Upon making his way through the crowd towards the nearest stall, Cynrik activated his Inspect Skill, which was currently Tier 1. A wealth of information appeared in the form of system windows that hovered over each item laid out on the small wooden table before him.
Items and skill books of all kinds appeared neatly spread out on the table. Recently Rikard had taken Cynrik to their towns Skill book shop, where he came to realize relatively quickly that not only would his Inspect Skill show him a persons basic stats and such, but it also worked on items. Moreover, unlike the shop he went with his father, where things could be bought with credits, the currency here was a mixture of Skill points and credits.
Earlier, Cynrik had briefly glanced at the description of skill points and found out these skill points had a myriad of uses; aside from being used to upgrade skills, abilities, and even proficiency, they could also be traded to others as a form of currency.
With a quick glancing look over every available item arranged on the table, seeing nothing piqued his interest, Cynrik moved on—bouncing around from table to table before coming upon his 7th stall.
A specific item drew his attention, causing Cynriks eyebrow to shoot up inquisitively.
[Whats up] Brance, who was standing off to his left, asked. Not answering immediately, Cynrik instead took a moment to examine the items description thoroughly.
The first glancing look only showed the items name as “Pretty Brown Collection Stone.” Its name alone would generally make Cynrik ignore it, but right as he was about to look away, a little asterisk after the Stones name caught his attention.
‘Oi, Tobs, whats with the asterisk Cynrik couldnt help but ask the AI.
-An Object with an * after its name has hidden attributes that require further analysis.-
-Would you like to Analyze the “Pretty Brown Collection Stone” further Y/N-
Without a second thought, Cynrik chose yes, and subsequently, the description and name of the Stone changed.
-Elemental Affinity Orb (Earth)-
-By absorbing this Orb, a system host has a 35% chance of developing an Affinity for the Basic Element of Earth. In addition, during absorption, ambient mana of the Earth Element will be steadily drawn towards the Orb, allowing the host a chance to awaken the element within their Codex.
-This is considered a Tier 0 Basic Element and is highly stable-
The Orb, which had a deep brown luster, was tucked away behind several skill books, almost as if it was either hidden or discarded because its owner didnt have any idea of what they had in their possession. The Stone itself wasnt huge, to begin with, no more significant than the size of a tangerine, and had the appearance of smooth rock that you would find next to a river, well-polished but not very valuable.
[When we looked into affinities, we found out pretty quickly that a large majority of people dont naturally awaken more than one of them, but we couldnt find a lot of information about how to gain a second affinity.] Cynriks eyes narrowed as he spoke in the mind link to draw Brance over to the table
[Well, it looks like we just found out one of the ways.] Brances eyes trained on the rock and, after receiving the prompt to analyze further, had to suppress his shock.
Nodding in affirmation, Cynrik moved closer to the table, casually giving off the appearance that he was looking for a particular book so as not to draw attention to the smooth stonelike Orb.
After several minutes of this act, he finally reached out and held the Orb. Unlike what he had expected, the Orb gave off no energy or feeling other than a plain and straightforward smooth stone. However, as he was examining the Elemental Orb, he quickly attracted the shopkeeps attention.
“Interested in that Stone, I see; you have a good eye, Sir. My daughter Mindy found that Stone while playing down by the creek near my house. She was insistent on having me sell it so that she can get some pocket change for a new doll that shes been wanting.” He sighed with giving a short awkward laugh.
Cynrik gave the man a knowing smile and nod. “Your daughter has a good eye. Im sure my youngest daughter Lina would love it for her rock collection. She has been bugging me lately to see if I can find her certain color rocks so that she can arrange them not only by size but by color and shades as well.” Cynrik sighed, emulating the expression the man had given when describing how his daughter.
The Shopkeep himself let out a sincere laugh seeing Cynriks troubles were similar to his own and nodded at the story he was being told, fully immersing himself in it. “My daughter had a collection of her own, but she eventually grew out of it and went for dolls, So you better start preparing yourself for that now; those dolls get more and more expensive every year. Tell you what ill give it to you for 2sp; she kept bugging me, saying to sell it for at least ten but seeing as youre a kindred father like myself, I cant do that to you.”
Watching the scene unfolding in front of him, it took every fiber of Brances being to not scream at the top of his lungs at both his idiot, lying psychopath of a brother who was very clearly scamming the crap out of this poor Shopkeep. We were talking about an Elemental Affinity Orb; it had to be worth hundreds if not thousands of skill points, let alone 10s of thousands of credits, yet here his brother was smooth-talking its owner to buy it for near nothing. Watching the two of them talk back and forth, Brances left eye kept twitching aggressively.
It was clear to him that Cynrik had close to no empathy or remorse in what he was saying, and even more clear that the Shopkeep had no clue at all that what his brother was trying to scam him out of wasnt a simple stone youd find by a creek.
“This isnt the only stone she is trying to sell, good sir; in fact, I have a box of them if youd like to take a look and try to find what your daughter is missing.” When these words left the shop keeps mouth, Brance finally snapped and couldnt watch anymore. Spinning on his heels, Brance angrily stormed off to another stall, not wanting to see this moral travesty go on any longer.
No one knew Cynrik as well as he did, so even if he was entirely against his brothers antics, he had to admit they were effective. But unlike his older brother, Brance tried to live his life as an upstanding and honest man. Cynrik, on the other hand, didnt give a rats ass about offending someone or scamming them out of treasures like the Elemental Orb.
Hearing the Shopkeeps words, Cynrik showed as much appreciation to the man as he could muster, as if this man was saving his life. “If you happen to have what my princess needs, youd be a lifesaver, my friend.”
Hearing this, the Shopkeep let out a loud chuckle. “Not at all; just give me a moment. Then, Ill go grab her collection.” After saying that the man seemed to vanish, he went offline to run to his daughters room to collect her abandoned rock collection.
Suppressing his excitement at the potential of finding more cheap Elemental Affinity, Orbs Cynrik patiently waited for the man to return.
[I swear to god, Cynrik, if you **ing come out of this with multiple elements…..] Brances scolding started the instant the Shopkeep vanished. But Cynrik just waved it off, ignoring his oh-so-righteous younger brother.
A short time later, the man came back online into the RWT, and with a wave of his hand, a medium-sized wooden chest appeared in an open space on the table.
Giving a kind smile, the man nodded. “If you find multiple stones that you need ill only charge you 1 SP per stone hows that sound.”
“MY ASTRAL FICUSS NOT MY ASTRAL FICUSS,” a pitiful voice echoed throughout the stands.
Looking over his shoulder, Cynrik saw his now flustered brother apologizing profusely and embarrassingly to a man wearing a strange green and yellow long-sleeved outfit. This man looked as if his whole world was crumbling around him as he carefully picked up a bundle of small trees and put them back onto his cart.
[BASTARD, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT. WHY MUST YOU ALWAYS BE LIKE THIS ONE DAY THIS SHIT WILL COME BACK TO HAUNT YOU, I SWEAR!]
Hearing his pissed-off brothers grievances and subsequently ignoring them, he turned back to the man and thanked him once again as he activated Inspect to find more gems hidden in the pile of stones.