Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 372: The Cradle

Chapter 371: Als Shuttle

”You gotta be kidding me, Al!? Are you serious? ” Seth asked exasperated when he saw what the Ex-Lich had prepared for their glorious journey.

In front of the entrance of Minas Mar, the imposing magic tower inside a giant cavern, stood a grey omnibus with old blue color flaking off. Supposedly she had bought that thing for a gold coin on a junkyard.

”We are going to fly to beta in this thing? ”

It awoke uncomfortable memories of a game Seth knew. Where did the sorceress even find a junkyard in Delta? Why did they have to fly in a scrapped bus!

”Yes! What is the problem? It is sturdy, it has a lot of space. I just have to some enchantments on this bad boy, and we are ready to go! ” she said enthusiastically.

Why was she so obsessed with this thing?

Seth was not the only one with a dark face. When they heard that the sorceress could create them a vehicle to fly to Beta, they all had pictures of grand and fantastic fantasy aircrafts in mind. Not a flying bus that would better fit into a museum…

”I think this is a great idea! Thank you, great sorceress! ”

Duhu was the only one stoked about this peculiar vehicle.

”F-Fine… Then we will leave once all preparations are done. ” Seth said unwillingly. He couldn ’t postpone this just because he doubted Al ’Zalsars aesthetics. Not with the excited Tigerman here.

It was decided that they would take ten talented people of the Oathguard with them, while the Lords would stay at Minas Mar. Additionally, Team 3 would accompany them.

The new Team was not yet formed, so there were only Azul, Archer, and Lydia. This trip was also a chance for the cybergoth to recruit members for her team from the members of the Oathguard. Seth was glad to see that she had already gotten much livelier, facing her new responsibilities after being healed.

While everyone else was preparing, Seth watched the sorceress enchant the bus with interest. The enchanting process of an enchanter was much different than his own, and it also came with optical changes, which pleased the blacksmith a lot.

The old omnibus changed color to a midnight blue and even its body shell became rounder and more aerodynamic. In the end, it looked more like a weird science-fiction version of an omnibus than the awkward asset of a game.

Although it was not necessarily his taste, this was a lot better than before.

As he was watching, Mary approached him from behind.

”Seth, another two members of the Oathguard have just returned from Beta. They are in quite a hurry and said that they have important information. You should come, too. ”

———–

”T-Tower Master!? ” James exclaimed in surprise when he saw Seth enter the room.

Monique had told them to wait for another person to join them, but they had not expected Seth to come. They had not known that the Tower Master had finally returned to Minas Mar while they were on a mission.

”You are not the first people to return from Beta. There must be a reason why I had to come personally? ” Seth asked friendly.

He remembered the faces of these two. Although they did not win the tournament, he had a good impression of them. He was glad that they had made it into the Oathguard.

”Lord Jonah sent us back. We managed to gather important information about the whereabouts of the kitties. ” Jess reported seriously.

”The kitties? ”

”I-I mean Drosi and his kin, ” she said and blushed. She had been in a hurry and blurted out her nickname for the Tijaahk.

”Just don ’t let them hear it. ” Seth cautioned her amused.

Then the two reported what had happened in Beta after their group was split. Despite the embarrassment, they told him everything from how they were able to avoid fights thanks to their experience as burglars and even their less than glorious escape from The Burrow using the crawlspace and vents of the facility.

The blacksmith was surprised by their ambition. Instead of saving their lives and coming back, they had stayed out of their own volition to gain contributions. These two had potential. Maybe they deserved a chance.

”And Jonah is still back in Beta, protecting that woman? ” Seth asked while he was reading the documents of The Cradle.

”Yes, Sir Jonah said he would meet reinforcements at the cradle. ”

”You two must be tired. You have done a lot. It ’s a shame you won ’t be able to accompany us. You know, we just decided to make a third field team and the next mission is also a trial for the Team Leader to choose members. ”

James didn ’t quite follow, but Jess ’s ear perked up. A chance to enter the field teams. That was above even a team leader in the Oathguard. On top of that, they could buy epic equipment made by the tower master.

This was different from the Oath Armor that wastes some of its power on the oath function. It was slightly stronger and, most importantly, they would be able to keep it, even if they were to leave Minas Mar at some point.

One had to know that the Turquoise Anvil only sold very few epic items while most were hoarded inside the tower, for the use by members.

”Tired? We aren ’t tired! Right, James?! ”

”Wha-What are you saying, I am really-uff ” he was interrupted by his girlfriend ’s elbow in his ribs.

”Not tired at all! ” Jess insisted.

”I see, then do you want to join us? ”

”Yes! ” the mage said spiritedly.

”Y-Yes… ” James followed, still confused and wary.

”Great, but first you should put new equipment. I won ’t be able to fix that stuff before our departure, so go and get a new set each. ”

”Yes, Sir! ” both said in sync. The promise of new equipment even raised James ’s weary spirits.

With that, they were led out of the room, by one of Mary ’s subordinates.

”Are you sure? They looked really tired. ”

”It is their choice. They can just sleep on the journey. ”

”And about the field team? ”

”If they can hit it off with Lydia, I see no reason why they shouldn ’t join. Even if their levels are a bit lacking, that ’s nothing some grinding can ’t fix. The chemistry within the party is more important than individual levels. ”

”Who said that? ”

”me? ”

”hmm… ”

”Hey, aren ’t you belittling me a bit too much? ”

”I was just joking, ” she said with a sweet smile.

Seth sighed.

”You have changed quite a lot since that time in the forest. What happened to that cute and timid priestess from back then? ”

”Someone dumped a huge load of work and responsibilities on her. ”

”Hey, if I remember correctly, you were the one who proudly spoke of your economics education. ”

”Still… ”

”I ’m sorry. I promise I will try a little harder in the future. ”

”Says the guy running off, just a few days after he returned. ”

”Ouch… ”

They kept bantering until someone came to inform them, that the preparations were ready. The sorceress had finished her enchantments, the rations were distributed and the Oathguard was ready to board the bus.

They were just waiting for Seth.

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