TSKD 291

A Sword Makes Swords
Editors: Sebas Tian, Joker

I had telekinetically swung my hammer so many times throughout the night that its methodical, rhythmic ring had become almost natural for me to hear. I was so immersed in the tempo that I could immediately discern when any sound, hammer-related or not, was off beat. And it was for that exact reason that I was able to pick up on the fact that there was a bit of an odd knocking interfering with my sense of flow.

“Hey Fran, could you get the door? It seems like we’ve got a visitor.”
“Nn.”

Luckily, Fran had already gotten out of bed. She was about as far from a morning person as could be, so she would have appeared half asleep if I had to wake her up to open the door. And if that happened, we would’ve been hard pressed to explain why the forge was running so smoothly even though she’d yet to fully awaken. We would’ve had no choice but to play it off as a case of sleepsmithing. You know, like sleepwalking, but with a forge.

“Who?”
“Good morning Princess! It’s me, the village chief!”

Fran opened the door to find the man in charge of the village with his body already bent into a deep bow. He was holding a basket with a few pieces of bread poking out the top; he had come to deliver Fran her meal.

“I’ve brought you some breakfast. I hope it’s to your taste.”
“Thanks.”
“The pleasure is mine. Oh and are you holding up alright? It seems like you’ve been smithing all night.”

Uh, whoops. Hopefully the forge didn’t keep anyone up all night.

“Too loud? Sorry.”
“Don’t you worry about it, milady! If anything, we’re grateful that you stayed up all night for us! We’re so blessed by your actions that we don’t even know how to express our thanks!”

We talked with the chief a bit and exchanged our schedules. We told him that we were going to be at the smithy for the rest of the day, whereas he informed us that most of the villagers would be practicing either their swordplay or magic. The older black catkin would begin cleaning up the equipment in the meantime.

“Don’t need to force to learn magic or swordplay.”
“Oh, no no no, we’re not forcing anyone, princess. Everyone’s just really eager to join in!”

It seemed that the whole village wished to cast magic. Everyone wanted to harness its mysterious power for themselves; the fact that they’d learned methods to acquire it had made them highly motivated.

At this rate, black catkin mages are bound to pop up in no time.

“I’ll be heading off now, but please let me know if you ever need anything.”
“Nn.”

We went back to focusing on our work as soon as the chief left. Specifically, I started to make blades out of the ingots I’d spent last night creating while Fran focused on fixing up shields and armour.

The best part about this world was that its skill system allowed me to gain knowledge seemingly out of nowhere.

Though I had never done any sort of smithing before, the maxed out blacksmithing skill I had taught me everything I needed to know about forging a blade. The most common way they were made nowadays was through casting. Molten metal would be poured into a mould and hammered into shape afterwards if need be.

I vaguely recalled something about most western-made swords being cast, whereas most Japanese swords were made in a forge. If I were to track these methods to their roots, I assumed that they likely only deviated due to the differences in resources and the knowledge of how one processed them. Of course, that was only a guess, as I had no real knowledge of how blacksmithing worked back in my world.

This world didn’t require those that wanted to use Japanese swords to go through a complicated folding process. Blacksmiths could easily use magic-infused metals and magically enchanted tools to create sturdy Japanese-style blades through a typical casting process.

Magically infused metals were strong from the start. Hitting them with hammers while dousing them in magical fire would only enhance them even further. Thus, there was no need for one to go out of their way to fold a blade over a thousand times. Of course, one could go through a typical forging process if they wished, but that kind of treatment was reserved for high quality luxury goods. The common weapon had no need for such an intensive process.

Thus, I began by casting all the blades I wanted to make.

I combined parallel processing and telekinesis to cast, hammer, and polish different blades at the same time. I functioned as a one man factory and somehow managed to mass produce a whole slew of regular swords. Though I paid very little attention to each blade, my maxed out blacksmithing skill ensured that they were still of a decent quality.

But needless to say, none were good enough to surpass their maker. Of all the swords present, I was still by far the most powerful.

“Alrighty, that’s a whole 50. Should be enough for now, I guess.”

If one were to count the undamaged weapons that we’d looted, there were about 80 swords in total. All 80 were of a fairly standard make, so they weren’t too difficult for the black catkin to use even though they were all beginners.

I’d saved a few extra ingots so I could experiment and attempt to make a few weapons that packed a bit more of a punch. The first thing I wanted to try was to make a blade that was folded several times and forged from beginning to end.

I followed the steps my blacksmithing skill imprinted into my mind, heated up an ingot, and began hammering at it once it started glowing red. It took a while, but I eventually got the weapon to take the shape I wanted.

