Volume 4 Chapter 26
Having remembered that I had received an invitation from Zeni Geba to visit his blacksmith company, I decided to head there. It seems to be the 2nd biggest blacksmith company coming after the Iron Brain’s company. On top of that, it seems to be the most earning blacksmith company. One can feel his talent and resolution from it.
The exterior of the building was completely different from those surrounding it. It was close to the nobles’ city but was not even inferior in quality from the nobles’ buildings. It reflected Zeni Geba’s business policy.
“It’s been awhile since we were alone together, huh?”
Because Iris said such startling things, I ended up stumbling as I was getting off the carriage. It’s a result of my usual training that I did not fall…. Well, I do not actually do any training so it’s probably my luck? I didn’t do any good deeds either so….. Coincidence it is.
Iris has an off day today.
Rahsa seemed busy recently so I took her out. Unusually, even prince Arch wasn’t with Iris. There’s no way that person is not aware of Iris’ off days…. Did he have that much of an emergency?
“It somehow doesn’t feel like a smithy, does it?”
They seem to have a few branches but the building in front of our eyes, the main shop, was as Iris said, not like the usual smithies I know. Even if someone were to tell me this was a jewel shop, I would believe it. It is surely filled with soot deep within but the entrance and outward appearance are no short of beautiful.
“Oya, if it isn’t The Great Dancer. You came. And the person along you also seems like a true dancer, a lively, pretty lady.”
As we entered the shop, we met Zeni Geba at the counter, calculating money. As his alias suggests, it seems he is good at counting money. His hair was back-brushed, making him look like a 30 year old intellectual. He was looking exactly as he did at the meeting.
Handing over work to the employees, he came to welcome us. What a nice person.
“Good gracious, I had thought a lot of customers are coming today but this is quite the important customer.”
“Well, we are not customers, though.”
He said he would show me something interesting so I decided to come. I also told that to Iris.
“To me, customers are everyone who will bring me profit in the future. As long as it is possible you will give me good inspiration, to me, you are a customer.”
“I see… But, today, I think we will be the ones gaining. You did say you will show me something rare.”
“Yes. I have it prepared. Or rather, it is a project I have been working on for quite a while. I wanted to show that to you.”
I feel like he just gave a daring smile. As someone like him is saying that with confidence, I feel like I can look forward to this thing he wants to show me. Talking about rare things, there’s also one more of those. It seems like Iris also has quite a bit of interest in this field. Her eyes looking at the goods on display are somewhat different from the normal person; They are shining. Now then, I wonder if she found anything worth.
We were guided to the guest room. They even got us some high-quality tea.
All of these facilities wouldn’t be at a normal blacksmith. You could even call it a miracle if you are served tea.
“It does seem like you have a lot of customers who are nobles. Are all these facilities made for nobles?”
“Yes, you are correct. I think the age of judging a battle from one’s strength has already become old. One of the reasons we are prospering is because we destroyed that old concept.”
If you have time to worry about the shop’s appearance then you should be polishing your skills!–It looks like there are a lot of those stubborn blacksmiths who would say that and consider this as heresy but since it is succeeding, I guess there is not one single right way of going about it.
“The days where one needs to use a sword everyday is limited. Most of the nobles prefer the looks rather than the good or bad parts of the sword. There are also some who think it disgraceful to walk in dirty shops. Our shop also meets those needs. Well, we don’t have any product which is not up to the mark, though.”
I felt like the things this person talked about made sense. There are also quite a lot of people wanting such a shop. It was a good experience, getting to hear senpai’s opinion but… It is a little different from the kind of work I want to do.
I want to make something which would be worth of being called the ‘real thing’. Even if it’s high priced, I want to make something which would be passed down generation after generation. Even if the swords do not have shining ornaments or decorations, I want to battle with things which the right person will understand. I wonder if that also makes me a part of the blacksmiths with the old way of thinking.
“It looks like The Great Dancer would not like this path.”
“Did it show on my face?”
“No, but I am good at perceiving my customer’s mood. Looks like your companion also does not like it. I think it would be pretty popular to women, though…”
Iris is also not satisfied? Even though she was looking at the products so passionately. Zeni Geba was certainly a big business man, being sharp in that sense.
