Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 250: Bard College

Seth decided to stay open-minded for now. He had a goal in coming here. To sightsee and maybe find a demon blacksmith to learn new ballads. At this point, blacksmithing had become his hobby just as much as his class.

There was a lot of satisfaction in creating things and watching his skills grow. he had developed a zeal to make even more and greater stuff.

It didn ’t mean he gave up on his dream of lazing around with Fin and playing games! It just had to wait until he found a way to get electricity in the tower. He already bought a new computer and everything needed to rebuild his man cave.

It was just that his urge to get to this dream had become slightly…weaker.

Seth kept exploring these weird and interesting stores. The most interesting were those with all kinds of weird old artifacts from various different dimensions. For him, it was like visiting an odditorium.

Mummified body parts, exotic vases, and stuff he had no idea what they were supposed to be. He started some talks, bought some small things, and covertly asked around about blacksmiths. But nobody even knew what he was talking about.

It seemed like blacksmith was not correctly translated by the skill.

”Al, do you have an idea what is going on? ”

~ I had only little interaction with demons, I am not expert of their culture. ~

Seth soon gave up this strategy and simply walked around. Maybe if he found a weapon or armor store, he could find out more.

As he walked around, he found that there were different zones in the demon district. The misty zone he had entered was one. Another one was enveloped in darkness, and he didn ’t want to enter. A thir one had fresh, cool and moist air and the building around were overgrown with moss and brightly blooming plants.

The demons he saw in these kinds of places also differed vastly. It seemed that demons did not divide their living area by utility, but by the races that lived there. Some liked plants, others darkness, or sulfuric mist.

Where would he find a blacksmith then? He came back to the mist and followed the sulfuric smell. A demon blacksmith might be one closer to fire, so he would stay in a more volcanic region, right?

The rising heat around him affirmed Seth ’s decision to follow the scent. When he left the mist, he entered an area of volcanic activity. This place was probably hit by the initial activities when the mountain awakened. There was nothing left of the modern structures. Instead, there were houses that looked as if they were formed from molten and cooled stone.

They had gardens with splattering hot mud pools, boiling hot springs, geysers and sulfur wells. This was an environment worthy to be a demon ’s home. And it was like a blacksmith ’s district. Every house was actually a workshop with a big sign that showed a sword or a shield.

They had no shops to enter and were more like stalls with their wares being presented in front of their doors. There was no fear of theft as powerful spells protected the products from being taken away. Similar to the spell he had used in his own store in Ora.

There were not many items on display. It might be that one needed to specially order a weapon based on the display and not directly buy a ready-made weapon.

Although not high in number, they had a 50/50 ratio between uncommon and rare. A lot better than what one found in the human district. In exchange they lacked variation. Although every weapon had an effect, the weapons of each shop had at most two or three different effects overall.

One shop had weapon dealt additional fire and wind damage, another ’s items had bleed and protection. Some made only armor, other only weapons. Only a few did both. Although the variety was lacking, the effects rivaled those Seth could enchant using the smithing ballads.

Another peculiarity was that none of these weapons had additional enchantments. There was nothing inscribed on their surface and the rating were mostly based on the used material, not the refinement of the weapon.

Seth felt slightly discouraged seeing this, but he kept going. There was no way this was the peak of demonic smithing. He did well in continuing. As he passed the hellish region it became cooled again and the surrounding turned into a kind of medieval setting.

There were quite a few luxurious but also archaic-looking buildings. They were not overly decorated, but one could feel the quality by looking at them.

In the distance he saw a castle built into the flank of a smaller mountain. The signs here differed somewhat from the ones earlier. They either showed a sword or a shield coupled with a musical note or runes.

He kept looked around and finally found a plaza with several big stores.

”Welcome! How may I help you? ”

He was greeted like this in Urth ’s common language. Seth entered the only store he had seen with a sword, a shield and a music rune. The handsome demon behind the counter had a small horn in the middle of his forehead. His skin was a slightly reddish orange. Seth was slightly stumped being greeted in his mother language and answered in kind.

”Hello! Is this your store? Do you sell weapons? ” he asked innocently. Currently, he only wore his boots and items made by Nädel. Everything was covered by the cloak he wore. To the demon, he probably looked like someone who had come here on accident while exploring.

The demon looked at him with a sly and knowing gaze.

”Did you come for a powerful weapon, or did you actually come to learn? ” he asked with a kind smirk. Seth was speechless.

”I see, probably the latter? ” the demon asked in a comfortable voice. ”Don ’t worry and speak freely. I know people say that demons are very sly and long-winded. But to be honest we prefer to be direct. ”

”How did you know? ”

”Your rings. Did you think a demon bard would be unable to appraise your items? You crossed the hellscape of apprentices, so you can ’t be weak. But you didn ’t jump on the opportunity to ask for an awesome weapon, so you didn ’t come searching for that. The ballad used on the ring lacks formal education, you probably used system skills to succeed, right? ”

Seth stared blankly for a moment while he let everything sink in. Was this man a blacksmith? He could appraise epic equipment and even judge the quality of enchantment with just a look.

”I tried hard learning them, but yeah, I probably succeed mostly thanks to the skills I gained from the system. You mentioned a Demon Bard. What is that? ”

It was the demons turn to look stunned at his customer.

”You came all the way here without knowing…? Come, let ’s talk somewhere more appropriate. ”

He waved at Seth to follow and left through the door behind the counter. Seth was a little unsure and equipped his full gear before following, just in case.

Similar to Tored ’s shop in Ora, there was a hallway with a storage room and a smithy behind the counter. He followed the demon down the hallways and out another door. They stood in the nice open kitchen. The demon looked back, and his eyes narrowed a little.

”Good, you are careful. That ’s always the best action when interacting with a demon. ” he smiled understanding. He put some dried herbs in two cups and poured boiling water on top.

”Here, have a cup of tea, and let ’s talk. ” with that the demon sat down and offered Seth the seat across from him.

Al confirmed that it was just tea and Seth took a sip. It tasted quite refreshing.

The Demon, Trith, explained to him that a demon bard was their version of a blacksmith. He explained it using the common language because there was no equivalent word for a blacksmith in demon language.

A Demon bard ’s specialization was less focused on the skill, it was only a secondary skill to them. Their class focused a lot more on the musical and philosophical parts of their class. As a bard, they not only learned ballads and poems to enchant items.

They also wrote these epics and ballads themself. This led to most ballads being unique to their writer making them a selling point if one decided to pursue this career. This made them similar to enchanters who had to often research or develop enchantments themself.

”Does this mean that there is no unified collection of ballads I could learn? ” Seth was not confident in his talent to write songs or poems.

”I was just getting there. It would be hard to make a master teach you all their own ballads, but that isn ’t the only option. You can learn the skill of a demon bard and the classic ballads at the Bard College. As chance would have it, there is a newly founded Bard College here in Delta. ”

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