The skill was telling me that the product was complete, so I checked it over. All in all, it was surprisingly okay. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either. It was just mediocre, which couldn’t really be helped given the material it was crafted from. The biggest difference was that, unlike the blades I’d casted, it wasn’t an Iron Sword, but rather a Low Grade Steel Sword.

It was the best thing I could make given my current materials and skills. Or at least it would be if I continued with my current, straightforward approach.

I decided to change things up a bit as I forged the next blade. The materials themselves were lackluster and couldn’t actually hold that much magical energy, but the quality of the blade was still likely to improve if I packed it with as much as it could take. I made use of the bones of some of the monsters I’d planned to use for stock and burned them to ashes before mixing them into the metal. Though the monsters they came from were weak, they were still monsters nonetheless. Since the bones contained a bit of mana, I hypothesized that adding them would serve to increase the amount of mana the weapon could store.

Keyword: hypothesized. I had no clue if it would actually work out the way I was expecting.

“Huh, it actually turned out better than I thought.”

It took even longer to make than the blade that I’d forged, but the end result was indeed a bit better than the last. The change in materials had actually ended up leading to my hammer’s destruction, much to my surprise.

The third type of blade was a Low Grade Magic Steel Sword. Though I hadn’t managed to get rid of the “Low Grade” tag, I’d at least managed to create magic steel. Though it was minuscule, I could indeed feel a bit of magical energy emanating off the blade. Its magical conductivity was also a good bit higher than all the others, as it sat at an F+ as opposed to an F or F-. In other words, the third type of blade had the potential to hit creatures with ethereal bodies. That said, it would likely take hundreds upon hundreds of swings to actually slay one given that the weapon had only the slightest bit of magical energy.

The stats of each type of weapon were as follows.

***

Name: Iron Sword
ATK: 88
MP: 0
Durability: 300
Magical Conductivity: F-
Skills: None

***

Name: Low Grade Steel Sword
ATK: 114
MP: 1
Durability: 380

Magical Conductivity: F
Skills: None

***

Name: Low Grade Magic Steel Sword
ATK: 124
MP: 10
Durability: 390
Magical Conductivity: F+
Skills: None

***

Given that, I decided to make all the remaining swords into Low Grade Magic Steel Swords.

And for comparison’s sake, Old Man Gallus’ swords had the tendency to look much more powerful. I recalled one of their stat pages as I worked.

***

Name: High Grade Steel Longsword
ATK: 398
MP: 5
Durability: 600
Magical Conductivity: F
Skills: None

***

The thought reaffirmed the fact that Gallus was one hell of a smith.

Fran approached as I lost myself in thought. Her expression seemed somewhat distorted, and one of her hands was rested on her stomach.

“Master.”
“What’s up?”
“Hungry.”
“Woof…”
“Oh crap, is it lunch time already?”

I was so lost in thought that I’d totally forgotten that food was even a thing; it was long past noon.

“My bad. I’ll make something real quick.”

“Thanks.”

The reason the village chief hadn’t supplied lunch was because Schwartzekatze’s villagers didn’t eat it. To them, only having two meals a day was the norm despite the fact that most other beastkin had three. One could tell from that alone that the villagers were living in poverty.

We should probably come back again some time after meeting Gallus. Preferably with lots of seeds and saplings in tow.

“In fact, I’ll even serve curry to make it up to you guys.”
“Really?”
“Woof?”
“Yup, and you can have as much of it as you want.”
“In heaven.”
“That’s an exaggeration if I’ve ever seen one.”
“Curry heaven, I shall soon be upon thee. For I will now depart for the promised land,” said Fran. She was so happy that she recited something that sounded like a poem.

Well, I’m glad she’s in a better mood, at least.

The only problem was that our curry supply was actually starting to run a bit low since we’d more or less served it en masse every time something happened. I was highly concerned that Fran’s mood would plummet if we ran out.

“Tasty.”
“Woof!”

And it went without saying that I would feel bad for Fran if she wasn’t allowed to eat her favourite food. Fortunately, the place we were in now had a private kitchen in which I could work. Thus, I decided to spend the rest of my spare time making as much of it as I possibly could.

***

Editor’s Thoughts: Hey guys. Sorry I haven’t introduced myself. I’m Joker. I’ll be editing for the boss until he decides that either he doesn’t like my work, or I start asking about my payment. 😛 Let me know what you guys think about this little blurb, by the way. If you would like to hear about the trials and tribulations of being a translator’s editor… I probably wouldn’t be the right guy to ask. I mostly proofread it. Heh. But if you don’t like and want to just have the story, I’ll keep them out and put them in the comments. Maybe. If I get around to making an account for that. :/ Anyway, about this current arc, I actually find myself in the minority opinion and enjoying it greatly. I love the world building arcs, as well as my favorite characters getting their moment in the spotlight. Something about the hero’s hard work being acknowledged has always struck a chord with me. Anyways, hope you guys enjoyed the chapter! I’ll see you next time!

