Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 457.Dragon Curse

Chapter 456: A shame

Using the reinforced ribs as benches, footholds, and ledges, the ragtag team was traveling through the earth inside the belly of Python. It was an impromptu plan and the blacksmith had never planned to use python as a vehicle.

That was why there were no actual seats installed.

~Are you sure we shouldnt get as far away as possible? If I have to fight that dragon, there are no guarantees that you get out alive. ~ Python warned.

~Dont worry, this is the best hiding spot. ~ Seth answered confidently.

“Are we really running away, just like that?” Polter asked disgruntled. The dwarf seemed unsatisfied with leaving the battle like this, despite the state they were in.

They had tried confronting Natina and returning home by fulfilling the quest, but she was too strong. There was no reason for them to actually risk their lives against her. Instead, they all had entered Python and used it as a subterranean train to flee.

“Dont worry, Polter. Everything will be fine from now on.” Tamas suddenly said. He somehow managed to stay seated in a lotus position, no matter how python moved. It was as if his butt was glued to the bone below.

“How would you know that?” Brock barked stressed. He had been heavily wounded and barely managed to return to the defense line alive.

The fortune-teller frowned a little.

“Dont take it personally, Tamas. Its hard for others to believe your words. I know you are upset, Brock, but I can guarantee you that tamas has never failed us. Even though his words are vague, he is usually right.” Megan mediated.

“But how can things be alright?” Rich asked in distraught. It seemed that the Slavemancer held no confidence in their chance of survival.

“My guess would be, that the Chrona Empire got our message, and they are preparing to send help. Right, Tamas?” Seth intervened in the conversation.

The Fortuneteller didnt answer and only smiled mysteriously.

~We reached our destination~ Python informed him.

~Is that really necessary? ~ Puffles lamented.

Suddenly the train stopped.

“What going on?” Harker asked confused. Werent they supposed to run as far as possible?

“We reached our hiding place,” Seth informed them.

“Hiding place? I thought we were making a run for it?” Caleb asked. The other also looked at him questioning.

“Yeah, but wouldnt it be a shame to just run away empty-handedly? I thought we should give the citadel a visit.

That was right. The citadel and the massive dragon tower were currently buried under the rubble of the collapsed cliff. It was a great time to take a look at what the quest had all been about. Although the dragon was gone, how couldnt there be anything that would make their journey worth it?

“its also the last place she will look for us. We can take a look at the place and rest here and when she really finds out where we are, we can dig straight down and get out of here.” Seth excused his action.

The bards words were weirdly compelling. Reminding them of the great tower at the shore. It was probably a good place to defend if they could take control of it. With at work, nobody lynched Seth for his greed.

“Also, Tamas said its okay.” the blacksmith convinced them to take a look of the tower.

Of course, Seth had his own considerations. Senior White had mentioned the dragons treasure. He wanted to see the dragon hoard if Natina had not completely cleared the place out. An ancient Dragon had to have all kinds of good stuff.

What dragon would collect trash, right? It was obvious from Tatzels attitude. Although he was not even a dragon, it was hard to keep him from dragging stuff from Seths workshop to the vault in the Tower masters private quarters.

Outside of Python was a dark hole. She had freed some space. They only saw the lower corners, but they knew they stood in front of a massive golden gate.

“How do get in? Its probably locked.” the hero looked at the life-sized gravures on the gates.

“I mean… Do you think she locked it behind her after taking the dragon? We should just try it.” Seth shrugged his shoulder and pushed against the gate. I did not budge.

“See, its locked,” Harker commented smugly.

Seth glanced at him. Even if it was locked, Seth still had a solution for that, but he was not ready to give up yet. An eight-meter-tall Monkey Knight appeared beside him and started pushing together with Seth.

Slowly, very slowly, the gate was moving. Harker blushed hard.

“I thought you liked helping. How about you help pushing?” Seth told the embarrassed hero.

Python shielded them from the rubbly falling down, as they pushed open the gate just enough for them to enter.

“For now, you should enter my inventory again,” he told Python and packed her away. If she looked for them, the necromancer would look for a giant snake. They couldnt know what kinds of skills she got from the Sparks, but in the best case, she wouldnt suspect them here. They would simply close the door, and nobody would be able to find them.

Seth was the last one to enter and pushed the door shut behind them. He found everyone standing in a small circle of light. Everyone had used some magic or an item to create a source of light, but they could barely see the outer edges of the gate. The ceiling of the place stayed hidden in shadows.

“Isnt the door a little small for that massive dragon?” Ellie just mused and stared at the several stories high gates.

“Dragons can change their size. Since they grow all their life, they learn this kind of magic, so they dont have to change their home all the time.” Polter explained knowledgeably.

“Its true, I also heard of it. Its a highly complicated space-type magic.” Twinkle confirmed the dwarfs statement.

“How do you know that?” Ellie asked interestedly.

“Im a dwarf. Who do you think builds these kinds of halls? Dragons know jack about architecture and craftsmanship. They are our best customers and worst enemies.” the dwarven warrior explained proudly harvesting an impressed “wow” from the slime rancher.

It made sense to Seth. Who would spend centuries on building an awesome palace if they simply became too big for it? Learning magic to change size seemed like a reasonable decision. Hmm, magic to change the size…

With Hubert the dimensional merchant as the only thief-like person in the party at the front they started exploring the wide halls of the dragon tower.

“Someone else already did most of the work for us. Just make sure to follow me closely,” he commented.

Huber was able to use his monocle to look out for all kinds of traps. Someone else had come along here before them and disabled many of them. The merchant just had to lead them down a trodden path.

In some places, they came close to the walls and found magic lamps, but they didnt seem to function.

Even when Megan tried pouring magic power into them, but they only worked for the duration that the archeology supplied energy. Taking them along as torches was not an option, as it would have activated some traps.

Those with night vision like Seth saw other forks in the path, but the party could only follow the cleared path through the darkness. They finally arrived at another huge door. This one was silver no-

“”This is Mithril…”” the dwarf and Seth both said breathlessly at the same time. It wasnt as big as the front door, but these gates were made of at least several tons of mithril. The shine of the blacksmiths eyes was almost enough to illuminate the full hallway.

The wings of the gate stood open, and they could enter without a problem. However, they quickly regretted it, as a wall of stench hit them. Many gagged, the more fragile members, like Rich and Brock even threw up.

What place this became apparent at first glance. The dim light was reflected by mounts of gold in the darkness. It was the door to the treasury and also the tomb of the ancient dragon.

Seth could see the whole room as if it was well illuminated. Although the zombie dragon was done, the residue of its rotten body had stayed. An almost black sludge covered a vast amount of the dragons hoard. It was also the source of the smell.

“Wow, this looks awesome!” Feanys, the bandit lady, exclaimed excitedly.

“Dont touch that! Nobody touches anything!” Seth shouted in a hurry. The bandit instinctively shrunk back.

“Hey, no need to be so aggressive, there is more than enough for everyone.” Harker tried to mediate.

“Shut up, its not about that you dweeb. Everything here is cursed.” Seth revealed to them with a heavy voice.

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