“No, I think I like Kururi’s swords more.”
I really love that honest part about her but it makes me kinda nervous if that is said before the person in question.
As expected of you, Iris-san.
“Yes, in terms of quality, I think The Great Dancer is undoubtedly above me. Among the Ten Excellence, I think I am at the bottom. But, people have different sense of values and there are more of them saying my swords are the best. I can just do my business with people like that. And so, you don’t need to feel sorry, The Great Dancer.”
Looks like my feelings are totally being read. Even still, he is such a light person. Normally, I think it is pretty natural for one to be a little upset if their skill is doubted.
“You see, I don’t have such a soft heart to be hurt by every single thing I hear. But the reason I have been able to climb this high is also because I do not like losing. No matter how much money I earn, I, too feel like looking from the top as a blacksmith. But, it is also a fact that I can already see my limit.”
“Something like that…”
“Does exist. However, I also do not think it is impossible to cross it if one uses their head. The rare thing… which I wanted to show you, is the answer to that.”
Zeni Geba’s face was lively all the way. His secret, the rare thing which he wants to show me..
“From here on, we will enter the secret area. It is still not known to the public.”
Deep, deep within the shop, we were guided in. I did think it was a big shop but exactly how many doors have we crossed till now?
We arrived at a place which, at a glance, looked like a normal smithy. I could not spot anything worth calling a secret.
“There is no secret in the place. It is what we are doing, me and three other disciples of mine. That sword you see over there, do you not have a weird feeling when you see it?”
There was a completed sword hung on the wall.
What is different…. Ah, is it….
“”There is magic flowing in it?””
Iris and I both noticed together. There was magic flowing within that sword.
“Yes, exactly. As expected of nobles, you know magic well. There is magic flowing in it. Why? Because there is a magic gem inserted in it.”
“A magic gem in a sword?”
I don’t know that much about magic gems but I do understand that they are worn. Inserting that in a sword? Sure, it is quite rare.
“I realized my limits faster than anyone else. Now when I look back at it, that was probably better. With my skill, it is impossible to surpass the Iron Heart or the other members. But, that is only if we walk the same path.”
“From what you are saying, is a sword with magic flowing in it that strong?”
“Yes, it is that strong.”
He took the sword which was hanging on the wall and another normal one.
The normal one’s quality seemed better. He collided them with each other. The one which broke and went flying was…. The normal one. Even though it was supposed to be better in terms of quality.
“This is the power of a sword with magic flowing in it. You could tell which one was better in terms of quality, right? But as you can see, this is the result.”
“…..How do I say this.. It’s amazing. It really is amazing. Not only in business, you seem to be a genius in smithing as well.”
I am honestly surprised. To think something like this existed. And Zeni Geba’s imagination which thought this up is also something else.
“But, was it okay showing it to us? You haven’t even commercialized it yet.”
“I do not mind. Of course, you are free to make it when you go back. However, I think you can’t make something worthy of selling at all.”
“Is there some sort of a secret to it?”
“Of course. There is the need to create a magical circuit inside the iron–but that, is the hard part. You will understand if you try. When this is commercialized and is out in the market, there will probably be a lot of blacksmiths who will come to this path. And, even in this field, someone will overcome me. Especially someone like you. However, that is okay in itself. That is my limit, after all. What is important is my name will be left in history as the person who made this magic sword, and that is all that matters.”
I see. Leaving his name as the inventor…
Certainly, he has not been able to make that good of a sword with it and so if he hurriedly tries to commercialize it, that might not be good. If there is an amazing, regular sword which is as good as it is, it will not be taken seriously.
Only after it surpasses the best sword currently available will it bring meaning. And so, as I can’t get into that field for a while, he felt it was okay to let me know.
“Is this the best sword you could make at the moment?”
I looked at the lively magic sword which destroyed the other one.
“This is not the best per se but in the first place, it is difficult to make them usable so this in itself is quite good.”
He snapped his fingers and after awhile, a young employee came in with a sword. I wondered if it was one of the disciples who know how to make the magic sword.
“This is what my disciple made. Magic is flowing in it but…”
He showed us by swinging the blade. After a few swings, the sword snapped. There was a huge difference between this one and the one he showed earlier. If it snapped just by swinging in the air, it can’t really be practically used.
