11 Malu Aquatic

    Nix stepped onto the Cephix platform and immediately paid for the trip to Jenza. Once there, he activated Deep Blue and saved Jenza as the slot four location. Shana was sweeping the walk in front of the boutique when he turned onto Main street.  By the looks of things, the shop was just closing.

    "Nix!"  Apparently, she had been waiting for him.  Shana ran at him and hugged him tightly around his waist.

    "How'd we do today?"

    Shana smiled sweetly at him, "we did great!" She grabbed his hand and pulled him inside.

    Lela was cleaning up the shop while Maye was finishing the books.  The older woman smiled when she saw him.  "Have a seat Nix, we'll settle the accounts."

    Nix brought up his hud without being asked, a bit over three million credits was transferred to him.  "Mind if I use the back shop for a bit?"

    Nix took a seat at the back table and turned up the light as he cycled through his available recipes.  Thanks to Gladis Corp, his library of recipes was extensive.  First things first, he quickly set up the queue for the boutique's product line.

    Once that was working he took out the Malu skins and placed them in a queue to fashion them into a workable leather.  With that cooking slowly, he examined the Turtle Under Armor recipe.  "A one-piece bodysuit would work better with the Malu skins."  He started editing the under armor recipe, he replaced the bone needle with an ultra-thin quill. The aluminum thread was changed to fine grade fishing line.  Instead of a shirt and pants, he would try a bodysuit with a ceramic zipper down the back.

    Nix shook his head, it looked dubious, even to him.  He attempted to make the recipe, finally stopping after forty attempts.  "Damn... there goes 4k.  Throwing caution to the wind, he continued to click the 'attempt recipe' icon.  Fifty attempts, eighty attempts, one hundred attempts.  Finally, on the two hundredth and eleventh attempt, he was notified of his success.

    He had his head down on the table wishing he could get the credits back, over 20k gone like the wind.  He slammed his hand on the table and opened the recipe, "Let's check out this bitch!"

    Wetsuit: Malu Aquatic

    Description: Waterproof gear may

    be worn under armor or as outer wear.

    + 10 to Speed while underwater, Underwater

    breathing.  Crafted by Nix.

    Nix placed the boutique product line off to one side and placed the Malu skins in his production slots.  He had more than eighty of the skins, but at 19 percent success rate, it was likely that he would only end up with 10.  He was just about to start it when he noticed the first miscellaneous block was blinking.  He activated it.

    [Do you wish to place the Water Mage Ring in the enhancement slot?]

    The Water Mage ring was said to increase water-based abilities.  Did that include making aquatic gear?  "Yes."

    He queued the process and then walked into the store when he heard familiar voices.  Ronnie and Sharl had just come in.  Sharl gave him a sweet smile when he entered, exactly like you would when you wanted something.

    Ronnie smiled at him, "heya Nix, don't listen to Sharl.  She's super jealous."

    Sharl made a face at her, "I can't stand it!  Prancing around the guildhall in your custom underwear!"

    Nix grinned at the picture it painted in his head.  "I will make you some Sharl, but I need some information in exchange."

    Sharl's face turned serious.  As long as its something I can share, I will gladly tell you.

    "You are the Guild Leader of Daybreakers?

    "Yes, Daybreakers  Mid:Division."

    "What does that mean?"

    "I'm level 50, I have my XP on one hundred percent bank so that I don't level up any further.  Mid:Division is levels 30-50. There is a Guild Leader for the Lower and Advanced Divisions."

    "Bank?  What happens when you remove the XP"

    "Currently, I have enough XP to move directly to level 75."

    "So as 50 level players go, someone like you would be a powerhouse?"

    Sharl nodded without any hint of conceit.  "Definitely."

    "What can you tell me about Mermaid City?"

    Sharl sighed heavily.  "It's a Mid:Division Raid that no one has been able to win.  There are four stages, most strong guilds can make it through the first stage."

    "How far has Daybreakers gone?"

    "Clean run through the second stage, we wipe sometime before the middle of the third stage."

    "How far have the other guilds gone?"

    Sharl made a sour face as if she'd bit into something bitter.  "The Salamander Guild has finished the third stage."

    "I see.  Would you take me into the Raid as a guest player?"

    "Nix?"  Ronnie looked surprised by the request.

    Sharl shook her head. "No, we would wipe again."

    "What if I were to provide an advantage?"

    Sharl's eyes showed more than a little interest.  "Show me what you have Nix."

    "How many people do you bring on a raid?"

