It was the dawn of the next day. After falling asleep in his bathtub he was greeted with some new problems. The monster egg had hatched and produced some kind of dog-like creature. If he had to describe it he would say that it was similar to a wolf puppy with long-standing ears and a longer snout.

The other characteristic thing about it was its tail that had a sharp ruby tip. This same tip was now slamming against one of his wooden chairs while the pup was wagging it around. After checking he also discovered that this child was a male.


He set the passed out half-dwarf on another chair. This guy had activated the trap at his door which shocked and paralyzed him in the process. It would take a few minutes till he could move again so he was nice enough to bring him inside for now.

“What will I do with you…”

While Bernir was indisposed Roland took a look down at the small animal. It was clear that this monster had gone through the imprinting process the moment it hatched from the egg. All of these monster eggs had different requirements for hatching. Probably with the increased heat of his hot tub and maybe the close proximity to him through the whole night it could have triggered the hatching process.

Some of the monsters that hatched from the eggs would see the first living being they come in contact with as their parent. This was the case for canine type monsters that went off of the smell the most.

“I don’t think I can sell you to anyone like this…”

Roland gave out a sigh while the ruby wolf puppy gave out a high pitched bark. The more he looked at the small animal the more it wiggled its behind, soon the ruby tip of that tail caused the wooden chair to give out and splinter. It was clear that this was a monster as a regular dog would not be able to exert this amount of strength.

“Hey stop destroying my house...bad dog!”

He shouted at the puppy that caused one of the chair legs to fly off into the distance. The abrupt shout caused the puppy to whimper while dropping its ears down.

“Don’t you look at me like that!”

The dog looked at him with his big eyes while whimpering some more, this caused Roland to back away. He was someone that actually liked dogs but animals weren’t allowed in his old apartment. Neither could he get one in this world while being on the run or working to further his craft and earn money.

This was quite troublesome even more as the dog started shaking around. Roland was wondering what this was about but the puddle that was forming under it made things clear. He quickly grasped the small puppy and started carrying it out of the house with a stream of urine following both of them as the small dog had quite the full bladder.

“Did you drink the bathwater or something?”

When he got outside with the little red puppy the little guy started barking frantically some more. Its ears stood at attention along with its tail as it saw the large space outside. Soon it was barking and running around with no worry in the world. It was a newborn pup so it was clearly eager to see the new world outside.

Roland had quite the large backyard that was fenced off so he wasn’t afraid that this small puppy would get outside. The problem was with the hidden runic mines buried in some strategic locations. There would be one dead puppy if it stepped on one.

“You’ll have to stay with me for the time being...”

He grasped it with his hand and carried it close to his armpit. The little wolf was then stuffed into a closet so it wouldn’t cause more damage. He himself got some water and a mop to clean the urine. The water was filled up with one of his magic wands that produced it. The problem was that he underestimated how long the half-dwarf would be out cold.

“Is that an enchanted item?”

Bernir was now sitting upright and looking as Roland poured water into a bucket with a magic tool.

“I guess it is, what of it?”

“Uh, nothing, it just has a unique design, and are those runes? D-did you perhaps make it?”

For some reason, he could see some sparkles appearing in Bernir’s eyes. It was as if he was looking at him as if he was some rare animal.

“No… what makes you think that?”

He tried to deflect the question but it seemed that his secret was out. Bernir kept staring at him with that strange look before shooting up to his feet. He quickly ran over to the bucket of water and then just as quickly dropped down to his knees and started bowing.

“Please, Sir. Take me in as your apprentice!”

“Huh? Apprentice? What are you on about?”

The surprise in Roland’s eyes was clearly visible as he looked down to the prostrating half-dwarf. The youth was also calling him sir even though he was only sixteen years old. Though looks were deceptive in this world as old people could look very young with enough vitality or some special skills.

“I’m a great worker! I can clean your house, cook, wash your clothes… and …”

Bernir started listing off things that he could do for him before quickly grabbing the mop that he brought over. He soon was cleaning the urine trail that the puppy created for him, scrubbing everything as if possessed by some kind of cleaning demon. Roland was quite astonished by how proficient this young man was at cleaning, perhaps he even had a cleaning skill that made things easier.

