Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 122: Keeping Promises(2)

Seth could already hear the sound of a hammer hitting an anvil even before he entered the master´s shop. The rhythmic ding of metal hitting metal chimed not just from Master Tored ’s shop. It was heard all around like the blacksmith ’s choir.

”Master Tored? ” Seth called him after stepping into the store. The sound of the hammer from inside the smithy went silent. The dwarf that stepped into the room was a lot different from the Tored he knew. He wore a clean set of clothes and an unsullied leather apron. His beard was properly braided with golden ornaments weaved into it. A new lather cap covered his baldness and there was a fresh glint in the dwarf ’s eyes.

”Oh, Seth! There you are! Good timing. I already prepared everything for the ceremony. ”

”C-Ceremony? ” Seth asked confused. What ceremony was the dwarf talking about?

”hmm? The one to accept you as my disciple, of course. ” Tored lifted one of his bushy eyebrows.

”Could it be, that you didn´t properly do your research before asking me to be your tutor? ” the blacksmith asked with an impish grin. H had warmed up a lot, after watching Seth managing his Shop for two weeks and saw great potential in him.

”I-I tried. Nobody told me there was a ceremony, though. ” Seth defended himself.

”Ah, probably because it´s common knowledge. Maybe I should first explain everything to you from the start… Ok then, come here and sit down. ” he signaled Seth to come behind the counter. They entered Tored ’s little office, where they sat down to talk.

”Hmm, where to start…. Normally this is done between a master and his disciple when a new blacksmith chooses his class. It is an oath don before the system, that the master will teach as best as he can and the disciple will learn as best as he can. Of course, being a Tutor is a little different from being a master. A disciple would be able to inherit the class of the master and learn their special skills, as most masters like myself have long chosen a higher specialization. As your tutor, I won´t be able to teach you the skills of my specialization. I can only help you train the existing ones we share.

Although you won´t become my direct disciple, the ceremony stays the same, only the oath is different. It ’s necessary to make a contract with the system. ”

Seth had kept nodding. He knew about the perks and the difference between tutor and master, but nobody had told him about the ceremony.

”It´s just a simple thing. here. ” Tored gave him a small note with text. ”This is the oath. We stand on opposite sides of my anvil, speak the oath and shake hands. That ’s all there is to it. ”

Written on the oath was only a simple Sentence. It was not hard to recite. Once the old dwarf was assured that Seth understood what he had to do.

They took their positions and spoke.

”I, Tored Tungsten, hereby acknowledge Seth Smith as my student. I will tutor him to the best of my abilities and swear to only support his growth and never betray his trust. ”

”I, Seth Smith, hereby acknowledge Tored Tungsten as my master. I will learn and grow to the best of my abilities and swear to never betray his trust. ”

Tored nodded. They shook hand above the big anvil and it suddenly started shining as if to confirm their oath.

”Good. Now tell me all about your class. ”

Seth was shocked at first, by Tored ’s sudden request, but he soon understood when Tored belatedly explained. To really help their student, a tutor needed to know them. Tored needed to know his skills and masteries, so he could make a training plan for Seth. Especially the last part of the oath was meant to make it possible to have no secrets between master and disciple. Tored was unable to talk about Seth´s secrets and Seth was unable to disclose the dwarfs.

Seth was convinced and they talked a long time about Seth´s class, his skill and what he found out, and questions he often had.

”Truly incredible. A new kind of enchantment that delves into the realm of mysticism. Well, there are a few things I can help you with right off the bat. I don ’t know a lot about souls, but I can affirm your suspicion. A big chunk of the experience adventurers gain comes from the soul of their defeated opponent. So, your hammer absorbing the whole souls should be the reason for the missing experience. ”

Seth pondered. Soul´s made up a big part of the experience gain, was this also why he didn´t get as much experience for that creature in Ivice? Because the Soul Fire burned away its soul and killed it that way…? Anyways, if it was like this, he could not use Charon ’s Obol during party hunts. The hammer would keep feasting on souls until it was full, h could not simply still half the experience to grow his weapon. He also needed to feed it materials for it to grow…

”Oh, now that I think about it. Can I have a week off, before we start my training? ” Seth suddenly asked and interrupted the master. Thinking of the party reminded him that he still had some promises to keep. It was not just the equipment for the party, but also the armors for the lord of Zhiqe. Cerberus was finally done with the scales, so he just needed to assemble to armors now. He explained it to Tored who started to laugh.

”Why ”take a week off ”? Just make them here and let me watch you. It will be a chance to watch how you regularly work. We can continue this talk then while you work, ” he said with a smile.

”By the way, master? ”

”Yes? ”

”You seemed awfully happy and propper today? Is the oath really that big of a thing? ”

”What…? Oh! Pff, no. I´m not dressed like this because of you. Didn´t you hear the choir of hammers? The blacksmith´s district is getting a big assignment and there will be an official event later. ”

Seth blushed, having thought the dwarf was happy enough about his new disciple to even dress up.

”A-and what is the reason? ” he tried to play down his embarrassment.

”Oh, you should actually know about it. Remember that thing with the fiasco with the curse? It´s still not completely under control, but the reason for the big order is that the masterminds have revealed themself. ”

”What?! ”

”Yeah, the news came recently. A bunch of demons, demon worshippers, and all kinds of dark figures have taken control of a duchy in the north and keep expanding their influence using stuff like this curse. They had the gall to declare war on the dwarven kingdoms. We got a big assignment for the military. Hehehe, those shadowgoblins will cry for their mommies when they face an army fully clad in divine and blessed armor… ” the old dwarf said with a diabolical grin moving his hands as if it was him, crushing their skulls with his own hands.

”Anyways. ” the dwarf came back from his fantasy.

”You can work and stay here from now on. No need to keep going back and forth. ”

They didn´t talk for much longer. Seth soon excused himself, since he still had to talk to Fin and Marn about his plans for the future.

It was actually not as hard as he thought. When he told Manr that he could run the shop on his own while he was gone, the half-elf smiled so hard from one ear to the other, that Seth was afraid the upper half of his head would fall off.

Fin understood him and was more than ready to now, to join Mina ’s party for the time being.

Of course, Seth didn´t want his Friends to worry or feel bad, but he actually felt a little lost when his friends let go of him so readily.

At least he had Puffles, round, silent Puffles, the mighty Cocoon.

~Stop hugging the great me and put me back into the pet space! ~

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