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It only took moments for Thomas to walk from the finalizing room back into the smithy where Rock was. He only had a few minutes left to turn in his quest and he wasn't going to waste them just idling around. Rock looked up at Thomas as he walked into the smithy and handed him the finished Kukri.

For Thomas, the kukri was a very shoddy product by his standards. Honestly, he wondered why the system kept giving it 'perfect' ratings. However, he also wasn't going to argue with the system and was just going to take the experience points and keep his mouth shut. He had already decided that when he had more spare time, without a quest looming over his head, he would sit down and methodically experiment with his blacksmithing to figure out the 'rules'.

Thomas quietly watched as Rock slowly examined the kukri, turning it this way and that to examine every angle of the weapon. Even holding the slightly ergonomic handle and giving it a few swings. A look of surprise flashed over his face as he swung the weapon. Thomas was sure he was shocked at how comfortable the handle was, as well as the performance of the kukri. Rock thumbed the razor edge of the blade and looked at Thomas, "I can honestly say I've never seen a weapon like this so I'm having a little trouble judging it. I can tell it was well forged and feels really good in the hand. Can you tell me a bit about this weapon and its purpose?"

Thomas nodded and began to explain about the kukri, "This weapon is called a kukri. It's a traditional weapon in one of the countries where I come from. It's considered a multipurpose tool that can do many different things such as clearing fields, chopping firewood, slaughtering animals, chopping meat and veggies, skinning animals, and of course reaping lives. It can be used to chop or slice, and thanks to the angle with the wide belly every chop carries heavy power and can slice even bones with a good hard chop."

Thomas had picked a kukri because of all the things the weapon could be used for. The kukri was a swiss army knife before the swiss army knife was invented! It would make an excellent companion for any adventurers out there as it could cover a lot of roles that most would use specialty knives and tools for. Why carry a fighting knife, skinning knife and shovel with your gear when you could just carry a kukri with you? Thomas was now showing his experience. With this one weapon, he could create a whole new market in the city and use Rock's Armory as a distribution point. He would likely even have a monopoly on the weapon for a while, and possibly be able to convince Rock to give him a portion of future sales of the weapon while he was off doing other stuff!

Thomas couldn't keep the grin off of his face as Rock continued to examine the weapon trying to figure out how it was capable of everything Thomas claimed. Thomas made a gesture with his hand, "If you've got some scrap wood or firewood around you can go ahead and test the weapon out by giving the wood a few chops. You can even try digging with it for a bit. Though I doubt we'll be able to find an animal to butcher with it." Thomas laughed a little.

Rock nodded, "Let's do that."

Rock lead Thomas out of a door in the smithy to a backyard where a large shed stored extra materials such as coal and iron for the smithy. Next to the shed was a pile of firewood. Rock grabbed a large whole piece and set it down. Thomas watched, slightly nervous because he hadn't tempered the blade. However, he hadn't seen any of the blades tempered so he wasn't sure if it was a required step or not in AoG. If it was a necessary step then the kukri was likely to shatter rather catastrophically the moment that Rock slammed it into that wooden log.

Thomas could feel his nerves getting tight as his heartbeat starting to pick up in pace. Rock was lifting the kukri up as he prepared to chop the firewood. Since it was a whole log Rock intended to attempt to quarter it properly using the new weapon Thomas had presented him. Thomas didn't have to wait long as Rock confidently swung his arm down and slammed the edge of the kukri into the log.

Thomas winced as the untested, untempered, kukri slammed into the log. With the combined factors of Rock's Power, the kukris razor edge, and the angle and weight of the kukri's blade the weapon slammed into the center of the log and split it clean in half with a loud 'CRACK!'. Fortunately, the blade didn't shatter from the impact. Thomas let out a pent-up sigh and wiped a bit of sweat from his brow. He had been extremely nervous for a moment there. It didn't seem that tempering was a required step, but he began to wonder what would happen if he did temper the kukri.

Rock, meanwhile, lifted the kukri to eye level and began to examine the edge of the blade for any warping or chipping. Seeing the blade was still in pristine condition he nodded and picked up one half of the split log and stood it up. He once again lifted the kukri and slammed it down. With another loud crack, he split the log into two quarters. He did so again with the other half and examined the kukri closely once more. The kukri had split a decent sized log into quarters and hadn't suffered any significant damage to the edge of the blade.

Rock looked over at Thomas and grinned, "You weren't exaggerating. This, kukri was it, of yours is really impressive!" Rock moved off to the side slightly and began to test another of Thomas's claims. He knelt down on the ground and began to use the wide belly of the kukri to dig a hole. Now obviously a kukri isn't going to be as excellent at digging as a regular shovel, but it can get the job done! After digging out a small hole in the ground Rock once more examined the blade and checked the edge. The blade had dulled a little but wasn't damaged. Satisfied Rock stood up and approached Thomas, "This kukri of yours really is an excellent tool. I think it could be a very popular item. As for your grade... You pass with flying colors and then some!"

