Hanryeong sighed in agreement.「This is a masterpiece, at the very least.」
Most blacksmiths wouldn’t even be able to complete something like this in half a year. Had Henova been pulling all-nighters making it?
「I can’t believe those crazy bastards were bidding 60,000! Are they blind or trying to rip him off? That why they’re living in the outer sections of the Tower!」 Shanon looked like he was ready to spring out at any moment, but Yeon-woo quickly blocked him before he could move. However, a profound murderous intent still flowed from his shadow, making the other players turn pale. Some even wet themselves and collapsed, while others ran away before Yeon-woo noticed them.
Yeon-woo was still standing there when Hanryeong spoke in a trembling voice, 「Master…」
「Is it possible for you… to check mine now?」 He was excited to see his swords, as well. Yeon-woo couldn’t help smiling, and he put all the swords into Intrenian. Two shadows stretched out and entered the subspace. It was clear that they would be occupied for a while.
Yeon-woo shook his head and entered the smithy. Clang! Clang! Clang!
Henova was hammering metal in front of the fire. “Fuck! Why are you here?”
“I just spent 10,000,000 on you. I think you’re being too rude to a good customer.”
“You bastard…!” Henova really felt like throwing his hammer at Yeon-woo.
Yeon-woo grimaced, then smiled. He had automatically teased Henova without intending to; teasing him had become a passive skill at this point. He dipped his head low. “I’m sorry.”
Henova’s hand froze just as he was about to hurl the hammer at Yeon-woo. His forehead wrinkled in confusion. “What?”
“Sorry I didn’t let you know I wouldn’t be able to make it. I could have done it, but I didn’t. I was wrong.”
Henova suddenly felt that he couldn’t throw the hammer anymore since Yeon-woo had apologized so sincerely. He put it down and stuck his pipe in his mouth, inhaling deeply. It was silent in the smithy for a while until he said, “I…don’t want to lose someone again.”
Yeon-woo kept quiet.
“I don’t want to go through everything again.” He returned to his hammer. “Just keep that in mind.”
Yeon-woo looked at Henova silently for a while, then he went to stand next to him, picking up a hammer as well.
A short while later, the sound of two hammers clanging on metal could be heard from the smithy.
Yeon-woo pulled out Carshina’s Dagger, which he’d used since his days in the Tutorial. Although it had the option of User’s Will, it was only ranked D+ and had already grown dull from his intense training on the twentieth floor. He would’ve thrown it away already since he had plenty of other weapons in Intrenian, and also, he already had the ability to make an even better dagger.
However, he’d grown fond of the dagger, and since it had accompanied him for such a long time, he was determined to fix it, no matter how much work it took. He had good materials now, especially the Tail Snake’s tough and sturdy molted skin, which even had the element of immunity to poison. He thought it would suit Carshina’s Dagger.
He opened his Draconic Eyes and observed the imperfections along the dagger. He removed the blade from the hilt and fixed the blade on the table. Then, he began to hammer until the blade had split into five pieces. He put them in the fire and watched them turn red from the heat. Then, he pulled out the molted skin from his bag, shaking it lightly to toughen it even more.
He also reached inside Intrenian, retrieving minerals that he’d found as hidden pieces. Among them were a few Orichhalcons, which were extremely tough and usually quite expensive to buy. He put half of them in the fire and waited for them to melt, as well. Since Orichhalcon had a high melting point, he didn’t forget to add Holy Fire as well.
Henova, who had been trying to ignore Yeon-woo, finally couldn’t resist and began to watch Yeon-woo, unable to focus on his own work. He’d been upset at Yeon-woo but not as angry as he’d seemed, and Yeon-woo’s apology had mollified him a lot.
He couldn’t speak to Yeon-woo because of his pride, but when Yeon-woo started taking his materials out, his gaze immediately turned to them. He was curious how Yeon-woo had managed to get them, but also worried as well.
Yeon-woo smiled to himself as Henova discreetly peeked at what he was doing. All Henova had to do was ask him what he was going, but his pride really was too much. That was why it was so easy to tease him. However, since Yeon-woo had been the one at fault, he had to humble himself. “Uh, Henova.”
“Hmph! What?” Henova quickly turned his head back as though he hadn’t been looking and snorted. Yeon-woo could barely stifle his laughter at the way Henova’s ears twitched.
“I want to make a dagger. May I ask you for some advice?”
“How can someone who’s learned blacksmithing from me not know how to make something so simple?”
“I really don’t have the skills. I can fix things or make simple items, but creating something like this is completely new territory.” Yeon-woo emphasized his words. “Besides, you’re my teacher and a famous artisan, how can I not ask you for advice?”
Twitch, twitch. Henova’s ears turned red and continued to move up and down as though he were embarrassed to be called a teacher and a famous artisan. He coughed lightly. “Ahem! Well, if you say so. Fine. What do you want to know?”
“I’ve managed to get some good materials this time.”
Henova was starting to move closer and Yeon-woo began to prepare the bait. “Would you like to see?”
