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CHAPTER 369

DIVINE SMITH (IV)

Lino sat in the corner, his shoulders slumped, helplessly drawing circles on the ground with his finger in vain hopes his mind will randomly flash with a bout of inspiration. He’d spent the past six hours in such a state, helplessly searching through all he knew in an attempt to rectify the fact that he just might have to destroy this small pocket of space, and even then he might not get to finish the item.

Nothing he could think of would work, including the brief idea he had to use his own body as a bolster. He quickly threw it away, though, as he'd have to dig himself full of holes, and it might take him years, if not decades, to fashion the ring whole. It was put in the ‘last resort' basket inside his mind alongside some of the other brilliant ideas he had, such as using his items, using Vy's body, the idea that the Dragon cussed him out properly because of, and, in the brief moment of agony, the idea to just give up and make the ring the normal way.

However, giving up wasn’t the way he did things. If it was, he wouldn’t have made it all the way here in the first place, so he buckled down and settled on doing it this way, or not doing it at all. But, as he really liked the potential benefits he would get out of doing this, he very much wanted to complete it.

Taking a deep breath, he got up and started pacing around the room, thinking over virtually everything that even remotely had anything to do with endurance. He briefly fancied the idea of making up a non-existent array to transfer his Martial Arts onto a really, really hard rock, hence strengthening it further, in order for it to endure the pressure. As proof that he was far too gone in the loop, he hadn't figured out inanimate objects cannot utilize Arts for nearly ten minutes.

"... alright, this is getting really depressing," a whiff of fire suddenly appeared in front of Lino in the likeness of Vy. "If you're that desperate, I'll help you."

“Really?!!” Lino exclaimed in happiness. “You’ll let me hammer away at you?!!”

“Fuck you! Hell no!!” the Dragon growled. “I already let you do it once, what if you get fucking addicted?!”

“Psh, you’re saying that as though it isn’t the case already.”

“... do you want my help or do you want to fuck with me?”

“... can I choose both?” Lino asked. “Help! I want your help!” he quickly added as he saw Vy beginning to flicker out of existence.

“Fine,” the Dragon sighed. “I’ll lend you an item but, and I emphasize this more than I did my daughter’s eulogy, you must, I repeat, you must return it. No matter what happens. Or what you feel. Or think. After you’ve done crafting this item, it goes back to me. Get it?”

“... you know, if you didn’t say anything, I’d just naturally return it to you since you’re nearly as big of a hoarder as Hannah, but now I kind of wanna keep it just to see whether you’ll burn me to crisp to get it back.”

“Of course I will.”

“Well, I expected some sort of hesitation there seeing as, you know, we’re friends and all. I guess not.”

“We are, of course. But I’d rather shit on your grave than give up this item.”

“... wow.” Lino exclaimed softly, looking at the Dragon in wonder. “Alright, fine. What is it? Your goddamn dick?”

“... an anvil.”

“... all this build-up for a fucking anvil?!” Lino exclaimed angrily. “I can literally shit one out right now!! What the fuck dude!? You got my hopes up for nothing!”

“Hey, fuck you, mongrel! What?! Do you think anything I hold dear to my heart is ordinary?! This ain’t the sort you can just pick up on the side of the street!”

“That’s because they’re so common no one would fucking bother!”

“Why don’t you see it first and then judge, you piece of shit?!” Vy growled angrily as he suddenly procured what appeared to be an ordinary anvil. Lino withheld his judgment as he approached the two meters long anvil.

[Anvil of Creation -- Primordial]

Level: N/A

Special Effect [Creator] -- the First Anvil, said to be forged with the combination of 72 Origin Dragon Flames, bequests the smith with ABSOLUTE mastery of Smithing and Creation. All stats of the created item are doubled for Continental, up to an increase of sixfold for Fiendish. A hundredfold boost to all smithing-related stats while using the anvil.

Special Effect [???]

Special Effect [???]

Special Effect [???]

