Roland gave out a yawn and moved his head to the side. His dome was sticking out from under a blanket and he could feel a cold breeze coming in through the window. He rose up and stretched while yawning, his eyes still a bit sluggish. He had gained some form of freedom through the years but he still was somehow used to getting up early in the morning.

This day was going to be slightly different than the rest. The new workshop that he was promised was going to be opened today. He was going to work there now instead of going to Exeor’s Magic Emporium. As he was now a runic blacksmith he needed more space to practice his smithing related skills.

The manager had delivered on his promise and he would move to the new workshop today. He was going to live there as well, He wouldn’t need this inn’s room anymore. The place he was going to work in had a smaller space for a bedroom where he could spend the night in. He wouldn’t get it for free though, he would pay rent and still need to produce the minimum number of ten spell scrolls a week.

He wasn’t happy about the workload increase as he wanted to get his smithing skills into higher levels. His scribing skills couldn’t be leveled up further, the higher tier skill was only unlocked after getting a tier 2 advanced runic mana scribe class. Still, making runic scrolls was his only way of making a living at least for now. If he managed to create some runic weapons, he figured that the gnome manager would exchange them for the scrolls as they brought in more money.

This was also why they were a lot harder to make. He realized this when he was changing classes and inscribing his first rune. The sheer amount of mana used for even a lesser rune was astronomical. The mana he spent on that one fire resistant ladle was enough for him to create five common fire arrow spells. He couldn’t even finish it in one go and needed to wait for his mana to regenerate. If he tried it in one go he would have probably passed out from the splitting headache.

He got up from bed and got dressed, he wore his usual robe with some casual clothes underneath. He didn’t wear the gambeson armor this time as it was too thick. It was fine to wear outdoors as it was cold there. Inside on the other hand it just made him sweat a lot. He had also exchanged his spatial bag for a larger model, he could fit three times as much into this one. Carrying all of his baggage and resources was now finally possible.

After clearing out the room he returned the key to the innkeeper. The man didn’t react much as having old tenants leave was a common occurrence. He was over 12 years of age now and he would be getting a place of his own already. His plans of starting his own business were looking bright but he wasn’t sure if the council that ruled this place would allow him to open up his own store just yet. Even now he would only work at the building he was given but it would be closed and function only as a place for crafting.

He pushed the inn door open and walked out without looking behind. He decided to take a stroll through the city instead of paying for a carriage. It wasn’t that cold outside as it was summer season now. There were many other people walking back and forth, even though it wasn’t that cold he still saw smoke coming out of many chimneys. The familiar clinging of metal on metal was heard by him as he continued towards his destination.

His plan was to find a regular job at a smithy when he came to this city. A person to guide his progress would probably speed up everything. Luckily in a world where you gained skills, repetition could replace a good master. There were enough smithing manuals to refer too, the hard part was the inscribing of runic symbols. After the trial, he had thought about something that would lessen the strain.

He continued walking through the city, the further he went the less glamorous looking the city became. He already realized that the gnome wouldn’t be handing out anything for free and the new ‘workshop’ was located in the lower parts of the city. This was where most of the poor people lived. He knew that the place he would be getting wouldn’t be anything special.

‘Yeah, expected this much…’

He thought to himself while looking at the address, just as in his past world the houses did have numbers and street names. What he was looking at was an old stone building with a wooden gable roof. There seemed to be an attic with a single round window there. It didn’t have any glass in it and was nailed shut by some wooden planks.

There was someone standing in front of the building and he quickly walked over to Roland. It was a large individual that looked like some kind of worker.

“You Roland?”

Roland nodded and also showed a scrap of paper that the gnome manager gave him to the man.

“Everything seems to be in order, the place is yours.”

The man was fast to leave after seeing the introduction letter, he was just here to give the youth the keys and make sure that no one ransacked it before the new owner moved in.

Roland looked at the person disappearing into the distance before turning around. He looked at the shabby building and went in. It was a lot larger than he expected and when he walked in he knew the reason why.

