The broadsword held a decisive advantage over the short sword in terms of weight and strength. Furthermore, I was the one attacking and these 10 strikes were all aimed at the same spot. The result was, the short sword broke but my broadsword was damaged beyond use as well.
Such a result…how could I not accept my defeat?
“This…how is this possible…”
Are my creations really that bad?
In the previous battle, I was too stunned by our strength disparity to check the conditions of my army’s weapons. When I think back on it, if we had continued fighting not only would our bone swords be destroyed, but our shields wouldn’t have fared much better either!
“Do you how this old one created this short sword?”
Before I had the chance to consider his question, he created a whirlpool of mana in his palm. With a wave of his right arm, three sets of bones flew out from a nondescript pile of materials nearby. As they flew into the whirlpool, they were quickly devoured by the mana whirlpool. In a short span of 10 seconds, the whirlpool was gone and all that remained was a freshly forged short sword.
Three sets of bones!
Oh my god, he actually used three sets of bones, I only used one set during my forging…how much mana did this guy have?! The more materials you used increased the amount of mana that had to be expended.
Forget it, there’s no way an unfathomable expert like him would lack that bit of mana. Only a pauper like me would cut corners to save that little bit of mana.
Truth be told, while forging all these weapons, I had noticed a similar situation as well. For example my broadsword, I could’ve spent more mana to refine the materials in a fashion similar to the way blacksmiths remove the impurities from their metals. The resulting product would be smaller, but would be a lot tougher.
Simply put, the robed skeleton made use of refined materials to craft his sword while I merely used the bones as is. As such, my weapons were naturally inferior to his.
But it’s not like I had a choice…the more materials you used increased the amount of mana that had to be expended. My mana pool was already limited as is, and time wasn’t our ally as well. The only viable option was to use a simplified forging process. Not to mention I had experimented with refining once. The mana cost was exorbitant and I could only use two sets of bones to craft one broadsword.
As for the robed skeleton, he was able to refine and use three sets of bones just to craft a much smaller shortsword…in terms of technique, he was head and shoulders above me!
I had unknowingly reverted to polite speech once more. It couldn’t be helped, he was just too mysterious and too strong. While I hadn’t guessed his intentions yet, it didn’t matter.
An expert like him…he could probably hold me down with a single finger; so resisting was pointless. Even if I resisted he could do whatever he wanted with me, and I would have no choice in the matter. It’s better to just let it go. After all, no matter how much he tried, he still had no pee pee. As they say, a dead pig isn’t afraid of scalding water…
“Do you wish to learn how to do this?”
“Definitely!” My mouth reacted faster than my brain as those words leaped out. I hesitated slightly before saying: “Err…is there any way I can help you?”
“This old one said so before, this one has just taken a liking to you.” His teeth chattered as he laughed, the sight of him talking without a larynx was just as unsettling as before.
Seeing that I still had some reservations, he stopped talking and instead took out something similar to a goat-skin scroll and handed it over to me.
“A record of all my findings regarding dark alchemy.” He yawned as he said so in a bored tone. With his bone hand covering his mouth as he did so, he pointed at the exit and said: “You may leave now, this old one is tired.”
“…” Is that it? What the f*ck, we just started this conversation and you are already trying to chase me away. Director, there’s a problem with the script.
Shouldn’t this be followed by a friendly chat; where the both of us talk about our lives and form a close bond with each other? For example: “From now on, you now will be my trump card; if this brother gets into trouble, he will give you a call. After which you will die for this one, but not without leaving your beautiful daughter to this one. This brother will then make an oath to avenge you, with your daughter as a witness, setting me on the path to become the overlord of the universe.” Shouldn’t this be the norm for Xuanhuan novels! Why aren’t you following the norms?!
After that round of bitching, the robed skeleton was nowhere in sight. With nothing I could do about this, I had no choice but to leave. Just as I reached the top of the stairs, I heard the devils under my command shouting.
“Master! Master! Where are you?”
As I resurfaced, I immediately noticed the giant bone wall standing between me and the devils. They were unable to come over nor were they able to check out the situation. I guess that’s what all the fuss was about. I even heard the sounds of them attacking the wall. They are surprisingly loyal.
The robed skeleton probably predicted that they would try to follow us, and so, laid down this wall.
Well then, how should I get over there…eh, look’s like the problem resolved itself. As I was pondering, the bone wall slowly began to lower itself into ground, disappearing without a trace as if it had never existed.
