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Finally, it had taken Thomas nearly four whole weeks to get to this point. He'd spent the most important time of a new games life doing nothing but working towards a single goal. Now it was time to see if all of his hard work had been worth it. Thomas hadn't exactly suffered, in fact, he'd made a fair share of money and nothing he had learned was a waste of his time. He just hoped none of that time should have been spent on something more productive.

Thomas followed Hekrin into the back room of his store and froze. His eyes widened as he took in the sight before him. The room was at least five times the size of the storefront and packed to the brim with all kinds of items. The most easily recognizable items were the tools. Inside of the room, there were tools for every single profession Thomas had learned, along with even more he didn't instantly recognize. To go along with the tools were various stations and facilities, such as a furnace for blacksmithing, all along the walls. Everything that Thomas could want to work with, for any of his professions, was easily available.

Hekrin turned to look at Thomas before letting out a deep sigh, "Alright kid. I'm a man of my word, as much as I hate that sometimes, so I will keep my word and teach you Magitech Engineering. Whether you succeed or fail at it will be up to you. Before I teach you though, there is a rule you must follow. Until the day you surpass me you will refer to me as 'Master'. If you dare to refer to me as anything else then our relationship is through."

Thomas was rather shocked, not at the content of what Hekrin said but at the way he said it! He spoke with only the slightest hint of an accent, and in far more words than Thomas had ever heard him speak. Seeing the look on Thomas's face, Hekrin sighed once more before saying, "Don't worry about how I speak, I've got my reasons. Now pay attention to what I have to say."

Thomas nodded, and to get on Hekrin's good side said, "Yes, Master."

Hekrin smirked, "Cheeky kid. Anyway. Magitech Engineering is one of the most recently founded professions in the world. Despite that, it still has a history spanning centuries. Magitech evolved from regular Engineering and became something different than what it started as. If an Engineer can make a siege ballista, a Magitechnician can make an automatic siege ballista. If an engineer can make a grenade, a Magitechnician can make an elemental grenade."

Thomas gave a start, "Wait, Master, you can make grenades?"

Hekrin gave Thomas the stink eye for interrupting him, but answered anyway, "Yes, I can make grenades."

Hekrin walked over to a large set of shelves covered in a myriad of materials from plants to minerals to various pieces of animals. He selected a small hunk of a red mineral, "This is Firestone. When ground into a fine powder it can be ignited by fire and will violently burst into flames. If stored inside of a metal container before ignition it causes a massive amount of pressure that ends in an explosion." Hekrin set the mineral back down, "Now don't interrupt me again."

Hekrin placed his hands behind his back and assumed a lecturing posture. Which honestly looked kind of funny given that Hekrin only came up to Thomas's waist, "Magitech Engineers don't just pursue making weapons. We also look for ways to improve the daily lives of people through our work. For example, in the past, a Magitechnician invented an automatic mortar and pestle that became all the rage with professionals who could afford one. Another Magitechnician invented a system that allowed for a house to have running water without needing any source. Though the system is flawed in that it needs large quantities of rather pure magic crystals to function, meaning it only works for the rich."

Thomas nodded as he listened to Hekrin as he continued, "The purest pursuit of Magitech is to make new things that help the world in one way or another. I can't teach you how to make the world better, but I can teach you the principles behind Magitech."

Hekrin walked over to a table that had a large pile of blueprints on it. After shuffling through them for a while he pulled one out, "Since you seemed so interested in the grenades, I want you to make one for me. I will provide all the materials and keep the final product, but it will be up to you to create the item entirely on your own." Hekrin walked over to Thomas and held out the blueprint, "You can consider this a final test. Given everything you've learned, making this item should pose no problems for you. Once you successfully finish making it you will be an official Magitech Engineer, or as we call each other, a Magitechnician."

System Notice: New Quest!
Hekrin Graveljaw has given you the blueprints to the 'Basic Grenade' and requested that you make one on your own to prove your proficiency in the skills you have practiced. The quality of your success will have a direct correlation to your promotion into Magitech Engineering.
Rewards: Magitech Engineering skill, Improved Reputation with Hekrin Graveljaw

Thomas glanced at the quest notification and arched an eyebrow. He'd had to complete tutorials in the past, but gaining a profession had never required a quest before. Thankfully though, there were no penalties for failure. Thomas accepted the blueprint from Hekrin and looked over it. The grenade wasn't very complex at all. He only needed to make two half spheres, line them with leather, fill the leather pouch with the Firestone Hekrin had shown him before, wrap the metal in strips of leather, and finish it off with an enchantment to act as the fuse. Interestingly the spot marking the enchantment even suggested an image to picture to make the fuse work.

