Chapter 3 – Poison to Death! The Wyverns

 


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After being roped into accepting the margrave’s request without being given much of a choice, I was treated to a luxurious meal I’ve never eaten before, and then courteously sent back to the inn in a carriage. The difference in treatment was glaringly obvious, considering that I got dragged in front of the margrave like a criminal.

Even though I was full of anxieties and fear, my exhaustion immediately caught up with me and I fell asleep as soon as I got back to my inn room.

──And now, one day later, I’m waiting for Shea at the entrance to the central plaza, situated not far away from my inn. It’s planned for me to accompany her to the guild. 『Guild』 refers to the association managing the hunters in the Wildinne Margraviate.

Many people trying to make a living from killing demonic beasts – in short, hunters – are staying in this area which is adjacent to the outlands, the habitat of the demonic beasts.

The guild handles many tasks such as paying the rewards and referring jobs to the hunters, managing the insurance money paid out in case of death or injuries, investigating the number of demonic beasts, and acting as intermediary between hunters and merchants wishing to purchase the looted beast parts.

I was taught all of this by the guards who had kidnapped me yesterday. Probably plagued by pangs of guilt, they treated me so politely that it rather got a bit annoying.

Anyway, I was told that even a magic blacksmith like me needs to register with the guild if I’m going to head out on demonic beast hunts. Otherwise, no insurance money would be paid out upon my death, nor would the guild be able to put up any relief requests in case I ended up isolated in the outlands. The guards informed me of these matters very courteously, too.

And at the end, I was even told, “Sorry for abducting you before…”

I wait for some time while reviewing all this information in my head. Suddenly I spot a woman walking straight in my direction from the other side of the main street.

It’s Shea. As always, she wears a getup drawing the attention of those around her. Moreover, it’s an outfit heavily focusing on functionality. And yet, even though her revealing outfit should gain her enough attention from the men, strangely not a single one calls out to Shea.

Rather, the people open a path for Shea. Very likely not consciously, but instinctively. This phenomenon might stem from Shea emitting the aura of an expert fighter, palpable even by ordinary people.

Heading through the cleared path, solely focused on me, Shea comes to a halt as soon as she arrives in front of me.

“Did you have to wait?”

“No, not at all.”

“Good. Let’s go then.”

With only those few words, Shea starts walking again, heading for the guild. Even in front of me, her companion, the crowd of people breaks apart, opening up a path.

“Wow. Is that what you call the Ki released by a master?”

“Hmm? What are you talking about?” Shea tilts her head to the side with a puzzled look.

“No, I mean, look. The people are naturally opening a path for us.” I explain my impression to Shea.

“Oh, the reason is this.” Shea picks up the rustic necklace dangling at her chest with a somewhat boastful expression.

Come to think of it, she had also worn this necklace during her battle against the orcs, hadn’t she? Does she like it so much?

“This is?”

“A fang of the Black Dog. It actually contains a powerful curse, and just wearing it triggers a special effect that causes weak creatures to scurry away.”

“Why the hell are you using something like that as an accessory!?”

“Yughul always carry a part of the demonic beasts they defeated so far with them. For me it’s this one.”

So that’s why she looked so boastful moments ago!

“Still, isn’t that something you’d equip on the battlefield?”

“Having this on me keeps annoying men away. It’s an unexpectedly handy item to have inside a city.” Shea blurts out calmly.

I see. So it can also be used as playboy repellent… However, its effect actually works against men and women of all ages.

Walking unobstructed thanks to the Black Dog’s fang, Shea and I continue our journey to the guild.

 

───✱。:*✧.。✰。.✧*:。✱───

 

The headquarters of the association managing all hunters is a square brick building. The columns of windows, systematically divided into three rows, indicate that the guild’s building possesses three floors.

A stone gate is visible right in the middle of the building. The decorations are kept to a minimum. However, this construction, barring any unnecessary pretense, adds to the dignity instead.

With Shea in the lead, we pass through the gate, entering the building.

