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Author's note: I wrote more today then in the past 4 days combined. Pretty safe to say it went well today.

Enjoy!
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Zaran passed by the Flygaan habitat again on his way back to Virul. Once arriving there Cindarrah grew frantic and begged Zaran to let her eat some of them. He had time to spare so he joined up with Cindarrah and decided to quickly hunt a few of them. Cindarrah protested and said she could take them on alone. She quickly shot two web-shots to the nearest flygaan, bounding it's wings and legs. Then all she did was scurry over, mount the Flygaan and slowly leech it while using web-shot whenever the constricting force ran out.

Zaran decided to try solo one by himself as well but quickly found out that he was unable to solo them due to their kiting ability. Cindarrah scurried over and bound the Flygaan with a single web-shot, allowing Zaran to quickly kill it afterwards.

He was absolutely devastated at the restrictive power Cindarrah showed as it let her easily beat an opponent that had proven to be hard to beat if it could utilize it's mobility. After Cindarrah killed ten more Flygaan she quickly hit level four much to Zaran's astonishment. He had helped her beat two more Flygaan and noticed that if she fully drained her opponent her exp bar increased by a large amount. However after gaining level four she no longer gained exp from killing Flygaan, forcing them to stop leveling. Cindarrah wanted to scurry on top of Zaran's head again but was stopped by Zaran.

"Hey Cindarrah could you make a little sac out of your web that is big enough to hold you?" Zaran asked her. 

"Why?" Cindarrah asked in her pleasantly sweet voice.

"The people at the city will bug daddy too much if they see the cute little Cindarrah on my head." Zaran said honestly.

"Muh... don't wanna!" 

"Cindarrah please... Daddy will not be able to finish his business in the city quickly enough if you don't do it. People will also be touching you the whole day! And they'll be asking where I got you and how they can get you and..." after begging for a while Cindarrah finally made a little web sack and crawled in it, allowing Zaran to continue onwards to Virul. 

Arriving in Virul again, Zaran headed straight to the marketplace. While he had gotten a large amount of iron ore, it served him no purpose just yet as he iron equipment could only be worn at higher levels. The requirements to his stats would likewise be higher than what he currently had, making iron absolutely worthless for now. Seeing as he still had quite some training and leveling to do before being able to use iron weapons, he decided to trade all his iron ore for bronze ingots one way or another. If he found a merchant who would trade them he'd be fine with that otherwise he'd sell it off and just buy bronze ingots with the money he gained.

At the market place one of the first stalls Zaran noticed was Pantheon's stall. In the good two days that he had been away Pantheon had been quite busy as the diversity in his wares had gone up. He noticed that besides ribs, slices of meat and baguettes there were now cheese wheels. A small sign sat in front of the cheese wheels saying 'Pantheon's semi-failed cheese wheels'.

"Dear customer how can I help you today?" Pantheon asked Zaran. He had remembered Zaran as the one who bought some of his failed wares earlier. Upon seeing him he had thus immediately come to help him out.

"What's wrong with the cheese wheels?" Zaran inquired.

"Ah... The flavor is quite right but the inside is not quite... normal to put it safely. Here, I'll show you." Pantheon said as he took a knife out and cut a slice from the cheese. A thick yellow liquid slowly ran out from the cheese wheel. "The insides are just melted cheese. I'm not sure how this happened and no one in the cooking guild can give me an explanation as how this happened. It is really tasty though, here have a bite!" Pantheon gave Zaran a plate with the slice of cheese along with a spoon. Not being able to refuse Zaran took a spoonful of the yellow liquid along with part of the outer shell of the cheese. Once he tasted it he found it to be incredibly flavorful. While it looked strange the flavor had an incredible depth to it and the aftertaste was just right. It was neither too strong nor too weak. Zaran pondered for a few seconds before deciding to buy the ten cheese wheels in display. The cheese wouldn't be able to be used in the normal ways, but he could just drench his bread buns in it, giving it a better flavor. Zaran parted with 1 silver for the cheese wheel and bade Pantheon goodbye. Zaran quickly picked up a large glass container from a nearby stall and stored it into his storage ring. If he broke the cheese wheels the liquid would be running out and the glass container would be sufficient to preserve the cheesy liquid.

Continueuing on Zaran walked around the market square until he found a merchant who was selling ore and asked if he would possibly exchange iron ore for bronze ingots. After the merchant said that he would be willing to trade 1 kilograms of iron ore for 2 kilograms of bronze ore Zaran took out the 20 kilograms of normal iron ore and traded it for bronze ingots. Now having 40 kilograms in bronze ingots he advanced to the blacksmithing guild. After an hour long explanation a message box popped up confirming that he had gained the blacksmithing skill... only it was at the beginner level. Seeing as this couldn't possibly be right he asked all the trainers but they just scolded him off once Zaran asked about extra training. Zaran left the blacksmithing guild and sat down on a nearby bench.

Why is blacksmithing not at the advanced level? I clearly selected it among the 2 skills i could get to the advanced level for free. Have I gone to the wrong trainer? I guess I will have to inquire if there is another blacksmithing guild around town. If that fails I could check upon one of the independent blacksmiths.

