This chapter is brought to you by AnmesicCat, BDark, Haikai, Kirito, and Masadeer. Special mentions to Kairav and Shadow.
The Dwarves had a ranking system in their smithery.
The low ranking Dwarves had to set up their smithy in the lower parts of the village.
Of course, even low ranking Dwarves were more skilled than humans, as well as the other races.
They were able to quickly repair severely damaged armour, weapons, among other things.
The quality of the items they made weren’t bad, and traders buy and sell these items all across the continent of Versailles.
Noble Hand’s smithery was located at the very top of Iron Hand Village. They are the most respected of Dwarven craftsman.
When Weed went to Noble Hand’s smithery, he found the Dwarf sweating while sharpening an axe.
“What’s with this little Dwarf!”
“On behalf of Dane Hand, I have brought 20 Grade 2 iron ores.”
“So that little brat was able to keep his promise this time. If you want to watch me work the bellows, you can watch from the corner.”
After 30 minutes had passed, Weed successfully received a request from Noble Hand.
Because Noble Hand did not have the time to melt the iron ores, he asked Weed to do it for him!
When orders are placed in this prestigious smithery, the customer will only expect items created with high quality refined iron ores.
That is only possible when someone has a Blacksmith skill higher than Beginner level 3.
“It’s urgent I would appreciate it if you would hurry. And also….”
But when Noble Hand looked at the refined ore he was very surprised.
“Who’s the Dwarf that refined that ore?”
“Is there a problem with it?”
“They are all of the same size and weight, and it is refined to the highest quality. If a Blacksmith were to make 100 swords with these ores, they will be able to make high quality swords.”
Noble Hand greatly compliment the iron ores that Weed refined.
In most cases, if a Blacksmith were to create 100 swords, some are bound to be failures.
Because the difference in the materials, and fire temperature, decreases the quality of the sword.
In comparison to wooden sculptures, a small mass of iron would required to be adjusted to its golden ratio, however more details are required for sculpting.
Thanks to his experience with carving wood, it trained his dexterity, hence it wasn’t hard to consistently produce high quality iron.
Noble Hand spoke with a serious face.
“But I think it seems to be short of 40 grams. Are you sure you used 20 iron ores to create this iron?”
“Well, This isn’t a big deal as long as you don’t take it too far. Is it possible that you want to surprise everyone by creating a large weapon?”
According to the information he read in the Dark Gamer’s website, the answer to this question should be ‘Yes’.
“I would like to create a weapon that would astonish the entire world. I believe if I were able to create a weapon like that, only then will I be worthy to call myself a Dwarf.”
Noble Hand stroked his beard with a satisfied smile.
“Yes. We Dwarves have forsaken water in exchange for the ability to handle our beloved metals. The ability of humans could never match up to our skill.”
The pride of the Dwarves is endless!
- The Dwarves are reknown for their skill in working with fire, thus their pride is not unfounded.
- “Dwarven weapons… How many weapons do you want to make?”
He didn’t have to set a high buying price in order to obtain one, but he would have to state a slightly above average price.
Weed proudly said.
“I want to make 5 billion gold worth in weapons.”
Suddenly Noble Hand became irritated and said.
“5 billion gold! Even if all the Dwarves put our money together, it would be impossible. I did not realize you had such an absurd dream. Get out of my forge immediately!”
If this continues, all my suffering will be in vain.
Weed immediately complimented him.
“You say that Dwarven weapons are worth it. I currently have about 20,000 gold.”
But in reality, he didn’t even have 2,600 gold.
He was so desperate for money, he even considered selling his japtem or unnecessary equipment!
“Do you have 20,000 gold?”
“You plan on buying Dwarven weapons with all your money?”
“Then I guess I can assist you. All Dwarves appear wealthy, but in fact it’s the opposite. We’re always crafting something, repetitive failures and successes is why we’re not particularly wealthy. We always struggle with lots of debt because of expensive materials.”
