Chapter 1: Zeus’ Jewelry Store
A brilliant light was bursting forth from afar.
When it first started, it was nothing more than a simple dot. Slowly, it grew until it became a line. Once the ray of light had begun to fully burst forth, the brilliant light had become so dazzling to behold. It seemed to fill and nourish the entire world, and yet it seemed to destroy the entire world as well.
The universe. Infinite and boundless.
Behind the light, there would always be darkness.
Staring at that boundless light in his field of vision, he laughed.
An enormous shadow appeared behind him. He gracefully retreated, merging into it.
The shadow flashed, and in an instant, it travelled far away.
Skyfire Star. Skyfire City. Skyfire Avenue.
This famous lane didn’t permit any vehicles or any robots to cross it, much less mecha. Even the patrolling police must patrol on foot, the most ancient of methods. That’s because this is a street for pedestrians, a lane for nobles, hidden away within this high technology world.
Fresh yet uniform stones covered this 2048 meter long lane. The buildings on each side of the lane were of completely different types, but every single building had its own unique aspects and history. There was ancient French gothic-style pointed buildings, the sprawling and majestic jade-carved buildings of ancient China, and were even Roman-style buildings.
This street, which seemingly had no high technology present, was set within the most central, most developed area within Skyfire City. Supposedly, here, every single square meter of earth was worth as much as one of the newest, top-tier Michaely [Mai’ke’li] P12-class high atmosphere hovercar.
In the center of Skyfire Avenue, there was a rather unremarkable little store. The reason why it was described as ‘little’ was only because it was little by comparison to the enormous, noble structures surrounding it. The storefront was only seventeen meters wide, and it was designed in accordance with a combination of the luxurious, classical style with the simplistic neo-classical style. The mirror-like deep blue walls, the brilliant display windows, all showed off several dazzling, gleaming jewels. In the middle of the top of the store, four letters, glowing with a sapphire light, formed the name of the store.
Z, E, U, S.
The door was made from some sort of unknown deep blue metal. It didn’t have any decorations, save for an imprint of a jagged lightning bolt.
Zeus, the King of the Gods in ancient Greece, the controller of the power of lightning.
Thus, this store was also named Zeus’ Jewelry Store.
The insides of the store was a world of sapphire blue. Sapphire blue carpets, sapphire blue velvet covering the walls…even the bottoms of the jewelry display cabinets were sapphire.
Behind the front desk of Zeus’ Jewelry Store were two young ladies. They wore identical, low-cut white gowns. They were very beautiful, but in different ways.
One was tall and slender, with eyebrows high like mountains, a face like a rose, her fine black hair trailing over her shoulders. Whether from up close or from afar, she looked like a clear, beautiful painting, and she had a rather classical feel to her.
The other was endearing and lovable, with neat, short, light blue hair. The low-cut dress revealed her spectacular ‘mountain range’, but the look in her deep blue eyes changed constantly. She appeared…a bit weird.
“Boss, I want to eat ice cream.” The short-haired girl called out coquettishly, her voice so sweet that it could kill a man from a sugar overdose.
A lazy voice rang out. “Are you going to eat mine, or am I going to eat yours?”
The voice came from behind the front desk. So there was actually a third person in the shop as well. He looked to be in his twenties, and was seated on a leather swivel chair. His hands clasped behind his head, he leaned there comfortably. He had short black hair, a black shirt, black pants, and a white vest with the diagram of an ancient Greek temple on it.
“Either works.” The short haired girl giggled.
“Ke’er, stop messing around.” The long-haired girl said somewhat resignedly.
The youngster sat up straight, his movements smooth and graceful. Although his hair was a mess and his face had some unshaved stubble on it, he didn’t give the impression of being disheveled at all.
His eyes were very bright, but he had a rather languid cast to his lips. Every single movement he made, however, was very graceful and pleasing to behold. At a glance, one could tell that he was someone who had received the finest lessons in noble etiquette for many years, and thus had gained these habits.