“Welcome to the guild. Oh my, what a pleasure to see you, Ms. Shea. And, young lad, nice to meet you. I’m the receptionist Sarah.”

As soon as she recognizes Shea, the receptionist runs up to us. As typical for the people in this area, her hair has a chestnut-color. She’s a lovely woman with a voluptuous chest. Her beauty isn’t stingingly cold like Shea’s, but rather, a soothing one… I’m pretty sure she’s the guild’s poster girl.

 

 

“I’m glad to meet you. I’m Teo Korpi, umm, a magic blacksmith.”

“Oohh, a magic blacksmith. I see, I see. Magic blacksmiths with approved skills are definitely in high demand. Please do your best, oki?”

We’re standing in a spacious, stone hall. A counter where requests are accepted lines up deeper inside. Round tables and chairs have been set up nearby, serving as a place to exchange information and to wait. One of the boards on the wall is plastered with many requests.

A dozen hunters are present in the hall, and some of them look our way after noticing our arrival… Furthermore, the looks of those strong hunters are obviously filled with hostility towards Shea.

“Hey, the Cursed Tool User got a man with her.”

I can hear words appearing to be malicious gossip, accompanied by snickering. The bearded men smirk while holding their beers.

Shea ignores all of that while I’m confused, not knowing what to do. Even I can tell that they aren’t Shea’s buddies…

“Sarah, can you please register Teo?”

“Suuure. Please fill out these forms here. I’m really sorry for this being such a filthy place. You must feel disturbed with all those scary-looking, gruff guys around. But don’t worry, they’re all going to die soon anyway!”

Ms. Sarah has an unexpectedly nasty way with her words! With my heart racing as I’m worrying whether the other hunters have heard her, I fill out the blanks on the registry forms. There are surprisingly many passages I need to check closely such as the guild’s basic rules, the exemption from responsibility, the penal regulations, and so on.

“I’ll go and pick a suitable request.” Seemingly having judged that the registration would need some time, Shea heads in the direction of the counter, leaving Sarah and me behind.

She walks in a way that invites her silver hair to sway. Once more the crowd clears the space around her while at the same time showering her with hateful gazes.

“Tsk, fuckin’ barbarian raceJunk. She’s creepin’ me out.”

“If she wasn’t the margrave’s lil’ favorite, a bitch like her…”

According to the margrave, Shea is one of his certified hunters. She should be someone with top-notch abilities in the world of hunters, but it’s pretty obvious that she’s not welcome around here.

“Hey, what’s a barbarian raceJunk?”

Barbarian raceJunk is a discriminatory term for a small ethnic group mainly living in the west as nomads. The term itself means they’re an uncivilized, lowly race making a living by selling trash.”

I-I see. It was a discriminatory term… And yet, Ms. Sarah cheerfully explains in a way that’s easy to understand while smiling brightly.

Ms. Sarah is quite peculiar in her own way, though.

Anyway, her being insulted with such a word means…

“Say, it may sound a bit weird, but isn’t Shea somehow hated?”

“Yes, and it’s not just somehow either! Ah, but I’d like you to not misunderstand. It’s not merely limited to her being hated. It feels like she’s also feared at the same time.” Ms. Sarah declares boldly with a cheery smile.

Though she doesn’t really need to get all detailed on the nuances in Shea’s ostracization.

“O-Okay. But, what’s the reason?”

“That’s because Ms. Shea is young, a woman, a yughul, the one who killed Black Dog, an extremely skilled hunter, and the margrave’s favorite.”

“So basically all of her.”

“Yep. In short, it’s jealousy. Ah, another big reason you mustn’t forget is her ridiculously gross and brutal combat style.”

Ms. Sarah is also thorough in explaining all the reasons for Shea’s ostracization.

“I see…Shea has a hard furrow to plough.”

“Their bodies are tough, but they sure are sly and underhanded. Oh, wait, body build and character got nothing to do with each other. It’s wrong to discriminate against others for their appearance.” She resolutely and shrewdly tells me loud enough so that everyone around us can hear her.

