8 Turtle Under Armor

    Nix found a big rock next to the front gate and took a seat.  With the time difference, he still had a few hours until it was dinner time at the Kindled Spirit.  The first thing was to make enough undergarments for Shana's Boutique.  He spent half an hour doing that and then took out the turtle pelts.

    He studied the turtle pelts for a few minutes before deciding to make leather out of them.

    [77 Pristine Turtle Leathers have been added to your inventory.]

    His Tailoring skill had maxed out at one hundred during his previous bout of making underwear at Shana's boutique.  He was now given the option of making recipes.  It was basically trial and error.

    He started out with a basic undershirt design.  Instead of using the recommended lycra, he chose the turtle leathers.  To punch through the material, he opted for a curved bone needle.  He used refined aluminum thread to keep the seams from pulling apart.  When he was done, he checked his handiwork.

    Nix stared at the combine icon.  Attempting to make a new recipe cost 100 credits.  He decided to chance it and tapped it a half dozen times.  Just like that, he was 600 credits lighter.  "That's crazy."

    He was tempted to stop and try something else but instead decided to chance it.  "Ten more attempts, then I'll stop."  He started spamming the icon again, on the 7th time he met with success.

    [You have created a recipe for the Turtle Under Armor-Shirt]

    Nix grinned at the message.  "Let's do the pants too then."

    It took 22 attempts before he received the notification he was looking for.

    [You have created a recipe for the Turtle Under Armor-Pants]

    The success rate for the actual clothing was only 32 percent.   Out of 77 leathers, he was able to make 15 shirts and 12 pairs of pants.

    Under Armor Shirt: Black Turtle

    Description: This lightweight

    shirt is meant to be worn

    under your existing armor.

    + 10 to Armor Class

    Crafted by Nix.

    Under Armor Pants: Black Turtle

    Description: This lightweight

    pants are meant to be worn

    under your existing armor.

    + 10 to Armor Class

    Crafted by Nix.

    "Can't pretend I don't like those.  Better keep a set for me."

    It was nearly 2100 when Nix made his way back to the portal platform in Jenzi.  Since he had leveled up, the trip back to Cyphix cost 100 credits.

    The sign for the Kindled Spirit brought a smile to his face as he walked through the front door. With the time difference, it was 1700 in Cyphix, just in time for dinner.

    He didn't see Hyai around so he took a seat at an empty table.  There were only a half dozen customers since dinner was just getting started.

    Hyai walked out of the kitchen a few minutes later.  She was wearing the uniform that Nix had made and was smiling while she worked.  She stopped in her tracks when she spotted him.

    He waved her over.  "Hyai!  I guessed on the color, it really suits you."

    She stopped next to his table, a smile on her face.  "Thank you Nix, I can't remember the last time I was this comfortable working all day."

    "What's on the menu today?  I'm super hungry."

    "Hmm... What do you feel like?"

    "I could eat a big venison steak, but I'll choose from the menu."

    "The menu is bear stew and salmon."

    "Salmon is tempting, but the bear stew was so good yesterday.  I"ll have that again."

    "Give me a few minutes, we are a bit short-handed tonight."

    "No hurry, could I start on a pint?"

    "Coming up Nix."

    He leaned back in his chair and took a long drink.  The sun and sea air had felt good, but it had tired him out a bit.  He was resting his eyes when a plate was set in front of him.

    "Sorry for the wait Nix."

    "Smells great!"  He picked up his fork and then stopped.  There was a large steak on his plate, complete with fresh green beans and onions. "Woah... thank you!"

    She placed a fresh pint in front of him.  "Going to have a bath after dinner?"

    He let his eyes roam over her, "that does sound nice."


    Nix relaxed in the heat and softness of the bath.  After thanking him properly, Hyai had slid in behind him and had her arms wrapped around him while he leaned back against her.  "Very nice pillows Hyai."

    She bit his ear making him jump.  "I've never had such nice things."

    "A lovely woman deserves nice things, especially when they work as hard as you do."

    "Don't spoil an old woman Nix."  She had a bath sponge in her hand and was rubbing it against his stomach.

    "You're my first friend here, so I'm going to spoil you a little bit. Just put up with it."

    She laughed and reached her hand lower.  "I thought you were tired."

    Nix shrugged and turned to face her.  "Tired yes... not dead though."


