Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 412: Keväti Kuinen (2)

Chapter 411: Keväti Kuinen

A wave of relief washed over Seth when it seemed that there would be no problem from the empire ’s side.

Seth had just acted on impulse, carried away by his anger. The moment this power dwindled; his heart fell to his feet. He did his best to speak calmly and confidently when facing the imperial Prince, but inside he was shaking.

He was clear that the empire was not a place he could offend easily. Especially not on their turf. Still, his tongue slipped when it came to the sad excuse of the hero.

Seeing him heave a deep sigh after the situation came to an end, Mina grasped his arm and smiled up at him.

”My hero, ” she said with a chuckle.

”Well, I guess we got away with it for now. But you should be careful if you want to stay here once I left. Who knows what kind of people you just made enemies of… ”

”Don ’t worry about us. We will say with the princess. You know how much she dotes on Fin. ”

”That only leaves for me to worry about that dumb guy… ”

Everyone was tired after this evening ’s exercise, so they decided to leave the party early and spend their last evening together at their mansion. Although Seth had felt a little guilty for pulling Elza, Marcel, and Brock into their business, those three happily joined them in their private party and boasted about their own achievements at the Battle of the buffet.

—————-Later that Night—————-

”…Leana, right? Tell me, who was the lad that managed to land a blow on the hero? He belongs to your people, right? ”

”Yes…Father. He, Seth Smith, is a well-known blacksmith in Delta. ”

”He must be a promising blacksmith if you chose him for the evaluation party. ”

”There is more than meets the eye, yes. If only he joined as a blacksmith. ”

”I see, he ’s also responsible for that sword, correct? ”

”H-How did you know? ”

”Leana, I AM the emperor. There are no secrets before my eyes. ”

”Of course. ”

”What role will he take during the evaluation? ”

”…He is the bard of the party. ”

”The bard?! Are you sure? ”

”I was also unsure, but I heard him play and I have reason to believe in his ability. ”

”The world we are sending the teams this time is quite special. As is the objective of this times quest. ”

The emperor slid a few papers over the table towards Leana. The princes looked at them confused before her face turned to surprise and a little shock.

”Are you serious? And the objective, is that true? ”

”Yes. Our best clairvoyants have confirmed it ”

”But why not send some of our experts? ”

The emperor only answered with solemn silence.

”You don ’t trust them with this. ”

”Not just that. Many of them are under surveillance. If I were to send them, others would become suspicious. The examinees on the other hand won ’t arouse any attention. ”

”Right. But why tell me? ”

”You are not the only one I ’m telling. The world this time is quite dangerous. I thought you might be able to drop some hints to the promising seedlings, so we don ’t pointlessly lose someone. ”

She fell silent to process the information for a moment.

”…I will do so, Father ”

—————

Chrona was bustling even more than usual after the emperor ’s announcement in the evening. Reporters and broadcasters hurried to bring the news to the people as quickly as possible.

Today, the great Evaluation would begin, and everyone was filled with excitement and panic. It was the first time that the evaluation would begin right after the welcoming banquet.

While the content-hungry masses were raving in excitement, the media was scrambling over the broadcasting rights. Channel directors had already arrived in the middle of the night to negotiate with the imperial princes.

The group from Urth was a hot commodity after a few of them had revealed their prowess during the banquet.

Early in the morning, Seth had gotten a visit from Princess Leana. She came with a warning and a long package. Following her warning, he did not return to the embrace of his girlfriend but made some impromptu preparations.

Now, they were standing in a hall with a great portal in the back. It was a teleportation formation for the pathwork like it existed in every system church but in the shape of a big ring standing upright.

The participants of the evaluation were standing in the hall, divided into groups depending on their origin. At the front of every group stood the royal who recommended them.

Like their own group, most of them were made up of roughly team members. The participants were not allowed to bring any followers. Seth recognized some people from the banquet. One or two had been among the unconscious people, others were among the spectators.

