Chapter 98: Sniping Great Minds Works in a Fantasy Setting Too
*Clang. Clang. Clang.*
“… As I thought, this place calms me down the best.”
“D…did something happen?”
Inside the forge, Trelzt, the forest wolf beastkin at Warden’s Post handed me a cup of tea, heated by forge as usual.
“No… well, nothing.”
We had just finished the maintenance on the wardens’ swords that were left there.
Aside from some sharpening, there was a lot of hilt and grip maintenance.
I’m not as good on that, so it was really helpful for Trelzt to show me all his little tips and tricks.
Even though he was overjoyed with seeing Ragnall’s falchion made by Helward, I wonder if he just doesn’t believe that I’m considered a master-class bladesmith… Not that I’m complaining. I’m grateful that he’s not freaking out and bothers to teach me like this.
“It’s great that you’re interested in this stuff. A lot of blade masters seem to ignore the add-ons, but if you do that then you’ll never reach the heights of magic swords, you know?”
“Yeah, I understand it well. And I’m sure I’m only just seeing the tip of the techniques that can be put into the blade as well. That’s why I’m traveling, see.”
“Aaaah, hahaha. Seems like lass is going to be a fine master bladesmith in the future.”
Yup, he doesn’t believe I’m already an A Rank Craftsman bladesmith.
To tell the truth, I don’t think I am either, sometimes.
How should I say it…
There’s so much out there. Just because I learned about magic alloys and the proper way to forge… un. I think that there is still a lot of room for me to grow.
After all, I’m not just aiming for mastering blade smithing, I’m aiming for the mastering of magic swords!
Anyway, I don’t bother with correcting Trelzt because there are a lot of little tricks he can teach me that he’s picked up over the past 5 years of caring for all the wardens’ swords. Like the few things he put in the oils for both the blades and the leather strips for the grips.
It’s all interesting things, though it’s all just maintenance in the end.
Anyway, finishing with all of the daily maintenance, Trelzt and I are enjoying tea together while taking a break before getting to work on the more difficult projects.
“ ”Haaah…” ”
Even though it’s a crude tea, both Trelzt and I sit down, take a sip, and sigh contentedly like old farmers.
“I thought you’d be in here makin’ new swords and stuff for sure. Young blade smiths are ambitious, after all. Instead you’re just doing odd jobs with me. I’m grateful, but travelers ARE allowed to use this forge for their own stuff if they pay the rental fee at Headquarters.”
“Ah, no, well, how should I say it… Just mindlessly making swords won’t help me improve.”
And I already did the craftsman grinding back in Nyl City. There is a small mountain of forged swords in the room we call “The Armory” in Seimei’s house at Nyl City.
Although it’s technically just the wine cellar.
Anyway, I have the physical aspects of smithing down, and certainly I do enjoy making swords, but I’m traveling in hopes of studying magic swords and learning more about each locations’ personal methods of making weapons, so there’s no need for me to overdo it and force myself to forge everyday.
Or like, I don’t want to block myself into thinking, “a sword must be like this” and miss some new technique due to narrow-mindedness down the road.
“I suppose that’s true… although the path to reach blade smithing mastery is paved with repetition!”
Yes, yes. My paving stones are all in Seimei’s cellar, so it’s fine.
But it’s kind of fun having Trelzt acting like he’s my mentor, and it seems more bothersome to try to correct him, so I leave it.
Well, I will probably do some forging later, if we end up staying for much longer at Warden’s Post than we had planned.
Hm? Oh, it’s that deep-elf adventurer.
I wonder what he wants.
“Hm? What is it?”
When he’s not working on something, Trelzt is a very even-tempered person.
“I was wondering if I could get a replacement sword made for the one that was fractured last night. The receptionist at Headquarters told me to confirm with Sir Trelzt.”
“S-sir Trelzt… that sounds a little weird to me… maa, what about fixin’ up your sword?”
“Alas, as a magic swordsman…”
“Aaaah, I see. You’re the deep-elf that came in, huh? Well, it can’t be helped. If Headquarters okay-ed it, I can make you a bright steel sword, but it needs to be in writing.”
