Chapter 94 Rarities
The hour of archery passed in a flash and Ilea left the hall with a big grin on her face. In a world where skills gave one immediate knowledge of at least some aspects of whatever one decided to learn, going the normal route was quite refreshing. The stance and drawing came somewhat easy to Ilea because of her enhanced body and reflexes. She decided not to use any of her body enhancement skills in the first lesson and to just trust the rest of her stats.
She missed and missed again. With the steady supply of arrows and the constant feedback from her teacher, Ilea progressed incredibly fast. At least she thought so. Martha wasn’t quite as convinced but agreed to continue and help Ilea out with her endeavor of learning archery, while getting paid of course.
The three teachers together cost quite a bit but it was still nothing Ilea would scoff at. At least healing and hand to hand would become a weekly thing from now on. Archery alone was certainly worth the ten silver she paid the woman for the hour. Ilea was a little confused why someone at her level would decide to teach for that meager amount of coins when you could go out and hunt beasts, selling their hide and bones at a much higher price.
She decided not to pry or judge though and was simply glad that she had a teacher who knew what she was doing. And so the rest of the week came and went, filled with training, gourmet food and archery. The group sometimes explored more parts of Eregar’s Haven but found the cave system to be the best part for their current training sessions. Additionally there didn’t seem to be any other teams residing in those parts. Generally it seemed weird to Ilea how few other teams visited the Haven. They only saw four other groups in the span of a week. Nobody in the team wanted to challenge the other as they still had enough to work on themselves.
Ilea managed to get quite an assortment of decorations and other items together while even finding the glass mage and artist the librarian had mentioned. He was happy to sell some windows to her. All that was left was to find someone who knew how to build a house. That would come after her visit to Balduur. At this point the smith should’ve been done with her weapons.
It was exactly two weeks after Ilea had ordered the weapons from Balduur and again she found herself flying towards the small village of Indur. Having already eaten enough for a group of four, she decided not to visit the inn and made directly towards the smith. Ilea didn’t pay the entry fee but saw none of the guards coming for her. Either they knew the woman already or they were too lazy to fetch her for the coins.
She blinked inside the house and then down to the smithy where she saw Balduur working on something. Iana was there as well, looking over her father’s shoulder.
“Hey all. Your favorite customer has returned.” Ilea exclaimed, immediately getting a smile from Iana who ran towards her. Balduur didn’t show any reaction to her sudden appearance and simply continued to work. Ilea threw Aki the dagger towards Iana and watched her running off while giggling.
“Thanks! You’ll have him back soon!” Iana exclaimed while Aki stayed quiet, making Ilea unsure of how her companion felt about this arrangement.
‘He should learn more about his own nature through this…’ she thought and walked up to Balduur. The man was completely focused on a small strap of leather. Ilea watched him and after a minute of silence the man looked up to her.
“Ah, it’s you. Ilea eh?” he said and walked away from the workbench, motioning for her to follow. “Your gauntlets are done, easier than I expected and to be frank moving the ingots was the hardest part, hahaha.” he laughed and stopped in front of the forge where they had placed the ingots on two weeks prior. His cheerful behavior was a little confusing to Ilea but it certainly was preferable to a grumpy smith.
“I’m glad to hear they’re done. The bow as well?” Ilea asked, excited to see what the smith had produced.
“Yes, the bow as well. And I made some custom arrows as well, quite a fun idea I have to say. Usually this stuff is only used in city defense or big monster hunts but it’s usually too expensive for them to do anything this unique.” he explained and motioned for Ilea to come closer and behind the workbench he was standing.
“Down here are the black obsidian gauntlets. I’d be surprised if you could even lift one of them but give it a try. It’s what you wanted after all.” he finished and chuckled at her already. Ilea didn’t pretend and activated all her buffs before grabbing one of the massive black gauntlets with both her arms. And then she lifted.
The gauntlet first moved and was then lifted from its place. Ilea grunted but managed to place the heavy piece of equipment on top of the workbench. It took thirty seconds but she did manage it to Balduur’s surprise. The second gauntlet followed quickly after and was placed with a heavy thump on top of the workbench.
“You’ve improved your strength I see. Or were you just fooling with me last time?” the smith asked, looking at her sceptically.
“No.” Ilea said, wiping away some sweat from her forehead. “I’ve been working like a madwoman the past two weeks and plan to be able to wield these bastards in a couple months.” she said and touched the weapons. They were made from the same black and matte metal that was still in the form of ingots just two weeks ago.
The form was simple gauntlets that would fit her arms perfectly. ‘He only held my arms once last time and this is what he achieved...’ she was impressed with the smith’s work to say the least. The fingers wouldn’t be movable she noticed and were in the form of a fist but that was perfectly fine for her. There was no reason to bend a hammer either. She touched the gauntlets and identified them.
