Blacksmith of the Apocalypse

Chapter 96: Before the Exam

Marn visited him in the evening a day later and brought the papers he had to sign to take over the shop. Of course, Seth read them, before he signed them. He finally had a shop! This meant he could test Cerberus!

He was too excited to wait for tomorrow, especially since he was scheduled for another dungeon dive with the party. Seth left Puffles at the inn to sleep and followed Marn back to the shop. The Half-elf didn´t know what Seth planned to do but dutifully led the way. After all, Seth was his new employer now and gave him a chance to stay as a blacksmith in Ora.

In the smithing room in the back, Seth asked Marn to pack away his equipment into his inventory to make space. The elf ’s jaw dropped to the ground when Seth suddenly summoned the aethereal spirit smithy. Seth didn ’t make a big secret out of the rating of his class anymore, but he still refrained from explaining all his skills. So, he just gave Marn a short explanation.

Once again, among the different crafting stations towered Cerberus, the golem assistant. It knelt down when Seth approached it. With a shriek Marn crouched into a corner, afraid of the hulking figure that suddenly started moving.

”Ah. Please stand up. Act casual. ” he spoke to Cerberus but Marn also stood up with an awkward expression.

Seth felt conflicted having this silent giant act so servile to him. He felt a connection with the golem after their intense battle of strength and judged it unworthy for such an opponent to kneel to anyone.

What he didn´t feel bad about was exploiting him to the max. Seth took out 200 ingots of and stacked them into the corner of the room. Cerberus was only able to do simple tasks, so Seth needed to make equipment for him, similar to what one might use with a power hammer or a hydraulic press.

Using one of the ingots Seth started to forge a punch, an embossing punch. He split the ingot into two parts. He forged a stamp with the positive shape of a scale and cooled it. He ground and filed it into shape until he was satisfied. Then he heated the other part of the steel, shaped it into a nice plate, and punched the negative shape of the scale into the softened metal. After quenching the plate, he had a simple punch for the scales of a scale armor.

Now, all Cerberus had to do was forging the ingots into sheets and punching the scales out of them with its overwhelming strength. It was a simple Task he could leave to Cerberus who could work without a break until the material ran out. All Seth would have to do then, was assembling the scale armors.

This method would inevitably end up creating some scraps. Cerberus was not able to utilize the furnace, so Seth gave him a lot more material, than was actually need to make thirty scale armors. Seth could simply smelt the scrap when he returned, so he did not lose any material here.

With a satisfied smile, he watched his new sla- assistant start using the tools in the smithy to forge sheet metal. He wanted to watch the whole process at least once, to make sure it really worked.

Marn on the other hand was completely flabbergasted.

”This is Cerberus, by Workshop Assistant. ” he said turning toward the petrified Marn.

”Workshop Assistant… ” the elf repeated. Then he looked up the 3-meter-tall figure with bulging muscles, wide shoulders, and three scary dogfaces.

Using a golem to forge? Sure, dwarves were definitely able to make golems like this, but it seemed like a waste to use it as a workshop assistant.

”What is it? ” Seth asked when he notices the elf ’s expression.

”It-it just seems like a waste to use a golem as a menial laborer. It looks so strong, shouldn ’t you take it to the dungeon? ”

If only he could… Seth would have loved to bring Cerberus to the dungeon.

”Don´t worry. It also defends the workshop. So, if people like yesterday show up again… they might not be so lucky next time. ”

Seth patted the half-elf ’s shoulder and prompted him to follow back into the showroom. Marn had used the day to tidy up the place. He set up the undamaged weapon racks in neat rows and got rid of the broken pieces.

The only weapons in the store now were some of Marn´s lesser works. The best ones had long been cashed in by the loan shark. But all of them showed the signs of weak enchantment. It was one of the reasons he kept Marn. He hoped that he could learn the elvish forging ballads or at least some of them.

Not Seth filled the racks with the leftover from the weapons he had forged on his journey. Since he had sold most of the products, he made from snake bones, these were just the leftovers he did not get to put into the auction house. Displayed on the weapon racks were now 15 uncommon Serpent Daggers made from the teeth and 10 uncommon serpent sabers and cutlasses made from the ribs.

Seth had stayed with a bladed weapon since the ribs already sported the curved form. All of them had the option to poison the target by nature if supplied with mana. And Seth had used a poison enchantment to further strengthen this option. He had tested them once or twice but it was still not some kind of overpowered instant death poison effect. It was more of a slow-acting poison that slowed movements or slowly drained the HP. Compare to the actual damage of the weapons, they were negligible.

The last step was something, Seth had instructed Marn to get in town. The elf ’s experience with theft reminded Seth of the Arcane Emporium and the Desert Dragon Pavillion. Seth had the elf get Anti-theft magic for the shop. It was in the form of an easy-to-use scroll. Once he used it, everything in the room was covered by a thin membrane of light. Nobody would be able to move the product except for those authorized by the user.

That was unless the thief managed to find a loophole or overpower the magic. Seth had given Marn money to buy the most expensive scroll, so there should be few people able to get around it.

Late in the night, Seth returned to the inn. Unlike Seth, Marn had a hard time falling asleep that night. He was living in the store. In a room right beside a tirelessly working golem forging and punching steel. Past midnight the rhythmic thumping of the hammer finally lulled him into sleep.

There was another person listening to the sound of hammering standing in the darkness outside of the store. Covered in a dark cloak he felt the elf finally falling asleep. He had no idea what was making the noise of forging, but he felt no other life inside the building.

He was hired to maim the elven blacksmith and make him leave Ora. He did not need to care about any kind of device. That was what he thought. As the assassin cracked the lock on the front door, a pair of violet glowing eyes looked up from their work.

The man stepped into the shop and halted as the sound of hammers was suddenly silenced. With his skill, he could make out a giant figure entering the room from the other side. This wasn´t the elf? Was this the other guy his client mentioned? He got ready to end this fight before the other could make any light-

Marn who had just fallen asleep jumped up in shock. He was woken up by a bloodcurdling primal scream. Bathed in sweat he rushed out of his room, but only found the empty store. He entered the smithy but only saw the silhouette of Cerberus standing at the anvil, slowly punching a scale by pushing the stamp through the softened metal as if it was clay.

Was it just a dream? So much had happened lately. He was so tired… Marn returned back to his room and fell asleep again.

In the darkness, his sleepy eyes missed the rivulets of blood, stream down from the canine jaws and across golem ’s chest. All that was left of the intruder was a small pool of blood on the floor, that would have vanished by the time morning came.

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