A tall young man of about 183 cm of height was standing next to a large anvil. He was wearing a cotton shirt and had a large thick blacksmith’s apron over it. The shirt was quite loose which allowed for more airflow and better ventilation. Still, there was some sweat forming on his brow.

His build wasn’t very bulky but you could see quite a lot of tone on his arms and chest. It looked like the youth’s body didn’t have a chance to build enough muscle to go with his growth spurt.

The youth was standing in a blacksmiths workshop and had a flat piece of steel in his hand. It was already heated up and red after he took it out of his forge. This was obviously the material he was working on, he placed it on the anvil and started delivering hard hammer blows to it.

The piece of steel started to slowly take shape. The blows were delivered consistently over the whole length at high precision. His hand didn’t shake and he never missed the correct spot. From time to time you would see his hands stopping and an ethereal glow filling his eyes. Which after the hammering process continued.

The previously angular piece of metal started getting stretched out. There was a lot of back and forth in this forging process. The piece of metal needed to be reheated multiple times and hammered into the correct blade shape. Soon it was noticeable that the young smith was making a long-bladed weapon.

There was nothing more to it, just consistent hammer strikes were enough to get the piece of metal into a sword shape. One end was pointed while the other one was left smaller for the handle and the crossguard. This end was called the tang and he needed to make it thinner at the end to fit it through the pommel.

Before the crossguard and pommel would be made, the rough-looking sword needed a lot of grinding. The whole piece of metal needed to be filed down and sharpened to the utmost perfection before the next process.

There were no power tools in this world but the youth had something similar. It allowed him to make the process of polishing and grinding faster but at a small cost. After that task was finished the hammering of a piece of steel that would be the crossguard started.

The shape that was hammered looked cruciform at a slight bent that would be going outwards from the sword grip. The young blacksmith punched a hole through the middle that would be used to attach the crossguard to the blade. He made sure to first test if it fit before continuing with the hammering so that it would take the desired shape.

After the blade and the crossguard were ready only the pommel remained. It would be placed below the grip and would have a circular shape. After this was done the process of normalizing the steel remained. Forging created stresses and normalizing relieved that stresses.

After completing that process he only needed to attach all the parts and polish everything to perfection.

Without drills in this world, the swords were held in place by a certain technique that was called peening. This was done by hammering the steel part that was poking out through the hollow pommel. Thanks to this the sword hilt wouldn’t slip anymore and everything would be nice and tight.

If he managed to create a drill, he could just attach the round sword pommel by just screwing it into place.

After some time the youth was left with a working product. He looked at it while nodding but this wasn’t over yet. He grabbed another hammer from the side, this one looked different from the rest and it had a strange runic pattern on the face side.

The process of runecrafting had started. The youth hammered away, this time with much less force. The strikes were slow and precise and each time one landed a part of a rune was formed. This process took almost as long as the whole forging did. The youth had a couple of accessories helping him out with managing his mana so it sped things up a bit.

Still, it took him a week to get this sword done. This was already a big improvement considering that he was creating a special kind of rune.

Steel Arming Sword of Mana [ Intermediate, Highest ] [ Mana Slash Rune, Mana Thrust Rune]

An older looking Roland glanced at the stats of his creation. He was slightly disheartened that he only managed to make an intermediate ranked steel sword. Though his runecrafting had taken off and he was now able to produce the highest tier runes of the lesser rank.

This was the culmination of the last one and a half years of work. A weapon with a double rune inscription. He had managed to take the two popular runes of mana slash and mana thrust and combine it into an interchangeable spell structure.

The trick to using this kind of weapon was with the user's mana control. It took some time to learn but with time a person would be able to interchange between the two skills. This wasn’t a new skill but depended on the rune schematic. The biggest problem was in planning and producing a working dual rune that could house two spells at once.

There were a couple of techniques that a runesmith could work with here. The one he used required the runes to be similar and share most of their components. Both Mana Slash and Mana Thrust were similar in their runic spell structure. He just needed to combine them and connect them in the right place so that they could be activated separately.

The activation nodes for each one were in a slightly different place. The user would need to remember where exactly and be able to correctly inject their mana there. This was the biggest weakness of this design as it was troublesome for people that didn’t possess any mana related skills. They would find it hard to control such items which lowered the market value a bit.

Another way to do it would be to have separate moving parts, for instance, a sort of movable ring. The user could then turn it around and connect the rune they wanted to use. With such a design there was no need for mana control.

He placed the finished sword to the side and examined his skills and stats, he had made some progress but he wasn’t quite there yet.