[Heavy Obsidian Gauntlets – Rare Quality]
Storing them inside her necklace used up four units. Two for each of them. Considering a whole bed only used one, the gauntlets were no joke when it came to weight.
“They seem nice, rare quality as well. No special name though I see. Or are heavy obsidian gauntlets special?” Ilea commented, getting a sigh from the smith.
“They’re very special. Most weapons and armor get their name not from the smith or where they’re made but from what they’ve been through and survived. A rare sword used by the king’s guard of Kroll might turn into Kroll’s guardian sword or something. Give it time and maybe they’ll become quite a bit more special.” the smith explained.
“Will they get abilities as well from that?” Ilea asked, making the gauntlets appear on her arms. Both immediately clanged onto the workbench before her, leaving her no choice but to store them again.
“That’s a very rare thing to happen, a possibility but most often it’s just a name and perhaps a small increase in the durability of the item or its sharpness.” Balduur said, not offended by her ignorance.
“I like them. Thank you.” Ilea said, making them appear again and trying to lift them up. Balduur in the meantime went to get the other gauntlets that looked a lot less stiff than the obsidian ones.
“It was fun to make them, I just hope you do reach a level of Strength at some point where you can wield them efficiently. These here are blue steel gauntlets.” Balduur said and placed the pair of gauntlets in front of Ilea who again made the obsidian ones disappear.
The blue steel weapons looked a lot more usable as actual gauntlets. She grabbed them and got them on, finding them more comfortable than expected. The fingers could be moved as well but she found it not quite necessary. The main part of the gauntlets were of course the blue and silver blades coming out from each of them.
Ilea lifted her right arm to see the forty centimeters blue blade a little better. It came out of the gauntlets as if it were a growth, part of the item itself and not simply attached to it. Balduur must have formed the gauntlet around the blade and not the other way around. It looked sharp and most importantly durable. The blade curved downwards and ended at a level with Ilea’s outstretched fingers, just around thirty centimeters in front of it.
The sharp side of the blade looked towards the gauntlet it was attached to and faced the same way Ilea’s palm did. “They’re great as well. Nice work Balduur. Did you make the blade first and then the gauntlets?” she asked while she identified the weapons.
[Blue Steel Gauntlets – Rare]
Again the actual name didn’t promise anything too special but Ilea decided to trust Balduur and she would see the result at one point or another anyway.
“I formed each at the same time. I have quite a lot of experience working with blue steel but have never made actual gauntlets out of it. I think they should be viable though. Do report your findings to me.” Balduur commented.
“I will, I will. Now I’ve joined an archery class and boy do I hope you got me something cool to show the teacher.” Ilea said.
“You’ve joined. An archery class? I thought you’d actually put this to use… oh well whatever you do with it. Come, it’s not here.” he said and Ilea followed the smith again.
“What do you do if you’re not working for somebody?” Ilea asked and joined Balduur in a storage room to the side of the main forge hall.
“I try things out, try to improve my smithing. Just like you train your skills. It’s my passion.” he finished and Ilea nodded, understanding it completely.
“Seems safer than my hobby of fighting murderous monsters and machines.” she said.
“It’s dangerous as well, trust me. I have several resistances in the second stage already.” Balduur said, making Ilea appreciate his hard work and trial and error. She was one of the benefactors of his suffering after all. Perhaps he had Pain Tolerance in the second stage as well though which would make the whole thing a lot easier but Ilea decided not to ask.
“Here it is.” Balduur said and motioned towards an absurdly large bow hanging on one of the walls in the room.
“You’re kidding me right?” Ilea asked, a big smile spreading on her face as she walked up to the mobile artillery device which would be her new bow. The thing was made of some kind of dark metal and the string had a blue color to it. It looked strong. The nearly black sheen gave it an elegant look and Ilea found herself touching the weapon with a reverence she didn’t show towards the gauntlets.
“Of course she likes the bow the most...ah women.” Balduur mumbled from the side, getting a chuckle from Ilea.
“Well my fists are already my main weapons. I didn’t have a bow yet so it’s something new. Trust me I appreciate the gauntlets already and will come back to you with field reports. Completely new toys are usually more exciting.” she said, winking towards the man who just shook his head.
“Whatever, you owe me 26 gold coins. Check out the arrows too.” he said, leaning on the door frame.
[Heavy Dark Steel Bow]
‘More like Heavy Ballista...’ Ilea thought as she looked at the arrows placed below the bow. Grabbing one of them she found them to be rather light, looking more akin to spears than arrows.
“Those are the normal ones. They shouldn’t break but you can get more made by any smith you find. I used a strong and light alloy so as long as you don’t fire them into pure steel you should be fine reusing them. There’s thirty of those, each ten silver. So three more gold if you want them all.” he said as Ilea moved on to the next batch of arrows.
“Runes engraved for lightning, explosion, fire and ice. More exotic ones can be prepared upon your request. Each arrow twenty silver. Ten of them each for two gold coins. So eight gold coins for all of them.” he explained.
