Thomas went through his usual routine at The Swans Nest before getting some sleep. Even spending a portion of his experience to bump his Power up to 73. The next day he returned to Hekrin's shop to check out his library of blueprints. When he arrived he noticed that the U.L.T.R.A. had disappeared, likely returning to Hekrin's inventory. Inside the shop, Hekrin was standing at his counter like always. When he spotted Thomas his eyes brightened, "Good mornin' kid. Come into the back. I got all my old blueprints out for ya."
Hekrin led Thomas into his workshop where Thomas could see a massive pile of blueprints. Hekrin gestured to the pile of papers, "Ya can read and copy whatever ya like. There are all kinds of things in there. Tools, machines, weapons, even a golem design of two. The, uh, golems don't really work all that well though. Tend ta explode randomly."
When he first heard of golems, Thomas was excited by the idea of having them performing mundane tasks for him. Like pumping a bellows or swinging a hammer at his command. Hearing that they could blow up randomly kind of put a damper on his ideas for them. It gave him a starting position to work from though. Thomas walked over to the pile of blueprints and began to look over them.
Just as Hekrin said the blueprints covered a variety of topics. Every time he looked at a blueprint drawing he could add it to his blueprint system instantly and store it there. Which brought up the question, why were blueprints even drawn out? Just for transferring them to other Magitech Engineers? Thomas didn't know for sure if the locals had the system or not and didn't want to ask in case it led to him spreading more information about otherworlders on accident. As he'd done with the topic of quest experience with Selena.
He scanned through the blueprints at a quick clip. A lot of them were interesting but not really usable right away for any of his desires. As he was looking through them he noticed that many of them were powered by Mana Crystal cores that seemed to act as batteries. The larger and purer the mana crystal the more mana it could contain to power the devices. It was rather interesting to know that the mana crystals could be used to power any aspect of a Magitech device, including enchantments. Unfortunately, the mana crystals he currently possessed were far too small to be used in such a manner. He would need mana crystals several times larger than the ones he had already.
As he browsed he came across a blueprint for an automatic crossbow that he found very interesting. It was a heavily modified version of a crossbow. It was fed by a magazine that loaded the bolts into the crossbow and drew the bowstring simultaneously. Right beneath it was a blueprint for a ballista with the same function. The massive siege engine had a magazine that held ten shots and could be easily reloaded and fired. They look like they made excellent defensive weapons.
It only took a little looking until he came across the first blueprint of a golem. Just looking at the complex blueprint made his brain hurt. It was far more complex than any of the other ones he'd looked over so far. He could easily determine that his rank in Magitech Engineering was far too low for him to even attempt to make one yet. He would need to take the time to work his way up to it. Even if he did have the proper rank to make the golem, he was far from having the proper materials. Just the core alone required a mana crystal the size of his head. Let alone the materials included that he'd never even heard of, such as Velnium.
He glanced at Hekrin, "What's Velnium?"
Hekrin laughed, "Ah, lookin' at a golem eh?" He stroked his beard as he answered, "Well Velnium is a rare material that can only be gathered from defeating Dragon-kin. It's made from their tendons. In golems, it acts as a muscle giving it strength and power for movement."
Thomas nodded and went back to looking at the blueprints. Many of them were too complex or esoteric for him to really understand what they were for, his knowledge of the subject was clearly lacking. Seeing as how he'd only had full use of Magitech Engineering for a few days now it was understandable. Regardless, he copied everything into his own blueprint system. Even if he didn't understand it now, that didn't mean he wouldn't understand it later.
The only other blueprint Thomas paid close attention to was one for a portable workbench. It reminded him of the U.L.T.R.A. only much much smaller and not nearly as complex. It was still far too complex for him to make just yet though. It required the use of space magic, which he currently had very little knowledge of, and complex machinery. From what he could tell though, the small bench and storage area would fold down into a small space making the footprint when folded very small.
He finished copying all of the blueprints Hekrin had made available to him. Once he was done he looked at the old dwarf and smiled, "I'm going to go out and test the Peace Maker for a bit. Once I'm satisfied I'd like to talk about taking a trip to meet your Master. I'd like to get my hands on an U.L.T.R.A. of my own so I can work and travel at the same time."
Hekrin nodded in understanding, "The world is vast and you have seen so little of it." He sighed, "As have I. When I was a youngster I dreamed of explorin' the world and learnin' everythin' I could. But life does not always go the way we want it to. I ended up workin' for the kingdom for a long time. Now I'm too old to travel."
Thomas listened closely and finally asked, "You know. I heard something when I was in the capital."
Hekrin eyed Thomas, "Oh?"
"Indeed 'Grandmaster' Hekrin."
Hekrin remained silent and studied Thomas for a bit. When Thomas said nothing Hekrin smirked, "Ya didn't learn nothin' but that eh?"
