Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 49: Zhiqe(3)

The change was like a completely different word. Like breaking through the water surface after a long dive or seeing the light of day after wandering through dark caves.

Before them lay spacious streets bathed in the bright light of the sun.

”See! Asso did not lie to you. Asso told you he would bring you here. ”, the lizardman said jovial and turned around. his eyes squinted and a faint golden glow came from his eyes. With a deep voice he continued.

”And now we are at the point, when I ask you for my reward. ”, he suddenly spoke in first person.

Seth heard a shuffle behind them. Two burly beastmen stepped out from the shadows. One had the face and eyes of a frog, the other looked amphibious too, but Seth could not categorize it.

”If you would kindly bring out all your items, I would be much obliged. haha, look at the hope slowly dimming from your eyes! Do not worry, I do not intend to take everything! I just want the- ”

Fwhump!

While Seth´s bare fist had found its way into Asso´s face,with a satisfying crunch, the fairy had already dispatched the frog and was occupied with pummeling the last one into submission. She flew around the burly and thick skinned beastman like a sentient bullet and kept battering him.

Seth on the other hand stepped out onto the brightly lit street, where Asso had fallen after taking his surprise attack. The lizardman was writhing on the ground, holding his face in pain.

He never expected this human to be this strong! Or fast!

”You hit me! Just like that! ”, he whimpered. With his agility as a lizardman no human in the same level range should be able to hit him! Seth stood over him cracking his knuckles. This brat was quite cocky!

”You didn´t even let me fi- ”, a vicious punch to the gut, made Asso shut up. The poor would-be robber whimpered and shrunk into a fetal position, holding his stomach.

”Stop whining so much! You barely lost health. ”, Seth said rolling his eyes as he kicked his opponent on the ground in the back. Asso was quite tough, he still had 75% of his health. But the pain really got to him. Tears fell from his eyes and he even fell back to talking in third person.

”Ahh! Please! Please stop! Asso meant no harm! Asso just- I just- it was a joke! Yes! A joke- ”, another hit shaved 5% off his health for the lame excuse. Even without deliberately aiming his punches, the strength behind Seth´s fist could not be underestimated.

”Oh please~ Do you think I ’m stupid? Who would believe your bullshit now? I gave you an honest chance not to turn out to be a robber. You missed it. ”, he said in a deliberately cold voice.

Seth felt no mercy for the opponent looking like a picture of misery. He would pummel him until he could not move anymore and drag him to the guild. That would teach him not to-

”Please stop! ”, he heard a young voice as he kept pounding Asso into the ground. Seth looked up to see a young lady in rather formal attire run up to them. Her blonde hair was bound into a loose bun and she wore something that reminded Seth of an office suit with a straight skirt, white blouse, and a waist jacket. She looked quite out of place in the current setting of an oasis-desert city.

The street had been calm but not empty. She was the first to care about the situation, other passerbys had ignored Seth and Asso until now.

Seeing Seth letting off form Asso, she sped up to reach them.

”Asso, are you ok!? ”, she said out of breath. She crouched down and held his face in her hands. Tapping it lightly to make him regain consciousness.

So, she knew him. And here Seth thought there were actually upright people in this world who would interfere with violence out of a sense for justice. Asso still had more than half of his health, he would not die any time soon.

”So? Care to explain why you interfered? ”, Seth asked monotone. His opinion of her had already fallen a little, after he realized that she knew the robber.

When Asso showed sign of being awake, the woman stood up again. She took a confident stance to show authority.

”Sir! I do not know what happened between the two of you, but the guild will not stand by when adventurers are attacked in public! But if you follow me to the guild, I ’m sure we can find a solution! ”, she said in an authoritative tone.

She knew that she had no idea and did not even bother asking what happened, but immediately started throwing around the weight of the guild. It sounded like she had already made up her mind. Seth felt peeved, being treated as if he was the offender here. He took a deep breath.