Yeon-woo pulled out the shell pieces and remnants of the Void, along with some minerals. Henova’s expression quickly changed. “You, is this…?”
“I got them as a reward from the Abyss Turtle and Void Dragon. And these minerals are...”
Edora and Phante had given Henova a rough description of what Yeon-woo had done on the eleventh floor, but his eyes still widened. Minerals like Orichhalcons weren’t hard to come by. They were expensive, but he could get some if necessary. However, the shell pieces and Void were priceless since you couldn’t get them unless you killed the Legendary Beasts.
However, Yeon-woo nonchalantly put these items in front of him, knowing that Henova would be excited to see them. He was right; the passion of an artisan was already burning inside Henova, and the dwarf could feel his fingers grow itchy.
“Ahem! What…what are you going to do with these?” Henova tried to hide his excitement and asked in the most serious tone he could muster, but his voice still trembled a little.
Thankful he was wearing a mask, Yeon-woo grinned to see Henova taking the bait. “I want to refurbish all of my equipment.”
Henova’s eyes grew thoughtful. “Refurbish, you say.”
“Yes. It’s been a while, and I’ve changed a lot as well.”
“I guess you’re right. It is time to refurbish.”
It had been a long time since Yeon-woo first entered the Tower and got his equipment. No matter how well you took care of it, it was bound to age and wear out. Also, as a player’s fighting style changed, their weapons needed to change, as well.
Most players usually refurbished every five floors, getting rid of weapons they didn’t need and replacing them with ones that suited their element and abilities the best. Yeon-woo hadn’t even done this even once, although to be fair, his weapons were of a better grade than those of normal players on the lower floors.
Vigrid, Aegis, the Despair of the Black King, Gyges’ Eyes, and the Magic Bayonet also suited his skills very well. Carshina’s Dagger and the Goblin King’s eye from the Tutorial were a bit old now, but Yeon-woo still used them well. ‘Since my battle methods are pretty diverse, I can still make use of them, but I do plan to make my skills grow in a specific direction.’
Yeon-woo had always planned on awakening his Dragon Body, so he had always grown his strength with that in mind, focusing on dexterity, movement, and senses. Thanks to his experience in the military in Africa, he could assess himself well in these areas.
Even though the Despair of the Black King had landed in his lap, he didn’t focus on his magic artifacts and trained without relying on them, gaining his strength that way. However, he was now beginning to feel like he needed a change. Learning Aura on the twentieth floor had put his body through an immense growth, and he needed something that matched its new level. He also wanted to have his new weapons before he challenged the twenty-first floor.
“And that’s what’s going on.” Yeon-woo explained to Henova, certain that the dwarf would give him excellent guidance.
Yeon-woo waited for Henova to finish organizing his thoughts. After some time passed, Henova slowly lifted his pipe to his mouth. “So you’re saying that since you have a lot of money now, you want to refurbish everything, is that right?”
“And you want to be involved in creating some of it?”
“I know it’s asking for a lot, but I think that what I make for myself will be best for me.”
Henova burst out laughing. “That’s a good idea. An item has to suit its owner.”
Yeon-woo didn’t just bring up fixing Carshina’s Dagger himself because he wanted to persuade Henova. He genuinely had a desire to make an artifact for himself as someone with the interest to learn blacksmithing. Since he wanted to learn metal alchemy, this was the first step.
“So that’s why you gave me so much money.” Henova looked at Yeon-woo with a dumbfounded expression.
“I can’t say that’s not the reason.”
“You damned...” Henova cursed, but he smiled, knowing that Yeon-woo was saying it because he trusted him. Henova didn’t feel bad at all, but he narrowed his eyes. “So you’re leaving everything to me?”
“Do you understand what you’re doing?”
“Yes, I do.” Yeon-woo nodded emphatically.
Henova shook his head. “No, I don’t think you understand what you’re saying.”
Making new equipment that fit a player perfectly sounded like a simple proposition, but it was actually an extremely invasive process. It meant that players had to reveal everything about themselves: attributes, stats, properties, skill tree, physique, level of magic power, and future growth. They had to show their weaknesses to the artisan, and if the artisan decided to betray them or leak information, the players would be done for. This was what Henova was talking about.
Yeon-woo was the focus of attention in the Tower at the moment. Although he would likely receive even more attention once he reached the fiftieth floor, many people already knew his name without knowing much else about him. At most, people knew that he was skilled in martial arts, and there were plenty of places who would pay a lot of money for any information about him.
Henova wanted Yeon-woo to think about it a bit more. From what he could tell, Yeon-woo didn’t have a clue that he was getting so much attention as a rookie.
However, Yeon-woo was firm. “No. I understand it well.”
His eyes made Henova think of a little child who had complete trust in him. “Fine, I’ll help you. But I’ll be the main artisan, and you’ll only be my assistant. If I catch you slacking off, I’m going to break your head into pieces with the hammer.”
Yeon-woo laughed. “I’ll leave it to you.”
From that day, the fire in Henova’s smithy didn’t go out for a single moment.Previous Chapter Next Chapter