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Shortly after Dean Zorzic called an end to the duel, Brao's wounded hand regenerated back to perfect health. There wasn't even a remote sign of the previous damage. Still cradling his hand, Brao quickly left the dueling platform and ran away. Thomas watched for a bit before he dismissed his summoned sword with a sigh. He had not expected Brao to give up and quit after just a single injury.

Jerendalv retrieved Brao's sword before also making his way out of the area leaving just Dean Zorzic, Thomas, and the remainder of the class. Dean Zorzic stepped onto the field and gave Thomas a polite smile, "With this, I hope you can let any grudge between yourself and young Brao go."

Thomas shrugged his shoulders dismissively as he said, "I didn't have much of a grudge with him to begin with. I just wanted to teach him a bit of a lesson. I didn't expect him to quit and run off with his tail between his legs after a single solid hit."

Dean Zorzic let out a deep sigh, "Some of the young nobles have been coddled by their parents. It's quite possible that young Brao has never been hurt before in his life."

Thomas shook his head and gave Zorzic a smile, "Thanks for watching over the duel for us."

After thanking the Dean, Thomas hopped off of the stage and joined Selena and the others. He completely ignored the fact that Brao owed him an apology. He hadn't wanted one anyway. Selena gave Thomas a little nod of approval but said nothing. Treena and Essa looked like they'd been let down because the duel wasn't exciting enough. Fuller, on the other hand, clapped Thomas on the shoulder and said, "Not bad! Seeing you wield that huge greatsword was quite the sight! I've never seen a sword quite that big before."

Thomas laughed lightly and clapped Fuller on the shoulder in return, "I've seen bigger swords before."

Fuller looked surprised and then grinned, "I'd like to see something like that."

Thomas laughed again and nodded, "When I make something like that I'll be sure to try and show you before I sell it." He looked at the girls and smiled, "I'm glad you all came. I wanted to tell you all in person that today is the last day I'll be at the academy for a while. It's time for me to head back to Ulvstad. Depending on what happens there I may be back to learn some more."

Selena frowned at that, "Are you returning to Grandmaster Hekrin?"

Thomas nodded while Essa asked, "Who is Grandmaster Hekrin?"

Fuller turned to Essa and answered, "Grandmaster Hekrin was the head of the Magictech Engineers at the castle. I met him once when my father visited the King. The Grandmaster was a bit grumpy but the things he made for the kingdom keep us all safe. That was about five years ago."

Fuller looked at Thomas, "How do you know the Grandmaster?"

Thomas looked a little surprised at Fuller's question, "You didn't hear the rumors about me?"

Fuller shook his head so Thomas explained, "I'm Hekrin's first and only apprentice. He sent me here to learn a little bit about magic. Now that I've achieved my goal it's time for me to return to him."

Fuller looked surprised and then smiled broadly showing his teeth, "Is that so? HA! I can't wait to brag about meeting you to my father. If you're Hekrins apprentice then it's almost a guarantee that you will be famous and important in the kingdom someday."

Thomas shook his head while smiling, "I don't intend to work for any single kingdom. It's always been my philosophy to make things I find interesting or unique for whoever asks. Before too much longer I'll probably be exploring the world and visiting other countries to see new things and learn new things."

Fuller thought about it for a bit and let it go. Either way, he was certain Thomas would be well known, if not famous, at some point in the future. Thomas looked between the three of them as he said, "I don't have anything left to do here so I'm planning to head to the docks and look for a ship heading for Ulvstad. I'm sure I'll see you all again sometime."

Thomas looked at Selena and grinned, "Especially you."

Selena blushed while glaring daggers at Thomas. The other two women laughed and looked like they intended to mercilessly tease Selena for a while. Fuller held a hand out to Thomas while smiling, "Be sure to look me up when you come back. We'll grab a drink and have some fun."

Thomas clasped hands with Fuller and gave a firm handshake, "Sounds good."

Thomas received Platonic hugs from Treena and Essa, but the instant he tried to get a hug from Selena she shoved him away and glared at him even harder. Thomas laughed and shook his head, "I hope to meet you all again!"

With his goodbye's said, Thomas made his way through the academy gates and headed toward the docks. He had no other reason at all to stay in Reykhoten. Right now he was burning with the desire to make something, anything, and experiment with his Magitech Engineering skill. With his kukri destroyed he needed to make a new weapon, probably a few of them at that. He also wanted to try and make a new "Magitech Tube" for Hekrin as it related to his inheritance from the dwarf.

Thinking about that, Thomas changed the direction he was walking and found a guard. It didn't take any effort for him to get directed to a general goods distributor that provided raw materials to the various professions. He wanted to get some iron ore. He was tempted to just buy premade steel but decided against it. He intended to make the steel himself so he could be confident in the ratio of iron to carbon. He was also interested in what kinds of leather they would have. Ulvstad was pretty low tier as their dungeon was weak so iron and simple leather were what was easily available there. If he wanted to work with higher tier materials he needed to get them from a higher tier area.

Thomas stepped into the store and looked at the various crates and casks. They were all labeled with what they contained. This place was clearly a supply depot for multiple professions. He could see crates containing raw iron ore, iron ingots, and steel ingots as well as crates containing the hides of various animals he'd never heard of. There were also many other things he saw that he intended to buy such as quenching oil. Thomas smiled to himself, it looked like he'd found the perfect place to blow some of his gold.

