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Chapter 22: Lucid Gracile, Rook Pharmaceutical, R&D Jr. Associate
“I agree to become an employee or research subject or whatever.”
Eugene’s eyes widened. While he didn’t look down, his usual aura was different.
I guess I really do see him as a friend if I can notice this…
“Really! Yes!” It was the first time I saw a happy expression on his face.
If I hadn’t seen him angry earlier it would have been the first time I saw a strong emotion on his face at all.
I wonder if he finds it difficult to show emotion?
That would mean his pained face as he killed undead was probably more severe than he let on. He could feel as bad if not worse than me.
The only other time I saw any emotion was when I made him chuckle at my remark, maybe he likes my humor more than I think.
[Lucid, I don’t know about that.]
I feel like I’m beginning to see the real Eugene now. A little stoic and frigid, a bit plain, and extremely earnest for things he cares about.
Plus I felt confident he wouldn’t be able to find out I where really came from. If a full-fledged spirit medic couldn’t figure I came from another world. Then it was okay for Eugene to poke around too. Besides, I owed him a lot now and, more importantly, I trusted him…a bit.
If he questions me I can just say I’m a descendant from the northern continents.
[Good! You are listening to my advice and trusting others more Lucid.]
Hmm, aren’t you just as suspicious like me of everyone?
[That was only because I model the initial parameters off of you. It has taken me very long to adjust them.]
What can I say? I was on edge when I first got here. I just felt everyone was out to get me feeling so out of place. In reality, much like Earth, I was just a face among thousands. If I didn’t have Eurval I would know maybe 20 faces and first names of people I saw at the academy.
Eugene tapped the air in front of me. “I’ve added you as an employee under me. They can keep me out physically, but its impossible for them to revoke my access no matter where we are even if the backups are under their care.”
[Rook Pharmaceutical Inc. is requesting you to connect to their private network. Accept Lucid?]
A slew of information began being populated in my sight before disappearing to be recalled later.
They have their own hyre database!? It looks more detailed too…
More importantly was the dense amount of data on lustrating and medicinal materials. Included was a searchable index of recipes and techniques to use them in.
“Is it really okay for me to have access to all of this?”
“I told you I would make you an employee. Once we get out I can give you the rest I offered. For now, I’ll take 200k off of the 500k debt you owe me.”
I stopped my eye from twitching at the last remark. Obviously, when he meant anything it meant “anything up until it’s not worth it.”
Eugene held out his hand with a rather plain metal ring on his index finger. “Take this, these are the lustrating materials and the sleep replacement pills I promised. It should be enough for a month, ask me if you need more.”
Tch. It was the scary calculating young master Eugene again. I won’t lie, I was hoping the debt would be forgiven as goodwill for agreeing, but I wasn’t going to complain…vocally.
As if it was nothing Eugene tapped his spatial ring to mine giving me close to a million scales worth of lustrating materials.
I should have asked for a higher salary.
[It is because his family is in the manufacturing of it that he has plenty to give. Shame we’re not granted access to their financials.]
Eurval your gonna get me in trouble…
I sensed for the new items inside my spatial ring. Already I could tell the dozens of vials were something special.
I was sure the vials given to me were less than a tenth of the market price for Eugene.
Although it came at no monetary cost to me, it would be bad manners to sell it. Besides, why would I do that? It was obvious these were better than what he gave me in the sub-floor. It would be stupid to not use them for myself and if I sold them I would only be able to get something sub-par compared to this from someone else.
“As for the other stuff…I can’t really give you any of it here.” I could tell he was referring to the inter-familial spat.
“Don’t worry about that right now. Then, what about my side of this deal?”
“Yes, your side…” I could see his fingers wriggling at his sides.
“Such a shame I don’t have access to my lab or equipment. I’ll just visit your bedroom at night and do something then.”
I narrowed my gaze.
“What? Do not worry Lucid it will not be painful. I will even do it in your bed as to not bother your rest.”
“Really? You chose to say it like that specifically?” Eugene sent me a blank face not understanding what I meant.
