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A note from kosnik4

Read up to chapter 74 on Patron, soon chapter 75.

"Why…Won't… You… Break!" I slam my hammer down on the black rock as hard as possible and am only rewarded with a pebble-sized chunk of material chipping off.

 

For the last twenty minutes, I've been working on the mysterious black ore Mr. Grey traded to me, and I'm starting to realize why other smiths didn't want to purchase it. The damn thing is almost impossible to break even with my Strength stat.

 

“You can step in anytime, yeah know,” I give master a desperate look.

 

“I was just remembering the days when you used to claim you needed to handle everything by yourself.” Master smiles back at my pleading look.

 

“Point taken, now help me with this rock. We’re on a time crunch, remember?”

 

“Alright, put it on the ground,” master instructs me.

 

“Why?” I ask Del as he walks over to his house.

 

“Because I don’t want to nick the anvil with my pickaxe,” he shouts to me while he steps inside his hut.

 

I move the black rock over to a large stone protruding from the ground. Balancing the sample on top of the rock, I watch master walk over to me, wielding his enchanted pickaxe. When master reaches me, he offers me the pick. "You're not confident in breaking the rock unless the enchantment is activated?" I ask in astonishment.

 

"I could probably break it even if the enchantment weren't activated, but I don’t want to chance damaging my best pickaxe before you can replicate it.” Master hands me his pickaxe with a good-natured smile.

 

"One of these days, I'll make you a better pickaxe," I boast while injecting my mana into the enchantment.

 

The runic lines light up across the pick, and I hand it back to master.

 

“You should take a step back,” master warns me in a serious tone.

 

I don’t have to be told twice. I use Double Step to distance myself from the ore sample and make sure Mana Skin is ready to deflect any debris that might fly my way.

 

Mater Del raises his pickaxe over his head, and I watch his muscles tense as he takes his stance. I've only time I’ve seen master focus this much before a swing was when we fought with the chameleon spiders, and this time he can charge up his swing without worrying the target will move or try to attack.

 

Master draws in a deep breath and then, “Haaaa!” Master’s shout rings through the air.

 

I feel the earth tremble before my brain realizes master has already swung his pickaxe. A cloud of dust obscures where the specimen once was.

 

Master rests his pick up on his shoulder and patiently waits for the dust cloud to settle.

 

When I finally see the result of master's strike, I'm astounded by the result. The black rock master was trying to break, is split into five chunks of varying sizes. The rock I set the sample on top of is obliterated, and the dirt surrounding it was blown away, revealing the damage done under the surface.

 

I look up at master in amazement and notice he’s slowly opening and closing his hand. “Are you ok?” I ask.

 

“Yeah, I’m fine,” he tells me. “I’ve never swung my pickaxe full force like that and never with the enchantment activated. The rock was strong enough to rebound some of the force back at me.”

 

“Do you need to take some time and recover?”

 

“No, I can finish this. Gather the pieces closer together for me.” Master instructs me while preparing to swing again.

 

I try to move the shattered black stone pieces together on top of the shattered boulder, but I can't balance the fragments on the uneven surface. “Wait one moment,” I tell master. I run over to where we store the different types of wood and grab thick logs to use as a base. Carrying the wood back to master, I set up five individual chopping blocks close together.

 

“That should work fine,” master motions for me to step back again.

 

I watch master take up position again with bated breath. His shout once again splits the air, and I watch his pickaxe split into five afterimages, each finding their target. The wooden bases can’t handle the force of master’s strikes, and each of them splinters into countless shards.

 

Master lowers the pickaxe to the ground, and I watch him wipe the sweat from his brow. "The smaller chunks should be easier to break now. I’m going to sit and catch my breath.” Master lumbers over to his favorite bench and lies down.

 

While master rests, I grab one of the buckets we use for ore samples and gather every piece of the black rock I can find. I use Sense Mana to make sure not even the smallest bit of the ore is left behind; I can't afford to waste a single piece.

 

After double-checking the ground twice, I move back over to the anvil and try to break up the remaining chunks further.

