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Chapter 122 – Supervising, Sometimes Worshipping Part 1

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Author: Ash Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2498 characters
Translator: Mii English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1118 words

The sounds of striking irons echoed in the blacksmith.

Several small furnaces were lined up by the wall of the long rectangular room. Young blacksmiths were swinging their mallets down in front of each of them.

I was watching them without doing anything.

Anyway, I was spending my energy to supervise these chicks. But I was freer than I expected.

From the day after I accepted the task to supervise Ed and other apprentices, I started watching them work every three days, but I didn’t have much to do. Ah, I did it once every three days since I naturally had to train‌.

I could give them advice, you say? But talking too much when they were working would break their concentration, so that’s a bit… But then, only looking at them was pretty boring. How troublesome.

However, I wasn’t just looking at them. When I was bothered by something, I would tell them properly. Ah, that apprentice over there is…?

“Hey, you’re hitting it a bit too much. You must forge it later on to balance the shape, so it’s okay to make it a little thicker now.”
“Ah, yes! Thank you very much!”

Well, it’s something like this.

“Teacher, what should I do about this?”
“Please do as you like.”
“…Yes.”

Ed also called me out, but I cut him down completely. My reply depressed Ed, but I could only answer him like this.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I was bullying him. I was giving him supplementary lessons; you know? Plus, I was watching him. Telling him exactly what he should do would be bad, too.

“You’re the only one who knows the image of the sword you want to make. Even if there’s only a little progress, there’s no choice but to forge as many swords as possible to get closer to your perfect image.”
“Ah… Yes! I’ll do my best!”

I was responding to Ed and the apprentices differently, but well… they had differences in the level of their blacksmithing skills. I wasn’t just discriminating against Ed because I didn’t like him.

The two apprentice boys were around the same age as me, but they literally just started swinging their mallets and didn’t have enough skills yet. So there’s no way they could forge the sword they want.

What they were forging right now was a dagger. For the time being, their products met the standards of this workshop. Master instructed them to practically touch what the veteran of this workshop forged as a sample. Then they had to make the same thing. Well, it would be hard for them to ‌make something with this kind of quality during this winter, but they might ‌put up something at the show if they worked hard. That’s why the two apprentices were fully motivated.

There’s also a novice boy I was currently entrusted to assist, who was a couple years older than me. He was practicing to forge a sample sword in the workshop.

A sample sword was the sword used for the basis when receiving forging requests in workshops and schools. Based on that, the blacksmith would change the weight, the length, the balance of the center of gravity as the customer ordered.

I also made it before, but I didn’t have many chances to use it.

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Apprentices were basically in charge of blacksmithing-related chores. They carried the steel materials or prepared the coke1 for the furnace. The shop boys did chores that weren’t related to blacksmithing. They were also in charge of watching the store.

Novices often assisted the actual blacksmithing work, such as wiping sweat, preparing drinks, preparing water to cool the sword that had been hardened for tempering, and a lot more things. Anyway, quenching was… let’s omit it for now. Forging a sword sure was complicated.

After a novice could forge a sample sword, they would be treated as an independent person at this workshop. That’s when they started forging a few swords.

Then there’s Ed.

Ed could forge the sample sword in the workshop with no problem, so he was treated as an independent man. However, Master told me ‌he couldn’t accept forging requests since he had a strange habit.

Originally, the blacksmiths in this workshop could start making weapons for forging requests after they became a veteran that had gained some experience. But Ed was Master’s son. He also had talent, so he could accept the request in advance. And he also had the skill to make a proper weapon when he officially became an independent man.

But well… he got ahead of himself because of the difference in treatment with his brother and got a strange habit… Of course Master wouldn’t let him work anymore. His older brother Al started taking forging requests two years after becoming an independent man.

After I mercilessly straightened Ed, he devoted himself to train more seriously than before. I could see that Master hoped that Ed would get a good result at the New Year’s show.

I also heard that Master Arnold wanted to outwit the person in charge of the other workshop diagonally opposite ours. He had a bad relationship with them, and the other workshop’s Master’s heir would also present their work in the show later on, so…

Wait, shouldn’t Master watch Ed on his own? I thought so, but it seems like he couldn’t refuse the request he was working on right now since it came from a fairly influential person. Master gave me a vague explanation, but since this probably involved Vector, it might be related to the royal family.

That being said, Ed and the son of the workshop diagonally opposite ours were not on good terms. In addition, Al also didn’t get along with them. Al told me that if he had free time to compete with them, he would ‌do it to defeat them, or something like that? For me, I think Al was more correct as a craftsman.

No, Master Arnold had the same idea as Al, but he was poking his head at every occasion, and Al naturally got pretty upset about it. I can relate to him a lot.

Ah, I strayed from the subject.

Honestly, I had nothing to teach Ed. In the first place, there was the orthodox way to forge weapons, so teaching how I did it might make him stray from the teaching in this workshop.

Even if he might eventually work on his own, I believe he should still follow the way of this workshop until it ‌happens. I feel bad for Ed, but I basically only looked at him. I wouldn’t touch anything unless he did something that would make an awful result.



References

  1. Silva: No, not coca cola! Coke is a fuel converted from coal and is used in a blast furnace.
    Robinxen: You can also get petroleum coke. Coke is very useful for heat but it’s awfully bad to burn for the environement.

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