Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 182: Arigiri

Seth thought for a moment.

”I actually know two lovely ladies who have a lot of free time, ” he said with a smirk. The party had met Mary and Jane before and after Seth explained to Tekar who he was talking about and where his daughter would stay in the meantime, he readily agreed.

Having solved this issue, they arranged to meet tomorrow in the church. They would set off for Arigiri at noon.

——-

Mark Baker sat in his new office on the higher floors of the hunter association. He had been promoted to Y-City after the successful acquisition of the auction house access. He was sifting through the reports from the division he was supervising.

”The Keep, The Gourmet Hunter, and a wizard. Just what is he up to? ”

Mark was not stupid. He had already suspected something when Seth gave away the mobile access so easily. It was a great relief when the device really worked and it brought him a lot of benefits. His suspicions grew when he saw the prices of the items in the auction house.

When Seth immediately entered the church and soon after the church started item auction, he felt confirmed. Seth still had more of these devices or had another way to get items. After his promotion, he had appointed people to shadow him and see what he was doing. Lately, he had been meeting with a group of people who started to frequent the church.

Especially after he ran into Squad 1 and revealed a strong pet Mark ’s interest had grown.

”What do we have on these three people? ” he asked his subordinate standing at the side.

”Yes sir. We know the most about…Link Lightning, the gourmet hunter. We also know a little about Tekar Jackson. There is no information on the wizard Alison Arrcany, except for her being a strong wizard. ” the subordinate recounted.

”Ok, Let ’s start with Link- the gourmet hunter. ”

”Yes, Sir. He was a small-time criminal known for theft and drug dealing. After he gained the unique class ”Gourmet Hunter ” he took part in the logistics troops of several expeditions during the war. The class is supposedly a mix of hunter and chef.

It lacks the damage multiplier of a hunter class, but there is an increased chance to make food with permanent improvements when cooking self-hunted prey. Supposedly he also has the ability to gain skills from the food. ”

”Is this information reliable? ” Baker inquired.

”Yes. It ’s mostly based on what Lightning himself said when he was either drunk or promoting his skills. ”

If only everyone was this open with their special classes. His job would have been a lot easier. A hunter class that lowered the damage in exchange for gaining abilities from hunting, cooking, and eating prey.

”Sir? ”

”Ah, yes. Keep going. ”

”Yes. Tekar Jackson, lv. 34. He worked as a construction worker before the apocalypse. His wife died during the first invasion. He lives with his daughter.

His class is ”The Keep ” like the most fortified tower and last stand of a castle. We know little about his class and most is deduced from his performance in battle and the testimonies of witnesses, rather than confirmed by any specific source.

The class has no typical tank skills that allow for the control of monster aggro or the active shielding of allies. In exchange, his defense seems to be double or more than that of normal tanks and we assume that he might have a basic resistance against most or all status ailments. ”

”And the wizard? ”

”Nothing. Except for the fact that she seems to know an above-average number of spells compared to other wizards at the moment. But other than that, there is nothing special. ”

”Alright, keep an eye on them. ”

Just what was Seth planning? Was he also building a party, but what did he want to do with these failures? Mark could not wrap his head around it but he did not complain. At least there would be no one else aiming for people the association wanted to recruit.

”They left the city this morning? What ’s their destination? ”

”South-west, Sir. ”

”But there are only ruins there. Just what is their purpose… ”

——–

They were lent a wagon by the church that could take them to the edge of the safe zone. Edge might have been the wrong way to phrase it since there was no defined line that split the habitable city from the monster-infested ruins.

The safety zone was just how the citizens called the zone where people of the military and the hunter association were patrolling. Past this point were technically still safe places to live. The chance of monsters coming here was slim, so people still lived in these places without official protection. There would still be officers that kept public order and hunters would come if monsters attacked.

Even further away came the slums, where people lived that had no other option. This area was unsupervised by the government. They had simply lost too many during the war and there were not enough people to regularly patrol those areas.

The monsters from the abandoned ruins were not the only dangers in this place. It was rife with desperate people and criminals making their living in the shadows. The only officials and hunters in this place were those that needed to manage the dungeons.

The wagon came with a small team of church adventurers and was pulled by a massive armor-bull. The bull was a beast armored by bone plates. They would wait for Seth and the others and ensure the wagon ’s security in the meantime. It was an interesting experience to travel through an advanced megacity by wagon.

The bull was not slow by any means but they still had to spend a night at a hotel and arrived at the edge of the safety zone on the second day after their departure. They would still need at least another three days by foot to reach their destination in Arigiri.

Thankfully just walking posed no problem to a player ’s stamina. Past the edge of the safety zone was not that much different from inside. There was no sharp separation that signaled an increased danger. There were fewer people on the street. The city looked a little more rundown since many damages caused by monsters were not repaired.

From what Tekar and the others told him that a lot of places here were empty. A big part of the former population of almost one billion had died during the chaos after the change and the war with the merpeople.

They were still a lot better off than Alpha, A City, that had been completely wiped out by the forest…Seth had no idea whether there were any survivors other than himself.

These outskirts were still safe since there were still people keeping up public order. The party was still relatively relaxed as they walked along with one of the greater highways that originally connected the satellite city with the capital.

Actually, if they had access to a manual cart, they could have used the railways to get to Arigiri. But most working means of transportation were controlled by the government and could not be used without permission. Especially not if they were traveling into a danger zone where their return was uncertain.

After two days of quiet journey, they became vigilant as the city around them slowly transitioned into the slums. One could call the slums already part of the abandoned part of the district. It was just that people without a better choice and the scum of society had taken up residence in this thin border just outside the reach of the executive authorities.

Dungeon breaks could happen here at any moment since adventurers and guild staff were often obstructed from managing them. It was a common thing for monsters and crooks to roam the streets.

It was still a day ’s journey until they reached the quest area.

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