Ms. Sarah seems to have a straightforward character that dislikes talking behind the backs of others… Still, her qualification as poster girl for the guild is pretty much non-existent.

“But you see, Ms. Shea is also a stubborn girl, completely unwilling to compromise the tiniest bit. Even though I’ve said that she’s hated, it’s not like no one wants to party with her, seeing how she’s one of our best hunters. But, far from simply turning those people down. She goes as far as completely ignoring them! But you see, I’d love her to do her best in training some younger folks since she’s a certified hunter.”

And yet, Ms. Sarah doesn’t hold back on talking loudly. At long last, her voice has apparently carried all the way to Shea, who’s handling the formalities at the counter. She looks back in our direction, glaring at full force.

Ms. Sarah, the fake poster girl who picks fights at every front…

“Excuse me, but what does certified hunter mean?”

“Certified hunters are top-ranking demonic beast hunters who have been officially acknowledged by the margraviate’s administration. Unlike normal hunters, they possess various, special privileges. Also, they’re paid extra in addition to the regular subjugation rewards. Mo-re-ov-er, they’re granted a rank equivalent to a knight and can call a small patch of land their own. It’s the only path for commoners to enter nobility.”

“Those are amazing special privileges.”

“You can obtain status, money, and power. However, you need overwhelming abilities to do so. That’s why those scarred, old ruffians wouldn’t be a match for Ms. Shea even if they ganged up on her. Since they’d get totally trashed, their options of getting back at her are limited to speaking ill behind her back.”

The grim men tremble with their fists clenched tightly. Ms. Sarah seems to be completely unconcerned, but…I feel like I’m in danger here.

“Don’t worry. Even without you acting all jittery, they won’t be able to make a move on Ms. Shea’s partner. At most they’ll spread some weird rumors. Please fill out the documents without paying any attention to them.”

“Okay. Hey! Wait, I don’t want any weird rumors being spread about me!”

“Still, for Ms. Shea to finally have partied up with a magic blacksmith. Nice, nice.”

“Finally, you say?”

“It’s normal for fairly strong hunters to target big game while getting supplied with enchanted weapons by hired field smiths. Even if you deduct the pay for a field smith, the income is on a completely different level. Almost all of the first-class hunters have exclusive field smiths working for them. I doubt those old misers over there got enough money for one, though.”

“You’re saying this deliberately, aren’t you…?”

I concentrate on filling out the documents for the sake of not continuing this topic any further, and finish writing down everything in one go.

“This should be everything, right?”

I pass the three sheets back to Ms. Sarah after having filled them out completely.

“Hmm, let’s see. Yep, looks good. Okay, please sign here.”

“Okay.”

“Also, here, here, here, and here. Afterwards, sign here, and also on the back of this paper.”

“That’s way too much signing!”

“Sure. Lastly, sign here. Okay, thank you. Now then, this number here will be your registration number. Later you’ll receive an identification card with this number recorded on it. If you have that, it’ll be handy since anyone will be immediately able to tell who you are in case of your death. You also get a free body bag with the insurance you signed just now.” The poster girl yaps about body bags as if it’s plain, common sense. Moreover, with an innocent smile…

Once again I fully realize that I’ve come to an outrageous place. I didn’t expect that it’d be easy to procure mithril, but for things to turn out like this…

“You done, Teo? I got us a job.”

As I’m wallowing in self-pity, a notification preordaining yet another development arrives. It’s a parchment that’s brusquely thrust in front of me by Shea.

~ Request Acceptance Form ~

Request Content: Subjugate the wyverns that appeared in the eastern Nibrel Village
Danger Grade: Level C

Further down, it lists all the information currently known about the request. It’s stuff like the count of victims, information about the targets, the demonic beasts spawning in the area, etc.

“I’m going to accompany her on this one, right…?”

“Of course. This is why you registered with us. Besides, don’t worry. The body bag is already covered.”

