Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 226: With Blades of Iron~

Seth woke up early and sat on the roof of the armored carriage. It was the first time he could really take in the view. Below he could the serpentines they had traveled within the fields of snow and boulders.

Past the snow, and desolate rock were the lush forests that covered almost everything up to the horizon. And at the horizon, he could make out the silhouettes of Y-City as the sun slowly started rising.

Like warm honey, the light of the sunrise washed over the world and brought a slight warmth with it.

The camp slowly awoke with a low grumbling of voices. Nobody had slept too well, except for Seth had warmed himself with his own fire. The mood was on the rise after everyone had breakfast and got ready for departure.

According to Alison and Link, it would become even colder before they came into the vicinity. And it came as they had foretold. It became so cold that people had to drink the prepared cold resistance potions.

Everything went smoothly until they came into a strong snowstorm. Alison and Seth cast fire shields and fire rain to resist the weather. Otherwise, they would have had to stop and wait until the storm was over.

The spells of and from his glove ’s effects had been unlocked when his level increased. But the next problem did not wait long to appear.

Seth ’s shield got a hit but withstood, Alison ’s shield got a hit and broke. They heard a scream from the carriages in the back. Looking back, they saw one of the cat scouts heavily bleeding from the side.

Something had attacked from the middle of the storm and vanished before they could react. Alison recast her shield and added several of the other elements, the other casters did the same and added shield of their respective expertise.

Several more impacts could be heard, but the shields held up. They didn ’t know what was attacking them and it was too dangerous to enter the snowstorm with zero vision.

Seth lowered the power of the shield in his area and fully activated ”Eye of Argos ”. He had trained to get used to the 360° field of view and could endure it for several minutes. He saw far, he saw sharp, and he was not impeded by lacking light. Clear Sight saw through the illusion, and a short time later he finally spotted something.

The shields were constantly hit as if they were looking for a weak spot and he had made one for them. A disturbance in the storm warned him and he saw an illusory figure shooting towards him. Like the specter of a skeletal wolf, it dashed into the shield and broke through.

Aiming for Seth ’s nape it opened its maws only to swallow a fire lance suddenly launched from its target. Seth closed the ”door ” he had made and caught the specter. The lance exploded in the ribcage and dealt massive damage to the immaterial fiend. Its posture in the air was broken and Seth could simply catch the remnants.

The moment he grabbed what was left of the beast, he felt that he could use on it. The moment he harvested the soul, the rest of the body disintegrated into nothingness.

The description was similar to those of the ice trolls but the affinity to ice seemed stronger.

Only after calmly checking the item info did he notice the shocked expressions of the people around. He restricted his vision again and smiled at them apologetically.

”It seems like those things are a kind of snow specter. Maybe they dwell in the snowstorm itself? ”

”Hm hm, yes I heard of that kind of undead. The lingering souls of creatures are assimilated by the snow and gain a physical form when the snow is roused by a strong wind. We should be careful and get out of the storm as fast as possible. ” Drosi commented.

Seth agreed. The souls were interesting but too hard to harvest. He could not risk the caravan and his journey just to harvest souls. The line of carriage hurried along the barely visible road. Under the protection of the magic shield, they managed to escape the snowstorm.

While they were driving out of the snowstorm Seth thought of what the old cat hat mentioned. If a simple storm could rouse harvestable undead maybe he could-

~Forget about it. You can ’t harvest these souls manually~

~ Why not? ~ this time Seth made sure to only answer in his mind.

~ This only happens in mountains heavily charged with magic. And even in this environment, this is rare at best. Trying to replicate this phenomenon has no hope. Believe me, I tried. ~

~Mountain heavily charged with magic? ~ Seth became suspicious. That sounded dangerous.

~ I see your thoughts, it ’s not like that. It only means the mountain is a very strong reservoir of magic. ~

~ How can there be a reservoir of magic? I thought magic came from the portals? So, how? ~

~ You know about the dragon veins, right? The mana circulation works similar to that of water. Magic will run along the dragon veins like rivers and pool at places of power, like this mountain range. From here the magic will start overflowing and saturate the air. The integration into the pathworks only reignited a spark that had lost all light. Mana is the life force of a planet. But similar to any other energy, it is not infinite. It differs from world to world, but yours was simply ”dead ” before. ~

Seth more or less understood the explanation, as it was similar to the theory of enchantments.

~Stil… this mountain is abnormally saturated. ~

”Please don ’t say something like that… ”

Seth had learned that abnormalities foretold nothing good. What if the mountain really exploded or something like that? They had just entered the snow region and would travel through it for several days…

Several hours later they met with Link, and he scouts waiting for them on the road. There was no problem healing the injured scout and the troop had scouted the way forward.

”Up ahead we found the camping site I told you about. ” Link reported to Seth and the caravan leader. Those were good news as daylight started becoming sparse.

”It ’s just that there are already people there. They look like a merchant caravan. Maybe they are going in the opposite direction. ”

Drosi and Seth made eye contact.

”Let ’s be careful. ”

They continued and reached the campsite before nightfall. It was a small plateau that was open toward the road but protected from the wind by the rocky cliffs around it. Seth and Drosi stepped forward to greet the caravan leader of the other camp who came forward as they arrived.

”Greetings! I ’m Kesaz, a merchant from Delta. To whom do I have the pleasure of speaking? ”

Now they were close enough that Seth could recognize the man ’s face. His skin color was slightly off with a blue tint. He had long gray hair and a white goatee. A pair of really small, cute horns grew on his forehead. Was he a… demon?

”Greeting, my name is Drosi, the caravan leader of the Tijaahk. This is Seth, a travel companion. Nice to meet you. I hope you don ’t mind sharing this camping site with us. ”

”Of course not. Please feel free! I would be happy to accommodate you. The more the merrier. ” the demons pearly white teeth shone in the twilight just after dusk.

Seth ’s caravan parked on the campsite beside Kesaz ’s people and got ready for the night.

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