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Chapter 105 – Trentheim and the young lord (5)
Brendel opened the letter. The contents in it were empty save for a darkened spot on the corner. He immediately understood what it was. He crumbled the letter and burned its corner with a spark of fire that came from his hand.
He then tossed it away as it turned into ashes.
The druids had replied to him. This bit of good news made him feel relieved, but he did not immediately make plans to meet them and instead spoke to his new assistant:
“Huh? Y-yes, my lord, what is it that you need?” It took a moment before that young man realized Brendel was calling for him.
“Find Tagiv and bring him to me.”
“Who is Tagiv?”
“Chieftain of the Subterrane Dwellers. He’s staying inside the inner city.” After the battle of Lord Macsen, Brendel had it stay in Firburh.
Tagiv was quite happy about the youth’s action; Graudin was not as respectful.
Other humans would have thought that Brendel was holding it as a hostage, but Tagiv did not even consider that possibility. It was pointless for the youth to do so since it swore an oath to its gods.
“Make sure he puts on a robe and minimize his exposure to the citizens,” Brendel said.
“Understood, my lord. But where would you like to meet up with him?” Mordenkainen hurriedly nodded.
Brendel got closer and whispered into Mordenkainen’s ears, who then nodded and looked at his lord to make sure that there were no further instructions, before running off into the distance and disappeared into the falling snow.
“Well, let’s move off to another place.” Brendel turned around to the girls and said with a genuine smile.
Scarlett found herself staring at Brendel’s smile, and suddenly realized that she was comparing him and Eke. She felt the blood rushing to her ears and shook her head to clear it.
“Where are we going….. My lord?” She asked in a quiet voice.
Medissa glanced at her, feeling another bout of laughter within her.
“A wonderful place,” Brendel said.
The snowfall became bigger, and soon there was a faint sheet of white that covered the streets. There were not many people walking about. Instead, there were rows of houses that leaked out with warm orange light.
The sight of the scenery around them made them feel calm.
It was the first time that Scarlett left the manor ever since she was sick. Coming back to life and starting what she was doing before made her look at things with a lost look, and she trailed behind Medissa while clutching her halberd tightly.
Medissa, on the other hand, was interested in the scenery before her. It was the first time that she had been in a human city in winter, and she would occasionally ask Brendel the things that she could not identify.
The three continued to walk till they heard a series of hammering against metal in front of them.
Medissa was the first to pick up the noise with her long ears, and after a momentary pause, recognized the area to be Bosley’s workshop.
The workshop finally started operating after Brendel brought back Cold Iron and magic gemstones from the mines a few weeks ago. This was originally Graudin’s private property, and Bosley bought the two rows of houses beside it and expanded the workshop.
But having the workshop did not mean that it was operating smoothly. Brendel put up a notice to recruit workers, and Bosley found the people who applied were a mixture of good and bad. The latter grumbled several times, telling Brendel that he was not being supportive of his work because he did not care about the quality of his men.
Fortunately, Gaspard relayed the youth’s instructions to Leto, who sent the blacksmiths and anyone who was talented to Firburh. Certainly, it was beneficial to Leto in the long run since his mercenaries would also be armed, but it was also a show of loyalty to Brendel.
When Brendel and the girls reached the workshop, they found fiery flames greeting them which contrasted sharply against the morning darkness. A golden-red fire was stoked in the forge and covered the whole place with warmth. It was as though there was a line separating the cold and warmth, and Brendel could feel that difference even when he stood outside.
“My lord?” A voice came from the workshop.
Bosley was thinking about the numerous issues in the workshop; teaching the idiots was much harder than keeping track of the materials or making an armor. He was taking a break outside the building when he spotted three familiar people.
“Grandmaster Bosley.” Brendel gave a smile when he saw him.
Naturally, he did not come to take a stroll and admire the scenery in Firburh. The news of Lord Palas’s armies had spurred him to speed up his plans.
“What is it? Are you trying to check up on this old man’s progress, my lord?” Bosley asked in his gruff voice.
“I wouldn’t dare,” Brendel shook his head before he grinned, “it’s just that I thought of an idea.”
“An idea?” Bosley looked curiously at him, but he quickly remembered the four people in front of him were still waiting patiently: “Regardless of what idea you have, my lord, if you don’t mind the noise and dirt in this place, you can come in.”
