Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 147: Koku City

”Oh, sorry. Please come in. ” the soldier said. He gave back his card and the guard made way for the group to enter. The inside was nothing imposing or surprising. A crowd of people, a few barracks and training space, the usual stuff.

The most important thing was probably the flag of Y City displayed everywhere. This meant that they had already entered the district. They couldn ’t be far from actual civilization now.

”Please excuse me. ” with that the priest girl rushed off to one of the barracks.

”Her and Tom were a couple. ” the mage girl said matter-of-factly. Seth only nodded. He didn ’t really care. It followed an uncomfortable silence.

”What that over there? ” Seth asked to break the silence and pointed at a blackboard with a crowd of people in front of it.

”It ’s the blackboard, the Leadership posts quests there, and registered adventurers can acknowledge. ”

”The leadership, not the guild? ”

The Leadership or the government of a district. Why would the government take over handing out quests instead of leaving it to the guild?

”I really wonder where you have lived the last few months. Do you really think the officials would leave such a profitable and powerful business in the hands of a foreign organization like the adventurer guild? ”

It was again a trust thing. Well, also a power thing.

”Do they at least leave the management of the dungeons to the guild? ”

”Well, duh. But I could bet they wouldn ’t if they could revive the dead themselves. ”

True that. Only people registered with the guild could be resurrected at a guild branch if they died in a dungeon. It was unique to the guild unless the government managed to strike a deal with the dungeon god.

”How far is the city from here? ”

The mage girl pondered for a moment.

”You can reach the outskirts in an hour or two on foot and the next satellite city in two. It would probably take two days to get to Y City itself. But there is a transporter every few days that can take you there. ”

On the way, they had talked about safety within the district ’s territory. Monsters kept invading from random portals, but dungeons were more or less managed which made the journey within the district a lot safer. The centers of the satellite cities and especially Y City were the safest with most combat class fighters and their guilds having their seats there. Y City also had the only branch of the system church within the district.

Since Y City center had safety and the church, he decided to wait for the transporter.

After he reached the satellite city.

He would not risk staying in some rinky-dink military camp.

”I will be leaving for the satellite city then. ”

”You are leaving? But, but- ”

”But? I thank you for showing me the way, but that ’s all it was. I have to contact my own people. ”

”Then… let me come with you! ” she suddenly demanded.

”Why would I do that? ” he looked at her in surprise as she puffed her cheeks.

”How could you shoo away a cute girl just like that? I owe you my life! Is it that weird that I want to repay you? ”

Seth bowed down and took a good look at her face. She was barely 1.60m tall and her face was indeed quite cute. She was also well endowed which was accentuated by her tight robe. She blushed as Seth was so blatantly checking her out.

”Hmm, I might have a way for you to repay me, ” he said nodding. The girl blushed furiously. It almost looked as if she was steaming.

”I-I I will do anything I can. ” Her hands were fidgeting and her eyes kept shifting from side to side.

”Great! You will become the poster girl of my new shop, once I open it. ”

Her nervousness instantly died, she seemed almost lifeless.

”Your… shop? ”

”Yes, I ’m a blacksmith. Did you forget? Obviously, I would open a shop sooner or later. At that time, you will become our poster girl. Imagine how many guys will come to my shop if I have a cute girl in high-quality armor do the advertising. ”

”I will get equipment? ” her eyes sparkled in excitement. She kept swinging between sadness and joy like a metronome…

”Well, of course. For advertisement purposes. Do you need some time to talk to your friend? ” Seth gestured towards the barracks where the priest girl had vanished. ”

”C-Can I? ”

”Sure. Go, I will wait. ”

~ Are you sure you want to take a burden with you? ~ The lich started talking the moment they were alone.

”We should be safe from here on. And if I can ’t deal with the situation, I can always summon you. You should be able to take care of some burdens. ”

Seth used the time to stroll around and find a place to get some warm food. He took off the helmet and the cuirass to weaken the set effect. When he finally found a place and entered the canteen: They only accepted City Credits. He belatedly realized that he was rich in system currency, but had no Urth money on his person.

It was the smell of the food that lightened his mood. The food smelled unappetizing and flavorless. This soothed his regret, as the rations he had brought seemed more appetizing than the freshly cooked food here.

Was it because it was a canteen and the food was not as good in general? Everything was ok if that was the case. The worse option was that the food in Namia was delicious thanks to the skills of the chef-class. He had gotten used to that food; it might become hard to find palatable food on Urth if that was the case.

His rations had just become that much more important. Maybe he should become a chef with his second class… He imagined the sheer amount of different ingredients a chef would have to deal with and decided not to. Two crafting classes might be a little too much for him.

”Here you were! ” he heard the voice of the mage girl. She approached from behind.

”I almost didn ’t recognize you without the armor and helmet! ” she said out of breath. Behind her was the priest girl, her red teary eyes hidden behind a curtain of blonde curls.

”Can we bring her, too? After what happened to Tom, I can ’t just leave her behind. ”

Seth inspected the priest girl. She had a good figure and a passable face. She might have the potential to be a clerk, so he agreed to let her tag along. With that, he had already staffed his shop, before even finding a location! Something seemed wrong with the order, but who cares? The priest girl ’s face lit up slightly.

”Errm, maybe we should introduce ourselves? I ’m Mary. ”

Jane, the mage girl had mentioned her name on the way, but Mary, the priest girl, had not really taken part in their conversation. So, they once again introduced themselves to each other again.

To his surprise, Mary and Jane had already packed their stuff and were ready to leave with Seth. It looked like they were in a hurry themself.

”Jane, do you know where I can buy a map? Ah, more importantly, can I exchange System Currency for credits somewhere? Why is everything here still using credits anyway? ”

”Huh? Are there no shops where you came from? You can just look over there. ”

It was not some new system feature he had not seen before, but an official shop under government control that bought materials, items, and currency. In Ora one would visit the guild or the merchants to sell materials, here everything was managed by the city. This was a lot less apocalyptic than he had expected…

The shop was small and run-down with a fenced-off counter. It felt like a state-owned pawn shop.

”What is it? ” the clerk spit out. He was a rough-looking man with a stubbly face and a cigarette in the corner of his mouth. He didn ’t even look up from his reading material. Seth felt disillusioned. Why was the customer service here worse than in some medieval fantasy setting?

”Hi, can I exchange money here? ”

”What ’s with that question? Is this your first time in a shop? We buy materials, items, and system currency for credi… ” the man became quieter and quieter and finally stopped talking after he finally looked up from the magazine he was reading. The man seemed to have an appraisal skill and he fell silent after seeing Seth in his armor.

”Good, I want to exchange some silver for credits. You don ’t sell anything here, do you? I need a map. ”

”Oh! Oh, sure. ” Seth found the exchange rate printed on a poster in the back behind the man and was very surprised. One silver exchanged for roughly 1000 credits. This meant the 1 bronze was 10 credit. Was there inflation or something? Why were credits suddenly so easy to make?

Seth put 20 silver on the counter. The clerk ’s eyes bulged when he saw this ”huge ” amount of silver. He hurriedly took it, checked it, and stored it away. In exchange, he put 2 bundles of money on the counter which added up to 20000 credits.

This equaled the money he made monthly from his apartment building. Now he just needed to pull out some small change to get it. He took the bundles of money and felt their weight. How long had it been since he last saw paper money? It seemed like civilization had not yet managed to recover the banking system and fell back to using hard cash.

The guy also added a map of Y City and the current region of Koku City, the closest satellite city.

”Please have a nice day. ” the guy spoke in a forced friendly tone and gave him a strained smile.

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