Chapter 118: People tend to gravitate towards other people with the same interests
“Come ons, come ons, let’s go now!”
Jira pesters us like a little kid as Ragnall, Hibiki-chan, and I walk around Ploids City.
We have a group of tag-alongs.
An A-Rank Party of tag-alongs.
“Do you really think we can just go like this? I told you guys, we just got in today. We need supplies and crap, you know?”
Ragnall rolled his eyes.
“Ah… That’s true. Jira, did you already buy all our supplies as well? It would be better to get several weeks’ worth of portable food, just in case.”
“Ah … not yet. Okies, I’ll go get supplies!”
Jira ran off as the rest of their party continued following us.
… It would be okay for you guys to go buy your own stuff.
Such nosy people.
“Will it take that long to investigate the Forge?”
I get that it’s better to have food for emergencies, but for it to take several weeks…
I mean, we won’t just be eating rations.
We can also do ‘local procurement,’ and food can weigh you down quite a bit so normally you’d try to minimize the amount you’d bring
It feels like the Perielle and their group are actually expecting this to take a long time.
“Yeah, it’s not just the time spent in the Forge, it’s also the time for searching for the Forge. It ‘travels’ a bit, so we’ll be camping a lot … again.”
It’s not like we’re being prissy or whatever, but yeah… it would be nice to sleep in a bed again.
We’ve been traveling for a while, after all.
But … a traveling forge…
No, I get it might not be a ‘forge’ in the direct sense, but still.
“By the way, why do you need to go to Clanger’s Alley?”
Obero asked, fingering his axe on his back.
The road is actually called something else, but everyone nicknames it Clanger’s Alley, because it’s the road that most of the smiths are located on.
As you might expect, there’s a lot of clanging sounds down this street.
“I thought I should pick up some spares, if it’s the Forge. Although I’m probably fine as long as we’re not fighting anything with a tougher body than a crystal python, you never know in the Forge.”
Ugh… this guy really treats his blades like they’re disposable.
I mean, I get that he can exert a ridiculous amount of force, but what they hell are you trying to cut?
There’s no way you’re fighting dragon-class monsters all the time, so in theory, you shouldn’t be breaking your blades that much.
Well, I ignore Ragnall.
A new Labyrinth City’s forges, huh?
Nyl City specialized in magic ore swords, so I didn’t get to see much other types of sword smithing, but Ploids should be a pretty diverse city, in terms of smithing.
Adventurers and Unaffiliateds from all over flock to Ploids Labyrinth after all.
It would be safe to assume a lot of different types of weapons come through here.
“Huh? A blade you came across that you haven’t seen before?”
From among the ringing of hammers and roaring of fire, a statement catches my ear.
Hm? Never before seen blade?
I crane my neck, trying to get a good look, and I hear Ragnall sigh and Hibiki-chan giggling behind me.
There are five older men sitting on crates in a circle next to the entrance of one of the smitheries.
They’re all broad-shouldered and gruff-looking.
There’s a tall, feline-type beastkin and a reptilian-type beatkin, two human ossans, and a dwarf who’s already beginning to go grey in the hair.
For a dwarf, they live longer than humans, so that dwarf must be really old after all.
Not as old a Harulf-jii-san, the elderly grandpa dwarf I met right at the beginning, even before I reached Nyls City, but old enough to be called a jii-san instead of an ossan.
They’re surrounding a few typical-styled longswords and… un.
“… So, what’s special about these blades?”
“What an idiot. You can’t tell how much magic went into them?”
“Hm. For a magic ore sword, it’s definitely powerful enough that you wouldn’t need enchantments.”
“But in the end, it’s just a magic ore sword.”
“Idiot. Don’t look down on magic ore swords. Their ease of use can be as powerful as a flame-aura enchantment.”
“Indeed. If you judge a sword simply by its type, you’ll overlook many good swords.”
“Th-that’s not what I meant! I meant, it’s from Nyl City, right? It’s only obvious that a good magic ore sword came from Nyl City.”