Thomas wandered through the store until he found the sales counter. Oddly there was no one sitting behind it. Instead, there was a sign that read 'Ring the bell'. Sitting next to the sign was a simple handbell so Thomas picked it up and rang it a few times. Immediately a deep male voice shouted from the back, "Be there in a minute!"

Thomas set the bell back down and waited for a bit. After a little more than a minute, a man walked out of the back room. Thomas's eyes widened at the sight of the man. After all, it was the first fat person Thomas had seen since he started to play Age of Gods. The man stood at least two meters tall and at least two and a half meters wide, with a thick head of brown hair hanging down to his shoulders. His face was almost perfectly round with several chins. He waddled, more than walked, up to the counter and gave Thomas a genial businessman's smile, "Ah, sorry about that young man. What can I help you with today?"

Thomas looked the mountain of a man over for a bit before he replied, "I'm looking to buy some iron ingots, quenching oil and leather."

The fat man nodded his head and continued to smile as he said, "I have all of that, of course! Though, what kind of leather are you wanting? I have quite a few to choose from."

Thomas sighed as he crossed his arms over his chest. He didn't know enough about the world to pick a specific animal to get the leather from. He looked at the fat man and said, "I'm looking for leather tough enough to be used as armor but that still maintains a bit of flexibility."

The fat man stroked his chin as he thought for a bit, "I've got a few different hides that meet your requirements. The best I have is Elder Lizardman hide. The hide is flexible and the scales give it added toughness. It also comes in a few natural colors. How does that sound?"

Thomas didn't have any reason to reject the suggested item and nodded his head while asking, "Do you have it in black?"

The fat merchant laughed while nodding, "Black is a little rarer than green or red, but I do have some! I can guarantee you no one else in the city will have any!"

Thomas rolled his eyes while waving his hand dismissively, "No need to try and upsell your goods."

The merchant laughed again then yelled over his shoulder, "Seth! Get out here! I need you to get some items for my esteemed customer!"

Just after the fat merchant finished yelling a teenager came out from the back room. Though he was still a young man, Seth had large bulging muscles that reminded Thomas of Rock. If you squinted and looked really closely you could kind of see a familial resemblance between Seth and the fat merchant. Seth looked at Thomas then to the fat merchant as he asked, "What am I getting dad?"

The fat merchant looked at Thomas inquisitively. Thomas thought about the size of the crate he'd seen. They are about fifty centimeters on a side so he said, "Three crates of iron ingots. Two casks of quenching oil. One crate of black Elder Lizardman hide. Two crates of coal. One crate of copper ingots. One crate of lead ingots. One crate of brass ingots. And one crate of Firestone."

The fat merchant had pulled out a quill and sheet of paper and began writing as soon as Thomas started to make his order. The more Thomas asked for, the wider his smile became. When Thomas stopped he looked up and said, "I'm sorry but, what is brass?"

Thomas sighed. This was something he'd been afraid of. Either brass didn't exist of went by a different name. Though most metals seemed to have the same name which made it more likely that brass didn't exist. He looked at the merchant and said, "Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. It looks yellow, almost gold."

The merchant shook his head, "I'm afraid I've never heard of brass or zinc. I'm sorry, is there anything else you need?"

Thomas thought for a bit then added, "A spool of thread that will work well with the Elder Lizardman hide and something I can store all of it inside. That should cover it."

Thomas added a spacial storage item since he wasn't certain he would be able to fit everything he'd ordered into his inventory and storage ring. The fat merchant nodded and handed the completed list to Seth, "Go on boy."

While Seth fetched the items Thomas had listed the merchant starting adding up the total for him. Thomas expected the spacial item would be the most expensive item on the list. Once the merchant was done he looked up to Thomas with a somewhat greasy feeling smile as he said, "Your total comes to 4,500 gold."

Thomas checked how much gold he had on him and let out a sigh on relief. He had just enough gold to cover the bill. Although, either way, he was going to need to make a trip to the bank after this. Thomas pulled out one of the sacks he'd been given at the adventurer's guild and placed the 4,500 gold inside of it. That left him with a measly seventeen gold on his person. After setting the sack down the fat merchant began to quickly and efficiently count out the gold coins. While he counted, Seth was fetching the items Thomas had ordered and piling them all in one spot.

Once a few minutes had passed the merchant had finished counting the gold and Seth was storing all of the items into a thick bracelet with a golden shine to it. Though it did not seem to be made of gold. With all the items stored in the bracelet, he brought it over to his father and set it on the counter. The merchant smiled and picked it up to hold it out to Thomas, "It was a pleasure doing business with you young man."

Thomas accepted the bracelet and after using a needle provided by the merchant he pricked his finger and dripped a drop of blood onto it to claim it as his own. Once he wore it he could see the various crates and casks inside and nodded in approval. Nothing had been missed on the list. Thomas said his goodbyes to the merchant and Seth, he never did get the merchants name, and left the store to make his way to the bank. He was going to need more than seventeen gold to make his way back to Ulvstad.

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thomasdarkrose

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

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