Birth of the D.S. - Chapter 329: 329. Underground world
The store seemed quite wealthy from the outside and Noah could confirm that sensation as soon as he entered it.
A middle-aged woman raised her head at the sound of the main door opening but she quickly lost interest when she saw Noah’s figure.
It couldn’t be helped, Noah had just come out from a long journey and only rested on Cody’s ship, there was some dirt all over his body and he smelled due to the sweat that had accumulated over the flight.
To put it simply, he didn’t look like someone that could afford the items in the store.
‘She must think that I’m some kind of poor customer that entered just out of curiosity. I can’t blame her.’
Noah understood the meaning behind her actions and agreed with her judgment, he really needed a bath.
Yet, that didn’t stop him, he limited himself to look through the many shelves to see if he could find what he needed.
The store was only a one-story building, the items that it sold were all in exposition with their prices written next to their descriptions.
‘Oh? They even sell information.’
Noah was surprised to see that some shelves were empty but a price was still attached to it.
Their tags indicated a certain topic or organization of the archipelago and there were even tiers to how detailed that information was.
Of course, the price increased according to the number of details requested.
‘I bet that there is a lot going on in secret, no one can accumulate all this information without having connections with the underground world.’
Noah concluded in his mind as he continued to inspect the items.
Maps and information of any kind appeared in his eyes but he was still unsatisfied, everything seemed too generic and there wasn’t anything that offered a complete overview of the archipelago.
In the end, he gave up and neared the desk where the woman was after releasing a loud sigh.
“Could you please help me with my request?”
Noah performed a polite bow before asking that question.
The woman raised her head again and stared at Noah for a while before nodding.
“I need a detailed map of the archipelago. The map must feature information about the matrixes’ network and the political situation of each island. It would be perfect if it also described the role of each island.”
Noah casually spoke those words but the woman opened her eyes in surprise.
Apart from the intel about the organizations, the maps were the main business of the shop and Noah was basically asking for their best product!
“I don’t know if you can afford something like that.”
The woman didn’t refuse him right away but she politely questioned Noah’s financial situation.
“Name a price.”
Noah didn’t mind it, he simply replied to her in his usual aloof attitude.
“Fifteen thousand Credits.”
Noah waved his hand and that sum appeared on the desk right over the sheets that she was reading.
The sight of the pile of crystals surprised the woman who immediately stood up and bowed toward Noah.
“Every request of our customer shall be granted!”
The drastic change of attitude made Noah roll his eyes but he remained silent, he would have done the same if he was in her situation.
The woman bent under the desk and seemed to activate some kind of inscription since a pale light illuminated the floor for a few instants.
When she stood up, an azure scroll was in her hands which she handed to Noah.
“This is the most updated map of the archipelago of our store. You can modify the information through your mental energy if it becomes outdated or you can come here and we will update it for you.”
Noah unfolded the scroll and swept it with his mental energy.
A blueprint of the archipelago appeared inside his sea of consciousness, information about each of its islands revealed itself as soon as Noah focused on them.
The information included the faction that controlled them, their purpose, and the matrixes placed there together with the route needed to reach them.
As he willed, the teleportation network illuminated itself on the blueprint, Noah could clearly understand the many connections between each formation.
“Does it satisfy you?”
The woman asked when she saw that Noah closed the scroll to store it in his space-ring.
“Yes but I wonder if you could do something else for me.”
The woman smiled at his words before being stunned by the sudden drop in the temperature of the store.
Noah was staring at her with a cold expression, his eyes shone with a bright blue light as he used his mental energy to express his seriousness.
“How much does it cost to stop the information about my purchase from going into your records?”
A store that sold information would surely record Noah’s arrival, he didn’t want to expose himself so easily.
The woman gulped, the gaze fixed on her was limiting the activity of her mind, her mental sphere was restricted under the pressure of who she had initially thought was a beggar.
“Three thousand Credits and the store will forget that you even entered.”
She didn’t falter, her words were steady, she seemed trained for that kind of situation.
Noah nodded and retracted his aura, covering himself again in layers of mental energy before taking out the requested sum.
The woman took the money and smiled, her expression was different though: The warmth from before was gone, replaced by a stern and cold attitude.
“I hope that the store has satisfied you, feel free to use it whenever you need.”
Noah gave one last look at the woman before leaving the building, his mind replayed the events in the shop as he moved toward a matrix.
‘She was trained to handle matters of the underground world! It seems that I’ve misjudged the situation of the archipelago, I wouldn’t be surprised if all the stores had connections with the Hive. The continent has sent representatives after the situation in the islands was going out of hand, which means that most of its former inhabitants were all willing to become independent already! I don’t know if I can use this to my advantage though.’