“I see. So that’s what this certificate is for.”
“Ah… okay. Well then, come on in. Since it’s a custom order, I’ll have to hear about what kind of sword you use and all that.”
Trelzt has a look on his face like it’s going to be a pain.
The deep-elf adventurer… what was his name… Desmond? walked under the awning and into the forge.
“Then excuse me – oh, Ms Jun.”
I’m uncomfortable with him calling me Ms Jun. Hibiki-chan too, she seems a little shy when he calls her Ms Hibiki.
Even though some of the middle-aged men at Nyl City called us Ms Jun or Ms Hibiki, somehow it’s weird when this guy, Desmond, calls us that.
Ikemen effect? Is it the ikemen effect? Although rather than feeling embarrassed, it’s just an uncomfortable feeling. At least for me, anyway.
“To think Ms Jun was interested in smithing. Good morning.”
“Ah, maa, that’s how it is.”
As Trelzt mumbled to himself, looking for various things, it was just me and Desmond standing there awkwardly, conversing.
“Um… Desmond…san? I saw that the sword you were using did get a big crack in it last night, but needing a spare sword, or rather, what about that other sword at your waist?”
I get not wanting to reforge a broken sword. Physically and magically, the structure becomes compromised unless you completely melt it down.
But isn’t there a perfectly good sword-
“This one… is it?”
Desmond hesitates a bit before he draws out the other sword I had my eyes on.
It’s a beautiful sword gilded in anaril (gold/activated craeftite alloy) and mithril (silver/activated craeftite alloy) with a galvorn core.
The blade is slim, and along it runs ribbons of intricate patterns with powdered emeralds tracing them.
An elaborate and mystical feel.
What an elegant sword – that’s what I seriously thought with all my heart.
But, a large crack is running through the blade.
“Yes, it’s not possible for me to wield it. I’d like to get it fixed, but there are some problems…”
“Alright, Mr. Deep-elf, if you’d come over here-“
“Ah, of course.”
Eh? Is it really okay to leave this wonderful thing in my possession while you walk away?
Although I’ll gladly take the chance to study it.
Ah… such a pity this crack is here…
Hm? But it gave off such a nice magical aura. But it’s broken? Normally the magic would have dispersed, right? Or rather, that’s why I assumed it was still usable.
Hm… I see…
What is this?
The steel’s structure is definitely different from a normally forged sword.
What is this?
And how is it so structurally sound with the engravings and emerald dust embedded throughout?
And … are those patterns engravings?
Haa… elven swords are like this, huh? No, should it be, deep elven swords are like this?
Somehow, I instinctively know that this is something that’s not common. It’s something only a race that lived and breathed magic could make.
By analyzing it closely, I understand some of it. But I can’t unravel all of it.
If I were to repair it, would it be like this … or this…?
Un, but there’s the problem with the written enchantments.
The break was right across there, just like that, after all.
It’s a shame I can’t read it, but if it’s guessing how it works and what it can do, that’s a different story.
I grip the handle and use Forced Analysis to forcibly connect the pattern with magic.
Un. Like I thought, the magic runs along the patterns to activate it, but stops at the crack.
Well then, if that’s the problem, let’s forcibly ‘jump’ the magic across the crack!
Un. All the patterns light up, but somehow…
I subtly adjust the magic that connects the patterns across the crack, nudging it by imperceptible dimensions this way and that way.
Hm… just connecting it like this or like that feels a little lack – uwooah!
Moving the connection of magic this way and that, suddenly it ‘clicked’ into place and the formation flooded through my head.
There’s an enchantment that’s a step above <Keen Edge>. On top of that, there’s a formation that draws in mana from the surroundings, and one that coats the blade in razor sharp wind. Also, a ranged attack that fires off the blade’s wind ‘coating’.
So roughly speaking, the “blade” isn’t the blade; it’s a core that the real blade made of magic envelops.
Oi oi oi! This is, like, a national treasure, right?
