The Runesmith



Chapter 62 – Arriving at the village?


The party of four set up camp by a shallow cave. They were lucky enough that it was only occupied by one giant spider type monster. It didn’t even have any babies and was easily dispatched by Roland who tossed a fire blast spell in there.

The monster went up in flames nicely and had been almost instantly cooked in the process. No one was actually willing to eat the thing, not even the half-orc companion who didn’t look like a picky eater.

They made a fireplace to ward off some of the night stalking monsters. There were variants with night vision and specialized skills to wander through the dark areas. Most of the time a simple bright burning fireplace would keep those types of beings away. Traits and skills that worked in darkness were quite susceptible to light.

Roland was a bit deeper in the cave, next to a monstrous-looking spider that had long lost its life. He was using his runecrafting hammer to repair his magical wands that were used during the day.

There were a lot more monsters than he anticipated in this gorge. The decision to free the slaves and have them in his party was the right one. If he was alone, it would have been many times harder to survive and he would have probably burned through his rune scroll reserves as well.

He was managing with his runecrafted magical wands for the time being. When a monster got too close he could also use his enchanted sword. The charges on it were also limited but the mana warrior skills were suited for middle and close-range combat.

While tinkering with his gear Roland took some time to examine his status and skills. Not much time had gone by since leaving Edelgard but he had managed to level up once.

Name :

Roland Arden L 70


T1 Mage L25 [ Secondary ]

T1 Runic Mana Scribe L 25 [ X ]

T1 Runic Blacksmith L 20 [Main]

























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, Basic Mana Reinforcement L3, One-handed Swordsmanship L 4, Hand to hand combat L 1, Spearmanship L1, Blunt Weapon Proficiency L1

Roland paid attention to his combat-related skills. They had moved above basic ones but they were still only in the beginning stages. During his stay at the Arden estate, he was forced to raise them to L9 of their basic versions but since then they had been stagnating.

He focused on increasing his crafting professions and then his mana related skills. That left less time for combat practice. He did use the sword from time to time which increased this skill the most but he wasn’t sure that it was the right choice to only focus on that one.

He was going to be a runesmith and would be able to produce various weapons and tools. Swords were nice against other people but against monsters, something like a spear might have been better. Increased reach and thrusting attacks could win out over sword slices.

Then if a person was up against a heavily armored monster, or maybe one with a hard shell a blunt weapon would be a better choice. Even an ax or a war hammer that had a more concentrated point of impact would be better than a sword in that situation.

There were just too many skills to focus on though but he did have time till he maxed out his current class. He could both fight monsters during the day and then craft during the night and constantly receive experience.

Even now while he was fixing his magic wands he was gaining small amounts of experience. With time this would certainly stack and let him increase his levels fast. First, he would need to escape this foreign canyon and get to that next settlement.

‘I hope they have carriages going through that village, I might have to go to a larger one on foot if they don’t…’

Roland grumbled as he knew that small villages were rarely visited by outsiders. Mostly some merchants came once a month or every other month to sell and buy some items. Then maybe the tax collectors would show up, or the governing lord would send people to pick up grain.

If he arrived there just after the merchants visited it he might have to wait over a month for another one to arrive. There was also the problem with his three new companions. They stood out too much, two beautiful elves and one huge mountain of muscles.

People would probably start asking questions about them. If it came to light that they were escaped slaves then he might get in trouble for setting them free. Even though he knew they were innocent and were not criminals, he had no proof.

This slave ring was probably something run by a shadowy organization. If he got involved with it at this point in his life he might end up as a slave too.

‘Well, they didn’t seem like they would be going towards the port town though. The border to their country is to the west.’

They agreed to split up after reaching the village. It was only a place to get some better clothes and food. He would be repaid for everything with mana stones. These he wanted to keep for now as he had many new items to produce. That is if he actually managed to get a new workshop out there in the sticks.

The city he wanted to go to was a frontier town, just an old village before people took notice. With the arrival of the dungeon things would be taking off but how far it had advanced was still unknown. He only wished that he wasn’t too late and he would manage to get himself a house of his own.

With one last hit, the wand that produced the fire arrows was finally repaired. He looked over the runic structures. He could see the metal shape deforming a bit and the runes started to erode into the hard steel. The more he used and repaired it the less steel there would be until finally, it would be unusable.

