Chapter 87: Even if there’s Magic, it’s not like You can do Anything without Proper Preparation.
Dinner was delicious.
I’m not sure what a non-monster bear tastes like, but the meat of the Red Grizzly was soft and tender, but still had a nice consistency when chewed.
The meat of the roast was definitely firmer than the stewed meat, but no matter which you tasted, when you sunk your teeth into it, hearty juices flowed out and filled your mouth with the umami of the fat and the aroma of spices.
The stewed meat seemed to soak up the broth of the stew, and a mellower taste came out …
Haa, I seem to have become more sensitive to good food here in this world than in Japan. I guess that’s what happens when you eat convenient store food for every meal – that’s what Grandfather and I ended up doing when Grandma died.
Food also seems to be more abundant in this world than in Japan – or at least, in Nyl City it is.
Ragnall said that it’s because any city with a Labyrinth in it basically has food and supplies pouring out of the Labyrinth – anyway, my point is, everyone who cooks takes an effort to make the food good without skimping too much on anything, because the price of ingredients is pretty cheap.
Even if you sold it at minimal prices, if you cut too many corners on food no one will come to eat it because there’s always going to be better food around. That’s why everything I’ve eaten in this world, even food stall food, has been good.
Maa, I suppose this is only because I’ve been staying in Nyl City for the two plus months I have been in this world. Because people are greedy, I’m sure there are places where people don’t get enough to eat and the fact that the food is capable of being eaten is a restaurant’s main selling point.
Anyway, dinner was really good.
Apparently this waystation, the Lonely Bear, is well known for its food, so many people come for it.
Here at the Lonely Bear, lodging, the stables, and the bath are free, but food and the use of other facilities cost extra.
Although neither Orvowel and his assistant Leimon, nor Ragnall, Hibiki, and I have to pay for anything apparently, since we brought in the bear.
By the way, the “other facilities” apparently does include a forge.
I took the job without really thinking about it, but I was really worrying for a moment there that I’d have to improvise something with a campfire outside. Luckily, Orvowel informed me that there is properly a forge out back…
… Hang on. Isn’t this just a fire-pit with an anvil next to it?
“Well, I mean, it’s just for small repairs and the like … no one would really come out to a cabin in the middle of the wilderness and expect to find a facility like in the Guild.”
Orvowel shrugged as I stand, staring at the forge on the side of the cabin.
“…Nn, that’s true. I suppose it’s more like, I’m lucky to find this much out here.”
“Hohoho, Numinor always liked to put up travelers in his cabin since he started living out here. Then, as the years went by, he just kept adding more and more to it, and every year he tries to think of something that would increase the convenience for travelers. Before you know it, the Lonely Bear became well-known as a waystation, and Numinor has never been happier.”
Ah, I see. So this used to just be the bear-man’s house, huh?
It seems he added onto the cabin to expand it one year, redid the kitchen/eating area another year, put in the large baths, then added on the stables … although he’d always had the small hut for smoking meat and the area for tanning hides, it seems the “forge” was a recent addition that Numinor cobbled together within the last few years.
… Oh good, I see some bellows attached to the bottom of the firepit. It won’t be a complete hassle… I wonder if I can get it hot enough.
Un, I suppose it’s impossible to get out of using Barriers to regulate the heat, even with regular steel, after all.
If I return to Japan some time in the future, my abilities in smithing would be so poor, since I’m cheating so much with magic…
Anyway, the … “rustic” nature of this forge makes me interested in seeing just how far I can go with these facilities… ah, no. Ahem, that’s right. I’m properly making a decent sword on the cheaper side, yes.
But … un, this “forge” is only really for heating up metal just enough so you can make crude adjustments. Without the ability to carefully control the fire, I’d wager that the grindstone over there gets visited more than this forge.
Not that many people would come just to work on weapons.
Of course, with the forge being at that level, there’s no smelting furnace. Not that I expected it to begin with, but it would have been nice … since I basically have to return the… “sword” … to an ingot.