“I’m not looking for an apprentice… What could I even teach you?”

“But sir, you are Wayland the Runesmith, right?”

“The Runesmith?”

Roland’s heart skipped a beat the moment he was called a runesmith by Bernir. He was hoping to stay hidden from the world but he also knew that sooner or later people would associate the wares that he was selling in the auction house with him.

“What makes you think that?”

He asked while going to the side while wondering who was talking about his identity.

“I overheard some blacksmiths talking about new runic equipment in the auction house, I also saw Sir. Wayland deliver some items into the auction house. It really is surprising that you were actually the Runesmith yourself, think everyone thinks that you are just an apprentice working here. Don’t worry Sir, I’ll be sure to clear things out in the city and tell them everything!”


The half-dwarf was quite chatty while finishing up the cleaning. Apparently, he was the first person to put two and two together.


“Uh, I’d like that part to remain private… and stop calling my sir, I’m not that old. Uh… who do the people in the city think that I was?”

This farce had kept on for quite a long time, mostly because people didn’t think that a young man like him could be someone producing runic equipment. There just had to be some kind of craftsman working in the background and this was confirmed by Bernir here. Most people thought that ‘Wayland’ was him as a runesmith that for some reason liked playing around as an adventurer.

“But I don’t think many people know about you that much, everyone is concerned with their own things.”

“That might not be the case anymore…”

He murmured to himself while rubbing his chin, after the little fight he had in the adventurer’s guild his name would probably be starting to get known around the city. Wayland the adventurer and runesmith might become the talk of the town soon, even more now when he could finally produce deep steel and deep iron items semi-proficient.

This would probably be a good time for expanding his wares and earning more money but it also brought dangers with it. He was just one man, even though he was stronger now it would be hard to go against any organization alone. That depended on the people ruining things though, a thieves guild could be paid off and used for protection if a person knew the right people.

Roland wasn’t really part of Albrook’s inner workings. He had no idea who was running things in the background, the noble and city mayor were the obvious leaders but there was always someone moving in the background. Lucky for him the city was still developing and the auction house was safe for making business. The only downside was the steep margins that they charged for his wares.

If it was possible to hide his face for a bit more time he would use it to his advantage. There was no reason to give away all of his secrets, the problem was that Bernir here now also knew that he was Wayland and a Runesmith. The people from the adventurers guild probably knew this as well, he did show his face to the elven lady while getting his new card.

With how things were currently hiding might not have been an option. If he even needed to do that was still up to debate. It had been some time since he escaped from Edelgard and even longer since he left his old home. It might have been time to let all of this paranoia rest and move on with his life.

“Don’t worry Mr. Wayland, your secret is safe with me so please hire me as your assistant!”

Bernir started bowing his head once more, it was clear to Roland that this youth had lost a lot the day before. The party of adventurers he was working for was wiped away and this along with most of their belongings.

The half-dwarf had craftsman classes that he could see through with the help of his identification skill. He wasn’t sure why he would choose him as his master though, the half-dwarf clearly didn’t have a mage class which was needed if he wanted to become a runesmith. There apparently were some ways of gaining mana sense later in your life but they all required costly items or strange rituals.

“My assistant? I can’t teach you rune smithing, you don’t have the talent for it.”

“I’m aware Mr. Wayland but I only want to be a regular blacksmith like my father was before me. I can work on my own, I’ll even give you back the coins for the materials so please let me practice blacksmithing!”

It was unclear to Roland why this youth was so adamant in his resolve. It didn’t make much sense to him that he wanted to work for him. There were many other traditional blacksmiths in the city that were also dwarves.

He was mostly self-taught and could barely make intermediate grade armor and weapons. There wasn’t much he could teach this guy, he also had just leveled up from his smithing class so he wouldn’t really know much more than this kid.

“Shouldn’t you try the other blacksmiths first? How about gray…”

He wanted to mention some of the weapon shops and armor shops that would be better for the youth in the city but he was quickly cut off.

