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Chapter 23: The Full Set
“Oh, it is you that kid that bought the mortar!” The shop owner had a shocked face.
I gave a small smile. “Yup, it’s me. Somehow I made it with the help of Eugene.” She looked genuinely surprised to see me, but the surprise waned after hearing about Eugene’s help.
She had probably sensed I was pretty weak the night before the entrance opened and now seeing my face again on this floor was a bit unexpected.
“That’s great it’s good to see some good news. I haven’t seen many students stop by only that one sleepy-eyed kid and Runter so far.” The shop keeper looked happy to see another healthy student.
She probably enjoys watching young talent grow which was why she set her shop up by the academy.
I wasn’t surprised to hear Runter was here already, I would have been more surprised if he hadn’t. I have a feeling all the cadets that never evacuated where sucked in.
“Come here give me a hug. It must have been tough, huh kid?” It was a little unexpected but I accepted the tiny hug from the young girl. It was sweet to know she cared about academy student to this extent.
Her army strength was a bit deceiving squeezing me quite tightly.
“Oh, I smell a little ghost tree bark on you.”
She sniffed my uniform. “No, not just a little a ton of ghost bark. Did you find one here? I won’t ask where, but I will buy what you have.”
Ghost tree bark?
[I’ve found it in Rook’s database Lucid. It is a rare tree used healing of internal bodies. The analysis did say it goes for around 30-50k per gram.]
Fifty-thousand per gram! Cassie must have used it on me. No wonder the treatment was expensive. At least I know she didn’t cheap out on me for being human, not that I was suspicious of her.
“No, I haven’t found one. I had overreached until my manabody almost collapsed and was probably used in the treatment.” I shook my head.
“Overreached to the point you needed this much ghost bark? It’s usually a little pinch. Are you sure you weren’t suffering from something else?” The young girl eyed me suspiciously as if wondering how I’m alive.
“It’s true. You can ask Pesca, the spirit medic, she is the one who treated me.”
“Hmm, alright, what a shame. I’m running low on that and some other stuff. So, what are you here for? Need something? Tell you what as congratulations for making it here I’ll sell you what you need at their original prices.”
Nice! Too bad I’m not here to buy.
“I’m here to sell actually. I have some amethyst rose pills I want to get rid of.”
“Rose pills…take them out. I’ll inspect them first.”
I nodded my head and brought out a little under a hundred pills, about a third of what I had left.
It would have been more if I didn’t need to do load training. I’m still angry about having wasted so many in the end, it didn’t matter.
[Lucid, if you hadn’t done the load training who knows how much more damage you would have done.]
True… I hadn’t thought about that.
The young gir- err I mean, remembering now, the woman pulled out a giant monocle and looked over the pills I handed over. “I never got your name kid, I’m Angelica Pots.”
So her name was Angelica, “my name is Lucid Gracile.”
She looked up taking a good glance at my face. I wanted to laugh seeing her enlarged red eyes from the monocle lens. “Lucid, I’ll remember it.”
She switched her gaze back down and focused on my pills.
“This was your first time making pills correct?”
She could tell? Did I do some amazing? Maybe a talent for in alchemy!? I could make a killing if I do.
“Figured. It’s not half bad on par with someone who at least followed the directions. Here’s a tip instead of keeping the mortar filled with mana at all times try and develop a feel for the material inside and adjust accordingly. Okay, kid? The initial results will be bad, but its worth it in the end. That said, I’ll give you twenty-five hundred for them.”
[That is a great price Lucid. Especially if your pills are only average.]
It’s probably the feeling of familiarity that I come from Laurent Academy that she did so, I shouldn’t greed here and risk gaining a bad impression.
“Two and a half is good.”
Angelica gave me a bright smile. “Alright, come to the counter.” She turned into a wisp of black smoke disappearing and reappearing at the counter.
As she rung me up I looked around the store. While it wasn’t as nice as the one at Laurent it was not bad for a temporary place.
“No gifts this time.” Angelica gave me a smirk.
“Oh no. I was just looking. By the way, how is your husband? Is he here also?” I remembered her mentioning her husband had ordered the mortars.
