A certain runic craftsman was speeding back home with a large backpack strapped to his back. He was sitting on his runic bicycle to which people that were going back from the Dungeon farming still weren’t used to.

He had just gone through some of his savings to buy up crafting resources, most of them being from the top shelf and meant for people at the tier 2 classes. It wasn’t that easy to procure everything he wanted in just one day. After going back and forth several times and waiting a few days he was finally ready to give his new crafting skills a try.

Roland didn’t just sit on his hands through this time, while everything was being sorted out at the stores he was busy with his research. There was his new mending skill, he had tested its applications in combat.

It sounded really good at first, being able to repair runes on the fly was probably everyone’s wet dream that owned a limited use runic weapon. There was one big drawback, it just used up a massive amount of mana. Even with all the skills that allowed him to lower the requirements for any runic skills it took out quite a chunk.

It would certainly not be possible to just continually use this skill. There was also another problem, the runic structure degraded with each time it was mended. Roland attributed this to the skills low level. He gave it a test and after two uses a rune that was rated at ‘highest’ degraded to ‘high’.

There were some drawbacks but it would extend the uses of these runes during prolonged combat. While being a somewhat hybrid class like this Roland also intended to purchase any mana related skills that would boost his regeneration even further. The constant headaches he got when his mana ran low was something that he didn’t want to have to put up with anymore.

Then there was the upgraded version of his Runic Blacksmith’s Eyes that was the Runesmith Lord’s Eyes. The previous version only let him see some imperfections during crafting thus allowing him to be able to avoid or fix them during the crafting process. Now on the other hand this skill had more features while also retaining all of the previous benefits.

The most interesting characteristic of this skill was allowing him to peek at the inside workings of the runes. To someone new, it would look like some chicken scratch of strange symbols and numbers but he could tell that it was very similar to a programming language. Previously he was only able to work on the ‘hardware’ now on the other hand he was able to fiddle around with the ‘software’.

The strange symbols with time started making sense as they looked similar to computer code. With this skill active his runecrafting also evolved as he was able to alter this language. The biggest problem now was figuring out more of the commands that he would be able to use. His class change gave him some basics but most of it still remained to be checked.

For now, he was able to segregate this code into two sections. One was different and quite familiar to him as it was just magical language that a regular mana scribe would use for making magic scrolls. It looked like the runes also used this universal magic language in their structures but it was buried deep inside their software.

These spell structures were just regular basic spells. It wasn’t hard to figure out which parts he could copy and paste to get an effect. For instance, he was able to replace a spell structure that was for an easy light spell with one with a different color. The rest of the runic components were the same so it activated without a problem.

Previously he would need to find a corresponding rune and exchange the whole large component. Now on the other hand, he would be able to fiddle around with the code and alter it. This was possible on an already created magical item.

He had a good idea how to use such a thing in combat. If he placed a flame sword rune on his sword he might be able to change its elemental characteristic to something else. Through some changes in the coded spell, a flame sword could change into an ice sword. This would help him out tremendously against enemies with specific weaknesses.

If he ran into a monster that was resistant to fire he could just switch it to something else. It also didn’t require that much hammering and mana force to change the code, which made this plausible yet not that probable. There were certain aspects during combat that would make concentrating on changing runes quite hard. Exchanging runic code could potentially ruin the whole item if it was done in an unfocused state.

There was an option to get around that though. This would be by including more code in the rune from the start. He would need to just give a jolt into the runic system of which code he wanted to use. It would be similar to old programs from his world with pre-programmed commands. If he learned the in’s and outs of this magical programming language he might even be able to make a multi spell structure. Maybe he could switch between a massive array of spells while not having to cover his crafted items with so many runes.

While Roland’s head was filled with future research and innovations he finally arrived at his house. The backpack he was wearing was a spatial item and he needed it to be larger to insert more crafting materials into it.

After getting inside he placed his bike into his shed that he then closed up. While being here himself he wasn’t that worried if someone would try breaking in and stealing his stuff. Even less now after he crossed the tier 2 threshold. With the tier 2 boost that was above regular classes, he was already stronger than most adults in this world.

