Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 229: I think i know

Kesaz had several wounds, but the worst was the stab wound in his abdomen. He was bleeding profusely and teetering at the edge of death. What was that bright shield of fire? It had totally ruined his plans!

He had spent months preparing this to break into the magic formation. It was the only safe way into the magic tower of Tom Willis, the last great archmage of this world. The demon ’s journey began when he came upon a man in Delta.

It was a native squandering a huge amount of riches on drinking and women. It was obvious that he had gotten his hands onto wealth only recently and was throwing it away with both hands. Kesaz had investigated him and found that he actually sold a bunch of arcane gold, a very scarce and expensive metal that could be used for all kinds of high-grade applications.

He used alcohol and charm information from the drunk man. the other more than willingly bragged about how he had found the hidden entrance to an ancient passage below Delta. He talked about his great thief skills, with which he had strenuously managed to get past the traps at the entrance and found a few workshops where he found a good amount of the treasures he sold.

But it was just the entrance area. He just didn ’t dare to keep going as his thief senses told him that the traps were too much for him. The man described a huge ancient tower inside a giant cavern at the end of a long bridge filled with traps.

The demon followed the man ’s lead and found the passage, the plundered rooms, and the giant cavern. The ancient magic tower was covered in tiles of a strong saturated blue with golden accents and statues. It was surrounded by a vortex of magic that incessantly surged into the tower.

A massive bridge led over a bottomless crevasse and even the demon mage without thief skills could tell, that this was suspicious. He tried using a clone to walk the plank and it was instantly crushed by a gravitation trap on the bridge. Here was no way to get past the bridge without the correct procedure.

Instead, he returned to the abyss, the demon world. The demons had already visited this world before it lost all magic. The reason the demons lost interest after the magic waned was that they could end up stuck over there if they lacked the mana to open a portal.

He actually found the history of the tower. The reason was that the owner did a lot of deals with the demons of that time. His name was Tom Willis, and he was the least great archmagi of the continent. The reason was that he worked actively on getting rid of all other magicians to slow down the decline of mana in the world.

Tom Willis had found a way to gain eternal youth as long as he had mana, he would be immortal. It was just his bad luck that he was born close to the end of the planet ’s lifespan. To elongate his life, he killed all his peers and plundered their riches.

He had realized that the end of the magic era was near and used all the riches and knowledge he had plundered to build a mighty spire, that was fueled by 5 potent formations, in the center of the biggest mountain range. Like this, he could monopolize all the magic that was still left in the world and elongate his life for a long time past the dusk of magic.

From these records, Kesaz got the idea to approach the Tower through its connection with the power sources. It was not hard to find the entrance. The problem was that he did not know the code to enter.

The only option was to open the way with force. But to do so he needed a lot more power than he could do by himself. To augment his lacking strength, he planned to sacrifice some useless bums he hired in Delta. That was when everything went wrong.

If only these meddling kids with their stupid cats had not interfered. There was no way those cannon fodder could have resisted his strategy long enough for the mountain people to interfere. Now that the guards here were actively searching for him, all he could do was return to Delta for now. Maybe he could find a different formation to enter or a way to get past the bridge.

Maybe he should find that guy again.

——————————

Seth and his fellowship had finally reached the place of the quest marker. It was a wide smooth stone wall that had no indication of a door. He stepped forward to say the magic word.

”Please! ” nothing happened.

”Open! Say me! ” again, nothing happened. The party members looked away, feeling embarrassed for the leader playing around like that. Drosi was just confused as he did not know Seth ’s bad okes.

”Boss, you didn ’t forget the phrase, right? ” Monique was brave enough to voice their thoughts. Their leader sighed.

”Yeah, yeah. As you wish. Tom Willis the immortal Archmagi was and will always be the greatest under and above the skies of this land! There, you happy? ”

Spirals carvings appeared on the stone and formed the outlines of a giant double door. With a chink and a break, it opened inwards giving way into a pitch-black hallway. They all stared at the tunnel as a wave of thick magic energy wafted into their faces.

~ Stop standing around and hurry in. Judging by the amount of mana that just came out it will only become harder to stop the formation. ~

The reminder of the sorceress brought them all back to the present. The tunnel walls were barren stone and gave no clue about what they were about to see. After a short walk in the dark, they entered a huge hemispherical room. It was at least 20 meters in diameter.

The dome ’s roof was in golden sheet metal, while the smooth black floor was covered in silver inlays. At the center of the room, set into the floor, were seven interconnected golden rings that kept rotating on different axes and formed a complicated sphere.

The air in the room was so charged with mana that they could see a mix of blue and green steaks rotating in the room and being sucked into the sphere in the middle of the room. A thick golden pipe led from the sphere ’s frame to a huge door on the other side of the room.

This was probably the tunned that directly connected to the magic tower that Nas ’korn had spoken of.

”Al, do you have any idea how to stop this thing, errm, carefully? ”

Seth asked his trusty pocket lexicon for all questions arcane. It would have been better if they found a way to slowly shut down the formation or put it on standby. Just destroying it could lead to unwanted results.

Yes, Seth was concerned for safety reasons, not because it would be a lot easier to disassemble and harvest all the materials in the room if it wasn ’t torn apart by a magic explosion. The sheet metal and golden rings of the sphere were a material that was newly added to his material catalog.

Seth was enchanted by this effect. One could say that the gold natural ability was, what Seth could grant by infusing souls into items. If the item itself already had this kind of option the effects would definitely stack. And the best part was that there was a lot of it.

Most of the gold he saw in the room was rare rated. But the smaller ring rotating in the sphere was actually made of epic material. He couldn ’t wait to shut down the formation and start ripping it all from the walls.

~ Hmm, it looks like we were just in time. A day or two later and would not have been able to shut it down peacefully. ~

Similar to how they had stopped the formation at the campsite, the lich instructed them on what nodes to damage and which nucleus to destroy.

Slowly but surely the magic within the room became less and the rings slowed down. When they finished the instructions of the sorceress there was no more magic left in the chamber and the rings lay down, flush with the floor.

The quest ended just like that. Peaceful and anticlimactic. What was left was to collect their spoils and completely take apart the formation. Seth took half the sheet gold and the seven rings, while the cat people claimed the other half of the dome and the formation materials.

Only after they divvied up the spoils, did they pay attention to the big door in the wall. They pulled on the rings of the doors and they opened silently.

They stepped into an extremely straight hallway with the golden pipe set into its floor. What the left behind was a completely plundered and barren sone chamber.

Not even the floor tiles were spared.

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