“Is this thair new product?”
A group of dwarves were looking over some magical weapons again. This time around Dunan’s facial expression was extra grumpy as he examined a short sword.
“The craftsmanship haes improved, it seems that thair runesmith stopped making th' weapons himself.”
What he was looking at was a simple blade with a sharpness rune on it. Dunan handed the blade over to Bamur, who was their magical weapon specialist. The other dwarf injected some of his mana into the blade and it produced a nice blue glow.
While this blade was activated he retrieved another blade from the side. It was of similar shape and size but the magical markings on it looked to be larger. While the runic blade only had smaller runes closer to the hilt area the other one had long writings in an unknown language.
“Well, whit? Do ye want me tae acknowledge that mah weapon is o' lower quality?”
Bamur, slightly enraged, tossed the runic blade down to the floor which caused the other dwarves to quickly pick it up.
“Hey don’t damage th' sample, ah don’t wanna have tae git another one”
It had been a few weeks since the new Runesmith in town started distributing his wares. They hit the shelves and at first, the Dwarves weren’t worried. No one seemed to be buying them due to the higher price compared to the tried dwarven magical wares.
That all changed after one day.
“Greetings fellow people of the adventurers guild, could you lend me your ears!”
The rowdy adventurers that were bickering and looking at the mission board looked to the side. There a blond elven girl that they knew to be one of the guild receptionists was giving a speech.
“I’m not sure if you are aware but our guild will be hosting a presentation. Be sure to all come to the training area in the back as we will be starting in thirty minutes!”
Solana gave a wink at the crowd of manly men which made them shout out in unison. Some of them were quickly punished by their womanly companions that started kicking their shins.
“What is this about?”
“No idea? Should we stay? Not like we have anything better to do. How about it Rudy?”
Some of the adventurers that came back from missions shrugged and decided to see what all the commotion was about. This was something unusual as the guild rarely hosted any events.
Most of the time the most interesting thing were the tier 2 tests which mostly ended up in the new adventurers eating dirt. Though with one certain adventurer having done the same to an instructor the guild was swapped with more rank up requests than ever.
“I’m sure you are all aware of our own city’s Runesmith! You might have also witnessed him down in the dungeon, yes I’m talking about the gentleman in the crimson armor with a very gruff exterior!”
“Oh, red armor? Wasn’t it that person? We should go and see it, common Rudy!”
“Why are you in a rush Keira? The lady said that it’s going to start in thirty minutes.”
The raid-haired adventurer called out to his companion but was met with deaf ears. His party member was already heading out towards the area where the guild performed rank-up tests. The only thing that he could do was to shrug, finish this drink and move out.
“Where is she going?”
Rudy turned his head and saw his other party member, a larger male that was wearing full-plate armor.
“The guild is making some kind of presentation or something?”
He just shrugged as he had no idea what this was about.
“Oh, a presentation?”
A second girl with long jet black hair popped her head out from behind the larger man. Soon the three-headed outside and spotted her friend leaning over the wooden short fence that was supposed to keep people from opening the training field.
“Oh hey Sansa, look at who it is!”
Keira pointed into the distance and the other girl followed the finger. There she saw a handsome young man wearing some strange armor. His gauntlets had intricate runic designs which made him look more like the son of a rich merchant than an adventurer.
“Wait, is that? I don’t think I ever saw him without the helmet…”
“Yeah, it’s a wonder that he hides his face if he looks like that. If only our two could look like that”
Keira looked at Rudy and started shaking her head. The young man in question was taken aback by the act of blatant disrespect. When he looked at the person that the girl was pointing at, he could only admit defeat.
“A man’s face doesn’t matter, it’s all about spirit and conviction!”
The two girls looked at each other and started to chuckle.
“But wait, those runic patterns... “
“You’re a little slow as always Rudy, don’t you remember that time?”
The red-haired youth crossed his hands and closed his eyes as he contemplated. In a moment it dawned on him as he recalled a certain person in runic gear saving their lives. When they became trapped and surrounded by lizard men like monsters he came to their rescue.
“Finally remembered? If you’re slow like this, you’ll never stop being a noob!”