 

Sadly, even with alternating between Weighted Strike and Double Strike, it takes me over an hour to break down the samples into smaller pieces.

 

I have to take my own breather on the bench next to master when I’m finished. It took almost two hours between the two of us to reduce the rock down to the size we wanted.

 

"It's definitely a tier 4 earth attuned material," master says to me as I groan in my seat.

 

“I wonder what a tier 5 ore would be like?” I mumble.

 

“The gods be dammed if I know,” master complains as he gets up. “I’ll add the blacksmithing logs and magicite to the forge while you take a break.”

 

I regulate my breathing to hasten my Stamina regain while watching master turn the flame in the forge into a small sun, with all the materials he’s feeding the fire.

 

When my Stamina pool reaches three-quarters of the way full, I start prepping the crucible while master adds more fuel to the forge. Because this will be our test sample, I use my measuring cups to get roughly 50 grams of ore to process.

 

I wish I knew what element the rock was closest related to. The magical metals I've encountered so far all have ties to periodic elements. Of course, the fire iron had many properties of iron, and mithril is just magic silver. Quite a few of the metals Mr. Grey showed me were also related to primary metals like tin, copper, and even a few had the same base properties as gold.

 

I've never seen titanium or tungsten before in this life, so I can’t compare the sample in front of me to them, but I have a feeling the black rock is a naturally occurring variant of the two. It would be nice to see either of the futuristic metals with Sense Mana, but I'll need to guess about their structures until I get lucky and see them for myself.

 

It’s impossible to speculate how the ore will react with other substances, including glass, but the sample Mr. Grey showed me was already excellent, and I didn’t sense anything added to it. With how challenging it is to work with, I doubt whoever managed to process the small sample tried to experiment with it. I’ll believe in nature this one time and seal the crucible without adding anything else inside.

 

I take my time sealing the crucible, making sure the lid is secure and that there are no seams for any foreign elements to make it inside the container.

 

By the time I have the crucible ready, master already has the forge so hot even he needs to stand a few feet back. I use our longest pair of tongs to move the crucible into the hottest part of the forge. Despite having Mana Skin activated, I feel like I’m being cooked standing close to the flames.

 

“Do you think it’s hot enough?” I ask master.

 

“We’ll have to wait and see. You can monitor the contents from here, right?” Master asks me while working the bellows. The fire roars louder each time he blasts more air into the forge.

 

It’s hard for me to clearly sense the material because of the vast amount of magic contained in the flames. The blaze is made up of two mana sources; the blacksmithing logs and the magicite burning together create a vail of superheated magic over the forge. The only reason I’m still able to sense the ore sample in the crucible is that its internal mana is strong enough to shine through the magic veil.

 

“It’s difficult, but I can see the sample inside. It’s drawing in an incredible amount of fire mana, but I don't see its structure shifting yet. It's probably going to take a while for it to melt," I inform master.

 

“I figured as much. Back home we have special furnaces to handle materials like this. The only thing we can do is keep the bellows going and see what happens.” Master Del tells me.

 

"Well, that gives us time to talk," I stand next to master. "I didn't tell my parents everything," I say to Del just loud enough for him to hear me over the forge.

 

“It’s about me then, isn’t it?” Master asks without looking away from the forge.

 

“Yeah,” I confirm his suspicions.

 

"Spit it out; hesitating won’t change anything,” master urges me to talk.

 

“They know you can’t use magic,” despite how ready he was for the bad news, master flinches after I tell him what Mr. Grey said to me. "Apparently, the merchant you tried doing business with after you left your home was Silver Herds founder. I didn't confirm their theory, but they knew you by name and even called you 'stripped.'"

 

Master grits his teeth. “Did they use it against you?”

 

“No, but Mr. Grey did hint that they’re forgiving your past due to my working relationship with them.” A silence falls between us.

 

“I guess it was foolish for me to believe I could remain hidden here forever. Sooner or later word would’ve gotten out about me.” Master sighs in defeat.

 

"It isn't your fault; I'm the one who drew their attention here," I acknowledge my part in the problem.

