A New Weapon
Editor(s): Sebas Tian, Joker, Speedphoenix
A night had already passed since Lefi and I had returned to the dungeon. We’d spent yesterevening giving everyone the souvenirs we’d gotten them and talking, both about everything that had happened while we were away and what we did in town. The entire conversation had actually happened over the dinner table, at which the dungeon’s residents had sat until the day’s end.
“Okay! Next!” Illuna cheered energetically as she pointed towards yet another object. “That’s called an apple!”
“No, no, no! It’s not an app-o. It’s an apple!”
“That’s it, good job!”
The two girls continued the adorable act of squealing in delight. Watching them caused my head to fill with so many images of cute things that I felt like I was starting to experience Gestaltzerfall. Yet, I didn’t want to tear my eyes away from them. That was just how cute they were. The reason I almost couldn’t take my eyes off them was because one of the two girls was currently in the midst of acting as an apprentice to the other. That is, Shii, who had formed pseudo vocal chords, was learning how to speak from Illuna.
Of course, they weren’t the only ones hanging around and doing whatever. Since we’d put everything behind us last night, today, we all went about doing our usual business. The maids were performing their duties, Lefi was, as proclaimed, lazing around in bed, and I was huddled up in one of the corners of the true throne room.
The next task at hand was for me to construct a brand new weapon. The base was obviously going to be the cursed axe I’d looted off a thug in town. So with that goal in mind, I reached into my inventory and grabbed the item in question. Though it didn’t try to corrupt and take over my mind as it had the last time I wielded it, it did continue to overflow with a sort of twisting, malevolent mana. The magical energies that it gave off weren’t entirely docile, however, as it did prickle my skin as if to complain that I had left it inside my inventory for far too long. My bad, my bad. I didn’t forget about you or anything. I just didn’t have the chance to get to doing this, so gimme a break already goddammit.
“T-The heck is that, Master? It’s lookin’ real sinister and givin’ me the creeps,” said Lyuu as she stared at the axe wide-eyed.
“Is that perhaps the magically enhanced weapon you mentioned last night?”
The two maids’ reactions were nearly on complete opposite ends of the spectrum. One was intimidated, while the other looked with her eyes full of curiosity.
“Basically, yeah. It’s pretty much obeying me right now, so you don’t really need to worry too much. That said, I’d still advise against getting too close to it.”
“Uhmm… Master, y’sure obeying is the right word? ‘Cause it almost sounds like you’re treating it like a pet,” said Lyuu. “Wait! Is it really okay for you to be touchin’ it if it’s dangerous!?”
“This ain’t too big a deal for me, so don’t worry.” I responded to Lyuu’s confusion with a casual shrug before getting back to work.
I laid out the materials I planned to use and gave them a quick once over. The first was the Ancient Hero’s Sword that I’d bought in town. The second, a chunk of metal I’d gotten from the catalogue. Orichalcum.
Orichalcum was an excellent conductor of magical energy. Mana could flow through it with ease. The metal was known for being able to not only restore, but also enhance broken blades when used in the repair process. But of course, that was a waste of the precious metal’s potential, for it was of orichalcum weapons that legends were sung. They were so sharp that, according to Lefi, they were known for cleaving through even the scales of dragons, this world’s most powerful creatures. That said, she herself was apparently immune to them. Her scales were far too hard even for orichalcum to pierce. What kinda bullshit is that!?
Of course, such a high quality good came with an appropriate price tag. A single kilogram of the stuff had equalled out to three whole inns. And given the expense, I wasn’t about to just chuck the orichalcum in just to do it. The reason I included it was because I had hoped that I would be able to use it to restore some of the power that lay within the Ancient Hero’s Sword during the reforging process. But man, I am seriously short on DP. I’ll probably have to start going hunting with Rir again.
“…Is that perhaps orichaculm, my lord?” asked Leila.
“Wait, orichalcum!?” The warwolf’s eyes went wide.
“Yeah,” I said, impressed. “I’m surprised you could tell, Leila.”
“Thank you, my lord,” she replied. “…Remaining here in this dungeon has truly allowed me to see all sorts of different things.”
“All sortsa different things is cuttin’ it short, Leila! Orichalcum is totally the stuff of legends, ain’t it? Though I guess it ain’t too special when you’ve got both the Supreme Dragon and a venerable member of the Fenrir species lying around, huh?”
Both maids had basically stopped working and become the peanut gallery. But though they continued to speak, and though I continued to listen, I ended up zoning them out as I placed the materials in a line and began to concentrate.
I had to take the grudges that possessed the weapon, its will, and forge it anew into something more… righteous, something that didn’t scream malevolent at the top of its lungs. And I could not fail. I only had one shot at this; only one of each component lay in my possession. If I fucked up, then it was game over. Failure was equivalent to wasting both my money and destroying valuable materials.
To that end, I kept in mind the most important lesson I’d learned from creating all the weapons I had.
Simple was best. More often than not, making something complicated resulted in failure rather than success. Thus, I focused on the two traits that I really wanted: weight and sharpness. Those two traits were all I focused on. Ideally, I would like to have something done to its appearance. I wanted to make it look a lot less sinister and a lot more dignified. But that, again, wasn’t nearly as important. I only kept it in the back of my mind. Don’t worry. I’ll use you a ton once you’re born anew.
Only after reassuring the magic axe of my intentions and refining the image I had in mind, did I finally begin to channel my magical energies into the materials. And then I activated the skill.
A groan escaped my lips.
The materials, which were of the highest grade, rapidly drained my mana. The amount that it required was far greater than what Hasai had needed. But that don’t mean shit!
I grit my teeth, clenched my jaws, and endured. I faced the weighty sense of despondency created by the fact that a massive amount of magical energy had escaped from my body. I faced it head-on with sheer willpower.
And I succeeded.
The materials almost seemed to liquify as they would in the depths of a blazing hot furnace. The three, distinct objects each gave off an incredible sheen as they slowly melded together to form a single, final result.
Editor’s note (Joker): Hey, guys! Joker here. Oh boy, oh boy. What will the result be? Something epic, like a two handed greatswordaxe? Or will he fail, and make basically a giant frying pan. Which, if Patty from Tales of Vesperia is any indication of, isn’t that bad of a weapon. She beats the shit out of all the monsters we run into and I crack up every time. And also, here’s hoping a curious Illuna or Shii doesn’t wander over here and fall into the melding items. That would just be… bad. Like, very bad. Like, a capital Very and a capital Bad. But I digress. They’re probably too busy having fun and playing. Let’s check the letter box! *he reaches into a large red box, feeling around, and pulls out one letter* Ah. Only one, huh? Well, at least it’s not a bill. Let’s see… Thanks you to Zehd Cashew for asking a question that someone else answered before I could. Look, I work afternoon/nights, okay? Boohoohoo…. Remember, if you’ve got a question for me, leave it in the comments below with the hashtag #AskJoker and I’ll reply to you directly. Get noticed by your senpai today! See y’all in the next chapter!