“Even my disciple took three years to make this. It is that difficult. There is no one except me who can make one which is usable.”
To think it took even longer than the time I spent training under my teacher.
This is the best disciples result.
“Have you been doing it for 3 years as well?”
“I am doing it for about 4 years now. After I got to form a shape in my mind, I also told my disciples. It was after 3 years I was able to make something usable. I am working on increasing the quality now. If I am able to make a sword with magic circuit and use all my skills on it, I can rise up to the top at once. Don’t you think so?”
I do. It is an amazing technique. I also got excited. I also want to try making one as fast as possible. To think there still was something as amazing as this. I wish I came earlier. I can’t help it now, though. Instead of regretting, I should be thankful I met him now.
“You will surpass me one day. But, I will take the lead for these few years. Of course, my disciples might also lead.”
“Um, can I take my leave now?”
“Ah, you must be wanting to go and start making one right away.”
“Iris, sorry. And so, I would like to go back right now, is that okay with you?”
I am so sorry to her for bringing her and then even leaving for my convenience. But, Iris permitted it with a smile.
“I like that side of Kururi more. That lively side. Can I also be present while you make that magic sword?”
We hurried back. On the way back, I purchased some magic gems from the store Rahsa introduced me to. A magic gem which will increase sturdiness. It is normally worn to protect oneself from wounds but I will use it to increase the sturdiness of a sword.
After coming back to the castle, I realized, ‘Is there even a smithy here?’ and so when I asked Supatifila-san, she answered that there is one. There is? That is surprising.
“Don’t tell me, Kururi-sama is going to work?!!”
“What is with that super unexpected overreaction….”
“Kururi-sama will do work while Iris-sama is having a day off?!!”
“You don’t need to reaffirm it. Also, don’t compare with Iris.”
When compared with Iris, majority of the human race will be considered lazy.
The smithy at the castle was needlessly huge and clean. It isn’t used much, is it?
I lit the fire. After finishing the maintenance of all the tools, when the place was starting to warm up, I started processing the iron and magic gem.
The magic gem’s magic easily enters a person’s body but it seems like it has a characteristic which makes it difficult to insert into inanimate things. And iron among all things, was unexpectedly more incompatible. However, there are rare metals, which would let the magic flow easily. There is a need to use those as materials and that is quite bothersome.
That rare metal is actually fragile, making it harder to process and on top of all that, is more likely to become rusty. It is famous for being scrap iron. If one were to buy it, it would be with really low amount of money.
To do this, I will need to make it by mixing two irons, this one with the magic flowing in it as the core, and the better one on the outer layer.
And this mixing seems to be quite a hard task to accomplish since it took Zeni Geba 3 years to complete.
Now then, let’s see how long it will take me. Let’s go about it patiently. I am sure I will be able to complete it one day, as well.
I went on forging the iron which will have the magic flow through it as the wick. Next, I pound a higher quality metal on top. As of now… it was somehow going quite smoothly.
The blade’s forging was done and all that was left was to connect the body. After creating a place to insert the magic gem in the body and putting it in, it will be complete.
…..Certainly, it is quite difficult…. But, I feel like I was able to put out about 80% of my skill. But, if I take the magic into account, isn’t there no difference between this and the ones I normally make?
No, that is surely not it. It won’t go that well.
Finishing something in 1 day that took Zeni Geba 3 years to finish is certainly not possible.
“This is from my amateur eyes but I think it is made really well.”
Iris, who had been watching over closely, had said after I completed the sword.
Haha, you really are an amateur. Of course it can’t go that well. I am a chick among chicks in this field. Cheep cheep. In a situation where even the husk of the shell is not broken. Ahh, I see. You are trying to make me feel good. But was Iris someone who would do that?
“I don’t think it is that good. I just put my hand on it, not even an amateur.”
“Really? It looks really good, though…”
You will compliment me that much?
Right, I will know once I use it.
It might break into pieces after one swing. No, that is probably what is going to happen. Surely, even Iris will accept that.
……No matter how many times I swung, it didn’t seem like it would break. Arere? That is weird.
This is really weird. I am starting to sweat.
“Doesn’t seem like it will break.”
