Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 100: The Exam (3)

Above them circled three young wyverns. As relatives of the dragon race, their skin was densely covered in scales. Unlike a dragon who had 4 legs and two wings, their front legs had turned into wings, like a bat or a pterosaur. Their hind legs were big talons like a raptor´s to grab their prey. Only their head looked like a real dragons with piercing sharp eyes and long teeth like daggers. The only silver lining was that they had lost their dragon breath, so their attacks were purely physical. That was the explanation the guild master had given during the briefing.

Hearing it and seeing it were two completely different things. Seth could imagine what wyverns looked like and had expectations from the novels and games he had played. All his imaginings were completely subverted when he saw the giant creature with almost 30m wingspan gliding through the air. Their talons long and curved like sabers glinted in a metallic black. Their slender, snake-like bodies exuded an aura of strength and might.

When their eyes fell on the adventurers and merchant on the ground they stood still, petrified by a sudden pressure weighing down on them. Dragon Might, despite only being relatives they still had the aura that made dragons the peak of the food chain. An oppressive feeling grasped his hard, Seth felt like a mouse confronted by a giant snake. Only the A- and B-Rank parties that came along as examiners were unaffected by the sudden status effect.

After the initial shock, Seth felt the pressure slowly lessening. He looked around saw some of the other adventurers kneeling with expressions of absolute panic while most were still unable to move. Was it because of or ? He didn ’t know and also didn´t take the time to think about it.

He shook Mina, Mike and the rest of the Party awake. The wyverns hat used dragon might, it meant they would soon dive down to reap their stunned prey!

The party summoned their pet and got in formation, before back away. Keeping their eyes on the sky they closed in on the other adventurers and merchants of the caravan to try and wake them from their stupor. They were not the only ones who got to their senses early and with the help of the other two parties, they managed to wake up most of the adventurers.

As fast as they were, they were still in disorder when one wyvern decided to attack. Archers scrambled to lift their bows and shoot at the incoming reptile. Most arrows bounced off the hard scales with only a few dealing damages thanks to item effects or skills.

Ignoring the flimsy arrows, it dove into the crowd and grabbed one of the adventurers that were still stunned and unable to evade the massive claws. The saber-like talons easily penetrated his plate armor as if it was paper.

Impaled in three different places by curves pike the thickness of an arm would instantly kill anyone. It should! But in the short time, before he was whisked away, he started screaming in panic. The man grabbed was the tank of his party. His extraordinary endurance and passive skills forced him to not only not die, but also experience the situation fully awake. He left behind a bloodcurdling long-drawn screech as he was pulled into the air and ripped apart by the wyvern fangs.

As shocked as everyone was, they pulled themself together. There were another two hungry wyverns and who knew whether the third was really satisfied with one victim.

Mentioning the other two, they also started closing in and making attempts to dive into the crowd. But at this point, everyone had woken up from the dragon might and was able to dodge the deadly charges.

Seth also equipped his bow and started shooting arrows, but his arrows also bounced off the scales. The best they could do was punching holes into the wing membranes. Even when the bows effect activated, all their weaknesses were armored. The arrow could not even penetrate their eyelids! The wyvern just needs to blink to block his arrows.

Soon magicians were done casting and the arrows were joined by attack magic hailing onto the wyverns. This would have been great, if wyvern had no inherited magic resistance, too. The magic attacks dealt just slightly more damage than the arrows.

Seth felt a little peeved. These were arrows he had made himself and he had been quite confident in them.

”Very well then. ” he thought and changed his arrows. He switched his arrows to the ones with bodkin-type heads. The pyramid-shaped arrowheads with sharp edges were specialized in armor penetration.

The least archers bothered bringing different sets of arrows, especially since this kind of arrows would normally be used in wars between humans, not to hunt monsters. Who would bother to spend the extra money and bring specialized arrows, when skills usually sufficed?

The effect was clearly evident.

Every time Seth´s arrow hit; the hit wyvern would let a pain-filled screech.

The scales of the wyvern could not simply deflect or block the new arrows and were penetrated. They stayed stuck in the beast ’s flesh causing it terrible pain. The arrows did little to shorten its health bar. But for a creature like a wyvern that was the king of its territory and got rarely hurt thanks to its overwhelming physique, directly inflicting pain was even worse than to other targets.

With a smirk, Seth kept shooting his frightening projectiles and the wyverns actually started to pay attention to him and tried to evade his attacks. Only his. Even their random dive attacks had stopped as they tried to evade the little man´s mean stingers.

Since he already got the wyvern ’s attention it did not take long for the other people to notice the beast ’s strange behavior. The wyverns in the sky decided that this prey was not worth the pain for now and let off. Seth had not hit any vitals like the eyes yet, but who would not run from an acupuncture treatment with rusty nails.

After the threat was gone, all eyes focused on Seth who seemed to be the reason. Even Mina and her party were astonished by his deed. He had never used any weapon other than the spear in front of them, so they were double as astonished as the rest of the caravan.

Seth didn ’t know how to deal with the sudden attention. How could he have known this would happen? It wasn ’t his fault those big lizards were afraid of a little pain!

Even the A-Rank party stepped closer. It was a group of two women and three men. At the front was a leader in light leather armor and a sword on his waist He looked like he was in his early thirties. Behind him was a girl in a tight robe and blue hair. The eyes behind her round glasses were focused on the bow in his hands. She whispered something to the leader. He pondered a moment before speaking to Seth.

”Well done. Follow me for a moment. ” he said solemnly and turned around to leave. Seth shrugged and followed. At least he got out of that awkward situation.

The A-Rank party and Seth went to the head of the caravan where the carriages of the examiners were located. The leader signaled him to enter the carriage with him. He started speaking the moment Seth sat down.

”One of the first to recover from dragon might. Good first reaction. Flexible in choice of weapons and adapting to the situation. Well prepared in range and quality of equipment. ”

He sighed.

”I dare say, that you have good chances to pass this exam. But that is not why I asked you to come. I asked you here to give you a little advice. Try not to stand out too much. People can see that the bow is special, even without an appraisal skill. And stupid people might attempt stupid things. Be careful. That´s all. ”

With that Seth was dismissed without being able to even say a single word. It felt like he was scolded for bragging when he didn´t even intend to stand out. He could only shrug and let it be. The milk was spilled already.

He returned to Mina and the others who were waiting for him at the end of the caravan.

”So, what did the big boss want? ” Mina, who could not hold back her curiosity, exclaimed.

”I think I got praised and scolded at the same time? ” he tried to summarize but ended up recounting the short conversation as the others kept asking for details. They congratulated him when he said that he will likely pass the exam and became solemn when he told them about the advice.

”Now that you mention it, what ’s up with that bow? ” asked Lixiss intrigued. As a true gold digger, she was interested in everything expensive and rare.

”It´s actually not that extraordinary if you ask me. It just has the option to inflict increased pain, which was probably the reason the wyverns turned away. ” he played it down. There was no need to mention its true abilities to everyone he knows.

This was their first encounter with the wyverns.

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