Chapter 462: Joining Depravity
What greeted him was the sight of Lydia and Mike in full-power sloppy couple mode. They wore baggy couple pajamas and spoke in sync. They did not even lift their lazy asses off the couch. Civilized life had corrupted him to terrifying levels.
A real cat boy lounging on the couch in sloppy clothes reminded him of all kinds of not safe for work fanart he knew from the internet. The beautiful woman with colorful hair did not help Seth ascertain whether this was real, or a fever dream.
The others of Team 3 had been hit equally hard and a peculiar smell filled the room. All of them had their eyes glued to the TV screen. Only Mina and Fin who had recently returned did not fit the picture.
Being suddenly exposed to this kind of well-developed entertainment industry must have been an overwhelming culture shock to most of them. Seeing the tall chimera, Azul, with her four arms wearing a loose tank top was surreal.
They had been completely assimilated by Urths and Chronas culture and it didnt seem like something positive. Of course, how would these people who grew up in a mostly fantasy world know how to deal with the sensory overload and comfort?
Seth sighed. What an anticlimactic welcome. But it was actually to his liking. He could simply relax and join.
“Make some space. As Tower Master, I raise a claim on the center of the couch.”
“Thats an abuse of power!” voices of rebellion became loud. Especially Jess and James who were currently occupying the center.
“No, this is. Make space for Mina, too.” Seth added when he saw the second couple.
Unable to resist Seths authority, the two had to make space for the royal couple. Taking his rightful place on the sofa, it was the blacksmiths first time to have a look at the media coverage of the evaluation.
On the television were clips from the evaluation running. It was a compilation of the adventure of one of the teams in Keväti Kuinen. Letting the program wash over him, Seth relaxed and truly joined the ongoing depravity.
He had already expected it, but the scenes of the two titans, the Zombie Dragon and the Koor Worm, fighting each other were some of the most popular. Despite being the undisputed finale of the evaluation, the fight of slimes versus zombies was not as popular.
Without noticing, several hours went by in the blink of an eye. A knock on the door disrupted the mindless tranquility.
“Sir, A dwarf is asking for your presence. He called himself Polter.” the servant of the mansion informed Seth who was just about to fuse into the sofa.
“Polter? He already talked with his grandfather?” with the audible sound of ripping, Seth released himself from the couch.
In the receiving room, he found a spruced-up dwarven warrior that was put there by the servant. His beard was braided with golden pearls. His dark hair was swept back and bound into a ponytail in the back. He wore a decorative leather armor.
Aside from the posh getup, the dwarf had two black eyes and it seemed like his nose was broken. He also stood awkwardly as if he was in pain.
“Hello, Seth.” Polter greeted him as if he didnt look like the victim of an assault.
“Hi, Polter. What happened?” the blacksmith asked unable to look away from the broken nose.
“I came to tell you that my grandfather agreed to meet with you, to talk about our business with the . Its the best I was able to do. He wants to see you for himself before deciding.” he tried to ignore the question.
“Then these are… the signs of your discussion with your grandfather?” Seth asked curiously.
The dwarf sighed.
“Yeah. You can probably guess, but the -business is something very serious. The argument was…turbulent, so to say. I also came to ask about a date for the meeting.” Polter came down to business.
“How about tomorrow?” he suggested.
The dwarf agreed readily. It seemed that his grandfather was also eager to meet the blacksmith his grandson had talked about.
“And? What about the posh getup? Do you have something planned? Trying to impress some female dwarfs or something?” the bard kept bombarding the dwarf.
Polter actually blushed a little.
“Im going to have dinner with my fiancé after this.” the warrior admitted.
“Wow, you have a fiancé? You ladykiller.” he congratulated him.
“W-Well, it was an arranged marriage at first, but she is really quite cute. Her beard is really soft and curly like golden metal shavings. Her eyes sparkle like lapis lazuli and her skin is smooth as polished marble.”
His eyes glazed over, and he started to romanticize like a true dwarf.
“You old charmer, you should save that for her, instead of telling me,” Seth said with a chuckle.
The two kept bantering for a while before the dwarf had to leave in a hurry. He didnt want to miss his date, after all. He watched the dwarf run off and take a taxi before returning to the living room. Abducting Mina from the couch, Seth went ahead to spend the night with his own girlfriend.
The next morning was like an awakening for everyone. They had simply taken some time to realize that Seth was actually back. They had watched everything on TV. Having Ellie and Seth back in person now was like being in the presence of celebrities.
The bard spent the breakfast recounting what happened during the times when the broadcast did not show him like the Golem Bonanza in Akhaz. He also had to play “The Denseborn Comes” a few times.
It became afternoon before Polter appeared at his door once again. Despite the bruises that were still visible, he was in a great mood.
“Seems like your date went well.” Seth greeted the dwarf in the reception room.
“Haha, yes. Shes a great woman and really came to like Chrona during our stay.” the dwarf talked readily.
“Oh, I know what you mean. Its a shame we cant really visit this place regularly as Oris.”
Seth lamented the fact that they, as Ori huma or Ori dwarf, were unable to freely use the System Churchs services, since the system gods randomization would not let them get to their destination easily.
“Truly, its a shame.” the dwarf agreed.
After talking for a while, it became time to leave. Polters grandfather was waiting at the dwarfs mansion. It was not too far away, maybe a walk of 10 minutes. The guest mansions on the palace grounds all came from the same mold, as such there was no big difference between the one they arrived at and the one they had left.
Even the butler that greeted them at door was almost like a carbon copy of the one working at Seths mansion. Following Polter, they entered the living room where a group of dwarves was lounging in comfortable-looking leather armors.
“This is my grandfather, Kothar Onyxheart.” Poler introduced an old dwarf to him.
The man looked truly ancient, but not the slightest bit frail. More like a mountain covered in cliffs and cracks after millennia of weathering, still emitting an aura of strength.
“Grandfather, this is Seth Smith.”
The old swarf nodded as he looked at the young, muscular man in front of him. The ashen mane shook, and the golden rings and adornments braided in his hair and beard glinted.
“Smith?” his old eyes focused on him with an unexpectedly sharp gaze. Seth almost expected a joke on his name but…
“A good name for a blacksmith. Fitting. Hmhm.” the old dwarf mumbled with his deep aged voice.
“I heard that you lent my grandson a weapon and shield when he lost his. It might very well have saved his life.”
“Of course, Im also glad I did so:” Seth said, remembering how the dwarf had struck down the stunned undead hero.
“I also heard of the price you asked for.” he paused.
Seth became a little nervous. One could say that he had exploited the situation, to get an unreasonable price.
“Do not worry, I hold no grudge against a blacksmith seeking to improve his knowledge.”
Seth sighed in relief. The blacksmith could judge by the old dwarfs giant calloused hand, that he was probably a master or even grandmaster blacksmith. He wouldnt have wanted to unknowingly offend him. Even if he couldnt get the recipe for , he could definitely learn other things from him.
“Unfortunately, I cannot tell you the recipe for .”
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