He made his way down into his workshop and started unpacking. Today he would be making a specific part of his armor, mainly the gauntlets. They would be made from a special monster leather glove that he would cover in deep steel. It wouldn’t quite reach up to his elbow as the part that covered the arms was separate.

Roland considered just purchasing a set of completed deep steel armor but the costs were quite high. This material was mostly sold with completed generic enchantments or runic ones that increased the price even more. He tried asking around but all the smithies were busy with their own work.

He would need to wait months even up to half a year to get a fresh suit of armor with no enchantments on it. Then also contend with erasing all the old enchantments which would cause loss of materials.

By making his own stuff he would also increase the levels of his skills. It was also good to train skills, with them maxed out there was a possibility for other class options being unlocked to him. Sometimes even some hidden skills required a certain skill to be at a given level before it became available.

This was also what he would be doing for a week or two. A person without any smithing skills would need a lot longer but with skills and eyes that told him where to strike it would be much easier. Though they were just fresh level 1 skills at the moment, Roland didn’t set his expectations too high.

This would be his very first combat armor that he would make and it would also probably be the worst one that he produced. The only good part about this was that he could fiddle around with the runic programming later without much damage to the prepared armor.

After pushing his reinforced door open with one hand he was now in his workshop. To the side was a board with a diagram of his new armor. It wasn’t anything special just regular looking plate mail armor that would need an arming jacket to go with it.

This type of armor would require a lot of belts and straps to attach to his legs. It would also have some unarmored spots behind him but he was mostly looking to protect his front side. He already dreaded the thought of putting it on and off by himself but he didn’t really have a working design for anything else. Maybe in the future, he could use some kind of magnet design where the armor parts would connect to each other by magical means.

It was finally time to get to work. Roland started taking out all the parts that he would need for his gauntlet design. Most of it consisted of thinner blocks of metal akin to sheet metal but slightly thicker. With the correct design in place, he would just need to cut it into the correct shapes and then attach it to the monster leather glove.

Something like this could be bought for cheap. There were many armor designs in this world that already had gone through a lot of changes. Each blacksmith always gave their own a slightly different design but in the end, it was mostly the same type of armor. Roland was planning to go with a flame design for his, it would go well with the crimson color that he liked to use.

After placing all the raw resources on the table he started grabbing the tools that he would be requiring. Some heating up in his runic forge would be required even with the thinner metal pieces. Deep steel was a lot harder to work with than regular steel and a lot more resistant. Without heating it up in magical flames to soften it up, it would be quite a difficult task.

The mana added a few strange qualities to the metals in this world, thus some old crafting methods went out of the window. Luckily he had a few modernized tools already prepared, punching holes was now a thing of the past as he built himself a nice drill.

Making the drill bits was a bit tedious and he also had to make some from deep iron and steel. The old slave collars helped with that part as he had melted them down to recycle them as some of his current tools. His new crafting hammer was also made from them.

Crafting the runes on this piece of armor would come last. It was slightly easier as the metal could be heated up without it being damaged even after it was hammered into shape.

After having prepared everything it was time to get to work. He put on his blacksmithing apron that he got cheaply off the market along with his protective goggles. Thanks to his smithing eyes he wouldn’t need to draw out the shapes on the metal during the cutting process. This skill somehow allowed him to see the diagram that he was currently working on and be able to follow it.

This time around he wouldn’t need any heavy-duty scissors or chisels to cut up the metal. He had a somewhat modern saw already prepared. It didn’t look like much at first glance as it was a thicker piece of metal with a side circular saw connected to it. It had a wire at the end that connected to his generator room.

After giving it a little jolt with his own mana the runic circular saw activated without a problem. This model looked similar to its modern counterpart but it lacked any buttons. It also had a blade guard made from metal that protected his fingers from being sliced off.

The piece of thinner metal that was heated up in the forge was placed in a vice. Following this Roland started cutting into it to get the proper shape that was needed for the gauntlet finger parts. Soon many small pieces of cut deep steel were being placed on a side workbench.