“…Danger Grade Level C, what does that actually mean?”

“Eight out of ten hunters, who’ve received basic training, will come back. That’s become the criterion for Level C.” Ms. Sarah explains something terrifying with her usual polite tone and bright smile.

“…Umm, it’s relatively deadly, isn’t it?”

Recalling the scenes of the day when we got attacked by orcs, I feel how my stomach becomes heavy all of a sudden. The guards, who had been slaughtered back then, were probably endowed with basic abilities, too.

“Please don’t worry. Ms. Shea has hunted down Bilrutong the Black Dog, a Level S beast and one of the Six Calamities. Something like a Level C request is kinda like a picnic for her.”

“Really?”

Somehow feeling that Ms. Sarah is exaggerating things, I check back with Shea. Shea nods in reply.

“However, picnics have fairly high mortality rates in this city.”

“Come on. No way.”

What’s the point in using a picnic as a reference if you then raise the picnic’s danger level!?

“Anyway, it’s very rare for Ms. Shea to form parties. You’ll draw the attention of everyone. Please do your best, oki?” Ms. Sarah encourages me with a lovely smile.

In the back, I can feel the rough guys’ murderous stares on me. But, I’m still far from being experienced enough to tell whether I’m being observed with eyes full of fear.

 

───✱。:*✧.。✰。.✧*:。✱───

————— End of Part 1 —————

 

The next day, I find myself in a private workshop set up on the grounds of the margrave’s official residence. The margrave has allowed me to freely use this place as Shea’s field smith.

“Just spit out if you need anything. I’ll get the geezer to prepare it for you.”

“Geezer, you say… Anyway, I’m alright, or rather, this place has way too many utilities.”

Because it’s the personal property of the lord, the workshop is oversaturated with all kinds of materials and work facilities. At a first glance, it looks like it’s got a full array of tools, medicines, and crafting materials.

Shea quickly entrusts me with <Corpse Eater>. As I place the big machete on the workbench, I discover countless spots with rust and cracks on its blade. I feel my body becoming heavy from just checking its condition – despite most of its curses having already faded away over time.

And yet, I can’t pull my eyes off <Corpse Eater>. To be honest, it’s impossible to not be filled with curiosity about this sword as a magic blacksmith.

At once, I closely examine the blade’s steel with a magnifying glass. It’s a type of steel I’ve never seen before. Its consistency looks somewhat like a viscous fluid. Above all, it has characteristic, small holes in its blade. Those holes, which are so tiny that you wouldn’t notice them without a magnifying glass, densely crowd the blade. Maybe it’s absorbing the curses through these holes, kinda like the pores on tree leaves.

Next I shift my eyes to the hilt. This one’s peculiar as well. It’s been used for many years, but it has been made out of the best material. I dare say, the hilt is formed by gluing the bones of a water dragon together.

Moreover, the rivets are made out of mithril? Yep, indeed, it’s black mithril. In addition, a simple seal has been applied to the top rivet.

“Is it okay for me to remove the hilt?”

“Of course. But, put it back as it was…”

“No need to tell me.”

I wipe the rivet’s runes with a cloth soaked in aqua regia.

“By doing this, I can temporarily weaken the seal.”

“…As expected of a blacksmith.”

Removing the hilt, I expose the tang.

“This is…”

It’s a fairly unique tang. It’s not unusual to apply a handicraft to the tang such as having a slot for a precious gem for enchanted weapons, but this one uses a style I can’t really identify. A hole has been drilled into the middle of the thick, massive tang, and a band of metal has been twined around it like a snake.

Does it possibly use a mithril alloy?

But, what draws my attention the most is the seal carved onto the metallic band. It’s very mysterious, triggering an intense curiosity in me. It’s a complicated seal using characters of the divine eraElder Runic Alphabet, and moreover multi-branch runes.

“Wow…this is a lost curse formulaLost Grammar, isn’t it?”