Angelica’s face lit up. “Thank you for asking kid. No, he was away when this happened. He’s probably worried sick. Hope that buffoon doesn’t try and come after me in here, the last thing I need is to have to go and save him.” She gave me a shrug, but I could sense worry in the latter part.
“Let’s hope, it is pretty dangerous. Oh, and if I find any materials that look rare I’ll make sure to come here first.” A gesture for giving me such a great price.
Angelica gave me a smile. “I’d appreciate that. Take care okay Lucid.”
I returned the smile and was about to leave the store but was stopped by her. She grabbed my arm.
“I mean it, you seem like a good kid. Take care okay Lucid? And take care of that sleepy-eyed kid he seems alright too.”
“I’ll try.” Really, I will but this place is unpredictable.
As the money deposited in my account I listed down the three things that I needed to do. Find some armor, stimulate my manabody with a little hyre hunting, and see if I can learn anything more about any promising passageways that lead out.
Another thought struck me as I watched the scales roll in. If we don’t have access to the outside world how is money being transferred around?
[As long as I have a specific account’s private information backed up, you only need to be connected to the person your trading with to transfer funds with Lucid. It is the same for everyone else.]
I accepted Eurval’s words. If I was beginning to trust Eugene and the people of this world then Eurval has already completely surpassed them in that regard. It’s not even comparable.
We haven’t spoken about what happened on the last floor, but I remember the worried filled voice Eurval had. I think it’s cute that it seems shy to bring it up. I really should get around to telling Eurval about where I come from. I hope it doesn’t diagnose me as mental.
Outside Angelica’s store, I was met with the faces of happy crowds. The mood was much brighter than I had expected, but I was sure it must have been extremely bleak the first days here while everything was being set up by Laurent and his aides.
[The armor shop Eugene recommended is that way Lucid.]
The familiar guiding arrows overlaid in my vision led me to the place Eugene had recommended. Much like Angelica’s shop it appeared ready-made, a backup store. Eugene had told me it was called Bardi’s.
“Welcome to Bardi’th cuthtomer how can I help chuu today?” A tan woman with an odd accent and pointy ears greeted me as she fitted a set of chain mail onto a mannequin.
I thought it would be low on inventory like Angelica’s. However, dozens of mannequins were spread around the store showing off expensive looking sets of armors. The armors that I came here for, the ones on the cheaper side, looked to be placed inside wooden crates.
“My friend Eugene told me I should come here if I wanted armor?”
“Ah you know Jugene, I made another set made from the pelt of thpectral lion, do you want to take a look? It will match his!”
Eugene bought armor made from spectral lion pelt! I won’t say I’m a little envious, but there is no way I could afford something like that. I’m sure.
“No…I’m looking to spend around two thousand for the everything except for a chest piece. Used is okay with me.” If I’m feeling rather showy I’d be willing to drop three-thousand.
“Chu-thouthand…” She crossed her slender arms with one hand supporting her chin as she looked at me. She was strikingly beautiful red-orange hair flowing off her shoulders.
“Show me the pieth you have?”
I brought out the chest piece I had gotten when I was with Ronald’s party. She took it from my hands and started feeling it. Tapping it with her long nails and flexing it from the inside for a bit, she paused in thought.
“I have jutht the thing!” She snapped her finger and left in a hurry bringing me a crate from the back of the shop.
I can’t even afford the stuff in crates inside the main part of the store…
“Come here to try it on, what is jur name?” She flicked her fair away from her shoulder allowing it to join the rest down her back.
“Ah, it’s Lucid.” I had been a bit memorized her hair was like a fiery river when moved.
“Luchid, I’m Marella. Go on try it on in here. Just leabe the chethpieth in the box okay?”
I nodded as she handed me the crate. I walked into the curtained changing room with a smile. I was prepared this time and rightfully expected this crate to be heavier than she made it look.
Her slender arms must be all muscle…this crate is heavy. I guess it makes sense anyone to have survived to make it here was probably strong in their own right.
I lugged it in, closing the curtain and began to put on each part. The leg pieces, the greaves, the pauldrons, gauntlets, anything that covered a portion of my body. Last of course was finally the helmet.
Strapping everything and making sure to put it on in the correct order was quite difficult. Thank goodness I had Eurval or I wouldn’t have been able to put any of this on.
Putting the helmet on all the pieces seemed to have meshed together into one piece and become airtight.