“Okay, that’s fine. Can you tell me a good inn or hotel around here where I can stay?” I’ll be using my tent long-term, but I want a hot shower on the first night at least.
Eugene sent me a questioning look. “You don’t have to do that. I have extra rooms in my portable estate. It is a little small, my main spatial ring was at home when I got sucked in.”
That works too.
At least now I had an answer. I figured it was something like that when he didn’t use any life-saving treasures on the last floor. Imagine how easy my time here would be if he had all of his probably insanely powerful items on him. I would have clung on to him as hard as I could and agreed to anything to get out.
However, it seems he doesn’t have much, relative to his entire wealth, and won’t be getting anything from the in-laws. I’m sure it is part of the reason why he is so adamant of getting access to the building.
“Nice, thanks.” I wasn’t going to say no. I am one-hundred percent sure its much nicer than whatever I was going to find within my price range, especially being free.
“I set it up over here. I’ll grant you access to it. Come.”
I followed Eugene down the same dirt path that snaked through the main plaza, he seemed to have set it up within earshot of his stepfather’s medical facility.
He really can’t take no for an answer if what his father said about going every day demanding to be allowed in is true. I did end up folding to him if I think about it…
Stubbornness or tenacity?
“Did you get the key?” Eugene looked over to me as we approached the door.
[I’ve received it Lucid.]
I nodded my head at Eugene hearing Eurval’s answer as we approached his home.
It is definitely not what I thought it would be. It was large, obviously, fully functioning, and probably more than I could afford. However, I had assumed it would be slightly showier? It was a white concrete three-floored cubic building with tiny little rectangles for windows.
I looked at Eugene then looked at the building.
In a way, it fits. Don’t get me wrong it’s not ugly in fact I find it tasteful.
With a virtual key, I opened the door and walked inside. The floor was also concrete along with the stairs, the cabinets, and the countertops.
“Pick any room you want, but I’m in this one.” Eugene pointed at the room by the door.
Of course, the shortest distance from the front entrance.
I nodded my head as I looked around the very minimalist place. Everything seemed sleek and extremely function oriented. Though, the various greenery of well-groomed plants added a nice touch.
“I’ll take the one of the third floor.” It had the largest tiny rectangle.
Eugene shrugged and went into his room. As he opened his wooden door I sneaked a glance. There were piles of books and papers scattered on the floor and on top the large desk inside.
Huh, didn’t expect that.
It didn’t take me long to settle in since I had no belongings that didn’t fit inside my storage ring, or any belongings really. Luckily the bed wasn’t concrete other than the frame built into the wall.
Hoh, I thought the academy beds where nice. This comforter, these sheets, and these pillows too. Now, this is an otherworldly luxury and its not even his best!
Everything was soft making me want to take a nap. I dared to say it was close to as comfortable as the bed at Cassie’s place and that one was magically enhanced.
[No sleep! You’ve wasted too many days recovering you have many things to do Lucid.]
I know…I could only sigh as I reluctantly crawled off.
Unfortunately, I have no time. I need to gather information and scope out this place and perform the recovery process Cassie outlined.
I took the steps down from the third floor. It seemed each tiny window was expertly placed giving the home a perfect amount of light.
“I’m going to go explore for a bit. I’ll be out.” I called out as I passed by the entryway. I assumed Eugene heard me, he had his door open furiously reading at his desk.
He looked passionate.
[He is probably in preparation for your session together Lucid.]
I walked down the same path Eugene had shown me. Even with all the information he gave me about this plaza, it was still something I needed to experience to get a feel for.
The ambiance of the cave was awing. The slight warmness, the occasional chilly wind from an unknown origin, and smells and sounds of the living mashed together under an eternal twilight feeling light from the molten magma, it was something else.
I meandered around walking from shop to shop. I was surprised that I didn’t see any homeless. It seemed the calamity had helped bond everyone together towards the common goal of living.
Obviously, the hyrideans only helped each other much as the humans did for themselves. However, the marketplaces had both with the hyrideans the minority. Race didn’t matter when you were trying to sell.