As I looked ahead, the sight of Nine-finger appeared rushing to hug me with an inexplicable look of excitement on his face.
I immediately sidestepped, dodging the incoming bearhug. With a cursory gaze at One-eye, I said: “You know what to do.”
One-eye nodded and in a couple of steps, reached Nine-finger and gave him a solid kick on his butt: “Bastard! You actually dared to blaspheme the Master! I’ll skin you alive!”
“Big brother…nooo…I was only concerned about the Master’s safety…”
“Don’t think you can fool your big brother! I knew exactly what you were planning the moment you averted your eyes.”
“Master, are you alright?” No.3 and Big 4 asked in a more normal show of concern.
“I’m fine, we need to leave as soon as possible. This was a pretty fruitful trip, I need some time to digest all this new information.”
While the trip had ended with significant casualties on our side, I had also received a lot of guidance and help from the robed skeleton; so we netted a profit in the end. Overall, I was pretty pleased with this trip.
I secured the scroll I got from the robed skeleton onto the grimoire and tightly hugged it. I no longer handed it over to the female devil. I turned to look over at the couple of stooges and said with a light smile: “One-eye, Nine-finger, let’s head out. We wouldn’t want those undead to catch up to us after all.”
The large imps stared at with their mouths wide open. Just as I was about to ask them what’s wrong, a mesmerized Nine-finger spoke up: “Master, your smile is so lovely…”
“…scram, the whole lot of you, get your asses down this mountain right now!” Screw you, I’ve said so many times, I AM A GUY!
After meeting up with Big 1 at the base of the mountain, I immediately gave the order to continue our routine of hunting and avoiding the zombie horde.
The robed skeleton had given me a lot of help, but this also left me with several complicated feelings. His decision to help me unconditionally was puzzling. What’s up with [I’ve taken a liking to you].
Forget it, I have more important matters to attend to, like that goatskin scroll.
Its contents were written in the devil’s language which I knew from birth thanks to my inherited memories. It recorded down the method he used to refine materials. By using this method, the resulting weapons would definitely be stronger, but the resulting mana consumption was horrifying.
The mirror constructed by the robed skeleton took the form of a whirlpool or vortex while mine was a flat surface. Just from their appearances alone, one could tell there was a big difference between the two. I tried out his method and found that it wasn’t too difficult. After several tries, I managed to condense my mana into a vortex.
I tossed three sets of bones into the vortex as a trial run. Soon, a familiar bone broadsword came out of the vortex.
It looked nearly identical to the previous ones except for one glaring difference. The new sword was even whiter than its weaker cousins. Its body had a smooth jade-like lustre on it unlike the coarse teeth-yellowed luster of my previous attempts.
Time to test its strength…
I got No.3 to hold onto a coarse broadsword while I aimed at it with my newly forged bone sword. In a flash of white, the two swords collided momentarily before the sword in No.3’s hand fell to the ground; severed. As for the sword in my hand…it wasn’t in the least bit damaged.
“That…Master…that sword is too powerful!” He immediately tossed the junk in his hand and stared unblinkingly at the jade-like sword in my hand: “ Master…err…umm…”
“Don’t be such a wuss, if you want it, I’ll give it to you.” I handed the sword to him in a jovial manner. His hands slightly trembled as he received the sword with both of his hands, a loving look in his eyes. If one didn’t know better, you would think the sword in his hands was his beautiful wife. I looked at his silly face in a half exasperated, half amused manner: “A simple sword got you that excited? *Sigh*, where’s your backbone. Once this brother gets stronger, he will create even better weapons for you.”
“Thank you Master!”
“Mhm. Just do your job and you will be rewarded well.” Seeing him happy, made me happy as well. He was the oldest and most loyal subordinate under my command. If there was anything good to be had, I would naturally prioritize his share over the others.
After sending off No.3, I checked on my mana pool. After all the hard work I had done, my maximum mana was now 30 units. Creating that refined weapon cost me 10 units. According to my calculations, I would be able to create a maximum of three such weapons in one go, given some replenishment.
Hugging that heavy grimoire had gotten me tired so I handed it over to the female devil and continued creating more refined swords. A short while later, another bone sword was completed and this time, it seemed to have tired me out even more.
As I rechecked my mana pool, I received a startling shock. What’s happening…didn’t it cost 10 units the first time around, why did it suddenly cost me 15 units…
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.