    A while later they were drying off while talking.  Nix noted that she looked really good in red underwear.

    "Going to Jenzi again tomorrow?"

    "Yep, I teamed up with an archer.  We are hunting turtles again."

    "Make sure you be careful."  She leaned forward and gave him a quick kiss before exiting quietly.  Nix waited a few minutes and then did the same.


    Nix made sure to get up before dawn, a glance at his hud told him it was 0400, early even for him. He quickly got dressed and made his way to the town portal.  Sighing heavily, he paid the 100 credits necessary to travel to Jenzi.  "Too spendy."

    A few minutes later, he was walking down the side alley to Shana's boutique.  The back room was dimly lit and completely empty, but he could hear voices from the front.

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    Maye was sitting behind the counter, while Lela was cleaning the display windows.  The older woman looked up when he walked in.  "Mr. Nix!"

    "Just Nix is fine Maye, how'd we do yesterday?"  He started taking out the product he had made for the day.

    "Please open your hud so I can transfer your credits directly."  She pushed over a handwritten ledger.  "You can check my numbers over."

    Nix opened his hud, keeping his face expressionless when just over three million credits were transferred.  "So... we did good?"  He pushed the ledger back toward her, "everything sold?"

    Maye nodded, "everything was gone within an hour.  I expect it will be really crowded again today."

    Nix smiled and looked around, "Where's Shana?"

    Lela walked passed him, stowing the cleaning supplies under the counter.  "Sleeping, way too early for her to be up."

    Maye nodded, "She only got up early yesterday because she was bound and determined to bring back the 'best tailor in Jenzi,' "

    Nix laughed at the words, "instead, you got me."

    Maye's old face smiled politely. "Your work is excellent.  Speaking of that, we should change the consignment contract.  Ten percent is pretty standard with these things."

    Nix shook his head, "I will keep the current agreement I made with Shana.  I find it convenient.  Hey, can I ask a question?"

    Maye sighed, "why don't I do the tailoring anymore?  Two years ago, my bones started aching, my fingers barely work for normal things, and crafting is impossible."

    Nix didn't say anything.  It explained the current state of things.  "Can you do me a favor?"

    Maye seemed relieved that he had decided to stay with them.  "Of course Nix. What do you need?"

    "I want to use a mannequin to display some work that I've done.  Not sure if it will gain anyone's interest."  He brought out the under armor he had made the day before.

    Under Armor Shirt: Black Turtle

    Description: This lightweight

    shirt is meant to be worn

    under your existing armor.

    + 10 to Armor Class

    Crafted by Nix.

    Under Armor Pants: Black Turtle

    Description: This lightweight

    pants are meant to be worn

    under your existing armor.

    + 10 to Armor Class

    Crafted by Nix.

    Lela grabbed a mannequin and carried it over, she quickly slipped them on, while Maye examined the work.

    "This is your own design?"  Maye's face seemed pale as she slipped on her glasses.  "Underclothes with stats?  I have no idea how to price this either, but we'll put it out front and see what kind of interest we get."

    "Okay, don't sell that one though. I'm keeping it for myself."

    By the time Nix returned to Market Square the vendors had finished opening their shops and the first customers were starting to wander through.  Nix bought another box lunch and stowed it in his inventory for later.

    A Day Shop opened right when he was buying his lunch, they happened to be selling a large shipment of a heavy black cloth.  Nix bought the entire supply and then headed toward the front gate.  It was still a bit early for his meeting with Ronnie.

    His rock outside the gate was still available, so Nix assumed his seat and started working on product for Shana's Boutique.

    "Been waiting long?"  Ronnie flashed him a smile and waited while he finished up what he was doing.

    "I had business earlier, but I'm all set."

    Nix followed her as she jogged out of town.  They passed the cove they had hunted in the day before and continued to run.  After an hour Ronnie finally stopped.

    "Sorry Nix, we have to do a bit of climbing."  Ronnie began to descend into the large cove, she glanced up to make sure he was following.

    "This cove is usually underwater?"  Nix began to retrace her steps, making sure to go slow.  It took five minutes before he stepped onto the wet sand.  "I don't see any turtles."

    Ronnie pointed to a small cave in the rock wall.  It was ten or twelve feet wide, but barely three feet high.  "Through there, it's a hidden cavern when the turtles lay their eggs."

    Nix tried not to frown.  "Okay, after you."
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