Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 128: New Shop

The others had to go and visit the guild, while Marn went to pack the stuff at their old store. Seth did not know, whether Tored would let him leave the next day that was why he wanted to deal with everything today. His destination was the merchant association, maybe Bertram had already looked for locations. No matter how medieval this world looked, many things were surprisingly modern and fast thanks to magic.

The merchant association had its seat in a big and imposing building close to the border between the nobles ’ and commercial district. When Seth passed the big wooden doors, he stood in an expansive entrance hall with a reception counter. A short talk with the receptionist and Bertram was called to the reception.

”You are really impatient… Yes, I have already looked into it. We have 4-6 locations depending on your preferences. ”

He brought Seth to his office where he showed him the different shops that could be rented at the moment. Seth excluded three right off the bat. They were the most expensive ones, located in prime locations and one even had a sound-insulated smithing room. Why did he exclude those?

All of them reached between 300-400 gold to lease. He really just needed a place to drop off his training products, he didn ’t want to spend a third of his money on something like that. If he wanted to open a losing business, he could have tried to sell his stuff in the halls of stone and try to compete with the dwarfs.

The other three locations had no smithies, which was no problem as he didn´t plan to work in the shop. They were a little off of the main streets, but the price dropped rapidly with just that. He excluded another one because of its size. He focused on making jewelry during his training, he didn ’t need a big warehouse or showroom.

From the last two, he chose one that was located in an alley off the main street at the halfway point between the adventurer ’s guild and the city gates. He guessed that he would get the best mix of travelers and adventurers there. What convinced him was that, instead of leasing it for a long period of time, he could simply rent the place for 7 gold a month. This was not cheap, but since he didn´t how much longer he would stay, this was better.

He also filled a form to sell the shop on the second layer of the shopping district. Seth had thought that he had leased it, but Marn had later explained, that he had actually bought the shop back then. He would no longer use or need it, so he decided to leave selling it to the merchant association.

The sun was slowly setting, but there was one last responsibility had to fulfill before being chained down in the workshop again. Find a substitute for Marn. There was no way that he would find a trustworthy clerk with the little time he had left, instead, he bothered Bertram with it and placed a job offer with the merchant association. They would look for candidates and Seth would only have to come by and choose from the applicants.

Once everything was decided he left all the paperwork to Bertram and left.

It was evening and the streets had become dark. Seth had not realized it during the day, but Ora had changed since the last time he left the workshop. There were more people on the streets and not in a good way. Beggers and refugees in worn-out clothes and shady-looking people were crowding the streets of the nightly city.

Seth felt unsettled after he got used to Ora ’s peace. What was happening? He hurried back to the halls of stones and master Tored ’s workshop, where he found the dwarf preparing stuff for tomorrow.

”The streets? Oh, that. Remember that war up north? The imperial army really wiped the floor with those malicious bastards the moment they dared to set foot on our territory. Like the cowards they are, they fled and started wreaking havoc in the human territories outside of our space of influence. You saw the kind of curse they use… I heard there were many refugees and people who lost their homes to them. ” the old dwarf explained this serious matter in a casual and carefree manner.

”However, I hope you had fun on your little break. Tomorrow the real work starts. I already prepared the materials and tasks for your training from now on. We will also up the difficulty of our spars, to raise that . ”

That was all? After what those people had done in Ora and Tora and other dwarven cities they just shooed them away and started ignoring them? Tored easily read what Seth was thinking from his expression.

”Listen here. The dwarfs have a memory of stone. We definitely won ’t forget this grudge, but we won´t waste our precious time to hunt people across the continent, that lack the balls to face us. ”

He shrugged and left Seth alone in the workshop, while he went to his room to sleep. Alone in the dark, Seth didn ’t know what to think. Was it really that simple? After such an opener, those demon guys simply ran off as if they had underestimated their opponent?

Seth had given this business not much thought until now. He had rather concentrated on his skills than spent time thinking about the people who had caused most of his near-death experiences in the recent time. But now that he noticed the changes, he was not so sure, that this was really over.

The malicious necromancy-practicing demon worshippers were in a frenzy to kill humans. If this was a novel, it would be clear that they were growing their forces. Yet the dwarves did not move to nip the problem in its bud. He really hoped they had a good countermeasure. If this was simply their confidence, he hoped to leave this place, before the shit hit the fan.

Seth decided to keep an eye out for news on that situation. Maybe he could get information from the guild or Venturi directly. Writing a note in his mental notebook he also went to sleep.

It cost Seth another week of exhausting training and overworking before he could finally wheedle another break out of Tored. He first visited the shop, but it was empty. Fin and the party had also left town.

Since he didn ’t find any of his friends, he went to the merchant association to see if there were any updates.

”Seth, you came just at the right time. I was just about to contact Master Tired to send you over. The paperwork is done and we have a few applicants for your job offer. ”

It didn ’t take long to sign the documents to take ownership of the shop and screen the applications.

”Can you invite these three? I want to interview them. ”

”Sure. Give me a moment. ” the dwarf said and left. The three Seth had chosen were two men and one woman. From the portraits on their application, they fit the requirements for a clerk. One guy looks tall and quite handsome, the other was rather innocent and soft. The girl looked cute and a little chubby. Their skills were also sufficient, but he wanted to see their personality before he decided.

”I have sent someone to go and tell them to come here for a job interview. They should arrive here in a few hours. Do you want to wait, or should we go inspect the shop in the meantime? ”

”Sure, let´s go. By the way, do you know where Marn is? He wasn ’t at the shop when I visited earlier. ”

”Marn? Oh, he stays here at the association until we find the right master for him. Since we recommended him, we offered to lend him a room. ”

”Can I meet him? ”

They made a small detour to visit Marn in his room. When they knocked on the door, they heard a panicked scrambling from the inside and a barely clothed half-elf opened the door belatedly. Marn only wore a bathrobe and his face became red as a tomato when he saw Seth and Bertram at his door.

It was no just Seth, even Bertram had a knowing smirk on his face. The elf was obviously living life to his fullest.

”Marn, what´s up? ” before anyone talked a slightly more clothes quarter-elf looked around the corner and became even redder than Marn a second ago. Lixiss, also only wearing a bathrobe, became so red when she saw Seth and Bertram, that they could almost see the steam rising from her head.

”Wow. Sorry, Marn, I really didn ’t want to interrupt…whatever you guys were doing, ” he winked, ”I just came to ask for the stuff from the shop, since we are on our way to the new one. ”

The wink made it even harder for Lixiss in the back to calm down.

Marn hurriedly gave Seth some boxes with weapons and jewelry and hurriedly shooed the two away. The dwarf and the blacksmith had a good laugh and merrily went on their way to the shop.

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