10-09 The Pitiable Beauty and the Blacksmith
Gloria noticed that Jin’s eyes were fixed on the wall behind her.
“Hm? Ah, this collection is a hobby of mine.”
“Although they aren’t of any practical use, they’re in good condition for decoration.”
But Jin kept looking at the wall, or rather the swords on it.
“Is something wrong, Jin-dono?”
Gloria seemed puzzled as she asked, then Jin finally withdrew his gaze and said,
“No, it’s quite the collection, very helpful as a reference.”
Gloria said, then seemed to suddenly understand as she clapped her hands together.
“I see! So Jin-dono’s got an interest in swords! The swords on the wall are mostly for ceremonial use, but they still could be used in practice to a point. The one on the top right is a replica of the swords used by knights of a kingdom that existed 150 years ago and that’s why it’s got that rather different curvature to it compared to modern swords. The curve comes into play when slashing things with it, but since making it requires some skill the replica was made by casting instead of forging. You’d think that the one below that that’s made of not even Mithril but silver would be just for decoration but by loading it with magic it can be of effective use on top of having a design which I find pleasing. The one below that was bought from Leonard Kingdom and it broadens towards the tip, so I think it’s convenient for hacking due to its weight. The bottommost one is the newest one I’ve got: it’s the standard sword used by the magi knight troop, and then the topmost one on the middle is…”
Jin was a little put off by her starting to go on and on without ceasing.
“She sort of resembles Rai-nii.”
Elsa whispered. Hannah wasn’t listening from the start. She was eating the confection brought together with the tea. Reiko’s interest was zero to begin with.
(A beauty’s a beauty, but she’s a pitiable one, isn’t she…)
While holding thoughts like that, Jin half-ignored her.
“…And that’s the short of it if you’re interested in the swords. Now let’s talk about the reason I invited you here.”
Gloria said after talking for a while, then drank her tea in one gulp to relieve her parched throat and,
“Could I ask you make a sword for me too?”
“A sword, for you?”
“Yes. Of course, not for decorating this wall. As a matter of fact, the other day my favorite sword finally broke. I do have many spare swords, but all of them are lacking.”
She then looked Jin right in the eye and,
“I had Lithia show me her sword and it was a good piece of work. I most certainly would like you to make one for me, how about it?”
She said to finish, then lightly bowed her head.
“Onii-chan, shouldn’t you make one?”
Hannah said after seeing Gloria’s act.
“Oh, Hannah-chan, wasn’t it? Thank you. Jin-dono, could you?”
“Jin-nii, she’s going this far to ask.”
Even Elsa said so, so Jin gave in.
“Making it is no problem, but what about the materials?”
But there was the problem of not having materials.
“Ah, for that I’ve got an acquaintance who’s a blacksmith so I’m sure we’ll figure something out.”
“Is that so…”
Well, if there were materials he had no particular objections against making it. Even more so if Elsa and Hannah were fine with it. It was just that he had purposefully come to Alban for sightseeing, is what Jin was thinking.
“Well then, le
t’s go make it at once.”
Since he had limited time it was better to do i t fast.
“Oh, I’m glad to hear that! Alright, let’s go now!”
Gloria said and stood up. But then she suddenly looked towards Hannah and said,
“Oh, how about your sisters? I don’t mind if they stay here.”
It seemed to be her way of taking them into consideration.
“I’m fine being with onii-chan.”
“I’ll go with Jin-nii.”
The two said so Gloria nodded and they all ended up going.
They left Gloria’s house and walked straight in the direction of the wall for some ten minutes. Right next to the wall was the workshop of the blacksmith.
Since a blacksmith’s work was noisy and also dealt with fire, the place was some distance away from the residential areas.
“That’s it. Properly speaking the shop’s owner could even work exclusively for the kingdom’s chivalric order but he’s a little eccentric. He said that his job is to make tools for commoners and so he took up residence here.”
While Gloria explained, a man with a sturdy body came out of the building and said,
“Don’t just call people eccentric or whatever… Oh, it was you, missy.”
He looked to be over middle aged and was about as tall as Jin. However, his arms were unsuitably thick for his body.
“Duston, I’m already 23. Surely I’m no longer a missy.”
The past middle aged blacksmith Duston laughed and said,
“Whaat, from my viewpoint you’re still a missy. So, what’s the business today?”
“Um, as a matter of fact my favorite sword broke.”
After Gloria got that far Duston interrupted her,
“No no no no. I’ve already decided I don’t make weapons. This is the only request from you I won’t listen to, missy.”