Ever since that little event, the party spread the word of the crimson adventurer saving their lives. This trend continued as this was not the only party that Roland had lent a helping hand during his travels down into the dungeon.
He was one of the few adventurers that was known for helping newbies out if he ever found them in troublesome situations. The word ‘noob’ was quickly taken up by the younger crowd as a slang word implying that someone was still green.
Soon people started to gather, the beautiful elven receptionist was quite good at bringing attention while her glasses-wearing friend remained silent for most of it.
“I see that quite a crowd has gathered, let us start the presentation then!”
Solana was the main presenter but next to her people could spot some familiar figures. One was the Runesmith that was known as Wayland. Next to him was another large man that was mostly known by his visits to the red-light districts.
The presentation started with Armand moving out into the ring along with the Runesmith. While Armand was wearing the usual gauntlets the man next to him only had a tower shield with him. At first glance, it looked to be a normal shield but if someone looked closely they would see runic patterns on the outside and inside.
“I’m sure that most of you are aware of the magical weapons but have you ever witnessed ones with more than one enchantment?”
“More than one enchantment?”
People started murmuring as something as a multipurpose weapon like Roland liked to create was not widely spread. The vast majority of adventurers used weapons and armor that only had one active spell.
Multiple buffing spells were easy to come by as they possessed a constant effect that didn’t need the user’s concentration. On the other hand, multi-purpose spells were rare and also troublesome to create for the crafter.
Not many people knew how to alter the runic or enchanting schematics to combine spells together. It might have seemed like an easy process for Roland but for people, without the debugging skill, it was already hard to create an intermediate grade rune.
Thus most were of the mindset that it was a fool's errand to go outside the specifications of the schematics that they received. Only when they reached higher echelons of their own craft would they start experimenting and then they would focus on fewer commercial spells.
With this, a large hole in the middle of the market was made. There were many lower-level enchantments that many craftsmen used to build up enough experience to move up into tier 3. Without many variations, there came no innovation and the adventurers were stuck with the same old weapons everywhere.
“Yes, please turn your gaze to our two handsome presenters.”
Solana shouted out as she motioned people to look to the guild training area. There Armand was glad to show a smile and wave at all the pretty ladies that were there. On the other hand, the man that was opposite him just shook his head around.
“Go home Armand you stupid drunk.”
"I hope your prick falls off!"
While people gave curious gazes to the fabled runesmith, Armand on the other hand started getting cussed out by some of the other adventurers. It seemed that most of them had run-ins with him that didn’t go too well.
“Screw you too, you want a piece of me? No wonder your party member left you if you’re this much of a momma’s boy.”
“Why you damn…”
“Please, calm down and let us resume with the presentation.”
The elven lady had to bring the attention back to herself as it seemed that a brawl could break out soon. It didn’t take much to imagine what might have happened between Armand and a few of the adventurers here. While the men were giving him deathly glares some of the women were blushing.
“Might I bring your attention to the shield that Mr. Wayland is holding there, it might look like your everyday enchanted shield but there is more to it than meets the eye!”
Soon the presentation started as Roland assumed a defensive position with the shield pointed towards Armand. After having a nice talk with his old friends Armand finally went into a battle stance. His fist started shining with some strange flame-like energy as he punched out.
His fist was met by a shield made of ice. The moment this fist of flames collided with it, its force was nicely dispersed and it looked like the shield did its intended purpose.
This wasn’t the end though, Armand moved back and they started from the beginning. This time around instead of flames his fist was covered by a transparent colorless energy. When it descended on the shield again the people were surprised that this time around the shield was not made of elemental ice but flames instead.
Armand was then seen moving back while waving his hand around to get the flames out. This made some of the men chuckle out and point with their fingers as they could see that their most hated foe was in some pain.
“As you have noticed the shield can switch between elemental spells but two is not the limit!”
Soon the shield shifted from flames to rock and then to wind which caused everyone’s hair to flutter. It was a nice presentation showing that this item could serve them through many types of elemental-based enemies.
“You might ask yourself, ‘Why would I use such an item if I can just use a mages enchantment instead?’ “
“But dear friends, how many times can you get an enchantment? Will there always be an enchanter on your journey? What if you encounter a foe that you didn’t prepare for? Will the little coin that you have saved be enough to cover that visit to a priest?”
