Kang, kang, kang—
—the sound of iron being struck echoed from the smithy.
I concentrated on the sound and impact to keep from doing anything unnecessary to it.
If I were to strike from the wrong direction, it would get distorted. If I were to make the slightest mistake in adjusting the temperature, it would break.
I also had to balance the power behind my strikes.
“As always, you’re a sight to behold~ even more so because you’re a pretty girl~” Said Doga.
“Why don’t you just focus on your own tasks, Doga? Spare her your profane thoughts.” Said Grave.
“I wouldn’t miss such a talented display of skill for the world!”
“The same goes for you. Don’t you have work to do? What is the ace of the Sword of the Blue Sky doing here?”
“Watching Liliana to keep her safe is part of my job. As you can see, I’m actually working hard.”
I could hear Grave and Doga chatting from behind me.
I couldn’t see their faces because I had my back to them, but Doga must had been fed up.
“My, doesn’t she sound important?””
“Well, she’s our guest, after all. As of the moment, she’s an important member of our guild—for a limited time, though.”
“Is that all?”
“…What are you implying?”
“Who knows, it might be for another reason.”
At first, they made sure they weren’t being loud. But, gradually, the volume of their voices increased.
Honestly, it was getting noisy. I couldn’t concentrate.
However, I was intrigued by their current topic. I couldn’t help but listen in for a bit.
I was losing my focus…
When I stopped, they also stopped.
“I want to take a break.”
“Alright. Are you tired? You should drink some water.”
When I stood up and turned around, Grave gave me a bottle of water.
Because I was dealing with hot iron, I sweated a lot while working.
As such, I was very thirsty. If I were to push myself, I would start getting lightheaded.
I had always been bad at caring for myself. Because of that, I often got sick or exhausted, and would faint.
Grave, who looked after me, was a great help.
“As expected of Liliana! I’m already learning a lot just by watching you!”
“But you should definitely start working, Doga, and not just watch.”
“Stop reminding me of that. It’s part of my job to watch her! Right, Liliana?”
“Uh, okay, sure…”
I glanced at the corner of the smithy.
A large number of delivery requests had piled up on his soot-covered desk.
“If you don’t start on them soon, you won’t finish them in time…”
“Uh, let’s pretend they don’t exist.”
“Don’t escape from reality.”
Suddenly, a large number of commissions came. Doga himself seemed to be overwhelmed by them.
Doga spoke while scratching his head.
“You see, this rarely happens…”
“Isn’t it a good thing?”
“That’s right~ but at the same time, I don’t have enough hands.”
“Well, do you need my help?”
“There’s no need. The requests were for me and you aren’t my employee, Liliana. You should just focus on Grave’s request, which is to repair the equipment of all your guild members. Whenever things like this happen, I feel like I’m going crazy…”
Doga seemed very tired.
Did I mishear him?
Similar situations seem to have happened before.
Managing your own smithy seemed difficult…
I worked until evening, exchanged greetings with Doga, and returned home.
The orange light of the setting sun in the western sky enveloped the city in a gentle glow.
Walking while feeling the transition between day and night felt very relaxing.
“Don’t you usually stop by the tool shop, Liliana?”
“It’s alright, I bought everything I needed yesterday.”
“I see. Have you gotten used to life here?”
“Thanks to you, I have.”
It had been 20 days since I arrived at that town.
I had finally become accustomed to blacksmithing, something I started by being a helper.
I didn’t notice it because I used to live in the royal castle where my accommodations were taken care of, but living on my own was quite difficult.
When I saw everyone in the guild and the people of the city, I realized it.
“Regardless, ever since our first meeting, you’ve changed a lot.”
“Indeed. Not only were you soaked by the rain, you also looked lost.”
I recalled the day he helped me.
As he said, I was ‘lost’.
It was cold, and I felt like abandoning everything. I was desperate to live.
“Now, you look kind of… lively? You seem to be getting better.”
“I think so, too.”
It was all thanks to Grave.
He had given me a place to stay where I could enjoy a warm meal.
Thanks to him, I was able to have a female friend with whom I could talk to. I was also allowed to work.
“Every day is fun…”
I wished those days would last forever—
—that was my hope.
Those fun, warm, and happy days… forever—
“—I have finally found you!”
I had almost forgotten—
—the fact that I had been a court blacksmith until about a month ago.
—the fact that I had been banished because of the man I had admired and believed in.
“Turns out you were in a place like this, Liliana!”
…That was right.
I had almost forgotten, until our reunion that evening.
***T/N: Now, Grave, push the button behind the back of your katana’s hilt to turn it into Male-Thot Destroyer MK. 7!!!!!!!!!! It’s the first of its kind, but with Liliana’s skill, I guarantee it won’t disappoint!!!!!
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!