Chapter 169 Shopping
Everybody quickly explained what they needed and Iana started her work. Ilea’s armor wouldn’t be done for another hour at least, that is to say just the melting of the metal. She couldn’t fathom a finished set would be ready within that time but then again she didn’t understand much about smithing or how any skills would come in to assist. Maybe it was like in a video game where you hammer onto the piece of metal and it just forms straight into a helmet or sword.
Having seen Balduur hammer at the sword previously spoke against that notion. Perhaps he was just conserving mana? She listened to Cameron and Trian talk for a while, eating a meal in the meantime. They both knew a lot about the inner politics of the city and all the noble families and other factions.
Ilea didn’t care too much about the intricacies, neither did she understand most of it without context. She did gather that Trian’s suspicions laid on the houses Carter or Birmingale, two similarly influential families as his own had been. Both would have profited quite a bit from the Alymie’s removal. Less competition and a small void in several economic and political branches that they could fill if they moved quickly enough.
True, either of the families and many others would have acted this way even if they weren’t involved at all. Power meant power, the question simply remained who had been willing to massacre a whole noble family for it. The answer was likely any noble house in the empire but who would actually plan and go through with it.
Ilea learned that this wasn’t by far a single case. In the past hundred years many a family, group or guild had come to quick power while others mysteriously vanished, were taken out or even engaged in open war. The open battles were simply held outside of the city itself but the empire apparently didn’t care too much when some of the lesser influential parties squabbled with each other. With how important personal power in this world was, it was somewhat understandable.
Still, the most powerful parties rarely got involved and the last time one of the most powerful ten noble houses or guilds got involved in open conflict was over thirty years ago. Old history it seemed, for an empire quickly changing.
“The metal is done. Girlie come.” Balduur said, getting everybody’s attention for a second before they returned to their own conversations and work. The three smiths came together as Ilea joined them.
“We have to take your measurements. The runes of course were broken but Iana suspected them to be made for the elf and his skills anyway. The incredibly high physical resistance is still there.” Balduur explained as he got some measuring tape.
“I have an idea.” Ilea said. “Not sure if it’s practical though but bear with me.” she started and looked at the materials spread on several of the work benches. The room was dimply lit in the glow of the forges and the air was heavy with likely very unhealthy fumes. A normal human below level fifty likely would have trouble simply being in the room.
“What if you made the armor with a mold?” she asked and not just Balduur immediately scoffed at the idea.
“I trust my hands more and to get an accurate mold of your body it’d take at least another day.” he said.
“Yes but we have a metal mage here.” she said with a grin. “Hey Kyrian, do you have a moment?” she called to the man who looked up and nodded, excusing himself from his conversation with Iana.
“Do you have enough metal to cover me?” she asked.
“A mold? Interesting idea. I can easily cover you, sure.” the mage said and Ilea smiled at Balduur.
“Then let’s get started, do you have a mirror in here, I want it to look fancy and not have nipples.” Ilea said.
One of the smiths went to get a big mirror as Ilea and Kyrian discussed the procedure with Balduur.
“You’ll have to hold the metal exactly as it is on her body. Can you reform it once she’s out of it again?” the smith asked.
“That will be unnecessary, I should be able to just blink out of it.” Ilea said and Kyrian nodded.
“Should be possible, the metal is controlled by me so I’m not sure if you can.” he said as an assortment of metal spheres flowed out of his quiver, melting in the air and moving towards Ilea like a weird nano robot army on its march to devour her. “Test?” he asked and she just nodded, turning around and storing all but her underwear in her necklace.
The soothing cool metal started covering her a moment later. Ilea’s face turned a little hot as she imagined the possibilities with Kyrian’s magic. It was neither the time nor the place for that though so she simply concentrated on not moving as he created the mold around her.
“This is harder than I thought…,” Kyrian said as he moved a little closer. “Your body is moving. Well this was just for the blink test. Can you try?” he asked and Ilea appeared next to the now ghostly form of metal floating in the air.
“It works!” she exclaimed, lifting her arms and remembering that she was nearly naked, blinking back into the metal.
“Ah, that’s what blinking means.” Balduur murmured as he looked at her.
“I’ll work in space for you to breathe, no nipples.” Kyrian said as he stepped in front of her and moved the metal around a little. The other smith arrived with the mirror a moment later and placed it on the wall in front of Ilea, joining Balduur and the remaining smith by his side.
