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Thomas's mind came to a complete stop after the busty woman behind the counter called him a pervert. Yes he had taken a glance at her chest but it was only a glance! Hell, it was harder to look at her without looking at her chest! How did that make him a pervert?! It wasn't like he'd stared at her chest while panting and drooling! While Thomas tried to recover from the shock of a total stranger calling him a pervert, there was some noise from the back as Rockbeard walked out of the back of the shop.

Rockbeard looked up at the young woman and sighed, "Darla, ya can't go an' call every young man that takes a glance at yur chest a pervert! If I weren't yur dad and hadn't seen yur chest as you was growin' even I'd be forced ta take a peek!" Rockbeard turned to Thomas while his beard moved in a way that indicated he was smiling, "Sorry 'bout that. Darla is a tad sensitive when it comes ta people eyein' her chest." His eyes narrow a bit as he continues, "Long as ya don't be starin' or thinkin' somthin' funny we won't have no problems, got it?"

Freed from his shocked state, Thomas turned to Rockbeard and smiled, "No problem. Honestly, the first thing I thought when I saw your daughter was that she must have a sore back."

It was Rockbeard's turn to freeze in shock while Darla blushed. Rockbeard soon burst out into hearty laughter and looked directly at Darla, "Ya hear that? First time I ever heard someone who knew about yur woes!"

Darla stomped her foot on the ground like a child throwing a temper tantrum. The results were not child-friendly though. Her stomp caused her large bust to bounce which created a rolling wave-like effect that didn't seem like it would end anytime soon. Thomas immediately looked away lest he be branded a pervert for real, while Rockbeard just slapped his thigh and laughed even more.

Once Rockbeard calmed down, Thomas held the letter out towards him, "I recently protected a caravan run by Volcrag. He gave me this letter of introduction Mr. Rockbeard."

Rockbeard accepted the letter and read it pretty quickly. He looked up at Thomas and studied him a bit, "Volcrag says ya like ta swing a hammer but ya don't seem like a Blacksmith ta me."

Thomas couldn't help but wonder if profession NPCs ass had some sort of skill or special ability that let them 'know' things about other people. Rockbeard wasn't technically wrong though. He no longer had the blacksmith skill instead, "That's sort of correct. I'm actually a Magitech Engineer."

For what seemed like the hundredth time this morning someone's mind froze. This time it was Rockbeard's turn once again. He recovered quickly and shook his head slowly, "Don't take me for a fool kid. Magitech is somethin' only us dwarves can learn. There ain't no way a human learned it! Just cuz you ain't a blacksmith don't mean ya should lie like that."

Thomas wasn't too surprised by Rockbeard's response. If he hadn't recently learned that Magitech Engineering was supposed to be a dwarf exclusive skill it would have been a different story. Instead, he just smiled and placed his Peace Maker on the counter where Rockbeard and Darla could both see it, "This is a prototype weapon I designed while learning Magitech Engineering from my master Hekrin Graveljaw. I think you'll find that the old rules do not apply to me and otherworlders like me."

Rockbeard looked at the Peace Maker on the counter and studied it for a bit. Unfortunately, he couldn't pick it up as it was soulbound to Thomas. From his observations, the only thing he could understand about it was that it was a weapon of some sort. He turned to look at Thomas while stroking his beard, "Show me how it works."

Thomas smiled and nodded. He looked around the shop while saying, "Do you have somewhere that you could test a crossbow and do you have any thick iron plates?"

Rockbeard gestured toward the back where the smithy was, "I got a small bit of land behind the smithy we can use. It'd take a bit of time to hammer out some iron plates though. How big ya need them?"

Thomas waved a hand dismissively. He only asked for plates to save a bit of time and mana. Since Rockbeard didn't have any laying around, Thomas pulled two ingots out of his inventory and set them on the counter. His right hand began to glow green as he placed it on the ingot and used his Transmutation ability to reshape it into a flat sheet that was a few centimeters thick. It wasn't very long or wide but he needed a thick target, not a large target. He repeated the process with the second ingot and then fused the two sheets together to make a nice thick target that should be capable of stopping one of his bullets.

He was probably being a little over-cautious, but he didn't want one of his bullets to pierce through the target and accidentally wound or kill someone nearby. The last thing he needed was to accidentally become a criminal in the middle of a town. Small or not it still had strong guards to keep people in check. Rockbeard had watched the whole process of Thomas reshaping and fusing the iron ingots. He let out a whistle of appreciation, "That's a handy trick ya got there kid! How'd ya do that?"

Thomas looked at Rockbeard and grinned, "It's just transmutation."

"Without a circle?! I ain't never seen transmutation do nothin' like that before!"

Thomas laughed, "It's one of the special skills I got when I was summoned here. It's definitely the most useful one for making items. I still need more practice with it though."

He picked up his Peace Maker and holstered it then fetched the hastily made target, "Lead the way and I'll show you what my Peace Maker can do."

