~ Chapter 98: The troubles of a blacksmith (Part 2) ~
That relic was something every single blacksmith in Trindania knew of and wished to get their hands on. Unfortunately, it wasn't that easy. The hammer was enchanted so that only those worthy could lift it off the ground and wield its tremendous blacksmithing power.
In order to do so, one had to step into the bowls of Urugudu while its flames were ravaging inside. For any normal dwarf, this was madness, but to me, it could soon become reality.
I for one didn't wish to grab hold of the hammer as much as I wish to confirm its existence with my own eyes, but to do this, I would need a bit of help.
Thus, I waited patiently until the dragonesses recovered and went to negotiate with his Majesty, Emperor Mush'Nomv'Azer.
First of all, the three dragonesses presented themselves in front of his Majesty on the second day after they completed the ritual. There was no way to move either of them until they woke up, and the one with golden scales wasn't at all happy with how the red dragoness kept drooling over her in her sleep. I for one wouldn't even have had the courage to get close to such a fearsome beast that with one snarl could bare a huge row of sharp fangs at me.
The award ceremony began with the three of them presenting themselves in front of his Majesty, who then announced before all tribe leaders that they were now part of Trindania. As such, they could now be proposed to by a dwarf, buy a house on this continent or even start a business. At the same time, our laws protected them just as much as they made them responsible for their own actions on our lands.
To us dwarfs, this declaration of his Majesty accompanied by the Nundaba Ritual's success was akin to having the great spirits themselves vouch for them. There was no greater honor than this an outsider like them could receive, but it was a well-deserved reward, in my opinion.
The ceremony than continued with each of them receiving a symbol of their success, a hand-carved totem made by his Majesty. It was beautiful and enchanted to last for a very long time. Using it, they could now enter and leave Trindania as they pleased. It was their free pass into our Empire.
Upon leaving the Audience Room, they were escorted by his Majesty to the ball room, where a lavishing buffet awaited them. It even had those tasty crispy snails and fried spiderlings among its delicacies. While I did enjoy their crunchy taste, the dragonesses steered away from them. On the other hand, they ate a lot of Hanba meat and various fruits. Each one of them ate as much as an entire dwarf family, and they could hold their liquor too! Even his Majesty was surprised by their insatiable appetite.
So, while they were enjoying the party, I grabbed a plate of fried spiderlings and approached his Majesty, Emperor Mush'Nomv'Azer.
“Old friend, I almost didn't see you there! Where have you been hiding?” he asked me as soon as he laid eyes on me.
“Here and there, your Majesty. The smell of fried spiderlings and crispy snails lured me in from my humble abode in the forge.” I showed him a cheerful smile and then munched on a spiderling.
The taste of the fried critters was absolutely divine, but meeting one of them after they reached adulthood was terrifying. These little things could grow to be as big as one meter in length from fangs to spinnerets.
“There must something more, Andu'Yang'Ores, after all, you aren't the type of dwarf who enjoys sneaking around parties like this?” the dwarf showed me a smirk and grabbed a spiderling from my plate.
“I can't fool yer eyes, my friend. Yes, I came all the way here to meet'em and ask if they would be kind enough to assist me in a small endeavor.” I told him as I let my accent slip, but it mattered not.
“What sort of endeavor?” he asked as he popped the spiderling in his mouth.
“Remember the Great Forge Urugudu?” I asked.
“Yes, I heard its bellowing flames have sprung back to life.” he nodded.
“Indeed they have.” I nodded “And with the forge's resurrection, the Hammer of Umidaba can be reclaimed, if the legend is to be trusted that is.” I told him and offered him another spiderling.
“The Hammer of Umidaba? That's the legendary item us dwarfs have been dreaming of reclaiming for centuries now. Do you really think you can get it?” he asked me with a serious look in his eyes.
“No, but I wish to catch a glimpse of it. If I can confirm its existence, then maybe... well, just maybe a youngster in the future can claim it as his own.” I replied with a wry smile.
“Hm, you should have more confidence in yourself, you old fool. I believe you are quite suited to claim the hammer as your own.” he smiled and patted me on the left shoulder.
“No, your Majesty, I believe I am unsuited for it. There are many others with plenty of experience besides me, for example... the young man who made those dragonesses their armors and weapons.” I said and then pointed at the silver-scaled one who was talking with the red-scaled one.
“Hm, are they that impressive?” his Majesty asked.
“Absolutely!” I nodded.
“Still, he is not a dwarf. As far as I'm concern, Andu'Yang'Ores, you are the best dwarf blacksmith in Trindania! Your skill is unmatched, therefore it is only right for you to wield that hammer not a foreigner! You should have more confidence in yourself! Ah, why don't I ask Princess Elleyzabelle if she can lend us her two knights for this task? I might need to cough up something else. Hm, that Celestium-Zaradin alloy dust she mentioned earlier could do the trick.” he said as he rubbed his beard.
