Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 344: Snake Oiling

Chapter 343: Misleading Name

“Hey, thats my magic!” the chimera exclaimed indignantly.

It was true. It seemed that the Imugi had learned the magic from watching it on the battlefield a few days ago. It was not called a genius in magic for nothing. Mastering high-level magic this easily. The only problem was its lack of mana.

That had already been s a headache when they were healing people the other day. Seth was glad it finally got the chance to level up. With more mana it could-

Why did it only gain three levels? It had just killed roughly 100 people around level 30 and only reached level 4 from it! That should have been at least enough for it to reach lv. 15 or even 20! What was going on?

~Pff, obviously strong races need more experience to level up. ~ Al said

“Why?”

~Balancing. Just a joke. It simply is like that. I have no explanation why it is like that. ~

“You learned a lot from my games, to crack jokes like that…”

~More like bad influence… ~ the lich stated with a sigh.

~These people stink, I dont want to eat them. ~ the Imugi suddenly said after sniffing on one of the corpses.

“Nobody asked you to eat them! We will leave 5 people to loot them. The rest of us will go to hope.” Seth said and signaled for the rest to keep going.

The welcoming committee had already been a blast and the city was no disappointment either. At the gate, they met a bunch of crooks, armed to the teeth and ready to aggressively guard the sad excuse for a city gate.

Mind you, not against monsters. Guard against beggars, refugees, and other bottom feeders without the monetary power to buy their way into the city. That was the main population of people that had built a shanty town at the foot of the wall.

The guard at the front was badly shaven, dirty and if Seth was not completely wrong, high. A crudely pieced together leather armor had a hard time restraining the mans obese body.

“Oh, wow! Look at this nob! You dont look like other trash thats been feeding off of crumps in the ruins. What do you want here?” the pig asked, snorted noisily, and spat on the ground.

Seth understood immediately how to speak with this species.

“How much is the entry fee?” Seth asked coldly.

“haha! Getting right to the point. I like that!”

The pig looked up and down Seth, who had not bothered to hide his armor. Although the guard probably lacked a specific skill, a discerning eye could easily spot the armors worth.

“For you? 50 Silver. And another 10 for each of the funny bunch behind you.”

“F-funny bunch?” the chimera stuttered disbelieving.

Seth didnt know whether to laugh or to cry. The man wanted 2 gold from him. Laugh because the man thought it was much, while it was mere poultry to Seth. Or cry because it WAS a fortune, especially for the people of this shantytown.

No wonder none of them could get it, with these kinds of arbitrary fees. It was nothing to Seth but if he just paid it, he would be seen as a pushover and the business in the city would get a lot more annoying.

He spoke from actual experience. He had to learn it the hard way and got majorly berated by Fin during their journey to Ora.

“20 Silver for all of us,” he spoke with the . The cut was so hard that even the fat guard somehow resisted the persuading effect. He had just inhaled when Seth interrupted him.

“Dont misunderstand. I am paying this money for the both of us. You can stay alive, and I dont have to deal with the bullshit that comes with slaughtering the guard and blowing a hole in the city wall. Got it? Nod if you understand.”

The guard bowels audibly moved when the very real option of death became a possibility. The man was completely convinced, that the man was not only serious but also capable of this thread. Any word he wanted to say was stuck and he nodded mechanically.

Seth dropped 20 silver coins in his hand, and they walked past him and his colleagues. Upon entering the city… there was no big change. Between the old buildings continued the same shantytown as outside the walls.

Every free place was filled with ramshackle living space, leaving only narrow roads where people walked in a tight crowd. Beggars, peddlers, sorry figures could be seen everywhere. From old men selling stuff at street stalls to shacks that doubled as a dealer or drug den.

“They should really consider changing the name to something more fitting. Like Landfill or Despair,” Seth commented.

The greatest change was probably the smell. It was a terrible stench. It smelled as if the sludge of decades was rising from the derelict sewers below.

Maybe the only good part of his city, was that really nobody cared. Seth was sure that the Chimeras would pull a lot of attention on the streets of Y-City and even in Delta. Not here, though. Among the crowd were people and mutations that looked even worse than any of the chimeras.

There was no telling how these people ended up the way they were, but nobody even spared a weird glance for the piece-together members of their party.

~ It might be the experiments of some jobs along the lines of Black Magicians. ~ Al theorized but nothing was for sure.

Pips sad expression spoke volumes. The place had become even worse than she remembered.

“You really dont know where we could find someone?” Seth asked again, just to make sure.

“Im sorry. Things have changed too much. I am unsure if there even was someone like that back then.”

This meant they could only look for information themselves. At first, they stayed together and kept their eyes peeled for merchants that would sell the amounts of rations they needed. This did not really work.

The only industries that were obviously striving in this place were the oldest business in the world and the second oldest. Prostitution and drugs were everyone here.

“Maybe you could talk with the current boss? I dont know who we could ask.” Pip finally said after they had looked for some time without results.

She was forced to speak up because she was against splitting the group to search for info. Seth also did not like the idea, of letting these people bumble around in this kind of place. Half of them were chimeras without an idea of people, the other half was not much better in this environment.

Pip took the lead and the group followed her through the city. At times she had trouble finding the way, but they ended up in a better area of the city. Finally, Pip stopped in front of what used to be a nightclub.

The neon lights and electricity were still working, and they even heard music from outside. According to Pip, this was a pub/nightclub, a brothel, and a casino at once. It was run by a man called Corvo.

She grimaced when saying the name, but according to her, this was the man they needed to talk to. The best source of information that could be bought for money. Though her past with the man seemed not very positive.

Seth decided to enter with pip and the chimera leader. The bumper did not stop when they entered the place. The buildings inside had a quite intriguing design.

The ground floor they entered was a pub, but it was filled with loud music. It was because it was actually a balcony above the nightclub. The floor was missing for the biggest part, and a dancing crowd filled what would have been the basement.

Inside, Pip took the lead. She went to the counter and signaled for the barkeep to lend her an ear. They whispered something to him but the man shook his head.

“Sorry, Pip. But that is the old code. I cant let you in like this.”

“But it would be a really big business for Corvo!” she argued desperately.

“Pip, you know that the boss wont meet just anybody,” he answered awkwardly.

“Hey, who are you calling a “just anyone”? ” Seth suddenly stepped in.

He simply sat down and leaned on the counter.

“Ah, Seth! Please wait, I can deal with this.” Pip assured.

“Dont worry about it, I just wanted to taste what kind of piss they serve in such a rat hole.”

“Hoh? Pip, you brought quite the cocky friend. At least you look like you can afford something better than piss.”

“Then give me your best stuff, and we will see.”

With a laugh, the barkeeper took a non-descriptive bottle from a cabinet in the back and filled a glass for Seth. The blacksmith did not drink yet and turned to Pip.

“So? Did he pour me something good, or piss?”

She looked nervous back and forth between Seth and the barkeeper but finally said.

“T-the latter. He likes to prank people with his actual pee.”

“Hmm, it smells like pee, it looks like pee. I dont have to taste it to know that its piss. You are right. Now then, you look thirsty. Why dont you have a drink?”

Seth suddenly offered it to the barkeep. The way he said it gave Pip goosebumps but what creeped her out, even more, was that the barkeeper took the offer!

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