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Master Blacksmith

Ameanum kept walking in the corridor, and soon after, he arrived at the room's entrance. There was no door, so he could see inside the room right away. Inside was a forge, and a quite big one, as it could fit 7 artisans, although there was only one in the room at the moment.

The man was a dwarf with a well-kept beard, and like most of the dwarves, he was quite wide. However, he clearly wasn't fat; it was pure muscle. He wore simple pants and an apron and currently had his full focus on carving a shield with a chisel. He was putting some enchantment on it.

The dwarf was so focused that he didn't notice Ameanum entering the room. He didn't get too close to the dwarf, as he didn't want to disturb his work.

After a few minutes, the dwarf used a towel and started cleaning the shield, wiping any debris that remained on it.

"It seems your hands have become more delicate after all those years." [Ameanum]

Hearing an unexpected voice behind him, the Dwarf turned towards it with an angry expression, which was quickly replaced by one of pleasant surprise.

"Who are you to dare... MASTER, is that really you?" [Varic]

The Dwarf immediately stood up and reached out to hug Ameanum. He could almost feel his bones breaking by the dwarf's strength.

"That's enough, Varic, or you'll make me a disabled man." [Ameanum]

Hearing that, Varic let him go right away.

"Master, where have you been all these years? I heard that you were killed, but a Blessed One shouldn't be possible to stay dead. Although, I have heard of some disappearing over the years." [Varic]

Of course, Varic was referring to players that were called Blessed Ones since they could respawn. And it was true that some had left over the years because they moved to other games or just didn't have enough time to play anymore.

"Well, it is a long story that we'll discuss some other time. But I can tell you is that the Dark Guild has something to do with it." [Ameanum]

Hearing mention of the Dark Guild, Varic's clenched his jaw in anger.

"Those little children tried to mess with my Master? I will show them what..." [Varic]

Ameanum cut him off before he could finish.

"THAT IS ENOUGH. You aren't to do anything against them unless they come after you. They currently think I am out of the picture, so I am gonna use this to my advantage." [Ameanum]

Varic understood this way of thinking and his expression changed to that of a pity for the ones who crossed his Master.

"Well, either way, I'm here for two reasons." [Ameanum]

"Whatever it is, you just have to ask, and I will do everything in my power to help you." [Varic]

Ameanum smiled at his response. Right in front of him stood a Master Blacksmith, a man that most players would pay anything to talk with, and that person was currently calling him Master.

But it made sense. Ameanum, over the years, had researched the game and has shared his research with both players and NPCs alike. And, of course, one of the NPCs was Varic himself.

When they first met, Varic was an exile from his clan, and because he was so young, he didn't have his crafting skills very high yet as they were at the low Rank back then.

But Ameanum helped him, and at some point, Varic's skills surpassed his own.

The skills' progression differed for players as they had level instead of rank, and each level offered an increasing benefit to the skill.

The first 10 levels unlocked the same be benefits as the Low Rank skill of an NPC. Then up to level 40, it was the same as the Base Rank, and from 41 to 100, which was the maximum level, was the equivalent of the Master Rank. Of course, the higher the level, the harder it was to get to the next one.

Unfortunately for players, there was no way for them to reach the Grandmaster Rank. Still, Ameanum knew that there were ways around that.

While it was true that when you reached 100 , that you couldn't level up the skill anymore, after fulfilling some hidden requirements depending on the skill, you would break the skill limits and evolve it into a more powerful one. This information wasn't known by many, and Ameanum didn't know of anyone who had succeeded in breaking the limits of skill yet.

Other than himself, that is.

Most of his skills were Master Rank, over level 70, with the majority at level 90. And most of his other skills were level 35-40, which was the same as the Base Rank.

But he had one skill that was level 100 and evolved, and that was his PERCEPTION, which had evolved into EAGLE EYES.

By evolving the skill, it allowed him to know a player's information, NPCs, or items just by looking at them. But, of course, the more powerful the one he was using the skill on was, the less info he could see.

As far as his SMITHING Skill, it was currently at level 90. The last 10 levels were more complicated to pass as each needed a different set of requirements which, of course, the System didn't share with the players.