The scary strong man taking a deep breath gave her confidence. As long as she mentioned the guild, she could defuse the situation and they could settle everything in a calm manner at the guild. Asso sometimes made trouble, but he normally was a good guy. She was sure they could-

”I see how it is. ”, Seth said in an alarmingly calm manner and proceed to… give Asso a kick catapulting him across the street, where he crashed against the wall of a house. It looked gruesome, but he barely lost any health from it. Time to play this up.

”Fin had described the guild in a better light, but to think they would not only shield criminals, but even try to cover up their crimes and threaten the victims! ”

The young woman covered her mouth in shock upon Seth´s reaction. This was not what she had meant to do at all! But the words were stuck in her throat as he continued.

”I had planned to show mercy and drag him to the guild. But if this is the guilds stance, I will take it upon myself to make sure he harms no one else in this life. ”

”No, please wait! That´s not at all what I meant to say! ”, the woman said desperately.

”Seth? Dafuq is going on here? ”

Fin had finally joined the scene. She had dragged the two burly guys to the edge of the alley and came flying over when she saw Seth arguing with someone.

”Oh, this lady just said that the guild wishes to shield our attacker and if we talk, they will get rid of us. ”, Seth told Fin nonchalant. He winked at her and kept slowly going towards the gasping Asso.

”No! That is not what I said! And also, not what I meant! This is all a misunderstanding! Please stop! ”, the young woman fell in a panic and was starting to cry, distraught with worry. She had just recently managed to get a job as receptionist at the guild! And now she had caused a scene! They would totally fire her! She could not lose another job. She sat down and tears started flowing uncontrollably.

Looking at the young girl starting to sob, Fin made a decision. In this rare circumstance, Fin, the happy-go-lucky fairy brute, saw herself forced to be the voice of reason.

”Ok, ok. Alright! Everyone calms down! Seth! Stop menacingly going towards that poor sob just to teach her a lesson! This girl is already close to a mental breakdown! ”

Looking at the battered Asso on the ground and the picture of misery that was the young lady, he shrugged and let it go. Both seemed to have learned their lesson.

”Eh? eh? ”, the woman looked back and forth between the scary strong man and the little fairy, ”Teaching a lesson? So, this was all… a joke? ”

Seth scowled at her. ”It´s not a joke. Don´t go around making assumptions, without asking about the situation first. ”

She shrunk back and nodded meekly. Still, she calmed down considerably after understanding that Seth had not been serious. Fin explained the situation to the girl who introduced herself as Mary, and showed her the two guys from the alley. They were members of Asso´s party. The girl still could not understand why Asso would do something like this. As a promising D-Rank Adventurer he had few needs, but she decided that this was not for her to judge!

Dragging the three stooges over the street, Seth and Fin followed Mary to the guild, located in the commercial district of the city. The streets changed and there were some more people here, but still not so many that one would start calling it lively. Shops and restaurants lined the sides of the road, but many shop windows and dining rooms were closed and empty.

They finally reached the guild. The guild hall of Zhiqe was a lot bigger than what they saw in Ivicer, but looked almost as run down, if not worse. Many windows were broken and boarded up. The facade was covered in graffiti and showed sign of disrepair.

Didn´t the log call this the regional headquarters or something? Why was it in this state? Looking at this, Seth felt like his sarcastic assumption could be real! Maybe this guild had to rob people to stay alive.

The inside was no better. The floors were littered with all kinds of rubbish from dirt to kitchen scraps of the bar/eatery to the right. Nobody cared to clean the entrance hall anymore.

The furniture and reception counter were worn down and scratched up. The chairs tables looked like they were barely holding together, even without someone sitting on them.

”Mary you are late! What is…this? ”, a strong female voice broke the silence of the entrance hall.

A woman in the same attire as Mary came from behind the counters. She looked a lot stricter. Her hair was in a firm bun and her triangular glasses emphasized her sharp eyes.

She stocked as her gaze fell on Mary´s weird company of which 3 were beaten up and unconscious.

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