 

"That merchant friend of yours has been bugging me since he learned I was living out here. Eventually, he would've sent word back to his bosses that I was here. It’s my relationship with you that’s keeping them away from me, so I don’t want to hear you saying it’s your fault again.”

 

“Ok," I agree with master and give him a soft smile. Another silence hangs between us, only this time, less foreboding.

 

“Isn’t there something else you want to talk to me about?” Master turns his head towards me, giving me a questioning look.

 

“What makes you say that?” I try to act like I don’t know what he’s talking about.

 

“For starters, you can tell me what happened on your way back home. The way you glossed over your trip home was very suspicious. I’m sure your mother noticed it too, but she decided not to ask you, seeing you trying so hard to hide what happened.” Master’s shocking revelation causes me to freeze.

 

“Then there's the fact you're not wearing the knife I made for you; I can't remember the last time I saw you without it.” My hand subconsciously moves to where my knife usually is.

 

“It's subtle, but I see you carrying yourself differently." Master Del looks at me like he’s peering into my mind.

 

I don't want to lie to master, but I don't want to talk about it either, so I turn my head and scan the tree line.

 

“And then you keep doing that,” master points out, snapping my attention back to him. “You’re scanning your surroundings a lot more than usual. You haven’t scanned the woods like that since we first encountered the chameleon spiders.”

 

“Have not,” I look away from master so he can’t see my nervous expression.

 

"I noticed you scanned the clearing five times while you were on your break like you were expecting something to come running out of the trees. You did the same thing yesterday and again this morning.” Master further points out.

 

“I don’t want to talk about it,” I say in a low voice.

 

“That’s fine.” I cast a sidelong glance at master, not believing him. "When you're ready to talk, find someone you trust who will listen. It helps; I should know. It wasn't until I talked about my problems with you that I was finally able to overcome the problems that have been haunting me for years. You have a lot of people who support you, remember that.” I feel master put his hand on my shoulder.

 

I turn my head away from master and sniffle. “Sorry, the smoke got in my eyes.” I rub at my face.

 

Master doesn’t say anything more and continues to work the bellows. He doesn’t comment on the fact our forge isn’t producing any smoke right now.

 

We don't talk much after master's heart to heart speech, but we take turns on the bellows and add more blacksmithing logs and magicite to the fire.

 

Soon an hour passes.

 

Then three hours.

 

After we've kept the forge going full blast for five hours, master and I start to get worried. "Any change in the crucible?" Master asks me with a dark expression.

 

"No, the metal isn't liquifying," I tell master. We've burned through a ridiculous amount of magicite and wood, and yet we haven't been able to get the ore to melt. “What do we do?” I ask in a panicked voice.

 

"We need to figure out a way to increase the temperature of the forge." Master calmly informs me.

 

“We’re already burning our best materials,” I point out to master.

 

Both of our eyes widen at the same time when we remember that’s not true. We still have one more thing that might burn hot enough to melt the ore. I rush over to the shed we store the materials in, and grab an armful of chameleon spider carapace.

 

"Be careful; you know how easily they ignite," Master Del warns me.

 

I use the tongs to position pieces of carapace up against the crucible. The fire is so hot the carapace ignites as soon as it touches the flames and starts to melt inside the tong’s grip. The chameleon spider parts turn into a gooey mess around the crucible. The already intense flames grow brighter as the carapace's wind mana reacts to the mana rich fire.

 

I’m forced to leap back because the outer layer of Mana Skin was starting to catch fire in places.

 

“That should do it!” Master shouts over the violent flames.

 

He's right; I can see the contents of the crucible finally starting to melt properly. “It’s working,” I call out in excitement.

 

"We're going to have to plan a better way to do this next time, or we'll run out of fuel. I think we'll need to use the smelter, which should hold the temperature better. And if we do it like that, we can easier pour the metal into molds. We might even be able to save some time if we process the black ore in the smelter tomorrow while we study the Kaglese.” Spoken like a true master, Del points out a problem and quickly comes up with a solution.

