1-11 Blacksmith and Dwarves

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Author: EnroItzal Original Source: Scribble Hub

It was the next morning.

Erin was strolling through the town before the morning mist had even lifted itself from the still vacant streets. It was another strange phenomenon. It was currently six in the morning but the sun was only peeking from the horizon. In the Evaren that she knew, six in the morning was brighter than this. The sun wasn’t still so meek by this time.

Is this another world that was just coincidentally named as Evaren? But the floral and fauna were too similar. Even the architecture and language spoken was completely the same.

With this kind of wondering, Erin sauntered the quiet and slowly brimming streets alone with a melancholic face but her heart sang a different melody. She was elated. It was a queer sensation. After so long, she had finally lost it. She was no longer a virgin, albeit as a woman but still, she could bid her chastity farewell. She was actually still in sort of a daze from last night. Everything seemed so surreal to her. She became a girl and then a woman, all in the same day.

I don’t care if I stay a woman now. As long as I can have encounters like last night, let it be so.

Despite claiming as such to herself, Erin was still a little reserve from blatantly admitting that she completely no longer saw herself as Argon Raze.

Feeling some gazes on her, she pulled her hood further down on her face.

She was wearing Lyra’s cloak like the prior night and she was also wearing her clothes, a pair of trousers and a simple tunic. Unlike her robe which had a special slit for her tail to move around, she had to made a hole on the trousers just to let her tail move around freely. She wasn’t keen on the idea of stuffing her tail inside the trousers altogether.

Still, her plain look and obscured face did not manage to disparage her allure and splendour for even a little. The contrasting appearance of her lovely face and the plain clothing only increased her charm. Granted, Erin preferred this type of clothing, rather than the robe she wore. It was easier to move around without exposing too much of her skin.

Despite wearing Lyra’s clothes, Lyra herself was not with her. It wasn’t because Lyra was the type to have trouble waking up in the early morning, she was simply too exhausted from last night’s intense coitus. Apparently, this was the first time she experienced something like this, being too exhausted from a coitus session until the next morning.

As an adventurer, her stamina was her pride but it had been shattered by Erin.

In contrast of Lyra, Erin was fine. She was back to full strength by dawn despite being the “bottom” for the most parts of their night together. She didn’t know what contributed to her quick recovery but it wasn’t detrimental, so she didn’t ponder on it too much.

Now, what should I get for armor?

She moved her thoughts to a different subject. It was the regards of her gears and equipment. Lyra had generously given her five silver to spend and also some spare sack to carry her spoils in her excursions. Erin was already hesitant on wearing her clothes— despite being on Lyra’s own insistence— Erin was all the more in refusal of the additional charity but Lyra convinced her by saying it was her “reward” for giving her the best night of her life. In addition, she told Erin she could pay her back slowly by becoming a member of her party.

“A party is the unofficial term for adventurers who decided to band together for a specified or an unspecified amount of time,” Lyra told her as such. Her explanation was far too succinct but Erin didn’t press for more information since she was able to comprehended the concept of a party from the name alone.

With a list of directions in hand, crudely written by Lyra herself due to her feeble state, Erin navigated through the small town with much ease and without difficulty. But that was only at hindsight. For a while now, she was receiving a lot of gazes from every person she passed by.

The amount of people on the streets were less than the night before but she felt like she had more eyes on her now, comparing to after she bested Kane in a duel. She thought she may had raise the ire of the townspeople after knowing she shamed one of their high level adventurers in town.

However, none of the eyes held any aversion or detestation. Quite the contrary, she could sense a hint of courtesy and gratitude from the stares. She could even hear the whispers from the passers-by. They all seemed to know of her being a Fox-kin.

Is it because of the fancy-looking silver sword I’m carrying? Well, whatever. I’m already prepared for this. I would be gossiping too if I saw a Fox-kin. Oh? Is it here?

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She mused in her heart as she arrived at the town’s only forge and blacksmith shop. She approached the lonely shop which was built some distance away from the clutter of buildings. The shop had only a signboard of an anvil engraving but for a blacksmith shop, it probably didn’t need some fancy designs other than the display of their forged tools and weapons. Though, she didn’t see any of the products being displayed outside, or at least even behind the windows or a glass pane.

While there was a store, the forge itself was out in the open. There was also no display of any of its products. Erin wagered that the finished products must be inside the shop but since she also had an order to make, she approached the forge first.

The blacksmith shop was run by a family of Dwarves, she remembered what Lyra had told her. So she take care not to make any mention of their height. She remembered hearing from some old acquaintances that a Dwarve’s height was taboo topic to them.