“Metal mages are all too rare… young man would you be willing to work with me sometime?” the woman asked, looking at Kyrian.
“Sure.” he simply replied, continuing to form the armor around Ilea.
“It’s too tight around the neck. And down below.” Ilea said and winked at the man, the metal quickly moving to her wishes.
“Alright, can you hold it like this, then we’ll add what we need as well. And she can try to move in it.” Balduur said and watched on in fascination as the metal hardened, a glinting red sheen reflecting the light of the forges.
The smiths went on to explain to Kyrian where he would have to add separators between the later separate pieces to allow both the highest protection and range of movement, with a focus on movement. Ilea insisted on the priority.
It only took twenty minutes for them to form the armor into a prototype and Ilea started moving right after, testing different moves and stances, going into the basic Azarinth Fighting ones she had learned in the temple ruins so long ago. She moved on to what she had learned from her Ashen Warrior skill and at last she flowed the movements together into complex maneuvers challenging her flexibility and dexterity.
Her speed picked up as she moved faster and faster, her skills activating one after the other as her punches pushed away the very air residing around her fists. The smiths instinctively moved a couple steps further away as they watched the warrior dance before them. Ilea sacrificed a couple hundred points of her Health to get to near her maximum power and continued her testing for another couple minutes. Red runic tattoos glowing on her face interconnected with the fiery lines of her Form of Ash and Ember as she fell into a trance of movements.
“It’s not bad. I need a little more range on the shoulders. Knees are fine now. Loosen up the neck some more. Can’t move my head easily enough.” Ilea explained. They had been through the process two times already but she felt great. Were it not for the reason of their stay in Virilya, she’d be ecstatic. Kyrian’s prototype felt close to the freedom she remembered when fighting in her pajamas.
“Do you have some high quality metals stored up? I’m thinking of having one made as well.” Trian said. Him and Cameron had joined them too a couple minutes ago.
“Nothing as good as yours.” Balduur said as he looked sideways at Trian.
“We’re done then?” the smith asked after another testing session and Ilea nodded, blinking out of the metal and summoning her leather armor before turning around to the group of people.
“You can make the armor, Kyrian we can start with the helmet now.” she said with a grin.
Trian was sleeping in a corner of the room, covered by a blanked Ilea had summoned from her storage. Her armor had been cooled and Iana was finishing up the enchantments they had decided on.
“Do you like it?” Kyrian asked. He was dressed only in his clothes that he wore under his armor, his metal currently being molten as well. The man had decided to move a bigger part of his magically controlled metal into his armor to allow for easier flying, attacks and maneuverability on the fly. When he had it made, his control had been nowhere near where it was at now, both in quantity or quality.
“Yea, it looks awesome. I’m glad there was enough metal to not make it look like a leather suit.” Ilea said and chuckled, looking at the finished creation. The armor looked light but considering the Juggernaut armor had been the heavy kind, this one was a little deceiving. To most people this armor was completely unusable. To Ilea it was like a second skin.
While the plating was as thick as it had been before, the whole thing was reduced in size considerably, molded near perfectly to her body on the inside while giving her the complete range of motion she’d have if she were naked. The craftsmanship was more akin to something Ilea thought of as science fiction, an alien fighter suit but built from metal and enchanted with magic.
While she debated to have it look a little more futuristic, she decided on a more traditional look to not be quite as prominent as her personality usually was. The armor was full plate and protected her in nearly all places, the helmet closed off except for her eyes. There were as with most armors weak spots and incredibly small openings at all joints and the neck. Still the armor would be an amazing addition to her defensive arsenal, similar to what the Juggernaut armor had been but less bulky and much easier to move in.
The elven armor had been rather ideal as well but it had still been armor, forged for another. The color of the metal was a dull black that reflected little of the light in the room and wouldn’t stand out in most places. None of its features were exaggerated or bulky, the finished product being a mostly practical armor. Ilea allowed parts of the helmet to be a little more extravagant. In the spirit of the previous armor, she had two forward facing spiked horns added, made of the same metal as the armor itself. Smaller than the ones that had adorned the Juggernaut armor but still immediately noticeable.
It added a lot to the whole piece she thought. Perhaps she’d add a symbol or two if she had any deep connection to one but for now she liked the Shadow’s Hand black.
“Ok done! Come and try.” Iana said with an excited voice, all tiredness from before had left while working on both Trian’s and Kyrian’s armors and their enchantments. Ilea nodded and walked towards the armor pieces scattered on several workbenches. Enchantment possibilities were limited but Iana was good at it, very good.
