Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 279: The Tournament

”Hey, it ’s been a while since you joined us in sparring! ” Monique said excitedly when Seth entered the training room.

Seth greeted Mike, Monique, Jonah, and Tekar who were currently refining their combat skills. It had really been a while.

During the last three months, he had stayed at the Bard College most of the time, The only exceptions were the few dungeon excursions to level up. He wanted to use the free time before the tournament to spend more time with them, too.

Seth also wanted to get to know their new skills better. Everyone had taken up a second class and he wanted to talk about their equipment one last time before finalizing the designs.

Like Mina, Mike, Tekar, and Monique would get a completely new set of gear. It would be the last full overhaul for the time being. It was tantamount for it to fit them.

”Oh, that ’s great, let me go first. I have been waiting for a chance! ” Mike said with burning eyes that made Seth shrink back.

He had always known that Mike was very protective of his sister and had a skewed image of her in his head. Since he and Mina were officially a couple Mike had turned out to be a bit more than just overprotective.

Seth had barely to equip his gear before a terrifying blade came flying at him.

”You goddamn siscon! Wait for the signal! ” he cursed and evaded the sword aura by mere millimeters.

”Don ’t worry! They can put you together in the infirmary. Just let me vent a little! ” Mike said with a crazed undercurrent.

Seth donned his full gear and blocked Mike ’s sword stroke with his wyvern shield. The barrier on the shield immediately broke and the weight behind the strike made him almost fall over. The level difference was too great for the shield ’s effect to affect Mike.

”D-Dragonmight! ” the skill that could anyone on a lower level kneel only slightly slowed Mike ’s movements.

Still, Mike was too fast. Before Seth could react, the next strike was blocked by . 10 shields layered on top of each other to block the weapon with 9 being broken.

Mike was lv. 65 and did not lack behind in attributes thanks to the blessing. A difference of 15 levels was hard to overcome. Especially against Mike who had put a lot of effort into training.

In Ora, he had been a Swordsman. When he reached lv. 50, he had gotten the rare class Focus Warrior as a second class. It increased the power of skills that focused energy into weapons. It powers up the willpower and increased resistance against mind attacks.

”Kuh! ”

Seth blocked Mike ’s blade with the wyvern blade and almost lost grip of his weapon. The second class wasn ’t all there was to Mike. His original Swordsman class had also evolved to the epic class ”Sword Demon ”.

This class was similar to the class Sword Saint and could only be attained with talent and hard work put into a specialized weapon class. As the name suggested. All skills related to the sword and fighting with it were tremendously strengthened. In exchange, any other weapon was weakened.

Seth had to use both hands to prop up the shield and block an aura stab from Mike. Especially these energy skills became a lot stronger with the epic class. There was no way for Seth to fight back with just his .

”Okay, Mike this is enough. ”

The catman was a little bummed but stopped attacking.

”At least let me hit you once. ”

”You should be glad you didn ’t get through the shields. I have no idea what would happen if you struck my armor and got cursed. ”

He had instinctively donned his full set when Mike suddenly attacked. Usually, he would not wear the wyvern cuirass during a spar. The curse that could accompany the reflected damage could be quite terrifying. It was common sense not to use this kind of stuff in a sparring match.

”My turn! ” Monique said joyfully and shooed Mike away with a playful kick. Fighting Monique was quite similar to his fight with Mike. Except that she was more controlled. Her usually cheerful demeanor turned serious when she focused on a fight.

A description like Focus Warrior fitted her fighting style much better. She would block and counter with high precision and use aura attacks like a scalpel. The explosive beauty had kept her Turtle Warrior class, but her second class was also Spear Demon, with the same foundation as Sword Demon.

Her strikes were hard and easily decreased the durability of Seth ’s items. Unlike Mike, she had a formal education in martial arts and an obvious talent. Despite her lower level, she was more dangerous than the cat boy.

But she also held back a lot better so her fight with Seth seemed much more balance giving the blacksmith more time to observe her power.