“What would she want with that useless thing? The alloy itself is only good if it's been forged as an item. Having only some dust of it doesn't help with anything. Even if she were to request it in large quantities, reforging it is always painstakingly difficult as well.” I said.
“I don't know what she needs it for, but she appeared to be quite interested in it. I will let her know and see what she replies.” he said with a smile and then walked towards the group of dragonesses.
Hm, I wonder what you call a group of dragons or dragonesses? A flock maybe? I thought to myself as I went back to eating my fried spiderlings.
While the Emperor was talking to them about this silly request of mine, I looked around the ball room at the other tribe leaders who assisted at the whole ceremony. The human women were also here, but they stayed in the back, away from the center of the party. They were all smiles and giggles while talking with some of the guests here. The bonds created between them during the time of the revolution were sturdy and tested through the muck of battle. It was a big difference when compared to the dragonesses who had just finished the Nundaba Ritual.
The dwarfs in general weren't the most social bunch as hard years of tyranny made it harder for them to open up even to those around them, let alone outsiders. That was why a sight such as this one was a rare thing to behold no matter where you searched in the entire Trindania Empire, but with the recent changes and a bit of goodwill from the spirits, it would hopefully become a common one in the future.
To be fair, back then it was a bit difficult to trust your own neighbor when most parents were afraid of being brought before the soldiers by their own children. The main reason why most of us chose to fight in this rebellion was to have the freedom to talk and smile when we pleased without fear of being tossed in jail or killed on the spot. The dwarfs fought because they wanted to be free and the Human Heroes who popped out of the blue came just at the right time to grant us this dream.
Then again, who was I to speak my mind on such matters? As a blacksmith, I often found myself neck deep in sooth with a hammer in my hand and loud banging in my ears, not arguing about politics in the plaza.
But being a blacksmith was no excuse to turn a blind eye to the suffering of my kin. That was why I joined Mush'Nomv'Azer in his rebellion to take down the former King, Amezer'Davos'Eldra. To my surprise, the deeper I got into this business, the more I saw how much the dwarfs hated this royal bastard. So much, in fact, that the majority of them requested the former King's name to be erased from all of our history.
This was why it was so easy for the dwarfs to follow on the declaration of the old King's erasure. They were the ones who wanted this in the first place, not the current Emperor as we told these dragons.
About half an hour later, when I was starting to feel the liquor numbing my nerves, I saw Mush'Nomv'Azer approach me. He was showing me a smile from ear to ear.
I know that look. I thought.
That was his 'I got a better deal than I had expected' look, but which for me was also the 'You owe me' look. Last time he approached me like this, I ended up wasting all of my metal on average swords and armors for his army. Well, average for my skill, but he didn't have to request for me to use only Zaradin alloys for them. I literally shed tears when I saw the precious metal being used to make something like that! My honor as a blacksmith had been soiled!
“Well?” I asked as I placed my tankard on the nearby table.
It was empty anyway.
“Good news, my friend! They agreed to help you retrieve your hammer if you can spare some Celestium-Zaradin alloy dust infused with ancient dwarf magic!” he said in a cheerful tone of voice.
“You idiot.” I slapped my forehead with my own palm and let out a groan of pain.
“Huh?” the idiot Emperor was looking at me as if he didn't know what he had just promised them.
“How could ye make a promise on something we DON'T have?!” I asked him with a twitching cheek.
“We don't?” he furrowed his brow.
“No. The only thin' that can make a Celestium-Zaradin alloy is a Grand Legendary Blacksmith Hammer, a tool I would give me own arm to have!” I rebuked.
Ah, me accent is slipping. I thought, but chose to ignore it.
“Like the Hammer of Umidaba?”
“Yes, like the Hammer of Umidaba, but that's just a legend.”
“So if you had it?” he pressed.
“I would make'em a whole ingot of the darn thing.”
“Wonderful! Then I will let them know to prepare. Tomorrow is good, right? Yes, it's good. Wait for them tomorrow morning at the Ancient Great Forge Urugudu!” and so he said as he patted me on the shoulder right before he turned around to let the dragonesses know.
I felt like I just got hit in the face with a hammer after an apprentice blacksmith lost his grip on it. It took me a good couple of minutes before my ol' noggin' started working again.
“Tomorrow me what do what where?” I asked.
Well, I didn't say it was working properly...
Note from the author: Thank you for reading this chapter, I hope you enjoyed it! Oh, and be sure to check out my other stories too!
This is the first chapter after my break! 😀
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