Upon arriving at The Swans Nest, Thomas greeted Martha and informed her he would be staying the night and had to pay for himself. It turned out that a nights stay was twenty gold and included breakfast, but dinner was an additional five gold. Adding on the two more gold Thomas needed to pay to have the clothing he wore today cleaned and he was out 27 gold instantly. That left him with just 246 gold but he wasn't worried in the least. With the deal he'd struck with Rock he should make at least some money from the sales of kukris until they started getting copied.
The dinner he had was just as delicious as always, he even splurged an extra gold coin for another mug of mead to enjoy. When dinner was done he asked for a hot jug of water to wipe his body down with and retired to his room to clean himself off and turn over his dirty clothing to Maggie. Dressed in his linen clothing, now his official sleepwear, Thomas lay on the bed and stared at the ceiling. After using 'Serenity' for a bit to relax and recover from his work that day he opened his character sheet and stared at the chunk of experience he had.
He'd already decided what to do, so without wasting time he poured a large chunk of his experience points into his Magic attribute and increased it all the way to seven in one go. As his Magic increased from 'insignificant' to 'not-so-insignificant' he felt a warm current of energy flowing through his entire body. He closed his eyes and reveled in the feeling. Before he only knew he had magic because of his attributes and the one time he used 'All Seeing Eyes'. Now he could definitely feel the magic, or mana, inside of his body. It flowed through his body like blood in his circulatory system.
Thomas just spent some time getting used to the feeling before opening his eyes and looking up at the plain wood ceiling. Now that he had more mana inside of his body it was time to do some good old-fashioned grinding. He still had no idea how his 'Transmutation' Innate Ability worked so he ignored it for now and focused on using his 'All Seeing Eyes'. With just a bit of focus, his eyesight zoomed in on the ceiling until he felt like he had his nose pressed right up against it.
As he focused on looking at the plain and boring ceiling he could feel the mana inside of his body slowly moving towards his eyes and being consumed. The longer he maintained his focus the more his mana continued to drain. He'd experienced running low on mana the last time he'd used his 'All Seeing Eyes'. He'd gotten dizzy and felt weak. This time, however, he was determined to find out what happened when he drained every last drop of his mana. It was important to know now instead of accidentally finding out in the future and getting killed because of it.
After around thirty minutes he began to feel dizzy and weak, but he forced himself to keep going. Just a few minutes after that he could feel the last bit of his mana flow into his eyes. With the last drop squeezed out his entire world went completely black as he was forced unconscious.
Thomas woke up several hours later without any side effects from passing out. He focused on his body for a moment and felt a small amount of his mana had recovered, about a quarter of what he felt was his current total. He was pretty happy with the situation. Despite being forced to pass out he now knew what would happen if he overused his mana in the middle of combat, death. If he passed out like that with enemies or monsters around he would most certainly be killed. Not that he was afraid of dying in a game, it happened all the time really. He just wasn't aware of what the death penalty would be yet and the unknown can be rather frightening.
After checking the progress of 'All Seeing Eyes' and finding it had increased to rank two, Thomas once again used 'Serenity' to calm his mind and drift off to sleep. Being unconscious was not the same as actual sleep and he was still rather tired from the day's efforts. It didn't take long before his soft snores suffused the room.
After waking up the next morning he checked his body and found his mana was fully recovered. After that, Thomas retrieved his clothing, ate a nice warm breakfast, and headed over to Rock's Armory. Today he was supposed to teach the other blacksmiths how to create the kukri, he also wanted to take the time to make himself another kukri that he could use as his main weapon for a bit. The shortsword he got from the guards on his arrival wasn't very good and he felt he could easily make a kukri that could break the shortsword.
Upon arriving inside of the smithy Rock and the other blacksmiths were awaiting him. The forges were hot and everyone was focused on him as he began to give directions while forging a kukri in the process. Thomas took his time forging out the new kukri and explained the process in concise terms as he worked. All of the blacksmiths were professionals with years of experience so they didn't have any difficult questions to ask as they watched Thomas work. It took until lunchtime for him to show them the forging process, they didn't need to be shown how to grind the blade or fit the handle since there was nothing special about that. In the process of making the kukri Thomas earned 244 blacksmithing experience for making an excellent quality one.
After lunch Thomas contemplated how he wanted to create his personal kukri, he'd turned over the original he made yesterday to Rock and the other blacksmiths to use as an example. For his own kukri he knew he wanted to use more real-world methods and fewer of Rocks, especially when it came to tempering the blade. Having an untempered blade just made him feel uncomfortable. After thinking for a while Thomas decided to consult Rock, "Hey Rock, do you guys have anything other than iron for forging weapons and armor?"
Rock looked up from his work on a new kukri and shook his head, "No, here in Ulvstad all we have is iron from a local mine. Though sometimes adventurers can get special materials as monster drops in the dungeon it's pretty rare for us to see any here. Some of those materials can be stronger than iron or enhance the iron to make it stronger. Without spending a fortune with a trader to get something better imported, I'm afraid there's nothing else to use."
Thomas couldn't keep from sighing, but what else could he expect from a starter city? Thomas fetched an iron ingot and placed it into the coals to heat up while he worked the bellows. He was contemplating using some of the more advanced techniques he knew to see what would happen. He was still experimenting so he wasn't going to go full out and commit to something without knowing if it was beneficial.