It rivals the drake sword I made Masaki! Although my lack of ability down-graded the quality of that sword, so if I were more skilled, the drake sword would definitely be the better one.
But man, I’ve never seen something that draws mana from its surroundings. All the magic tools I’ve seen required magic power from humans or demi-humans to be channeled in.
Even the elven magic tools I’ve seen around Warden’s Post are like that.
This inscription, this way the sword works… it’s definitely a deep elf special. That’s what I think.
Uuuun…. it’s frustrating to think that I can’t figure it out on my own, but even if I just copy the patterns on the sword, there’s no guarantee I’ll come up with the same results.
Jeez! Why didn’t Translate-sama come with a reading version?
Ah, no, I’m indebted to you, Translate-sama. It’s just wishful thinking.
Well, although I don’t know how to recreate this sword – as irritating as that is – fixing it is another matter.
The problem is… mana.
Whether you call it mana or magic power, the problem is that this sword has to be made in a very magic-enriched environment.
As for why… un. I think this sword is “forged” by the impact of violent magic clashes.
It’s not just a wild guess; the structure of the galvorn in the blade just screams that it was forged with magic, and Helward did tell me about it, like it was some legendary technique from a land far away.
So THIS is what a blade forged in that manner looks like…
But MP, huh…?
Mine won’t nearly be enough.
How the heck would other people do this? Even deep elves are reported to rarely have more than 2,000 MP. I have 1250-ish times that.
Unnn…. what should I do… ah.
Come to think of it, we didn’t know what to do with these and just left them… hm.
It’s good that I brought some with me. Let’s see… 5 should be enough.
Even though magic doesn’t work on glass, things made by magic should still… ah, and I have to evaporate the stone as well to release the magic power stored within… hm.
Heat a step below plasma should work.
Quiet, I’m concentrating, here!
…Ah. It won’t be good if this violent torrent of magic was let loose in this forge, so I’ve properly erected barriers.
Now, although I say violent torrent, right now what I have is a heavy, stagnant field of magic that would suffocate even people other than Ragnall to death.
Now then… It’s hard to effect magic power other than your own, but for me who has a sensitivity for Light Magic, I think I can … un.
Injecting some of my own Magic Power into the dense ‘box’ of magic, I’m able to get it to swirl. A little more… Oh!
I see, if I do it like this, I can instigate where the small explosions of magic happens as they clash.
What’s ‘this’? Um, it’s a bit of an oomph! and a haa! type of feel. No, seriously. I don’t know how to explain this.
Alright, with this.
“Wait, lass, what are you-!”
“Yo, so is Jun here… what the hell is she doing now?!”
Right, now that I confirmed I can simulate a force strong enough to ‘forge’ swords with mana, er, magic power, all that’s left is the sword.
I need to keep the flow of magic across the break exactly how it is… un.
Inserting the sword into the magic-filled space, it floats up, the patterns glow in light green, and …
A spectacular show of magic occurs.
It’s almost like watching a new religion unfold, that’s how amazing it was to watch.
The patterns’ glow expanded as the torrents of magic rushed in, with me delicately directing their interactions, and then, with a snap, the patterns collapsed back onto the sword.
Amazing… all that magic was actually absorbed into the sword…
Oh man, I almost fell over.
Un. I understand that the mental strain is enormous.
Even so, there’s a sense of extreme satisfaction.
I feel the sweat pouring off my body as the sword carefully floats down, and I grip it in my hands.
“…Right, it should at least be to the degree it was before it broke.”
As I said that, I held the sword out to Desmond.
“Nonono, wait a sec, lass! What did you just do?!”
Trelzt is freaking out.
Hm? Oh, um… huh.
“…Um… Is it alright if I try fixing your sword?”
Oh? When did Ragnall get here?
It’s not like it hurt, but I rubbed the spot where Ragnall had hit me at the top of my head out of habit.
<a/n: Hey patrons, the rewards list is here, if you haven’t checked all the stuff out already!
Fumu. Here is where I start getting into the completely fantasy-esque ways of sword making, I guess. >