Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 81: Spirit Forging

Sarina woke up in an unfamiliar room. She had gotten used to the tiny room she had lived in with Uncle Ben for the last two weeks. Uncle Ben had visited them when her mother had become sick. He was a friend of her father and his sworn brother. He had told her a lot of stories about her dad and their adventures when they were still young. Sarina had never met her father herself. She had lived her whole life with her mother in a small estate in the grasslands. Uncle Ben told her that her father now worked as the Lord of a big city and wanted her to visit him, so he could take care of her.

All she knew was the house on this hill and the small village in the distance, where they would go to buy food and clothes. The big city had a great allure to a small girl from the countryside and she imagined all kinds of fantastical sceneries as she listened to her uncle ’s stories.

Still, she had hesitated to leave her sick mothers ’ side, but Uncle Ben assured her, that her mother would be alright. He had even brought a doctor to take care of her. She decided to leave with Uncle Ben, only after her mother kept urging her to leave. She had looked desperate and coughed a lot back then. She had a big lump in her throat when she promised her mother to go with the uncle.

Tears had clouded her vision when she looked back at her mother one last time. She looked tired and drenched in sweat, but she gave her daughter the most dazzling and encouraging smile she could muster.

Uncle Ben had brought her away on a carriage and they soon reached a big city. The sight pushed her worries to the far back of her mind. She saw so many new and fancy people. Ben bought her a lot of candy and food and kept her mind occupied. She felt overwhelming wonder when they came before a ship that looked like it was made of crystal and would fly in the sky!

The small cabin she shared with Uncle Ben was underwhelming, compared to the magnificent outer appearance of glory. But they only spent little time here and Sarina had a lot of fun exploring the ship ’s facilities. Ever since she left home, it felt like a magical dream to her… until it turned into a nightmare.

”Rina! Rina, wake up! ”, Uncle Ben woke her up deep in the night. ”You have to hide. Listen to me. Hide under the bed and don´t come out. No matter what you hear! Do you understand? ”

She drowsily looked up at the serious face. She did not really understand but nodded anyway. Then Uncle Ben pushed her under the bed. Stuck under the bed she slowly realized what had just happened. Uncle ben looked so serious. He was so strong, were they in danger? Her heart started beating faster and faster. She could not see anything but the sounds became clearer and clearer. And then, in between the overwhelming sound of her own heartbeat, she heard the sound of the door slowly swinging open.

She felt Uncle Ben jump off the bed and heard the clang of metal, followed by chaotic steps across the cabin ’s wooden floor. Another clang, and another. Then she heard a muffled moaning and a loud thud on the floor. Uncle Ben ’s face came into her view. He laid on the ground in front of the bed and she could hear his laborious breaths.

”Uncle Be… ”, she whispered. ”Don´t- Don´t talk. Just hide. ”, he pressed out in between breaths.

”Who´s hiding? ”, she heard a strange voice ask. ”No! ”, Ben shouted.

Suddenly Uncle Ben pulled her out from under the bed and took her into a tight embrace. She just heard a ripping sound and a thud behind her. Looking over her uncle ’s shoulder she saw the dark shadow that had stabbed something into their bed.

”Please, at least spare her! She is just a child! ”, Uncle Ben begged their attacker; hugging her even tighter.

”Don´t worry. She will live if she is lucky. ”, the man said sarcastically

”you have to get to your father, no matter what. Remember this. ”, she heard uncle Ben whisper weakly beside her ear and then Sarina felt a sharp pain in her belly. The pain was too much for such a young girl and she lost consciousness.

She woke up lying down on a soft bed. It felt so soft, soft like clouds. She opened her eyes and saw a beautiful room with lavish decorations. Did she die? Did she enter heaven? There was a cute little fairy sleeping beside her on the bed in a slopping sleeping posture, and a big caterpillar was looking at her with six pairs of beautiful blue eyes. She heard snoring and her eyes fell on a young man sleeping just as sloppily as the fairy, on a sofa.

It probably was not heaven. Angels definitely slept more orderly. Who were these people? Where was Uncle Ben? She remembered what had happened and her heart became heavy. Was Uncle ben gone? What was she to do now? Reach her Father. It was Uncle ’s last wish.

——————————–

~Seth! Wake up! The girl she-~

Seth felt a weak tug in the sleeves of his shirt. His eyes felt crusty and rough when he opened them. His full view was filled by a chubby, teary-eyes face framed by curly golden locks. The girl was biting her lips as if she had trouble bringing herself to talk.

”Please help me… ”

He could see it had taken her considerable resolve to ask a stranger like this. Sarina felt so insecure and afraid. The girl was on the verge of crying after simply asking for help. Doubts kept surfacing. Would they really help her?

A big warm hand stroked her head.

Seth had no idea how to deal with children, so he just started to pat her head and tried to speak in a soothing voice.

”It´s ok. You are safe now. We will help you. ”, he felt tired but tried to sound calm and reassuring.

Suddenly the girl started crying and threw herself at him. The girl must have been very desperate for an ally. Seth calmly stroked her back and in an attempt to calm her down, but couldn ’t help but think that this would have been a lot better if she was a mature beauty.

”You seem to get along quite well already! Fin wants to hug, too! ” It was the sloppy fairy that had finally woken up, too.

With Fin joining the situation the girl soon started to calm down. Fairies and little girls were simply a match made in heaven. Even when the fairy was a cute acting macho fairy. Seth heaved a relieved sigh!

When the little girl had finally calmed down and was convinced that they would help her meet her father, she started telling them her sob story. Unexpectedly, it was Seth breaking out in tears after listening to the scene of her leaving her mother behind.

The airship soon restarted the journey. The remains of victims were left behind at the next stop and had been stored in the captain ’s inventory until then. Their kin would be able to retrieve them from there and bring them back. It would take another two weeks for the ship to reach Yisivi.

Sarina was a very bright and kind girl most of the time. She liked spending her time with the Ivicer and Fin. She treated the big caterpillar like a plushy and he let it happen. Sometimes she would also sneak into his room and just watch him forge. Seth was glad that Fin had another person to spend time with when he was occupied with grinding his skills. After finally finishing Charon´s Obol Seth was finally able to experiment with his new skill.

He was shocked when Fin told him that he had been stuck in his room for three days to make the hammer. He had also mentioned the discrepancy in experience he had noticed. Fin told him, that the 15% were the appropriate amount, but she had no explanation, why he got so little before.

The only explanation he could come up with was that the soul had something to do with gaining experience. It must have been because the hammer harvested the soul directly. At least he could not think of anything else.

The first thing he tried out with his new hammer was actually not the soul smithing, but the option added with the rare rating. Seth used one of the smaller teeth of the Titanoboa and started forging material he could have only ground into shape before.

He pushed magic power into the hammer and started forging the uncommon tooth into a curved dagger. In 15 minutes, he shaped the tooth into a blade. He spent 75 mana, so it cost about 5 mana per minute to forge the tooth material, but an advantage was that he did not need to waste time to heat up the material. Shaping the tooth felt like forging hard stubborn clay, but at the same time, he also noticed that the material changed as it hardened and compressed slightly. In the end, he got 2% proficiency for finishing the

.

To have a comparison he made the same dagger by grinding a tooth into shape and he made a comparable steel dagger. The one ground from tooth only had a durability of 200 and gave 1,5%. The steel dagger had comparable performance but only gave him 0,5%.

So, the Serpent Dagger not only gave more proficiency than the other two, but also had better performance since it even had an effect thanks to the material it was made of. He had 150 snake teeth! Keeping in mind that the proficiency gain halved upon level, he could get to if he succeeded every time. The only constraint now was his mana.

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