Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 508: Accursed Asterion

Chapter 507: Buying a Boss

Gossip and laughter filled the bar of Deltas Adventurer Guild. It was a busy scene with many people coming in or leaving after choosing their quests. Even in the middle of the day, the were adventurers and parties spending time in the integrated tavern.

A new group of people entering suddenly spawned hushed whispers.

” Arent those Yulecats Fur from Minas Mar? ” a whisper could be heard.

“Yeah, but who is the man with them?” someone answered.

“Oh, I remember him! He was the blacksmith during the tournament,” one exclaimed.

“Now that you say it, you are right.”

While he listened to their gossip, the mentioned group went to the counter and talked to the clerk.

“Paolo, are you listening?” a voice brought him back into the conversation.

“Oh, Im sorry, its just-” he stammered.

“Yeah, yeah, I know you have a thing for Minas Mar, but you have to get your head back in the game. We are going to visit a dungeon soon. If you dont know the strategy down to a t, all of you are risking the whole run.” his childhood Marco friend reminded him.

Paolo nodded and they got back to briefing their strategy with the rest of the party. That was until it was Marcos turn to fall silent.

“Why did you stop talking?”

Following his friends and party members eyes, he found someone standing behind him. It was the group that had entered earlier. The people from Minas Mar!

“Im sorry to disrupt your conversation, but I wanted to ask you something. Its about the dungeon you are scheduled to run today-” the tall man at their front apologized and started to speak, but Marco interrupted him.

“We wont give up on it, no matter how much you offer or threaten us,” Marco spoke with hostility.

Paolo was a little surprised at his friend lashing out, but it wasnt like he didnt understand where he was coming from. It was not rare at all, that stronger parties or well-known guilds would coerce or bribe smaller guilds and independent parties to give up on the scheduled dungeons.

However, the surprise on the mans face quite evidently showed that this had not been his intention. The man stroked his shot-trimmed beard for a moment before he answered.

“I didnt want to take it away from you. I wanted to ask if its possible that you would let me tag along and sell the boss to me?”

“The boss?” the whole party exclaimed.

It was the first time they heard about such a weird deal. But for some weird reason, they went along with it. Well, the reason was not that weird, as the blacksmith from Minas Mar offered them an epic weapon in exchange for an lv.50 boss.

It would have been weirder not to accept.

The entrance to the dungeon was a subway station at the edge of the demon district. A weird vapor hang in this air and it smelled a little of rotten eggs and leaves. Their party was waiting for the man, or as they now knew the Tower Master of Minas Mar.

Paolo could barely believe it, the man that had offered to tag along with them and give them an epic weapon if they left the boss to him was actually such a bigwig.

“Do you really think he will come?” Marco asked insecurely.

He could understand his childhood friends doubts, heck he also kept doubting it. They were a nameless party in a huge city. The chances they fantasized about this, or they were the victim of a prank were higher than meeting someone like the head of Minas Mar.

“Hey, are you ready?” a voice surprised them. He really came.

From the misty vapor appeared a tall figure clad in a beautiful iridescent robe. As the fabric moved with the wearer, it gave the impression of moving clouds and a clear sky. Paolo had never seen such a beautiful robe, but was the Master of Minas Mar a mage?

The young adventurer could still remember people saying he was a blacksmith during the tournament.

“Hello, Sir.” Marco greeted

“Hello, Sir” Paolo and the rest of the party repeated.

“No need to be so stiff, just call me Seth. Take me as a porter, tagging along until we reach the boss room,” he told the party with a slightly embarrassed smile.

Paolos heart lightened a bit. It didnt seem like the master of- like Seth was one of those stuck-up guild elites. The overall mood improved.

“Lets check our equipment one last time and then enter,” Marco instructed them before they entered the dungeon.

This dungeon had only five distinct floors, but it was a labyrinthine dungeon with many traps and monsters which called for great care from the party. Fortunately, they had an advanced thief they could trust with detecting the traps.

Whenever they waited for a trap to be disarmed and in the calm moments, Paolo would steal glances at Seth. It was really like the tower master said, he was just tagging along without attacking or being part of the party.

They needed the experience from this dungeon. Their party was on the cusp of reaching lv. 50, then they could rank up to B-Rank hunters. Then they would really be part of the better-earners. B-Rank quest paid a lot better than C-Ranks. Maybe they would even be able to slowly get rare equipment for everyone, the weapon Seth promised was also a potential stepping stone.

Although the apocalypse had been a hard cut, Paolo was striving for a better future and working hard to achieve it. In some ways, this new world fit him better than in the past, where he always had a hard time, barely managing not to live on the streets.

Marco was the same. The apocalypse was terrible, but now they were faring better than before. It had become a popular saying that what was a curse for some, was a salvation for others.

Such thoughts kept coming to his mind, as they were wandering around the dark labyrinth.

“Paolo, buff me!” Marco called out as he charged at a skeleton knight in ancient armor

“Greater Strength! Stone hide! Vermilion Edge!” he activated the support spells he had prepared beforehand using .

Marcos saber blade, clad in vermilion flames, cut split the armor of the mini-boss and set the undead creature on fire.

