Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 79: A new Quest

Seth was sure he felt a vein bursting in his head. What was up with that title?! It was great that his leveled up, but what was that title?

”What´s wrong? ”, the little fairy asked looking away with a beet-red face.

Fin had a hard time sleeping listening to the screams of a man burning alive. She had no problems with the sound of screams in general, but it was just really loud. She decided to leave the bed and found naked Seth all grumpy, entering their room.

”Meh, it´s the system giving me weird titled again… why are you so red- oh… Give me a second. ”

He put away the hammer in his inventory and entered the bath to take a shower. He felt a lot better after washing off all the dried sweat and wearing a clean set of clothes.

”There seem to be bandits raiding our airship. ”, he stated matter-of-factly after leaving the bath.

”And you decide to first take a shower? ”, Fin asked baffled. Seth thought for a moment. He really was in a weird kind of calm mindset right now. Maybe it was the effect of dealing with the trauma of his first murder? Or maybe the second?

”Yeah. Do you want me to wear fresh clothes when I ’m covered in dried sweat and blood? ”

Fin rolled her eyes. ”So, what are we going to do? If they kill the captain and the crew we will be stranded again. ”

Seth nodded. He also was in the mood for a manhunt.

”Yeah, let´s go on a- ”

Maybe he shouldn ’t call it that. A rescue operation…yes. It´s a rescue operation and it was just a bonus that he would get experience and test his new weapon.

”Yes, we should go and rescue the crew and other passengers. ”

The two robbers had given him 5% experience each. It seemed meager for opponents that were almost 10 levels higher than himself, but it was still rather good compared to the dungeons they had visited.

Seth equipped the spare armor, the necklace, and his hammer. The blacksmith and the fairy left their cabin after putting the little Ivicer into the pet space. The caterpillar started off with many skills, but he was only level one, so these opponents were a little too strong for it.

Before they left Fin showed Seth something laying on the ground. It was a small black cube beside Frank. Fin explained to him, that when people who are part of the system died, their inventory would turn into an item-box that others could loot. It did not contain everything in the other ’s possession, but a big part. The two cubes he found beside the robbers were mostly filled with money and accessories! After this small excurse they got back to their manhu- rescue mission!

The bandit had run to the right so that was probably the way they had come from. The two started by checking the cabins on the left. The VIP cabins were distinctly different from the lower-priced ones.

They had several rooms and passengers here often had a personal guard that opened the door on their behalf. After describing what happened 2 or 3 times to different high-ranking nobles, an old marquis who was known as a general decided to take over the task of gathering the other passengers here.

Once all the VIPs assembled, they had a team of 30 people made up of personal guards. The passengers and 15 guards would hole up here and take in survivors. The rest split into teams of 5 to while Seth´s and a B-Rank party of three made up their own groups. These teams would search the passenger deck and send the survivors back here.

20 people were walking down the main hallway that connected the different sections. They would split up along the way. Some people lingered in front of Seth´s cabin. The two burned and headless corpses and the singed walls and floor of the hallway were an eyecatcher.

The doors of the four cabins after Seth´s stood wide open. These were also part of the VIP cabins. Everyone looking into these rooms had the same reaction. They ground their teeth and gripped their weapons tighter. The sight was nothing for the weak hearted.

The first victim was always the personal guard lying right at the door. Either their heads were split or their throats were slit. The nobles in the second cabin were spared and only tied up. The rest were not so lucky… There were no signs of mercy. All deaths seemed cruel and accompanied with terror and pain, even the children´s. The surviving noble family thanked them ad was evacuated.

Past these 4 cabins came to a crossing. All sections were along the main hallway and this crossing split off into the two hallways that lead to the noble cabins. Further down were another two crossings that led to the commoner cabins. The main hallway ended in a staircase that connected to the main and lower decks. One would reach the other sections like the bridge, staff quarters, engine room, and utilities only through this staircase.

One by one the groups split off into different sections. In the end, Seth and Fin entered the first dark hallway of the commoner section. The fairy moved her conjured ball of light several meters to the front, so they were walking in the darkness behind the light.

This was distinctly different from the other sections. Some doors stood open, with their inhabitants killed and others were still closed shut as if everything was normal. It was as if someone randomly chose who would live and who would die and killed the unlucky ones like livestock. They did not alarm anyone, yet. It was more important to check the whole hallway in case the assailant was still around!

