"You have a point... Things never go as planned. In part, that's exactly what make them interesting." Nina replied to Croaks, with a smile as they continued walking.
Be it on her job or on her personal life, most of the times, it was always good when things didn't went as planned. Especially on her job... Nothing ever goes as planned for someone who works with information, but that was exactly how the best bits of info were acquired. Her meeting with Croaks could be considered... fortunate. He wasn't a bad man, to be honest, he was surprisingly understanding and good for a gang boss... It was also incredibly funny to see how he went from 'gang boss' to 'paternal figure' in such a short time. She knew she was being far too friendly with him, but so far, he had shown favorable reactions.
"Hm... I'm sure they have something strong as well... In fact, I'm pretty sure he has some that can't be easily found in the combat zones." Nina said with a smirk after she heard he wasn't much of a wine drinker, mentioning that he needed something with a certain spike to forget about that biker they interrogated earlier.
"Oh, don't think too much about it. The information we received looks useless now, but all it takes to turn a bunch of useless information into a gold mine is one small fact to link them all together. Just one small thing." Nina said, with a mischievous smirk on her face.
"People often don't realize this, but all information is valuable." she completed, smiling to herself.
As both of them continued walking, Nina saw a lanky man, bumping on Croaks as he passed by them. The moment she saw that, she turned to Croaks.
"Did he-" Nina started, but was interrupted by Croaks, whom immediately grabbed the lanky man and looked at him with a death stare. It was all it took for the lanky man to give Croaks back his wallet. Almost desperately apologizing himself, the second he gave Croaks back his wallet, the gang boss was quick to fling the poor man into the dirty, toxin-filled river bellow them, followed by Croaks cursing him.
Watching that, Nina couldn't help but laugh.
"Oh yeah... He did!" she said, laughing as she looked to Croaks.
"Not a smart idea... Do they still try things like that with you?" Nina asked, looking to Croaks curiously. He was a big figure from a local gang... Small pickpockets should really know better than to try anything funny with him.
When asked about a plan, Nina turned to him, still walking. Unlike the other times, she had a plan. Well... It was more like a contact, but still...
"So... I do have some contacts. Getting to upper levels isn't that hard if you know the right people. But if we wanted to get to where the rich folk are, it would take some preparation... So we're just going up halfway." Nina said, looking to him.
"I know a guy that has a small warehouse on the third level that often sells products that are pretty hard to come by. Things that, ironically, are very easy to get on higher levels. Plus, he will give me a good discount, since I was the one that told him about a good ways to sneak products from higher levels to lower ones." she continued, winking playfully.
"I can get us there without many problems. I mean... you will certainly stand out... like... a lot... But as long as you stay with me, things should be fine." Nina said, obviously referring to Croaks' clothes & his overall look.
"No offense... Of course." She said, raising her hands, with a smirk. Despite what she said though, it was true that she thought he should try to wear himself a bit better.
After some time, they finally arrived on the checkpoint for the third level.
"Wait just a bit." Nina said, asking Croaks to wait as she went ahead to speak with the guards.
"Hey Eric!" Nina said as she got nearby one of the two guards that were standing right outside of the check point.
"Marcus isn't with you today?" Nina asked when she realized that she didn't know the second guard.
"Oh, hey there Nina. Nah... Bro got a nasty bullet wound the other day after a small discussion with a crazy Ronin. He's fine though. Just his pride that isn't." the man said with a chuckle waving back to Nina.
"Sounds exactly like him. Tell him I sent him a hug. Surely that will make him feel better." Nina said, with a playful wink and a laugh.
"Oho... That'll put him in high spirits." The guard said, laughing.
"So, what's going to be today?" he asked her.
"My birthday. Forgot to make preparations to go to higher levels... At least I thought I could buy some good wine for myself as a gift." Nina said, with an awkward smile. She indeed had forgotten to make preparations to go to higher levels. Otherwise she certainly wouldn't be happy just buying some wine for her.
"Weeell... That and I brought a friend with me. Someone I'm currently working with." Nina said, making a hand signal for Croaks to approach them.
"You should stop walking with those types, Nina. You're too good of a girl for that..." Eric said, with a long sigh after he looked to the man Nina was pointing to.
"As long as you keep him on a leash, fine. Will need to make a thorough check on him though. It's not that I don't trust you... I don't trust him." Eric said, with a piercing stare to Croaks as he approached the check point.
As Croaks approached the check point, he would be able to almost feel the guard's eyes analyzing him and Nina's awkward smile as she made a discreet hand sign for him to behave himself.