~ (100 Luck) Chapter 99: The Flames of Urugudu (Part 2) ~
For me, this ancient forge was also a place where I could go to in order to relax or simply get away from the troubles of my life. Unfortunately, now I wouldn't be able to do the same seeing how the Flames of Urugudu had been rekindled.
Letting out a sigh, I looked back at the two dragonesses who were staring seriously at the flow of molten rock coming from within the heart of the mountain.
“What do you think we should do?” asked Sir Seryanna.
“I could freeze the whole lava and turn it back into stone, but I fear that digging up a whole mountain to find the hammer would take too long.” Sir Kataryna replied and shrugged.
“Hm, freezing the lava should be kept only as a last resort.” she nodded.
As I listened to this new type of crazy talk, I was strongly retorting in my mind to their words:
Freeze the what now?! You know that thing comes straight from the core of the world, right? What will you do if you freeze the core?! Yes, it's a bad idea to use flash freeze on lava! No, a terrible idea! What? No! No! Don't use it as anything! Just toss that plan over in the pile of useless stuff alongside my common sense! Do you two have any idea how LONG we dwarfs waited for the Flames of Urugudu to start again?!
“Hm, then I could try and create a path through the lava. For me it isn't that hot, but it might turn the dwarf into charcoal.” Sir Seryanna said.
It's not that hot for you? What is your skin made out of and what do you mean I'll turn into charcoal? I'm not some piece of dried wood you toss in the fire to keep it lit! I can probably survive... a few seconds. I retorted in my mind while I furrowed my brow.
“Should I turn the dwarf into a frozen cube and bring him with us? We could defrost him when we find the hammer.” Sir Kataryna shrugged.
Turn the who in that what now? Defrost him? What am I, a piece of Hanba your grandma takes out of the cold room to heat up by the fire? Are you two thinking about this seriously or are you messing around with my nerves? I retorted while trying to keep a composed look on my face.
“I don't want to carry him while also focusing on parting the lava flow.” she shook her head.
“He does look a bit heavy, true.” the other nodded.
I look heavy? I LOOK HEAVY?! How many tons do you think one fat dwarf weighs?! Aren't you two Enlightened Ones? You can even open the Behemoth's Mouth, so puny dwarfs shouldn't pose a problem! Bah! Well, it's not my fault all those lousy diets don't contain any mead and meat. Vegetables? That's for the Hanba to eat! We real dwarfs will eat the Hanba in turn! I retorted with a strange sense of pride blooming in my chest, pride for my big fat belly.
“Should we put him in an iron ball? I'm sure he can make one capable of surviving the heat, right?” Sir Seryanna asked.
“That's a good idea, we could kick him all the way to the hammer.” she nodded.
Yes, I can make an iron ball that can survive the heat, but I would rather shave off my beard than go inside that thing! Also, if you kick me around like that, at the end, you'll be popping out a dwarf covered in his own puke and unable to stand up straight! once again, my thoughts were inaudible to them.
“No, wait! But what if the enchants fail and he ends up cooked inside?” Sir Seryanna asked a bit worried.
“Meat is meat, I'll get rid of the evidence.” she showed her toothy smirk.
Huh? Meat is meat? I'll... I'll pretend I didn't hear that. I turned my gaze away.
Of all things, I definitely didn't want to end up as a dragoness' brunch.
“You can't do that, Kataryna, you'll get indigestion!” Sir Seryanna scolded her.
I don't even know what to say. Should I be angry or should I be pleased? I wondered on my own.
The two of them continued to exchange these sort of terrible ideas, while I felt my sanity going down with each word that came out of their mouths. By the time they settled on what they had to do, I was looking into the far off horizon with dead fish eyes.
“Ah, I feel as though my existence is fading away...” I said in whisper.
“Andu'Yang'Ores, we're ready.” Sir Seryanna called out to me.
“Very well, so? What are you going to do to me?” I asked as I had accepted my fate of being one that no dwarf should suffer from.
“Hm? We'll take you to the hammer, of course.” Sir Seryanna nodded.
“She'll be splitting the flow of the lava, and I will create a bubble of lower temperature around us so that the heat from it won't harm you. This way, you'll be able to safely accompany us to the hammer, while at the same time, we won't risk turning the Flames of Urugudu into stone.” Sir Kataryna explained in a calm tone of voice as though she was describing a regular visit to the local market.
Faced with such an outlandish solution, I could only nod in approval and pray to the spirits that I would come out alive at the end of the day.
Thus, while the two of them were preparing their individual magics, I positioned myself between them just as they had told me. If I would have stood behind Sir Kataryna, there was a chance I could be left behind. Standing in front was not possible, so the only reasonable choice was to be sandwiched between the two of them.
Normally, a young lad would have rejoiced to stand between these two beauties, but my old beard was afraid of being turned into an icicle by the dragoness behind me and into charcoal by the one in front of me. I wouldn't mind staying single my whole life if it meant coming out of this experience alive!
“Let's go!” so said Sir Seryanna, who unsheathed her sword and then poured an enormous amount of Magic Energy through it.
She then cast a spell without a chant and the moment the tip of the blade touched the flowing lava, it split in half like a sea cut by the blade of a giant. Standing behind her, I could feel the burning heat coming from the front, but also the chilling wind coming from my back. The power these two had was akin to an Apostle of the spirits or maybe one of the gods!