“Should last me through more repairs… I wish I could smelt those collars down and use deep steel instead…”

He was already thinking about improving his sword but it wasn’t that easy. The better the metal the harder it was to place runes on it. The reason deep iron or deep steel could hold more charges was that it was somewhat resistant to mana. The runic structures burned up at a much slower rate but were also harder to inscribe.

Roland finally decided to stand up and join the others at the campfire. They had managed to get some fish from the nearby river. There was a shallow spot through which a lot of them were passing. Logon was surprisingly good at catching them with a sharpened stick. With a few thrusts, he impaled some which were now being roasted on the fire.

“Here you go, Mr. Carmine.”

“You can stop calling me Mr, I’m younger than you…”

“Oh really? You seemed older… I just assumed…”

Roland and Aredhel exchanged some words. There were a lot of magical races in this world and also vitality increased even human longevity. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to believe that Roland here was much older than he looked.

“You don’t conduct yourself like a child, you remind me of my uncle.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment…”


Logon was also here, he was responsible for making the dishes today. He was surprisingly good with these sorts of things. Apparently, his father had been your typical elven hunter that taught him to scour the woods. Too bad that his son ended up receiving a warrior class instead of an archer one.

Golgrim peeked in as well, he was a bit in the distance as he was shooed away by Aredhel. He already devoured some of the fish before they could even be cooked. This left the rest of the party maddened and they all agreed to give him guard duty. He was now leaning up against one of the trees while looking for possible monsters.


A strange sound entered the party's ears which made them all jump up to their feet. Roland pulled out his sword along with the wand he had repaired. Logon leaped in front of Aredhel while looking in the direction of the strange rumbling noise.


What they saw was not a monster or a beast, no it was Golgrim holding his stomach and trying to keep it from rumbling. The trio of baffled individuals narrowed their eyes at the half-orc while he twiddled his thumbs and turned around. Soon the feast started and everyone got their share of the fish, the hungry green-skin included.

Nothing out of the ordinary had happened that night but there were some lurking friends watching them. The party took turns on guard duty through the night, they made it till the next day without any major problems.

They continued their journey towards their destination. Sometimes they stopped to get some fruit or get more fish. Once in a while, they would be attacked by stray monsters, some in smaller and ones in larger groups.

What they all noticed that the closer to the village they got that the weaker the monsters became. At the start of their trek, they were running into tier 2 monstrosities but now they were left with easy tier 1 mobs. Some of them would be easily dispatchable by the acolyte in their team.

Soon they were right next to their destination. The large mountain was getting left behind and they were even able to get out of the gorge. They just needed to follow the river to arrive at the village.

They finally saw some signs of civilization as a dirt road appeared. They could even see some cart marks here and it seemed like one had recently gone by. At least that was what Logon was claiming from the way the tracks marks appeared.

“It Looks like more than one carriage passed this way…”

The moon elf tracked with his eyes from where this dirt road appeared. He could see it going all the way to the mountain range they just passed.

“It could be the slavers…”

He mentioned while frowning slightly. This threw a wrench into their plan. If they met up with the slave traders they would probably not react kindly to three of their own wandering unchecked. Depending on how many of them were left alive they could even attack.

“Don’t worry Golgrim will cut puny enemies.”

The half-orc started flailing his hands around while holding onto the appendages of the monster mantis they had slain. He changed his catchphrase a bit after exchanging his club with those.

“Well, isn’t that reassuring!”

Aredhel clapped her hands and smiled. She looked like a gentle mother just going along with her hyperactive child.

Roland on the other hand was worried, he didn’t want to be labeled as a criminal. For freeing criminal slaves you would most likely be also sentenced to be one. He also wasn’t interested in fighting the people from the caravan as that would also give a similar result.

“I think you should wait outside the village. I can see that there is a forest area around it, how about you lay low there while I scope out the situation?”

He didn’t owe this group of three anything by this point. He still wanted to keep his end of the bargain. He promised to help them get food and a set of clothes if it was possible.

If the caravan survivors were in the village it would actually be a good thing for him. He would be able to continue the journey with them, he did pay for the trip already.

“Mr. Carmine… You’ve already done so much for us. I’m not sure that we should inconvenience you with our problems anymore.”

Surprisingly Aredhel spoke up against his plan. Though Logon on the other hand was quick to jump in with a counterargument.