Joker

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44 thoughts on “TSKD 291

    1. Also liking current arc. Are we current-arc-likers really even a minority, or is it just that people who don’t like something are more likely to comment? Maybe ST in his “spare time” can figure out how to put one of those reader-polls in the margin?

      Like

    2. I’m also liking this arc. I don’t think we’re that much of a minority, with all those crafting and progressor novels around.

      Like

  1. I am a sword romantic and a blacksmith romantic and this chapter has struck a cord.
    I know it is because of ignorance but the only swords that were cast in history were bronze swords. Iron has a VERY high melting point, high enough that melting iron for casting could turn it into steel and it could remove impurities in the metal, making for better quality tools. Depending on the time, all western swords were either made from bloom steel or foundry steel (the same as Japanese swords).

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Also, the reason jap swords were folded “over a thousand times” wasn’t because that made them do 2d10 damage and let them bisect a knight clad in platemail in one slash, but because jap iron ores are just beyond terrible and that was the bare minimum if you wanted to make a functional katana.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. While antiquity and medieval era European swords were indeed forged, somewhere around Renaissance people figured out how to melt iron, and swords were made by casting from that point on. For reference, as close to us as Russian Revolution, cavalry would charge in with swords, with some degree of success.

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      1. Naw, the only thing that changed in the Renaissance was the introduction of the cementation process. That allowed steel to be produced in billets that would then be ground or cut into shape. Even then they’d receive some degree of forging. At no point were of iron or steel swords ever directly cast on an industrial scale.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. When Iron melting occurred the product was not sword blanks, in reality that would be impossible because to cast steel you would need a heat of a minimum of 3000 F to pour the liquid into a cast. Even today that is difficult and is typically done with specialized equipment.
        It is possible to do it in your back yard with propane but the molds are much larger, and there are often failures, and you still need a specialized crucible and furnace. This also does not include the ‘finished product.’ People have tried to cast blade like tools with steel and iron and the same result occurs, the product is structurally unsound (typically the cooling causes stress points through out the product). In a sword it would mean that it would not hold an edge and could easily beak.
        When people learned how to melt iron and used it industrially that allowed for more uniform and more pure steel. Blacksmiths were always necessary to shape the steel into a tool.
        Even today with CNC machines there is no one (that I know of) that uses molten steel or iron to cast a bladed tool. It is impractical and improbable.
        Better results come from one of two things, shaping an ingot into the final form or stock removal.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Fifty swords for the catkin under the sky,
    Three for the mightiest catkin in their village,
    One for the Lightning princess on her catkin throne
    In the Land of Schwartzkatze where the Shadows lie.
    One Sword to rule them all, One sword to find them,
    One sword to bring them all and in the evolution bind them
    In the Land of Schwartzkatze where the Shadows lie.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Lol. All the authors seem to go out of their way not to know the science relevant to whatever they’re writing. Japanese authors aren’t special in this regard.

      Like

    2. Ah, but it’s not the author speaking, it’s the MC. Maybe the author knows smithy stuff, but thought it would be ironic to have a sword that didn’t know squat about swords. (OK, it probably really is the author not knowing, but still: irony.)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great chapter!
    “Curry heaven, I shall soon be upon thee. For I will now depart for the promised land.” — Best line
    “sleepsmithing. You know, like sleepwalking, but with a forge.” — Funniest line
    Sword making swords, talking about blacksmithing, finally using that skill he maxed, just so Fran can massage him(sword maintenance actually, but he feels like he’s getting a massage).

    And yes, such chapters that show the world around them, and make use of less important parts of the story, are my favorite reading materials. Rather than drama, i prefer action and fluffiness, but you can’t enjoy them without the drama(sadly).

    Thanks for the chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. *eye-twitch* Urgh, the author decided to act like he knew something about swordmaking history without even bothering to look up basic facts. Cast iron swords would have been garbage, not to mention painfully difficult to even try making. *seethes about a pet-peeve*

    Thanks for the chapter!

    Like

    1. If he levels up smithing enough that he learns how to make other intelligent sword-making swords, that can make intelligent sword-making swords then THE WHOLE WORLD CAN BECOME NOTHING BUT SWORDS BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

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      1. This, this may be the end of times…
        But if they all have cooking skills maxed, more curry = happier fran = happier Us.
        Nice ending we got here.

        Like

  5. I like these types of things, where someone just starts creating stuff. It is somehow refreshing, after reading other storys that have a bunch of complex storyline stuff that is impossible to keep in your head.

    Liked by 1 person

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