Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 63: The Reach

Seth raised his eyebrow. ”And why would you want that? ”

”Oh, please. I don´t mean any harm. It´s just, no skillful blacksmith has been to Zhiqe for years and suddenly someone appears and offers to equip the personal guards for a fraction of the market price. And in just a few weeks to boot. You have to understand that I am a little suspicious. What if you are not as skilled as you say, or just run off with the money? ”

Seth thought for a moment about it. Megitos concerns were understandable. Seth was very lucky that his appearance was a great help concerning the Lord´s predicament. He was desperate and gladly grabbed the helping hand he reached out to him. Megito on the other hand had no reason to put his hopes or trust into Seth.

”Sure, why not. You can come to visit the armory tomorrow. ”, Seth said in between two big bites. He would not let this conversation interfere with his meal.

The next morning, Megito followed Seth after breakfast into the armory. Megito´s eyes almost jumped out of their sockets when he saw Seth´s smithy. The half –material and half-immaterial crafting stations glowing in a dim blue, the bright Soul Fire burning in the forge.

”You are not a simple blacksmith… is that an enchantment table?! ”, the wizard mumbled and suddenly called out. His eyes had fallen on the covered in magic formations.

”Well, it´s for engraving and inlays, but yeah, it´s also to make enchantments. I don´t have much experience with it, yet. ”, Seth explained as he brought out the materials to start forging.

”Your class? Uncommon? Rare? ”, the older man kept asking.

”I think you are overstepping a little. You just wanted to see me working, so stop asking so much and let me work. ”

With that Seth concentrated on forging. In the blazing Soul Fire, the billet reached forging temperatures. Spellbound Megidos eyes were fixed onto the piece of steel on the anvil. Under Seth´s experienced strikes the trivial piece of metal grew in length and width. Before his eyes, it took the rough shape of a sword. He watched it gain a blade profile, a fuller, a taper. Only after an hour when Seth finally quenched the finished blade of a longsword did the Wizard finally wake up from his trance. Barely an hour had passed? He was surprised. The young man before him had finished a complete blade in just one hour.

If he really held that tempo the swords could be ready in just a week! His eyes wandered to the enchantment table. Did he also plan to enchant those weapons?

Megido was convinced of Seth ’s skill and thanked him before leaving the armory. He really just wanted to make sure, that he did not scam the Lord.

”Oh, hey! Before you leave, I also have a question for you. ”, he said while getting the next billet ready. ”Can you get something for me? ”

The wizard nodded after listening to Seth´s request. He promised that he would see what he can do and left the smithy in a hurry.

Seth shrugged and started on the next blade. He still had another 25 blades to go.

The following week was just as uneventful as he wished. Fin spent her time either watching him or in town. She held off on exploring the dungeons and waited for Seth.

On the fourth day, he had finished the last blade and could start engraving. When engraving a new or specific pattern one would normally sketch it before transferring it to the metal and engraving it using the engraving iron.

That ’s where shone! In tandem with , he could project a holographic sketch on the blade. Thanks to his relatively high dexterity compared to the complexity of the circuit, and the assistance given by the crafting station his first enchantment did not fail! It was not perfect, but it worked, when he tested it using the magic circle.

The beginning was always easy. Seth fathomed that levels above 5 would be hard to crack with the basic enchantments he had. Anyways, motivated by his first success, he kept going with enchanting.

His back hurt and his hand shivered, but after 3 days of engraving, he was finally finished! In the meantime, his had barely reached level 4.

Seth rubbed his hands. Once he finished the handles, he should get a huge chunk of experience in his !

”Se~th, are you done yet? You promised we would go to the dungeon today! ”, the fairy whined like a spoiled child. She rolled back and forth on the engraving table and oozed an aura of boredom. There was really not much left to do in town for her and Seth felt bad for her. He had fun crafting, but Fin was pretty much alone with her boredom.

”Ok, ok. Let´s go. ”, Seth said and stood up. The fairy happily flew around him like a spark of joy and cured his back pain for him as she did so. They wanted to explore the one low-level dungeon in town that was not wet, smelly, or empty. The two wanted to explore the big hole with the maze of tunnels.