By the hearth, there was a person who had the appearance of a boy no older than eighteen years old, maybe even younger. A Dwarve had triple the lifespan of a human. If she went by that rule, the boy was most likely around fifty to sixty years old. Or maybe even older as appearance could be extremely deceiving. When she was close enough, she could tell that the Dwarve was at least shorter than her by a head and a half.

“Um… mister?” Erin called out to the earnestly working Dwarve.

The Dwarve stopped its hammering and turned his head to the side, casting Erin into his sight. He was wearing nothing but a pair of pants, an apron by the waist, and a kerchief wrapped around his head. For someone of his size, his thew was just unbelievable to be able fit into such a small body as he didn’t look as stout as Erin expected a Dwarve to be. He placed his hammer on the anvil, rubbed his hands on his apron, before finally greeting his potential customer.

“Ah, it’s you,” the Dwarve exclaimed in a curious manner. “A very good morning, thanks to you.”

Bafflement painted itself on Erin’s face. “Have we met?” she asked. That was unlikely but Erin did not rule out the possibility that she had recently taken over another real person’s body in her reincarnation. It was the scariest possibility, one that she tried not to to think about it. This person might be someone the “former” Erinthea knew.

“I don’t think so.”

Erin was even more confused. “Then how do you know me?”

“I don’t,” he said with a smile. “But I heard about you. In fact, you probably won’t find anyone in the town that hadn’t heard about you.”

“W-why?” She blurted out. “H-how?”

“Kane,” the Dwarve answered with a casual shrug. “A mysterious Fox-kin beauty in black robes ended the streak of Kane’s tyranny. You’re famous now in the town, Miss Fox-kin.”

Erin sighed. That explained the unusual amount of eyes on her. As there was no longer any point with her cloak, she pulled her hood off.

“Oh, dear me.” The Dwarve gasped. “You’re even prettier than the rumors claimed.”

“T-thanks…” It felt weird for Erin to be complimented by a male. She was fine with a woman doing so but a man was still a challenge.

“Tell you what, I’ll give you a discount.”

“That will be wonderful.” Erin forced herself to smile. It was uncomfortable to be gazed at directly by a male in a captivated manner.

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“The name’s Sven. What can I do for you, Miss—?”

“Erin.”

“Miss Erin, eh? How can I be of service?” Sven asked with his hands rubbing together.

Erin handed him the silver sword she was carrying with her.

Sven widened his eyes at the sword. “I reckon you got this as your prize for the duel with Kane?”

“You know about this sword?”

“Know it?” He laughed. “I forged this. Almost every sword or weapon you see in this town is forged by yours truly. So, what do you want to do with this? Melt it down into coins?”

Erin was surprise that such thing was an option but given there was silver as a currency, she accepted the fact as if it was only natural.

“I was thinking of reforging it back into a sword with steel.”

“Silver Steel… huh. Are you a Mage Fighter by any chance?”

“Am I a what?”

“A Mage Fighter”

Erin blinked. “I have to admit that I do not know what that is.”

Sven gave her an astounded look similar to Lyra and Sam, and even Tom. “Well, Mage Fighters are fighters who fight with not just Combat Arts but also Magic Arts. They specialized in close and long range. They’re widely sort after for their flexibility in combat.”

Erin still wasn’t sure how to answer Sven even after hearing his explanation. The way she understood was Magic Arts were mostly external and Combat Arts were mostly internal. She had Spirit Magic and Arcane Edge but they weren’t in the “long-range” category.

“I guess you can say something like that.” Erin decided to reply as such.

“Oh wow, Miss Erin. You’re a Fox-kin. You beat the town’s bully. And you’re a Mage Fighter to boot. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that you have a very bright future ahead of you. As expected of a Forest-kin.”

After such exchange, Sven got down to business. He declared that he wouldn’t charge her the service fee, only the steel used in the reforging. It was his thanks for teaching Kane a lesson in humility. To be honest, the discount was already too much for Erin but she wasn’t exactly too well-off to reject such offer, especially when it came to weapons and armor. She knew many people who had died due to them not wishing spent more on weapons and armor. Their frugality had brought about their demise.

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Erin herself was even partially guilty of mistake. When she was only sixteen as Argon Raze, she cared more about her skill and fame than her own well-being. She had almost lost her life to an Ogre due to her not wearing any armor.

Never going to repeat that mistake.

She vowed.

As Erin was told that it would take at least a day, two days at most, for the silver steel sword to be completed, Sven lent her another sword for the time being. Apparently, this was common practice and this steel sword’s exact purpose was to be used by people as substitutes for the mean time.

“You can pay for the silver steel sword when it’s done.” Sven told her. “But if it’s anything from inside the shop, that I’m afraid you will have to pay upfront.”

