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Author’s Note:


This one was a lot longer than I expected. I couldn't even split up the chapter because of the small joke I have planned for tomorrow.


Chapter 75- Claws




***July 11th, 965 A.F.***
***Dwarven Capital***
***Ajax  McGuire***


                 I have a free morning today. I managed to make all the necessary deliveries barely in time yesterday. If it weren’t for that shitty brat, it wouldn’t have been so razor thin close. I think Mr. T-bone and Sir Loin hates me now, for working them so hard yesterday.

                 There was nothing for me to do until this afternoon. Of course, I wouldn’t let myself waste the time by loitering around and doing nothing. Today, I planned to get something I need dearly, second only to money: my combat prowess. My fight with Wyn made it painfully clear to me that I lacked in this department. All I have are stats, nothing more. Armed only with a dagger, I don’t have many options when it comes to physical threats. Worst of all, in this new world, I also have to consider how to deal with magical threats.

                 I decided to visit a weapon store to buy a new weapon for myself. Sure, my ring is filled with weapons looted from Boneforge’s basement, but none of them are for me. I could use them with ease because of my insane stats, but they were all designed for an adult. They were clunky for me to carry around. If I carried a sword on my back like everyone else, it would always be dragging along the ground. I was too short for it. Of course, I could keep it stored in my ring and pull it out, but I needed to keep my ring a secret. It would be weird if anyone sees me pulling a sword out of thin air.

                Following Trevor’s recommendation, we went to a place just a stone’s throw away from the adventurer’s guild. I decided to bring Geordi along with me on this shopping trip. I figured that he could use some self-protection, just in case. Entering the building, I was nearly overwhelmed by the size of the open plaza. It was a bazaar specially made for adventurers and travelers.

             In here, you could buy everything you need to take on an adventure. Merchants lined up neatly in the market, creating a shopping maze. Each of them tries their best to solicit the customer passing by to purchase their wares, tents, rations, or weapon. I could see that there were some leather workers, sewing tailor-made protective gears right in front of their customers. Smoke and metal clashing noises came from the back of the bazaar. They were most likely from blacksmiths, working with their portable forges to create the next set of armors.

          The place was crowded and full of noise. I could see that Geordie was visibly stressed out and having trouble keeping his bearing with all the interference. He almost slowed down to a grinding halt, doubting each step he takes. Not want waste any more time, I decided to take his hand and led him around. 

“Wow, there are so many people in here.”

“Stay close to me, shut up, let me do all the talking or else I won’t buy a weapon for you. Got it?”

“You are the boss.”

           The merchants in the front were mostly selling consumable items, so we had to walk past quite a few soliciting merchants before we reached the back. While walking around, a group of merchant caught my attention.There were a blacksmith, a leatherworker, and a tinkerer banded together to form a larger “store.” Instead of competing, they cooperated with each other. That way, they can produce a wider range of products which leads to getting more customers and earning more money in the long run. They caught my eyes since none of the merchants in the bazaar did that. It shows that they are innovative and knows what they are doing. Deciding to become their patron, I waved to get the attention of one of them. The blacksmith stopped hammering on the small portable anvil, took off his soot-covered apron and came towards us.

“Heya sonny, taking your little girlfriend out for a walk? This isn’t exactly the best place for shopping, though.”

            I released Geordie’s hand like I touched a hot kettle by accident. I should have seen this coming from a mile away. Maybe I should shave Geordie bald so that people won’t think he is a girl anymore. I coughed a bit with embarrassment and answered him.

“First of all, he’s a guy. Second, of all, I am holding his hand because he is blind. I was just leading him around.”

“Oh, I am sorry about that. What do you need?”

“I need weapons.”

“Aren’t you too a little bit too young to swing something around?”

“We hitched a ride to the capital alongside a party of adventurers for delivery. We have finished our business here, but we don’t have enough money to hire adventurers to escort us back to Caedona. I figured it would be safer if we buy some weapon to arm ourselves just in case something happens.”

“Well, I’ll be damned. You better arm yourself to the teeth then. You have any preference in weapon choice?”

“Can you help Geordie here first? I am going to look around to see if anything fits me.”

“He is blind, though, how will he defend himself with a weapon?

“He is just going blindly slash at things anyway, no pun intended. Just assume that he is not blind and recommend something for him.”

“Hmm. Since I don’t have any experience with how blind people fight, don’t blame me if you find out that the weapon doesn't fit him. Got it?”

“It’s not a problem.”

          The blacksmith came closer still and started to stare at Geordie intensely. He spun Geordie around, then pinched one of Geordie’s bicep before letting out a sighed.

“You are way too skinny for a regular sword.”

“HEY! That’s not nice.” 

“I only tell the truth. Anyway, are you left handed or right handed?”

“Right handed.”

“Ah, this one should do the trick.”