He said and shook his head. However, Gloria said to cover that up,
“No, I wasn’t asking you to make it Duston. I’d just like you to provide the materials.”
Duston then began to frown.
“Hmmh? Well, if it’s only that then since it’s for no one other than you then I’ll do it, missus. But who are you planning on asking to make it?”
“Ah, this here Jin-dono.”
“Whaat? As if someone as skinny as him could swing a hammer!”
Since Reiko seemed to be about to jump out after hearing that, Jin immediately put his hand on her head. Reiko then gave up, however.
Hannah couldn’t stay silent.
As you’d expect, not even the stubborn Duston could yell back at a girl young enough to be his granddaughter.
“Onii-chan can make anything! Even a pump, a trailer, and Mint!”
Hannah said and glared at him. But Duston seemed to have caught interest in one of the words Hannah said.
“M-missy, what did you just say? Didn’t you say ‘pump’?”
“I did! Onii-chan asked if drawing water was difficult and made a pump!”
Duston stared at Jin with a surprised look on his face. That was also what Gloria was feeling. She too looked as surprised as Duston.
“T-the pump was made by Jin-dono!? I never heard this before, that’s amazing!”
Jin who was the topic of the conversation couldn’t keep up with the tense atmosphere and didn’t really know how to react though.
“…Well, I can understand when I think of how Magi Craftsmen are capable of all sorts of amazing things.”
Duston said subduedly after calming down and inviting the group inside to sit on some chairs that were in the corner.
“From the start I wanted to make tools and Magi Tools, you see. It’s enjoyable to make tools that are helpful for everyone, isn’t it?”
Jin said with a quiet tone. That was probably what he really was thinking after having so many fight scenes recently.
“Ooh, you understand it even though you’re so young! That’s right, the commoner’s daily lives come first!”
After hearing Jin’s line Duston seemed to once again become high-spirited.
“That’s why I make knives or spoons or kitchen knives and such!”
“Ah, Duston, sorry but they don’t really have much time either so if you could get the materials soon that’d be a great help…”
Thinking that if she stayed quiet the task would never get finished, Gloria spoke out. Although in reality she too wanted to hear more from Jin who was considered the inventor of the pump.
“Mph, ah, I suppose. Is there anything you want? I say, but it’s not like my place has Adamantite or Mithril or such?”
Jin was the one who replied.
“Iron will do. After that, if it’s alright please let us watch you work for a while.”
“Hm? I’ve got plenty of iron so that’s fine. But watching me, well, I don’t mind but is watching so interesting?”
Duston said, but Jin then turned to look at Elsa and Hannah and said,
“Elsa, it’s good for you to see the way edged tools are made without magic. And Hannah, this mister’s got the same occupation as your Grandfather did.”
“Mm. If you say so, Jin-nii.”
“Eh? The same as grandpa?”
Elsa nodded, while Hannah stared in puzzlement.
“What, so missy’s grandfather also was a blacksmith? Great, be sure to watch.”
Duston said and stood up. He lit up the furnace. The furnace seemed to work with magic, as there was no coal or charcoal to be found.
“I don’t make my own iron. I make tools out of iron I’ve bought.”
While talking he gripped a suitably large ingot with pliers and heated it up in the furnace.
Once it had become red he took it out, placed it on top of an anvil, then hit it with a hammer to shape it.
If it became cold and stiff the quality of the work would become worse, so mid-way he once again heated it up in the furnace.
“Co~ol, it’s becoming shaped like a kitchen knife.”
Hannah raised her voice in astonishment. Duston kept shaping the iron into a kitchen knife using just the hammer.
Once it was roughly the shape of a knife he kept working on the shape with a chisel and a file
A kitchen knife in the style of a chef’s knife was created.
“This will be quenched next. Sorry, but the method’s a secret so I can’t let you see it…Is what I’d like to say but I don’t mind you watching from a distance.”
When told so, Jin’s group retreaded farther to the corner of the workshop.
They watched from afar as Duston grasped the kitchen knife with pliers and inserted it in the furnace.
This time he stared at it carefully and when he estimated that the knife had turned orange he took it out and immersed it in water at one go.
There was a hisssssing sound and steam rose up. Even at a distance it was intense.
Elsa and Hannah who saw it for the first time seemed a little surprised.
“Now then, with this the quenching is complete. Finally comes tempering.”
Duston muttered an explanation and once again gripped the kitchen knife with the pliers.
This time he warmed it up above the furnace without putting it inside. He kept it like that for a while then took it away from the furnace.
After waiting for the metal to cool and using the file to clean up the surface, he sharpened it with a whetstone. Finally he added a handle.
In approximately one hour he had finished making the knife.