Zaran asked some passerby npc's if they knew about another blacksmithing guild in town. The npc's looked at him strangely, as he already was in front of a blacksmithing guild, but still politely replied that there was no other blacksmithing guild in town. Zaran muttered a few curses under his breath and went to all of the independent blacksmiths, but like the blacksmithing guild there was not a single one that would give him further instructions.

Zaran sat down on a nearby bench and stared into the distance dejectedly. Where the hell am i going to find this instructor? Zaran thought. He had gone to literally every blacksmith in town but to no avail. Is there something I missed? He shook his head as he couldn't have possibly missed anything. He had asked around for every blacksmith in town and there was no other guild. Maybe in some other town? Wait no... that's not right either... It should be here but...

Suddenly a coarse voice woke Zaran from his deep thoughts. "Young man, why the long face?" an old wrinkly dwarf asked. His face was buried in wrinkles, to the point that his facial features could only barely be made out. He had long white hair that dropped all the way to his shoulders and long white beard that reached to his chest. A rather small white mustache sat above his lip further covering his features. He looked to be over a hundred years old, but despite that, firm muscles still showed on his arms.

"Eh? Ah... that is... I've been running around town for the whole day asking the various blacksmiths to give me more instructions on the craft but none want to provide additional instructions." Zarain said honestly. "I'd really wish to get a deeper understanding of what it means to be a blacksmith and how to craft various armour and weaponry but... Without an instructor it will be a long arduous road. While I don't shun some work I would be able to improve my craft far faster than without one. There's also... a certain weapon I want to craft but with my abominable skill level I will be unable to create it for a while..." Zaran's shoulders dropped. He really wanted to create a particular weapon but he was fairly certain the game wouldn't allow him to create it with his current skill level. He had to one way or another find the instructor that would get him to advanced level immediately.

"Is that so?" The old wrinkly dwarf asked as he sized Zaran up. "Hmm, well in fact I know of one who should want to teach you."

"Really?" Zaran said excitedly. "I would be eternally grateful if you would be able to tell me who this person is."

"He's standing right in front of you." The old wrinkly dwarf proudly said.

Zaran immediately cupped his hands and bowed in front of the old wrinkly dwarf. "Please take this one as your apprentice!"

"Now now, no need to be so polite. I will teach you on one condition. You shall show me what weapon you wish to create."

"... I would need some paper for that. The design is slightly different from conventional weapons and the difference is hard to explain in words, it would be far easier to show you." Zaran said as it was impossible for him to explain the design to the dwarf without the plan.

"Mmhmm, follow me then" The old wrinkly dwarf walked towards an alley without waiting for Zaran to respond. Zaran quickly walked after him and after passing through a few alleys they arrived at a small back alley where a few run-down houses were testing the sands of time. A single well-kept house stood proudly among the others. A small dark-wooden porch laid in front of it, with a three-steps staircase that led up to the large door that was made out of the same dark wood as the porch. The white walls made out of sandstone conflicted with the dark wood but at the same time Zaran felt like it belonged together. It was quite a different building compared to the other japanese-styled buildings in the city.

Do all these high-level craftsman have weird houses? Zaran thought as he saw the house.

A small stone smithy was attached to the house, which the old wrinkly dwarf ran up to. Before entering the old wrinkly dwarf suddenly turned around. "Now that I think about it I haven't caught your name yet."

"My name is Zaran Karaz. What might yours be?"

"Mine is Eoric Metalbane." Eoric sighed as he said his last name clearly not happy with it. Zaran could barely supress a laugh at Eoric's last name. A blacksmith called 'Metalbane' was simply too ridiculous. "Blame my parents for my last name. My dad went to report me in a drunken stupor resulting in my last name. Now, let's see that design of yours." Eoric said as he entered the smithy. Upon entering the smithy Zaran noticed that it was far more spacious than he would've guessed from the outside.

There were a few crude dark-wooden workbenches to the left lower corner of the smithy, far out of reach from the coal forge. Each of the workbenches had a small dark-wooden stool in front of it, allowing one to sit down while working on a design.  A large stone table was placed in the middle of the smithy filled with ore, ingots and various tools. In the right upper corner of the blacksmith lied the forge, with a large stone crate filled to the brim with coal to the side of it. The anvil which could be found at the upper right corner of the smithy, looked fairly new, much to Zaran's surprise.

Eoric took some paper from the topmost drawer of one of the workbenches and unrolled it upon the whole workbench. He put some small ingots that he used as paper weights on the end as to stop the paper to roll up again. After giving Zaran a sharpened pencil, he left Zaran to work on the design and quietly sat to the side, studying Zaran's progress. Zaran quickly drew the initial schematic of the blade, which just confirmed how it would look and showed it to Eoric. Eoric cocked his head to the side because the design was quite peculiar and he was fairly certain he had never seen a blade quite like this.

