Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 420: The Cavalry

Chapter 419: To Akhaz

Lord Bar brought them around all the city and all 30 populated floors to speak with a myriad of people. The outcome was easy, to sum up: They had to go to Akhaz.

The picture the different sailors and merchants painted was more or less clear. Although none of them knew of ruins at the coast, however, most agreed on one place. The continent of Tyrypbhz where the republic of the same name originated, was known for its high cliffs all around.

Only a few suggested that the much bigger Western Continent had also many places with cliffs at the shore. There was a well-known sea route from Akhaz to Aburth, the secondary capital of the republic. From there it was easy to find a ferry over to their main continent.

That was before their world crumbled. Another option was to traverse the straits by ferry and walk along the shores, instead of using the sea route. Whatever they did they first had to reach Akhaz. This made the hero and Ahmed very happy.

Ben Harker felt confirmed since he wanted to go there from the start. Ahmed was already happy to have reliable travel companions, even if the hero didnt end up helping Akhaz in the end. The people he brought with him on the way here, had died during monster attacks or gone insane during the journey.

The cursed sun had many effects on the natives, who suffered a lot despite the systems blessing as ori humas. It was not simple elemental damage.

After it was clear that they would head for Akhaz, they didnt have much more time to spend in the dungeon. Ahmed hurried them to depart since it was currently night. The sun had sunken. Instead of getting a rest while waiting for the night, they had walked around for hours inside the dungeon.

No matter how unwilling Seth and the others were, Ahmed had a compelling argument to forgo their rest. It took at least six days to reach Akhaz and according to the knight and Lord bar, the Blood Sun would rise again on the eighth day.

If they rested now, they would miss a night they could use for travel. Every night was important in the current world, and they did better to reach the city with ample time until the Blood Sun. it wasnt just that the empty wastelands would slowly fill with all kinds of alien monsters that came through the pathworks or dungeons.

The closer the blood sun came, the stronger the abominations roaming the wilderness would become. They were already strengthened during the day, but as the blood sun neared, their power would eventually double or even triple.

Fights during the night were hard, but the knight described fights during the day as nigh impossible. He told of beasts covered in tumorous armor and recovery on par with a troll.

~ They sound delicious. ~ Puffles commented on the description.

Seth shuddered.

~Why do you think so? They sound disgusting. ~

~They must have a high affinity with the sun. Just the right nutrient bar for someone of my greatness. ~

~Its a shame I dont intend to show you in front of the cameras. At least, not if I am not forced to. ~

~B-BUT…~ the sadness in the Ivicers voice was so clearly transmitted and so heartrending deep, that Seth could barely take it. The nightmare centipede felt truly wronged.

~H-how about I find an excuse to bag the corpses and you can eat them later? ~

~…I prefer them fresh but…fine. ~ the ivicer answered poutily. Seth started sweating since he knew what the ivicer meant with “fresh”. It meant eating them alive. Puffles had developed the horrifying habit of eating his prey alive, if possible.

Following Ahmeds advice, they departed from the dungeon without getting the chance to meet the mysterious god-king.

–Chrona–

The city was in an uproar. No, the empire was in an uproar. However, it was not about the fact that the group from Urth were the first to meet survivors and gain information. Neither was it Seths song mocking a hero.

“No signs of them?”

“Yes, your majesty. They vanished without a trace.”

The emperor sighed.

One of the evaluation teams had vanished. Originally, they sent nine teams to look for the dragon bones. The three favorites originated from worlds with highly developed magic knowledge.

One of these teams had vanished without a trace. The recorders simply went offline and until now nobody had returned through . It was the first time a team just vanished. People died, or returned and got disqualified, sure. But they had never just lost the recorder signal without any sign of their destruction.

“I didnt think something like this would happen. Not this early.”

“But how would they have managed to find them? Unless you already have a beacon, the entrance point cant be controlled.” the advisor asked cluelessly.

“What if the traitor was already among them?” the emperor gave a shocking question.

