Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 354: Catching Up

Chapter 353: Know Your Place

”Where are you, Hades!? This has your handwriting all over it! I want an explanation! ” a voice hollered, and a huge, stocky figure crashed into the cinema dimension.

”Where is he that basta-! ”

The newcomer fell silent when his gaze fell on the room full of deities. He was a huge burly man covered in wild unkempt hair. His bulging muscle did not really fit his bulging belly and made the tall figure look stocky overall.

”Zarkon. I understand that you are indignant because a mortal tricked you, but… what made you think you can just barge in here without an invitation? ”

”Do you think you are imposing?! I am not afraid of you. That guy was your champion or something, right?! I will- ”

”You. Will. What? ”

Hades had risen from his seat. The god of the underworld was often described as lean or even haggard, but this was a misconception. He was just very tall and not overly wide, which gave the impression of gauntness.

Standing upright, he was a head taller than even the mountain of a god, Zarkon. Hades was not overly burly or bulging. Instead, the slit in his robe showed tight, compact muscles like steel.

Looking down at Zarkon, Hades wondered. Although he was not a frivolous as his brothers and kept flaunting his powers, was this enough for people to take him for a paper tiger?

The attention of the audience was redirected to the conflict between the gods. Zarkon was really an idiot and the people present anticipated in excitement what was about to happen.

Hades was a very serious god. When he rose from his throne, things were about to go down. There was a reason he was in charge of such a dangerous place like the underworld. When it came to the kin of Olympus, he was the reliable older brother.

Even though they were not the target, all of them could feel Hades ’ pressure rise. For Zarkon it looked and felt like Hades, who was already taller than him, was growing. He felt like an ant facing an elephant and he felt a pressure as if he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.

”Know your place. Get out. Now. ” a voice like the deep darkness in a primordial cave commanded the upstart god.

”Y-Yes! ” Zarkon was gone quicker than he entered.

The audience was a little disappointed, but it couldn ’t be helped. How could a young god like that compete with an old coot like Hades?

When Hades turned around, after Zarkon left, he could not hide a smile when he saw an empty seat. That guy would not get far.

They heard steps in the darkness.

”You have a new friend. Oh yeah, Seth? Ask him about the guy that destroyed his champion. ”

With that, the System god left.

They suddenly heard a loud whoosh as something dove down from the sky. Before anyone could react, they were enveloped in a bloom of bright, pale fire. But it was not hot, it only felt like a warm summer breeze.

”It ’s the caravan leader! ”

”Seth?! ”

”What is the caravan leader doing? ”

”Seth! ”

Puffles flew a lap of honor so every one of the newcomers could venerate his magnificent figure before he landed between the two groups. The people hurriedly scattered to make pace for the giant insect landing.

”Seth and… don ’t tell me-! Is that Puffles!? ” Fin exclaimed euphorically.

~ The one and only. ~ the Ivicer answered with a glint of his golden head like a wink.

When had this guy learned to act cool?

The moment he got off the giant centipede a figure charged at him from the shadows and clung to him.

”I was so worried! ” the woman with cat ear blamed him with tears in her eyes. Instead of giving an answer he simply hugged tightly and enjoyed the moment.

”Fin could not save you, again! ” the fin cried. She sat atop his head, bawling. Though Seth was unsure whether she cried for the same reasons Mina did…

After a moment Mike and the rest of Yulecat ’s fur also stepped up to greet him. While they were having a reunion, the two confronting parties looked at them clueless about what to do.

The only one looking rather glad was Marcel, as it seemed like the sudden entrance of the tower master of Minas Mar had disarmed the situation for now.

”Seth? ” an unexpected figure stepped forward. It was Mark baker who had recognized the man who had once sold him the auction interface. After the incident with the weasel people, he had never heard of Seth again. He had never expected him to be here.

”What is…he doing here? ” Seth said surprised. He hesitated for a moment because he had forgotten Baker ’s name.

”This man is the representative of Y-City in this joint rescue operation. ” Leana finally stepped forward. ”Is it true that you are the leader of this group? ”

She looked warily at the giant ivicer who was posing in the back to flaunt his glory in front of the people he knew and garner respect from the people who didn ’t. The princess was not the only one looking warily at Puffles.

”Well, i guess I am. But I will gladly hand all the responsibility for these people over to you! ”

Although he would have liked to take his time to catch up with his friends, the official people wanted him to give an official statement. Which simply meant that all the important figures sat down for a few hours and exchanged stories of what happened and who was responsible for what.

It was somewhat important since there were roughly 300 refugees left that needed to be appropriately treated and managed. One-third were freed slaves, another third were chimeras, and the rest were what was left of the adventurers.

As the blacksmith reiterated what happened, the princess showed some reaction when Seth spoke of the darkness but did not question it any further.

Finally, Seth proudly claimed that had lost almost nobody from Delta. The decline in numbers of people from Delta was mostly people teleporting back home with . Other people from Delta, even simple civilians, had grown on this journey. They were now strong enough to at least protect their own lives.

”These… individuals are not zarkonic mutations, but super soldiers surgically created by the Theocracy? Something like that is possible? ” Mark asked baffled.

This statement was the basis of their earlier misunderstanding. The advance guard of the rescue forces had mistaken the chimeras working on burning the humanoid corpses for another abomination and had attacked them.

Both sides had fought and Marcel and other adventurers from Delta could finally stop the fights. Fortunately, there were no losses. Only injured people and most of them among the advance party.

The blacksmith successfully managed to shed all further responsibilities for people other than his fosterlings. He felt tired when was finally able to leave the tent acting as command central. Such talks were more tiring than sewing a whole armor set by hand.

Hurriedly he scampered to the campsite of his friends. Around the big campfire, he found Lynri excitedly describing his activities in the stronghold while everyone else listened eagerly. Even Duhu, the big tiger man, was listening attentively.

He silently set sat down beside Mina. Before he could scooch close, she had already closed the gap and leaned against him. They needed no words to understand each other at this moment.

”The barde has arrived! Shouldn ’t the hero tell his story? Or sing his own praises? ” Lyxiss teased.

”It ’s not cool if I brag about my deeds. It ’s a lot better to listen to someone else praise me, ” he answered smugly.

The group laughed a little and Lynri continued to narrate. As the story continued, more and more people joined to listen.

”Wait! Seth turned people into demons? ” Mark Baker exclaimed.

”No, I didn ’t…I just opened the door for someone that could. ”

”It was Seth who burned the evil forest? ” Pip asked a little later.

Seth was a little embarrassed when he admitted that it was him. He knew that she and her friends had some trouble running from the fire. It was a good thing that it was not too much of a problem and of the group held a grudge.

When it came to what happened in the swamp, Seth had to give a summary of what he did there, but he did not go into detail.

”You FORGED an Arcangel? ” Leana screamed when Lynri described what happened on the plains.

”Ah, yeah…? ”

He had followed and impulse back them and when he noticed that he could succeed, there was no stopping him. The problem was that he was unsure what to do with these items.

They were filled with the divine power of a god foreign to the system, as such they could not be appraised. The blacksmith had no idea what exactly these items could do without testing them.

”C-Can I see one of those weapons? ” she asked in a shaky voice. Even if they were weapons outside of the system, something forged from the materials of a divine being was extremely rare. Just like items from materials of a true dragon.

Something like that had the chance to be a national treasure just by the virtue of its materials!

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