Name :

Roland Arden L 69


T1 Mage L25 [ Secondary ]

T1 Runic Mana Scribe L 25 [ X ]

T1 Runic Blacksmith L 19 [Main]

























His physical stats besides agility had increased by quite a bit. This class was one of the better ones if it came to that. His previous runic scribe class didn’t really give him anything besides intelligence, dexterity, and willpower.

The runic blacksmith class was endurance and strength reliant so he saw a big increase in those two skills as well as in his health. It was also a runic variant so it increased his willpower and intelligence by a large margin. Though it was heavier on the willpower, probably due to the rune smithing skill that required a lot of concentration.

With his increased stats he could actually produce this type of combination rune in less than a week. Previously he had a hard time with easier runes on bronze materials. He had indeed made a lot of progress this past year.

He was now an actual blacksmith. His basic smithing skills were all close to maxing out. Luckily he had the schematic trick so his level could keep up with his skills.

Still, he was slowly reaching an impasse. His leveling was now at an all-time low and he was already running low on schematics. Without them, he would probably need another two years of crafting to max his level out.

'Maybe I should give the adventuring gig a try again…'

He thought to himself while giving out a sigh. This brought back a memory of a certain person that wasn't here anymore.

"Are you done? Can I make my delivery?"

A high pitched voice called out to Roland. It came from outside the workshop that was closed. He didn't want people walking in on him when he was busy with his work.

"Yeah, give me a moment"

The moment he was done with this sword he had messaged the person responsible for transport. He did this thanks to a small magical device that worked similar to a pager.

It looked like a little bell but when rung another exact copy of this bell would ring. Thus a person on the other end would then know that it was time to pick up the goods.

He wasn’t giving away the sword that he just made. He was still just runecrafting on the premade weapons that the company was sending him. The better-made items that he was still testing were for himself.

Roland grabbed a prepared parcel from the side. He then slid it through a smaller opening in his entrance door. The person on the other side was an alchemy apprentice. The same person that picked Roland up from prison over a year ago.

He just grabbed the package with a different sword that Roland had made and walked away. Roland and this youth didn't really talk that much with each other. The halfling youth was still mad that he needed to be an errand boy. The person that used to do this had quit a couple of months ago.

Roland closed the latch and walked back to his room. It was cluttered with his notes and rune schematics. Since his old assistant decided to finally leave for a city with a dungeon in it.

Yes, Helci had left Edelgard about two months ago and he was still getting used to living in more silence again. She did leave him a gift before going away but something like that wouldn't be mentioned to anyone else.

It was quite the experience but waking up to a farewell note ruined the ending. Not like he blamed her for anything. Both of them had clearly different life goals.

He wanted to stay in one place and practice his crafting. In the near future, he wanted to open his own shop and live a quiet life. Helci on the other hand wanted to adventure.

She only stayed in the city due to a lack of funds and equipment. When the time was right she began her journey towards a place that had a Dungeon near it. This was the best option for an aspiring adventurer. There wasn't much of that in this city.

"Dungeons and adventuring, huh?"

He said while grabbing one of the more clean looking mugs. After each successful craft, he liked to drink some hot black tea. It tasted similar to earl gray tea from his old world and went down well with some honey.

He looked at some old banged up iron swords that were tossed in the corner.
While the girl was still here he did act as a sparring partner. His battle skills did go up a bit from that. Even though he didn't see adventuring as anything else than a means to an end. He knew that gaining levels and getting stronger would help him out in this life.

He didn't feel like venturing deeper into the monster-infested forest would be a good idea though. He always kept to the edges of it, the hobgoblin he met was already a big surprise.

There were tier 2 and probably some tier 3 monsters in there. Luckily they didn't venture out of the forest. The creatures were wary of the humans living behind the large stone walls. They also had no leader to gather them up against a common enemy.

Unless the beasts caused trouble outside the forest areas the city lord or the guild wouldn't get involved. Sometimes large scale eradication missions took place to thin the population. It wasn’t quite time for that just yet.

After finishing up the tea he walked over to a large metallic box. It had a handle and after opening it up a small wave of chilled air hit his face.

This was his version of a refrigerator that he came up with. It was more or less a big black box made of iron with a latch on it. Inside a person could see some runic inscriptions of similar-looking runes.

These were runes that had the job of chilling the inside of this large box. The runes didn’t use up much mana as they didn’t even reach freezing temperatures. Compared to something like a frozen arrow spell they didn’t really need much mana to run.

Regretfully Roland wasn’t able to integrate mana stones into the construction quite yet. Instead, he needed to periodically charge the magic refrigerator with his own mana. It was sealed tightly so as long as the chilly air didn’t escape he didn’t need to recharge it that much.

