Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 390: 390.Anything Youre Missing

Chapter 389: Wishin The Bard Was By My Side

Seth was led into a big room. It was shaped like an Octagon and in the middle of the room stood a massive, heavy-looking table. At the round table sat the princess, a bunch of people Seth didn ’t know, and one he wished he didn ’t know.

One of the people sitting at the desk was the self-proclaimed adventurer king. Seth had enjoyed a sweet time of peace, having forgotten this person ’s existence after the tournament incident.

What was his name again? Seth tried to remember.

When the other saw Seth, his face became an enraged grimace and he jumped off his seat.

”What is this fraud doing here! Are you trying to offend me, the great Derog? ” he exclaimed wildly throwing his hands around. Ah, yes, that was his name. But what exactly was going on?

~Who is this guy, to arrogantly proclaim his name like that, in the presence of the great me? ~ Puffles muttered displeased.

Ah, yes. Surround by greatness, Seth sat down at the seat he was shown to.

”Please calm down, Mr. Derog. I do not know, what happened between you but- ”

”Minas Mar has not given what they owe me! That is what is going on! After I clearly won the tournament, they used shady excuses to withhold my prize! ” the arrogant hunk interrupted the princess who tried to calm the situation.

”Shady excuses? ” Seth thought to himself as the muscleman rambled on. The guy was livid and kept hammering with his fist on the table.

”They proclaimed there was no winner because of ongoing ”the abduction of my opponent and the tower master ”. Since my opponent was not present, I should have won by default! ” he literally made air quotes.

Seth looked at the raging man in disbelief. He could roughly guess what had happened. He made a mental note to praise Mary and Jane once he returned. He couldn ’t help but enjoy Derog ’s raging with a humored smile on his face.

”What are you smiling for!? If it wasn ’t for this being an official event, I would have already started massaging you into the ground! ”

Seth lifted an eyebrow in surprise.

”I didn ’t expect you to have this much tactfulness. To ONLY hit the table and cry like a little child in front of the princess. Truly, your self-control knows no limits. ” the blacksmith ridiculed him.

”You! ”

”Stop! Mr. Derog, sit down! Solve your private matters somewhen else. ” the princess finally said seriously. Her tone made clear that this was over, or else someone would get kicked out, and Seth was not the one.

Indignantly, the adventurer king shut up and sat back down.

”Oh, what a funny table round. Looks like I came at just the right time. ”

A man with snow-white hair and crimson eyes had entered the room and took sat at one of the free chairs. No, not a man. Seth remembered him. This was the mist demon that had fought with Derog during the tournament.

Derog seemed like he wanted to say something but kept quiet when he saw Leana giving him a side glance. They waited for another two minutes in awkward silence as another three familiar faces appeared. Marcel, Elza, and Brock of the Boulder Guild appeared together.

”Since everyone is finally here, we can officially start this meeting. ” the Princess started the event.

”All of you are people of great talent and power from or associated with Urth. I have assembled you today because I need your help.

Every year, the Empire will evaluate the worth of investing in foreign worlds and whether to get more involved and pull back, depending on the circumstances.

As you may have heard, the Maritime Empire had strengthened its efforts on Urth and invaded Beta. What ’s more, is that Urth itself is quite a dangerous world on its own.

Factions within the empire have announced their doubts concerning our endeavors on Urth as we may end up facing them sooner or later.

Normally a new World won ’t be tested this early but because of them, we must take part in the next evaluation three months from now. You are the most promising individuals and leaders associated with the Empire on Urth. I wish to ask you, to take part in this times evaluation.

Depending on your performance, I might be able to secure more funds and reinforcement for the future stability of Urth. ”

Silence reigned in the room after the princess finished.

Seth was in deep thought. He had heard of this practice during his travels to Ora. However, what he had heard was slightly different from what the Princess had described.

About the numerous heirs to the throne being sent to new worlds to develop colonies. But he remembered, when Tored explained to him about the history of Ora, that there was a different reason for these evaluations.

It was to judge the potential of the heirs and their skills in governing and problem-solving. This didn ’t mean that the evaluation was not also about judging the worth of further investments. It was also very likely that the princess would be able to organize more support if she did well.

While everyone was in their own thoughts, like Seth, someone suddenly spoke up.

”it ’s not very nice to withhold information, Princess. ” it was the demon speaking.