They had decided on the main enchantment being a lightening one. The metal was incredibly durable and it had taken three heavily enchanted magical forges hours to just melt the single pieces, worked by high level smiths nonetheless. Balduur had explained that a smith’s treatment of the metal was different compared to Ilea stepping into lava or a fire magic spell. Their skills and understanding of the metal allowed them to melt it and he doubted any creature he had ever heard about was capable of burning through the armor.
Ilea could definitely think of one that should do the trick but people didn’t react well if one spoke of those creatures. She was pretty sure they did exist in Elos though.
Iana enchanted all pieces to make them considerably lighter and even added a minor strengthening enchantment to make them more durable as well. That was all that was possible. While the metal was of incredibly high durability, its magical properties weren’t exactly staggering. It was still good to be sure but nothing extraordinary. Holding two enchantments of this quality was already quite impressive after all.
Having tried out her Destruction and Wave of Ember skills with the finished product, Ilea had found that her mana traveled uninterrupted through any part of the armor already. No further enchantment had been necessary. On the contrary, had her fighting style not depended on it, both Iana and Balduur would’ve suggested enchanting first and foremost against mana intrusion. This allowed Iana to focus on the lightening instead.
While many metals were already somewhat good against mana intrusion, the enchantment against it remained one of the most popular, at least as far as Iana was informed. The other smiths agreed on her assessment.
Walking up to the armor, Ilea grinned despite the circumstances and identified it before she stored it in her necklace.
[Ashen Hunter Armor Helm – Rare Quality]
[Ashen Hunter Armor Chest Piece – Rare Quality]
[Ashen Hunter Armor Bracers – Rare Quality]
[Ashen Hunter Armor Gauntlets – Rare Quality]
[Ashen Hunter Armor Legs – Rare Quality]
[Ashen Hunter Armor Boots – Rare Quality]
She had already worn the armor enough to be comfortable about switching to it through her necklace. Replacing her leather armor with the new Ashen Hunter armor, she held up her armored hand and looked at it through the sockets that were close enough to her eyes and angled in a way as to not impede on her vision at all. It had kept its rare quality, likely thanks to the metal used. The name was interesting to her, obviously connected to her classes. There was a reason it had been called Dark Elf Juggernaut Armor before as well though. This time, it was simply made for her.
It felt lighter even than the armor Kyrian’s metal had formed around her. Much lighter than the Juggernaut armor had been. More importantly though it was more comfortable. Ilea felt as flexible as if she wore her training shorts and tank top back in the kick boxing gym. Forming fists with her hands, she smiled as the individual pieces on her fingers moved smoothly into each other before she shadow boxed into the air before her.
She could still replace the gauntlets with her bladed and heavy gauntlets should she have need for them. Her armor gauntlets were measured to be exactly the same length after all. And should her armor come to the same state as her last one, she had a mold now that she could bring to Balduur to forge either her destroyed armor anew or something completely fresh. At least if she didn’t suddenly gain or lose more than a couple kilograms. No powerlifting for her. Considering her diet and its lack of an impact on her form, it didn’t quite bother her.
“It’s fantastic.” she said, turning to the group of people.
“It is. One of my best so far. Now let’s finish the metal man’s.” Balduur said and got back to work, as did the other smiths. The process of finishing Kyrian’s armor was a lot simpler compared to Ilea’s. While they had made a near perfect mold for her, Kyrian could bend the metal quite strongly to help the smiths in the process, each hammer swing having the impact of twenty with the help of the mage.
“If only all metal bent this easily.” one of them said as they watched the helmet move into the cooling tank seemingly autonomously. Trian didn’t have a new armor made because of the lack of metal and his own still being in good shape. Redoing any enchantments wouldn’t be worth it for the rather slight improvement.
“Thanks again for the great work and the help.” Ilea said, shaking Balduur’s hand before she went and hugged Iana, careful not to injure her with the horns on her helmet. Trian said his goodbyes to Cameron who had stayed with them through the whole process. It seemed his previous suspicions had been lifted after the long talk the two of them had.
“Nothing to worry about, I’m glad I can finally go back to bed.” Iana said, yawning, before she checked Aki in his sheath with a big smile on her face.
“Take care of him. I’ll see you around little dagger.” Ilea said as she stepped back.
“Oh I will and I’ll crack every little secret hidden in those enchantments.” Iana added.