There are two things merchants find most profitable in the Dwarven kingdoms.
Raw materials and beer.
Dwarves tend to be liberal with money when acquiring supplies for crafting, the cost really adds up.
However, they almost never buy other luxuries.
This is the reason Dwarves seldom have appropriate accessories to match their appearance.
Imagine Dwarves with pierced noses and wearing bushy earrings.
Without exception, every single Dwarf in the continent was suffering from poverty.
“If you indeed have 20,000 gold, I know some Dwarves that will be willing to help. They can craft genuine items of the highest quality grade possible. Now go east of the village with this written introduction to Nein Hand. You’ll need to find the oldest abandoned mine, and then you’ll be able to locate where the truly outstanding Dwarves live.”
You have acquired an introduction from the Dwarf, Noble Hand.
What Weed needed was a letter of introduction.
By accessing and searching through the Dark Gamers’ Union website, he was finally able obtain the information he needed.
A place where he can learn Advanced Blacksmith skills from some Dwarves with excellent talent.
If you walk to an old abandoned mine without a light, through the lakes, the Underground Dwarven City will appear.
It was a City built out of gold, stone, and iron, where Dwarven Artisans reside.
He will end up there if he met the requirements.
* * *
Weed did not have any trouble looking for the way to Nein Hand’s village. He tracked down the old abandoned mine easily.
Deep inside the abandoned mine, was a passageway connected to the unground.
Whenever the torch flickered, Weed’s shadow danced around violently.
Walking down an underground passageway while relying on the light of a single torch instills a primal fear in people.
It took roughly 30 minutes of walking to reach the abandoned mine’s entrance. It wa surrounded by stalactites with water dripping off of them, breaking the silence and creating a sense of fear.
* * *
Since Royal Road became popular, less and less people went to see horror movies.
There are many dangerous areas on the Versailles continent, such as monster-filled dungeons, which many have decide to explore. For that reason, a lot of people have lost interest in watching horror movies.
In reality, the main reason why people stop watching horror movies is because the basic elements of the horror movies are outshone by the monsters found in dungeons.
“They’re about level 30. You’ll never find monsters with characteristics like these before level 30!.”
“You can’t get rid of it with one Holy Blessing.”
These were some of the comments viewers made while watching the hero escaping from Zombies.
* * *
Weed was not afraid as he descended into the dark cave.
“It would be more interesting if monsters came out for an ambush.”
In fact, even if he knew monsters were waiting in ambush or there were traps laid out, he would not be tense.
There was graffiti all over the walls, written by Dwarves. However, most were insignificant random doodles.
– What can I craft with 5 iron ores and 1 silver ore?
– Take the right path to the Dwarven Village. That… is exactly what I’m trying to do. Do you know the correct path to the Dwarven Village?
– Don’t ever look back. If you look back…
The graffiti was useless provocation intended to instill fear.
Dwarves are very optimistic, but mischievous, they are similar to Smaragus.
They like fire and dislike the darkness, and drew graffiti for their enjoyment.
All the top players would recognize the graffiti as baseless provocation and carry on. However, with so much Dwarven graffiti, no one would blame you for thinking that perhaps there was a great treasure behind it.
Just when he was about to become accustomed to walking in the darkness, it gradually brightened. Finally, he was approaching his destination.
Weed suddenly quickened his pace. And finally, he was able to see the end of the cave.
There was a huge communal area.
All the subterranean streams fed into one canal and then ran into a lake. As the water flowed, it sparkled as if it contained grains of silver. And along the lakefront, an inviting village with earthen structures, completed a charming scene.
The home of Dwarves.
From the lake, water flowed and went to every house.
The Dwarven village was a sight to behold with its waterways like silver veins.
The smitheries were constantly emitting plumes of white smoke.
Some houses were built with precious materials such as silver, gold, and mithril.
The Dwarves, like humans, favored embellishments, but did not like anything too fancy.
Just like houses, the pubs were built using gold and other materials.
