The item production game with the Mero Company! This quest was at A rank difficulty. In other words, it was classified as a high difficulty quest. Common sense stated that it was impossible for a level 21 user to clear an A-grade quest.
Was I going to fail this quest? Why did I accept such a hard quest? It was natural: I accepted the quest because I thought I could clear it.
If this quest were related to combat or adventuring, I wouldn't have much confidence. No, I would've turned down the quest in the first place. I wouldn't be able to clear it at my current level, even if I was a legendary class.
But the item production game with the Mero Company required crafting an item to win. A quest that would succeed if I made an item better than the blacksmith hired by the Mero Company.
"I am the legendary blacksmith who has produced an epic arrow! I can win, even if the Mero Company hires an advanced level blacksmith. Kukuk, this is the quest for me… no, it's an event!"
As moonlight seeped in through the window, I smiled and spoke a splendid monologue, like a character from a manhwa. Khan returned from picking up the item making tools in the warehouse and trembled at the sight of me.
"Did you eat something bad at dinner…? You look sick, are you okay? Do you need medicine? No, I will bring you to the doctor right now!"
"…Where do I look sick?"
Khan didn't seem to have a sense of aesthetics.
'Tsk tsk, a blacksmith is a type of artist.'
The works made by Khan were obviously inferior in appearance and performance. As I felt certain of this, Khan brought out a beautiful sword and helmet.
"These are the pieces I made. What do you think? Isn't it okay? I was famous for making really beautiful pieces during my prime. My aesthetic sense has always been admired by artists. Haha."
…This old man, was he reading my thoughts? As I gazed at the sword and helmet, Khan laid out various production tools.
"As you can see, the tools are properly stocked. There are various metals, ores, and logs of wood piled up in the warehouses. There are a lot of materials, but I haven't done any business in the past months… But the result is good. You can use these materials during your training."
Khan smiled bitterly, so I couldn't help asking him a question,
"The Mero Company tried to put you into debt and hired gangsters to interfere in your sales. They also threatened and assaulted you. Why didn't you ask for help from the lord or guards? Why stay quiet?"
"I have filed a complaint with the guard captain several times and appealed to the lord. I wanted the guards to protect me and for the lord to stop this injustice, but they didn't even look at me. My requests were ignored."
"…I guess it was the work of the Mero Company."
"Right. The Mero Company is one of the largest and richest companies in the north. The lord and guards have already received bribes from the Mero Company. It isn't just me. Many other Winston residents were hurt by the Mero Company and thrown onto the streets, but the lord didn't lift a single finger to help them."
In the end, money was the best. Once again, I realized the greatness of money and vowed that I would be rich.
"Eh? By the way, doesn't Winston belong to Earl Steim?"
"Why don't you and the residents go to Earl Steim and accuse Winston's lord? Then Earl Steim will punish… no, you don't think that the hands of the Mero Company have reached Earl Steim?"
Khan shook his head.
"It doesn't seem like it. We've tried many times to meet Earl Steim; however, the lord noticed and prevented us from leaving Winston every time. Even if we raise an appeal, it won't be passed onto Earl Steim… The lord wouldn't go so far to stop us if the earl is on his side."
"There isn't anyone monitoring this place?"
"The inspectors have been bought by the lord a long time ago."
Yes, in the end, money was the best. I accepted it and stood up. Then I lit the furnace and comforted Khan.
"Don't worry. Now you have me. I will give the people of the Mero Company a flat nose. Do you trust me? Can you trust me and leave this part to me?"
"Of course I trust you. Pagma's Descendant can win no matter what blacksmith is your opponent… Grid, you really are dependable. If my son was alive, he would be a similar age to you… that child would've been a good young man like you… sob…"
Khan was an old man with a lot of tears. But that didn't seem to be the main issue. It meant he was a man with a lot of scars.
…Eh? What? Why was I feeling such sentiment? Strangely, my mind weakened when I saw Khan. Was Pagma's ideology implanted in me without knowing after I became his descendant?
'Khan has a great affinity with me, but I don't know why I'm feeling like this.'
I saw Khan slyly looking for a drink and sat down next to him.
"Old Man, watch my work all night. Then you will soon forget about your drinking. You will be filled with the desire to be a blacksmith again."
"I-Is that so?"
Ack! What was this? Why did I smile gently when I looked at the old man?
…Ah. As I started into the fire of the furnace, I remembered an old memory I had forgotten. When I was in elementary school, I was able to feel great happiness when I visited my grandfather's house during the holidays. I always felt better due to the warm love I received from my grandfather and grandmother.