I walked towards the armor sellers Eugene had recommended. I only had the chest piece equipped and the protection the academy uniform provided under it. I hope to find something for my legs, arms, and head.
“Oh my look at you, poor boy. Come, take a bowl.” An old woman called out from her stall at the crowd.
“It’s okay, take it. No charge. You look like you haven’t eaten in weeks. Must have been hard to make it here huh.”
I looked to my sides for anyone responding.
Is she talking to me?
The homely old lady with a plaid apron looked towards me. She held out a bowl full a creamy soup. It smelled good so I was drawn in by my hunger, I had planned to cook the hyre meat still in my storage.
Slowly, I walked up and took it from her hands like a hungry raccoon taking food from a human.
“There you go, take your time. If you want more just tell mama Pleata. Okay?” She gave me a spoon and a warm smile waving at me to sit on a stool to eat at the small counter as she tended other customers.
While I won’t go out and ask for handouts. I won’t say no to them if they’re offered.
It was a good hearty soup so it didn’t mind, but I thought the curse was removed? I mean, I felt fine and my body was in good shape from all the essence training. I think it is the paleness messing with peoples perception of me.
I could only imagine if she had seen me while I was healing from the curse as I slept. Probably would have tried to kill me thinking I was an undead.
“Did you hear? Laurent left one Northward Captain Raphael in charge of this place after he entered S01P.” A person wearing a familiar Laurent badge and cape spoke to the person next to him wearing the same.
“What why so soon? Do you think he’s feeling pressured now that Crimson Claw arrived? I heard that one woman in the black robe arrived too.”
“Weren’t you at the plaza meeting? He said it would be too dangerous to escort the noncombatants out. Honestly, I agree. He said our best bet would be to conquer the dungeon and have everyone leave that way.”
“Pfft, I think he’s just saying that so he doesn’t piss off the citizens. He probably wants to explore for rare shit without feeling guilty.”
I slowly scraped up the last spoonfuls of soup as I overheard two.
It would be nice if Laurent was telling the truth, but even I knew if that was what he actually said then they were just half-truths. I won’t say he completely shirked his responsibilities as he stayed long enough to set up this place for the weak. If he didn’t do this he could have been weeks ahead of Crimson Claw and the other woman the two spoke about.
At least there was a semblance of order with the policing guards and public utilities he set up. I wonder if it was him who set up the earthen walls.
However, I very much doubt Laurent would pass up on milking the same dungeon that made him who he is today.
“Thank you for the food.” I handed the bowl back to the nice old lady.
“Come back now if you’re hungry okay?” She gave me a pained smile as if wondering why I didn’t ask for seconds.
I gave a smile and left. For this soup and free? Oh, I’ll definitely be back.
I continued my walk. I had a little under a 1000 scales so I was praying I would find something in my budget. It didn’t help that the scarcity of everything drove prices up. Although, hyre material prices where rather low from the abundance of supply and lack of craftsman. It was also probably why food was cheap too.
I thought about selling all my amethyst rose pills with a higher price, but decided on only selling a third. While I don’t think Eugene would ditch me, nothing was certain. It would be good to have it as a backup lustrating supply.
[I’ve taken a look at the market prices. The amethyst rose pills would fetch 40% more than they would have before Lucid.]
Nice. That should add another 3,000 scales to my budget. Even if Eugene said to ask for more if I needed more I’m sure it meant I couldn’t just keep asking for supplies after selling every batch he gave me.
I stopped by a lustrating material seller Eugene recommend. It was a small shop with shelves that look a little empty if you looked past the first row of materials on display.
I walked down the aisles curiously examining the stuff for sale.
“Need something customer?” A voice suddenly appeared right beside me.
I turned my head to my right at the surprise to see who it was. I wanted to laugh, it was a familiar face.
Reason#303 as to why you should support Lucid on patreon or paypal:
I’ve taken micro-naps in the middle of a game of league after pulling an all-nighter.