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Chapter 779

Clang. Clang. Clang.

The sound of metal against metal filled the room. The heat was unbearable. Heat tolerance was a skill that a blacksmith developed. I imagined a cook would develop it as well, but my cook job hadn’t even reached level 20 yet, so it looked like something I could only look forward to. Fortunately, even though the heat was uncomfortable, I had high stats and a strong physique after fighting for my life for half a year in dungeons.

Garnet moved as if in a trance. From the moment she grabbed her hammer and stood in front of the anvil, she became impossibly focused. She reminded me of Terra right before she began to craft something. It was a certain gleam in their eye, a level of determination and focus mixed with excitement. They were creating something.

I was never much of a creator. I had dabbled in things before. I had tried writing fan fiction once. I had tried to draw art. I had even dabbled in programming my own video game. In the end, I always gave up those things, never able to get particularly serious about them. Even with college, I was only dabbling, without a clear goal of what I wanted to be. In the end, I just didn’t have a knack for being creative.

However, that didn’t mean I couldn’t support people who could be creative. I may not be the kind of person with the patience to make things myself, but I could always stand by someone’s side and help them. Even if it took days or a week, I was the kind of guy who could support someone as they created something. I didn’t need to know what that something was, or even its importance in the grand scheme of things. I could just feel the excitement in those that care, and I could care that they cared.

So, despite the heat, I stood fast and measured the temperature. Using fire control and temperature gauge, I was able to manage the temperature as Garnet worked. I could keep the entire fire at one temperature, evenly cooking from every side, or I could keep the furnace at two different temperatures, allowing her to move from one to the other when needed.

At first, Garnet would manage my movements, telling me what to do and checking after my work, but as the hours passed, her trust in me grew, and my understanding of her sharpened. We started to move like one unit. Not a single breath was wasted on talking. I used Slave Communication once or twice to confirm things, but other than that, I was able to tell what she wanted on body motion alone. A slight nod of her head or a flicker of her eyes was enough for me to understand what was needed next.

The silvthril stones were tossed into a bowl one at a time and allowed to melt, it was poured out into a sword cast, and then once hardened, the stone was broken away and the hammering began. She finally cooled the stone down in vats of liquid, and after nearly ten hours of work, we were finally done.

We were both sweaty and breathing hard like we had been working out for hours. Garnet glanced at me, and then her cheeks grew flushed.

“We’re done.” She stated the obvious, suddenly looking shy.

I glanced down at the shining blade, which still didn’t have a hilt. “You made this possible.”

Garnet shook her head, her pigtails bouncing back and forth.

“I couldn’t have made this on my own.” She admitted. “It was your help that allowed me to make something like this. My Blacksmith Masters always complained that good help was hard to find. They insisted they could never make their best work until they had the best apprentice working under them. Some of them had hoped I would be that top apprentice, but I failed. I was always too busy looking at what they were doing to concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing. They refused to take me on as an apprentice. Instead, they always called me a junior blacksmith. They said I didn’t have what it took to be an apprentice. I now understand what they meant. Master, you are a true apprentice.”

She bowed respectfully.

“Uh… thanks?” I felt a little sheepish at that.

{You have been recognized by a Master Blacksmith. You have unlocked the job, Apprentice Blacksmith.}

I already have too many of those. You can shut up, skill system!

Chapter 780

The skill system did reveal some things to me I might not have noticed when I gained Apprentice Blacksmith. First things first, there was an Apprentice Blacksmith. That meant her Blacksmith job was a second-tier job which she had managed to skip to, likely by her skill and luck. Just like I had been held back with White Mage having not unlocked the other magician jobs, she was likely stifled by jumping straight to blacksmith. Had she not been a Deep Dwarf with a class that supported such work, then she might have never been able to succeed.

The second thing it revealed to me was that Garnet had gained a new job of her own. She was now a Master Blacksmith. A check from her status showed this to be true. Her Weapon Smith had gone up only a level, but she had also added Master Blacksmith as a job. Assuming WeaponSmith, Magic Blacksmith, and Armor Smith were all third-tier jobs, then Master would be 4th tier. None of the third-tier jobs were close to 25, let alone 50. Maybe, because she had all three, she didn’t need to meet those criteria. Or, maybe it was because of the sword meeting some kind of criteria. It must be a special kind of blade.

“I will start on the binding now,” Garnet spoke up, breaking me from my thoughts.