I see. Khan's atmosphere and way of talking resembled my grandfather.
"Have a cup of tea. It is tea made of boiled Lunol leaves, and the fragrance is very good."
"Well, it isn't bad. I would rather receive money but…"
"Huh? What did you say? The noise is so loud that I can't hear you!"
"You can't hear me?"
"I can't hear what you are saying!"
"…Indeed, you are skilled."
The moment of sharing tea and hammering iron with a person I liked. My heart grew heavy. This was the first time I felt a precious moment in Satisfy.
"But you… how come your hammering form is like that? Was I mistaken because my expectations were too great? No? It's not like that? It should look like this. No, you have to narrow your elbows a bit more… You… are you really the descendant of Pagma? T-Tell me honestly. Y-You're not a scam artist, are you? Are you someone from the Mero Company?! I was crazy to accept Rabbit's offer!"
…This old man.
"Be quiet! Can you see my skills so quickly? Ah, just leave me alone a little bit! Why are you taking the hammer?"
"I judged your skills too quickly? This is too strange. Pagma's descendant should've mastered this. A-A fraud! A crook."
Ah, you… annoying.
The night deepened. But I didn't rest. I was in my peak condition. I should use this to improve my technical skills. I improved my skills throughout the night, and Khan no longer called me a scammer.
Then the next day, the training began in earnest. Khan saw my work and forgot about drinking, revealing his 60 years experience as a blacksmith. He helped me using the skills and knowledge that he accumulated.
"The thing to consider when making armor isn't durability. The first thing is to design armor that will allow the wearer to move freely."
I examined armor and made it.
"Uhuh! The strength and weaknesses aren't aligned properly! Why is only this part calibrated? You need to focus! You aren't a three-year-old child, so why are you becoming so distracted?"
I was scolded.
"Amazing, amazing. Why is it so different as soon as you start concentrating? Your talent is endless."
Then I was praised after the scolding.
"There are some stupid seeds who stop when they think it is good enough. Their logic is that they are pushed for time, so they might as well take forging out of the question. But they are mistaken. Forging is not a minor task. If forging is omitted, the meaning of quenching and tempering will fade. If you're lacking in time, then you should omit quenching instead of forging."
There were deep teachings.
"I agree with you. In the first place, does it make sense to skip processes just because of lacking time? Then an imperfect item will be made. No matter how much time it takes, I will try to make perfect things.
"Ohh! A respectable craftsman. As expected of Pagma's descendant, having such noble ideas at a young age."
"It isn't a big deal. I just want to make perfect stuff to sell at a more expensive…"
"Hahaha! Modesty is also a great virtue in a young man. You are respectable! Grid! It is the luck of a lifetime that I met you!"
He misunderstood my comments. Either way, it was a happy time.
I woke up before the alarm clock rang. I looked through the curtain and saw that outside was still dark. I checked the time.
"It is only 4 a.m."
It was too early. I could afford to close my eyes for at least 30 more minutes. My usual self would grumble about waking up early before going back to bed. But today was different.
"It is a refreshing morning."
I felt good. The day before, I spent two nights of Satisfy time and polished my blacksmithing skills. I created three pieces of armor and two swords, with two of the items having a rare rating.
Thanks to that, all my stats rose by +4, the experience of my Legendary Blacksmith's Craftsmanship skill was close to 20% and the experience of the Legendary Blacksmith's Breath skill rose by nearly 8%.
My concentration and sophistication improved, greatly increasing the speed of production. Khan really helped a lot. He was different from Smith in Bairan Village.
"Khan still hasn't returned to his peak condition, but the difference between a low-level blacksmith and advanced level blacksmith is like the difference between the sky and the earth."
I wanted to see Khan. I would be taught by him while making items. Growth was another attraction of leveling up.
I wanted to see him as soon as I woke up in the morning?
"Am I overdoing it?" Sniff. "Let's go shower."
I headed straight to the bathroom. After a refreshing wash in hot water, I exited to see my mother preparing breakfast.
"Youngwoo, you rested yesterday. Has your fatigue improved? Why are you awake so early?"
"This is the power of beef rib soup! It is the effect of eating something good. My physical condition ~ great. So I should eat some grilled eel…"
"Why does a person with no girlfriend need to eat eel?"
The words were spoken by my father, who was reading his newspaper in the room. I puffed up.
"Are you ignoring me because I don't have a girlfriend? There are many places where it will have an effect… no, who says I don't have a girlfriend?"
My mother grabbed her belly and started to laugh. She laughed so much that tears appeared.
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