Hekrin started to head to the front of the store to run his shop while calling out to Thomas, "Feel free to use anything in the workroom. Just remember that anything you break, you buy a replacement for."

Thomas glanced at the departing Hekrin and smiled, "Got it, Master."

Once Hekrin was gone, Thomas spent a while just looking over the blueprint to make sure he gathered all the information it could provide. He didn't want to mess up so he was making sure he knew every detail inside and out. Once he was sure he had a solid grasp of the plans he got to work. His first step, making the outer shell of the grenade. He went over to the cold forge and lit it up. Once the fire was going a bit he worked the small bellows attached to the small forge to pump air into the coals and heat them up.

Once the coals were hot he selected an iron ingot and a pair of tongs to place the ingot into the coals. After working the bellows for a while the ingot had taken on a nice orange glow and was ready to be worked. Thomas selected a hot cut tool and cut off about a quarter of the ingot, he didn't need a huge amount of iron to make the grenade. He quickly reheated the quarter of the iron ingot so that it was at the optimal temperature and proceeded to cut it into two more evenly sized pieces. He left one in the forge to keep it at a decent temperature, though without someone pumping the bellows the temperature of the forge dropped significantly.

Using the tongs to hold the first piece he selected an appropriately sized hammer and began the process of hammering the iron into a somewhat thin sheet. He didn't want it to be too thin, but he still hammered it down until it was about six millimeters thick. When he was finished hammering it out flat it had become approximately 50 by 50 millimeters. With the first sheet done he used the bellows to reheat the last piece of the ingot up to temperature and hammer it out into a similarly sized piece.

To make the two flat pieces into hemispheres Thomas looked around until he found a dishing tool and hammer. Grinning to himself Thomas set the dishing tool, which basically looked like a thick bowl with a very wide rim, on the anvil and picked up the dishing hammer which had one slightly rounded end. Thomas started hammering the iron over the dishing tool to deform it and begin to bring it into shape. Honestly, this would be a lot easier with a mold to just cast the iron with. However, Thomas didn't mind doing it this way since it had been a while since he got to work with hot metal.

Thomas couldn't stop smiling as he slowly hammered the two pieces of metal until they were basically in the shape of bowls. They were a little uneven, but he could fix that! Thomas searched around until he found a set of files. Using the files, and occasionally hammering the hemisphere pieces into better shape, Thomas worked them until they were even with a section of each hemisphere ground out to leave a small hole at what would be the 'top'. It took a bit of time and effort but he finally got the two halves to match up so that one half fit snugly inside of the other with some overlap.

With the metal work done he selected a thick piece of leather to begin the next step. Using the iron hemispheres as templates, Thomas carefully cut out two pieces of leather that will fit on the inside of the hemispheres. With the two pieces cut out, he used a glue similar to the kind Hyde had to bind the two pieces together, though he left one section unglued so the Firestone powder could be fed into it. Looking at the work, Thomas shook his head. He was following the design and felt like the design was highly flawed. He'd have to make something better in the future.

With the pouch and metal work done, Thomas looked at the Firestone Hekrin had shown him earlier and shook his head. He took the books he'd gotten from Ricktor out of his storage ring and began flipping through them for information on the Firestone. He didn't find anything until the third book. According to the book, Firestone was basically just a somewhat soft stone, like sandstone, until it came into contact with fire. Once touched with flames the Firestone would react violently. Even just a little bit of the powder was enough to accidentally kill someone if they were not careful. Thomas glanced at the Firestone and was happy to note it was on the complete opposite side of the room from the forge. Still, it seemed a little reckless to have something so volatile even that close to an open flame.

Following the information presented in the book, Thomas went over to the Firestone and used a small hammer to carefully chip off a fair sized piece. With the piece in hand, he moved over to the alchemy section of the workroom and used the mortar and pestle to very carefully grind the piece of stone into fine powder. It didn't take too much effort, but to be safe he went extremely slow with the work. He didn't want to find out the hard way if frictional heat would be enough to ignite the Firestone.

With the Firestone turned into powder, Thomas used a funnel to feed it into the leather pouch. According to the blueprint he needed to pack it in tightly. Once the powder was packed into the leather pouch he surrounded the pouch with the two halves of the iron sphere making sure to align the open top of the pouch with the open top of the sphere. He needed a direct line for the enchanted fuse to be able to ignite the Firestone.