“Of course. Thanks for telling me.” Erin responded accordingly.

After that, Erin went into the shop which startled her with a surprising cool breeze when she pushed open the door. Since everyone pretty much knew about her identity, she took off the cloak and hung it on the hanger rack just by the entrance.

There wasn’t much space to move around in the shop, that was Erin’s first impression. It was also quite dim with only a window beside the entrance. However, the swords and weapons were all neatly arranged and displayed in four rows with the first and forth row being against the wall. The counter was position at the end of the store where armor and some miscellaneous tools were display there.

“Welcome, and good morning, I suppose,” said the Dwarve behind the counter without a trace of enthusiasm in his tone. He quickly returned to the book he was reading when he finished his mandatory greetings. He wasn’t stir like many others at the sight of Erin. Somehow, she felt a little irritated about that but no way would she admit that.

Bored, this was the first word that came to Erin’s mind upon looking at the Dwarve behind the counter. Like Sven, he resembled a teenage boy. She couldn’t gauge his height due to him being behind the counter but she didn’t doubt her height was the same as Sven. But strangely, he had dark red hair, in contrast to Sven’s dark brown hair. Although, the red tone in his hair was unnoticeable under a dim light. Erin took notice to it due to her Night Vision innate skill.

And there was another irregularity. He didn’t smell completely like a Dwarve. Erin came to realize that each individuals and creatures had a scent unique to their race or species. With that said, the person in front of her had the acute scent of Dwarves but underneath that, there was another scent. Although, Erin didn’t recognize that peculiar scent.

Well, no use questioning about that. I should stop being nosy about private matters.

Erin headed to the counter, skipping past the vast selection of weapons on the racks.

“Good morning,” she greeted, albeit a little late with it. “I’m looking for some light armor. Leather would do.” She wore heavy metallic armor in her past life but now that she was a girl— a woman with a slender frame, conventional heavy armor would not suit her at all. And no way will she fit her tail inside a metal armor. She could have it tailored a small hole to her frame but she didn’t have the coins for it.

After a brief stare in silence at Erin, the Dwarve responded, “leather armor is to my left. For a vest, try the one on the second row, the fourth one from the left. For a helmet, you better off using Magic to protect your head. Your hair is too long and your ears are… unconventional.”

Well, excuse you for being a Fox-kin.

Erin reproached the Dwarve in her mind and cast her glance at the selection of leather vest to her right. She chose the one the Dwarve pointed it out for her. To her amazement, it fit her so well when she tried it on.

What the hell? Did he just seriously guessed my size and the right vest to match?

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Being the Sword Saint, Erin understood just how good one needed to be to be able to discern such a thing. She didn’t know if she should feel impressed or crept out. Nevertheless, this Dwarve wasn’t as dull as he made himself to be. Erin wanted to know more about this Dwarve but at the same time, she knew it wouldn’t be ethical to pry into someone she just got to know a few minutes ago. She would just be as creepy as him.

Calming her curiosity, she tried on a pair of bracers and a pair of knee guards. She wore all of these before walking to the counter to pay for them. Since she was wearing tunic and trousers, the armors didn’t look out of place. She was thankful that she wore these clothes instead of the robe. She couldn’t imagine how terrible it would look with armors over it.

“Two silver,” the Dwarve said without blinking or even raising his head from the book.

Although Erin still wasn’t in the know about the pricing, she didn’t think that all of these were worth two silver. “Two silver? Isn’t it kind of expensive?”

“It’s a little expensive but you can’t buy it from anywhere else in this town. So, two silver.”

Erin was shock at his conduct but even more so at his logic. It was sound but infuriatingly so. Unless she decided to craft it herself, there were no where else who sold armor in this small town. So to say, the Dwarve family had a monopoly in this line of business.

Right before, Erin could take out two silver from her pouch and pay the impassive Dwarve for the armors, she was stop by a voice.

“I can pay for you if you don’t mind.” It was a gentle yet firm voice.

Glancing to the oddly magnanimous feminine voice, Erin widened her eyes to their limits. She couldn’t believe what entered her sight. Tall, slender, smooth and pale skin, a pair of serene leaf-green eyes, long sky-blue hair in a ponytail, an elegant and alluring face, and finally, a pair of long pointy ears.

It was an Elf, a female Elf.

Her level of beauty was even more than Erin’s expectation had for it. Erin even felt like her own beauty would be overshadowed by the Elf before her.

Erin was simply at a loss for words.

The Dwarve however, wasn’t.

“Welcome and good morning, Niv,” he greeted the dignified Elf with the exact same tone he used with Erin.


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