Although it’s a prayer that was used in the past, all those knowing of its meaning are already gone, and thus no one capable of employing runes like these exists nowadays. It’s one of the major reasons why it’s impossible to recreate the ancient swords of the heroic area, a technique that’s been lost forever.

“Yeah. Even among the yughul, only my grandfather was able to read it.”

“Wait a sec. It’s got a seal with a curse formula resembling the Rapier of the Ivy’s Flower. Umm, just a moment.” I rush to the place where I’ve left my bag.

I take a single, rolled parchment out of my bag.

“What the heck is this?”

“A rubbed copy. It’s a transcription of the seals on the Rapier of the Ivy’s Flower.”

Vincent Korpi had created a rubbed copy with ink of the seals applied to the rapier before he presented it to the king. This parchment here is a transcription of that rubbed copy, our family’s heirloom. Many of the seals passed down within the Korpi family are based on this copy. You could actually describe it as something similar to a seal dictionary.

“Look, this and this place look the same, don’t they?” I point at a spot on the tang corresponding with what’s drawn on the parchment spread out on the table.

That spot shows a seal with a multi-branch rune of seven characters.

“So, what does it say?”

“Unfortunately I don’t know its meaning… You need to understand that it’s being jammed by the multi-branch rune.”

Multi-branch runes deliberately increase the stroke count of the original rune, changing it into a complicated construct. Using such multi-branch runes prevents others from being able to read the seals.

“Hmm…I see. Too bad.”

“If I had the genuine Rapier of the Ivy’s Flower, it’d be a different story. But it’d be asking for too much with a copy.”

Multi-branch runes are added as camouflage after the correct runes have been carved into an object. Because of that it’s possible to deduct the true rune going by the traces of the chisel work and the ruggedness, but a rubbed copy won’t tell you anything about the depth of a carving.

“I see…”

“I’m devastated by it as well. I’d have loved to decipher it since it’s a rare opportunity to actually examine a weapon with seals using multi-branch runes.”

I haven’t noticed at all since I’ve been immersed in talking, but Shea has been intently staring at my face instead of the seals on the copy I’ve shown her. Moreover, with a puzzled expression.

“Teo, how did you know that the shapes of the seals resemble each other?”

“Umm, intuition? Kinda like Oh, I’ve seen this one in the rubbed copy, haven’t I?

“…Have you memorized all the seals in the rubbed copy?”

“Well, my parents kept telling me that it contains the best masterpieces of the Korpi family which serve as the origin of all our techniques, so yeah.”

“So you memorized 30,000 characters without understanding their meanings? Dude, you’re a freak, you know?” Shea lets a chuckle slip.

“Calling me a freak…”

Strangely, I don’t feel so bad about it, despite the negative connotation of the word itself. Rather, I’m somewhat happy to have made Shea laugh a bit.

“Anyway, leaving the seals aside as you can’t do anything about them, these chips in the blade here…” Shea picks up <Corpse Eater> once more. The blade is dully reflecting the madder red of the setting sun shining into the room through the window, revealing several places where it’s suffered heavy damage. “Can you do something about them by honing the blade?”

“Just so you know, I won’t be able to repair it perfectly since the damage is fairly extensive. Give me two days.”

Unlike with the deciphering of the multi-branch runes, I have a clear idea of what to do here. Sure, the chips are rather nasty, but if I carefully hone the blade, I’ll be able to recover its sharpness, I think… As this is no disposable knife, I want to invest at least this much time and effort into it.

“Cursed swords corrode one’s mind unlike holy swords. Feel free to take it slowly rather than trying to force yourself.” Shea entrusts <Corpse Eater> to me once more, and leaves the workshop.

Only the cursed machete and I are left in the room. I feel how a mysterious excitement wells up in me over the prospect of facing off against this ominous sword that keeps releasing bloodlust.

“Alright…time to go for it.”

Putting on thick gloves to completely protect my hands and arms, I begin with the whetting.

 

 

After finishing the work on the second day as planned, I use one day to take a break. And then, on the next day, Shea and I head to a hilly area east of the Nibrel Village.