 

I agree with master's plan; any way we can save more time on processing the materials, the better. And if we pour the processed ore into multiple molds, it will be easier to shape, considering separating an ingot will be challenging with the metal's durability.

 

It takes a further two hours for the metal sample in the crucible to melt entirely. We're halfway through the day, and we still haven't had a chance to start adding mithril to the test sample yet.

 

We stop working the bellows and let the fire die down a little before we proceed. Our forge usually runs a bit under 2,000°C when we work with steel; the forge right now, I'd say, is around 3,000°C. Master and I can't even look at the flames in the forge without hurting our eyes.

 

Master watches the forge while I prepare for the next step. We’re not sure how hot we’ll need to keep the metal to work it correctly, so I’ll need to run my mithril experiments while the forge is still pretty hot.

 

I grab the mithril I bought from Kervin and a chisel. I’ll gather flakes of mithril into neat piles and add it to the metal in controlled amounts. The ore sample in the crucible is only about 50 grams. I’ll add 2.5 grams of mithril to start out and then add the same increments until it becomes detrimental to the sample. I'm looking for a sweet spot where the mithril improves the internal mana structure without softening up the sample too much.

 

The black rock already has an impressive internal mana structure and is pretty close to mithril in comparison. However, mithril has a better mana conductivity, and adding a little bit of mithril will help if the arrow is to be enchanted later.

 

I prep seven portions of mithril for the experiment; if I end up using each of them, that would mean the alloy would be 26% mithril, which is exceptionally high.

 

Once I have everything ready, I warn master, “I’m going to pull it out.”

 

“I’ll grab the mold.” Master moves across the clearing and grabs our smallest ingot mold.

 

Using our longest pair of tongs, I fish out the crucible from the forge. While I hold the extremely hot ceramic pot, master carefully removes the seal on the lid. I slowly tilt the crucible until the molten metal slowly starts to drip out into the mold. The metal looks like molten obsidian.

 

I expect the metal to take a while to cool, but the small ingot of shiny black metal is solid enough to pick up with togs in only a few minutes. I scan the metal with Sense Mana and peek at what's happening on the inside.

 

The earth mana inside the sample isn't meshing with the fire mana. Though the sample absorbed a lot of fire mana while it was in the forge, now that it's removed from the heat source, the earth mana is pushing the fire mana out of the sample.

 

While it’s cool to watch how the different types of mana interact with each other in the metal, I need to move fast with the sample cooling rapidly as it is.

 

I use the tongs to move the metal sample back into the forge. The metal once again quickly starts to reabsorb the heat, and the black metal surface appears to shine brighter in flames.

 

I shift the sample from the forge over to my anvil and sprinkle the first measured sample of mithril on top of it. The metal is so hot the mithril sizzles when it touches the glossy black surface and appears to evaporate. I have to use my mana senses to verify if the mithril is properly bonding with the sample.

 

To make sure the mithril bonds evenly, I test the sample with my hammer. I have to use Precise Strike because the small ingot is hard to hit correctly. I only get two swings before the metal needs to be reheated.

 

When the sample is hot enough to work with again, I bring the metal out of the forge and test it on the anvil. The mithril has bonded nicely with the metal and doesn't appear to have had much of a difference on its durability. Even using every bit of my Strength with every swing, the metal is barely moving under my strikes.

 

I repeat the same steps again and again until I’m out of my mithril samples. It took longer than I thought because of how quickly the metal would cool.

 

“What’s the verdict?” Master asks me after I’ve set the sample to the side and not back into the forge.

 

“This ore doesn’t need much mithril. After I added the first three samples, I saw little improvement with the metal’s mana conductivity. That means our best alloy is 13% mithril and 87% of the ore, that should help us stretch the material a little farther.” I tell him.

 

I look up at the sky. We have maybe five hours of sunlight left, six if I’m willing to listen to mother complain about me coming home late.

 

I glance at our forge that is cooling down but still hot enough to melt steel. “Master, do you think we can make the Kaglese sample if we hurry?”

 

Master looks up at the retreating sun and then at the forge. “It will be close; you want to try?”

