Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 256: Grinding the etch (2)

Ember brought him to a big alchemy store. The showroom was vast and open with isles of potions and shelves of ingredients. It gave him the impression of a mix between pharmacy and a witch ’s kitchen.

The strong smell of herbs, dried stuff and potions filled the air. Beside the clerk at the counter, there were 2 or 3 employees helping customers find and choose what they needed.

Seth felt satisfied when he could not only buy a bulk of common ink but even got it for free on top of purchasing a demonic encyclopedia of alchemy recipes including several kinds of inks for etching.

The book was big, thick, and pricy. 23 gold was enough for a farmer to live for almost 2 years. But it was worth it. Alison liked her books big. Imagining the quiet girl ’s reaction when Seth visited her with this girthy surprise made him smile. They got on their way back to the college. Seth wanted to return to Minas Mar and start practicing.

”You are well off, aren ’t you? Spending so much money in a heartbeat and still smiling like a child that got a present. ” Ember commented on his expression. She looked a little sulky.

~ I bet she ’s jealous.~

”Hmm, yeah. I guess one could say I ’m am well off. Others might even call me filthy rich. ” he teased the young demon beside him.

”How? Aren ’t you just a human? How can you have so much money to spend in a world like this? ”

”I ’m simply a very good blacksmith. It ’s no big secret. ”

”You are a blacksmith? ”

”Yep. Oh, that reminds me, I have to go in here for a second. ”

They had just walked past Trith ’s store when Seth remembered that he wanted to talk to the demon

”Seth? ” Trith was reading a book at the counter when suddenly the door opened and surprised him.

”Hey. I came because you said you would help me with learning. ” Seth pinned him on his promise. The demon could only sigh. It wasn ’t like he could use any customers as an excuse.

”Sure, what do you need. ”

”A brush and goggles for etching and I want you to get me materials to learn demon language. ”

”Why do you ask me for language learning material? ” the demon cocked his head

”Well, you are the only demon who owes me. Who else am I going to ask for something elementary like that? ”

”I see… but can ’t you just buy the skill? ”

”No. I already have a translation skill. The teacher said that ’s the problem. I need to truly master the language to take advantage of the ballads. ”

”Yeah… and I am telling you there is a skill for that. ” Trith looked at him like he was being stupid.

”There is a difference between a translation skill and a language mastery skill. High-rank scribes sell language skills all the time. It ’s not even that expensive. ” the demon explained.

”Great, then get me one of those scrolls instead, ” Seth said with a smile.

”W-Wait, I said they are not that expensive, but they still- ”

”You said you would help me in any way possible to further my studies. ”

”Fine, ” Trith said with a fed-up face. He vanished for a moment into the room behind the counter and came back with a few brushes and goggles.

”Here, take these. I will go and look for the language skill in the next few days. ”

”Thank you very much! ”

”Just go away, please. ”

Seth left with a big smile and joined Ember on their way back to the college.

”Do you know the shop owner or something? ”

”Sure, why do you ask? ”

”Oh, good. It ’s just that I worried you bought something in there. ”

”And what would be the problem with that? ”

Ember looked a little embarrassed when she realized that she had badmouthed someone Seth knew.

”S-Sorry. It ’s like this: people say the man is a scammer who only sells mediocre stuff for full price. ”

”Is it because he is making both, armor and weapons? ”

”How did you know? ”

”Oh, I actually made a deal with him for joining the Bard College. He was quite famous where he graduated, but some old rival came earlier and spread those rumors. Now, nobody is even giving him the chance to prove them wrong. ”

”Sounds like the very generic revenge plot. ”

”Yep, but it ’s not like I care. He just asked me to do well and show people that someone could do both and still make superior equipment. There was also something about the apprentice of his rival, but he didn ’t even tell me the name… ”

”It can ’t be important then. ”

”My thoughts, exactly. ”

They soon entered the college and came before the teleport formation.

They told their farewells and parted ways. Ember had classes while Seth couldn ’t wait to make his alchemist produce ink! – Give Alison a nice present.

He returned to Minas Mar and looked for the wizard. She had locked herself in the alchemy laboratory. Only after several knocks did the door open slightly and a moody Alison looked at him.

”What is it, Boss? I ’m doing an experiment right now. ”

Seth brought out the thick tome and waved it before her eyes. Her eyes followed the book without letting it go.

”Look what I got for you. It ’s an encyclopedia of demonic alchemy recipes. Did you want it? ”

”Give it. ” she snapped and tried to steal it from his hands. Seth hurriedly pulled it away.

”Ah ah ah, not so fast. It comes with a task. ”

Alison looked a little surprised. It was the first time Seth had come with a specific task. He took out a bottle of ink and gave it to her.

”There are recipes in the book for ink like this. I want you to make several charges of common and uncommon inks. Just ask Jane for the money if you need ingredients. ”

The wizard/alchemist looked at the bottle with interest. She had only been grinding consumable potions to increase her proficiency until now.

”Alright, give me the tome and I will get to work. ”

”Ah, wait a moment, there is one more thing. ” Seth suddenly had an idea and showed her the books he had gotten at the bard college. Books about demon poetry, ballads, and ancient runes.

”Where did you get these? ” Alison asked in surprise.

”I got them at the bard college, why? ”

”Bard college? Is there… like a library? ” her eyes shone. She really deserved her title ”Bookworm ”. She had managed to read all the books in the church ’s library in Y-City.

”Is there something special about the books? ”

”Exactly. They are judged as useful knowledge by my skill. I could gain a lot if there were more like these. ”

Seth suddenly had an idea.

”Hmm, there is a pretty big library. Say, Alison, are you interested in poetry and songwriting? ”

”Where did that come from? ” she asked back in surprise but answered anyway. ”I ’m no good with music, but I liked poetry. It was my hobby… before all this happened. ”

”Great! I have a good idea. How about you learn demon poetry and write the texts in my stead? ”

He painted a great future. Alison could read all the cumbersome knowledge, gain strength and write poems for him! And he would only have to do the etching.

”No thanks, boss. I ’m really not interested in demon poetry. Please don ’t try to push your work on me. ”

She flat out denied their glorious future and left Seth in the darkness of having to learn everything himself.

”Oh well, I will let you read the books anyways when I am done with them. ”

Leaving the tome in Alison ’s he and returned to his quarters. There was stuff to train. Contrary to the exercise at the college, Seth didn ’t intend to waste the ink. He had a book with a collection of classics he could copy on items.

Only when he had started reading through this book did he realize just how many demons there were. On the 200 pages of the book were over 250 longer and shorter poems dedicated to almost as many different demons.

The effects of these inscriptions were based on the demon and almost every demon gave a different effect. They could be roughly categorized like enchantments and they were noted down with the expected effect and the expected strength if executed correctly.

The book offered a variety of simpler texts and gave an overview of the kinds of possible effects.

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