But first things first … I disassemble the sword.
Oh good, it’s not just welded together… that was my next worry. I am able to twist the pommel off. Since the pommel wasn’t just welded to the tang of the blade, it makes me think that the smith didn’t intend it to be a cheap weapon with a limit to how much you can use it before you tossed it.
I feel a sense of sympathy towards the smith, although I don’t recognize the name of the maker when I use Analyze4.
Marin, whoever you are, my condolences for your creation to have ended up like this.
After twisting the pommel off, the grip … uwaaa. I tried searching though the leather bindings to see of there’s a pin or something that holds it in place, but the leather instantly loosens and the grip just about falls off the tang of the blade.
The wooden grip underneath the leather is … a splintered mess.
Can you even reuse this? I don’t really want to have to remake the grip for free…
Seriously, to reduce it to this state… somehow my willingness to make a sword for that kid just keeps going down.
“Sorry for that idiot’s impossible request. You really don’t need to entertain him.”
One of the older Adventurers from the owner of this sword’s group has come out from the cabin, and he apologizes for that guy.
“Ah… it’s not an impossible request, just an impossible request the way he expects me to magic this pile of rubble into a working sword again.”
Seriously, I should have just quoted him a ridiculously high price just so I wouldn’t have to do it.
Although the sword has no sin… I feel a sense of pain to leave it as it is.
I sigh as I sort the pieces of steel out from the wood.
“Just tell me this. Does that guy even know how to use a sword?”
The older Adventurer scratches the back of his head and returns my sigh.
“It’s not like he’s completely clueless, but the finesse of fighting an ice troll … ah, well, it’s simply too soon for him. I did say so, but … he’s the kid brother of one of our regular group members.”
Nn. Sounds like this man has to put up with a lot too.
A new Adventurer with no sense of how things work … surely even I wasn’t this bad 2 months ago.
I lift up the sword’s sheathe and fill it with magic to get a rough idea of the shape.
Un, with the acceptable tolerances, the dimension should be… fumu fumu, I see.
It’s just a normal longsword afterall.
“Somehow, despite your complaints, you seem to be enjoying yourself…”
The Adventurer said.
“I’m just putting aside the painful thoughts about dealing with the hilt for later.”
“Is that so… well, even though I have no idea what you’re doing, it looks impressive.”
… What is he saying. I haven’t even done anything yet.
I decide to ignore the guy and rinse off the steel shards as best as I can with a water stone, then dry them with some wind magic.
Hm? Orvowel and Adventurer-san are looking over here with wide eyes?
Hm… Ah, I forgot. Chantless magic is extremely unusual.
Let’s just ignore it for now…
Now I take out what I’ll need.
Several tongs and a crucible. My personal anvil for plain steel swords … but I still bring out the mithril blacksmith’s hammer.
It just feels better when I wield it.
Although you could get ceramic crucibles made of a clay that can withstand anything but dragon fire, they didn’t sell those in Nyl City. That clay is supposed to be collected from a stream in Ploids Labyrinth, so it wouldn’t be too strange to be able to buy one when we reach our destination.
Although, strictly speaking, I hope that there won’t be many cases where I have to smelt ore like this while traveling.
This plain crucible I have is made better than most, but I feel like it’s not going to withstand this project. Maa, that’s why you buy quite a few of them. Sometimes you even have to break them open, after all.
In the crucible go the shards of steel~
Un, and then into the fire goes the crucible, carried with my tongs.
And then regulate the fire with the foot-operated bellows… Yeah, this is not convenient at all.
But, with a lot of magic “help” here and there, I manage to get the steel molten.
As expected, the crucible is only being held together with Barrier magic right now… there has to be a better way to do this… oh well. I’ll have to mess with that another time.
Regulating the rate the steel cools, I smash the already cracked crucible when the steel hardened enough to remain solid even without the ceramic crucible.
Alright, and now onto the sword.