 

I give master a challenging grin, and he responds with his own smile. We don't need to say anything further to each other; master starts pumping the bellows again, and I grab a new crucible.

 

Because most of the Kaglese is waste rock, I'm going to add three handfuls of the ore into the crucible. I'll put the lid on, but I won't seal it this time because I might need to add more ore if the Kaglese sample isn't big enough. I'll also have to pour out the slag before we smelt the ingot, so the lid is just there to help retain the heat.

 

Master and I carefully work the forge until the material inside the crucible starts to melt. Thankfully we don't need the forge as hot as we did for the black rock, so we don't have to worry about our clothes combusting on us. I look at master’s shirt and notice it has a few holes in it that weren’t there this morning.

 

When the metal starts to separate from the waste material, I notice how little Kaglese is in the ore I bought. Of the three handfuls of Kaglese ore I placed in the crucible, I got less than 20 grams of workable Kaglese in return.

 

Master Del and I work together to remove the crucible and dump out some of the slag before adding more ore. When we have the crucible back in the forge, I can’t help but complain. “I thought I grabbed the best samples.”

 

“You did,” master reassures me. “Kaglese was one of the ores I tried to work with when I left home. I remember processing much more material than this to get a workable specimen.”

 

We continue to work as the sun slips across the sky.

 

When the sun’s last rays start to fade, we remove the crucible of Kaglese. I let master pour out all the slag and form the ingot on account of his experience. I couldn’t take the risk that I would mess up the pour and waste the good material along with the slag.

 

We ended up processing ten entire pounds of the Kaglese ore to get a good sample; that is 10% of what I brought back with me. In the end, the Kaglese ingot was more significant than the black rock ingot at 90 grams.

 

I honestly hope the Kaglese needs more mithril than the other sample did; I might be left with only 800 grams to make the arrow shaft!

 

I start putting everything away and cleaning up the mess we made.

 

“You should head on home; I can get the rest,” Master offers to finish cleaning up by himself.

 

“That’s ok,” I tell him. “I’m already going to be late; might as well help clean up the mess I made.”

 

“You are pretty messy,” Master snickers at me.

 

“Says the man who can’t throw anything away,” I point an accusatory finger at master’s house.

 

“I’ll use everything in there… eventually,” master says that last part under his breath.

 

"Sure," I sarcastically reply. I look into the forge and glance at the glowing embers within. "It's going to suck to clean this out when we're done with the arrow. We brunt through a lot of materials today; I hope we have enough blacksmithing logs to finish the job.

 

After everything is straightened up, I tell master, “good night.”

 

On the way home, I check my mana pool, 584.31. I only used Mana Skin all day, but the heat from the forge was so intense it ignited my mana a few times. The fire mana from the forge stuck to Mana Skin's barrier and was slowly burning away my protection. I had used up 30% of my mana by the time I completed testing the black rock sample.

 

"Gods, I need to come up with a name already. It might be one of a kind sample, but I can't keep referring to it as 'black rock sample,'" I complain to myself.

 

It looks like metallic obsidian, but it's strong like tungsten.

 

Maybe tungian? No, that's horrible.

 

Blasten, for black tungsten?

 

Obsten, Perhaps?

 

I’ll think about it later. I need to hurry home before mother comes looking for me.

 

But overall, we had a productive first day. Fingers crossed, we make the same progress tomorrow.

 


 

I rub under my eyes, "Come on, Aaliyah, get your shit together." My little pep talk to myself doesn’t help me. I walk into master's clearing, trying not to let my fatigue show.

 

"Looks like you had a fun night." Well, I made it three steps before master noticed. "Did your mom yell at you all night?"

 

I shake my head, no. “Surprisingly, neither of them gave me a hard time; both my parents understood why I came home late last night."

 

“Then why do you look like you’re about to fall over?” Master asks.

 

I grit my teeth. “You could say I had an annoying dream that kept repeating every time I closed my eyes.”

 

“A nightmare?” Master tries to clarify as he moves magicite and blacksmithing logs next to the smelter.

 

“No, just a recent memory,” I tell him.