Solana continued with her pitch as she listed a few things that would make a more costly multi-purpose shield a good investment.
“That’s all fine but what if that thing breaks? Will the other Runesmiths be able to repair a shield like that? I did work with one of those dwarves before, they don’t take kindly to change.”
One of the older adventurers shouted out his concerns. To him, the shield might have been a nice product but it didn’t seem to have longevity. Most of the enchanted gear was kept the same for a reason, this reason was repairs.
Working with runes was not an easy task. If the runes were destroyed too much, an unknown runic structure would be impossible to mend. Something unique like this would most likely be turned away and the person that bought it would only be able to repair it by the person that made it.
“That is a valid concern but Mr. Wayland will also be offering his services from now on. You may bring your runic items to him for repairs and improvement.”
Solana, knowing well that this was a true concern, tried to shift the attention elsewhere. The people looked at the person of interest that was standing there. He did not smile nor did he frown but instead he just nodded to confirm this claim.
While some people would be turned away by lack of repairs some more experienced adventurers didn’t see a problem with this. They understood that quality was hard to come by, if an adventurer found a good craftsman that they could trust they would not worry about long waiting times when it came to magical weapons.
While the presentation was over Solana continued to discuss a few concerns with the adventurers. The fabled Runesmith returned to the side as he was done with his part and was now hoping to return back home.
‘Finally, it’s over, hope they stop bothering me for a while.’
He was still in the middle of working on the tier 3 rune schematic that he was given. Even though his debugging skill was able to produce a better version of this rune he was not able to actually bring it to metal.
The way that these tier 3 runic pathways stacked over one another was not an easy thing to figure out. It was clear to him that there was some skill required to do this part but some skills could be discovered ahead of time. With enough testing, he might discover a way to produce these tier 3 runes and get this stacking skill just as he did get the cleansing one.
There was also a nice surprise that brought him back to his cheating days. It was possible to receive experience from scribing this schematic onto paper just like he did with his first rune.
He was rewarded with not only a large pile of experience but also an upgrade to his Runic Scholar title. With it, at the third stage, he would probably be receiving a nice boost to his next class change. The only problem was figuring out to produce these tier 3 runes before he actually reached this class level.
“E-excuse me, Mr. Wayland was it?”
While Roland was deep in thought he heard a female voice call out to him. When he turned to it he saw a group of four adventurers. One of the younger men had characteristic red hair and was eyeballing him for some reason. The girl that called out to him also noticed this and delivered an elbow to the youth’s side.
“Hey stop it, you idiot.”
“Agh, I wasn’t doing anything.”
“Uh, can I help you with something?”
Roland could not put a finger on it but he could swear that he saw this group of adventurers somewhere before. Even with his good memory, it was hard to piece the faces together as he came across many such youths when he went down into the dungeon.
‘Do they want to request some runic weapons from me? They don’t really look like they could afford them though…’
With an eye for gear, Roland could tell that these were steel grade adventurers. Even when they achieved the silver rank it would probably take a bit of saving up till they would be able to buy a pricey runic item.
“Ah yes, we didn’t get the chance to give our gratitude for saving us back then.”
“Yes in the dungeon, you saved us from certain death!”
After taking a good look at the group he finally recalled saving some newbies from a bunch of troglodytes. It wasn’t as hard to remember them as they did ruin his grinding session by activating the trap most people avoided.
“Ah yes, I see, glad that you are still alive.”
Roland was not sure what to say, the group of youths here was about the same age as his body was but he felt like an adult among high schoolers.
“How about we buy you a drink at the tavern?”
“I don’t really drink… I must apologize but I still have a lot of work to do, so I’ll have to excuse myself.”
He quickly shut the girl down as he had no time to be picking up new friends. Due to having to perform a presentation his social battery was running on fumes. Now he just wanted to get back home and return to his runic research.
The two girls pouted and looked saddened by his reply, the boys on the other hand looked relieved for some reason. Luckily Roland was able to get away from this event but soon he would be getting a lot more customers.