All kinds of small golems were flying around the hall. Seth could identify them as Recorders, Golems used to record and transmit images and sound. The by far most common design were mechanic eyes that hovered above their heads. Everything was broadcasted to the empire.

The emperor entered the stage in front of the teleport gate and began his speech. He once again welcomed them and explained the proceedings of the Evaluation.

A quest would be given, that the participants would compete to solve. During the whole time, they would be monitored by the empire through personal Recorders. The team would be judged based on their performance.

”The team to succeed with the quest will be granted additional rewards and I will grant them one wish. ”

Leana had already explained to them that except for the rewards negotiated with their local ambassador, her, they could also gain additional rewards from the broadcasting stations and the imperial family.

The broadcasters were required to share part of the broadcasts revenue with the participants.

The empire ’s remuneration was based on their performance in that world and the worth of the information they delivered. Those who finished the quest could even get a wish from the emperor!

A wish from the emperor of Chrona could encompass almost anything. The winning team could easily become royalty, maybe even marry into the imperial family? The faces of the crowd brightened hearing about the rewards.

However, rewards came with a price.

The evaluation was not just based on their fighting prowess, and it also did not completely depend on the quest. They could also earn contributions by finding valuable information about the world and its resources.

Another thing was that, after a strict revision, their adventures would be broadcasted to the whole empire. In a sense, it was a fantastic reality TV show. Seth already knew most of this from the time they spent in Chrona. While the empire streamed a feed that was shifted by 24hr, there would be all kinds of stations and channels running highlights and recaps.

This was the biggest reason he had decided to hide most of his secrets, the moment Mina had mentioned something in this direction. Even if it was publicized after a ”strict revision ”, Seth didn ’t want to share his secrets with the world.

They were not given any official clues about the world they would travel to, except for the name Keväti Kuinen. translated this to something like ”eternal Spring ”.

Although they would be given the quest, the goals of the quest would not be disclosed until they had reached their destination.

”The guard will now distribute a talisman for everyone. Through it, we can monitor your vitals, but you are not obligated to wear them after you arrived. It acts as a spatial chain that will keep your teams together. ”

Without such a measure, the teams could be split up and spread all over the world.

The talismans would guarantee that the members of a team would arrive at the same location, while the system god ’s randomization would distribute the teams across the world. It was up to their luck, where they ended up.

In case of an emergency, they were permitted to use to return to Chrona. Obviously, it would disqualify them from the quest and any additional rewards.

”Without further ado! Receive the quest and be on your way! ”

All participants saw the same vision of a ruin at the bottom of a cliff, with the waves of an ocean gently washing over them.

< Quest: Dragon Doom Difficulty: A Chrona Empire ’s best Clairvoyant, Harland See-Through, had the vision of a Dragon Skeleton after the pathway to Keväti Kuinen was opened. According to his vision, the bones are located in an eon old dragon abode, below the ruin of a great citadel at the cliffs of an ocean shore. -Find the citadel -Retrieve the Dragon Bones Requirement: Return to Chrona with the Dragon Bones Rewards: A Wish from The Emperor >

Dragon Bones!? What was a Dragon? Real Dragons were legends or even myths that rivaled gods. Any part of a dragon was at least a legendary material. Even just the millennia-old nail clippings of a dragon were worth a fortune, not to mention a skeleton!

No wonder they were not willing to disclose this information beforehand. They would probably also censor anything pertaining to the goal before airing the recordings. If this got out, any major power with access to the pathworks would flock to Keväti Kuinen to get their hands on the bones first.

There was no guarantee, that there were no other powers looking for it already. Now, it also made sense why the emperor rushed the departure. Seth had not long to think about that, as they were ushered to enter the gate.

Each participant was trailed by their personal recorder, the had the common eyeball design. Besides the personal recorder, there were also a few that followed the group itself for other perspectives.

Seth looked back one last time. Mina, Fin, and his friends were standing in the crowd.. Then he stepped through the portal and into a new adventure.

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