 

“Want to talk about it?” Master offers.

 

“No!” I snap at him.

 

Master drops the wood he’s carrying and holds up his hands in a placating gesture. “Alright, I won’t ask again. Are you ready to start for the day?”

 

“Yeah, I’m ready,” I grumble loud enough for master to hear. I leave master to set up the smelter while I get the forge going.

 

I use magic to start the forge before master has time to light the smelter. Walking over with a strut of superiority, I point my hand at the blacksmithing logs.

 

“Llaif gamfr ol e nnamse!”

 

I overclock my flame spell with four times the usual mana, creating a fireball the size of a baseball in my hands. The large flame easily ignites the dried wood. I turn and smirk at master, who raises a questioning eyebrow. “I got a new skill while I was away,” I tell him with an obnoxious look on my face.

 

“The joys of having magic are immense,” master agrees with downcast eyes.

 

Well, I’m an asshole.

 

I can’t take my frustrations out on master. “Sorry,” I quickly apologize to Master Del and move back to the forge. I set up the mithril for the Kaglese test just like I did with the last sample, only this time, I measure out piles of mithril that weigh 5 grams each due to the larger size of the starting sample.

 

I stick the Kaglese sample in the forge to let it heat up and cast a glance at master, who's adding the black rock to the smelter. I can't believe I snapped at master like that.

 

It’s my skills damn fault, I complain to myself.

 

I couldn't fall asleep last night and was forced to rest in my soul again. If that wasn't bad enough, when I entered my sea of memories, I was once again forced to relive the bandit attack. And to add insult to injury, when I woke up, not nearly enough time passed as I thought it did.

 

I was forced to go back into my soul, and wouldn't you know it; I was forced to relive that moment for a fourth time.

 

And to top it all off, the last time I was ejected from my soul, the sun wasn't even up yet, so I ended up lying in bed for an hour. Mother wanted to go running together again; only this time, she spent the time running next to me, sending me worried looks.

 

Put it aside, Aaliyah. You're here to work; I berate myself.

 

I start testing the Kaglese like I did the… blatgon sample? Gods, the names are getting worse.

 

I eventually discovered the Kaglese compound I'm looking for after adding the sixth pile of mithril. It turned out the 5th helping of mithril was the sweet spot. When I added the sixth portion of mithril to the sample, the durability dropped significantly, and the mana conductivity only improved slightly. I added 25 grams of mithril to the 90-gram ingot of Kaglese, which gives me an alloy of 21.7% mithril and 78.3% Kaglese.

 

I noted down the percentages for later and moved next to Master Del, who was focusing on maintaining the smelter's temperature. The smelter retains heat better than the forge, but master still needs to watch the flames as he works the bellows, meaning he has to stand in front of the smelters only opening.

 

Master is wearing the same shirt he had on yesterday, and I can see why. Large patches of Del's clothing are burnt away, revealing his toned ebony skin underneath. The parts of his skin unprotected by clothing look dried out and irritated.

 

“We should switch,” I offer to take over the bellows to give master a break.

 

“Are you finished with the Kaglese?” Master asks me, ignoring my offer.

 

"Yeah, I'm done," I tell him. "Let me work the bellows for a little bit; your clothes need a break." I reach for the pully master is holding.

 

“I’m fine,” master bumps my hand away with his elbow.

 

A part of me realizes this is master's payback for earlier, but I'm not in the mood to play along. "Really, you're fine?" I narrow my eyes at master.

 

“Yep,” he tells me in a flat tone.

 

I test his resolve by poking one of his cheeks. As soon as my finger touches his exposed skin, he recoils and hisses through his teeth. "You're fine, huh," I say sarcastically.

 

“I don’t want to talk about it,” master uses my earlier excuse against me.

 

I don't know why, but that pushes me over the edge. "Fine, you stupid dwarf, turn into ashes for all I care!" I regret what I said as soon as I finish yelling at master. I lower my gaze to the ground and clench my fists.

 

I expect master to yell at me or maybe even throw a punch, but nothing happens.