But at that level, he could create some repair hammers that could repair pretty much anything. Those were the same kind of hammers he used after the fight with the Dragon. Of course, special hammers as those contained the knowledge of their creator. The greater the creator's skill, the greater their benefit, so they didn't need to be used in a special way. He was using it to fix a Grandmaster Grade Armor back then. The repairing the hammer could do was limited with each hammering; that is why it took him several to repair the armor fully.

"Well, as I said, I am here for other reasons. Firstly, I wanted to check on you, my friend, and the progress of your skills. And secondly, I need a set of equipment but nothing too fancy. We don't want to draw too much attention." [Ameanum]

Of course, he had already drawn attention just by being allowed to see Varic so easily and in front of so many players. However, no one would connect with his real identity, as his relationship with Varic was never a known fact.

"Well, the equipment is something that can be taken care of easily enough. As for my skill's progress, I think you'll be surprised." [Varic]

Saying that Varic started moving towards a corner of the room where something was covered by a cloth. When Varic removed it, there was a safe, and it surprised Ameanum as he recognized the material he used to make it. It was constructed from Mana Glass.

Mana Glass was a material made completely by mana. Different mana gave it unique attributes. From the color of the one in front of it, which was dark brown, it seemed to be of Earth element combined with Dark Element, a combination that made it indestructible. Not even a full-grown dragon would be able to make so much as a scratch on it.

But creating Mana Glass was something that very few people knew how to do, and it was something that would cost a fortune just to make a small box. To make a safe that was one meter in each dimension, it was something that not even the treasury of a kingdom would be able to cover.

To tell the truth, Ameanum wasn't too surprised as he knew even if Master Blacksmiths weren't considered as powerful as Grandmaster ones, that didn't make them weak. And that was because not all Master Rank were the same. Some had superior work to the others.

Even then, comparing those at the top of the Master Rank with Grandmasters was like comparing the strength of a human baby and an elephant.
Varic opened the safe, not even trying to hide the combination from Ameanum, and inside there was just one thing. A longsword.

But its appearance wasn't anything too flashy, and it seemed simple enough until Ameanum used his Eagle Eyes on it.


Unnamed Longsword (Low Grade/Growth type)

Description: A longsword created by Semi-Grandmaster Blacksmith Varic. Its abilities are of Low Grade currently but can grow with the user.


"A ... a growth type weapon?!?" [Ameanum]

The weapon's type surprised Ameanum, and as he turned towards Varic, he noticed a smirk on his face.

Knowledge of creating Growth type equipment was lost through history and was more precious than Divine equipment. And that was because, at some point, even Divine equipment may become too weak for the user, especially if they are low level. But a Growth Type could keep growing in power and was limited only by its user.

But that wasn't the only thing that surprised him, as he had taken note of Varic's title as well.


Of course, that didn't mean that he was as good as a full Grandmaster Blacksmith, but he has pretty much unlocked the path to reach that Rank.

"Hehe, I knew Master's eyes would see it right away. Well, what do you think? Is this a good start for your new equipment?" [Varic]

Hearing that, Ameanum was surprised for a second, but knowing Varic, it wasn't something unexpected. He didn't want to keep his best work locked away; he wanted to see it used, but only by someone worthy of it.

"Well, who am I to say no to a future Grandmaster?" [Ameanum]

As he said that, he bowed before Varic, but soon enough, he felt the dwarf's hand pushing him to get back up.

"You know I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you, Master. So you never have to bow to me.: [Varic]
Hearing that, a smile appeared on Ameanum's face as he understood that his old friend's personality hadn't changed, even now.

