poor soul lying here? He is really an eyesore,” he said with a slight chuckle lining his words.

“Please, Nero, I won’t fail you again!” the tied-up man began to plead to the masked man. The only response to his words was with a cloth being shoved in his mouth.

“At least keep him quiet if he must stay here; Pigelys like this only squeal during important meetings!” Nero said as he stood back up and left the Netzian to his slowly coming fate.

“It is not for you to decide what I do or don’t do with unsatisfactory subordinates,” the Zenotote Evron spoke in a deep and rumbling voice.

Nero shrugged, the mask hiding the expression his face made.

“Let’s just get to business,” Ripple said with a sigh.

“Let’s find another fight!” Thorir added.

Evron waved to the group to show that they should settle down. Each of the members gathered close to the bed where he sat.

“Alright, our first order of business is to discuss our timetable. Originally, we planned to raid the mayor’s office in two days; however, Dia’s hospitalization has given us a great opportunity. We will no longer have to fight through floors of trained personnel. I must thank Sabia for her quick thinking.”

“I was aiming to kill the loose lips, not hospitalize,” Sabia said with a shake of her green head. She was mainly disappointed in herself, believing she ought to do better as an assassin.

“I appreciate your efforts for self-improvement, but don’t look a gift nagtora in the mouth, or so they say,” Evron added. “Now, we have delayed the medical network from getting the Needaimus they need, so the mayor will likely stay for a while. Our ally within will act accordingly if he tries to leave.

I would like to send everyone on this mission to avoid any mistakes, but I have received some troubling reports that should be addressed.

First, we have some troublemakers walking around this very hotel. Our dear agent between the pillars left too many breadcrumbs for them to follow.”

The tied-up Netzian tried to say something in his defense, but with the cloth in his mouth, it only came out as muffled shouts.

“Then, I received word from our informant at the train station that a group was planning to head to our section of the city. No doubt to reconnect with the group in the hotel since we are blocking all calls in and out.” Evron stopped to look down and sighed. “Why does it have to be so hard? Everything we try to do is falling to pieces,” he whined in a higher pitch voice.

The bleached blue Zenotote made a cough and looked back up to the group. His grey eyes focused on each member for a moment before his deeper voice returned.

“I suppose we just have to think on our feet. So, We will send the main force to the hospital and focus the rest of our combatants on dealing with the troublemakers. Nighthawk and Ripple will infiltrate the hospital. Nero and I will clean up this hotel, and Sabia and Thorir will take care of the group traveling here. I have already ordered our other fighters to the hospital to assist with the mayor’s demise. Any questions?”

“None, sir.” They shouted in unison, save for Thorir, who crossed his arms.

“Will there be a good fight in my team?” he asked while his electric blue eyes focused on Evron.

“Who can say, my good friend. Sometimes we must do something unpleasant, so the enjoyable times are all that more enjoyable.”

“Spare me your old proverbs,” Thorir said with a roll of his eyes.

Evron smiled and tapped each member's shoulder with his Needaimus bonded hand, except for Nero. After a couple of seconds, everyone touched disappeared. Nero turned his masked face to Evron.

“I would have thought I’d be better to handle the assassination.” He made no attempt to hide the disapproval in his voice.

“We don’t know how strong the group in the hotel is, and I would think Nighthawk and Ripple are more than capable of completing this mission. You thought Dia was unfit as well, and look how she did!”

“I would hardly think she is a good example. You also thought that team from Quenth would never make it here, but now they are in this very hotel!”

“An unexpected occurrence, I thought our precautions were perfect in delaying them, but with how easily the supposed Nonpareil crumbled, I would hardly think it to be a big concern.”

Nero shook his masked head.

“It seems we will never see eye to eye. Your decisions will be our downfall one day,” the masked figure said before exiting the penthouse. Evron sighed.

“So dramatic,” he replied before following after.