Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 52: The Bazaar

Seth and Asso were at the border to the old district. he really had not missed these dark and damp alleyways that formed a confusing maze.

”Why would anyone open a shop in this place? ”, he asked not really expecting an answer, but still got one.

”The land is cheap here, I guess.? This was once the most vital place of the city, you know? Wares and supplies would all via the river into the city. So many shops and jobs were located here and many people lived here. ”

There really was nothing else to do, so Seth listened to Asso rambling on about the city. After the city lost the support of the adventurers, their troops were not enough to keep the marshland creatures at bay. Asso was still small when the bigger gates were destroyed by a giant beast! It and the horde following it had rampaged along the river and many people died. Among them Assos parents.

After the gates were open once, things kept happening. People kept vanishing in the night and corpses were found in the contorted streets of the old district. The place was too convoluted for guards to be effective, so they were pulled out completely.

Most people left for other cities, as life here was not safe anymore. Now only criminals, the poor and the stingy still lived here.

As if he had perfectly timed it, they arrived at a big double door when his story ended. It was a big warehouse close to the river. Asso just walked in without knocking. He must know the hunter well. Behind the door was a big empty storage space with bare walls and the floor covered in stone tiles. Seth estimated it to be 20m long and 6m wide, so it would probably fit the juvenile.

”Yudrid?! You in? I have a customer for you! ”, Asso opened a door and yelled. A grumpy grunting came back as the answer. What stepped through that door was a 130cm tall ball of bad mood?

A long messy beard fell on a rusty chain mail and the dirty leather shirt and pants he wore below it. He scratched his head covered in long, matted, blonde hair, while his other hand was busy lifting an almost empty wine bottle to his mouth.

”That him? ”, a wine bottle was pointed at Seth. The voice did not fit the appearance! It was a rough voice yeah, but it was definitely the deep voice of a woman!? Looking closer at her, the skin beyond the beard and dirt looked smooth and while almost indiscernible, under the chain mail and leather, there were two bulges on her chest.

”A female dwarf? ”, he blurted out.

”Hah, a real bright spark, your friend here! ”, the dwarf laughed and shoved her hand toward him war a shake, ”Yudrid Dimblade, the best damn hunter in this shithole of a city! You got something for me to dismantle? Something bi~g I hope? ”, she winked at him. Seth felt a little unsettled by the wink, but tried to ignore it.

”You gonna take it out, or should I help you? ”, she urged Seth, while Asso could only facepalm in the background. Seth shrugged and took the juvenile out from his inventory.

”hoho! It´s been a long time, since someone pulled out such a long schlong in front of me! ”, she grinned about her own dirty joke and her white teeth sparkled in comparison to her dirty exterior. As drunk as she had acted until now, she became a professional when the snake came out. Her movements became firm and controlled. He walked over to a wall and flipped a switch upon which the storage room immediately started cooling down. She started walking up and down the juvenile ’s boy to inspect it.

Asso on the other hand was euphoric. From his eyes flashing in a bright gold, Seth concluded that his guess was right and the reptilian needed something from Seth´s giant reptile.

Yudrid soon came back after she walked around the juvenile once.

”Quite the bugger you have here. You didn´t catch this thing in the marshlands I fathom? ”, the drunk slur in her speech was gone completely. Had she just been playing that?

”Nope. ”

Yudrid pondered a little and nodded. ”So, what do you want from me? Should I dismantle it completely? Our do you just want a specific part? ”, she too looked at Assos brightly sparkling eyes. Did she maybe misunderstand him?

”Everything. I don´t know what exactly is a valuable crafting material on this snake, so I did not want to loot it. ”

She told Seth to come back tomorrow evening. She would be done by then. She asked for 2 gold to dismantle the whole snake and 50 silver extra for doing it immediately. As the rich fancy-pants Seth had become, he easily agreed on the price.

Yudrid had mentioned some of the valuable crafting material like the ribs and Seth could not wait to see, what he could do with them! Asso could only hope that the thing he needed was not a crafting material!

Asso had understood that he had become a glorified tour guide for Seth and accepted this role. Their next stop would have been the commercial district, but it was getting late, so Seth wanted to return to the inn.

He met there with the fairy, who was already happily eating dinner! Asso said goodbye and left. He would be back in the morning.

Seth sat down beside Fin and also got his meal. Back in their room after filling their bellies, they talked about their day. The fairy had visited a few different bars and found some information brokers. After lubing some gears, she found a few different ways to get to Ora from here.

The longest one was to take a trade route to the seaport of Oriekot and take the ocean route to a port near Ora. it was not cheap, but they could relax for the whole journey.

The second longest one was to join a caravan that would bring them across the desert and thought the mountains via dwarven tunnels. It was the cheapest, as they could join as guards and even get paid for the journey.

The fastest and most expensive one was the airship. A magical flying vehicle they could enter in Oriekot. Similar to the ocean route it roughly followed the coastline and visited port cities. Unlike the ocean route it would turn inland after crossing the desert and actually halt in Ora once. It was the most fitting, but with 25 gold for a commoner-class ticket it was also very pricey.

The most unreliable option was to ask the system church to send them via the Pathwork. It was fast, it was cheap, but who knew where those quacks transported them?

She had a little less luck concerning the guild master, but she would focus on him tomorrow.

After Seth had told her about his day and she had a good laugh about Yudrid ’s sexual innuendos, they both returned to their room. While Fin fell in the bed right away, Seth decided to give this bath a visit. He could really use one.

The bath he entered was actually something like a shared bath house. He just followed the instructions, put his clothes in his inventory and entered just wearing a towel. Seth properly washed himself with soap before entering a big hot spring-style bath.

”Well, look who´s finally here! ”, a familiar voice greeted him. In the hot spring, just wearing a towel and scarring the world with the sight of his giant bush of silvery white chest hair, sat Simon.

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