“Twice what the bow itself cost?” Ilea asked a little doubtful “Can they be reused as well?” she asked.
“It’s the quantity that makes them expensive. And yes, as long as the runes don’t get destroyed.”
“Great.” Ilea said and handed over thirty seven gold coins, paying for everything.
“Where the hell did you get so much money to spend...” Balduur said but took the coins nonetheless.
“None of your damn business. Can you make me a hundred more normal arrows? For eight gold.” Ilea asked.
“Sure, I’ll need a couple hours though. Maybe go check on your dagger until then.” Balduur said. Ilea would miss the start of her archery session but Martha had mentioned before that she’d be there as long as she was paid. And considering the new bow that was nearly as big as Ilea herself, she was sure Martha wouldn’t mind.
Stashing the bow and arrows in her necklace, Ilea left Balduur to make her arrows. She had a feeling that a lot of them would break in her training sessions. Walking to Iana she found the woman completely absorbed standing over a workbench with her eyes glowing a bright blue.
Aki had been placed on the workbench and it looked like several different magics were being used on the dagger. “How are you doing buddy?” Ilea asked, standing opposite of Iana and looking towards her companion.
“I am lying here. Have I mentioned before that I’m glad you’re not an enchanter?” Aki asked.
“Why, does it hurt?” Ilea asked back.
“No, it’s just very boring.” came the response. Apparently the dagger was quite fond of Ilea’s lifestyle.
“Mhm. Iana how’s it going? Found out anything interesting in the two weeks and now?” the girl’s face gave Ilea an idea about the progression already. It would probably take a while for anything substantial to be discovered. Iana’s answer confirmed the warrior’s suspicion.
“Honestly? No, nothing. At first I thought I could work down the layers and unlock each of them but this is something I’ve never seen before, not remotely. I’ve worked for a full two weeks and can’t even grasp the first levels. The runes I know, at least some of them but the connections...” Iana looked completely lost.
“I can bring him around more often if you like? Would that be alright with you Aki?” Ilea looked at the dagger on the table.
“As long as it’s not more than a day a week or so...” Aki said. He obviously found it very boring with Iana.
“Can’t you just meditate or something while you’re here?” Ilea thought of the idea, he had been in a dungeon for a thousand years after all.
“Iana says it distorts the image. It’s not a possibility.” the explanation made sense.
“Anything you would like for your time then? I’m just gonna get free enchantments from Iana...” Ilea said, winking at the woman who was still focused on the dagger.
“It should benefit me in time so it’s fine. I can’t think of anything I’d want right now.” Ilea nodded to the dagger.
“Alright, then I’ll bring him over once every week for a day or so. He can stay until tomorrow. Iana do you have a couple minutes for enchantment questions? Maybe a distraction for a while isn’t the worst idea. You’ll have a whole day afterwards.” the girl looked at her as the light in her eyes faded to a normal degree.
“Sure!” the enchantress smiled and removed the gloves she was wearing. “I saw your weapons are done, do you want anything on them?”
“Well the question is what can you do? I have a storage item but I really liked the way Agor’s sword could be summoned from his bracelet. An increase in damage or weight would be good as well. Maybe for the bow that the arrows fly faster, is any of that possible?” Ilea asked, her lack of knowledge about enchanting was quite obvious.
“I’m good with space enchantments so I could certainly get all your weapons into some kind of bracelets or ear rings. Or rings of course but considering you fight with your hands it might not be the best idea. Wind enchantments are rather common to make bows stronger but you won’t be able to shoot as stealthily. I’m not sure if that’s a possibility with that size of a bow anyway. The arrows would have to be enchanted themselves but you already have a couple of those, my work actually.” Iana explained.
“That’s perfect for the bow if you don’t have any other ideas. I’m not sure about the limitations of enchanting. Can you make the gauntlets heavier?” Ilea asked, summoning the gauntlets onto the table before her.
“I’m afraid not. I could make them more durable though. I can make the blades on your other gauntlets sharper while making everything more durable as well. I think that would be the best approach compared to more exotic things.” Iana said.
“You’re the enchantress so I’ll trust you. Can they be removed again and can others be added? And can you both do the bracelet enchantment and the durability and sharpness ones?” Ilea summoned both her bow and the blue steel gauntlets onto the table.
“With the quality of these, yes. I can remove and add different enchantments. At some point dad will have to work on them again before I can continue though. And to your second question yes, the runes are different enough so that they won’t overlap. I can add all of them. Do you want to bring the items at a later time or should I work on them immediately? I’ll need around four days for everything.” Iana offered.
“Work on them now, I’ll get them in a week then and bring over Aki again. It’s not very far if I fly at top speed.” Ilea said. She could always leave the training sessions a little early to visit Balduur and Iana. The enchantress agreed and put away the bow and blue steel gauntlets. The black obsidian ones had to stay on the table as she was unable to move them.