This wasn’t a regular house, no this was probably a small warehouse. It had a two stories tall storage area and a small office, this office was also what was going to be his living quarters.

There was a loading platform in front of the warehouse to help load and unload the goods from carts and wagons. For heavier goods, there should be a simple hoist above the warehouse door but there was none. There might have been a crane that you operated on the catwalk but it wasn’t there anymore either.

Most of the space of this building was kept for storage. This gave ample room for the various smithing utensils. Right in the middle was the large anvil, it looked quite old and heavy to lift. By the wall, there was the heart of the smithy, the forge with a bellows connected to it that would allow him to infuse more air into it. This one used coal as fuel and looked quite banged up. There were some iron tools thrown into the corner, after going through them he noticed that some were even rusty.

He firstly sorted them out, bringing all the hammers in one spot while the various tongs were placed by the forge in an orderly fashion. A vice and a workbench was there, even a grindstone for sharpening, the gnome was true to his word and had procured all the basics for him to start.

He moved his gaze to the rest of his ‘new’ workshop. The whole place was dusty and cobwebs were hanging from the ceiling. No one had lived in here for quite some time, the reason why this warehouse building wasn’t being used was unknown to him. He could only theorize that it was either too old or in a bad location.

“I need to clean this place up…”

In these kinds of situations, he wished he was a real elemental mage. He could produce water via magic, if he wanted to do that now he would need to use a costly magic scroll. He needed water and some rags, there were wells spread through the city for these reasons. He started thinking that maybe he should hire someone to fetch things like this for him at a later occasion. The manager had said something about an assistant but after getting the smithy, he didn’t want to ask for more, at least not yet.

It took him fifteen minutes to come back with two buckets of water and then the cleaning started. It took him quite a bit of time to get his sleeping quarters cleaned first. Scrubbing old uneven wood that wasn’t painted was quite a hassle. Mold was everywhere, the shabby windows were letting the cold air in, and going up onto that catwalk seemed like an accident waiting to happen.

Roland dropped dead on his new bed after cleaning the whole place and somehow getting everything in order. He was already rethinking his approach of starting a solo career, maybe working in someone else's workshop would be less of a hassle. Then the memories of his old life where he was forced by his old boss to work overtime each day resurfaced. This brought back his stubborn side and he quickly decided to power through this small setback.

Luckily it was a warmer part of the year and the night went past without much of a problem. A new bed that he wasn’t used had caused him not to be well-rested. This was still a marked building under the umbrella of Exeor, so he didn’t fear that he would be ransacked in the future. The thieves and bandits in this city mostly evaded the businesses run by the council members.

On the next day, he was finally ready to work. He had bought some bronze ingots for this occasion along with some iron ones, besides those he also had other materials. There was an old smelter here, he just needed to make some molds for it. He would mostly use bronze and iron for the time being. Even though iron was still a bit hard to inscribe runes on, it was good to train his smithing skills on.The bronze would be used for the next phase which was runecraft.

Bronze had a lower melting point than iron. He believed that it would also be easier to inscribe runes onto it. He finally started up the forge, he wasn’t planning on doing anything out of the ordinary, just some nails. He had read from the books and just making those would count as experience and towards his tool-related skills.

He would be making these nails from iron this time around. He had a 1 cm wide iron stock for this, which was just a plain long iron rod. He also had a slightly rusty nail header. This tool had a small hook on one side and a rounder flat end on the other with a hole going through it. It was also used for riveting. The last tool was a hardy hot cut tool with which he would use to cut the heated rod.

First, he used his ember spell to start a fire and waited for the coals to reach a high enough temperature. The rod he was using was long enough for him to hold it with his hands but he still used some gloves for added safety. When the metal turned red he brought it over to the anvil and started hammering it. Only the tip of the rod was on the anvil as he only needed to taper a small length that would be the nail.

After getting the tip into the correct nail shape he firstly put it through the nail header to see if it fit. After this, he placed the hardy tool on the anvil and the hot part of the rod against it. He started hammering it over and over again while twisting it around. He left a small part intact and didn’t fully cut through it as the nail header would be used to twist it off.