[The need for an AI to dress yourself…]
C’mon that one is unfair I’ve never had to put on a suit of armor on my entire life.
[That is true you’ve been in a care facility for most of it, sorry. So, how does it feel?]
I like it. It’s comfortable, I thought it would restrict my moments, but I don’t feel any resistance other than the weight.
The malleable interior had resized itself to better fit. It even formed into the perfect shape for my crotch. The support felt quite nice.
I jumped and ran around a little in place. No rubbing anywhere, no chafing. I had taken off my uniform and changed into athletic shorts and a t-shirt. It was too thick to wear under. However I felt a piece of chain mail under would fit nicely.
[It looks good Lucid.]
I looked at myself in the large mirror inside the changing room. It appeared to match my chest piece in color and material, but there was a sheen under the light that my chest piece didn’t have and a design choice that mismatched. I looked at the tag on the crate with MAGI code.
[Steel Armor Set (New)
Effects: High physical damage absorption, moderate magical field affliction reduction. Tested N.F. 303.
Creator: Marella Bardi]
A step above what I have. N.F. 303? This this is old.
“Cuthtomer what do you think? Looking at your theel piece made me remember I made many like it when I wath very young.”
So this was probably made before she became the shop owner.
“Yeth, my apprenticeship with my father. He thaid: If you cannot make the perfect armor with this steel you have no right to be working with other materials. Stho I made one-hundred in a week!” Marella gave a laugh at her own story.
She made a hundred of these, I bet they’re all collecting dust. What a shame.
Her accent seemed to have disappeared when forcing her voice deeper as she quoted her father. His words made sense. I’m guessing this set is as good as steel armor can get while my mass produced chest piece had some imperfections.
I kinda wanted Marella’s chestpiece now… I took off mine and put on her’s.
Instantly I felt the entire suit of armor become much more snug, no longer have to compensate for the odd piece of mine.
“How much for everything including your chest piece?”
“For everything, hmm, I made it long ago… Maybe chuu-thouthand five?”
Two-thousand five-hundred…it was a reasonable price, a mass produced set was around 1500.
“Are you willing to take my chestpiece for a discount?” I exited the changing room still wearing her full set. I took off the helmet and looked at her with pleading eyes.
Maybe the frail and pasty appearance everybody seems to think I have might help me here.
“Alright, leave your chethtpieth here and ju can have it for two-thouthand.”
500 scales was a good discount. My chest piece was worth 700 if I waited for someone to buy it, but really I would get maybe 400 from a wholesaler.
“What if I also promise to bring any rare materials here first?”
Her eyes turned into that of pity at my follow up offer, her usual customers probably never questioned the price. I wasn’t worried about creating a negative impression, I was buying from her not selling.
She waved her hand at me “okay, okay one-thouthand five take it.”
1,500 was enough begging for any less I would start creating a bad image.
[Good job Lucid.]
Marella took me to the wooden counter on the left side of the store and continued the transaction. I handed her my chestpiece, she didn’t really care for it as she bound it quickly throwing it into her storage treasure.
[She will probably break it down and use it elsewhere.]
“Thank you cuthotmer! And make sure to tell Jugene I say hello. Take care Luchid.” She seemed nice even with my cheap purchase. Eugene seems to have a good eye.
Fully equipped at the moment I felt protected like I was tucked under a blanket of thick steel.
I gave myself a look in another mirror within the store. It had no aggressive designs, styling, or even special materials, as I’ve seen on other people’s armor, but I felt it looked rather nice. Like a modern cross between steel armor and motorcycle racing gear.
[It wasn’t made in a factory I’m sure Marella made it to her own liking.]
I see. Luckily, I felt her taste in style was quite good. I’m sure a great part of being able to do this was because forging techniques allowed materials to gain cloth-like properties.
I especially liked the helmet design with two small fins on both sides and a large dark visor that kept all of my peripheral vision. Plus it wasn’t stuffy at all and shrunk to fit snugly with my head shape since this magical material didn’t need massive amounts of padding like helmets from Earth did.
“If you don’t mind me asking how much is the spectral lion armor set?”
“Jugene’s? It is 30 million, around?”
Really, 30 million scales and he’s holding a 500k debt over my head like he’s pressed for money.