I mean, after all, the more I swung, the more it got accustomed to the magic and was increasingly shining?! This is not good.
Right, I will know once I use it in a real battle. It is definitely not something which can be used yet.
I will know once someone uses it.
But before that, I can’t make someone use inferior goods so a little test. I exchanged some blows with Iris with the magic sword while she was using one of the guards’ sword. I can’t make Iris use such an incomplete product so I should use the magic sword.
…….I ended up breaking it to pieces. The guard’s sword, that is. Ah, I need to compensate. What is this sword? It is too much of a sword, I am scared.
Barely–Really barely, seems like it can be used in practice. However, I am pretty sure it’s resistance is no good. Yes, that’s right. I just made one sword after all. There’s no way I would be able to make such a good one right from the start.
I headed to the hunter Galdomira-san whom we met during our first monster hunt. I decided to grant him the sword I made awhile ago for free.
“Oh? You sure? Or does it come with some shady history?”
“It isn’t something like that. Please use it to your fullest and let me know your thoughts later. That is all. But, I am sure it will be useless pretty soon.”
“What? I don’t quite understand properly but from the looks of it, it doesn’t seem bad. Swords are consumable goods, I am grateful. I will let you know my impressions after using it.”
It will probably be complaints instead of impressions, though. Well then, I look forward to your complaints.
………, After a few days, what came was, ‘It is amazing!! That sword is amazing!! Too amazing!!!’ such a letter which was half-filled with ‘amazing!!’. He also asked if it was really okay for him to have it but I gave it to him so it’s no problem there. I can’t tell him to give it back now. But, there should be some fault. I just replied saying I don’t mind if he is really careful while using it.
…….I can’t stop sweating. This is weird, everything about it is weird.
Ah, right, it’s probably the beginner’s luck. Surely. No doubt. That is it.
After that, I got news from Zeni Geba.
‘Since it is you, you have probably been forging since that day, right? Won’t you let me see the results?’. Actually, I got scared after that and didn’t make any.
‘So you only worked one day….’ muttered Supatifila-san and that was the end of it.
Right, I probably can’t make it properly the 2nd time. Besides, Zeni Geba can probably find flaws when I show it to him.
“Alright, I will make one more.”
“At last. Kururi, you were kinda scared after that so I am happy you are resuming.”
I was afraid? Well, there certainly were some waves in my feelings.
When I said I would go to the smithy, Supatifila-san almost fainted.
“Don’t tell me, you are going to work again?!!?”
What does she think of me? She probably thinks no more of me than a good-for-nothing who luckily got close to her respectable master.
Calming myself down, I tried making my second magic sword.
Certainly, it was quite difficult….
…….Arere? This is weird… I was able to put most of my skills into it?!!
It would be a pretty good sword even if magic wasn’t flowing in it?!! This!! If I consider magic flowing in it, isn’t this the very best sword I have made up till now?!
No, that is probably my misunderstanding. Yes, I should hear Zeni Geba’s opinion on it.
His hands were shaking. He was even leaking a groaning voice. His nose was dripping. His feets were trembling. He couldn’t stop trembling and hold back his groan, with his nose still running, he said,
“Amazing….. But, you still have ways to go!”
“Right. I still have ways to go, right?”
“……..This sword, can I have it? No, I will properly pay for it.”
“Ah, no. I received the idea from you so please have it. It isn’t something I can sell yet either.”
“So this is not something you can put on sale….. A sword with high sturdiness. If we were thinking in terms of that, I don’t think a sword like this exists in this world…”
His hands were shaking. He was even leaking a groaning voice. His nose was dripping. His feets were trembling. He couldn’t stop trembling and hold back his groan. Also, his nose was still running.
There isn’t another like it?”
But that shouldn’t be the case…
If that’s so, then isn’t it perfect for the knights leader? But, I still don’t understand. How was I able to do it so well? Honestly, I, myself, might be losing sight of my own talent the most.
And so, I came to know later that–
Talent is something which has a kind of poison in it.
That is probably how it is to others.
I shouldn’t have shown that sword to Zeni Geba. And if so, what do you want me to do?
At the end, I was not able to believe in myself. If I had believed in myself and did not cling to his words, I wouldn’t have made him go mad……