“We’ve got to exterminate the wyverns before they enter their season.”

According to Shea, hunting wyverns at the end of winter is a standard activity for hunters.

“Their season?”

“Breeding season. Wyverns are very agitated and active during their breeding season, and devour great amounts of prey.” Even as she explains, Shea searches thick trees, examining their trunks one-by-one.

“What are you doing?”

“Male wyverns rub their wings against tree trunks during this season, showing off the size of their territory to female wyverns.”

“You mean the shaved parts on this tree?” I confirm while lifting a finger.

At a height of around three metril above the ground, there’s a place where the tree’s bark has been peeled off.

“Yeah, that’s what I meant.”

“So you’re saying a wyvern’s wings reach all the way up there…?”

Of course it’d mean that they have an overall length of six to seven metril since their necks should extend even further than that… I shudder at my own estimate which means that a wyvern is roughly four times as tall as I am.

Magic beasts also inhabit areas in the vicinity of the capital where I’ve lived so far, but it’s exceedingly rare to encounter large beasts over there. I’ve never seen anything like a large wyvern.

“I think their size is something around that. Also, over there you see another male appealing.” Shea lightly jerks her small chin, luring my eyes to look towards another tree.

It’s a tree that’s much taller than the one with the peeled bark. At it’s treetop…

“Ugh…”

…hangs a rotten hume body. It’s the corpse of a young child, around five or six years old. The flesh has decomposed and fallen off, revealing its white skeletal frame beneath the skin of its frail torso. Holy shit…

“Teo, you look quite pale. Is it your first time with wyverns?”

“There were none around the capital…”

“I see. At this time of the year, male wyverns demonstrate their hunting abilities to the females. It signifies the advent of spring.”

“What a tasteless…depiction of a season’s beginning.”

“After tasting humes once, wyverns get addicted to the flavor. Especially wyverns, who’ve experienced pairing up with a female by impaling humes for later consumption, will attack humes every year. Moreover, humes resembling their first experience.”

“In other words, will this specimen hang children here every year?”

“Not only here. At the height of spring, it will hang them on anything resembling a branch. It’s something I’ve seen often around the yughul village.” Shea doesn’t stop her feet while talking.

Passing underneath the corpse, she walks all around the tree.

“Say, can’t we at least bury that child?”

“No. A female will come for it, and reacting to her, the male will follow. We’ll hunt both.”

Now Shea has gone away from the tree, and started to check the condition of the surroundings. It seems like she’s looking for a place to bushwhack the wyverns.

Shea chooses a rock several dozen metril away from the tree with the offering, and begins to prune the grass so that it won’t obstruct her line of view. She wraps her work up quickly, with no wasted movements.

“Those beasts travel a preset route over the span of several days. Going by the decomposition state of the offering, the real hunt will take place in three days at the latest. Teo, you get ready as well.”

Real hunt… my tension shoots up as soon as I hear those words. Yep, we’re going to hunt wyverns – flying dragons who possess a body build manifold as big as that of humes.

If we fail, only death awaits us! I must start getting ready right away. Preparing myself for field smithing.

Enchanted weapons created by magic blacksmiths drastically surpass the power of ordinary weapons, allowing feeble humes to oppose demonic beasts. They shoot fireballs, create icicles, or heal wounds. However, each time mana is consumed, and at some point, the enchanted weapon runs out of mana, returning to being an ordinary weapon. In such a situation, it’s necessary to refill it with mana, or switch weapons.
For this reason, magic blacksmiths take up camp at a spot slightly away from the battleground, creating replacement weapons or refilling weapons over there. Having said that, I’m ultimately a cortege blacksmith, and have no experience in working as a field smith…

“Is it really okay for me to be over here? Won’t I be too close…? Wouldn’t it be smarter to use the place behind the large tree over there”

The location designated to me by Shea is almost right behind the thicket where she’s hiding herself. It’s in the shade of a rock ten-odd steps away from her back. Still, she’s told me to set up my furnace here.

