35. The Fake Ice Stone
Grave, having defeated the dragon, approached me.
Then, remembering something, he stopped halfway and returned to the dragon’s remains.
Approaching the amputated neck, he started doing something disturbing.
I couldn’t see what well from a distance.
After he was finished, I saw him holding some large fangs.
He ran towards me and said.
“Sorry for the wait.”
“It’s alright. What do you want to do with those?”
“I’m going to bring them home. Dragon material is precious. I will also get some scales later.”
While saying that, he packed the dragon’s fangs in a bag.
To peel off the material from a monster and take it home.
It was a feeling that I wasn’t familiar with.
“Hey, Grave, did you just use magic?”
“Oh, that flame?”
“Yes, you’re able to do something like that?”
“Well, I’m experimenting because I’m using Liliana’s sword.”
I tilted my head.
Grave then explained while touching the sword on his waist.
“I can convert magical power into flames. It’s super hot, has high firepower, and does a great deal of damage. But, I usually didn’t use it because my previous sword couldn’t withstand the heat of the flames.”
“Oh, I see.”
“I don’t want to melt my precious sword, so I never use that spell. But Liliana re-forged my sword, and now its blade is able to withstand the fire. Thanks to that, I can fight to my fullest.”
Grave often thanked me, but I thought he was overestimating me.
His swordsmanship and that power of fire should all had been obtained by Grave’s efforts.
That wasn’t because of me. I just helped a little.
Although it was obvious, Grave never once looked down on people. No wonder he was liked by many.
With the threat of the dragon gone, an environment safe for mining had been created.
Grave and I descended into the crater.
“A lot shattered, sorry…”
“Don’t worry. It’s because I forgot to mention it.”
The ice blocks laying around here and there had been reduced to less than half.
Those that disappeared were most likely fake ice stones.
Fake ice stones would break from a slight impact and shatter into nothingness.
The fact that there weren’t even any fragments left probably meant that they had dispersed in the air.
“Uhm, how do you know which is which?”
“There are some tricks… first, the way it reflects the light.”
The appearance of a fake ice stone was almost the same as normal ice.
It was difficult to judge through its appearance alone.
There were three points to take note of in distinguishing it.
The fake ice stone reflected sunlight and emitted a faint light.
In a bright place, the light would be dim. Amateurs would have a hard time differentiating them.
“That’s the one.”
“Look, the one with the sharp edge.”
“…I’m sorry, I don’t understand at all.”
Grave narrowed his eyes, but he still wasn’t able to find it.
Looking at his slightly troubled face intrigued me.
When I approached the stone, Grave also followed me.
Squatting before the stone, I started tapping it.
“Yes, it seems that I was correct.”
“How can you tell? Is it because of the sound?”
“Rather than the sound, it’s the impact.”
“Why don’t you try it?”
Grave, like me, tapped the fake ice stones
“Hmm… why don’t you try hitting ordinary ice?”
He hit the large ice cube next to it.
Grave, who was comparing the two, had wrinkles between his eyebrows.
“Somehow… this one has a stronger impact?”
He pointed at the fake ice stone.
“What a relief, I’m glad—but I don’t really understand?”
“Well, without experience, it isn’t too noticeable.”
As the final confirmation, I tried harvesting the fake ice stone.
To tell the truth, that was my first time actually mining one. I wasn’t confident I could pull it off.
“I’m amazed at how easy you can tell them apart.”
Grave stared at me with anticipation.
I didn’t want to fail.
After he showed such a cool side of himself, I also wanted to show him my cool side.
Feeling enthusiastic, I started working.
I took out a special magic device and a knife that emitted heat from Grave’s bag.
“Do you want to melt it?”
“Yes, I just need to warm it up a bit. Like iron, fake ice stones have the property of melting when heated. But when they are heated to a high temperatures like iron, they melt and disappear. If the heat is too low, they can’t be used…”
In short, the effective temperature range was extremely narrow.
I continued to apply a certain amount of heat so that it didn’t get too hot or cold.
Mining wasn’t possible if I exceeded the effective temperature range even a little.
Carefully, delicately, and intensively—
What I needed to observe the most was the moment when the fake ice stone began to melt from the heat.
That was it!
At that point, I passed my knife through the heated part.
If it went well, it’d be separated cleanly.
“I did it!”
Just like that—
“—The mining of the fake ice stone is completed.”
***T/N: No, seriously, introduce me to that hot master of yours, Liliana.
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