Chapter 22: Old Jaeger

In a place far, far away from the Northeast Province, a dirty man sat atop a giant silhouette.  From afar, the silhouette looked like a disfigured mountain, thousands of meters high. The man sported a brown cloak; a disheveled beard covered most of his exposed face. He wore goggles across his forehead and smoked a cigarette while he sat, calmly looking at the horizon.

“Hmm? Old Jaeger?”

The dirty man mumbled something and stared toward the east.

“So you have finally found a new partner, ey, old friend?” The dirty man blew a cloud of smoke as he closed his eyes filled with sorrow.

A young woman in a blacksmith’s attire struck a hot metal rod on an anvil right next to the man. The young woman was covered in baggy clothes from head to toe with googles that seemed too large for her face covering her eyes. Her long purple hair swayed in the wind with each stroke of her hammer.

“Master?” She asked the dirty man after he finished mumbling.

“Kid, do you believe in destiny?”

The young woman scratched her head as she pondered, deciding to answer with a simple nod.

“Well, I didn’t—at least not until now, of course.” The man stood from the large metallic ore he had been sitting and attempted to futilely dust himself off.

“Old Jaeger finally reacted. It seems he has found someone.” The man puffed out smoke, nostalgia plastered on his face. The young woman knew of the legendary ‘Old Jaeger.’ It was her Master’s training hammer. It was precious to him, like how she treasured the training hammer held in her hand.

A spiritsmith and their personal hammer had a personal connection, far beyond what normal people could comprehend.

Old Jaeger was, however, a defect. Indeed, it was a defective training hammer. Almost everyone who trained with it would end up dead or disfigured. Her master and grandmaster were the only Spiritsmiths to ever survive its use unscathed.

Due to its age and continuous use, it was no surprise that the old hammer had developed some sort of spirituality, allowing it to communicate with her master. Yet, something was not right.

“For it to communicate means it was supplied with spiritual energy. Someone other than master or grandmaster is capable of wielding it! Who?” The young woman stroked her chin as she remained deep in thought.

“Master told me to prepare a gift for anyone capable of using Old Jaeger. Now is as good a time as any. Get off, kid. I need to work.” The dirty man stretched his waist as he waved for her to go far away.

“Wait, Master! You can’t possibly want to smite the Colossus into a dantian? That would take days! We can’t spend long here; the general gave us strict orders-“

“That’s odd; I seem to remember that it was the master who told the disciple what to do, not the other way around,” said the dirty man with a cheeky grin.

The young woman pouted and said, “Master is careless. If I didn’t look after you, you would probably spend months without bathing and remain unemployed. Our current employer gave us a task! It is our duty as honourable Spiritsmiths to-“

“Blah blah blah. Honour, blah blah blah, kindness, blah blah blah blah blah, sunshine and rainbows. Yeah, I got it, Kid. I don’t care what that old geezer orders. Master’s task comes first. Master probably felt Old Jaeger too. Unlike you, I actually value my life and don’t enjoy pain, so Imma get to work. Now, leave.” Before the girl could rebuke, a large force hit her gut, sending her flying into the skies. Her body soared like a rocket flying into space. She displaced the air around her, causing whirlwinds to form in the sky. As she shot up, her body got slower and slower.

The girl had no idea what her master had done to get her that high. Perhaps he had used his hammer, perhaps he had used hers, perhaps he had only used a finger. Either way, it didn’t matter. The man had already made up his mind to take action, yet that was the problem: her master was no different from a giant. And when a giant took a step, the earth trembled.

At some point, she reached the peak of her fight, but before she dropped, wings made of spiritual energy sprouted from her back. They were white and graceful, like those of an angel.

She was 10000 meters above her master, so she got a proper look at the ‘mountain’ they rested on.

“I can’t believe he wants to smite that.”

They were not on a mountain. They were actually sitting on the corpse of a spirit or to be more accurate, the corpse’s nose. Just the nose was thousands of meters high while the rest of the humongous behemoth stretched for miles on end. This was a humanoid Colossus Carbonite Golem, the largest type of documented spirit.

Its body was composed of a strange metallic carbon form that was harder than diamond. In addition, it had the ability to expand any part of its own body at will. This was a spirit that could wipe out a single city with a stomp. The very mention of its name usually sent chills down the spines of those who knew what it could do. Yet, below her master was a Colossus that had been killed only a few hours earlier.

A large gaping hole where its heart usually was pierced its body. The young woman knew that it was her master who had created this hole, and he had done so with ease. This Colossus hadn’t even been their mission; they had casually stumbled across it while it had been hibernating. The young girl had even initially thought that they had entered a mountain range.

“When will I become that strong?”

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The girl sighed in admiration for her master. She looked forward to being as strong as he was if she lived long enough.

Boom!


Boom!

Boom!

A large shockwave hit her as she was lost in thought. When she looked at the ground, she saw spirit energy recoiling around the Colossus like an ocean in turmoil.

“He’s started, but this is ridiculous. Even at this distance, I’m still within range!”

Realizing that she was putting her life at risk, the young woman flew much higher into the sky, trying to escape the effects of what was happening below. It wasn’t until she had doubled the distance that she finally felt safe, but the booms continued on.

Her master was smiting the corpse with a hammer, but from above, it looked as if nuclear bombs were detonating one after another. Clouds of dust and soot rose up into the skies. Crazed winds howled like wolves in the night. The sound of steel hitting steel echoed throughout the entire area.

It was like a beautiful symphony of destruction. As the booms continued, the scenery changed, and her master’s intentions took shape.

The young woman shook her head to escape her stupor. She sighed and massaged her temples.

“I have to tell the General myself. We will probably be weeks late, not to mention that master is using his full force and will, no doubt, exhaust himself. The map for this area will have to be adjusted when he’s finished. Contributions to that ought to count for something…”


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