The taverns must produce great tasting beer if they can afford the fine stones.
Kuruso definitely looked like the gathering place for Dwarven artisans.
* * *
The Priest of Death Question.
In the Royal Road forums, Daymond posted the first ever S-Ranked quest acquired in Royal Road.
- We, the Predators of the Land guild, are going to hunt a boss monster in the northern parts.
We accept all professions.
Looking for brave adventurers to take up this challenge.
If the hunt is successful, the loot obtained will be equally divided amongst everyone.
A reward of at least 10000 gold is offered for any information about the boss monster’s location.
The users’ response was apathetic at best.
“The Predators of the Land guild were already past their prime.”
“They have taken possession over Seongdo village… If you want to hunt the monsters down, go further north.”
“Indeed, it could be successful.”
There weren’t many users who will be participating in this hunt.
The North was crawling with so many powerful monsters and evil forces, that it requires an expedition consisting of top level players.
However, despite the risks, a small adventuring expedition was sent to gather information.
“On the eastern shore of the Wailing Swamp is where you’ll find the Hydras. The Hydras had an unusually large heads…. I don’t know any more details.”
They had received Information on the boss monster.
Daymond’s guild members led the way to the lake where the Hydras resided.
They met the informant in a small neighboring frontier village to give him 10,000 gold, and then proceeded to the Wailing Swamp.
The Hydras grew to a height over 6 meters tall. It’s heads’ movements were slow, but each of the heads could emit a strong venom.
The acid could reduce the durability of shields and armor to zero in a matter of seconds!
The Hydras inhabited a marshy area where their feet would sink deeply, so hunting them was unexpectedly easy.
The warrior Daymond, led the way.
After the Hydras were defeated, new information stating that the boss monster has been spotted.
It had 7 heads and each of the cursed heads would continuously spit venom.
The heads could even pick them up and devour the expeditionists.
Barely succeeding in the hunt, more than 25 people in the Predators of the Land guild were injured. And it was clearly displayed in the Hall of Fame.
“It looks like a really tough boss monster.”
“Is this the first encounter with Hydras?”
Just then, more information arrived.
Daymond choose to go to the nearest place from their location.
“This place still had remnants of human civilization. Over there lay large wriggling earthworms… And an expedition who casually entered the place were annihilated.”
The earthworms could not be ignored.
They were a rare type of undead worms which kept struggling and squirming for their life.
“A boss class monster named Lava appeared with its green body and a humanlike head.”
The Predators of the Land guild received heavy damage while trying to hunt Lava.
Nobody knew how many boss monsters existed. The Predators of the Land guild kept attacking the monster recklessly, attracting more and more attention.
* * *
Kuruso deserves to be a place called the Dwarven Blacksmiths’ paradise.
In the distance, it was easy to see a number of Dwarves holding hammers and pounding away at something.
Minerals were scattered everywhere, while finished goods were stacked up.
In comparison to Iron Hand Village, the secluded Dwarf village was sweltering hot and less populated.
“Exper, do you already know how to make a spear?”
“I know. Its base damage isn’t more than 90, now watch this Chain.”
“There are fire spirit and wind spirit gems, if you add these you get a fiery tornado effect.”
“Then how much additional damage would be added?”
“For each attempt, up to 23 additional damage could be added. Needless to say, it is a stunning weapon.”
“This proves your ability, Exper. The kind of weapons that you make must have great durability.”
“So I also tried making a spear. For my first time, I wanted to see if I could make a spear with over 100 attack damage.”
The Dwarves whispered numerous stories of weapon production.
When Weed passed by, they ignored him and continued their discussion.
“Fabio-sunbae, I heard that you’re very familiar with making armors.”
“He is very good at making armors, enough to be called a master of the art. If you have enough money, then he can upgrade your armor, better than any sword.”
“Damn. If I had the money, I wouldn’t be doing this.”
“Don’t even say that. Do you think Fabio-sunbae uses his skills only for making money? He is not picky with the work he choses.”