System Notice: Quest Complete!
Rock has challenged you once again. This time he wants you to make an item all on your own. Once you have submitted an item to him he will grade it and give you his final word on it.
Rewards: 250 Exp
Time Limit: 10 hours
Bonus: Reputation with Rock has increased. +50% of Reward Exp.
System Notice: You have gained 375 Exp.

Thomas was ecstatic! Today he had earned big, not only had he managed to boost his blacksmithing up to rank thirteen, but he'd also gained a large chunk of experience, and some more reputation with Rock. Of course, he had no idea at all what benefits, if any, having a reputation with Rock would grant him but in his experience reputation was never a bad thing!

Rock handed the kukri back over to Thomas before he began to rub his stubbly chin in contemplation. After thinking for a few moments Rock addressed Thomas, "How would you feel about creating a few more of these kukris and teaching me and my men how to make them?"

Thomas put on a look as if he was deep in contemplation over Rock's question. Obviously, he already had his plans, he just couldn't immediately spout them out right away. He had to make it seem like it was a somewhat tough decision to give himself a better bargaining stance. Rock stayed silent as he watched Thomas 'thinking' over his request. Rock was a businessman himself, and despite his kind 'big brother' exterior he was a shrewd businessman and wasn't the least bit surprised with Thomas's behavior. He'd do the same thing in Thomas's shoes!

After what he felt was an appropriate amount of time Thomas spoke, "I don't mind making some more kukris for you to sell, so long as I get a fair share of the sale price. As for teaching you guys..." Thomas goes silent and makes 'Hmmmm-ing' noises as if he's still teetering on the edge of a decision, "Where I come from we have a concept called 'copyright'. What it means is that when someone makes something new they have the right to say who can, and can't, make copies of their items. They also have the right to ask for a percentage of the sales that copies of their items generate. If I am to teach you and the other blacksmiths how to make a kukri I would like to ask for 25% of the sales profit from the kukris you all produce."

Thomas was fully aware that asking for 25% was just asking for way too much, but anyone would know this was just an opening offer and begin to bargain until a compromise both parties could accept was reached. Aware of this Rock immediately countered, "I can understand this concept of 'copyright', but others will not and I am sure your kukri will be copied before long, so asking for 25% is just asking for too much since we will not maintain a sales monopoly for too long. How about five percent?"

The two men went back and forth for a bit until they ended at fifteen percent. Rock was forced to concede when Thomas pointed out that while others could copy the shape of the kukri only Rock and his men would be shown the proper way to make it, which would give them an edge in sales for a while at least. 

With the deal stuck Thomas focused on the kukri in his hands and examined it after it had been put through the wringer by Rock's testing. The kukri was still in excellent condition, even if the blade had been dulled a little by being used as a shovel. Considering it was made of plain iron that could be expected. What surprised Thomas was the handle, it hadn't come loose in the least and was still as tight as when he'd first glued it. Noting this Thomas turned to ask Rock, "What is that glue in the finishing room made of?"

Rock grinned and thumbed his nose, "Family secret. But, if you're willing to pay a percentage fee for my 'copyright' on it I might be willing to teach you the recipe."

Thomas threw his head back and laughed heartily. Rock really was an excellent businessman! He'd already adopted the idea of a copyright and was throwing it back at Thomas! Stilling smiling with mirth Thomas just shook his head, "Maybe next time." He looked up at the sky and then back to Rock, "For now I think I'm going to go get some sleep. Tomorrow I can teach you and the other smiths how to make a kukri."

Rock nodded and gave Thomas's shoulder a good, playful, slap, "See you tomorrow kid."

Since he hadn't gotten a free night stay at The Swans Nest out of Rock, Thomas didn't have to walk with Belle to the inn today. Since that was the case, Thomas stepped into a shop that was on the way and purchased himself another set of clothing. He bought a pair of pants made of thick material that reminded him of denim, but wasn't exactly the same, for five gold, as well as a shirt made of a cotton-like material for another four gold. Lastly, he stopped at a cobbler and bought a pair of nice thick leather boots for ten gold. For twenty gold he'd gotten some nice clothing that wasn't exactly stylish but was monumentally better than the linen clothing he'd had on arrival.

With the clothes stuffed into his bag, Thomas was down to 273 gold remaining. As far as Thomas could figure a single gold was maybe somewhere around a dollar, and without much inflation, it went a bit further than a dollar would in reality. 

With his new items in tow, Thomas made his way into The Swans Nest. He was looking forward to a nice hot meal and a good nights rest. Tonight he intended to spend his experience on his Magic attribute and get in some practice with his All Seeing Eyes.

Spoiler: Character Sheet
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A note from thomasdarkrose

So it's pretty clear you guys expect Thomas to go for Enchanting after Magitech Engineering, but I wonder what it will actually be...

Keep reading to find out! Muahahahahahahaaaa!


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About the author

thomasdarkrose

  • Georgia, USA

Bio: Just your average self-employed American with some spare time that enjoys reading, and now writing.

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