Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 5: A long Night

Seth knew, that he would have to leave to get more food and stuff at some point, but right now he had food for a few days, so he planned to raise his skills for as long as possible and then try to make a weapon and some armor before leaving his secure home. Using he combed through his home to find any and everything he could throw in the furnace and collected them on a pile in the living room. Cutlery, pots, pans except for some necessities his kitchen was emptied. A wall hanger sword, stainless steel lamps.. His toolbox was plundered,too. Seth even found some packets of screws. When he was done it looked like a dragon had built a nest in his living room, made from almost anything shiny he owned. Anything he could throw into the furnace.

On the other side was a heap of other crafting materials he had found while looking around. Leather and wood from furniture, clothes, buckles, belt and straps. From the blueprints he knew that these things were mostly needed for armors or as handle material.

He rubbed his hand as he stepped towards the furnace. The inside was smooth like porcelain and it ’s bottom where the ghostly flame would be burning was bowl-shaped with a small drain. With that he could drain the molten metal into a crucible or directly into the mold for ingots.

Before he started smelting he tried to use an exploit! Seth put all the cutlery into his inventory to turn them into uniform knives, he hoped to maybe gain some material from putting in the smaller things.

Unfortunately the system only changed their shape to make them look the same from a two -dimensional view. They still had the same mass as before, on the other hand some of the uniform cutlery were thicker or thinner.

He was a little disappointed, but it couldn ’t be helped. Seth continued to throw a hand full into the furnace. Next opened as a window with something similar to a control panel for the furnace. It had a list of options to choose what should be refined from the material.

Well, he hoped there would be more options in the future! At the moment it was only ”Low-Quality Iron ” and it even had a success rate of just 75% stated beside it. What would happen if he failed?

Would everything be gone? It was not really of any use to guess, he went ahead and confirmed. He confirmed his choice and a kind of minigame started on the control panel.

Seth had to manually adjust the parameters like the strength of the flames and it´s contribution to change and stabilize the temperature in the furnace according to the systems indications!

The white flames flared up and easily melted down the cutlery in less than a minute. Seth lost focus for a moment and-

His first try was a fail! Seth watched as the flames burned up about 1/4 of the molten metal!

Well… at least the system didn ’t destroy all of it. Seth used the drain to harvest the left over metal. It was the first time he felt the immense heat the metal gave of. It didn ’t affect him as much as he would have expected, probably thanks to the 50% Fire Resistance that was granted by his class.

Using a crucible he caught the liquid metal and poured it into a casting mold. Seth fetched some water from the barrel to help cool it off.

The resulting ingot was a cuboid chunk of metal, that lay good in his hand and were a little longer than the width of his palm.

He felt a little down because of the failed attempt, but soon a smile appeared on his face! When Seth checked the skill window he saw that the proficiency of actually went up despite failing! He now had . He still had a lot of stuff to melt down, at this pace he would be able to level the skill quite a bit. Another happy surprise struck him, when he continued. The success rate had increased to 76%. The next smelting succeeded and actually gave him 9%. If it kept going like this he would be the master of low-quality iron before lunchtime!

But he had crowed too early. By the time reached level 3 the success rate had stopped at 99%, so he still had a chance to fail. Level 3 also unlocked the option to refine mediocre iron. He had not expected this.

Seth ’s original plan was to smelt down everything to level , then forge stuff from it to level and smelt them down again. He wanted to repeat that circle a few times, but now a new question came up.

Did the material influence the proficiency he would gain for ? On one hand mediocre iron started with only a success rate of 60%, but it gave almost 3 times the experience for . On the other hand, he would probably lose a lot more material he could use to level up .

So all he could do now, was trying the materials! He took an ingot of low-quality iron. Holding the small bar of metal in his hands made him realize once again how real this was.

Seth went to the forge. As blueprint, he chose a small throwing dagger, because the only material it needed was metal of any kind. After confirming the blueprint he could feel the guidance from the system as impulses and knowledge to do specific things flooded his head. He took tongs and a hammer, put the iron into the eerie flame of the forge and waited. When the iron was glowing in a kinda cherry red he picked it up with the tongs and started shaping it on the anvil with the hammer. Feeling the heat in the smithy, the impact of the hammer, the hot metal giving under his power, his muscles being strained. The situation felt so unreal, but it also felt good.

After some time of clumsily following the guidance and quenching the blade, he finished it off by grinding it and a message popped up.

Seth appraised his first work:

< Misshapen Throwing Knife Common Damage: 1-2 Durability:2/2 The first work of an aspiring blacksmith! This piece has the barely discernible shape of a throwing knife. It may hurt a little, if you manage to hit someone with it. >

Seth knew that it didn ’t look very good, Ok! No need to be this harsh… It was definitely fit to be melted down again. But that wasn ’t the point. He had gained 15% proficiency in . Now he went ahead and tried again with the mediocre iron.

The result was the same. It had a little more durability and damage, but he still only gained 15% bringing him to.

To make sure he tried some other small blueprints. Forging took a lot longer than smelting, so it took until noon to make sure. It was still a lot faster than forging without his class and smithy. Seth fathomed it would take a lot longer without it. He had gained some more proficiency bringing his skill to to lv.2(45%) when he finished.

The experience he gained in mostly came from the difficulty of the product, not the material chosen. At least not in this case.

There was also another thing Seth found out. The amount of experience gained also depended on the finished product. A fail would give him almost nothing, while a good result could increase the proficiency. He didn ’t know by how much, since all his stuff was still no better than scrap. was actually similar,but different. A fail gave him less than half the proficiency than a success. It was only those two, it didn ’t have a gradation like .

Now he had to decide, which to level first? or? If he went for mediocre iron to level , he might lose a lot of material he could use to level . He valued the latter more, so he decided to turn all the stuff left into low-quality iron and go for mediocre iron when re-smelting.

But first came lunch. ”Rationing ” with an iron fist, he decided to fill his belly with noodles.

After this little pause Seth continued to melt down everything he had into metal ingots, still bringing his skill to .

The day was peaceful, and he was completely focused on bringing up his proficiency! Forging, quenching, grinding,forging, quenching, grinding..over and over.

Before Seth realized it the sun was already about to set. Sweaty and tired he looked out the window and the scenery in the fading daylight. Beside him was a pile of finished throwing knives. He had actually managed to process all the low-quality iron he had into knives in the last several hours. He had managed to raise his skill to and while the knives were still garbage, they looked a lot better. Even so the experience gain fell with the level up, he also became faster in making the items. Looking at the setting sun, he finally registered how tired he actually was. Still, he collected all the metal dust he ground off the knives, the broken parts of failed knifes and the pile of finished knives towards the furnace and spend another hour turning it all into mediocre iron leveling his up to lv.6 and close to lv.7. It was dark outside, and he could barely keep his eyes opened. Seth wobbled toward his room and fell on his bed. ”Maybe i should have checked.. ”, he thought but fell asleep.

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