The first technique he intended to use was folding the iron. Even though the ingot was somewhat purified when it was smelted into an ingot, there would still be some impurities within it. Folding the iron would help spread those impurities out. He didn't want to fold it a bunch of times though, just five should be enough and would give him 32 layers. He knew this may not be the most efficient or best choice, but that wasn't the point at the moment. The point was to know if folding it made a difference in the amount of experience he got for making it!
The second technique was definitely going to be tempering the blade. In reality when you quenched a blade the metal would become rigid and hard as the crystalline structures within the metal formed. If you didn't use some heat to 'relax' the metal it would be too rigid and brittle causing it to be more likely to shatter with hard impacts. This didn't seem to be the case within the game, but Thomas felt it was a necessary step and may just improve the quality of the kukri to levels beyond a rating of 'perfect'.
After heating the ingot he pulled it out of the forge and instead of hammering it into the shape of the kukri he just hammered it out into a longer and thinner bar. He grabbed one of the hot cut tools and hammered it most of the way through the middle of the ingot before flipping it over and hammering it back towards itself. This is where he ran into a bit of an issue. Because folding metal wasn't a common technique there was no flux in the smithy. Additionally, there were no wire brushes to help scrape off the scale on the metal.
Thomas was forced to improvise and do without. He borrowed a dull chisel from the finishing room and used the long edges on the side of the chisel to scrape the scale off of the ingot to help the metal weld together properly. After hammering the fold together Thomas once again reheated the ingot. He repeated the process of forging out the ingot, cutting it, folding it, cleaning it, and hammering it back together a total of five times. Fortunately for him, it seemed like the system in the game was helping out as the metal welded together rather nicely.
The other blacksmiths had noticed what Thomas was doing but decided to hold their questions until he was finished so they could see what new marvel he was creating. At this point Rock was decidedly excited and even contemplating buying a drink for Hekrin as thanks for sending a prodigy like Thomas over to his shop. If Thomas knew how impressed Rock was he would scoff and complain about the lack of proper supplies and materials. Thomas felt like everything he was making was just too crude, give him a little while to learn the ins and outs of the system and he would show Rock what a real prodigy looked like!
With the ingot folded and welded together, Thomas began the process of forging it out into the shape of a kukri. After bending the kukri and punching out the small section just above where the handle would terminate he brought the iron up to temperature and quenched it in the trough of water. That was another issue he had, he much preferred to quench in oil. During the quench, Thomas didn't hear any sounds that would indicate a fracture in the blade. After pulling it out of the water he examined it carefully and found that the blade had a slight warp to it.
Thomas slid the tang of the kukri into the hardy hole of the anvil he was using and very carefully applied pressure to bring the blade back into a straight shape. There was a very small window of opportunity to fix minor warping while the blade was still fresh from the quench. If the warp was too great then you were just boned and would have to start over. In the few moments he had Thomas managed to fix the warp and straighten the blade out.
While his blade cooled Thomas visited the other blacksmiths and gave them advice or answered any questions they had about the kukris they were forging, none asked about what he was up to. After spending some time with them he returned to his anvil and fetched his cooled down kukri to begin the process of grinding the blade into shape. He took it through ten of the twelve grinding wheels, removing all excess material and grinding it into a good clean shape.
With the grinding almost complete Thomas did something none of the other blacksmiths had seen before, he brought the nearly complete kukri back to his forge and began to very carefully warm the blade up. Tempering took time and careful temperature control. It didn't take a lot of heat, just a few hundred degrees (Celcius or Fahrenheit), blacksmiths had been known to even use old toaster ovens for small knives. Since there was no such thing as a toaster oven, or even a kiln, in the smithy Thomas had to use the coals of the forge. It wasn't too big of a deal as long as he didn't pump air into the coals and raise their temperature.
Luckily coal burned at around 300 degrees Celcius (roughly 600 degrees Fahrenheit) and by spreading the coals out a bit he could lower the temperature some. The main issue was that after two hours of carefully holding the kukri over the heat his arm was screaming at him as his muscles knotted up. With the tempering process completed Thomas set the kukri down and relaxed for a bit to massage his arm and bring a feeling to it other than pain.
He was determined to put a kiln or oven of some sort into his own shop once he set one up so he didn't have to do this crap again in the future. After resting for a bit Thomas retrieved the kukri and brought it to the second to last grinding wheel. The once somewhat shiny blade was now blackened so he took his time and carefully used the grinding wheel to remove the soot to clean the blade, as he continued to sharpen and polish it.
The day was coming to an end as Thomas worked the kukri on the final grinding wheel. He took extra care to make sure that the blade was as polished and sharpened as it could get on the crude grinding wheel. When he was finished he held it up and waited with bated breath for the system announcement of the weapons completion.
|System Notice: You have created a Magical Kukri by hand. Quality: Excellent. You have gained 450 Blacksmithing experience.|
|System Notice: You are the first player to create a Magical graded weapon. You have gained the title 'Magical Blacksmith'. You have been rewarded with 500 experience.|
|Title: Magical Blacksmith: When creating items with a grade of Magical or above you gain a bonus 10% Blacksmithing experience as well as experience equal to 25% of the total blacksmithing experience gained.|
Spoiler: Character Sheet
|Name: Thomas Dakrose|
|Experience Gained: 1,300||Experience Spent: 710||Experience Remaining: 590|
|Power: 7||(+) 80XP|
|Endurance: 7||(+) 80XP|
|Agility: 7||(+) 80XP|
|Magic: 7||(+) 80XP|