“Everyone knows that.”
Even Weed’s ears have heard and imprinted the name “Fabio”.
The Dwarf Fabio, Thor’s chosen Blacksmith, was extremely famous among users.
From the time Weed acquired the Death Knight’s armor in City of Heaven, Lavias, Fabio was already widely known.
It was said that the moment Fabio lays a hand on old derelict armor, it would become as good as new.
Fabio is a master with his hands.
The elite guilds, and the so-called “rankers” of the Versailles continent, would gather bags of money to request for his services.
People wanted stronger armor, but refused to have armor reinforced, since it becomes bulkier and somewhat heavier. Also at a higher level, the death penalty increases.
Besides Weed, there are very few people who have the patience to endure the hardship of raising their skill levels.
However, many people prefered to have better armor in comparison to an excellent weapon, therefore they did not spared no money to upgrade their armor.
During that time, Fabio acquired a great fortune.
He had become the first ever accomplished Blacksmith.
When CTS Media broadcasted about Weed, along with 8 other users, Fabio was also one of the chosen players.
After the program, users with intermediate Blacksmith started to emerge.
With trying to raise their skill levels, more mithril mines were developed and better Blacksmithing materials appeared, which made it easier to raise Blacksmithing.
As time passed, more users have raised their skill enough to reinforce armor and Fabio disappeared from the Versailles continent.
Weed wondered if Fabio was last seen in Kuruso, and whether he has been trying to raise his Blacksmithing skill.
Weed started to slow down his pace.
On the side of the road, Weed spotted many Dwarven Blacksmiths crafting goods, while others were packing up the finished products.
The Dwarves were making their own goods, and didn’t care that weed was was watching them.
They were making goods in case someone wanted to make a purchase, but it didn’t look like anyone was going to buy anything.
“Is Herman-sunbae busy these days? I haven’t seen him in a while.”
“I do not know. Now that humans have returned, maybe he’s crafting some swords?”
“Tsk tsk. Herman-sunbae is cautious to a fault. Blacksmiths don’t follow his style of workmanship anymore.”
“Long ago, around 4 or 5 months ago, I followed the same cautious style. Back then, Herman-sunbae’s skill was superior to the rest of us artisans.”
“Even if you’re stubborn and try to create a sword with all your heart and soul…. at most, it’ll take you 1 week. But if you’re going to take more than a month, no one will want to buy a sword from you.”
“Yeah. That’s right.”
“You can sell it in the auction house for a higher price, but it takes time. And Blacksmithing is all about the money.”
Up until recently, Herman was with Weed.
On the Versailles Continent, it is not unusual for one or two people with the same name to run into each other. However it was unlikely for another Dwarven Blacksmith near Kuruso, with the same profession as Herman.
‘Who knows, I might see them here again.’
Weed did not focus much on his relationship with others.
However, it is a fact that he had spent a lot of time hunting with Pale and his party. And as a Dark Gamer, he is unable to refuse dangerous hunting tasks when he is asked.
Except for sleeping and going to school, he invested all of his free time playing Royal Road, and it would be difficult to do so if he hunted with others.
‘We shall see if this relationship is destined.’
Weed headed towards Kuruso’s administrative agency.
* * *
Unlike other Dwarven villages in the Kingdom of Thor, the administrative agency held great power and governed over Kuruso.
In other Kingdoms, the King and other nobles govern the land, therefore it was unusual for the administrative agency to making all decisions for the Dwarven Kingdom.
Dwarven Elders are appointed during the first week of every new year. The Elders then agree upon all the decisions and establish policies.
3 Strong Dwarves with excellent swordsmanship, and 7 Elders were chosen to lead the administrative agency, a total of 10 Dwarves are elected. Dwarves who just reached their adulthood are considered too young, and therefore not eligible for election.
However, it is said that the Elder seat is open to anyone, including players.
Each of the Elders will work at the administrative agency alternatively.
