Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 518: Angelic Soul

Chapter 517: Soul rending

A mask containing the malicious soul of an archangel.

An item as cursed as it can be, created in a time of great urgency and a fit of creativity.

The mask made of gray metal showing a distorted expression seemed to look at its maker with a grimace of hatred and despair.

“Dont look at me like that,” Seth said ill-humored and flicked the mask in the face.

The reason he struggled with the decision of using the mask was its terrible ego. It was an utterly evil consciousness that would not follow his commands if he gave it some form of agency.

If Seth wanted to use the soul of the mask, it was a necessity to get rid of the angels ego. How was he supposed to do that? Back in Chrona, he had thought about the possibility of getting rid of an ego because of the ability to refine a soul.

Refining a soul was essentially away to ring together or eject the shards of memories that were still contained in souls after their death. Getting rid of chaotic or fractured memories made it easier for the rest to connect and improve the effectiveness of a soul, or form a new ego over time.

This was especially handy when it came to souls he artificially grew by fusing smaller souls into bigger ones he wanted to use for golems.

However, this was different, because the angels soul possessed a complete ego. Seth couldnt quite understand what an ego was in the end, as it was a very abstract construct. But he knew a few things from his experience with the souls and golems.

It was inherent for a soul to develop sentience, or an ego, the more experiences it collected. This also meant that the more memories or impressions were left in a soul, the easier it was for it to develop an ego.

But an ego was more than the sum of its parts. With an ego in place, just losing some memories would not harm or even change it. After several tests with the Mask, he found out, that a strong ego, could even remember memories he deleted.

The big realization he had come to, the only way to get make the soul usable, was to completely break the ego first. This was the step Seth had the least confidence in. Seth had no idea how Forgebrand had solved such a problem. Had the dwarf even cared to solve such a problem?

Whether Forgebrand had a way or not, Seth didnt know, but the bard had a way. The blacksmith felt all icky after spending a full day in the library of the demonic Bard College and reading about some of the darkest specializations of Demonic Bards.

Seth and Forgebrands were not the only ones who thought of powering things with souls. Although others may not have had the blessing of a God of the Underworld to do so. The section in the library was small and slightly hidden.

Ember had not seemed comfortable showing him this section when he asked about the manipulation of souls. These were books that had little to do with the kind of forging or crafting Seth had researched before, which was why he had never read them.

These were the book written by what Seth would call insane scientists. Papers and books, page over pages filled with cold and emotionless descriptions of hair-raising torture and experiments. About the wresting away of souls, the imprisonment, the ways to extract information, and direct torture to the soul body of a still-living being.

All kinds of things Seth would have gladly lived without knowing. Maybe the most hair-raising part was the high compatibility with his unique second class. As expected from a class technically made for him.

If he ever found a stable source for souls, how much further would he be able to buff the effects of his abilities?

However, it was not the time for it. After a while he found a way to break a persons or rather a souls ego. To completely shatter it into fragments. But this was a dangerous path, as the accompanying ballad could also lead to ones own destruction.

The song came down to a duel of mind, a battle of willpower. As long as he was able to overcome the ego of the soul, he would be able to break it apart. This was used by demons against weakened souls. In their case, it was like smashing eggs with a rock.

In Seths case, it was like smashing his head against a wall. It was not his preferred method, but what else could he do? Except…

Inspired by a sudden inspiration the blacksmith jumped up and walked to the anvil. Putting the mask on the anvil, he started extracting the powerful archangels soul.

~What do you think you are doing to me, you dirty heathen!~ it cried enraged as it struggled against the

“Muahah, shut up. Your time has come, you evil thing.” Seth whispered.

Before he started, he unsummoned Cerberus and asked everyone to vacate the area. The latter was not hard, as it was already late and he only needed to ask Wedan to leave. The reason was simple, the ballad would affect any soul that heard it, it was also the reason he would not ask Oz to accompany him.

Lastly, he equipped the Wraithguard with his right hand.

With all preparations finished, a sickening tune started flowing through the workshop and the adjacent hallways. The waves of the music kept surging against the armor of his soul. At that moment Seth realized with great relief that not only did the Wraithguard offer him protection from this kind of song, but also his soul armor worked as a defense against this kind of soul attack.

Despite this advantage, it took a lot of concentration to keep singing, as he felt the music attack his own soul and wash against his defenses. While he was having a slightly hard time, the soul of the archangel was screaming in pain and reproach.

Lifting his hammer high in the air, Seth activated and then let it fall down on the soul with a mighty swing. A clear clang rang out as he started refining the soul parallel to singing the soul-damaging ballad.

~Not this again!~ the soul screeched, remembering the time Seth forged it alive.

This was what he had come up with. The song was just a distraction, a way to keep the ego from healing. While the soul was suffering from constant damage, he started chipping away at everything that made it a cohesive ego. Eradication of memories, ripping apart knowledge and experiences. Bit by bit he started dismantling it.

~No what are you doing to me…?! Wait! Please! Noooo!…~

But the struggling soul could not resist as Seth activated the and , the skills of the gauntlet he had gotten from Chronas treasury.

The hammer hits became quicker and harder as he saw his idea succeed. Blaring the song and swinging his hammer he thoroughly refined the ego out of the soul with unwavering vigor.

He worked until deep into the night when the soul finally lost the ego-tag under his scrutinizing .

Gasping with deep breaths he finally put down the hammer and sat down to take a break. He didnt have the energy to be happy about the improvement of his skill.

Withstanding his own song, even with his armor, he felt sick with a terrible headache. Rubbing his eyes, he just wanted to sleep. Pulling a blanket from a cupboard, he simply slept in the workshop.

It was warm when he woke up. Warm and soft. He was not alone.

“Mina, what are you doing he?” Seth asked groggily when he recognized the face pressed against his chest.

“Mnam, mnam, you didnt come to bed yesterday…” she mumbled barely awake, hugging him tighter.

Hugging her back with a smile, he stood up from the workshop floor with her in his arms. He teleported to their bedroom, where he gently put her in bed. He still had to finish something.

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