"Well, it is weird of you to call me Master, e, especially since your skills are way higher than mine, so why don't we change that?" [Ameanum]

"And what would you like me to call you, Master?" [Varic]

"Well, let's go with 'friend' for now. But suppose we are in front of others, specially blessed ones. In that case, you can call me Shingi if it is needed. Although, we probably shouldn't be seen talking to each other a lot, or we'll draw unnecessary attention." [Ameanum]

"I understand Mast... I mean my friend. As far as armor, I don't have anything as fancy as the sword, and since we don't want to draw too much attention, I can give you one of my simple works." [Varic]

"That won't be necessary." [Ameanum]

"But why?!" [Varic]
"Because if I am seen getting out with a full set of equipment made by you, we gonna draw too much attention. And also, your 'simple' works aren't really that simple if you compare it with what a normal blessed one would have. But this sword will be more than enough for now." [Ameanum]

"Well, at least let me give you some money to buy armor from someone else. That wouldn't be that risky." [Varic]

Before Ameanum could even answer, Varic ran with surprising speed for someone of his size towards a nearby drawer. Then, unlocking it with a key that he had in his pockets, he brought out a pouch about the size of a fist and carried it over to Ameanum.

Taking the pouch and checking it, he noticed it was full of gold coins. He normally didn't like to borrow money from others, but knowing Varic's' personality, he had little choice. Especially since it was an amount that Varic could likely earn back easily.

The pouch disappeared. If someone were to pay careful attention, they would see a tattoo on his neck of a pile of coins that wasn't there before.

That was part of a blessing he had taken by the God of Wealth, which allowed him to put any amount of coins into a special pocket dimension that only he had access to. After completing a Chain Quest that led to an audition with the gods themselves, he was rewarded with some abilities.

But that wasn't the only blessing he had. There was one that Varic himself was jealous of Ameanum for having, and that was the Blessing of the God of Alcohol. That blessing gave him high resistance against poisons and toxins. Moreover, it made it nearly impossible for him to get drunk, which was something that every dwarf would be jealous of.

With his newfound weapon, wealth, and talking with his old friend again, Ameanum was ready to go.

"Is there a different exit? Because I think it would draw too much attention if I went back the way I came in." [Ameanum]

As it turned out, there was actually a false wall that led outside into an alleyway. So Ameanum made his way out through the alley wearing a simple cloak with a hood that Varic gave him just to be sure it hid him well enough from any prying eyes.

And so he made his way outside and around, and as he got to the front of the shop, he found the two people he was looking for: Wild Tycoon and Little Phoenix.

Fortunately, they were out of the shop as the shop seemed to be more crowded than usual as people were waiting for something to happen.

He slowly made his way towards them, trying to be as quiet as possible, and when he got next to them, he spoke in Tycoon's direction.

"We shouldn't spend more time here if we want to help Phoenix level up." [Ameanum]

The two girls were surprised by him appearing out of nowhere, as they were too focused on the shop. When Ameanum turned around and started making his way towards the nearby gate, they ran after him.

"WAIT! Are we just supposed to ignore what just happened back there?" [Wild Tycoon]
Turning towards her, Ameanum's face was as serious as ever.

"What is there to talk about? I went to get some equipment." [Ameanum]

"GET SOME EQUIPMENT?! This is a Master blacksmith we're talking about. No one is just 'getting some equipment' from him!" [Wild Tycoon]

Ameanum didn't give any further response after that, which made Tycoon even angrier.

But then the person who had been silent all this time finally spoke.

"Ehm... excuse me. But we have... to change our plans." [Little Phoenix]
At that point, both Tycoon and Ameanum stopped and turned towards her.

"Eeeehm, I need to log out to take care of some things." [Little Phoenix]

Hearing that, Tycoon was clearly disappointed, as if it had completely ruined her day.

Phoenix gave them a bow and started running further into the town.

A player could pretty much log out from anywhere in a safe zone, but it was suggested to first get a room at one of the inns, as it would give some extra benefits for the next time they logged in.

Of course, Tycoon followed her friend, forgetting all about Ameanum, who had just stayed where he was for a moment and then continued his way towards the gate. Even if his plan had changed, and he couldn't join the two girls for their leveling up, that didn't mean he couldn't continue with his own plan.

Since this was a beginner's town, there should be a few people out in the fields who he could check the progress of.

After a few minutes, a notification window appeared.


SPECTATOR MODE is OFFLINE. Logging character out.


And so everything turned black once more, and the weird feeling of becoming lighter and then heavier again returned.

He was back to his NPC body, still in his bed with Annoue sleeping soundly next to him.

'What the hell just happened?' [Shingi]

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6 Νοε 2021

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