From within his breast pocket, he withdrew a silver pocket watch, which was covered with many small, yet exquisite gemstones which formed a beautiful diagram of a starry sky.
“It’s about time. I’m going to freshen up a bit, then I’ll go out to have a drink. Xiu Xiu, Ke’er, it’s about time for you two to head back as well.”
The long-haired girl, Xiu Xiu, laughed very gently as she looked at him. “Boss, you go do what you need to do. The store has us.”
The youngster smiled warmly. “Xiu Xiu is always so well-behaved.”
The short-haired girl instantly pursed her lips, and the youngster had to add, “Um, Ke’er is very well-behaved as well.”
“Dingdingding.” A sound like silver chimes rang out, and the door to the shop was pushed open. A woman walked in from outside.
Upon seeing this woman, the youngster’s eyes shone even brighter.
This was a very beautiful woman. Her makeup was a bit heavy, and it was hard to tell what her age was. She was 1.7 meters tall, had a slender body, and on her feet she wore a pair of extremely extravagant, custom-made silver and crystal heels from VanCleef & Arpels, which perfectly showed off her slender, straight calves. A white pleated skirt which extended below the knees. A white mini-dress. Long hair coifed on her head. She looked extremely tidy.
The color of her eyes was very special. They were a jade green color, the color of an emerald. If one looked closely, one might find that they could ensnare your very soul.
After walking into the store, her feet paused for a moment as she swept the display cabinets with her gaze.
Xiu Xiu went to welcome her, smiling as she spoke. “Welcome to Zeus. Can I help you with something?”
The woman didn’t look at her, her gaze instead falling on the youngster. “I want to buy a royal blue star sapphire necklace that is at least fifty carats in size or larger. Do you have it?”
The youngster walked over from behind the front desk. Smiling, he said, “Of course. Xiu Xiu, lead this lady to the VIP room.”
Xiu Xiu made a gesture of invitation towards the woman, while on the other side, Ke’er had already opened the door to the VIP room, covered in genuine fur that was deep blue in color.
The VIP room wasn’t large, only ten square meters or so in size. It also had blue carpets and blue walls, while at the same time, it had a row of six blue security cabinets lining against the walls.
Aside from these, the VIP room also had a table and three chairs. One chair was towards the inside, while the other two were outside.
This was the place where the real deals were made. The most top-class jewels would never be put out on display on the cabinets outside.
The youngster invited the woman to sit, and she sat down on one of the two chairs on the outside of the table.
Xiu Xiu poured a cup of warm water and gave it to the youngster, who then placed it directly in front of the woman. For the owner to personally deliver refreshments was naturally more meaningful than an employee. A small detail, but then, it was often the small details that determined success or failure.
Xiu Xiu quietly shut the door to the VIP room, not making a sound. The store had an unspoken rule. So long as the boss was present, he would personally handle all of the guests who were led to the VIP room.
The youngster walked to the woman’s side, delivering the cup of water to her. “Please, have some water.”
The woman accepted the cup of water, but then raised her head and looked at him. “Zeus!”
The youngster’s face still had that graceful, indolent smile on it. “You mistake me for someone else. My name is Lan Jue, not Zeus. Or perhaps, you are calling out the name of my shop?”
The woman didn’t seem to have heard him, as she stared at him with her scorching gaze. “Zeus, I want to ask you to do something for me.”
The smile on Lan Jue’s face vanished, and he took the cup of water back from the woman’s hand.
The cup of water lit up, and the clear water within it suddenly transformed into blue, the blue of countless tiny little thunderbolts.
Lan Jue looked calmly at her. The woman’s body shook slightly, as though she had been affected by some sort paralyzing force. She didn’t move at all.
After fully draining the cup of electric water in one gulp, Lan Jue pushed open the door to the VIP room and walked out.
“She isn’t here to buy things. Please escort her out. I’m going to go get a drink.”