“I found a treasure chest.” their thief called out. Another advantage of these shallow but sprawling labyrinth dungeons was the smaller treasures that could sometimes be found hidden in niches or secret rooms.

“We are lucky! Its actually a ring!” the thief called out after taking several minutes to disarm the trap and unlock the chest with a lock pick.

It was rare, but these chests could also harbor unknown windfalls like this Accessories were one of the rare drops, which made them sought after. Again he glanced at Seth, but he realized that his worries were stupid. Why would the master of Minas Mar covet some minor dungeon treasures?

The man smiled when he noticed Paolos glance.

“I can appraise I for you if you want me to.” he offered with a smile.

It was the first time that the tower master took the initiative to speak with them. Had he maybe misunderstood Paolos distrust for looking for a favor? Having someone appraise their item for free would help a lot, as the appraisers had adopted the custom of asking for a percentage of the items worth as price for the appraisal.

“Please, go ahead.”

Marco, who had taken the ring from their thief offered it to Seth without any worries on his face. Although he may not have had the best start with the tower master in the beginning, he was now full of trust in the man. Even more than Paolo.

“Hmm, you are lucky, its an uncommon magic ring without any negative effects. It raises spell effects by 10%, the wearers intelligence by five, their mana by 100 and reduces the casting length by 5%. ” he stated without even touching the ring.

Happy expressions of surprise could be seen on the faces of his party members. Accessories were already rare, but ones fit for caster were even more sought after. Although anyone could technically become a mage with the system, not everyone had the talent or grit to go through with their decision.

“Paolo, you should have it.” Marco suddenly stated.

“What? But if we sell it we could-” he started but his party interrupted him

“If we sell it, we might never have the money to get another one like this. Dont worry, as our support, your strength, is also our strength.” Marco said while the other members nodded in agreement.

Touched, he accepted the item and directly equipped it.

After this short interruption, they finally entered the fifth and last floor. It took them a little over an hour before they finally stood in front of the gates to the boss room.

The party looked expectantly at the man in the glorious robe, that had followed them the whole time.

“My turn, I guess,” he said with a smile. “Do you want your reimbursement now, or afterward?” he asked, one hand on the gate.

“W-We dont mind either way. I doubt the master of Minas Mar would skip on a promised payment.” Marco assured.

“hahaha, right, I wouldnt. Not when its only about an epic item. Wait here, I will be done in a second.” he said before entering the bosss room alone.

Paolo was still stuck on “only” and epic items until he realized that Seth had just slipped into the boss room. Was he going to be okay?

From inside they could suddenly hear the bone-chilling roar of the Minotaur, like a rabid bull. Even outside, the floor vibrated from the big heavy stomps, as the beast probably charged. The picture of the stone floor shattering under its mighty hooves came to Paolos mind.

But suddenly there was a mighty thumb and only silence followed. Was it already over…? There was no way the tower master lost but did he really floor the mighty beast that quickly?

Marco, Paolo, and the party shared a look before opening the door by a little and spying through the gap. The mighty beast, at least re or four meters in height was struggling on the floor, held down by a giant knight of a similar or even bigger size.

The tower master was standing on its chest and ramming a big kriegsmesser into its heart. The struggle became more intense as it screeched in pain before it slowly fell silent. This was a boss they would have to fight for hours to barely eke out a win, but this man who had only silently followed them, with an amicable smile, ended it in a matter of seconds.

In the next moment, the corpse and the knights vanished, only leaving the tower master with his sword. With a smile, he turned to the gates.

“You can come in now, Im done. Get your reward so we can leave.”

He pointed to the room behind him where a chest had appeared. They all entered and Marco asked the chief to open the chest, as h was the one with the highest luck stat among them.

“Since we are at rewarding, lets settle my debt. What item do you want?” the tower master suddenly asked, while they waited for the thief to return.

“Ah, could I talk with my party about this?”

After the thief was back, they all discussed what to choose. The party wanted a weapon for Marco, and Marco suggested getting a staff for Paolo.

“I already have the ring, we should get you as our main vanguard a good weapon,” Paolo said and everyone was in favor.

Hearing their decision from Marco, the tower master asked.

“And what weapon do you want? You wield a saber, right?”

“Y-Yes. I can also use swords, but a saber would be best. ” Marco agreed.

The next moment, a knight in shining armor appeared beside the tower master, making Marco step back in shock.

“pff, calm down.” the tower master waved at him to come closer. Seth suddenly hugged the knight- No he took off its belt. It was a belt made of black, glossy leather, and fastened to it was an unadorned scabbard of similar material.

“Its called a Sanguine Silver Yatagan.” he introduced them to the weapon.

Their jaws almost hit the floor when he explained its effects and Marco got weak knees when h heard that it could be further enchanted by an enchanter if they ever had some excess money.

“Do you accept it?” Seth finally asked.

“Yes! YES! I would be stupid not to!” Marco exclaimed ecstatically.

“Good, then our deal is done. Have a nice day.” with that, the tower master stepped into the retunr formation and vanished without another word.

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