Thomas tried to keep the bluff up to see if Hekrin would reveal anything but seeing the knowing smirk on Hekrin's face, Thomas gave up, "Why is it such a big secret?"
Hekrin laughed happily before he answered, "It's not really a secret. Fer a hundred years I served as the head Magitech Engineer for the Reykhoten Kingdom, the Grandmaster of the Magitech Corp. I worked fer the current king, his father, and his father's father. They're all good men. But I'm old and tired. So I retired to live a simple life, until some upstart otherworlder started buggin' me and remindin' me of my youth." He playfully glared at Thomas before he continued, "The King wasn't too happy when I retired and still wants me ta continue my work fer him. So he sometimes sends people ta try an' convince me ta return. Like that lass last time. I'm tired of makin' weapons though. So I retired here an' have been makin' little toys fer the local kids."
Thomas listened and nodded. Aside from how long Hekrin had been working for the kingdom, he wasn't surprised by anything else. He looked at the old goat and started to realize just how apt 'old' was for him, "So you worked for the kingdom for a hundred years? No wonder you wanted to retire."
Hekrin laughed again while nodding, "Aye kid. Do yurself a favor. Don't join a government just cause they offer you nice terms."
Thomas agreed with Hekrin on that. He had no intention at all to join any government. He liked to just do his work and get paid for it. It rarely mattered who he was working for so long as they didn't piss him off. For Thomas making items was all about the enjoyment of making something new and powerful.
After he finished his conversation with Hekrin, Thomas left the shop and made his way out of the city. He walked so he could read through his books on Alchemy to get an accurate description of the White Tulin and Orange Bloom Flowers. He'd randomly found some before but wanted to skip the guessing this time. After finding and reading about them he stored the book away and looked in the direction of the forest he'd visited so long ago to fight boars in.
He pulled out his Peace Maker and loaded six rounds into it through the cylinder door. He'd yet to shoot anything living or moving and wanted to see what would happen. He also intended to visit the city's dungeon before leaving. He kept the Peace Maker in his hand as he started to run. He instantly accelerated from walking to running at full speed. At his full speed, it only took him a few seconds to arrive within the woods. He found it rather easy to dodge around the trees though moving side to side slowed his forward progress.
Once he got a fair way into the woods he slowed down and began searching not only for the flowers but some boars as well. The flowers were a lot easier for him to spot now that he knew exactly what he was looking for. It took very little time for him to collect the amount he needed. It was actually harder for him to find a boar than the flowers needed for his quest.
As he explored further into the woods he started to notice blocks of stone that looked as if they'd been carved. Curious he looked around, even clearing some of the brush. The blocks seemed to form a long-abandoned road. It was in great disrepair and clearly no longer in use by anyone. There was no way to tell exactly how long ago it was abandoned, but it was clearly a significant enough amount of time for the road to be completely covered with growth.
With no real plans he needed to attend to, Thomas decided to do a little exploring. He followed the road as it led further north away from Ulvstad. He jogged at about half of his speed so he was making good time along the path. As he sped through a break in the trees he came to a stop to observe the clearing he'd just entered. He looked around and could see dilapidated buildings with broken walls and no roofs. He'd found a small abandoned village. As he looked around he came to realize that this village had been abandoned a very long time ago. The hundred-foot tall tree growing in the middle of one of the ruined houses kind of gave it away.
Curious, Thomas started to look around at the buildings. He moved into the village and walked over to the building that looked the most intact. It was rather small and shielded by two larger buildings that were in a worse state. He guessed that the bigger buildings had protected the smaller building. The smaller building was still heavily damaged, just less than the others. He walked around it until he found a section that was open, likely where the door had resided before.
He stepped into the building and took a look around. If he had to guess, he thought that this place would have been a home for someone. There was nothing but dirt and leaves inside of the building. He walked around to explore the various rooms and see if there was interesting. As he stepped into one of the side rooms he heard a creaking sound just before the floor collapsed underneath him. Though he was surprised he still managed to land on his feet after a short drop of a few meters.
Dirt fell on his head and shoulders causing him to cough as he accidentally inhaled a little of it. He waved his hand to clear the air a bit before dusting himself off and looking around. The room he found himself in looked like a basement or storage cellar of some sort. It wasn't too large. As he looked around he adjusted his eyes to use his dark vision and make it easier to look around. Like the rooms above this room had been cleaned out as well. That or everything in it had rotted and turned to dust.
He explored the room a bit longer but its size made the search quick. He found no signs of any other doors or exits from the room. With nothing left to examine he easily jumped the distance of a few meters and landed back on the main floor. He explored the remainder of the house and found nothing of interest. Disappointed, he left the building and looked around the village. His gamer instincts were tingling. He found a random abandoned village, there should be something here. With that thought in mind, he turned to one of the buildings flanking the one he'd just searched. He had no proof of there being anything here but he was going to search every building just to be sure!