Again, Vulcanus’s masterpieces, the so-called ‘Numbering Swords,’ are of great value.
The performance of the sword itself was terrific, but the symbolism of ‘Sword Master’ added the title premium to it.
In fact, numerous swordsmen, nobles, and wealthy people contributed a huge sum of money only to obtain the sword if possible.
And it wasn’t a sum that ordinary people would guess. It was even a sum that would stun rich people.
However, Vulcanus never sold one of the 9 Swords to them.
In other words, the Numbering Swords were like relic-class treasures that couldn’t be obtained with money.
However, it wasn’t something that could apply to Airn Pareira.
“For, I, the best blacksmith on the continent, to hand over the sword for free…”
After negotiating with Kuvar, Vulcanus sighed.
He had no choice but to do that.
He had never given a sword to anyone for free.
When it is said that Vulcanus gave a sword away, it means that he gave away the ‘right to buy a sword,’ and even the 9 people who took the Numbering Swords had paid a considerable price.
They even got loans.
However, this time it didn’t seem possible.
It was because the Orc, who is excellent at speaking, pointed out his weakness.
‘It’s a collaboration between a blacksmith and a swordsman, so we should work together and make a good sword… isn’t this the only option you have?’
‘Let’s be honest here. You, aren’t you just using Airn to develop past your stagnant skill level?’
‘Pablo and Dwanson. You two are also the same.’
It isn’t just swordsmen consistently meeting their limits while training or improving.
Blacksmiths, too, continuously aim to improve their skills, and when faced with a large wall, they feel like they will go crazy if they can’t overcome it.
And the three were in that kind of situation.
They have been slowly nearing a lack of ideas for the past 10 years.
There have been times when they listened to others, and there were times when they diligently started from the basic lessons.
However, everything they did failed.
The three blacksmiths made no progress, concluding that only a new stimulus would lead them to higher ground.
It was for that reason that the tournament was held after calling the entire world.
‘And it was like a miracle. That young man.’
Meeting the blonde young man could only be called a ‘miracle.’
The ultimate strength is obtained by smelting, forging, and polishing a mysterious stone whose potential is unknown.
And that stone is a human.
Furthermore, for them, the human was Airn Pareira.
Inspiration seemed to spring up just by looking at Airn.
The three, who had worked with metal all their lives, could immediately feel it.
If they lose the young man, they will never have an opportunity like this again.
That was how the blacksmiths felt, and Kuvar made 4 demands.
“Hmm. This seems fine.”
“How is that? I made it light enough for even you, who lacks strength, to be able to wield it. The balance is good, and its beauty wasn’t overlooked either.”
“Great! This much is enough!”
The first demand, the Numbering Sword.
The second request was to provide small equipment for Lulu and a sword and armor for Airn, all for free.
Airn and his party, especially Airn, were using armor that was far behind their skills.
Wearing armor was inconvenient, and it was also because the workshops in the city didn’t satisfy Kuvar’s eyes.
Of course, if it came from Vulcanus’s workshop, it was undoubtedly the best.
He possessed great ability and was the best in handling leather and metal too.
Lulu swung her sword with a smile.
“How is this? Does this mean that my role as the guide needs an upgrade?”
“Ah, right. Kuvar is our great guide.”
Airn, who wore the leather gear, spoke with a smile.
Come to think of it, his relationship with Kuvar was that of an employer and employee.
Of course, that wasn’t the case now.
In a way, Kuvar was his third teacher after Ian and Lulu.
He never said it out loud, but he admired Kuvar.
And Kuvar’s third demand was.
“Hello, Airn Pareira. It’s an honor to meet an official trainee of Krono. My name is Khalifa, an apprentice of Vulcanus’s workshop.”
“During Sir Pareira’s stay, I will do my best to inform you of the detailed process of sword making. Feel free to ask me any questions!”
A young dwarf spoke with a smile and in a cheerful way.
He wasn’t rude.
Yet, the three blacksmiths were looking at the young dwarf.
Seeing that, Airn smiled.
Right. The reason why Airn had stopped in Derinku before heading to the 5 Western Kingdoms was to observe their work and to train himself.
An attempt to refine the iron stake, which was heavily stuck in the middle of his chest.
And this was what Kuvar insisted on.
Airn learned later that Kuvar tried to convince the blacksmiths who were extremely reluctant to leak their skills.
‘What do I say? The number of people working for me increased.’
Other than that, there was nothing Airn could say.
Airn wasn’t good at expressing himself.
Therefore, what he could do was to show the best image of himself so that Kuvar’s efforts wouldn’t be in vain.
Airn closed his eyes and recalled the outline of the forging and crafting process, which he heard about from Khalifa for several days.
Gather high-quality ores, smelt them into ingots, and then heat them to forge them into the desired shape.
And then polish.
There were many more detailed processes, but this was the basic process of making a sword.
The entire process wasn’t necessary.
The iron stake in Airn’s heart was already pure.
And it was made by the Man’s will. It was strong and firm.
The process of smelting and refining was unnecessary.
Small details like polishing weren’t important either.
In other words, what Airn needed now was the fire to melt the iron stake.
And then hammering it, hammering it, and more hammering to transform it into the shape of a sword.