After seeing those scenes in the opened cabins, Seth could feel that was hard at work. It was different from seeing zombies or the remnants of battle without corpses. He had not been confronted with how cold the reality he had entered was before. Not as much as now. Life was worth so little in this world. The rage he had felt, the fear he felt in these moments was somewhere under the surface. Not locked away, but only slowly trickling in. He was tired, but these emotions constantly entering into his consciousness kept him on edge.

”At least the people here died fast ”, Fin assessed looking at the bodies with either their throats being slit or necks broken in their sleep. This was done by professional killers, not looting bandits. Seth felt conflicted seeing that these people were most likely a lot more skilled than the scrubs that came to his door. He had an advantage in attributes, but if the enemy was high-level and skilled… Could they take them on?

When he thought whether he should worry about the assassins, he saw the tiny back of the serious Fin. Her face lacked her regular carefree expression and was hardened with bottled-up anger. Seth relaxed a little. She was like an anchor, a strong thigh he could hug. It convinced him that whoever those people were, they better worry about getting found by them. Not the other way around.

They had not been walking for long when they heard something in front coming closer. Suddenly with unexpected speed, Fin´s light ball shot along the corridor illuminating two silhouettes dressed in similar armor as the bandits at the end of the corridor. The ball exploded in a bright radiance surprising the malignant figures. It worked like a flashbang and blinded them for the moment.

Fin rushed in to get a first shot at the opponent, but the other actually managed to block her tiny fist clad in divine aura, without being able to see her! His other hand was still covering his eyes.

Seth flinched. Instead of rushing in, he decided to pull out his bow and give the fairy covering fire. The explosion of the light ball had left the affected area brightly lit, so he started shooting the assassins from the darkness. Quite ironic, the assassins stood in the light, while the blacksmith attacked from the shadows!

He focused on the second one, to keep him from interfering with Fin. But similar to Fin ’s opponent, Seth´s was not some cannon fodder. He managed to dodge most of the arrows. Even the ones that arbitrarily changed their trajectory to hit, missed the vitals they aimed for. The assassin, on the other hand, started moving in the direction of the shots and was closing in on Seth.

What gave him a little shock was probably, that the arrows became harder to dodge in the darkness! Fin needed light to fight, but Seth wore the . He had . Running towards him into the darkness just made it easier to aim for him.

This one did not take out a blowgun. He also didn´t start to throw shuriken like a ninja. The figure rushed along the hallway brandishing his daggers. Did he think Seth was a ranger or something? Trying to fight him in melee…

When the assassin came close Seth switched weapons to a spear and shield. One might think that a long weapon like a spear had a disadvantage in a narrow space like this, but it was quite the contrary. In this narrow space, Seth could easily keep the assassin at a distance as he had little space to avoid the spear ’s thrusts.

The commotion woke up several of the passengers in the surrounding cabins who drowsily started opening their cabin doors. The intruder saw his chance! He grabbed a scantily clad, potbellied man as a hostage. He held him in front as a shield.

”Get out of the way, or this man dies! ”

He had just ended his sentence when the spear penetrated both of them and excited at the assassin ’s back. Seth let go of the spear and rushed in with the hammer.

”Arthur! ”, the other attacker called out.

Another soul was sucked into the Obol. The hostage looked up at him with shock, his hand placed on the spear that had penetrated his body. ”You have…sacrificed me? ”

”Oh, stop the drama. ”, Seth rolled his eyes. He simply put the spear in his inventory and shoved a healing potion into the gaping wound. ”There, you will survive for now! ”

When Seth wanted to rush forward to help Fin in her battle, he already heard the announcement.

Fin was able to use the distraction of Arthur´s death to gain the upper hand in her fight and end it in a flash. What Seth astounded was the overwhelming difference in experience he gained! When he killed Arthur, he got not much more experience for it, than when he killed Frank; about 7%. But for Lance, he got a whopping 15%. As he was wondering why this happened Fin approached him.

”Seth! Are you ok? What happened to that guy? ”, she pointed at the man on the ground. She had not noticed him at first. ”Oh…He was a little in the way. Could you heal him? ”

The man had already taken a potion, so it was not hard for Fin to treat the wound. They explained the situation to the man and other passengers who had woken up. Whereupon they moved towards the VIP cabins and woke up the other passengers on the way.

The two searched the item boxes of the two assassins but they did not drop anything of importance. Their uncommon daggers were the most valuable, but not special at all.

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