Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 126: Reunion

Although he had never blamed Seth for ruining his perfectly fine spear tips, the old dwarf ’s smile became a lot more genuine when he saw Seth´s quick growth, which meant he could stop scrapping down perfectly fine spear tips.

During the second week, it finally happened!

He had finally ranked up in which enabled him to use more complex enchantments. The enchantment looked a bit more abstract than the simple circuit. Where the simpler circuits resembled geometric patterns, the complex circuits were more organic reminding of a winding maze or knots.

Not only did the more complex version of the simple enchantments have a greater effect, but there were also new and more abstract effects than before. While the simple circuits had more direct effects like strengthening the user or the damage, the new ones provided crowd control like fear, silence, or direct paralysis.

The complex ones also started with effects to manipulate mana. Storing it, amplifying it, stealing it from the opponent. Seth needed at least complex enchantments like these to make things like staffs for caster classes.

Seth celebrated this milestone for a short while and then got back to work. Their task was far from over and Seth ’s training still had a long way to go. The following two weeks he worked with Tored on making the weapon for the imperial army. Once in a while, he would take a break to visit his friends.

Marn was doing great managing the shop. Seth had left him with most of the he had left and Marn managed to reach the adept level recently. With the store ’s reputation at an all-time high thanks to Seth´s work and reputation, Marn was able to shine out from the other blacksmiths and was close to getting and recommendation himself. He kept talking that he might soon join Seth in the Halls of Stone.

Seth timed his breaks so he could meet Fin and the party when he left the smithy. At those times they would often go and eat together in that restaurant, on Seth´s account of course. With the fairy ’s strength and the new equipment, they were doing very well in their quests as they traveled around the country. Fin joyfully recounted their adventures and the new sights they came across. She animatedly recounted the fight in her martial arts robe, she refused to take off.

He didn´t get to spend a lot of time with Mina, but the time they had together they spent well. If you know what I mean.

Like this, the time went by. Soon, Seth and Tored finished their task and the completed spears were fetched by the logistics department of the military. Following that the black smith´s district became a lot quieter as everyone went back to their daily work. Except for Tored ’s smithy.

Since the important task was over, the old dwarf started to concentrate on teaching Seth. As his and were severely lacking behind his skill he started with making Seth a jewelry slave. Seth started off with simple blueprints and designs for rings and pendants made from normal gold and silver that incorporated simple enchantments.

Following those, the old blacksmith kept giving him different tasks and designs that used gemstones as an energy source and storage. Soon the resulting jewelry went from failures to common and sometimes uncommon items.

Tored was happy, that Seth used his own materials, the gold, silver, and gems he had scavenged on Urth, for these and Seth was happy because it meant that he could keep them and sell them later. They were no items an adventurer would buy, but a merchant or wealthy commoner would not reject them.

It was hard and finicky work for Seth as he was used to swinging his big hammer, but it very rewarding. The designs and enchantments Tored kept making him do, together with the dwarf ’s advice maximized the proficiency he gained. which had been stagnant on Beginner lv.4, because Seth just didn´t do a lot of accessories, easily ranked up to within a little more than a week.

Now that both and were on roughly the same level, the difficulty dramatically increased. The tasks and blueprints Master Tored gave the young blacksmith were always barely in range of his capabilities, which meant that he often failed, despite the master ’s advice.

Miraculously, this approach worked a lot better than grinding things he could do over and over.

Increasing the difficulty was the incorporation of uncommon materials starting with the apprentice rank. It was not as simple as using a completely different material, but the dwarven master taught him how to make alloys with specific properties using gold, silver, and uncommon metals like .

Alloys were seldomly part of his material catalog, so he had to memorize the mixing ratios on his own. Tored told him, that there was a whole skill around the creation of alloys, but it was hard to acquire it in a short time, as it needed a lot of research to obtain it without the fitting class.

It was a lot of work, to memorize the ratios, mix the alloys correctly without the systems help and then make an accessory from it that was barely within Seth´s capabilities. But the work was worth it. The better the alloy fit the item and the enchantment, the better was the outcome and the proficiency he gained. It was like knowing all the cheats and shortcuts in a game. Reading a guide to beat a boss, instead of coming up with the strategy yourself. He just needed to follow his guide Tored.

The only diversion during this time was the sparing with master Torred in the underground training room. The had, for the time being, little use during his training in goldsmithing and enchantment. It was thanks to the fights with the old dwarf that he was able to not only gain experience in actual fighting but also raise his level of .

After a few weeks, he had stopped counting at some point, he had used up all the regular silver and gold and the gems. The result was, that he had reached the adept rank in both and . The first was similar to in that it only unlocked more materials, the further the skill grew. The latter on the other hand now gave him the ability to combine simple and complex circuits. Like this, he could either strengthen one kind of enchantment or give the workpiece two different effects.

Seth´s joy was short-lived. He had just gotten used to working with complex circuits and now Tored was already waiting with several sheets of tasks to push him further. The young man could hold on anymore and fell on his knees before the dwarf.

”Please, let me have a break. Just a short one! You didn´t let me leave the building for the last 3 weeks! ” he begged, close to tears.

Tored sighed.

”Oh c ’mon. It was not that bad, stop being such a wuss. But ok, go ahead and take your break. ”

Before Tored had completely ended his Sentence, his young student had already vanished like a ninja. The dwarf did not even hear the doors open and close.

Seth had just left the golden gates of the halls of stones behind him when he felt a change in his pet space.

~The great me has returned! Are you happy? ~

It was Puffles who suddenly announced his presence. What weird timing this was. The Ivicer had not responded even once, ever since he pupated.

”Did you lie low until I got a break? ” Seth asked suspiciously.

~ N-no! How could you think something like this! E-even if the great me DID finish two weeks ago and enjoyed the break, I would never tell you! ~

”So, you already finished 2 weeks ago!? ”

~No! Believe me, I would never lie to you. ~

Seth didn´t believe one word, but it was not like he could change anything about it. He could not change the past, but he could change the future. He would simply have the rascal work even hard in making a thread!

Puffles was glad when Seth stopped asking, but he had an ominous feeling and was unable not pin the reason for it.

”Whatever. What are the changes? ” they found a place to sit down at one of the squares in Ora and Seth summoned his pet to examine its growth.

The Ivicer had entered a growth-phase for several weeks and the changes became obvious once he summoned the caterpillar. The Ivicer now looked a lot less like the cute caterpillar Seth had gotten used to. And had become more similar to the grown-up Ivicers he had seen.

The cute chubby caterpillar body had grown to a size that could almost be used as a mount and was now covered by an exoskeleton made of white almost ceramic material. Puffles portion he held upright reached the height of a human adult and the stubby caterpillar feet had become more defined and spike-like. But they were not yet the terrifying knife-like legs of an adult Ivicer. The round golden head had now the beginnings of a neck frill growing.

The biggest change was probably the growth of a pair of front limbs that ended in terrifying sickle-blades. These were not the only changes, while the initial magic power of the caterpillar-form and grown even further and Puffles could now take on the role of a priest, his physical attributes had caught up. The Ivicer had great endurance and defense, coupled with its holy magic and the sickles. The closest comparison Seth could come up with was calling the Ivicer something like a paladin-type pet.

As they were sitting there, they got a bunch of people looking at them. People walking around with their pets was not unusual, but insect-type pets of this size were not common and he got a few interested looks from their surroundings.

”Seth…? Puffles!? ”

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