Even though they could see the city, it still took them around 5 minutes to arrive before the gates. This was a small town, and the security wasn't the greatest, you could basically enter as long as you didn't look suspicious. Raymond's eyes darted around to all the people he passed by, and he instantly noticed that almost all of them were armed in one way or another. If they didn't have a weapon themselves, then they were accompanied by someone who did.
This confirmed Raymond's earlier suspicions about this world, at least partly. It was obvious from just a glance that this world was a place where the law was far from omnipotent. If you think about it, in a world where cultivation is widespread, stopping crime and violence would be way too hard. When cultivators with superhuman power and strength flooded the streets, maintaining public order would be hard.
"I guess it's time for us to bid farewell. I'll see you around Raymond!"
Talia seemed a little disappointed, she had grown used to this mysterious youth's presence for the past few hours, it would feel a little less intriguing to travel without him.
"Yeah, thanks for helping me out and taking me along. I'll definitely repay you in the future!"
No one really took Raymond's words too seriously. He had no cultivation at the age of 16. That either meant that the place he was so far from civilisation that they didn't know about cultivation, or that he simply didn't have any talent. Of the two, the latter was more likely, but no one said it out loud so as to not embarrass him. Raymond could naturally tell what they were thinking after observing their expressions, but he didn't take it to heart. He knew what kind of future he would have; his favours would probably be worth their weight in gold in the future.
After bidding farewell to his helpers, Raymond received a token before he went his own way.
When he had walked out of earshot, the old man who had given him the token suddenly muttered to himself.
"I look forward to what kind of future awaits you, young man."
The only person who heard the old man's muttering was Talia, and she was too shocked for words. She had no idea what he meant by that, was there more than met the eye to Raymond? This was something she wouldn't be able to find out until much later.
The first thing that Raymond decided to do after entering the city was to clean himself up. Although his appearance wasn't his number one priority, he at least wanted to be presentable. If he didn't look presentable enough, he would only attract unnecessary trouble if he tried to enter any of the more upscale establishments.
Dressed in rags and covered in dirt, the first clothing store that Raymond went to wouldn't let him enter at all. He wasn't stupid enough to wave around all of his money out in the open without the strength to protect it, so instead, he just went to a store that was a little shabbier. This store wasn't as big or grand, but it didn't discriminate and it had a good reputation within the city.
The interior of the store was mostly made out of reddish-brown wood that had been carved exquisitely to create a special aesthetic. The counter at the front was simple and straightforward, and behind it was a mature-looking lady. Raymond caught her looking at him, and he slowly and calmly walked up to it.
"Hello, welcome to Greencrest's Delight how may I help you today?"
Raymond was a little unsettled by the lady's business smile, but he tried to not mind it.
"I'm looking for some new clothing, and access to the spa for two hours please."
"Ellie! Guide this young man to the male clothing section, then bring him back here if he finds something he wants."
"Yes ma'am!" The young lady that answered seemed pretty young, and her childish actions elicited a chuckle from Raymond.
With the help of the young shop assistant, Raymond quickly picked out a few pieces of clothing that were ready-made and fit his size. More high-end clothing would be tailored to him personally, but Raymond couldn't be bothered about that right now, he wanted to spare his wallet as much as possible. After paying for the clothes and two hours at the spa, Raymond was set back a single gold coin. And for that prize, he also got himself a nice backpack that could contain some clothes and supplies.
The spa in Greencrest's Delight had a lot of different services, but Raymond was mostly interested in the bathhouse. It obviously didn't work exactly the same as the ones back on earth, but it was honestly an even better experience. The water was infused with spiritual energy and cleansed Raymond's body of dirt way better than a shower on earth would, even with the best shower gel and shampoo.
After cleansing himself completely, Raymond looked like a completely different person. It was also at this time that Raymond actually got to see what he currently looked like in one of the mirrors. The first thing that drew his attention was his eyes. His golden eyes were completely different from his last life. His other features were pretty similar to his last life, he had just become more... handsome.
Raymond was a little confused. He was sure that he was in a younger version of his own body at first, but now, it was quite obvious that he had been wrong. After pondering about it for a while, Raymond came up with a theory. He was probably in a younger version of his own body like he originally thought, but when his talent was upgraded, so was his body. Maybe this was the reason his appearance had changed a little?
Either way, the change wasn't bad. It would've been worse if his talent upgrade had made him uglier instead. Since the change could only be called positive, Raymond soon forgot all about it. The only thing it did was arouse his curiosity for a bit. Something with more priority in his book right now was to take full advantage of the two hours he had in here.
With nothing else to worry about, Raymond submerged himself in the hot spiritual water that they offered for recreational purposes. Raymond just laid there, relaxing, floating about and just enjoying himself in general. Putting on a tough front is something that was necessary, but now that he could actually relax, he felt way better.
Time passed rather quickly as he was enjoying himself, and he soon had to leave the spa, but not before putting on his new clothes. Clad in a rather simple yet comfortable black and white training uniform, Raymond felt refreshed and left the establishment. On the way out, the mature lady at the front desk caught a glimpse of him, and she smirked to herself.
"I knew that he had potential. Finding diamonds in the rough are my favourite passtime."
No one but herself could hear her faint muttering, but letting someone shine truly is a different way to enjoy life. The entertainment of a regular worker can sometimes be just that, pure and simple.