“I tried… no one would want to hire me…”

“They wouldn’t? Why?”

Roland was a bit surprised by this fact as the youth did have a good class distribution for a craftsman. Bernir would make a nice addition to any smithy and could probably be developed into a weaponsmith or an armorsmith soon.

“No one would want a half-blood like me…”

Bernir slumped his shoulders forward while dropping his head while silence filled the room.

“I see… I forgot about that…”

There was a certain ‘purity’ undertone in these lands. Humans, elves, dwarves, and all the other races somewhat looked down on anyone that was considered mixed. He wasn’t sure why this was the case with so many races around this world.

It seemed that intermingling would be something obvious and natural but reality here was different. The races would somewhat accept the mixed races but they wouldn’t allow them to prosper alongside them. At least not unless they showed their worth in one way or the other.

Roland had kind of tossed things like this into the back of his head. He didn’t really adhere to the social norms in this world as he liked living alone. His introverted tendencies only got worse with time but now it looked like he might have gained a potential helper. There was also the ball of energy that was barking furiously in his closet.

He decided to finally open it and could only see a red blur. It was clearly not used to its own body which caused it to collide with its new master’s leg. Roland just looked down after feeling a small impact against his shin. The ruby hound’s head collided with his leg sending shivers of pain down his spine.

The dog flopped on the ground with a wide opened mouth. Its tongue was right out and it was panting furiously. It clearly didn’t react to hitting Roland’s leg and causing him pain. This only made him want to punt this unruly dog out of his house. Though after looking at its silly face he wasn’t able to go with it and ended up just grumbling.

“Let’s forget about this apprentice nonsense, we should report to the guild about that rare boss. You will probably be able to keep the items of your old party members…ah… I apologize...”

Roland trailed off but stopped himself from continuing.

“It’s fine we weren’t that close, I wasn’t really part of that party…”

The moment of silence was quickly halted by more barking from the small monster dog. Which was then ended by Roland giving the big black nose a prod with his finger.

“Be quiet.”

Surprisingly the dog listened to the order while sitting down.

“Did it hatch from that Egg?”

“Yes, regretfully…”

“Why? It looks like it likes you, Mr. Wayland.”

Bernir smiled a bit while leaning down, he reached out towards the monster puppy while trying to pet it. The red wolf pup didn’t react in kindness though, it bore its teeth at the person trying to pet it while quickly hiding behind Roland’s leg. This caused the half-dwarf much pain as he felt something shattering deep inside his little heart.

‘I need to finish that guild quest... ‘

Roland gave out a sigh while his house continued to be invaded by foreign sources. He had been living here for quite some time now and the silence was the good part. Now he had a loud dog constantly barking and a half-dwarf that looked like he could jump off a cliff any minute now.

‘If I want to go to the guild I need to put my armor back on…’

He had disrobed and placed his armor down in his workshop. He had somehow been able to put it on the last time but it was a hassle to get all the straps in. While thinking about this he looked down at the sad Bernir.

“Bernie was it?... so you want to be my apprentice…don’t move from this spot, I’ll be right back… and keep that red dog in check.”

“It’s Bernir…”

The young man perked up at the mention of the apprentice role. He remained in the room he was in while Roland went away to fetch something and locking the door behind him as he exited.

The little red pup was quick to follow his new mommy but the way outside was blocked by the half-dwarf. The little animal started barking and biting while Bernir continuously tried to keep it from venturing further into this house.

While this was happening Roland was down in his true base of operations. He quickly packed up the armor pieces along with the arming jacket. If he was going to have a potential apprentice he would use his presence to the fullest. His secret was partially out in the open and the youth already saw his armor in action as well. This didn’t mean that he would show him how to enter his secret workshop.

After returning upstairs he found his living room destroyed. The chairs were all turned around and so was the table. He found Bernir wrestling with the small red dog on the floor which was surprising.

“What are you help me get this armor on and let us go back to the adventurer’s guild…”

He squinted at the two people while contemplating if it was such a good idea to keep both of them around here.


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