“You’re a new Dwarf here in Kuruso. Would you like to register?”
“Yes. I would like to register.”
“What is your profession?”
“I am a Sculptor.”
In Kuruso, you do not have to pay taxes to Akryong Kaybern. You will not be hassled by the Dwarven Liberation Corps for money. Everything was governed in accordance to the Dwarves.
Coming to Kuruso was free!
However, there was a requirement if you want to leave Kuruso.
They must contribute a piece to the great city. The work must be created with devotion, and when completed, must be better than their average product.
For a Sculptor, he would have to create a sculpture.
There is no alternative but to create something good, you cannot create something poor. Thus, to leave Kuruso, you must contribute something decent.
That was the minimum condition in entering Kuruso.
Unlike other places in the Kingdom, there is no taxes because of special restrictions.
The Dwarven Elder ask Weed.
“What is your name?”
“My name is Art Hand.”
“That’s a good name.”
“The registration process is now complete. Before leaving Kuruso, you are required to leave something created by you, in your case, a sculpture.”
Just when Weed was about to leave the administrative agency.
“I have a question for you.”
“Let me ask you. Do you want some information about Kuruso? If you’re not busy, will you listen to my request?”
A Request from the Dwarven Elder!
However the offer didn’t seem appealing to Weed.
Even though Weed had enormous amount of fame, after changing into a Dwarf, the fame he had, had no effect at all.
The Dwarven race’s characteristic adjusted the fame accumulated by works of art created, but there’s a temporary restriction to the fame he gained through his adventures.
Even then, his fame still maintained an enormous amount of prestige. However, Kuruso was different because they do not frequently trade with other Kingdoms.
The fame he had accumulated around the Versailles Continent and the North, was unheard of in Kuruso.
Even with Weed’s high fame, he did not acquire a lot request from outside of those places.
“You don’t need to complete my request in exchange for information. Have you ever heard of the Dwarven Sculptor?”
Weed thought that if he could not find any information the Thor kingdom, he might be able to find it in Kuruso!
Weed nodded at the question the Dwarven Elder had asked him and said.
“He was the best Sculptor amongst all Dwarves. His Sculptures were vibrant and full of mysteries. But I’ve other Dwarves’ story that’s been passed down from their ancestors.”
He was able to obtain information about Kendellev. At the very least, he had confirmed the existence of the Dwarven Sculptor, Kendellev.
Weed asked with renewed hope.
“Where can I go to find his disciples, or any of the sculptures he has left behind?”
“Even I don’t know the answer to that. To my knowledge, that person didn’t leave any sculpture behind… I suppose we wouldn’t be able to find his disciples even if they existed. As I seem to recall, there have been a lot of Dwarves asking about Kendellev.”
“Other than me, have any other Dwarves asked this question?”
“There were many that asked. At least over twenty.”
Just like Weed, more than twenty Dwarves have travelled to Kuruso to gather information about Kendellev. However, they failed to do so.
‘A clue was said to exist in Kuruso. The reason why this truth spread out as a rumor is because those who gave up did not want to give other Dwarves an opportunity to find him.’
No one could find any traces of Kendellev by themselves. However, because another Dwarf might discover him, they did not make the information public and kept it to themselves.
Weed asked another question.
“The unknown beings; what do I have to do in order to be able to sculpt the ones who speak to me?”
The Dwarf elder was simply stared blankly at him.
“Did such an event occur?”
“If there’s anything that you need in Kuruso, you need to look for it yourself. If you want something, you have to earn it yourself.”
In other words, the Elder was saying that you could not easily obtain the information.
It was possible that the answer Weed was looking for was one that noone could ever tell him.
‘The unknown beings. I don’t know what their forms are, and if someone had already sculpted them, there would be no need for them to pester me to sculpt them.’
Sculpting was an art that anyone could enjoy, but only one could master!
Although he wasn’t in a hurry, he had already guessed that the information he needed wasn’t easy to obtain.