Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 57: First Dungeon(2)

The little magic lantern was just enough to illuminate the narrow staircase down. The steps were moist and the air smelled of mold, earth, or maybe it was decay? Seth understood now, how their weapons were in such a bad condition. The humidity of the surrounding marshland was ubiquitous, but it became really clear as he entered the damp basement vault.

It reminded him more of a maze-like medieval prison, than a storage area. There were many doors to storage rooms along a narrow corridor with an arched ceiling who´s end vanished in the darkness beyond the shine of the lantern. If the doors had small barred windows, he was sure this could have been used to imprison people.

It was dark, wet, and cold, but nothing indicated this was anything other than an old basement. Following his practice from games, he started searching the rooms one by one. The first two rooms made him stumbled back out, holding his nose. The smell was terrible as the rooms were filled with barrels and boxes of food, that had all disintegrated into a disgusting black sludge that was slowly oozing from the containers. No wonder he barely managed to turn the key in the rusted lock. Nobody had come here in ages to look at the food. Or maybe it was on purpose because nobody wanted to clean up this mess?

He hurriedly locked those doors back up and carved a little X above the handle. It was his way to mark them, so he could be sure which he had checked or not.

In the next two rooms he found the scrapped weapons he had heard about. Negligently tossed into the room he found damaged boxes with broken weapons. The floor was covered in rusty metal shards and broken shafts of polearms. Looking around the room with showed him a plethora of item windows describing broken equipment and metal shards ranging from much medium iron to some high-quality steel. Those must be the remnants of the weapons they had when the city prospered.

Just as Seth started to worry about how to store all this, he thought of the material box. When he tried to store the boxes in the room it actually appeared in his inventory as and these boxes stacked, too. This was a great find, since this meant, that he could use items like this in the future and not clog up his inventory slots with all kinds of weapons he could not stack!

Subsequently shoved all the broken weapons into the crates and put them in the inventory. The little metal shards and scrap pieces could be stacked and took on the universal shape of the size of a playing card, after entering his inventory. When he was done, he had almost two stacks of scraps and 12 crates filled with broken weapons and padding material.

The next three rooms held various kind of damaged armor pieces and sets that were carelessly thrown onto a heap along the wall opposing the door. There were not crates or anything. What was left of once glorious armors turned into 3 stacks of the size of a handprint, from bracers, grieves and helmets, 2 stacks of from more detailed works like scale armor, a stack of , from once elaborate breastplates and half a stack of damaged chainmail-pieces. The wet, moldy, and damaged leather parts that were strewn around smelled disgusting and seemed unusable, so Seth left them behind.

The next room he wanted to check was filled with all kinds of old chairs and tables. Thick dust and spider webs covered everything, but they had not grown moldy yet. Probably furniture stored for feast and stuff like that? Seth shrugged and closed the door again. The next room also held furniture.

Seth rubbed his hand and concluded, that he was done collecting the broken stuff. He still had not plundered the armory, but this was already quite the booty. Looking down the long corridor there were still a lot of doors to check. There were still those old weapons stored somewhere down here.

And in this manner Seth kept working his way down into these winding entrails of the palace. He came across a lot of similar rooms. Some held old furniture that was put down here a long time ago other only scraps that made it impossible for Seth to discern what is once was.

The further he went the more neglected the basement looked. Dirt and mud covered the stone tiles and filled the corners of the walls. Some rooms were simply empty and their floors seem to be covered in rotten hay aside from the dirt and dust.

Where were those old weapons? He could not have passed them, right? He had checked every…door?

The next door Seth stopped before already had a small little X above it handles. When he opened it, he saw smelly leather scraps covering the ground. His heart sank. ” You got to be kidding me… ”

A room he had already checked had suddenly appeared before him. ”hmm, alright then. ”

Whatever did this, Seth doubted he could simply go back now. He decided to be careful and keep exploring. He had the gnawing suspicion that he might have entered a dungeon.

Seth wanted to pull out his sword, just to be ready in case something happened. In this moment he belatedly realized, that a longsword was not really fit to fight in such an enclosed space. The space in the basement was too narrow. With his skill, he risked to hit the ceiling, wall, floor, or doors, if he was to start fighting here.

Whatever black magic fuckery he had been caught in; he was not aptly prepared for it.

Haha! What was he a blacksmith for?

He took a slow step back, entered the room with the leather scraps and locked the door behind him. He sat down and pondered what weapon would be the most fitting in his situation.

Seth did not know whether he was watched, or not, but he fathom he had not much time. The situation might change when whatever it was realized that he noticed something. So, it had to be something small he could do fast like a dagger, a short sword, a club, or a mace maybe?

A spear could work very well! But Seth had not seen any wood long enough to make a good spear.

He suddenly had an idea as he was looking through his inventory.

He summoned the and the in the empty room. It was his first chance to give the anvil a good look. Aside from its grown size its sides were covered in peculiar reliefs depicting scenes from heaven and Tartarus, separated by ornate pillars, and bordered by Greek key.

The first thing he did was fixing and equipping his armor.

Next, he carefully left the room and walked back to one of the furniture rooms in a slow and controlled pace. Sure, it was a risk to just walk around in armor and alarm someone with it, but he rather had the armor on in case he was attacked, than trying to be a smarty pants. He came back after securing a table and some chairs, closing the door with a sigh behind him.

Now, he brought up the menu of .It had been a long time since he had created something original, but the handling was very user friendly!

He had the idea when looking at the snake ribs in his inventory, their natural curve reminded him of a sword he had recently seen, the khopesh! He loaded in the ribs and fangs of the juvenile as a material and created a blueprint for the Serpent Khopesh.

In the following hour he smelted some of the into . The success rate was not very high with 45%, but in exchange the recipe was quite simple. He just needed to introduce additional carbon during the smelting process. How? For example, burning some wood in the smelter. The smelting menu did the rest. Even if it failed, he did not mind. Seth did not need a lot.

He activated the blueprint and with some system guidance succeeded in splitting one of the ribs lengthwise. He drilled holes and sharpened the crescent edge of the rib making a rib-blade. He started infusing the of one of the small snakes into a piece of snake leather, the rib-blade, and the steel as he forged a steel-spine that was riveted to the blade. Seth used the piece of snake leather to wrap the handle.

When he summoned the water barrel and dunked the whole weapon into it, to affix the soul completely to the weapon he got a different system notification, aside from the regular completion notification.

”Good enough! ”, Seth said satisfied; not fazed by the systems critique. Now, he had a short sword and his gauntlets for melee damage.

After he fashioned a simple shield from the scavenged table top, Seth was done with preparing his secondary weapons. He was ready to continue looting the basement.

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