Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 94: Settling some Debts

Seth felt only a little bad about leaving their big, expensive hotel room to Puffles and spending the nights with mina in some cheap inn rooms.

Today he did not join the team on the raid and decided to visit the commercial district with the Ivicer. After he managed to part from the horny- no, the impassionate cat girl he returned to the Inn for a shower, a meal, and to pick up the caterpillar.

The two leisurely walked around Ora. They had already spent some time in the city, but they still felt like tourists. Every time they explored the city, they found new interesting things. They reached the entrance to the lower levels after some detours.

Mina had described the location of the shop to him. It was called Marn´s Weapons and located on the second underground level. He knew he entered the right place when the deafening sound of hammers hitting metal surrounded him. The people here either had their own little shops or supplied the weapon and armor stores closer to the surface.

The workshops for blacksmiths and similarly loud craftsmen were separated from residential areas and needed to meet several conditions such as basic sound isolation. Another one was that they needed chimneys leading all the way back to the surface for the smoke of the forges to escape.

The shop Mina told him about was a tiny store towards the end of a passage that led away from the main hallways. Like the other stores on this underground level, the front was a dirty brick wall and had a cheap sign with the name of the shop. This was the cheapest level just above the black market. The black market had no laws or regulations and was rumored to be riddled with all kinds of illegal business and criminals.

So, technically this level was already close to a ghetto. The door was locked, so he knocked at the door. He heard a crashing and rumbling from inside. Stuff falling, stumbling steps, and finally the key turning in the lock.

A woman? What opened the door was a pale beauty with long blonde hair and pointy ears. She had a fine androgynous face with smooth subtle skin. She looked exactly like elves from games and movies Seth knew. Her hair was disheveled and she had a troubled look on her face.

”He-Hello! I´m sorry, but we are closed right now. ” she said with a deep and smooth voice.

”That´s ok, I´m not here to buy something. I have a different business. Are you Marn? ”

”AH! Y-Yes. Are you here because of the dept? Please, give me some more time. I-I- ”

”Calm down. I´m not a debt collector. Mina told me you might be open to rent your shop to me. But she said Mina was a man. ”

”Oh! Oh. You know Mina? ” she visibly relaxed and laughed. ”I AM a man. Don´t worry, many get that wrong. ”

Seth was a little perplexed but followed Marn into the shop. The inside of the shop was a complete mess. Weapon racks and armor stands were thrown around and broken. Weapons covered the floor and even the counter was toppled. It seemed that Marn really had some problems.

Behind the salesroom were storage, a room for a smithy, and a small living room. They sat down in the living room to talk. Marn was a half-elf and explained that he had started off as a blacksmith in his home village and originally came to Ora to learn from a dwarven master.

Like Seth, he had not known about the separation of the city and the necessity to get a recommendation. He was an elven blacksmith, which was an uncommon blacksmith class. As a pure crafting class, becoming an adventurer was not an option.

Marn contracted a dept to open a shop, but business was brutal. There were many blacksmiths opening shops to make a name for themselves and learn under a dwarven master. Now he was not only broke but owed money and even lacked the means to return home.

Yesterday some rough guys had smashed his shop and taken his best weapons as a deposit for the depts. With this, his shop was doomed.

As Seth explained his proposition the other ’s face lit up. He would take over the shop rights from him and would pay off the dept as long as Marn took care of the paperwork. Marn agreed, but Seth could see a little regret in his handsome face. He was not ready to give up, yet. The half-elf had come here with great aspirations, but they would end with this deal. Looking at the fine features with a sorrowful melancholic expression, Seth could still not believe this face really belonged to a man. This gave him a great idea of how he could help.

”You know, I might not have the time to take care of the shop all the time. Do you want to manage the place in my stead? You could still make your own weapons and sell them here, too. ”

It was a nice way to ask for a clerk. A beautiful Clerk would always draw in customers.

”Gladly! ” the elf exclaimed as he understood, that he would not have to give up on his dreams yet.

Of course, Seth did this not only to get a handsome clerk for his shop. Marn was an ”elven blacksmith ”. Maybe he could learn some ballads for enchanting from him. He had heard that this was an elven forte.

After dealing with the business part, they had a comfortable conversation which finally led to how they met Mina and her party. The elf had met Mina in a bar, too. She had listened to his worries when his shop was down in the dumps. They never ended up in bed together but became good friends. Many of the weapons Mina ’s party used were actually made by Marn. Unfortunately, they were also more or less his only customers.

A beautiful face brought not only privileges. He often met guys mistaking him for a female blacksmith and holding a grudge when he told them he was a guy. As if it was his fault, that they got horny for him.

Their pleasant conversation was interrupted by heavy knocks on the door. Followed by the sound of a door getting kicked in.

”Marn! Where are you, you little ******!? Do you have the money? ” the intruder roared.

They stood up and looked into the salesroom. The stood three thugs, who could not look any more like thugs. They wore ripped-up clothes and their hairstyles were variations of having shaved various patches of their head.

The weapons in their hand were all uncommon and from their description, Seth could guess that they were the ones stolen from Marn´s Shop.

”Hey, Marn! Did you seduce another guy? Does he know you have a noodle? ” he laughed dirty.

”Anyways, we are here because Mr. J wants his money. You know what happens if you don´t pay up! ” he kicked one of the weapon racks lying on the ground to emphasize his point. Seth almost could not believe this really happened. Also, Mr.J? Did they think this was a Fatman comic and their boss was the Jester?

”Where is the bureau of your boss? ” Seth stepped forward and asked.

”Huh? Nobody was talking to you. Marn! If you have the money to get a male prostitute you should first pay your debt!

Seth used on the three thugs who shivered when they felt his eyes gaze into their souls. The two in the back were lv.5 and the guy in the front was lv.7. These guys would be barely able to survive the sewer dungeon. Seth felt, that he might accidentally kill them with their level difference.

He summoned Puffles, the Mighty, to show them the ropes.

”Puff, can you teach them a lesson? ”

Kyyuu~

~Why do I have to clean up after you? ~

”Haha, look! The hoe summoned his little worm friend because he is afraid of us- urgh! ”

The thug in the front was rudely interrupted by a light bolt in his shoulder. Flames were burning in Puffles ’ eyes.

~How dare you belittle me! Puffles, the Mighty! ~

”Kyaa! ”

”Just don´t kill them. ” Seth reminded his pet.

Another two bolts pierced the leader ’s knees and the same happened to the two in the back. With pain and fear-filled cries, all three broke down on the floor, bleeding heavily…

The next moment they were covered in soothing light and their wounds healed. Just as they calmed down another rain of light bolts pierced their joints.

~I´m not done, yet~

After Puffles vented his anger on the thugs it returned back to the pet space, leaving the healthy but traumatized thugs lying on the store floor. Their clothes were covered in holes and drenched in sweat and blood when Seth stepped up to them.

”So? Where is Mr. J´s place? You know what happens if you don´t bring me there. ” he gave the leader a light kick to emphasize his point.

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