115 Scion of the Sun God
Once that problem had sorted itself out, Zoey got to work finishing and deploying the long range drones she had fabricated the night before. There were eight in total, and each was about the size of a falcon with a design that matched the bird of prey profile as well.
They were all made from carbon nanofiber that was extremely light and strong. Zoey had improved on the wind array design she had studied on the Flame Scorpion Kreppelin and developed an improved wind manipulation array that could propel and stabilize the drones in flight. There was also the Null Rune based communication array that linked to her interface and should keep the drones safe from magical detection.
Then there was the Gravity Rune array to assist with weight management in flight, and finally a magic battery to keep the drone in the air for about a month, depending on the weather. She had wanted to implement a solar power converter to fuel the drones, but converting electricity into magical energy was a larger problem than she had time for at the moment. So for now she would have to refuel the drones manually when they ran low.
All of this was controlled though an AI subroutine that Zoey put together that would manage controlling the drones and setting search patterns from her interface, similarly to her smaller drones. Once released, they would stay at an altitude of about one kilometer while they ran their search patterns. They were configured to search for large amounts of poisoned earth, dead or dying sections of land and other signs of the corrupted. If they worked correctly, it was only a matter of time before she found her target.
Once she was finished with the final configurations, she sent up the drones one by one, watching with satisfaction as they silently glided into the clear blue sky. The grey sky and rain from yesterday was gone, and the day looked like it would be warm and sunny. Unfortunately it wouldn't do much for the ankle-deep mud on most of the town streets.
Once the drones were only specks in the sky, Zoey packed up her stuff and Vidiri wend back into her inner world, then she donned her mask and headed out to Brumau's marketplace. Her goal today was to collect one of the resources that she was missing in the cube space that Custodian 704 was managing for her. The space had many different natural resources, but it was missing Aether Crystal. This resource was essentially solidified magic power that had a large number of applications, one of which was powering levitation arrays on Kreppelins.
Zoey planned on acquiring some of this Aether Crystal and seeing if 704 could cultivate it in the cube space. If she could actually get a sustainable source of renewable energy, it would be extremely useful to her. Her surveillance drones had indicated a few shops that sold the Aether Crystal, so that was where she was headed first.
Zoey made it to the marketplace rather quickly on the rooftops, then dropped down to the street once she got there. It was still before mid morning, but the place was teeming with activity. The beast wave last night had enriched many of the adventurers that had been out at the Bulwark, and they were all eager to trade their essence stones and beast materials for coin. Traders, shopkeepers, vendors, and blacksmiths could be seen haggling with the adventurers about the quality and price of the items at hand.
Zoey picked her way through the crowds of people as she headed for one of the shops located on one side of the large market plaza. Once she entered the shop, she was greeted by a rich, well decorated interior that spoke of wealth and status. This shop was clearly one of the more well to do ones, and judging from the quality of the items on display just inside the door, they had good standards as well.
The shop was mostly decorated with a clean looking, sandy colored wood that matched the cream curtains and linings that accented the rest of the shop. The glass on the display cases was also high quality, allowing a good look at the items for sale.
Weapons, armor, trinkets and tools, everything was on display. The prices were also labeled, and with a quick query to her interface Zoey was able to match them with other shops in the city. This was thanks to her surveillance drones of course. It was not their intended use, but since they were spread out across Brumau she could check the prices at the various shop in less than a minute.
The shop she had entered was one of the more expensive ones, bit Zoey could see that the quality did indeed match the price.
As Zoey looked over the items on display, a few more people entered the shop behind her. Zoey paid them no mind until she heard the thumping of heavy boots stomping towards her. She tensed up as the group approached her, ready to react in an instant if needed. The stomping stopped right behind her, and a large shadow loomed over her.
Silence fell on the shop. Zoey felt the eyes of the other customers in the shop turn her way, then quickly look away as if they wanted nothing to do with what was about to take place. Zoey figured whoever was behind her was expecting her to turn and acknowledge them, so she was doing the opposite and pretending to completely ignore their presence.
This went on for a few minutes as Zoey kept looking over the merchandise, then someone loudly cleared their throat.
Reacting is if she just noticed them, Zoey turned to look at the group who had approached her. There were three of them and the leader was a large, fat man with numerous chins layered below his grimacing mouth. He had close set, beady eyes and stringy hair that was not doing him any favors in the looks department. He was dressed in rather foppish clothing that was a clear attempt to differentiate himself from the commoners around him. At the moment he was red in the face, clearly upset about something, and glaring at Zoey as if she had stolen his last meal from him.
The two men with him were bodyguards wearing shiny breastplates and longswords on their hips. They were also glaring angrily at Zoey. Clearly she had slighted them somehow, but Zoey had no idea who they were and was even less inclined to care.
So after she looked at them for a moment, she turned around and kept browsing the displays, completely ignoring them.
"You RAT! How DARE you ignore me?!" The fat man's bellow was loud enough to startle most of the patrons in the shop. "Common trash like you! You dare walk past me and not pay tribute?! "
The man was panting for air and even redder than before, jowls and double chins shaking with anger. He was rather upset that Zoey had not paid tribute, whatever that meant. Had she seen him before?
Thinking back, Zoey was able to recall passing this group outside when she had entered the shop. She had completely ignored them then, and that apparently pissed them off.
As Zoey turned to face them again, the fat man took a deep breath and bellowed loudly once again.
"As recompense for your transgression against ME, a Scion of the Sun God himself, YOU will prostrate yourself before ME, and beg FORGIVENESS!"
Zoey raised an eyebrow behind her mask. She would do what to who now?