With the pouch surrounded in the overlapping hemispheres, Thomas double checked the blueprints and shook his head in disappointment. For the next step, he picked up the excess leather from making the pouch and began to cut it into strips that he could wrap completely around the sphere. Since there weren't electric or gas welders he had to soak the leather, wrap it around the sphere, glue it in place, and let it dry so that the leather would shrink and tighten. The tight leather wrap would hold the whole thing together and provide a solid case that would let the pressure from the ignited Firestone build until it burst. Kind of similar to how gunpowder worked in a gun.

After soaking the leather in water, Thomas pat it dry so he could glue it and wrapped it around the metal sphere as tightly as he could before applying glue to the leather strip. He repeated the process a half dozen times until the sphere was covered in crisscrossed strips of leather. With that everything was done but the final step. Thomas returned to the blueprints to double check what he remembered and continued to be disappointed. The description of the fuse enchantment was a little simplistic. The fuse itself looked a lot like a tack, with a flat top and long thin metal rod that would sink into the Firestone. It simply said 'Imagine that the enchantment will absorb a large amount of mana and hold it for a few seconds before dumping all of the mana into the spike to superheat it instantly'.

Thomas sighed and rubbed between his eyebrows. The description was adequate to make the enchantment, but the whole process had been rather... entirely too complicated and odd for what he was making. Ninety percent of the work could be ignored with a simple mold to pour molten iron into. Thomas quickly fashioned the tack-like piece he needed to insert into the top before selecting an engraving tool with a very small and sharp tip. He only had a few millimeters of space to carve the enchantment on to so he needed something that would create super thin lines. After grinding a mana crystal into powder and adding oil to it, Thomas got to work.

He closed his eyes and pictured a capacitor in his mind. It seemed like an excellent image for storing a large amount of energy that could be quickly dumped. He then pictured a digital timer set to five seconds wired to the capacitor. Lastly, he pictured a metal rod wired to the capacitor so that when the timer counted down to zero it would dump all of its energy into the metal rod and superheat it nearly instantly. Obviously, something like that wouldn't actually work in reality, it was all about the intent for it to work that mattered.

With that image in mind, Thomas began to carefully tap the engraver's tool to carve a circuit board-like pattern into the top of the tack-like piece of metal. It only took him a few minutes to carve out the symbol for the enchantment. Thomas stepped far away from the bomb-in-progress and placed the tip of his finger against the enchantment to feed mana into it. He felt a small portion of his mana leave his body and flow into the enchantment. Exactly five seconds after the enchantment was full of mana the thin metal rod glowed bright orange. Thomas grinned broadly and set the piece off to the side to let it cool, he wasn't going to let it get anywhere near the grenade before it was stone-cold again.

It had taken Thomas nearly three hours to make a single grenade. To him, that was just plain unacceptable. Shaking his head yet again, Thomas made his way to the storefront and smiled at Hekrin, "Master, the grenade is ready for inspection."

Hekrin looked up and let out a deep sigh, "Right."

Hopping down from his stool, Hekrin made his way into the back room to look over Thomas's work. Looking at the not quite completed grenade, Hekrin eyed Thomas, "It's not finished."

Thomas fetched the enchanted fuse and held it up, "I had to test the enchantment to make sure it would work first. It didn't seem smart to stick hot iron into the Firestone powder."

Hekrin huffed, "Fine, fine."

Touching the fuse and finding it cold, Thomas carried it over to Hekrin and carefully inserted it into the hole through the iron and leather and directly into the Firestone. Hekrin nodded and slowly examined the grenade in his hand. With yet another deep sigh, Hekrin looked at Thomas, "Fine kid, you pass and are now officially a Magitech Engineer."

System Notice: Quest Complete!
Hekrin Graveljaw has given you the blueprints to the 'Basic Grenade' and requested that you make one on your own to prove your proficiency in the skills you have practiced. The quality of your success will have a direct correlation to your promotion into Magitech Engineering.
Rewards: Magitech Engineering skill, Improved Reputation with Hekrin Graveljaw
System Notice: Reputation with Hekrin Graveljaw has improved.
System Notice: Magitech Engineering skill unlocked.
Processing...
Combining Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Leatherworking, Alchemy and Enchanting into Magitech Engineering.
Processing...
Profession Quest completion rating: Excellent.
Processing...
75% of all profession experience for professions comprising Magitech Engineering will be transferred.
Deleting Blacksmithing, Tailoring, Leatherworking, Alchemy and Enchanting.
All experience for tasks related to these professions will be converted into Magitech Engineering experience from now on.
System Notice: You have unlocked the Magitech Engineering skill. You have gained 13,635 Magictech Engineering Experience.
Magitech Engineering // Rank 51 // 385/520
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thomasdarkrose

  • Georgia, USA

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

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