Brendel led his subordinates into the workshop. The first batch of armor was being produced. The youth watched the blacksmiths and apprentices walking to and fro with sleeveless shirts. Since there was no one wearing robes, it meant that Ciel’s men were not here.
[It seems like the first batch of armor produced isn’t the White Lion Armor.]
“The work on the Magic Armor hasn’t started yet?” He asked.
“My lord, didn’t you just say that you are not here to check up on our work?” Bosley looked back at him with disapproval with a wry smile: “Years of inactivity have caused my skill to be rusty. The magic gemstones that you brought back are too expensive to be used as practice. I intend to make an armor for practice first.”
Bosley’s eyes darted around the workers before sighing: “Besides, these workers also need to practice. They are very far away from being capable of making one.”
“That’s because you’re too demanding,” Brendel said.
Bosley was the royal blacksmith and known publicly as the best grandmaster. Even his assistants were well-known. It was no wonder that these people were unable to get his attention.
The best blacksmiths amongst them were just ordinary blacksmiths working in this area. Some of them even lack the experience in crafting weapons, not to mention making a suit of armor, which was even more complicated.
Tanners and tailors were also added to the workshop, and they were in charge of connecting the armor pieces together to form a suit of armor.
The whole process was very slow, and each suit of armor required several days of man-hours.
In order to craft a suit of magic armor, the chest and the back of the armor were first drawn with Magic Emblems with crushed Magicite, then placed into the forge where Magicite was added into the fuel. By repeating the process of hammering and adding crushed Magicite repeatedly, the armor would finally be completed.
Unfortunately, the forges were fitted with unstable old machines that frequently had problems.
“The machines that I used back then were still better than these two here. Their conditions are even worse than the ailments of an old man like me.” Bosley said.
He had never felt such a challenging work in his life. There was almost nothing that Trentheim could offer, and he did not think that Aouine had such a rural area that appeared like it was centuries ago.
The forges hardly converted Magicite to fuel. The city was like a rubbish dump rather than a place fit for living. Outside the city walls was the Wilderness, and the agriculture produced here was stuck with primitive techniques.
The era that the old blacksmith worked in was approximately ten years ago, and he stayed in one of the richest city in Aouine. At that time, the land was aided with the assistance of magic. Apprenticing Elementalists that studied in the nearby magic academy arranged the Elements in the air and changed the climate in a small area, allowing something like a greenhouse effect and kept it from flooding.
But there was nothing here.
Machinery that ran on Magicite were used to speed up various tasks in agriculture and was considered to be an industrial revolution. Kirrlutz stole the technology from the Hazell kingdom, and Aouine later got to learn from it. (TL: Hazell is that country next to Kirrlutz with advanced machinery technology.)
This revolution in technology affected the November War and brought the second Holy War to the world, which again advanced the research of Magicite as well as the techniques to utilize it. (TL: Somewhere in the story it was mentioned that the second holy war lasted for decades, and I think it takes place after the November War.)
Bosley looked at the two gigantic forges in the center with a deep frown. The machines attached to them were old technology built decades ago. This workshop was the most advanced area in the entire city. It was as if the owner of the entire region was owned by someone who disliked magic and allowed the area to remain outside of civilization.
But that was just Bosley’s biased outlook. Aouine’s southern borders were impoverished due to many reasons, and it was not only Trentheim that was poor. The Grinoires region and the south of Karsuk’s area were just as poor.
Aouine’s southern borders were next to the Wilderness, and thus they were at the edge of civilization. Poor geographic locations and having monsters attacking all the time were the real reasons that Bucce and Trentheim were poor areas. Even Bruglas was also affected because it had to supply Fortress Riedon and Bucce with resources.
“You have to try and accept it, Grandmaster Bosley. Even though these two Magicite converters are considered trash anywhere else, they are valuable treasure here.” Brendel said.
Amandina wanted to break them apart in order to study the internal components the first time the two crumbling machines were found, but Bosley refused to let her do so with all his might.
His decision was considered wise since the two machines still aided his work greatly. No matter how outdated they were, the production they had was still faster and better than the primitive usage of just human hands.
Brendel did not want to think about the fact that Firburh was stuck in an era where it was the equivalent of Earth’s medieval period. His plans needed a long adjustment time before they were fulfilled if it were so.