~ (100 Luck) Chapter 99: The Flames of Urugudu (Part 3) ~
Right in front of Sir Seryanna, at just a few steps away from her, I saw a stone pedestal on which laid a hammer. The pedestal was glowing yellow from the heat it emitted, while the hammer itself looked like it was broken into a several pieces. For a moment, I feared that the passing of ages may have ruined the wondrous artifact, but when I approached it, I was glad to find out that I was mistaken.
The handle of the hammer was made out of enchanted wood and covered in a black leather, no doubt the hide of a powerful monster, otherwise it wouldn't have survived in this inferno. The head of the hammer was made out of pieces of black metal held together by a yellow-glowing core, almost as if it was trying to mimic the very lava it was surrounded by.
As I stood there and looked at it, I felt my heart burst with excitement.
This is the real thing! The actual Hammer of Umidaba! The Hammer of Umidaba! Praise the spirits, it was real! I shouted in my mind and knelt in front of it.
I must have been a very strange sight to behold at that time. Behind me were Sir Kataryna and Sir Seryanna in their miracle armors, wielding their incredible weapons to divert the flow of the raging lava around us. We were all standing on a thin layer of ice made by magic, so that our soles wouldn't burn off because of the lava, and at the center of this image ripped out of a legendary quest I stood like a foolish old dwarf, crying my eyes out at the sight of a hammer placed head first on top of a pedestal the glowed yellow from the heat.
I wiped my tears off with my palm and noticed the inscription carved into the pedestal.
In the bowls of Unamir,
Urugudu's Flames stoke the Metals of Namibai.
They are the bones of dwarfs and forever shall be tempered
By the Hammer of Umidaba
Only he dwarf who knows the truth of forging
Can wield it in his grasp.
Only he dwarf who knows why Blacksmiths
Need to have countless heads and limbs
Can pick up the Hammer of Umidaba
Woe he dwarf who smells of greed and hate
For he shall be struck down by the blade forged by Umidaba!
Reading these lines, I felt as a great feeling of awe surged from the pit of my stomach. These were not just some simple lines scribbled on this ancient pedestal by some drunk dwarf, they were words of wisdom from the great ones who enshrined the hammer here.
How unfortunate I was that I couldn't write them down on a piece of paper, so I did my best to memorize them on the spot, just in case I failed this test and walked away empty handed.
The first four lines describe the Hammer of Umidaba. Hm... the metals of Namibai. Could it be the Zaradin and Celestium ores? The last two lines are definitely a warning asking only those pure of heart to attempt to pick it up. Hm... then the others must be the conditions. I thought as I rubbed my beard.
While I was focused on these words, Sir Kataryna walked over and smacked me over the back of my head, nearly losing my balance again.
With a furrowed brow and rubbing the sore spot, I looked back at the dragoness. She puffed and then pointed at Sir Seryanna. She couldn't hold on for much longer. Using that much Magic Energy was no easy feat even for her.
I nodded understandingly to Sir Kataryna and then looked back at the hammer.
Meh, it won't hurt if I at least give it a try. I said and then grasped the handle of the sword.
The conditions for picking it up came back to me as questions. It was as if a stranger was talking to my mind, but it was probably just my imagination. Like the old fool that I was, I answered honestly to them.
To the first condition, I replied that truth of forging was simple in its nature. Us blacksmiths made the blades and armors as the warriors who wielded them requested them, but in our hearts we would never hold ourselves responsible for the way they were used. It wasn't the weapon that made the dwarf but the dwarf that made the weapon.
To the second condition, I replied that I never heard of a mutated dwarf like that, but maybe it was referring to all those who worked together, and at times even helped each other in order to create the best of items. After all, no dwarf was a one man army. We had apprentices, miners, smelters, suppliers, buyers and sellers, we had to rely on countless other people in order to make just one blade.
And then, when I tried to lift it, the hammer was as light as a feather. It glowed once in a bright white light and then returned to normal.
I was surprised by this, but I didn't had time to bask in the joy and glory of having obtained the legendary Hammer of Umidaba. Sir Kataryna grabbed me by the scruff of my neck and then the two dragonesses rushed out of there.
This sight would have looked more fantastic, more mythical if not for that one bearded dwarf dangling behind like a helpless relliar cub. I felt as though my dignity as a dwarf had been shattered to smithereens.
But... but I'm big enough to run on my own... I won't stumble... I promise... I thought as I looked at the flowing lava in front of me with dead fish eyes.
After all of this, not even the imminent danger of being burnt alive could move me.
It took us more than half an hour to reach the hammer, but we got out in not even a minute. It must have been far easier to go with the flow of the lava than against it.
The first breath of fresh air that I took felt as though it was the best one in my whole life! Who knew that breathing without the aid of the Rudamera leaves was so pleasant? Who knew that being able to keep your eyes fully open was so wonderful? Who knew it could be so delightful to be out in the open?
“Ah! It's so good to be outside!” I said as tears gathered in the corners of my eyes.
“You idiot dwarf, you nearly got us killed...” said Sir Kataryna as she was catching her breath.
“Y-Yes... Huff! How... Huff! How many times... Huff! Do you think you nearly strayed on the wrong path?!” Sir Seryanna retorted while squeezing her words between her gasps.
“Or how many times did you had to stop and gaze out into the horizon as though you saw something absolutely fascinating in the lava?!” Sir Kataryna retorted.
“Huh? But I don't remember any of those things happening. This took no more than half an hour, right?” I asked scratching the back of my head.
“Half an hour?!” they both shouted at me at the same time.
“Huh?” I was a bit confused.
“Try THREE hours!” so said Sir Kataryna.
“Erm... Are you sure the lava ain't be messing with your memory?” I asked furrowing my brow.
I may be old, but I definitely ain't the type to lose my bearings or track of time.
“No! I'm sure of it!” Sir Seryanna replied.
“Hm, then I don't have the faintest idea as to what might have happened in there. What's good is that we managed to bring back the Hammer of Umidaba!” I said with a smile as I showed them the loot.
“Yes. Speaking of which, why did you have to stare for one hour at the hammer?” Sir Kataryna asked.
“Huh? Milady, I beg your pardon, but for me it only felt like minutes. This whole trip felt like half an hour at best. I can even recall when you smacked me over the back of my head two times.” I nodded and showed them that I was quite confident in my own knowledge.
“Two times?” Sir Kataryna raised an eyebrow as she looked at me “Try 27 times. I counted.”
“Huh?” I blinked surprised.
“And thirty slaps, four tail whips, and a hit to the shin.” Sir Seryanna nodded.
Now that explains why my cheeks sting and my shin hurts. I thought it was just the biting cold outside to be blame. I thought.
“Sigh... if you really don't remember to have spent three hours in there with us, then maybe the place was enchanted with a powerful charm to prevent random dwarfs from entering. We are dragonesses, so maybe that spell didn't work on us?” Sir Seryanna said.
“Or maybe it was thanks to the armors, who knows what sort of enchantments Alkelios cast into them?” Sir Kataryna said with a soft smile as she looked at her right gauntlet.
What sort of an amazing blacksmith could this Alkelios fellow be? Now I want to meet him even more! I thought and then looked at the Hammer of Umidaba, which I held in my hands. “With this, maybe we can truly begin to restore the power of the Trindania Empire of the old. Now, neither the fear of foreigners nor the corruption of our rulers stand in our way.”
The power of this magical artifact was beyond anything I had imagined, yet even with it I couldn't see myself building something as complex and incredibly beautiful as the armors and weapons these two dragonesses had. Comparing my own work with that of this mysterious Alkelios was no different than comparing a copper sword with a zaradin one.
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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