The first thing Randidly did after talking with everyone and setting things up was take a nap. It had been… quite a while since he had slept. His Vitality made it completely voluntary. And even afterward, as he opened his eyes, he didn’t feel truly rested.
But he did feel clear. A lot of the build-up of frustrations and tension drained out of him, leaving him ready for the day. Not so ready that he wanted to accompany Tatiana to meet with a lawyer and an accountant to handle the gritty details of starting his own company, but enough that he agreed to meet with some of the more inexperienced steelworkers that had been swayed to his side and provide a demonstration.
“What I’m about to do should not be copied. No doubt some of you have received Fire Resistance already… but this is more than that.”
Barefoot, surrounded by twelve wide-eyed men and women, Randidly walked forward and began to work metal. He didn’t hold back at all and began by directly using Incendiary Eruption to spew superheated gas and liquid up towards his metals. He Refined and Extracted the ore as he worked with the heat source, trying to get a feel for it. It wasn’t difficult to control the flow of Mana into the Skill, but it was much harder to keep the heat even. That wasn’t so difficult during this portion, as long as the heat passed a certain level, but it would become more important later.
Slowly, the ore was reduced to its pure version, beginning to melt in the crucible. Randidly moved quickly to the table, all the while maintaining the Incendiary Eruption. Wincing, he drew some Mana from his rings. This was more demanding than he had thought it would be.
Very quickly, he cut up a bone and ground it to dust. Then he pricked his finger and let three drops of blood fall onto the mixture. With Gravity Affinity he began to stir everything together. It still wasn’t strong enough to be very useful in battle, but it could handle basic household tasks at this point.
Randidly mixed the molten metal with the monster and blood mixture. His method of mixing had reached something near perfection, and he quickly got to work. The only issue was that Gravity Affinity also required metal, which left him somewhat drained rather quickly. Still, he pushed through the operation as the eyes of his soon to be employees watched.
Working with metal was a heady experience, and Randidly quickly lost himself in the experience of it. The searing heat and the strange viscosity of the molten metal were endlessly fascinating to him. Again and again, Randidly stared intently at the molten metal for several seconds before raising the heat coming up from the eruption. He needed a little more for the metal to settle with the bone and harden how he wanted it.
With his Perception deeply sunk into the metal, Randidly sensed the moment he had reached the point that he wasn’t skilled enough to make the metal anymore well done. He began to cool it, gratefully allowing Golden Roots of Yggdrasil to draw Mana into himself as he waited.
Then Randidly began to pound the metal, shaping it into something more interesting than an ingot. In his mind, it was supposed to become a small dagger, but the metal he had made was harder than he had anticipated. The hammers he had prepared barely dented the warm metal, even with Randidly’s own prodigious Strength.
Narrowing his eyes, Randidly tried something else. He used As the Sun Stills.
His hammer became the core of a dying sun, hanging above the metal. Then it snapped, and the density swelled violently upwards. It was difficult to swing the hammer, but with his muscles bulging, the hammer slowly fell and hit the metal.
There was a strange reverberation through the room, and Randidly felt the floor shiver from the force. A crack had formed in the side of the anvil that he was working on top of. The people around him weren’t moving. Randidly raised the hammer once more, once more tricked by how strangely light the hammer felt immediately afterward. This was a nice method with growing used to the shift so Randidly could handle it during a battle.
As the Sun Stills.
This time, part of the anvil chipped off, and the hammer itself shattered into pieces. Randidly grimaced. Well, there were costs to this method of practice, but hammers weren’t that hard to purchase.
Honestly, he should probably make his own so they would be better equipped to withstand the force of his usage…
Note to self: sell hammers. In fact, there was probably a lot of industrial equipment that Randidly could begin to sell that operated at specifications higher than the current stuff on the market. Incendiary Eruption was good practice, but his workers needed high-quality furnaces in order to operate. It was worth looking into.
Randidly selected another hammer and began to shape the rest of the metal. His two powerful blows had flattened what would be the blade, and all that remained was to shape the rest. It took almost two hours of pounding, but Randidly managed it. He was just grateful no one else offered to take over for him; it would have been difficult for that person to even make an impression.
Perhaps it shoulder be surprising to him, but as Randidly looked at the dagger he had made, without even a true hilt and an overly long blade, it possessed stats.
Nameless Dagger ® Lvl 49: A dagger produce by a savant who loves metal. It is rough, but the shape of the process gives the dagger great strength. But due to the strength, the weight is beyond that of a normal weapon of its size. Agility +4, Strength +30, Stamina +100. Bone Totem II. Heat of the Earth I.
Bone Totem II: Made with the bones and blood of living things. Grants a small amount of power to the dagger. As this dagger absorbs blood, there is a small chance this effect may grow. Warning, there may be dangerous side effects if the absorbed blood is from a creature much stronger than what was used in the dagger’s making. All Stats +2.
Heat of the Earth I: The dagger remains warm in hand. +5 Agility, +5 Reaction. Fire Skills will be more effective if used in conjunction with the dagger.
Randidly smiled lightly and showed them the dagger. People looked at it, almost uncomprehendingly, but studied it closely as they passed it amongst themselves.
Randidly shrugged, almost embarrassed. “Obviously, we aren’t becoming blacksmiths… but sometimes it’s nice to know what your metal can become. What we are chasing is to make a perfect metal. But what is the point of having that if we can’t work it at all? That dagger is the goal. Someday, I want all of the metal we make to be of that level.”
When he said it, Randidly didn’t truly mean it. After all, the metal included his own blood. That wouldn’t be a commercial product. But the people didn’t understand that and nodded seriously. Some of them produced bits of metal they had collected from their work and tested Randidly’s dagger against it. Except for a few bits of high-quality metal that the group had collected, it passed through the other metals without resistance.
Then Randidly remembered that Tatiana was working to become more acclimated with her new Class and could use a weapon like that and retrieved the dagger. He dismissed the workers and regarded it critically.
It really seemed like raising the heat during the mixture process had done wonders for the evenness of the bone dispersion in the metal. However, he had cooled it too rapidly afterward. Or rather, too much oxygen was let into the edges of the metal as it cooled. Grimacing, Randidly looked around at what they were working with. Keeping oxygen out of the forge couldn’t truly be done with heat-
Then Randidly paused. Perhaps… could he use Breath of the Spear Phantom to keep air out around the metal? He had always targeted people, but…
It was something worth pursuing, but he had an agreement to meet with Tatiana for some sparring. She wanted to Level up as fast as possible, and Randidly agreed it was important. Basically, all the fighters he had was Tykes and Dinesh right now. Neveah too, but she was largely busy with goings on in the Orchard. Karlito could hold his own in a fight and Bruya’s illusions were impossibly real, but Randidly intended to attempt to clear the Ogre Danger Zone before he left for Shal’s world in two month’s time.
Therefore, a bit more was needed.