Before working on them more they would need polishing. Even with the modern saw, there were sharp edges left here and there that needed to be smoothed out. For this, he could use his grindstone that had also been connected to his generator. He was already ahead with his work by not needing mana on these runic power tools.

The next step was bending the pieces that would be later fitted onto the fingers of his gauntlet. For this he needed a metal bending jig, this consisted of a pipe that was cut in half and another one that would be pushed down into it. Roland needed to place the metal cutouts into this bending jig and press them down with the other pipe to bend.

Before doing this he also needed to heat them up as deep steal wouldn’t be that easy to get into shape. If something was out of shape, he would use his ball-peen hammer. The round side of the hammer could also make spherical shapes and could be used instead of the bending jig.

This was quite a lengthy process as there were ten fingers that he needed to fill. With now being independent there was no rush though, he could spend as much time as he needed. Without having to rush to level up now he could take it slow. The next class change could be taken in another 24 levels when he hit level 100. There was also an option to max out this class to level 50 before that, which he would probably be doing as it was some kind of rarity.

With more time passing he was finally done with all the small pieces, now came the drilling part. Previously he would have to punch holes through the pieces via his hammer but now he had a working drill. With it, the holes were more even and they wouldn’t bend the smaller metal pieces during a badly placed hit.

Now came the riveting part of the construction. He took out one of the prepared leather strips from the side and placed one of the metal pieces on it. What he needed to do here is connect all the parts that would be the fingers together on this leather strip. This was done by punching holes through the leather strip and the previously cut out holes. When finished the gauntlet would have a somewhat scale patter.

What he now had was something that looked like an armored finger. This he would then place on the leather glove and attach it by rivets as well. He just had to connect it by the holes that were on the fingertip and the end of it. After connecting all of those he would have something that already started resembling a metal gauntlet.

Once the finger and thumb pieces were done, it was time for the last phase, the hand. With his diagram, he still had to shape seven plates of metal for the hand part and also for the vambrace. This would also require a lot of bending and riveting.

On the end of the vambrace, he would rivet in a flame design. On it, there would be premade sockets for his mana stones to go in. They would be both wedged in by force and also glued in by the special alchemist glue that would keep them in place.

This took quite a bit of time and was also a good learning experience for someone that mostly made weapons instead of armor. In the end, he had one of the gauntlets ready for some runecrafting. His whole armor set would have fire resistance put on it as a priority. He knew that below the 10th floor there was a somewhat volcanic section. This with some chilling runes on some parts would help him last through the heat. Even though he had heat resistance now, having more wouldn’t hurt.

Roland placed the half-finished gauntlet to the side. It had taken him a whole day to get here and there was still some work left. He was certain that the left gauntlet would take him a lot less time. The lack of skill progress during this proved that it was a lot harder to level up those tier 2 skills.

After pushing the door open he headed over to the kitchen. There, a pot with water was waiting for heating up. His stove was also running on heating runes so he was saving a lot of money on resources like coal and wood.

While resting he looked outside his window, the moons were already up in the sky. It was one of those times where old memories flooded back. He had been living in this world for over ten years now. The cult that could potentially be after him still lingered in the back of his mind, this along with the strange events concerning the soldier that almost killed him when he was ten.

‘I wonder what those three are doing…’

He thought back to his first adventurer party that were the first people that were actually nice to him. About five years had passed since then. Their time together was quite short all things considered, so he wasn’t sure if they even remembered him.

‘I wonder if they really think that I died…’

Now he thought back to the old Arden estate. He didn’t really feel like a member of that family, the child's body that he was inhabiting had some sentiments towards it though. These had slowly been going away with time though now it felt like a dream that had long past.

“Think I should take a bath and go to bed, I’ll work on the armor tomorrow.”

He tossed all these old thoughts back where they were before. It wasn’t the time to think about old things that had already passed. It was time to move forward, getting this tier 2 class was only the beginning...


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