36. The Sword has a Heart
Having mined the fake ice stones, our objective was accomplished.
In order to bring the stones back and forge them, we had to go back down on the steep mountain path.
Remembering how tough it was going to be, I felt dejected.
Grave bumped his shoulder onto mine.
Instead of replying, he pointed in a certain direction.
I turned to said direction.
—the moment I turned around, I saw something truly amazing. Over my entire life, I had never seen such a sight before.
The clear blue skies and the land covered with white clouds-like snow continued on forever.
We were now higher than the clouds, and we were much closer to the sky.
Even thought that should have been obvious, I only realized it after seeing that scenery.
My body trembled.
“Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this before…”
“I agree. This is my first time seeing something so beautiful. It’s one of the best views I’ve ever seen.’
“For me, it’s the best.”
A room filled with hot iron, burning flames, and a murky background.
Most of what I had seen over my life was contained within that small smithy.
For me, someone who stayed within such a small room for a long time, it was my entire world.
My world had expanded greatly.
We lived in such a vast world.
“Has Grave seen a better view than this?”
“That’s right. I’ve seen many things.”
“Yes. I’m jealous of you.”
He had seen such amazing sights many times. I thought it was only to be expected for everyone to envy him.
“I also want to see them…”
“If so, I’ll bring you along.”
“Tell me if you have a place you want to go to. It can be to the edge of the world or an uncharted region—I’ll take you anywhere.”
“How about that? Let’s witness another amazing site together next time.”
Grave told me so while looking at the magnificent view that seemed to extend forever.
I answered his kindness with the best smile I could muster.
I felt grateful for him being there.
The steep path was worthy for overcoming.
Grave and I went down the mountain and returned to the smithy.
Climbing down was difficult, but I didn’t feel the steepness of the journey.
A flame was burning in the smithy—I was preparing to do my job.
“Since I have time, can I watch you?”
While Grave was watching, I started working.
The emotional afterglow still remained in my heart.
Even if they knew how to do it, not everyone could process fake ice stones.
Although it had to be struck into a proper form just like iron, it was extremely difficult to adjust the temperature and the strength of the strikes.
My master taught me when I was an apprentice.
I remembered failing over and over again. My master got angry and said that I was wasting materials.
Although my accuracy had improved, my success rate was still about 70%.
First, apply heat.
Maintain a temperature lower than when forging an iron.
If the temperature exceeded a certain threshold, the fake ice stone would melt just like ice. That would be unrepairable.
After adjusting the temperature, I struck it lightly into shape.
The strength of my strike was balanced. If I were to hit it too hard, it’d break instantly.
Using such a process, I stretched it into the length of a sword.
Because it couldn’t be stretched all at once, I had to do it little by little.
Once the length fit, I covered the surface with clay.
Then, I started heating iron.
“Why are you heating iron?”
“To cover the top of the clay.”
“Cover? With iron?”
“Yes. I shall protect it with clay, wrap it with iron, then strike it. This is the best way to keep the temperature while I strike it into a blade.”
Such was the method taught by my master.
It was difficult.
The part that would become the actual blade was behind the clay and iron.
Until it was completed, it couldn’t be seen.
When hitting it, all I could hear was the clanking of the iron instead of the fake ice stone underneath. Therefore, it wasn’t very helpful.
There was no choice but to imagine the invisible blade in my mind.
I went through an adventure to forge this blade—with Grave.
I didn’t want such an that impressive sight to be wasted.
I struck the iron.
The clanking sounds of the iron filled the smithy.
The blade was there even if I couldn’t see it.
I was a blacksmith, and I was a sharp blade.
I should be precisely matching the image in my head with my swing.
As the work progressed…
“Is it over?”
“Yes. I did it.”
Once the iron was crushed, and the clay was peeled off, a sharp and beautiful blade appeared.
A burning flame could be seen through the other side of the transparent blade.
When exposed to light, it reflected the light. It even gave off the impression of giving off its own light.
Grave involuntarily sighed.
Just to hear that one word made it worth all the effort.
I wiped away my sweat.
***T/N: Another mission done successfully!
Please also consider donating to my ko-fi! It’ll greatly support me in action, no matter the amount!