This wasn’t the only improvement to his shop. He had thought about improving some of his tools with a more modern outlook. What did the modern smiths from his old world have that these didn’t? It was mainly power tools, things like drills that were used instead of punches for holes.

He had managed to emulate one of those tools, mainly an automatic grinder. He would have liked to make a belt grinder but he went with an easier option. He just modified the foot-powered grindstone to be powered with runes. The speed it could reach with the added rune was far greater than before and sped up the process of grinding exponentially.

The downside was the use of mana but luckily it didn’t burn that much of it down when activated. The rune wasn’t very intricate and didn’t require that much force as it just needed to spin the wheel around. He also hoped to improve on the design in the future when he got the mana stone problem sorted out.

He had gotten more info about the later Runesmith skills and he had also bought a skill book that cost him almost half a year's worth of work. The one he bought had the name ‘Basic Rune Compression’. Just as its name stated it was a skill that allowed a user to condense their runes into smaller ones without losing any power.

Besides this purchased skill he also gained some with his own class naturally. One of them he even used during the crafting of his sword and it was called ‘Runic Blacksmith’s Eyes’. It allowed him to see cracks and fissures in the items that he crafted in real-time. With it, he had an idea of where to deliver his next hammer strike to fix a broken structure during the creation procedure.

It was also an enhanced version of a similar skill that was called ‘Blacksmith’s Eyes’ and helped him guide his runic inscription during the runecrafting process. Only when he got that skill was he able to break through from ‘high’ into the ‘highest’ grade.

Another skill was called ‘ Blacksmith’s Heat Sense’ and it was used to help a smith with measuring the right heat. Thanks to this he always knew when the metal was ready for normalizing or for hammering.

These were all nice and helpful skills but the one he really wanted to find was related to mana stones. He had asked the gnome manager about it but apparently, the runesmiths kept that one a secret. There were very few skill books out there with it and it cost a lot more than what he was making. The only way the gnome would sponsor that skill for him was through a contract extension.

There was also the way of earning skills yourself or unlocking it with your class. He could very well receive it the moment he reached the tier 2 crafting class of his choice or down the line. There was no reason to put himself in debt quite yet, he was still young and could already produce weapons above most regular runesmiths. All thanks to those schematics and his debugging skill that showed him the way.

The only real problem at this point was producing common grade equipment. Even with his improved level and skills, it wasn’t that easy. There was also the problem with the materials. Regular steel weapons degraded really fast with any runes above the lesser grade.

The natural step up would be deep iron and deep steel that was an alloy from it. What came with better material were higher costs and increased difficulty in runecrafting.

He glanced at his skills once more before thinking about the future.

Debugger L 6, Circuitry L 7, Tinkerer L 8, Identify L 8, Basic Mana Shaping L 9, Basic Mana Regulation L 9, Mana Sense L 9, Basic Rune Mastery L 9, Basic Rune Scribing L 9, Basic Smithing Mastery L 8, Basic Runecraft L 7, Runic Blacksmith’s Eyes L 5, Blacksmith’s Heat Sense L 6, Basic Rune Compression L 3, Ethereal Pathways L 6

He received the heat sense skill at level 7 and the blacksmith’s eyes skill at level 13. He had been a blacksmith for about two years now. His progress was slightly faster than of other smiths but not by that much. The basic skills leveled up fairly quickly. He mostly suffered by having too many skills to focus on. Runecrafting did keep him away from regular smithing. He felt that in a year or two he should have all these skills maxed and ready for the tier 2 class change.

The more interesting things were his Debugger, Circuitry, and Tinkerer skills that he had from day one. They had also leveled up, the tinkerer one the most as he was probably gaining experience to it thanks to smithing. The other two probably ranked up thanks to runecrafting or runescribing. It took quite a long time to level them up though, almost a whole 4 years to be exact. He figured that the runes he was working on might have been too low leveled for these skills to gain much experience.

“Maybe if I focus on runic compression I’ll be able to squeeze some common runes on the swords so that they don’t melt after five uses…”

He rubbed his chin before grabbing his coat. He didn’t find much leftover food in his runic refrigerator so he had to go do some shopping. No more assistant meant that he was back to dining at the pubs and inns. He left his workshop with a layer of clothes, it was winter this season and it was quite chilly outside. The small feet imprints of the halfling youth were barely visible as it had started to snow.

‘Maybe when my contract runs out I could go to a city with less snow and rain…’

He thought to himself while walking, the frosty air making him push a shall up towards his mouth as he hid his face. The city was silent, nothing had occurred for the past year and a half. Roland was slowly getting used to this kind of life but if it would continue as such no one knew.


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