”Okay, I think it ’s enough. ”

Monique smiled and gave way for the last contestant. Tekar, the most special among the lords. He was the definition of ”I Don ’t Want to Get Hurt, so I ’ll Max Out My Defense ”

This man, this big, hulking colossus of a man, had not only chosen the unique class The Keep which gave him 25% resistance to literally everything, free points in endurance, increased defense per attribute points, and a bunch more in exchange for no attack power or taunt skills.

No, this wasn ’t enough. As second class he chose was The Bastion. A unique class that added barrier skills based on his defense, increased his defense when he didn ’t move, share his defense, and gave him the trait to get more defense the heavier his armor was.

He still had no possibility to attack or gain aggro. But the amount of defense he gained like this was ludicrous. Like a moving fortress. Seth attacked Tekar with the wyvern blade for a full 15 minutes without being able to break the defensive barrier under the debuff of the Black Knight Armor.

In the end, it became a competition between Seth, Mike, Jonah, and Monique to break Tekar ’s barrier. Jonah couldn ’t do it without bringing himself to the brink of death. The two demons managed to pierce it after a few minutes.

Seth couldn ’t do it with just weapons and needed to resort to fire magic. It was not too hard to break through with a fire lance.

But they all needed to consider was, that Tekar still only wore a rare armor set and two epic shields. How terrifying would the man become once he had a relic-tier armor?

He wouldn ’t be able to do damage, but the amount of damage he would be able to stop… If their party ever experienced a wipe in a dungeon, Tekar and Evee might end up being the only ones alive. Actually, he might be the only one alive as Evee would be undead.

”I ’m hungry. Let ’s go eat! ” Monique suggested after everyone got to test their skills on Tekar ’s iron defense.

Over the meal, they finally got the chance to talk about their equipment. Mike ’s focus was on a sword. A sword among swords. An ultimate sword. Seth had to make him stop using the word swords. As for the armor, he was okay with anything that didn ’t get in the way of his movements.

Tekar was similar. An Armor. An armor among armor. The heaviest armor there could be and so on and so forth. There was no need for a weapon, but he wanted bigger and heavier shields, go figure.

Monique was the only normal one. She was satisfied with her spear for now and only asked for a light plate armor or maybe a mix of plate and chain mail.

None of them had any opinion for their accessories and subsequently left that headache to Seth.

In a similar manner, Seth spent the rest of the week with the founding members of Minas Mar he usually didn ’t get to see all the time. Not just to get a better idea of their wishes for their equipment, but also because he didn ’t want them to drift apart.

What was the point of making a guild if they didn ’t get closer to each other? He spent some calm hours with Bulko and Otto the pharmacist in the herb garden he and Alison had grown. Bulko had become a High-priest and Mirror Cleric.

The first was what one would expect. Strong healing spells and buffs. The second was a little more special. The Mirror Cleric could mirror statuses and skills. For example, he could copy the skill a mage had just used but he could also copy a buff he just cast himself for a fraction of the cost.

This also worked with enemy skills. The copies would not be as powerful as the original but could be cast instantly within a short time after the original was activated.

All of this was very cost-intensive, so the biggest concern of the big man was his mana pool.

An unexpectedly fun Time was spent with Lyxiss. The half-elven mage had taken a liking to Urth ’s modern vehicle and made the party follow her to drive go-carts. They ate and talked in Delta.

Lyxiss had managed to become a multi-element mage focused and fire and wind while she got the chance to become an elven elementalist for her second class. Unsurprisingly, her concern was affinities with the elements and increased magic power.

She didn ’t need a new robe as she still had the one Seth had given her. After her talent as an elementalist shone, she was allowed to enter the elven community. There Lyxiss had found an elven enchanter who finished the robe for her.

All Seth needed to be concerned about were making a staff and jewelry for the half-elf.

The rest of the week up to the tournament he finally spent with Mina alone.

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