“But that would mean they are among us. An inside job?”

“Probably.”

They stayed in solemn silence for a moment, when the advisor suddenly remembered something.

“That reminds me of another anomaly. It might be connected!”

“What is it?” the emperor prompted him to speak.

The advisor searched through his pile of papers.

“The censors have reported some weird glitches with the recorder golems on the team from Urth.”

“Urth? That was… Leanas team, right? What happened?”

Who would aim for that team? Sure, they had a hero and that blacksmith. Nobody should know about the letter and a hero was not that special so…

“Yes, they were glitches with some of the drones. The screens are said to have gone black for moments. Afterward, the recorders started to act slightly weird. Not listening to commands, unable to debug or reboot. They are still functioning, but they dont always follow their programming.”

“Sounds like someone manipulated them. How many are affected?”

The advisor looked through his stack of paper.

“Five, your highness. Two personal recorders and three of the field drones meant for group and landscape shots.”

“I think I have an inkling for who the culprit is.”

“This quickly, your majesty?” the advisor looked up at his ruler in surprise.

“Whose recorders were manipulated?”

“Errm, the bards and the slime ranchers.”

“Hum, good. I dont think we have to worry about that issue. Its probably not them.”

“As you command.”

“What does it mean, when a team just vanishes? Were they killed?” Lydia asked concerned.

“No, they would say they died and not vanished in that case,” Mina said seriously. She was the most concerned out of all of them.

“Dont worry. Seth is strong. And Ellie, too.” Fin said with unwavering confidence.

They had all been in a good mood when their team finally got some action and publicity a few days ago. The first team to find survivors. The official commentators mentioned Seth and the others climbing to the number one position in contributions.

They showed only a short best-off from the conversations the group and Lord Bar had with locals, but it had given the empire a great insight into the geography of Keväti Kuinen.

Seths song, titled “The Denseborn comes”, had even been trending for some time. However, it was quickly overshadowed by the disappearance of a whole team.

The members of Minas Mar in Chrona had sobered up and were now worrying about the danger lurking in that world. Even though most teams were faring well until now, except for Hannigans which had been unlucky to lose the thief and scout early on.

Unlike Seths group that already had a set destination, other teams were still aimlessly walking around. Most of the other teams still tried to find settlements. Only one other team had a set course, thanks to a diviner among them.

The geographic knowledge thanks to the map shown by the team of Urth the broadcastings could now give comprehensive updates on the rough positions of the different teams. The great metropole overrun with monsters where Hannigans former team landed was actually Aburth.

They were the closest team to Seths current destination, of course, this was censored. The viewer wouldnt know what conclusion the team of Urth reached until it became apparent from their journey.

A doorbell interrupted their discussion. Soon a butler entered the reeking living room.

“Miss Fin, your parents and the 2nd prince of the fair folk have come for a visit. They are waiting in the salon.”

“What!? Shit! Nooo~ What are my parents doing here?!” the tin brute screamed in panic. As if plunged into depths of despair, she started hectically flying around before hiding in the sofa cracks

“Tell them I am not here! There is no fairy in this house! Make them go away!” her muffled voice ordered the butler from within the sofa. Everyone was confused, even the professional butler hesitated for a moment.

“Very well, I shall inform them of your non-presence.”

“What going on fin?” Mina asked the fairy after the butler left. Everyone on the sofa was questioning.

“T-they probably came to bring me back and make me marry!” the squeaked from the sofa crack.

“MARRY!?” everyone exclaimed shocked.

“I dont wanna marry! But that stupid prince will insist!”

Before she and her parents had chosen the path of least resistance. Send her off and evade the royaltys advances. This way they did not have to offend anyone. She couldnt make a scene in her own homeworld. Even less in Chrona!

They suddenly heard a squeaky bellow from another part of the mansion. Like a chipmunk on steroids.

“Fin Bellsmiter! This prince has come to meet you. Do you dare to ignore a direct royal summon?”

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