“Yes, but this one is different. Look closely at these patterns on these flower mark swords.”
… What a let down.
So they were talking about my swords.
It’s obvious I’ll lose interest.
“Yes, but this might just be a step closer for me to achieve my dreams.”
The dwarf grandpa smiled a little as he peered closely at the blade.
Aah… stop that. It’s embarrassing if you look so closely!
“Jeez, Old Graham, you still haven’t given up on that?”
“I guess every man’s going to have a dream… but Old Graham, if you slack off on business in order to just make prototypes, you’ll get overtaken by the other forges in a blink of an eye.”
“That’s right. That young rambunctious guy, Volgrand, has been making quite a name for himself, you know?”
“Haha. That’s good. It’s good to have young, promising guys showing up.”
“Old Graham! Haa… I get that you’re crazy about the advancement of smithing, but it’s good to be a little bit competitive.”
“I heard Volgrand’s been boastin’ he can make a sword that won’t break even if a dragon stomped on it!”
I hear Ragnall mutter, “So Volgrand, huh?”
… Ragnall, even if it can survive being stomped on by a dragon, I doubt it will survive if you get a hold of it.
Seriously, you’re a bladesmith’s worst freaking nightmare. I don’t know how Helward was okay with you using his swords.
Wouldn’t it be better if we just made you a big, iron club?
“Who knows? It won’t break under normal tests, and it’s not like we can just go up and snap the thing ourselves.”
“Anyway, this weird guy who uses a flower mark… if it’s just making slightly more impressive magic ore swords, will that really help you out with your prototypes?”
As the others clammered in front of him, the dwarf jii-san made a bit of an awkward smile and said,
“But wouldn’t it be interesting if I could make a multi-enchanted blade? If I could put enchantments on every boundary in this sword, what would it be like?”
I quickly squat down to mix in with them and say,
“Heeh… how would you go about doing that?”
“Who the heck are you?”
“Rather than that, what do you mean by multi-enchanted?”
The bladesmiths freaked out when I popped out of nowhere.
Although I’ve been over here for a while now.
Only the dwarf jii-san is calm, and he responds,
“Rather than implanting a device or enchanting both the blade and the hilt, wouldn’t it be interesting if I could put multiple enchantments into the blade itself?”
“Hooooh, I see… And? What do you mean by putting an enchantment on every boundary?”
Before the dwarf jii-san can reply, one of the ossans roars,
“Hey, you little girl, don’t go sticking yourself into other peoples’ conversations.”
… Well you guys weren’t really being quiet, you know?
“That’s right, that’s right. Girly, this isn’t a playground, you know? Be careful around here.”
The feline-type beastkin says that, but instead of being upset about it, it’s more like he’s warning me that it’s dangerous around forges.
Well, I already know that, so the concern is a little wasted on me.
The ossan then roars again, saying,
“That’s right! Little ladies shouldn’t try to stick their noses where they shouldn’t! Run home and help your mama in the kitchen!”
“My mother died while I was quite young.”
When I said so, the other men look at that ossan with slightly judgmental eyes.
Well, even if my mother WAS alive, there’s still the ‘other world’ problem… anyway, I say that kind of thing to shut the guy up.
Because, I mean, it does kind of piss me off.
Running your mouth like that without knowing what kind of person your opponent is… isn’t it embarrassing as an adult? No, as a person existing in this world?
I ignore the angry man opening and closing his mouth like he doesn’t know what to do and say,
“Anyway, what do you mean by casting enchantments on the boundaries? When the metal is folded like this, the idea is to make the metal uniform. It’s folded over and over … the enchantments would get shattered like that. It’s not like it’s made by force-welding all these layers together. That wouldn’t be very sturdy, right?”
“Aaah… so it was like that, was it? How interesting … Although, it’s certainly a convenient method to disperse additives and reduces the effect of a poor smelting job. But you’re right, if you’re folding the metal like clay, it won’t do to cast enchantments between each fold, would it? But the core and the outer are different, no? You could do a dual enchantment through it?”