With a confident look on their faces, the two stepped forward, dragging me with them. My body didn't know whether to sweat or shiver, but my instincts all called out to me and told me to stand in line and not move a single millimeter away from my spot least I wish to meet the end of my days.
There was one concern these two didn't take into account, and that was the difficulty of breathing in this heat. While their armors were somehow able to supply them with the much needed air, I didn't had that luxury. The moment I felt my breath turning heavy, I grabbed a few Rudamera leaves and pushed them against my nose.
This plant was often found in areas that lacked breathable air and were harvested by divers who wished to stay underwater a lot longer. In some parts of the Trindania, the dwarfs even forged a bunch of metal bottles with Rudamera leaves inside so that they could work underwater or while surrounded by poisonous air. Us blacksmiths used them as well when we stayed for far too long near the forge. We often got dizzy because of the lack of air, which wasn't good when you had a bunch of pointy things and red hot metal all around you.
As we moved through the lava, I was forced to squint my eyes really hard because of the glowing light. It was terribly frightening to move like this, more so when I knew that if either of these two dragonesses stopped their magic for whatever reason, I would end up dead.
We couldn't talk and we could barely see. For the most part, we moved around like blind gofers trying to find the right path to the much desired treasure. Yet, despite all of this, we kept pressing forward, with each step along the way risking to never return.
I honestly didn't understand why these two agreed to this foolish request of mine. It wasn't like someone's life depended on me finding that hammer. There was no way a bunch of Celestium-Zaradin alloy dust could be of use to anyone as far as I knew. At most, this was nothing but a fool's errand. Then again, if these two were the fools, then I was an even bigger fool than them.
Finding the Hammer of Umidaba was also part of the trial. None of the legends specified where exactly we could find it within the belly of Urugudu, but the deeper we got, the more difficult it was to take the next step. The lava around us roared like an angry beast, and being surrounded by it like this made me feel the pressure of a thousand anvils on my body.
Although I wasn't a jumpy dwarf, within this protective bubble made by the power of the two dragonesses, I felt as though I was standing on the edge of dangerous cliff. It was weird, but I felt a strange fear within my heart that made me imagine the lava getting closer to me or suddenly attacking me as if possessed by some wretched spirit.
This strange state of mind wasn't something I, Andu'Yang'Ores, never heard of before. These strange feelings and thoughts that rushed through my mind were all symptoms of the Ghostly Disease miner dwarfs often experienced when they found themselves trapped underground.
Even for me, it was difficult to keep my calm with the amount of fear and anxiety that was building up in my heart. I wanted to turn around and run all the way to the exit, but I had to remind myself that I couldn't turn back now. If I did, I would meet a quick death from the pressure and heat of the lava around me. I just had to trust these two dragonesses. My life was in their hands, but my mind and spirit were slowly being chipped away by this whole experience.
Maybe the biggest danger around here won't be the lava but my own stupid self? I thought as I looked at Sir Seryanna's folded wings.
Unlike me, she kept pushing forward, cutting the lava with her blade, while behind me Sir Kataryna was lowering the temperature to the point where it wasn't dangerous for me. Neither of them showed the weakness I was being slowly overcome by, and I could hardly imagine the type of mighty dwarf needed to face this sort of challenge alone. No wonder no one claimed the Hammer of Umidaba for so many centuries. No one short of a powerful Enlightened One could pass through this infernal furnace.
With only my thoughts to keep me company, I continued to walk down on the path they laid out for me. Fear and worry were constantly swirling in my noggin, but I didn't allow for either of them to take hold of my heart.
After about half an hour of walking like this, I began to feel as though not just me but all of us were at the end of our strength, and I had yet to do any heavy lifting. This in itself just proved to show what formidable beings these two were.
It was around this time though when Sir Seryanna came to a stop. She turned to look back at us and then pointed to the front.
Is there something there? I wondered.
The dragonesses had far better senses than I did. My own ears were getting a bit rusty from all the hammering I had done back at my forge. My back wasn't in top shape either, once in a while it creaked like an old door.
I couldn't see anything in front of me, but it appeared as through Sir Kataryna understood what Sir Seryanna was trying to say. She gave her a nod and then we move forward a couple more steps. There, Sir Seryanna cast a strange but powerful spell that simply pushed back the entire wall of lava. It was definitely a difficult move to pull because the enchants on her armor activated as well. Lines of red light decorated it, glowing with a powerful energy.
In an instant, I found myself to be mesmerized and intrigued by this wonder of blacksmithing. The smooth ways the hammering was done on each part was astonishing, almost as if the blacksmith was able to mold the tough metal as easy as I would mold clay. What was even more surprising were the many intricate parts that I could see through some of the gaps in the armor, it was like it was an entire machinery that worked with a clockwork precision.
That sword of hers, Drachenkrieg, was a similar piece of amazing craftsmanship. It was made out of many smaller parts, but by the gods if I knew how to make even a handful of those.
While I was being mesmerized by her armor and sword, Sir Kataryna walked up behind me and smacked me behind my head.
I stumbled forward and nearly fell face first into the flowing lave underneath our feat. Now that I looked at it, it appeared as though a very thin layer of ice was separating us from it.
When I turned around, I saw Sir Kataryna pointing at something in front of us.
Could it be? I thought and then turned to look that way.
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! 😀
Well, this is it! The new Volume of the 100 Luck series! This one will be entitled: Do Dragons go on Adventures?
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