The sound of the hammer and anvil ring out for a while around the little cabin.
After carefully controlling the final cool-down, since there’s no kiln that I can let do it for me, it’s already well into the night when I’m done.
… Eh? Orvowel has long since gone in, but that Adventurer-san and Hibiki are sitting over there, watching me.
“Oh, Hibiki. Why are you out here? Won’t it be difficult for you to get up in the morning?”
Like most of the other gamers, Hibiki doesn’t have Resilient Body, and so she can’t operate on only a few hours of sleep like I can.
Hibiki quietly shook her head.
“It’s okay. We’re staying here tomorrow night too, so we don’t have to get up early.”
Ah, I vaguely remember Orvowel saying something like that earlier…
But isn’t just sitting out here in the cold watching me work kind of boring?
That goes for the Adventurer-san too – ah, oi. What’s with that face of frozen shock?
Realizing that both Hibiki and I are looking at him with concern, the Adventurer-san snaps out of it.
“S-sorry, it’s just … um… was that … was that Mana Forging?”
Mana Forging; the art of circulating your magic in order to help regulate the heat and the intensity of your hammer strikes according to how you imagine the finished product. Well, it’s actually a lot of high-level spells all rolled into one and used simultaneously.
Even if Mana Forging smiths are rare, seriously, how else did you think I was going to do this without proper facilities?
Or, put another way, it was impossible to forge a blade in a place like this if I COULDN’T use Mana Forging, right?
“Um… is it … can I see it?”
The Adventurer-san nervously held out his hands.
Un… normally I wouldn’t let someone else touch the client’s sword… but with that kid, I kind of don’t care.
The Adventurer-san took the naked sword blade and looked at it this way and that.
Aaah… yeah, it’s definitely a grade above the 25,000ecrue price…
… M,maa, at least it’s at the degree where, if you aren’t really into swords, you can’t tell the quality by looking at it…
… I’m just going to call this a success.
With just the blade, no hilt, it would probably be worth somewhere a little less than the 75,000ecrue range, but if you compare it to what I started out making, it’s a vast “improvement.”
It’s at the level where I can sell it to more experienced Adventurers. I don’t think I could stomach making a sword for a beginner Adventurer.
The Adventurer-san carefully inserted the blade into the scabbard several times, then frowned and looked at me.
“Are… you really okay with selling this for 25,000ecrue?”
“Whether or not I’m okay with it… that price didn’t include the hilt, you know? I’m not really sure what I should do with that.”
I gesture at the pile of leather and wood shavings.
The Adventurer-san thought silently for a minute.
“Hang on, I have an idea.”
A sly smile creeps across his face.
It’s a secret that Hibiki and I kind of drew back from him a little…
Anyway, I found out that the Adventurer-san’s name is Gurtis, and the kid’s name is Safr.
Their party, the Rogue Wanderers, come from far in the north-west, just south of the Dwarven territories, so they should be used to fighting ice trolls, but this time, Safr begged his sister to be taken along. Which they allowed on the condition that he stayed in the back.
It was only supposed to be observation for him.
As you’d expect, and impulsive guy like that … well, in the end, he got in over his head, and his magic-swordsman abilities just weren’t high enough to protect his weapon.
He was lucky that he was at least able to protect his life…
What were you thinking, bringing someone like that to hunt frost trolls-!? Each troll requires a 6-man party of C-ranked Adventurers!
I have to resist yelling that out.
I mean, Gurtis himself was against it from the very beginning.
While he was talking to us, Gurtis was testing the blade’s magic conduction and the ability it had to hold the basic skills like Keen Edge.
With a satisfied look, Gurtis replaced the blade into the scabbard, and then walked into the cabin.
<a/n: Thanks RS and anonymous for your donations!
Everyone is getting sick… Let’s hope I won’t catch it, but well, it’s delayed the illustration. My apologies.
To whoever posted about the picture, sure, show it 😀
(I keep losing that comment in the queue, so… I’ll just say it here.)>