“My lady! We will need those clothes and provisions. If any traveling soldiers spot us we will be done for.”

He saw the bigger picture and knew that they still required help. When someone saw two beautiful elves and a large half-orc in a loincloth they would surely approach them. With a high enough identification skill or a body search their true identity would be revealed. Then running or battle would be the only option.

Roland was fine either way, but if he was in their shoes he would probably take him up on the offer. The only reason he would turn the favor away would be if he suspected foul play.

Even though these four spend some time together battling monsters and watching each other's backs, they were still strangers. They couldn’t be 100% sure if Roland wouldn’t double-cross them.

He could very well go to the village where the survivors from the caravan were and come back along with some soldiers. The only reason they trusted him was because he removed their slave collars, but he could have done that just to survive.

“You are right… but we shouldn’t rely on Mr. Carmine's goodwill so much… but it would be reassuring if he continued to aid us...”

Logon managed to convince Aredhel to go along with the previous plan.

‘These two sure don’t seem to be doubting my motives though and the third one…’

He looked over to Golgrim who had stopped swinging his weapons around and was now picking his nose. Roland was just in time to see the mass of muscles swallow a booger which made him cringe.

‘Yeah, that one is a lost cause. Hope I’m not being paranoid here but I should probably think about some contingencies...’

Roland had his own reservations about these three, they two could still try to double-cross him after he gave them the food and clothes, along with some money for the mana stones.

“I also think we should visit the village first, you can decide after I return. Think if we stick to the trees we all can get closer.”

The party decided to journey forward. Just as Roland proposed they strayed from the main dirt road and kept to the forest while being vigilant. There were no dangerous monsters in this forest, only some animals. In a couple of hours, they arrived at the town outskirts with luck on their side.

They had a safe spot to examine the situation before they entered. Logon took it upon himself to climb a tree. What he saw out in the distance wasn’t anything good though.

“What do you see?”

“I can see some carriages, the people from the caravan are there but…”


“There are others… it looks suspicious, I can’t see any farmers or villagers. They are also wearing armor.”

Roland and Logon exchanged some information before he himself decided to climb up a tree. He was quite good at this thanks to doing a lot of tree climbing in his youth. He noticed what the elf meant when he saw the situation.

What he saw was armed men walking around the village. He could somehow distinguish their armor from this distance. Thanks to his good memory he was also able to recognize similarities that this gear possessed.

He had seen similar looking leather armor that was unkempt on a certain group of people before. If he got closer he might have even been able to recognize some faces as he did get a look during the fighting.

“It’s those bandits, they have taken over the village.”

He could see some of the carriages and wagons from the caravan there. The robbers must have followed them here or this town already was part of their territory.

The problematic part in all of this was that he now couldn’t approach the village to get provisions. The next settlement was over a week away if they traveled on foot while fighting monsters on the way. That would still probably be a safer option than attacking the bandits here.

While deliberating about the next move he heard a scream coming from the village. Both he and the elf looked to the source only to see a person running. It was a woman that didn’t get far as soon enough she was tumbling on the ground with an arrow stuck in her shin. They looked as she was dragged back by a bandit into one of the shabby huts before silence took over.

‘They have hostages…’

It was now clear that this wasn’t a bandit hideout. They had clearly taken over it and the villagers were still there. Now a decision needed to be made, either help them or escape. The second option would probably be the easier one...

A note from Kuropon
First of all, I would like to thank everyone that has supported me throughout these months. It has been a strange year for me as I've started writing about a year ago at the end of November. Won't bore you with a history lesson of me bumbling around while managing a job and trying to keep up with a self-imposed writing schedule, I'll just get to the point.
I'll be taking a small two-day break for new years. The releases up to the 31st will be the same, so the Runesmith and Unfathomable Senior will both be posted on the 31st as scheduled. But I'll be taking a small 2-day break from that point which will push the schedule forward.
Normally Unfathomable Senior was scheduled to be released on 2.01.2021 and Runesmith on 3.01.2021 but the release days will be pushed to 4.01.2021 for Unfathomable Senior and 5.01.2021 for The Runesmith.
After that I will continue with the old schedule, just wanted to give you my readers and patrons a heads up. Hope that you won't get mad at me for taking a small break but I'm just feeling a bit tired writing every day.
Well then, see you all later!

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