Airn nodded as he thought about that.
A lump of iron that had settled in his heart.
A hot flame that would soften the metal.
And a hard hammer to create the shape.
He immediately moved the flame in his heart and began to heat it.
After 10 minutes, Airn frowned.
It was strange.
It was just an image in his mind, not reality.
Which meant that it was a place with infinite possibilities where one could achieve anything with their imagination.
However, the iron in his heart seemed a lot harder than he imagined, and the size of the flames he created was shabbier than he imagined.
Efforts to reduce the iron and to ignite the flames were futile.
After trying for a while, no results were achieved.
Sweat dripped from his cheek despite not moving his body.
He was short of breath. A pressure that would make an ordinary person faint.
But Airn wasn’t an ordinary person.
Maybe he was in the past, but now he was a ‘hard worker’ without the help of the man in his dreams.
While he continued to heat the iron, he struggled to ignite the flames in his heart.
No attempt was made to soften the iron.
He knew instinctively that he couldn’t do it.
One hour, two, and then three hours passed.
In the end, Airn Pareira, who received no outcome, woke up from the mediation and looked exhausted.
“Ah… it’s hard, this one.”
It wasn’t harsh.
There was a time when Airn wouldn’t frown despite hard training, but now, he seemed down.
It made it even more difficult as there were no results.
Of course, he had no intention of simply giving up.
‘Because I didn’t think that it would get better in a day or two.’
It took a year to become an official trainee of Krono.
It took five years to build a sword for his family in the world of sorcery.
And this was just the beginning. With a determined expression on his face, Airn left the room and headed for Vulcanus’s forge.
Three blacksmiths were waiting for him with restless expressions.
“Why are you so late!”
“No, enough of that, summon the sword first. Quickly!”
“I’m running out of breath! Get it out quickly!”
At the face of Vulcanus, who seemed like he would faint, Airn quickly summoned the great sword and put it on the table.
In an instant, their interest shifted to the sword.
The blacksmiths poured out all kinds of exclamations and entered into a deep discussion on how to refine the sword.
A clean repair of a crude and old item.
That was Kuvar’s fourth request.
“Huh. What kind of metal is this? Even if it was made from sorcery, how can it be this strong…”
“It isn’t even scratching. We can’t even change anything apart from the scratch that it already has on it.”
“How. How can we do… if we can handle this even a little, we’ll be closer to the God of Blacksmiths.” (*)
Regardless of their words, the blacksmiths were welcoming the sword.
It was natural.
The reason they wanted Airn in the first place wasn’t because they were interested in Airn but because of the will of the man in his dreams, which rested within Airn.
And the great sword is an object that could be called an alter ego of the man.
For blacksmiths, the sword was like an irreplaceable treasure.
However, it was difficult for Airn to erase the bitter feeling which was rising inside him.
As the best blacksmiths on the continent were looking at the great sword, which couldn’t be polished even with their best efforts, Airn thought that it would be impossible to trim down the iron stake in his heart.
‘… it will be fine.’
Airn closed his eyes. And took a slow deep breath.
It was fine.
Making the impossible possible and doing things beyond common sense.
He’s already done that.
‘I’ll try something. Even with the fire in my heart.’
With a hot feeling ticking in his heart, Airn’s breathing too became hotter than before.
One month after Airn and his party arrived in Derinku.
Vulcanus was unable to make the Numbering Sword.
It was because his mind was confused by the intricately entangled feelings of inspiration that continued to spring up and the sense of shame given by the fact that he couldn’t handle the great sword.
“I’m sorry. I think it will be difficult to make it right now.”
“1 Year! 1 year, just give me that time! I will trap the enlightenment within me and make the best sword! The greatest masterpiece in Vulcanus’s life, better than the sword you showed me!”
“Me too! This time I plan to take the title of the best blacksmith on the continent!”
“Who gave you the right! I’m the…”
“Shut up! The best on the continent is me, now and in the future too!”
“… then, I will aim for next year!”
“I believe in you. Stay strong! Cheery people!”
With Lulu’s cheerful goodbye, Airn and his party left the city.
They didn’t get the Numbering Sword, but there was no regret.
They received the best equipment one could get and established a friendly relationship with the best blacksmiths on the continent.
But more importantly, the motivation for his goal was becoming stronger.
In less than half a month, Airn had gained a sense of improvement and realized what fighting spirit was.
He learned how to practice imagery, and his desire to control the will of the man in his dreams grew greater.
Two hours after leaving the city, he looked up.
The clear blue sky of early autumn conveyed a refreshing feeling. And a sense of comfort was on the faces of Lulu and Kuvar.
… it wasn’t long before he felt that.
Airn lowered his head and stared into the distance.
A shape that was like a small dot. However, it got closer as time went on.
The gazes of Lulu and Kuvar, too, looked at it.
And Lulu said.
“Dangerous. I smell blood.”
Airn nodded his head.
He knew what it meant.
The stench emanated from a greedy heart that resembled a monster’s.
And his eyes turned cold.
He waited for the cool rage to rise like a monster beneath the surface.
Eventually, two people arrived in front of them.
It was Charlotte and Victor.
“Let’s talk for a moment.”
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