    "Depends on the raid.  Mermaid City is limited to 60, broken into teams 3 teams of 20."

    "What if we equipped everyone with these?"

    Wetsuit: Malu Aquatic

    Description: Waterproof gear may

    be worn under armor or as outer wear.

    + 10 to Speed while underwater, Underwater

    breathing. Crafted by Nix.

    "Holy Shit Nix!"  Ronnie couldn't help herself, "you made that?"

    Sharl examined the recipe.  "It's not like we don't have underwater gear.  However, they are cumbersome and they cut down visibility and speed quite a bit."

    Nix didn't say anything, it was obvious that Sharl was still considering it.

    "With this gear, I'm confident that we could finally clear the third stage"

    Ronnie clapped her hands, her dark face lit up with excitement.  "Finish the third stage and you are at the new starting point!"

    Nix gave her a confused look.  "What's that mean?"

    "Wipe any time before the fourth stage and your guild restarts the raid from the beginning."  Ronnie couldn't keep the smile off her face.  "Finish the third stage and from then on, all Daybreaker raids to Mermaid City start on Stage four!"

    "Excuse me Nix."  Sharl walked off to one side and opened her hud.

    Ronnie nudged him with an elbow.  "She is talking to the Daybreakers, Advanced:Division Guild Leader."

    "I see."  Nix checked his queue, he had produced 62 Wetsuits, the ring had nearly tripled his success rate.  That would be enough for the entire raid.  He hid a smile and slipped the Water Mage ring back on his finger.

    Sharl closed her hud and walked back to the group.  Lela was still cleaning the shop, Maye was stocking tomorrows product.  "I can bring you on the raid, but there are three requirements."

    Nix gave her a deadpan look.  "They are?"

    "Sell us the recipe for the Turtle Under Armor, name a fair price."

    Nix glanced at Maye, "price Maye?"

    Maye pursed her lips, "Two hundred million, firm."

    Sharl seemed to think about it, she was told not to exceed three hundred million.  "Deal.  Requirement two, we will need at least 15 of the wetsuits to do the raid."

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    Nix shrugged, "I have 60."

    "Holy Crap Nix!"  Ronnie felt her sister's eye bore into her, "oh... sorry sis.  Keep going."

    Sharl continued, "that's enough for the entire raid, our chances will be good.  Finally, you need to raise your level to 40, your current level is too low."

    "I can do that."  He noticed Maye watching him.  "I miss anything Maye?"

    Maye smiled pleasantly.  "The wetsuits will be on loan only, make sure they return them or pay a fair price."

    Nix nodded, "right.  Loan only."

    Ronnie covered her smile with a hand.  Her sister was trying to pull a fast one.  "Looks like we have to raise our levels up!"

    Sharl stared at him for a long moment, before a smile peaked out.  "We have an agreement Nix."

    Half an hour later Nix and Ronnie were walking down Main Street, since he had dropped his rifle in the ocean, Nix needed to replace it.  "How much is a mid-tier rifle going to cost me?"

    Ronnie considered it carefully, "20k if you only want Fine Quality."

    "Isn't it crazy that underwear cost more than a rifle?"

    "As a stasis player, I'd pay any amount for comfort. Now that I have them, it makes all the difference. No more riding up and having to constantly adjust."

    "I should just move to Jenza and become the lingerie/underwear King."

    "Yep.  That's what I'd do."


    A few hours later, he was seated close to the Inn fireplace, finishing off the pint that came with his dinner. Hyai was wiping down tables.

    She looked up from her task. "What did you think of the Turtle Stew?"

    "Loved it, making it spicy was a good idea."

    The Innkeeper nodded in agreement, "Hey Nix, let's move your room to the luxury suite, it's always empty and I can rent out your old room."

    Nix made a face at her, "trying to squeeze me for more credits now that my token has expired?"

    Hyai shook her head, "I have a few million credits worth of clothes that you made me, so your money is no good here"


    Later that night, Nix sat on the bed trying on the Malu wetsuit.  One size fits all wasn't ideal in this instance.

    "Maybe I can customize it the same way Kylie does rifles."

    He quickly took it off and placed it in the tailoring queue.  He clicked the first square and cycled through his short list of friends, at the bottom of the list was the [Self] option.  This brought up an entirely new Customize option that wasn't available before.  He started the process and lay back on the bed.

    "Before I get all ramped up for a raid, I need to take a look at Mermaid City."  He smiled to himself and closed his eyes.  "Tomorrow, just a quick peek."
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