When morning came, Thomas skipped breakfast and packed up their camp. The city of Djudavik wasn't too far away and he wanted to have something other than orc for his meal. As delicious as the orc was, eating it over and over took a bit of the magic out of the flavor. Snowlily didn't seem to disagree with him so once they were packed they hopped on the boat and floored it to the city.
The docks of the city were somewhat busy. From this point, the river turned south and went into the southernmost country on the continent, Lotenia. It went completely through Lotenia until it reached the ocean. This made Djudavik a bustling port town for trade between the two countries and gave rise to a populous and popular city. Seeing how busy the docks were, Thomas decided to guide his small rowboat to the river bank and beach it. Once he retrieved the outboard motor he ditched the boat for good.
Yes, he had spent a large sum of gold on it and had only used it for a few days so it was a complete waste. He didn't care. He was now hungry and had no way to store the boat, so fuck it. Time looking for someone to sell it to was time not spent eating breakfast. He happily ditched the boat and entered the city to find something to fill his stomach with Snowlily walking at his side.
Once he entered the city proper the streets were bustling with people from all sorts of races going about their business. Street hawkers called out deals, housewives shopped for food, adventurer's laughed and joked while looking for equipment. It was truly a city filled to the brim with life. It wasn't long before Thomas and Snowlily were partaking of delicious delicacies from various street vendors. Meats, vegetables, fruits, Thomas bought and ate all kinds of things. When he was full he started stuffing the extra food inside of his inventory. He even went out of his way to purchase a few small crates of fresh fruits and vegetables to go with the large piles of orc meat.
As AoG was a game, proper nutrition wasn't really an issue for anyone. He could subsist entirely off of meat or even unhealthy junk food without it having adverse effects on his body. However, there was something to be said about diversity in flavor. Just eating trail rations would be more than enough but would lack the flavor and fun of a nicely cooked meal. So, despite the glares of protest from Snowlily when he bought a small crate with several heads of lettuce in it, Thomas purchased anything he thought would be part of a nice meal.
As he was shopping he was also making his way through the main thoroughfare of the city and saw several different shops selling their wares. One caught his attention and made him smile. A bookstore. He had a lot of general knowledge when it came to crafting items but specific knowledge was still something he lacked. A good example would be in the alchemy department. He had the book he'd gotten back in Ulvstad but it was still just a book for beginners and didn't cover high-level potions. That was just a single example of specific knowledge that he lacked in a single field. He knew he needed to up his knowledge of the materials and practices of the world.
He entered the bookstore and inhaled deeply through his nose. He smiled at the familiar scent of knowledge, dust and old paper. The store wasn't very large, around six shelves filled with books of various thickness and a small sales counter manned by an old woman with her nose in a book. He didn't bother her and went about looking at the books on the shelves and reading their titles. Any books that seemed like they might be related to alchemy, enchanting, engineering, leatherworking, blacksmithing, metallurgy, magic, or anything else interesting were pulled out and skimmed. If the book seemed like it would be useful he kept it to the side, if not it went back on the shelf.
He was going to be on a ship for a while traveling across the ocean to another continent. There would never be a better time to just sit around and study. When he had over a dozen books pulled out the old woman running the shop finally took notice of him and looked slightly miffed at the mess he was making of her shop. When she spoke her voice sounded high pitched and irritated, "You better be planning to buy those young man!"
Thomas turned to look at the old woman and gave her his best smile, "Of course. Perhaps I could be done faster if you directed me to books on skills such as enchanting and blacksmithing? I'm looking for books on all the various fields."
Thomas wasn't sure what it was about old women running shops but they didn't seem to like him very much at all. The old woman looked him over for a bit then let out a sigh as she slowly climbed to her feet, "This way."
She led him to a separate section of the store through a door he hadn't noticed before as it was behind a shelf of books in a small space. In the new room, there were even more books. She gestured at them, "This is the technical section. No one comes here. You should be able to find books on any subject."
The room was small, not much bigger than a closet and only contained a few dozen books at most. They were all heavily covered in dust and clearly hadn't had any attention in a while. Thomas wiped the dust off of the spine of a book and looked at the title, 'Orrin's Guide to everything Alchemic'. That sounded useful so he pulled it out and flipped it open while the old lady walked back to her counter and sat back down. The table of contents for the book was a list of hundreds of different potions. Many with names unique to AoG that he suspected had familiar effects. There was even a section on various poisons.
Thomas set the book back, though he fully intended to buy it. He checked another book, 'Vennor's Blacksmithing Encyclopedia'. He flipped it open and browsed through it. It described techniques that were both familiar and not as well as special ways to process different metals. Another keeper. He checked another couple of books, all containing priceless information on the different professions. There were some talking about the same professions but from different perspectives with different techniques. Without realizing it, Thomas had spent nearly two hours looking through the books and hadn't looked at even half of them.