The blade itself had four components to it. The first part was the broadest and took up about 30% of the total blade's length. Between the first and second part there was a Z-shaped inclination as the blade grew smaller leaving a shark tooth on the edge of the blade. Eoric found this quite peculiar as it would certainly be a weak point for the blade and thought that it would easily break of in battle. The next part of the blade was another 30% of the total length and had a similar Z-shaped inclination as it connected to the third part. The third part was 25% long and the final part was 15% long and they too had this weird Z-shaped inclination. The blade's width kept grewing smaller with each inclination and finally ended in a point.

"This... wouldn't these shark teeth break off really easily?" Eoric asked. "I don't really see why you'd make them that way..."

"You'll see later." Zaran said as started to work on the design again, this time detailing it further down on his second schematic. This one showed the blade's thickness and coating methods. After showing the design to Eoric this time the confusion of Eoric just grew. The blade was thicker than a greatsword yet wasn't as long as a greatsword. It looked like a combination between a greatsword and a longsword, with the lower parts of the blade acting as a greatsword and the upper two parts acting as a longsword.

Eoric scratched his head and pondered over the design as Zaran started to work on the third schematic, which showed how to create the shark teeth. This design was incredibly complicated and showed a variety of designs the shark teeth could have as well as the methods of how to create them. It even showed a way to create the blade without the shark tooth and just creating a smooth transition instead. Even this smooth transition had a few different possible designs to it.

Still not finished Zaran made a fourth design which showed the different layers for each part of the blade and exactly how the blade gets it sharpness while still being thick. The fifth schematic showed that the blade could also be infused with crystals, and at which points the crystals should be inserted to give the blade extra properties. The fifth, sixth, seventh and eight design showed various other ways the blade could be slightly altered through the usage of runes, blending some metals together, et cetera. After looking at the complete set of schematics Eoric finally understood what the blade was all about.

"Boy... how did you come by this design it's such an intricate design... You ask for me to teach you but this is a master level design. Are you sure you need any guidance?"

"I stumbled upon this design by accident in the past. I took great interest in it and started to memorize it to heart, in the hopes of every being able to create it." Zaran lied. He couldn't possibly say that in one of his previous lifetimes he had been a blacksmith's son and thus stumbled upon this design and later created his own version of it.

"I see.. well then... Let's see what you've got." Eoric said as he started the forge and worked the bellows. "Let's start with a simple bronze dagger, you can use one of the bronze ingots from the table."

Zaran picked up a bronze ingot and put it on the forge, increasing it's temperature to the point where shaping it with a hammer would become possible. Using tongs to move the bronze ingot to the anvil, Zaran started to hammer away and created a simple shape of a dagger. After it cooled down he heated it up again and hammered away again. A little while later he had created a very simple looking dagger.

He showed it to Eoric, who shook his head and pointed out all the mistakes Zaran had made. Zaran had seen the mistakes himself and was inwardly cursing at the system for not letting him use his real forging skills. Eoric smelted the bronze dagger into a bronze bar again and instructed Zaran to start anew. After creating a few more daggers and Eoric giving a bucket load of pointers, Zaran showed yet another dagger to Eoric who nodded in approval this time. A message box showed up confirming that he had gained advanced level smithing. Five hours had passed and he had finally gained advanced smithing. While he still needed to get designs to create weapons, the flaws the game forced upon his works would decrease now.

Blacksmithing lvl 1 (Advanced)
You are able to create high quality weaponry and armour.


Zaran sighed in relief.

"It's not so simple as it seems isn't it?" Eoric said smilingly.

"Yeah, it's far more difficult then it looks." Zaran replied somewhat honestly. Creating a dagger would be utterly simple for him if the game didn't force him to create flaws or force him to miss the timing to hammer the metal.

After eating a few onigiris and drinking a bit of water, Zaran took out his bronze bars and started working on a few weapons. He still had to recast them a few times before being able to create a good piece, but he had still been able to create improved bronze weapons for himself. A new bronze greatsword weighing 35 kilograms and a 5 kilograms heavy longsword replaced his current weapons. He'd sell his current ones the next time he visited the market, since recasting them would be a waste of time. The beginner weapons were made of such crude bronze that even a level one blacksmith would be able to create a better piece.

Bronze Longsword (Exquisite)
Damage20-25Durability50/50
Requirements
Level5Strength15


Bronze greatsword (Exquisite)
Damage30-40Durability50/50
Requirements
Level5Strength35


He needed to figure out how to temporarily store his companion as he couldn't possibly walk around with Cindarrah the whole time. He'd simply attract too much attention. While she was currently holed up in a little sack on his back, people were stilling staring and bothering him about it. At the very least he had to go ask Henry about a temporary storage place while he did his business in the village. He had to find a secret place to start training too as he couldn't possibly keep using the training field like this. Cindarrah wouldn't forgive him if he stowed her away the whole time and he honestly didn't really wish to part with her either.  She was surprisingly fun company albeit a little childish. Thinking about it, he still had some other questions he had to ask Henry. Zaran quickly packed up and bade Eoric farewell as he went on his way to Henry's place. 
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