Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 32: 32.Night on the Water

-Arget Nore-

Arget Nore had been invaded by a terrifying enemy. Contrary to expectations, disgusting creatures had invaded from a new world they wanted to explore. Before the expedition forces could even expand their influence, everyone had been called back when the biggest company had been completely wiped out. Several hundred atrocities had crossed the gate and eradicated the stationed guards and supply units before the other side could somehow close the gate.

All expeditions to that world had been called back as a precaution. Other groups also brought unsettling news. Uncommonly well-organized resistance by bands of natives, bone corroding mists and darkness, metal golems and never before seen monsters. A group had been crushed by roots the moments they left the Pathworks and some others met a creature wielding a terrifying pale flame.

What kind of chaotic world was this ”Urth ”? How much information did the Church of the System hold back? Why did he have to go back there…?

The empire had needed several weeks to control and barely contain the region, where the atrocities had invaded. The situation was judged stable, which was why the expeditions were resumed. This time not from the main plane, but from a vassal world. Just to be on the safe side.

He was a summoner specialized on fire elementals. He had been part of the expedition that met a giant animated forest and barely survived thanks to his specialization!

Now he and others of similar occupation with fire specialization were scheduled for the destination, where the pale flame had occurred. In case it appeared again, they would be more capable to deal with it, than necromancers and undead.

Their destination was described as a partly ruined city of incredible dimension that was on the verge of desertification. A perfect environment for their department!

It was the morning of the day they would set off. the sun was dim, the air was murky and everything was tinted in a heart-calming gray.

The priests gave a motivational speech and got everyone excited. They would build a bridge head in that world and recover their losses! And more!

Everyone was showing a manic expression as the ink-black gate opened in front of their expedition force.

An ear-piercing roar of water, screams of terror and pain. Overwhelming pressure ripping them apart.

These were the last impressions of the expedition force, as a wall of water rushed out of the portal like a gigantic tidal wave! The orderly rows of soldiers vanished in seconds as they were ground away under the force of the cataclysm.

He was desperately clinging to a tree as the water tried to take him away with domineering might. It was pure luck. His position was away from the direct impact and he was not killed instantly like the priests who had opened the flood gates.

Now, there was no one here who could close those gates! Was there even anyone able to go against the rushing water and reach the gate?

He could see glimpses of others vanishing in the current and heard their muffled screams as their lives perished like a candle in the wind.

His arms started to weaken. He had clung to this tree for what felt like an eternity and the current did not weaken one bit!

His summons were all fire base, none of them could do more than die a meaningless death. His hands started to slip. This was the end for him, so he released all the contracts with his summons. He did not want to drag them down with him.

The next moment he had already vanished in the floodwaters.

-Deltan-

Seth had been on the water for a day and a night. He was not travelling fast, even without the snakes bothering him. He had reached the border of the city; the houses were shorter and the water seemed shallower here. Still, most ruins did not break the surface anymore, but were visible below like coral reefs. This was a whole other perspective of a sunken city.

The view helped Seth enjoy the journey despite the ambiguous speed. Food and water were no problem right now, so he just enjoyed the break. No work, no danger. Just boring relaxing silence.

He used the wind and moved in a meandering line towards Starta.

Seth had a lot of time to think now and used it to invest his free points. He first distributed his attribute points. With his last level up he had 41, so he tried to even out his stats and kept 6 behind, just in case.

Selecting the Skill Points, he had 9 now, he noticed that had unlocked!

Concentrating on the skill he could now switch through every part of the smithy and read their description. Level three cost him 2 SP. Now the crafting stations were able to work with ”rare ” material and a new one was added!

This explained why it had unlocked after he had obtained the skill. Seth was not a fan of overly ornate weapons, but he was open to make them if the effects were worth it and it got him proficiency!

He had 7 SP left. The next decision was hard. Seth did not want to squander SP on skills he could train on his own, like or . He had been constantly using since he resumed his journey to train it and actually managed to get it to lv.4! Level 5 would cost 5 SP; it did not seem worth it.

Seth decided that he did not have to spend his SP at all. He would save the rest and wait until he could raise again. Maybe he could level up all his specific class skills at the same time?

What was left now was relaxing and staying on course. It was sometime later he noticed on the map, that he was moving backwards!

What was going on? When he looked in the direction of the city center, he could see nothing. Once again, his trusty binocular showed it´s worth! The water was still calm here, but closer to the city center Seth could see rapids forming among the building and ruins! Wait! Was that a maelstrom in the center!?

He had to stop the raft now! It would never be able to survive those rapids! And he would never survive a run in with a Titanoboa on this nutshell! Even less without it.

Good thing he had kept the makeshift grappling hook as an anchor. With this he could anchor at one of the submerged buildings nearby. Maybe he could wait this one out?

Just what did he think? Seth had been anchored for several hours now and the sun was about to go down! Would he have to stay here for the night?

The water had sunk by almost two meters! He could not imagine where all the water was going, but he was glad, not to be there!

When the night fell, he was trying to get some sleep, but as the water sank more and more rapids formed with buildings and ruins resurfacing! The noise from the maelstrom became louder and louder.

It was hard, but Seth fell asleep in the end.

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