Close…no matter how you look at it, I’m way too close.

“It’s not like you’re going to be safe just because you distance yourself somewhat. Don’t use a hume’s sense of distance. Even if you were situated behind that tree, it’d take a wyvern two steps to reach you. Instead you should focus on a terrain where it’s easy to defend yourself.” Powerful words backed by bountiful experience.

I’ve got no choice but to trust the professional on this. I concentrate on my job once again.

First I toss coals and a wind stone into a small furnace, then I ignite a fire within. The wind stone draws a great quantity of air into the furnace, enhancing the heat of the coals. The temperature within the furnace shoots up right away.

The base material is a sword from an ancient battlefield – a rusty longsword dug out at a several decades old battlefield. Shea had stored it after purchasing it from a magic material store.

The tattered sword easily crumbles apart with a few hammer strikes. I mix pieces of venomous snake scale metal into the sword’s fragments, and toss the scraps into the furnace to melt them down. Next I remove a chunk with an iron pipe, and forge it with my hammer.

Shea’s order is a 『Throwing Knife with a powerful curse that takes effect immediately』. Enchantments only hold onto cursed weapons for a short period of time when compared to other enchanted weapons. They’ll wear off after a few hours. Moreover, all curses will be completely exhausted after several contacts. In other words, cursed weapons own a powerful offensive ability in exchange for a very short life span.

A short life span, and a high firepower, not to mention that it naturally damages the wielder’s body. The difficulty of handling these factors is one of the biggest reasons why cursed tool users are labeled as endangered species. In reality, there exists no occupation that requires field smiths as badly as cursed tool users. Shea must have been forced to fight under considerably harsh conditions until now. That’s why it’s my turn to help her…

I take out the red hot steel clump, and strike it with a hammer that had its power boosted through an earth enchantment. Each time the hammer hits the steel, the clump changes its shape. First, two inwards-curved blades, then I weld those blades into a swastika-shaped blade. Immediately following, I heat the blade up in the forge once more, and then harden it in one go by putting it into a bucket filled with deer blood which contains plenty of curse elements.

“Great, I don’t see any warps.”

If I had made a mistake with the timing and temperature of the hardening, the blade would have deformed or developed cracks. I’ve outgrown these kinds of blunders long ago, but I’m currently working outdoors with a bare minimum of equipment. It’d be stupid to not be careful.

Next up is the polishing. It’s a part that would take several days while frequently exchanging the grindstone as a cortege blacksmith, but right now I don’t have such a leeway. I’ll get it done in one breath, using a magic sharpening stone. I grind the knife blade against the stone which has been enchanted with the wind attribute. While furiously scattering sparks, the steel is slowly being whittled down. It’s a rough way of doing this step, but this is the very reason why it’s a test for my skill.

“Grinding it in one shot, huh? Quite the bold move.”

Without me having noticed, Shea has moved close to me, staring at me doing my work. It’s my usual, bad habit of completely forgetting about my surroundings once I start to concentrate on something.

“Yep. There’s no time to be meticulous…but, it’s okay. Look, it’s done.”

“Wait, wait, all of this took just a little more than two koku…” 1

“Huh? Two koku have already passed?”

I’ve completely lost any sense of time.

“You were going at it too fast. Take a little rest.” Shea tosses her water flask my way.

It’s only now that I realize it, but my throat feels parching dry. I get too absorbed in work, which leads to accidents instead. I’ll follow her advice and take a break.

“Ah, I feel rejuvenated…”

The water in the flask tastes abnormally delicious.

“It’s just simple mountain stream water. It’ll be a pain if you collapse on me from dehydration.”

“Haha, don’t worry. I won’t make such a beginner’s mistake.”

 

————— End of Part 2 —————

 

 

 


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Translation Notes:

  1. Koku is usually 2 hours, but the author hasn’t defined it yet, just like metril.

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  1. Pingback: Overkill Princess – Volume 1 – Chapter 3: Poison to Death! The Wyverns – Part 2 »

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