Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 341: To Hope

Chapter 340: Virtue

She tried hard not to cry. She was the oldest now. She had to be strong. But no matter how hard Pip tried she could feel the big hot tears welling up in her eyes. She stubbornly bit her lips and narrowed her eyes but, in the end, she joined the younger children in their sorrow.

So many of them had died. First when they were attacked in the forest and now when they were pulled into someone elses battle.

Just 10 children had survived. Only 10 people that could carry on the memory of Karina and her kindness.

Frustration and dejection had her in their grasp. Why did this have to happen? Why did it keep happening? What had she done wrong for the world to treat her like this?

She sunk to her knees. Her body shook with her silent sobbing.

She wanted to become angry. She WAS angry! She wanted to blame someone! But who? The world? The darkness? The fire? The caravan? Those weird beings? Her enemies were too strong for her or already defeated.

Anger without a valve turned into even deeper dejection, sorrow, and depression. A warm hug interrupted this vicious circle. The grasp of small arms distracted her from her poisonous thoughts.

“It will be okay, big sister.”

“Y-Yes, everything will be okay. Right, big sister Pip?”

Their own tiny faces caked in tears and dirt, they hugged her tightly and tried their best to soothe her. It warmed her heart. No matter how hard she tried to feel sorry for herself, she couldnt anymore.

“Right, it will be okay.” she pulled them into a tight hug that made the little children squeak.

Not everything was lost. There was hope. These snotnosed brats were relying on her now. On Pip. She swore to get them to safety. No matter the price. People kept dying protecting them. She had to be strong. Strong enough to protect them and stay alive.

“How are things on the rest of the battlefield?” she heard someone ask one of the warriors that had helped her escape the rubble.

It was the man in fancy armor that had used his weird skills to save her siblings.

“We lost many. Mostly civilians and freed people.”

“What about the others?”

“The freed warriors were almost completely wiped out. It doesnt look much better for the adventurers. Though some probably ported back to Delta. Many of the chimeras were able to survive thanks to their stronger physique.”

“Hmm.”

They talked about the caravans situation. It was not just her who suffered. Just how many people had just lost their family or friends? And all she had thought about was how terrible her situation was!

“C-Can we maybe help?” the little girl approached the leader.

He had to be the terribly strong person, that she was told about. He looked at her in surprise but tried to show a kind smile when he spoke to her. He even crouched down to get on her eye level.

“You want to help? What is your name?”

“I am Pip, a disciple of Karina!” she stated proudly.

“What can you do to help, Disciple of Karina?”

“I- We can grow plants, tame animals, and use healing magic to some degree.” she did not dare boast about her meager combat prowess.

“Are you sure? You were injured and stuck under the rubble until now.”

“We can handle it! Right, guys?” she exclaimed confidently.

The other children looked at her straight back. It suddenly seemed rather big and strong, as she stood there. Was big sister Pip always this reliable?

“You can show these people what Karina taught us, right? Show them how great she is?”

The two that had soothed her were the first to agree and the rest followed.

“Good. Then why dont you follow Marcel here and help with the wounded?” the man petted the warriors shoulder.

“Is this really a good idea, Seth?” Marcel hesitated.

“What are you talking about? They want to prove their worth. How could you deny them this chance?” he scolded the man jokingly but then turned to Pip.

“Do your best. Show me what you can do! If you impress me, I can offer you a home. A safe place to grow, like the show of a big tree.” he whispered in her ear.

The metaphor shocked her but she understood. This was not just an act of kindness. It was a chance. The chance to hug a thick thigh and stay safe to grow their own power. It was what they needed now after their Seniors were gone.

Although the thought of relying on someone again was awkward, it was a fact that they could not survive in his world on their own. Even their seniors lacked the strength to protect themself and others.

A gleaming ember was ignited to a fire. She wanted to grow and become strong. So strong that nobody and nothing could take something away from her ever again. She discarded her vain imagination about superheroes or villainesses. Pip would become strong, stronger than fiction.

———————

Seth saw the fire ignite in her eyes. The girl may have been young, but people with such desires would go a long way. And it was in his interest, that they were part of his camp when they started their journey to greatness.

The more people he had under him, the less work he had to do himself! It was all for his greater goal. Lazing around. Or at least do whatever he wanted. He wouldnt give up on blacksmithing. It was a great and interesting hobby.

He followed Marcel and the Children to the temporary camp, where people tended to the wounded. Everyone was hurt to some degree, with many being severely injured. A wide area was opened and flattened with earth magic where the injured were bedded on blankets on the ground.

When Seth entered this area, he heard a childish voice.

~Can i help too, Mom? ~

“Huh? Wait, do you know healing magic?”

~ Yes, I learned it from watching you and big brother! ~

Big Brother? Right. Puffles could have been a big help, too. But he was out of mana after the fight and spent his time recuperation and digesting the angels he had hunted.

“All right! Come out. Lets test it on someone with light injuries first, just to be sure nothing goes wrong.”

Seths worries were unfounded. The chubby little snake was able to perfectly cast superior healing magic.

~I told you, a genius in magic. ~ the lich commented smugly.

The Imugis charity had another unexpected consequence.

He hurriedly checked the imugis status plate and it was true. A new stat, Virtue, had appeared on it. The snake had just healed someone with several broken bones and its virtue had jumped to 23. As the mount kept healing people, the stat kept rising

It was a similar effect to having Fin in his party. A fairy increased the luck of every party member. It was similar for the imugi. As long as the snake stayed as his mount or pet, he would have a luck bonus of two.

Seth was always happy about more luck since it was a skill, he could not strengthen with ability points. All he had to do was have the Imugi do good deeds. That didnt seem too hard.

He looked at the field of injured and also got to work.

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