Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 269: Minas Gear Solid

While Seth was busy making equipment, the other members of Minas Mar were also busy with their tasks. The leaders of Field Service were working on the preparations for the exam and the management of the Oathguard.

Monique had spent the last few days tracking down an old acquaintance. He was perfect for training and operating the Oathguard.

The sounds of her high heels hitting the ground announced her arrival in the narrow run-down hallway. At the end of the hallway was a door with a glass window. The writing on the door said ”Jack Felton-Private Investigator ”.

She gently knocked against the door, making the window rattle. After waiting for a few minutes, she knocked again. Before she could do it a third time the door finally opened.

Opening the door was an older man in his late 50s with a thick mustache and pronounced stubble. His skin had a sickly color, and his eyes were sunken in. His balding hair was hidden under a hat. The hat ’s shadow made the man ’s sunken eyes look like hollow eye sockets.

”Monique? What are you doing here? ” he asked grumpily. He left the door ajar for her and returned to his desk where he leaned back and put his feet on the table.

”Aww, you knew I was in town? I wanted to surprise you, ” she said daintily.

”I am a private detective. I knew you were in town for almost three months. But what surprised me was that you actually joined a clan. The solitary tigress found a pack? That one really surprised me. ”

Monique sat down in the chair on the opposite side of the desk with a sigh.

”Oh, please. You know I wasn ’t alone by choice. You could say I found a mountain to call home. ”

Jack grumbled in agreement. He knew the girl even before the world went to shit. Even knew her father.

”Then what brings you here? Are you looking for someone? ”

”Yes, I was looking for you. Mr. Instructor. ”

”Don ’t call me that. I ’m a private detective. You know that, girl. ”

”Come on, old man. You did a great Job when everything went downhill. Why are you so eager to return to your poor existence as a detective? Are there even customers for your work these days? ”

”Sorry, I can ’t do that anymore. You know what happened. Watching all those youths die… I can ’t go through that again. ” he said with a petrified face. Monique also grimaced when he mentioned the incident.

”I wouldn ’t be here if I thought it was possible for something like that to happen again. It was a catastrophe, and we were all unprepared. Things are different now. At least there are at Minas Mar. I would like you to meet our Tower Master and observe the Examination for the Oathguard. ”

”Oathguard? Was that what you call your little private army? ”

Monique looked a little embarrassed when Jack called the planned forces a private army.

”I ’m sure other people would misunderstand it as such… ”

”What else are they? ” the old man asked sarcastically.

”Well, if you asked our Tower Master they are a farming force and final depot for equipment we judged too good to be sold. ”

”Too good to be… don ’t tell me the nonsense about a full set of epic gear is true? ”

Monique only smiled mysteriously.

”If you want to know you should come and talk to the Tower Master. I suggested you for the administrator position of the Oathguard. I thought it would be the best position considering your class. ”

That ’s right, Monique had not called him Instructor for no reason. Jack Felton had the rare class ”Instructor ”. People judged to be in his care will gain skill proficiency faster. It also let him mirror the skills of his trainee in sparring but at a higher level.

Sparring with him would be like fighting a better version of oneself. There were other skills, like intuitively knowing the flaws in another ’s techniques and being able to give constructive criticism.

His own skills grew with the progress of his trainees. He was a great teacher back then and he would do a great job in charge of the Oathguard. Monique was sure of it. Her tenacity made the old man sigh.

”Fine. I will have a conversation with your Tower Master. ”

——————-Minas Mar—————-

Said tower master was sitting in his workshop and was brooding over the pieces of a leather armor. The material used for the parts was the epic-rated leather of a ”Shadow Imugi ”. He saw the fine dark leather in the auction house and immediately bought it.

The properties were more than ideal for Mina who was a mix of Shadow Assassin and Shadow Mage. The leather had the inherent power to strengthen all skills related to the shadow attribute.

The problem was that his sucked. With his beginner lv.9 skill, he could not even handle uncommon fabrics or threads. Using a common thread on this epic armor was unacceptable.

He couldn ’t compromise on this. Especially not since it was the gear for his girlfriend. He stood before the question whether to grind his sewing skill, the skill he disliked the most, or let Neeco Boos finish the armor and split the proficiency.

The Spell Weaver had not reached the level necessary to process epic material, yet. But could definitely sew together prepared leather parts. He could even use a thread made of shadow magic to do so.

Grinding and unliked skill or splitting a little proficiency… With a heavy heart, Seth decided to leave the sewing to the professionals. He would contact Neeco Boos later that day. For now, he put the armor pieces aside and brought out something else.

It was the first piece of epic Seth had managed to refine from . There were only 5 bars of it for now and Seth decided to use 2 for one of Mina ’s weapons. For her second weapon, he wanted to use a bar of .

Back when he started learning the ballads Seth had made a practice dagger Mina was still using. At that time, he had promised her to make an even better one. That was what the was for.

Now that he actually had a fitting class he could also comprehend the ratings of the ballads and texts he read. Although only two sentences long, the short verse praising Elufsiv the Esurient was rare to epic rated.

It was thanks to various factors like his high level in working together that he was able to somehow finish that inscription.

Now, after three months of studying and grinding, and with the fitting epic-rated ink he was confident in succeeding it with less effort.

He started off with the and forged a slender blade similar in form to a Xiphos. A dagger that would excel in both cutting and stabbing. He integrated a small filigree crossguard in the shape of two snakes biting the blade.

The two snakes were a hint at the two main effects he planned for the dagger. The pommel was featureless for now, but Seth intended to carve it into a knot of snakes later.

During the process, he sang a new forging ballad he took a liking to. It was a rare ballad calling upon the powers of Deber.

It imbued the weapon with a chance to inflict the status effect of Malady. This would slow the opponent and make healing less effective. It even had a chance to cloud the target ’s mind like a high fever.

The fatal thing about malady was that it would not heal on its own. One needed either a priest to cast cure or a potion that healed uncommon or rare diseases. In exchange, malady had no big effect on targets with high endurance, health, or the undead.

There were a few other exceptions, but those were the biggest ones. Besides the effect, it had a catchy rhythm too, which made it easier to sing while also infusing the uncommon soul of a creature from the fog dimension.

There were not many left, but Seth was sure this was the right call. He infused the biggest part in the blade, a smaller part in the pommel, and another small part into the wood for the handle.

He fitted the finished blade with a wooden handle made of a small piece of arcane oak. A rare wood that was usually used in wizard staffs. It had no own affinity or effects, but the high magic conductivity could have a positive influence on the effects of other materials or spells cast.

To carve the pommel he used his . The biggest reason the skill had managed to level up in the last three months, was this. Seth had no power tools for intricate carving, so he tried to use his flames instead.

He was immune to the damage, so he didn ’t mind the molten metal that was flowing down his hand had he used the heat to form and carve the pommel into and knot of snake bodies.

Before he assembled the dagger, he brought the blade to the etching table. Now came the most important step. With a fine brush, he took up the precious ink from the small vial.

With a steady hand, he redrew the runes projected onto the blade by . With a calm mind, he inscribed the blade with the verses praising Elufsiv the Esurient. The ink bit into the crimson metal and formed a receded lettering of darker enamel.

Seth assembled the dagger and finished it by dunking it into the waters of Styx to affix the soul to its new body.

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