Rockbeard led Thomas into the back of his shop with Snowlily trailing behind Thomas. In the back, there was an array of forges of different sizes for different projects as well as a myriad of apprentices and blacksmiths all working on different items. Rockbeard didn't just make weapons and armor but even made things as simple as nails and horseshoes. Thomas thought back on his tour of the small city and realized that this was the only blacksmith shop he remembered seeing. Once they passed through the smithy and back outside, Thomas found himself in a small yard where some barrels and shreds resided. There was barely enough space for what he wanted to do.

Thomas set his target on top of one of the barrels in the yard and walks a few meters away. It was as far away as he could get in the cramped area. He turned to Rockbeard while drawing his Peace Maker, "Fair warning, this thing is pretty loud."

Rockbeard simply nodded in reply. Thomas raised the Peace Maker and shot the target. The sound was deafening in the small area causing Rockbeard to jerk in surprise. The bullet had impacted the iron target and left a dent in it. Rockbeard walked over to the target and examined it. He plucked a badly deformed bullet out of the target and examined it, "That thing is pretty powerful kid. Seems rather flawed though."

Rockbeard tapped on the iron plate, "I'd guess this thing might be good enough ta hurt someone with less than a hundred and fifty endurance. Any higher and it'll drop to wounding, then painful, then a tickle. Good fer weaklings but not so great fer stronger opponents."

Thomas nodded in agreement, "It's not always an effective weapon. That's why it's a prototype. Using it has given me some ideas and I'd like permission to use your smithy to bring some of those ideas to life."

Rockbeard nodded and tossed the crushed bullet into one of his pockets, "No problem kid. You can use any forge that no one else is usin'. If ya need materials just lemme know and I'll sell 'em to ya at market price."

Together the three of them, Rockbeard, Thomas, and Snowlily, returned to the smithy. Thomas found a small forge that wasn't being used and immediately got to work. The first step, make another blower fan to replace the bellows. He'd forgotten the first one he made back in Hekrin's shop. The old dwarf was probably loving the thing by now. He spent several hours making a much better and more complex blower. The first blower he made had been based on a simple fan, the new blower was based more on a turbine. He even shaped the cowling like a cone so that it could fit into any sized hole for a bellows.

When all the metalwork was done he retrieved a mana crystal from one of the orcs he'd killed. As he was preparing to crush it into powder he stopped and stared at it. The purple color of the mana crystals was created by impurities... could he possibly remove the impurities? If he did what effect would that have on his enchanting? There was only one way to find out. He picked up the crystal and activated his Transmutation ability. His hand glowed blue as his ability activated. The crystal seemed to deform in his hand, the surface seeming to bubble as small puffs of black smoke began to emit from it. It reminded him of the smoke he saw when making potions using Alchemy.

Slowly the crystal started to turn clear as the trapped miasma within was purified and released. The more the crystal was purified the more it shrank in size. By the time he was done he'd used a quarter of his mana and the crystal had shrunk down to less than half of its original size. However, the crystal now looked perfectly clear like pristine glass with a rainbow of color trapped inside. Naturally, the rainbow of colors within the crystal was just from simple refraction.

Thomas studied the crystal for a bit before letting out a sigh of disappointment. The crystal had become rather beautiful, almost like a diamond in appearance, but aside from it being smaller, he couldn't discern anything different about it. Well, it didn't matter. He crushed the purified mana crystal and added the alchemists' oil to it to make the necessary medium for enchanting. With an engraving tool and small hammer, he slowly carved the enchantment into the cowl of the blower making sure that every crevice was filled with the enchanting medium.

As he did so he did notice one benefit of the clear mana crystal. The enchantment became rather difficult to spot. Normally an engraved enchantment was easily seen due to the dark color of the enchanting medium. With the clear crystal, the medium was much lighter in color leaving the engraving as the most noticeable part. Since a lot of weapons and armor were engraved just to make them look better, it would be hard to tell if something was enchanted with the clear enchanting medium. Obvious enchantments could be broken but if he engraved something in detail and only part of the engraving was the enchantment it would be near impossible to deliberately break.

When the enchantment was completed it took on a similar look to all of his previous enchantments. He just liked that style. After examining everything and checking that the fan blade spun freely inside of the cowl, he slowly started to feed his mana into the enchantment. The enchantment easily came to life causing the fan to spin and wind to flow freely out of the small exit at the end of the funnel. Thomas was shocked by how little mana he needed to use to power the enchantment. It was easily a fifth of what he needed to run a similar enchantment.

System Notice: You have created a Magical grade Blower. You have gained 500 Magitech Engineering experience.

Thomas channeled even more mana into the enchantment causing a powerful wind to exit the funnel and blow up a large cloud of coal and iron dust. He poured more and more mana into the enchantment until he felt the blower actually trying to push itself out of his hand. He could feel that the enchantment could handle even more mana and produce even more power. He grinned happily. The purified crystal might not seem like much at first glance but the results spoke for themselves. He'd just found a way to supercharge his future enchantments!

When the blower finally stopped pumping out air he turned around and froze. Every single person in the shop was staring at him with their mouths agape. Even Darla had come into the back from the storefront to see what all the commotion was about. Thomas slowly looked around and gradually realized that his little blower had stirred up the entire smithy and blow up a thick cloud of dust and debris that was still floating in the air. He smiled sheepishly while hiding the blower behind his back like a kid caught doing something naughty, "Sorry about that."

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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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