He placed the rounded part of the nail header onto the anvil where a special circular hole was. With the almost complete nail now in the nail header and on the anvil, he started hammering the top. Soon the nail took its final shape and he dropped it to the side.

Created Iron Nail [Lesser: Low], gained 1 XP

He raised an eyebrow at the amount of experience that he got from this. This was the minimum you could get for any kind of action, with this being his third tier 1 class this probably wasn’t the best way to level up.

‘Glad that I haven’t really made that many schematics of the item related runes.’

He gave out a sigh after seeing the meager experience that he received. He was happy that he managed to make something that wasn’t graded as ‘lowest’ at least. He continued making those nails until there was no more stock to work with. He didn’t manage to level up any of his blacksmith skills just yet, if he did after making some crude nails then it would have been far too easy.

He continued practicing making nails while taking some downtime and creating some spell scrolls. He still needed to keep the minimum up or even more. He now had a workshop and he would need to spend money on new materials. The nails that he was making were too small for rune inscribing at least for the time being. He would either smelt them down into something else or use them to hang out more tools on the walls.

After a full day of making tools his basic smithing mastery reached level 2, he even received a bonus point in strength for it. His basic forging didn’t go up quite yet, he would probably need to start smelting and working the forge more for that.

Before the day ended he decided to perform one more test. He had gotten himself a slightly thicker metal plate that was made from bronze and one also made from iron. He brought them over to the workbench. He placed his hand on the bronze plate first and activated his runecrafting skill. He wanted to test if he could do this without heating the metal up and without a hammer.

His fingers glowed blue and his mana seeped into the bronze. He could instantly tell that this wouldn’t be going his way. He continued for a whole minute but then stopped and glanced at the piece of metal with a frown on his face. Even on something like bronze, this would take forever. His mana points were halved and maybe one-tenth of the first lesser rune was there.

He could regenerate this lost mana but the less of it he had the slower the regeneration process became. If he dipped into his reserves and burned through 90% of his mana it would take him about two hours to regenerate it. At 50% the time would be halved and above 70% it was even faster. This was also why most mages didn’t cast many spells if they didn’t have to and tried keeping their mana high at all times.

He stopped himself from dumping more than 50% of his mana into this bronze plate. He sat down and meditated a bit to get his mana regeneration churning. After getting back to 100% he resumed but this time with a hammer. His hammer blows struck the heated up bronze plate and seeped inside its structure. He felt that this was already a lot easier than working with iron. The mana usage was lowered as there was less resistance in the material for him to work with.

Bronze Plate of the Fire Orb [Lesser: Lowest, High]

He looked at his creation. He wasn't able to create the highest rating for the rune quite yet. As a scribe making this lesser spell would have been a cakewalk. Here on the other hand he was barely able to make one at the high grade while using most of his mana.

This wasn’t the purpose of this test though. He grabbed the bronze plate with the long name and poured some of his remaining mana into it. The moment he activated the runic spell structure an orb of red light appeared above it. It continued to glow while he powered it with his mana. He placed it back on the anvil after deactivating the spell and started to examine it.

‘The spell structure is still in place, nothing out of the ordinary.’

He picked it up again and made the orb appear again with a slight grin on his face. He had managed to make a reusable spell, he was now able to do it. This opened up new possibilities, he wouldn’t be limited to one use spell scrolls anymore.

‘I need to perform more tests!’

He needed to know how thin he could make the metal plate before the runic spell became unstable. He needed to test how fast the spell deteriorated as he knew that these items had a shelf life. His mind was already thinking ahead, he wanted to deck himself out with full runic armor. This would have to wait though as he had trouble even making iron nails.

Roland wasn’t in a rush, he had enough time for everything. The day turned into night and people could hear the sound of metal hitting other metal. An orange light was seen through the cracks in the warehouse along with a cone of smoke gushing out of the chimney. A new part of life had started for Roland and it was a lot sooner than he had expected. What he could achieve with this class was still unknown but he would slowly figure it out.


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