 

I look up, and master is still working the bellows like I never said anything in the first place. Seeing master ignoring me hurts more than if he did try to hit me. My vision starts to become cloudy; I wipe away the tears before they can fall down my face.

 

“You’re fine, huh?” Master finally looks at me with no small amount of concern on his face. “Brushing away someone trying to help you hurts both of you. I’ll let you take over the bellows if you finally tell me what happened.”

 

“Do I have a choice?”

 

“I was going to give you time to talk to someone on your own terms but seeing how quickly you deteriorated from yesterday, I can't play the nice master anymore," Master tells me with a severe expression. "How are you supposed to do your best work as you are now?”

 

"Fine, move out of the way," master lets me push him aside so I can work the bellows. Master steps a few feet away, where the smelter's heat isn't as bad but still close enough to listen to me.

 

I start telling master everything that happened to me on the way back home. He doesn't interrupt even when I explain how I killed all the bandits by blowing myself up.

 

After telling him how I made it back home with Reel and what he said about the bandits, I explain to master my recurring 'dreams.' I rant about how I'm over what happened, but for some reason, I'm plagued by the memories of the bandit attack.

 

Master patiently waits for me to stop talking before telling me what he thinks. “That Reel fellow made some good points,” master nods his head. “But he didn’t tell you the one thing you needed to hear most.”

 

“And what’s that?” I ask.

 

“That you are still you,” Master Del tells me with a smile. “You haven’t changed who you are as a person because you were forced to take a life. You’re still the girl who told me she didn’t want to join the army to further her magic study because you didn’t want to hurt others.”

 

"I agree with Reel; I don't think you should feel bad about killing the bandits. But just because we tell you that it doesn't mean it will change who you are. If these dreams are as persistent as you say they are, then obviously you aren't over it."

 

"But!" I try to deny what master is saying, but he shakes his head, silencing me.

 

"You suffered a traumatic experience. There is no way your over it just because you were given a pep talk. It will take time for you to feel normal again, and that's ok. I'm here to talk with you, and I recommend you tell your family as well," master suggests.

 

“Are you crazy? You know how mother and father will react,” I exclaim.

 

“Maybe at first, but you forget how much they support you. Maybe wait until we finish the arrow, but you definitely should confide in them.”

 

“Maybe,” I half heartily reply.

 

“Good. Are you feeling any better now that we’ve talked?”

 

“A little,” I reluctantly agree.

 

“Excellent, but don’t think I forgot about how you called me a dwarf." Master Del's supporting smile morphs into a grin of someone looking for revenge.

 

“I’m so sorry,” I sincerely plead for forgiveness.

 

“You can’t get out of it that easy,” master crosses his arms.

 

“What are you going to do?” I tentatively ask.

 

“I don’t know, but I’ll think of something. I’ll tell you what I decide your punishment will be after we finish this blasted arrow. But mark my words, it will be brutal.” Master laughs in an over the top manner.

 

“Ok,” I reluctantly agree to master’s belayed sentencing, with a small smile on my face.

 

And just like that master knows what to say to make me feel better.

 

The rest of our day went smoother after I talked to master.

 

We worked together to process the black stone. And when we poured the shiny metal into our molds, we realized we would have enough material to make nine arrowheads when we factor in the mithril we still need to add.

 

After we poured the molten black metal, we decided to process the Kaglese today as well. We used the already hot smelter to process the material quicker, much like we did yesterday with the forge.

 

At the end of day two, we had our primary metal samples ready. Tomorrow I can add the mithril to the metal and start shaping the arrow components.

 

After some back and forth with master, I decided to tell my parents what happened after Kervin comes to pick up the finished arrow.

 

Mother is just about to finish dinner, and hopefully, I can get a good night's sleep after talking with master. But whether I sleep or not, tomorrow will be a big day regardless. Now that all the prep work is finished, the real fun begins tomorrow.

 

I hope I’m ready.

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A note from kosnik4

6,000 words.

 

I hope you liked the chapter, and as always, stay safe.


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kosnik4

Bio: Just love a good story.

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