“It’s not bound to me yet?”

“It will take about an hour to inscribe the runes.”

“Let’s portal out of here,” I said, glancing around. “I’d be more at piece finishing somewhere we won’t be discovered.”

Knowing my luck, the Bandit Hero would walk in and interrupt the binding and end up taking the sword. It was better that we went somewhere private so that we could finish the sword. If we returned to the village, we’d be safe for a while. Garnet agreed with me, wrapping the handle in leather to create an impromptu hilt before picking up the sword and handing it to me. The sword wasn’t particularly heavy, but it was on the big side for what I was used to using. I tended to favor quick movements, and this sword was more for heavy-hitting.

Either way, I place it in my inventory and then started to make a portal. I worried up until the portal opened that there was going to be something that would get in the way. It would fit my luck of late for the portal to fail or that Dark Priest to suddenly walk in as we were escaping. Fortunately, nothing happened, and the guards who were waiting outside the door had no awareness as we slipped through the portal and left the cave.

The furnace was too hot and noisy, and after working for nearly an entire day, there was no telling how long we’d be. Thus, as we took a step out into the cool forest, it could be minutes or hours before the nearby bandits realized we escaped. The pair of us didn’t wait around. We quickly left, returning to the road. At this point, the sun was starting to fall, and the day was nearly over. It’d be night soon, and the sky was cloudy.

That’s why as we headed toward the village, it took a whiff of smoke before I started to notice that some of the clouds weren’t clouds at all. There was a cloud of smoke billowing up from the village we had come from.

“You don’t think the bandit ransacked the city while we were making the sword, do you?”

While the Bandit Hero was a hero of the people, and likely wouldn’t slaughter, there was no saying what Calypso would do. The pair of us looked at each other and then started running toward the village. I had the star sword in my hand, not wanting to reveal the silvthril sword. Garnet gripped onto the war hammer she had gotten from the Master Blacksmith, not to be confused with the hammers she used to smith.

As we approached, we could hear the sound of fighting.

Chapter 781

“Not thieves. The demon army!” I cursed as the pair of us grew closer.

Acrid smoke and the smell of blood filled the air. We could hear shouting and screaming in the distance. More than half of the village was aflame now. There appeared to be no one left alive trying to fight them.

“The demon army?” Garnet shook her head in confusion. “Why would the demon lord destroy his people? I don’t understand?”

My eyes landed on her for a moment, and then I considered a certain item in my inventory. As much as Garnet didn’t want to accept it, that item she had created was like a beacon in this dungeon. If the dungeon boss didn’t immediately try to destroy it and any possibility of it being made, then he wasn’t doing his job.

“Wait… Master!” Garnet let out a cry and then rushed forward from the brush we were hiding behind into the burning light.

“W-wait!” I cried, jumping out and following her.

With my sword drawn, I did my best to keep up with her. Even though she was a dwarf, Garnet was extremely quick on her feet, and she ended up outdistancing me. Of course, I was wearing my armor, a combination of what the Blacksmith had given me and the magic items I had found since entering the dungeon. The Star Armor I got from Xin’s challenges, but there were occasionally other drops too over the last month. Some armor was destroyed, while I ran into new pieces.

Overall, I didn’t wear particularly heavy armor, but it was mismatched and inconsistent. It wasn’t just a hodgepodge of gear, I realized it did slow me down as a runner. In the dungeons, with tight corners, this never bothered me. On a battlefield, where any errant arrow could mean death, I probably would also love this armor. Only in this particular situation did I curse myself for always trying to play things safe.

“Help!” I heard a scream from my side.

I stopped following Garnet’s form as she had already disappeared in the smoke. There were only about twenty houses in all, but the blacksmith was on the outskirts because of the noise. Where I was where the seven or eight houses that made up the residential area of town. Gritting my teeth, I turned to the alley where I had heard the scream.

After dashing through it, I ended up in a backyard that had been turned into a small farm. A woman turned to me, one of the ones who had given mischievous looks whenever I spent time with Garnet and had helped spread the rumor that I was courting her. As our eyes locked, she didn’t say a word as a sword fell cutting her down from behind. Blood leaked from her mouth as she dropped to her knees, and then she collapsed dead on the ground.

“You…” I cursed as I looked up at the man who had just cut her down.

“You’re still alive, Deek?” Bernard titled his head. “Let’s fix that.”

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