”What do you- ”

Undeterred, the Demon continued to say out loud what Seth had just thought, in even more depth. The princess was the 24th in succession to the throne and she was competing with 3 others for a rank that would allow her to become the queen of a province.

It was slightly less dramatic than if she was directly competing for the seat of the emperor, theless, he laid out her secrets for everyone to see before proclaiming to join the evaluation.

The princess was less than displeased, while the Demon watched the situation he had created with a gleeful smile.

Just like Seth, who had not liked the fact that she withheld information, most around the table were now in conflict about their decision to join or not. Even Derog was silent, though his expression indicated he was thinking something stupid.

Only one girl and a man seemed to not care at all.

It seemed that the demon a broken her pace. The princess wavered and just observed the people at the table deliberating with themself. Seth decided to help just a little.

”How about you explain to us what exactly this evaluation is? And I am sure you don ’t expect us to simply join you just for something vague like the sake of humanity, right? ”

Hastily grabbing onto the lifeline Seth had thrown out, she once again took the floor and continued her speech.

She explained that the evaluation would be a Quest given by the emperor and she did not know the details. The requirement for the evaluation was for each colony to form a party from the most promising people. The parties would compete on the quest.

Observers would judge their actions and potential. Their performance and result of the quest would all be part of the final evaluation.

”As for the remunerations… Since all of you are unique, I would like to discuss them individually. ”

”… ”

Nobody spoke. Even though there were more nods and positive expressions among the people than before many excused themself and left without even talking about the remuneration.

She effectively asked them to travel to a foreign land, for an unknown time. The task was vague, the reward was vague, and many of them had a business they could not simply leave behind for some fantastic quest.

Seth was rather surprised that people like Marcel and Brock stayed since they had guilds to lead. Why did he stay? It sounded interesting. Who would leave before even knowing what was there to gain?

He also wanted to ask about the sword he had lent the Princess for appraisal. The blacksmith was not confident enough to simply hand his friends weapons that could bring harm to them. If the empire ’s appraisals worked, he could think about making a deal with them.

”I will take everyone ’s presence as the agreement to leave, as long as the reward is fitting? ” Leana spoke up after those people left. Most nodded or murmured in agreement.

”Them shall we proceed to discuss the rewards? I would ask each of you individually to my office for a private negotiation. In the meantime, we have prepared a buffet for those who will wait here. Who wishes to go first? ”

Derog, the sun-macho immediately squeezed in the front, to be the first. The princess looked a little sad but proceeded to leave with him, leaving the others behind.

Left in the room was a group of 11 people, including Seth. There were four women, six men, and a demon. As Seth beelined for the buffet, Elza and Marcel approached him. Brock was pulled along.

”Seth! I knew you would be here, too. It ’s been quite a while since we last met. ” Marcel started a conversation. His warm voice was naturally charismatic. No wonder he was a guild leader.

”Yes, it ’s been quite long, ” Seth answered with a smile, while he filled his dish.

”Ah, let me introduce him. This is Brock, the Guild Leader of the Boulder Guild. ”

”Yeah, I remember him from the Tournament. Hello. ”

”Hello! ” Brock shook his hand motivated. If he could forge a connection with Minas Mar ’s tower master, maybe he would get a chance to buy epic equipment.

”Actually, I am surprised that you two are still here. Don ’t you have a guild to take care of? ” Seth made small talk but judging from their expressions he had dropped a brick.

”What ’s up? ”

”Actually, our guilds disbanded while we were gone. The Volcano Guild broke up into smaller ones and the Mountain Guild could not compete anymore and completely disbanded. ” Marcel explained belatedly. Elza looked up to him and squeezed his hand tightly.

”Look at you. You lost something, but didn ’t you find something much better? ”

Elza blushed and Marcel chuckled awkwardly. Currently, they were hired as Mercenaries by the Boulder Guild, since Brock was an old friend.

Except for them, the others did not seem to know each other previously and stayed for themself at the moment.

10-15 minutes later, Derog and the Princes returned. More or less. The several bruised and beaten Derog could be seen being pulled through the hallway past the door. A dark blue, almost black handprint shone on his cheek.

This guy would probably not join the evaluation.

”Tower Master, would you give me the honor to follow me next? ”

Seth threw a wistful glance at the buffet he would leave behind.

”If you promise me that I won ’t end up like him…? ”

”I promise.. I don ’t believe you are a person that would try anything funny, ” she answered with a menacing business smile that was meant for everyone.

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