It would be their first joint dungeon dive! Fin was really excited to fight side by side with Seth. It was her chance to shine a little in front of him. They would enter the deep hole! Their life would not be at risk in a low-level dungeon so Fin could pose a little and show Seth her true prowess, by mercilessly slaughtering weak mobs!

The dungeon was literally just a big shaft straight down with a 20-meter diameter- A staircase without guardrail spiraled down along its rough stone walls and vanished into the darkness below. There were openings to rooms and passageways at random distances along the staircase.

Generic undead like skeletons, skeleton archers, and skeleton warriors up to lv.10 were supposed to appear in this place. So, the deep dark hole and the dim tunnels did not pose much danger except getting lost in the darkness and maze-like structure. Both were no problems for them with the fairy´s light spell and Seths´s !

Fin told him that the guild had a device that could download a dungeons map made with . If they wanted to, they could sell the map later on. But it was not their main focus.

They entered the dungeon with the mindset of explorers. The cool dark cave-like environment was a welcome change to the hot and damp desert city. Seth wore a set of scale armor from the armory he had polished up. He also made a simple mace from . He could only use his experience from video games, but blunt force should work best on skeletons!

The mace had given him a whopping 4% on and got his hopes up for the chunk of proficiency he would gain once he started finishing the swords!

But Seth didn´t really expect to play a big role in the coming dive. Fin was hyped up to show Seth her power as an almost lv.50 adventurer after they had to struggle so much on their journey despite that. It was the As a low-level dungeon with skeleton undead the fairy was in her element as a battle priest!

Seth had offered to try and make equipment for her, but she was almost like a monk, so she denied wearing weapons or armor. She only wore robes. Still, in the back of his mind, Seth didn´t give up. He could maybe make her accessories once his skill grew more?

As they had no set goal for their excursion, the two simply wandered around and explored without minding the too much. At first the passageways reminded them of mines with low ceilings and roughly hewn walls.

This passage was short and it soon started to closely resemble a natural cave. Sometimes the ceilings became very low, so much so that they had to crouch and other times they were so high, Fin´s light could not reach them. They came through caverns with stalagmites and stalactites forming impressive natural columns. Deep chasms like bottomless pits beside the narrow path made the trip more exciting than the possibility of meeting monsters. All they saw until now were normal animals you would expect in a cave, like bats.

After walking for maybe two hours, they heard a noise that was distinctly different from the surrounding ambient. Their first mob. It was a single skeleton with a bone club just standing in the middle of the tunnel. It´s head already exploded the moment it turned towards the light! The fairy with her hand clad in holy aura had easily crushed the mob more than 30 levels below her!

Seth did not even have time to use on the poor pile of bones! Was this already bullying?

The distribution was set so Seth got 90% of the experience. it was the highest setting possible. His experience bar increased an almost invisible amount, maybe 0,5%? If they found enough, maybe he could…?

What bullying?

This was a legitimate hunt! Yes!

”Go Fin! Go! Another 200 and I get a level-up! ”, Seth cheered when another three skeletons suddenly ambushed the fairy by jumping down from somewhere in the darkness above!

Seth instinctively dispatched the one that landed with a swipe of the mace. The mace crushed through its shoulder blades and spine without even slowing down. When he looked up the other two had already turned into piles of bone powder on the ground.

This ambush might have worked on nooby adventurers, but the two were just overpowered in this environment! One of the skeletons dropped a tiny soul. Before Seth could walk over to pick it up, the soul floated towards him and vanished.

”What? ”, he called out. He asked Fin to wait for a moment and checked his status window. Above his Money display had appeared a soul display! It currently showed 1 !

The perk list helped him find the culprit! had gotten a new perk on lv.3! It was called the ”Soul Space ” and automatically collected souls around Seth. When he tried to shove the stack of small souls into the display it increased to 54!

Once he had dealt with this joyful surprise, they continued exploring deeper and deeper into the maze of confusing tunnels and caverns without many problems.

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