Yleka city was the trade hub of the Gresh Kingdom and as such, the place was bustling with a huge crowd at every corner.
Several players were swarming the area for interesting quests and golden opportunities that could help them crack the game and take a step further than their counterparts.
However, even in this busy crowd, the blacksmith ’s association definitely stood out. Weapons were integral to most games and it was a fair guess to give importance to them.
When two players were at similar levels and had similar skills with similar attributes, the one thing that could distinguish them both was a weapon. Especially, the custom-made ones which most games offer towards the end game or higher levels.
This was why a majority of the players had already learned blacksmithing and were currently gathered at the blacksmith association hunting for quests, recipes and trying to level up the skill.
All the NPCs in the association were also completely drowned in this mob, everyone competing with each other just to have a conversation with them.
But amidst this chaos, in a dull and isolated corner of the courtyard, a single person was monotonously crafting one sword after another.
While others were dancing on thorns to get everything right and do every single step to absolute perfection so that the product doesn ’t fail and the raw materials don ’t get wasted, this person looked like he couldn ’t care less.
Liam did not stop at all. He was working like a machine.
His experienced hands tossed one finished product after another in a pile and he simply kept going on without showing any signs of tiredness or mental exhaustion.
Several people noticed him, but everyone was busy with their own progress to pay attention to the lunatic who was wasting iron ores.
From the manner in which he was tossing the swords on the ground, they could only assume that all of his forgings had failed, giving ruined products.
”Eh! Look there. Don ’t be that guy. I think you should spend more time melting the ore thoroughly. I heard it improves the quality and can even give a boost to attack power. ”
”Hmmm… That guy ’s products are probably failing because he is not hammering the raw weapon longer. ”
”No, he is barely even doing tempering. ”
Even though Liam wasn ’t doing anything extraordinary, his sheer concentration, focus, and monotonous perseverance attracted a lot of attention.
But luckily for him, after taking a look, no one paid him any further attention. His actions and forging technique were just that bad.
It looked like he was only doing the bare minimum of what was necessary and sometimes not even that.
Besides, everyone was engrossed in their own training, so no one bothered him and went back to doing their own thing.
However, there was an exception to this.
The blacksmith ’s association was a tower-shaped structure and on the twentieth floor, a pair of eyes continued keenly observing Liam.
This pair of wrinkled eyes belonged to an old man. He was calmly sipping on his tea in silence, his face not betraying any emotions. However, he noticed even the smallest of Liam ’s actions.
No one knew what was going on in his mind. As to why he was amused by the young man whom others had ignored was also a mystery.
”Shall I call him over, master? ” A person standing next to him bowed respectfully and asked, for which the old man simply raised his hand, waving him away.
But the next second, his figure disappeared and appeared near Liam.
As the next batch of iron ores sizzled in the hot flames of the furnace, his voice sounded aloud. ”May I take a look at this sword? ”
Liam almost dropped the clay mold he was holding in his hand in surprise. He had completely failed to notice the presence of someone else near him! What happened?
But, he let out a deep breath and quickly recovered. After all, he was paying his full attention to forging, so he probably did not notice.
He didn ’t think too much about it and looked at the NPC standing in front of him. The old man was clearly trying to strike up a conversation with him and he seemed like an NPC.
Though NPCs and players were almost indistinguishable, it was still easy to differentiate between both especially at the beginning.
’Hmmm… This should be an NPC from the association? ’
”Yes, senior. ” Liam quickly passed on the sword that the old man was pointing to and then continued focusing on his forging.
He already had the quest that he absolutely wanted so he didn ’t bother fawning over the man for another quest.
In fact, he hoped that the guy would leave soon so that he wouldn ’t be disturbed by a horde of rowdy eager players swarming at the place where he was forging.
The old man, however, did not share any of Liam ’s concerns. He leisurely ran his fingers over the piece of weapon that was merely common-grade.
His eyes glinted as if he was analyzing every grain in the sword that lacked any sort of special properties and when he was done, his gaze surprisingly shifted to Liam himself.
”Ho Ho! ” Almost immediately, a subtle flicker of surprise appeared in his face which quickly faded away.
”Lad, why are you in such a hurry? ” The old man calmly asked.
Huh? Liam was once again taken aback.
If the person was criticizing his technique, he would have said something like why are you not doing this, and why are you not doing that.
He could have commented about any of the forging steps as Liam was madly rushing through everything, but to ask why was he in a hurry… as if he could tell exactly what he was capable of…
’No. I am overthinking this. ’ Liam shook his head. He put his thoughts away and gave a generic reply, still continuing to hammer his next weapon.
”Ah. Sorry elder. I am still a trainee. My techniques are not that good. Please forgive my incompetence.. I hope that I have not offended you. ”
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