Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 9: First Quest?

Stepping out of the door, he stood at the top of a staircase, that led down to the boardwalk. Well, now it was a meadow of high grass. Seth walked down the staircase until he stood on level ground.

”Summon Spirit Smithy! ”

The skill worked, despite the grass and the Spirit Smithy appeared before him, flattening the grass it stood on. Seth pulled out a table leg he had gotten from his neighbors place, it was a lot better for this, that was what he had prepared. Determined he held it into the eerie white flames of the Spirit Smithy. The Soul Fire easily turned the wood into a torch.

Seth threw the torch into the sea of grass. ”Lets see you hide now… ”. He would burn the grass around him so he could see the vines! But even Seth was surprised at the result.

The Soul Fire jumped into the grass and spread…like a wildfire. With an insane speed it shot along the overgrown streets, devouring all the vegetation it came in contact with. And it wasn ’t just this street! Moments later he could see the cold white light of his Soul Fire shining from everywhere in the city, licking about between the rows of houses and illuminating the Hanging Tree from below! Seth ’s jaw fell open, watching the calamity unfold. A sea of flames filled his vision. And then a smile crept up his face. He knew that feeling from clips of natural disasters, if you saw something so big and fascinating happen, that you could not help but smile and laugh.

”Hey ! Wait! That ’s not cool! This is a legitimate tactic, Ok?! I ’m not doing this for fun! ”, he argued, but really couldn ’t suppress the smile on his face.

A whole bunch of messages dinged through, Seth was really startled this time. He was afraid the system had suddenly decided to answer him, when he argued back! Listening to the notification, Seth noticed that it didn ’t mention anything other than vines. Had everything that entered the sea of grass died?

And level up? When he looked at his status he was already lv.3 and it was fast approaching lv.4. The fire really did a great work in collecting him experience!

The grass around was already burned down and the vicinity turned dark again. He would better hurry to get away. Who knew what would happen, if someone found out that HE had burned down the bosses home field. He fell into a moderate running, using his phone to light up the path.

The streets were still filled with burning hot air, even after the flames left, but Seth could handle it with his resistance. The newly gained affinity made him actually feel quite cozy in this kind of environment. His ears were ringing, when the Kill messages had finally slowed down a little. When he checked his status again, he was already lv.4, close to lv.5 and had gained another 26 Free AP.

There was actually a new entry SP: Skill Points. He had 3 now, could he..

As he was focused on his status, he saw something moving in the corner of his eyes. He jumped away and fell to the ground before he could even register what exactly it was. Turning back he saw a half burned vine! The skull-penetration kind! It was lit up by the phone he had lost during the landing.

Seth whipped around with the Billhook and managed to cleanly cut the vine before it could launch at him again.

He looked at the cut off part of the Vine and actually told him, that it could be a crafting material, but all he could see was ”??? ” in it ’s description. Was the skill level too low? Anyway, he had to get out of there, so he stuffed the vine in his backpack and kept running towards the outskirts of the city, where the trees canopy didn ’t reach.

”Huh? There were more? ” Seth didn ’t stop to check, he kept going without looking back. At least the headache inducing kill messages had stopped soon after he reached lv.5!

He met a few more vines on his way to the rim, but they were no problem. They actually helped leveling his to lv.3! But he didn ’t get cocky this time. The early levels were always easy.

At dawn, when the sky slowly became brighter and the sun peaked over the horizon, Seth had finally reached the edge of the tree crown. There was only one problem, from the lowest branches hang a curtain of vines. The fire wasn ’t able to destroy those vines above lv.4, even though they were steaming.

Looking for a solution his eyes fell on the manhole covers, he sighed.

”Whatever.. ”, he summoned the Spirit Smithy and forged a hook to open the manhole covers with.

Surprisingly, there was no stench when he entered the sewer. ”oh… ”, he muttered when he saw the reason why. The whole underground was filled with roots. He should have known it! Of course this place would be full of this stuff too..! Seth squinted annoyed. ”You know…what worked once… ”, he mumbled resigned.

Soon the sewers where filled with white flames! The place was instantly filled with dark stinking smoke and Seth fled back to the surface! Smoke was also rising from the manhole covers in close vicinity, but it didn ’t really spread like last time. On the other hand that didn ’t mean it was useless! Although the roots didn ’t burn away, the crown actually seemed to shake in pain, making the vines at the edge sway. It swayed just enough! Seth took this chance, ran-up and dove through the gap below the vines, without being noticed!

He could physically feel the pressure of constant fear that had burdened him since leaving home fall off his shoulders. Hopefully this meant that he wouldn ’t encounter any more of those vines! Seth didn ’t look back and started to sprint. Burning trees and broken ruins lined the roads. Gradually he saw more buildings and ruins overgrown with vegetation. A few minutes later he finally came to stop at a place the fire had not reached. Here the broken streets were still covered in grass, but it wasn ’t as high. A lot more buildings had been destroyed by the growing forest. They were higher and the whole area resembled the pictures Seth had seen of old temples that had been reclaimed by jungle.

The undergrowth started affecting his field of view, so Seth slowed down and finally came to stand still. He tried to catch his breath as he scanned his surroundings, anything could be lurking to jump him in this kind of environment.

”Of all the things I imagined, this wasn ’t it when I heard ’Apocalypse ’… ”

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