“There you have it. It’s a bit dusty, but I’m sure you’ll manage. Now I gotta go.”
My new boss had led the way through a hallway with closed rooms and, after fumbling with several keys, opened the squeaking last door.
It was more of a storage room than an actual place anyone would sleep in, and was full of what looked like old miner equipment and machine parts randomly thrown in. It didn’t even have a mattress or something I could sleep on. Beggars shouldn’t be choosers, but I really wasn’t satisfied with this arrangement.
I tried to find a broom in the mess with no success, and started looking for one.
There was a saying in my old village that said that what makes us humans is our manners and education, and I felt like sleeping in this clutter would be the same as declaring myself an animal.
Which I realized was a strange line of thinking now that I was basically surrounded by half animal people.
Still, I needed to find this place’s cleaning equipment.
Probably in the bathroom...Wait, how do they shower here?
I knew that after seeing trucks and bionic legs, I shouldn’t be so skeptical of the locals having ’modern’ restrooms. But most of what I had seen so far was either broken or seemed to have been broken at some point. Disregarding the tents outside, most of the walls around me were reinforced and patched with wooden boards.
And that was even true for the people. They all had roughed up appearances, and wore mismatched worn out clothes. It felt like a refugee camps that had been around for too long. I wasn’t really expecting to find a working shower.
But I looked for one nonetheless; there had to be a way people got clean around here, right?
At a loss, I tried several doors that turned out to be locked. I finally managed to open one but it wasn’t the restroom, it was a dark room with nothing but a life-size statue of a woman.
She had a veil and both her hands were clasped in front her in a silent prayer.
Intrigued, I approached it only for a window to pop up in my vision.
Delving terminal detected. Connect?
I thought “yes” and it was replaced with a new one.
General purpose showed an array of products followed by their prices in glory, which helped me finally understand what that term stood for.
So it was money! I thought with delight. Guess I’m not as poor as I thought I was.
The item selection seemed to cater to camping/climbing activities and had items like pickaxes, tents, generators, ropes, and even canned food and beverages.
So this is... some sort of online store? I thought, bewildered.
How did it all work? How was this statue... connected to the network? Was it a delivery service?
Going through the list, there were a few things that caught my attention but I still went back to the main menu. There, I clicked on the “Nameless Djin” option and a smile appeared on my face. It was empty.
Seemed like my Djin supporter was in a really bad spot himslef. First the title that gives zero attributes, now this. I kinda felt bad for him.
The “Shuari” option only had one item that was a complete set of clothes named “traditional shuari set”.
With a bit under two thousand glory points in total, I decided to spend some of them and try to convert the rest later in the local currency after figuring out if the conversion rate fluctuates or not.
I can probably make some good profits if I play my cards right. Guess I don’t even need a job that bad anymore. Depending on how expensive rent is in these parts, I could probably just get a house!
I could not find a mattress and ended up buying four bedrolls instead, for fifty glory points each. By themselves they didn’t look very comfortable, but I figured four of them should be enough. I ended my browsing of the “general purpose” tab with the purchase of randomly selected canned goods.
After some hesitation I also bought the common shuari set, since it would protect me from the harsh sun and included boots. It cost me two hundred glory and left me with a bit under one thousand five hundred glory
Transfer purchases to inventory?
I answered yes and new thumbnails representing my purchases appeared in my inventory.
Delving Terminal usage for Edward Lee locked.
Terminal usage locked?
I immediately felt heavier, just enough for it to be a bother. It seemed that my inventory was only to free my hands, but didn’t exempt me from the weight of what it carried.
In any case, I vastly preferred the general feeling of increased gravity to the localized pain of carrying a bag for too long.
“What in the seven stars...”
I turned around to find Kolyn in the doorway, her eyes widened with surprise.
“Oh,” I started. “I was looking for the bathroom and ended up here.”
“You’re the one who just spent glory here?” she asked.
She clearly was aware, so I judged that lying wouldn’t be the smart thing to do. It made sense for the owner to know when someone spend money in their their store.
“I did. What’s the matter?”
She just stared at me like one would stare at a unicorn. Well, assuming unicorns weren’t common in this world.
“I just gained a new class from purchases made at this terminal,” she said.
Is that a bad thing? I wondered.
I observed her body language, but she didn’t seem threatening, just bewildered.
“Ah, yeah...” I tentatively said. “I had some ca-, hum, glory laying around so I figured I might as well use it.”
Something in that sentence shook her out of her daze. She grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the room and toward the bar.
“You can’t stay here,” she said. “You need to go. Now.”
“Wait what? You just gave me a job!”
“Gods under, that was before I realized the brat I was hiring was a pissing delver! Do you even realize what could happen if you’re found here wasting glory? You have no backing, I doubt you can defend yourself and you have no self-awareness!”
I pulled free and she gave me a fairly annoyed look.
“No,” I said as calmly as I could. “Sure, it’s true I don’t know what would happen. But if you really want to help, then explain it to me.”
She looked at me and it was as if she was truly seeing me for the first time, then put a hand on her hip.
“Where exactly are you from?”
“From... So far you could say it’s on another world,” I hesitated. “Look, I really don’t have anywhere else to go, so-”
“What in the... no, it doesn’t matter. You can’t stay here, but I will tell you where to go. And if they decide to take you in, we’ll see about the work offer. It’s a temple and they can give you a place to stay, for a while at least. They are good people and everything should be fine if you tell them Laure sent you.”
She seemed genuine, albeit clearly nervous. Because of me.
“Alright,” I said. “But can I shower at least?”
She rolled her eyes and mumbled as she turned around, “Really not a bunker kid.”
“By the way,” I said. “Between Laure and Kolyn, which one is your real name?”