Note: Anvil of Creation, said to have been forged by a combination of 72 Origin Flames, is a treasure long thought to have been lost to the vestiges of time; absolutely like no other, since its inception to the present, it has not met its match yet.

Lino stared with a gaping mouth at this seemingly ordinary-looking anvil, trying to reconcile the appearance with the absolutely insane stats. Drool quickly manifested on the corners of his lips, trickling down freely like waterworks, his eyes shining like the brightest stars.

“Oh yeah,” he moaned softly, touching the anvil even gentler than he did Hannah. “I’m keeping this shit.”

“Like hell you are!!” Vy growled immediately, appearing on the anvil and swatting Lino’s arm away.

“Aww, come on man!! You don’t even fucking use it! What do you need it for?! With this shit, I can do whatever I want!”

“I already said no! Explicitly so!! If Forefathers knew I was even lending it to you, they’d rip me a new one!”

"Who's gonna tell them, huh? I certainly won't! As a matter of fact, I'll step in front of all 72 of them and swear up and down I've never heard of the thing!" Lino exclaimed, his desire to own the anvil mounting.

“Are you even listening to me?! I said no!!” Vy exclaimed angrily. “If you’re going to behave like this, I’ll just take it away!”

“Hey, dude! Aren’t you my pet?! Aren’t you supposed to listen to me?!”

“Go fuck your sister!”

“I don’t have a sister... so to compensate for that hole inside my soul, please gift me this anvil to warm me up.”

“... no.”

“... fuck. Fine,” Lino relented in the end, realizing he could just borrow the thing from time to time. “You cheap fuck.”

“Don’t make me lecture you for an entire day over how much I’m sacrificing by lending this to you. If you knew, you’d be kissing my claws like they were Hannah’s breasts.”

“... literally, and I mean this with a heart full of love, never would I do that. Even if you died for me, solely for me, I still wouldn’t do it. Nothing can come within ten billion miles of Hannah’s tits.” Lino exclaimed sternly, forcing Vy to once again realize that the relatively mature human was eerily unpredictable.

"Yeah, fine, whatever," Vy sighed, moving away from the anvil, yet not returning into the dimensional pouch. He didn't trust Lino... at all. "The anvil can withstand pressure equal to about a quadrillion of yous, so have away at it."

“... what the fuck’s a quadrillion?” Lino asked with faint curiosity.

“A number you can’t possibly comprehend.”

“Try me.”

“No.”

“Come on.”

“Nope.”

“Dude!”

“Fuck off and start crafting.”

“... tsk. Fine,” Lino mumbled, walking over to the anvil and crouching next to it, caressing it gently. “Hello love. Ah, do you need some polishing? How about a kiss or two? Or do you need me to finally birth life into you since this fucker over there let you rot for gods-know-how-long inside I-don’t-even-want-to-think-about-it realm? Or would you just like to breathe in the fresh air? It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Not nearly as much as you, though,” now it was Vy’s time to float there with a gaping maw, wondering what exactly was he being forced to witness. “Gosh, you are just precious. Breathtaking. Outstanding. Ethereal. I just want to hold you and look at you and touch you and talk to you. I could tell you all about my day, and you could just sit there, all still and perfect... and be absolutely amazing.”

“... what in the god’s fuck are you doing?!!” unable to endure it any longer, Vy growled from behind loudly, startling Lino.

“Sheesh, relax dude,” Lino coughed lowly. “I just, uh, got swept in the moment...”

“... for both our sakes, let’s pretend that never happened and move on.”

"Agreed! Anyway, let's begin crafting this bitch!" Lino stretched for a moment before returning to the table and picking up pieces of the ingot, ready to begin the process anew. "I'm going to condense the living hell out of you..." he cackled evilly at the ingots, causing Vy once again to sigh; he'd spent quite some time observing Lino from the pouch, yet even still, he was nowhere closer to being able to predict the young man's thoughts as he was when he just met him. It truly was a strange kind of wonder.

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About the author

beddedOtaku

Bio: Bad writer, worse painter, terrible singer. Accumulation of all things gone wrong. Rather proud of it, actually.

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