“Un, but there are limited enchantments that would be useful to put on the core. After all, you won’t be contacting anything with the core, and if you’re going to cast a durability-type enchantment, it’s better to cast that over the entire blade. The enchantments are pretty limited, if it’s something that doesn’t contact the surface.”
“Ah, that is so as well, I suppose. Then what about enchanting the additives?”
“They’d cancel each other out once they adhere to the … ah. Gold frost moss?”
“Indeed. Among others with the same properties.”
“… But additives that don’t dissolve into molten metal and yet do not act as impurities are difficult to enchant with anything useful.”
“Eh, but … if you could make a magic formation within the metal itself?”
This Jii-san is amazing.
Using powdered additives to draw a formation within a blade.
Not on the blade, not inscribed through the blade, but within the blade’s material itself.
Only crazy people think like that.
How are you supposed to … … …
“… I see. It might be possible if… Oi, Jii-san, can I borrow your forge?”
The ossan who had been yelling earlier finally recovers himself and yells,
“Oi, you! Just how rude do you think you can be? Cutting into other peoples’ conversations and then demanding to use the forge! Just who do you think he is!? This is Blademaster Graham, you know?!”
Um, well, I don’t know, sorry.
I mean, you guys were all just calling him ‘Old Graham.’
Is he as famous as Helward-san?
The reptile beastkin speaks up for the first time and says,
“Hm… you… are you an adventurer? If you are, there are forges at the Guild, you know?”
Ah, now I’m being mistaken for a beginner adventurer.
… If you’re talking about how long I’ve been an adventurer, I might still be considered a beginner, though.
“I could use those forges, but the forges in the Guilds are always… you know?”
The reptile beastkin laughs a little, with a rasping sound in his throat, and says,
“It’s not like I don’t understand, but asking a professional smith to borrow his forge is a little…”
“Ah… yeah, I do understand, but since this forge was so great, I just thought there was worth asking if I could use it. It’s not like I’d insist on using it if I’m refused, but the risk just seemed worth it, you know?”
I mean, it really is a great-looking forge.
This smithery has one of the most impressive looking forge areas on the street.
Even if I haven’t seen all the forges on Clanger’s Alley just yet, I can tell this one is out of the ordinary.
Unlike Helward’s forge, where they did most of their smelting in-house as well, most of Ploids’ smiths don’t smelt their own ores.
Well, Nyl City was famous for their magic ores, after all.
But here, at this particular forger, there’s way more ‘high’ equipment in every meaning of the word; size, quality, and price.
It’s not like Helward’s forge makes inferior swords because the quality of their equipment loses.
It’s just that Helward’s forge makes great magic-ore swords.
The quality of the smith is a given, but his swords are swords made out of magic-smelted ores.
If you’re dealing with enchantments and imbuements, the quality of the equipment has to be higher to withstand the addition of raw magic.
…Well, actually, it’s more like most of Helward’s expensive equipment is in the smelting area, not forging.
Anyway, it can’t be helped that my eyes gleam a little when I see the equipment that’s in this forge.
I also have my mithril/admantium hammer and anvil, but… yeah, you just can’t beat a full setup.
I mean, just look at the forges in that smithery-!
They could actually handle dragonfire.
“… I … suppose.”
The reptile beastkin has an amused look on his face, but next to him, the yelling ossan is getting all riled up again.
“You, just who are you!?”
… Even if you ask me that …
At that, the dwarf jii-san finally chuckles and says,s
“You can’t tell after all this time? She’s probably the smith of those flower swords, you know?”
“ “ “ “EEEEEH!?” ” ” ”
The other four ossans all let out a loud yell that echoed throughout the little plaza.
<a/n: Looks like 2 updates a week is pushing it… but 3 updates every 2 weeks is pretty doable. I really would like to figure out where my excess time is going… maa, at minimum, I can do 3 updates every 2 weeks without overly pushing myself, let’s look at it like that. >