            After digging around a bit near the back of the store, the blacksmith presented to us a long thin estoc made out of copper. The slender profile matched Geordie’s figure. He handed Geordie the estoc.

“Try this.”

“This is pretty light.”

“So how does it feel?”

“I think I can get used this.”

“Does it come with a sheath? How much is it all together?”

“Yes, and it will be two small silver pieces.”

           I winced a bit at the mention of the price. But considering the amount of weapons I got from the Boneforge’s, it was only a drop in the bucket. I have to keep my promise to keep Geordie safe to the best of my abilities.

“Alright, we will buy that.”

“Thanks, cousin Ajax!”

“Thank you for your patronage.”

          After I reluctantly handed him two pieces of silver, he went to the back and brought out a slightly decorated sheath from the back. I frowned as soon as I saw that. It was too nice.

“Do you have some other sheath? Something that look worst?”

“You are the first person to ask me that question.”

“It just looks too good. If Geordie carried around with that on his back, he would definitely attract some unwanted attention.”

“I can see where you are coming from. Well, I can make a new sheath go with that, but I will have to charge extra for that.”

          I gloomed with dread as I learned that there were more expenditures for Geordie. Just as I was about to ask how much, a different idea struck me like lightning.

“Do you have a copper tube of some sort?”

“I think I do at the back. One second.’

         Again, he went to the back of the store and brought out a small copper tube.

“What do you want to do with this?”

“Could you remove the guard of the estoc and make the hilt out of the copper tube so that when it is sheathed, the whole thing looks like a metal cane for blind people?”

“I can see where you are getting at.”

“So how much it is going to cost me if I ask you to do that?”

“Since I will be taking back the material for the original hilt and the original sheath, I will only charge you for the labor. That will bet two large copper coins.”

“That’s fine. I will take it.”

            After taking my money, he turned around and started to disemble the estoc. While working on what I have ordered, he gave a suggestion.

“I suggest you also talk with Steve, our tinkerer over there. You would want some sort of locking mechanism so that the sheath won’t fall off by accident. Steve! We’ve got some business for you!”

“Be right there! Dan”

             I walked over to Steve, the thin tinkerer full of white hair. He stopped what he was doing and packed his tools meticulously, putting everything in their own place. If it were the old Earth, I would have diagnosed him with OCD immediately. Finally, after packing everything up for five minutes, he finally looked up and greeted me.

“So how can I help you?”

“The estoc that he is getting will need a locking mechanism so that the sheath wouldn’t fall out.”

         He took a look at what the blacksmith was doing, and he immediately understood my intention.

“That’s pretty simple, I can just carve a groove inside the sheath and on the hilt so that you can lock it into place with a simple twist.”

“How much will that cost me?”

“One large copper.”

“Deal.”

          Handing him a large copper, I try to drum up some small talk while we wait for Dan to finish Geordie’s elastic.

“Say what were you working on?”

“Oh nothing, it’s an unfinished project of mine. I can’t seem to get it to work.”

“Oh?”

“I am trying to make a glove with hidden needle shooters on the back of the hand.”

“Mind if a take a look at it?”

        He picked up the glove on his worktable handed it to me carefully. It was just like any other leather glove, except the back of it, was noticeably thicker. Three small holes were placed just above the knuckles. Presumably, that is where the needles come out. Studying the glove, my mind raced with ideas. I released that this is what I need to complete my arsenal, a ranged weapon. I during my fight with Wyn, I was forced to get close to her before I could attack. If I could attack from afar, I can keep myself safe from harm.

“So what is wrong with it?”

“I couldn’t make a spring strong enough to launch at significant speed to do any damage. If I make it any bigger to house the stronger spring, it would be too conspicuous and defeats the purpose.”

“What if you don’t need to launch it?”

“What do you mean?”

“I want something like the glove you have, except I don’t need a launcher.”

“Then what is the point…”

“Instead of a needle launcher, I want a glove that acts like a retractable claw. When I swing my arms down, the claws will slide out and lock into place, but only if I am holding down a secret button inside. I also want a quick release button for the claw so that I can change the claw quickly in a fight if it gets damaged.”

“That’s simple enough to make compared to what I have, but isn’t that a bit overcomplicated for a simple claw weapon?”

“Call it a boy’s romance. I want to be like Wolv... I mean like a tiger and have retractable claws.”

“Fair enough. That’s going to be one large silver coin.”

“It’s a deal if you throw in some replacement claws. Also, can you make sure that everthing is water tight while the claw is out?

“Sure, I think Mac, our leatherworker, can do that for the glove part I can also make the mechanism water tight while the claw is out. Why though?

“I just don’t want blood seep onto my hand when I fight with it. Not to mention, I don't want the mechanism to rust with the blood inside. ”

                 Of course, that was only a part of the reason. I was hiding the trick to making a claw launcher glove work.
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damancy

  • Slayer of Soles

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