I’m just saying, I know I have no right to complain as it is his money and what I have gained so far is more than enough especially coming from practically nothing. But…
Being referred by Eugene was the reason why she was willing to work with me, but she did seem like a nice person so maybe a bit of both.
I smiled at Marella as I began to leave the counter to exit.
“What? How did Robot make it here?” I heard a familiar voice directed toward me.
I turned my head to see it came from a man in a black and gold armor, his face uncovered as he walked in a large group it was Alan. They weren’t laughing at the remark, but perplexed seeing me also. Looking closer I noticed at the center was a pair of familiar freighting emerald eyes carrying a straight face.
So this is Abigail’s party. I’ve only seen Runter’s before but I did know each of the top students never grouped with each other to preserve the lead to themselves. No, wait this didn’t apply here it seemed Alan was in it too.
Abigail casually detached herself from the group and walked up to me. Her eyes soft and sweet, much like the scent that came off her, to hide the hawk behind them scanning every single one of my movements.
“Lucid, how have you been? Its been so long since the last time we spoke. On the train remember?”
I should have kept the helmet on…
That look she sent me, what a nostalgic one. Alright, I need to practice anyway if I ever want to see if I can really make in this world regardless.
“I’ve been fine. I do want to say it is good to see a fellow Laurent student safe on this floor. What about you?” I offered a sincere-looking expression.
“Me? I’m doing quite well. If you don’t mind me asking what floors did you end up on to get here?” She must have been curious too.
Should I lie and say I awoke here or give her the truth?
“I don’t mind. I awoke on a sub-floor that had a mental magic trial which led me to a floor filled with undead. Getting through that, I arrived here.”
While listening to me I could feel her gaze narrow ever so slightly studying me.
“Don’t lie Last. You? Survive that floor everyone said was filled with thousands of undead? It’s pathetic.” Alan looked at me with eyes filled with arrogance.
Eurval was preserving processing power it hadn’t recorded anything so I had no proof, but why did it matter what they thought.
I ignored her party member’s comment. If she got something out of me then they should reciprocate right?
“Have you seen any other Laurent students here? I hope they’re fine.”
Abigail sent me a pleasant smile. “Hmm, so far I’ve only seen Mei, Chibin, Alan, and my party. Oh, and now you.”
“I see, thank you.” I wonder if she left Runter out of her mouth on purpose. Eugene too.
“Sorry, but can you clarify a bit? How did you make it through the floors?” It seemed Abigail believed me and was now curious about the how I survived.
But I’m not going to tell her. Especially considering the fork of Rainer’s spreadshot I’ve created.
“Sorry, I have to go actually. Maybe I can tell you when we run into each other again?”
“Wai-” I smiled, leaving Bardi’s in a false rush.
“Hey! She wasn’t finished talking to you!” Alan yelled out. Angry seeing Abigail be brushed off.
I couldn’t see it, but I knew she didn’t care about being brushed off. However, I also knew not satiating the curiosity of a person like Abigail was one of their largest peeves.
I secretly giggled as I left the store and waved by to Marella in a friendly manner, only adding kindling to the curiosity inside her when Marella smiled and waved back.
It didn’t matter what these people thought of me. They were never going to see me in a positive light. Even if they did they would only take and never give.
Out of their sight and a good distance from the store I slowed my steps. There was now an added confidence in my walk. I was in full armor after putting my helmet back on. Finally, I felt amateurish instead of a like a complete novice. Like I was on the plane with all the powerful existences like Mrs. Eddy or Crimson Claw lived on.
Obviously, my strength and my equipment were incomparable, in a weak way, but it felt nice to feel to know that there was a sliver of my progress that was similar to them.
[Are you going to enter the E43P passaeway? The one filled with amateurs?]
Yes, I need to stimulate my mana body and hopefully get some mana and essence orbs. I do not think people will take kindly to me shooting arrows inside this floor-city.
[Then why are you heading back to Eugene’s place?]
Even if it is labeled as a place for the novices, I can never be too safe. Better to bring back up. Besides, he would enjoy the opportunity to see my internal bodies as they heal.
Reason#17 as to why you should support Lucid on patreon or paypal:
I tried a jasmine milk tea the other day and it was GOOD.