He set the last book he was checking, 'Zorrinthere's Metal Thesis', back on the shelf and left the room to approach the old woman, "How much for the books I selected out here and every book in the other room?"
The woman scoffed at Thomas. When she answered she had a derisive tone to her voice, "Books aren't cheap baubles young man! Every book in the closet costs a hundred and twenty gold. The books you picked out here are seventy-five each." She couldn't add it all up in her head so she pulled out a piece of paper and a quill to write out the total, "That's fifteen thousand one hundred and fifty gold for all of them!"
Thomas nodded, dug around in his rings and inventory and piled the majority of the liquid cash he still had on himself. He'd turned in tons of quests for a few hundred gold each and had amassed a small fortune inside of his inventory. It took him a good twenty minutes to count out the full total of 15,150 gold coins and set them down on the counter. He still had a few thousand remaining plus however much Rock had been depositing into his bank account. He was far from broke.
As he was constantly placing gold coins on the old woman's countertop her eyes grew larger and larger until she looked like she was about to faint. Once he set the last gold coin down she looked at him in a daze as he said, "I'll go collect my purchases now."
She numbly nodded as he walked away and stored the books he'd purchased into his inventory. He'd just spent a small fortune and wasn't entirely sure at the contents of most of the books. He was certain though, that this was an amazing deal and would give him a lot of useful information. Just the few books he'd skimmed through had contained profound amounts of information on their subjects and would be well worth reading to increase his technical knowledge. There might even be real gems hidden under all the dust.
He went about and stored all of the books from the closet and collected the books he'd left out while browsing the main section of the store. He smiled to the still stunned old lady and walked back out into the streets. He felt great. Now he would have something to do on the ship and would be expanding his knowledge to a large degree. The more he knew the more he could do. He'd been ignoring many aspects of his Magitech Engineering that could potentially become very helpful. Buff potions, higher quality materials, all kinds of little things that could potentially increase his power. Even if he could only make his equipment one percent stronger, a dozen pieces would add up.
With the new knowledge sitting safe and sound inside of his storage rings and inventory, he made his way down the street and continued his window shopping. This was a big port city and there were all kinds of goods available for sale. He kept an eye out for anything interesting that might be worth picking up. As he looked he came across a consignment shop selling all kinds of things. He stepped into the shop to take a look around. There were all kinds of miscellaneous items for sale. The shop sold things for other people for a percentage of the sale price. A pretty good business model.
The shop had weapons, armor, clothing, random treasures, and other things all over the place. He'd come in on the off chance he could spot something interesting. As he looked around a box caught his attention so he walked over and flipped it open. Inside of the box, he saw a collection of metal ingots. At first, he thought they were regular iron but as he looked closer he noticed that the ingots had streaks of color going through them. One ingot had thin streaks of blue, another thin streaks of green, and another thin streaks of gold. They were rather interesting.
He closed the lid and got the attention of the middle-aged man running the shop, "Hi there, can you tell me about this crate of ingots?"
The man smiled politely and nodded, "Sure can!"
He flipped through a large book filled with writing until he found the entry for the box, "Here it is. Looks like an adventurer found it in a wild dungeon. Just some really impure iron ingots. But since they were found in a dungeon the owner figured they were worth something."
He closed the book and looked at Thomas with a smile, "The asking price was originally a thousand gold but since they've been in here for months I could drop the price to six hundred gold."
Thomas nodded and flipped the lid back open. If these really were just impure then they were worthless. His eyes started to glow blue as he focused on the ingots. With his vision magnified he could see that the streaks were just caused by the lighting of the shop. The whole ingot was tinted with the colors he was seeing meaning it was most likely that it was homogonous and not just impurities. He had no idea what these ingots were but he was willing to bet a couple of things. First thing, these ingots were most likely special somehow. Second thing, the books he just bought could likely tell him what they were.
It was a gamble but he was in a good mood and felt like taking it. He turned to the shop owner and grinned, "Yeah, I can do six hundred for the ingots. I'm still looking around though."
The man nodded while Thomas continued to look around the shop. There were many interesting looking things that he couldn't identify and that was starting to get on his nerves. Even looking at things with his 'All Seeing Eyes' wouldn't tell him anything. All Hekrin and Rockbeard had to do was look at something and they could at least tell basic information about it. Hekrin had even been able to tell his skill levels just by looking at his hand. Thomas hoped the books he'd purchased would have a solution that could help him with identification in the future.
He sighed and went to the counter to pay for his purchase. Once he owned the ingots they went straight into his inventory. With all of his purchases, he decided that was enough shopping, at least for himself. As they were leaving the shop he looked down at Snowlily, "Is there anything you want?"
Snowlily looked up at him and he would have sworn that she was giving him a sly grin. She quickly looked away and started to lead him down the street. She seemed to know where she was going. He wondered how she did that. It's like she knew exactly where whatever she wanted was located. He wondered what it would be this time.