"Well then, Hestia told me that you want the cooperation of a blacksmith regarding something." Pretending that the earlier topic didn't come up, Hephaestus spoke, "I could lend you a good blacksmith, but only if you were to tell me what that blade is."
"Unfortunately, Hephaestus-sama, I can't tell you about the real identity of this blade." Kisuke shook his head.
"I see... I don't blame you. But what you need has something to do with that blade, right? Not to brag, but my children are some of the best weapon researchers you could find."
"Your blacksmiths are good, but I would like your personal cooperation for this."
Squinting her eye, Hephaestus stated, "You're greedy."
"I'm not~ I just want one of the best out there. Besides, although I'm not underestimating your blacksmiths, you would be hard pressed to find someone with enough technical skills to work with my project."
"..." Hephaestus didn't speak any further.
"I think Hephaestus-sama would have enough skills to work on it~" With a grin, Kisuke uttered.
"Trying to provoke me? Sorry, but that doesn't work on me. I'm confident with my skills, I don't need your approval for that."
"I'm not trying to do that. I truly, and honestly believe that your skills are enough... If not, then there's no one else I could ask. Initially, I just wanted to learn some blacksmithing techniques, but since you're already here, I want the best for this project as this can affect the future of our Familia."
"..." If it was any other guy, Hephaestus would have already stood up and left. However, on top of being Hestia's child, his mysterious project also intrigued her as he was someone who owned a strange weapon, "Let's just say that I agree with you, but that means I will lose some of my time to manage my own Familia. You will have to offer suitable compensation for me. How will that go?"
"I think both of those issues can be solved by you once you take a look at what I'm working on." Kisuke stood up and got a stack of paper and a pen. Kisuke then started writing at an incredible speed that awed Hephaestus.
She wanted to ask what he was doing but figured that he would probably give it to her once he was done writing. Ten minutes later, Kisuke finished writing the first page and passed it to Hephaestus for her to read.
While Kisuke started the second page, Hephaestus skimmed through what's written on it. However, just a minute later, she went back to the top of the page and read it carefully for the second time. Hephaestus only needed five minutes to read through everything and wanted to read the next page immediately.
For the Goddesses of Forging, the next five minutes before Kisuke finished the next page was like a torturous wait, but she did her best to stop herself from asking anything as it might disturb Kisuke's writing and make the wait longer.
Receiving the next page, Hephaestus happily grabbed the paper and carefully read through it. As she came across the data and information about 'Sacred Gears', an unbearable phantom itch kept bothering the Goddess. The worst part was that she couldn't do anything but wait for the next part!
This scene kept repeating for six more times and not just an unbearable itch, Hephaestus was also experiencing a thirst she hadn't had for millions of years now, 'What is this...? A technology I'm not aware of? And this level... Although it's incomplete and some parts could be revised, only Gods could have come up with something like this! But I don't know who's capable of it nor have I heard of someone possessing this technology! This... This might as well be a Divine weapon, but for mortals!'
Due to her congested thoughts and focus on reading the 7th page, it was only when she finished reading it that she noticed that Kisuke already stopped writing and was currently staring at her with a small grin while also refilling her long since empty teacup without saying anything.
A large headache came to her as questions filled her mind, "Where did you get this?"
"I can't tell you that. And why should I?" Chuckling, Kisuke answered.
"Then at least tell me what you're going to use this for?"
"To get stronger, obviously~"
"And what are you going to use that strength for?"
But instead of revealing his goal, Kisuke addressed what she was concerned about, "I don't desire any harm coming to the world and its good inhabitants."
For Hephaestus, that sort of answer was enough for now. She sighed after putting the papers back together and held her forehead, "Haahh... You got me..."
"So?~ What's your decision?~"
"Let me work with you with on this one," Hephaestus answered simply, 'It's also better for me to supervise this to make sure it doesn't go in the wrong direction.'
"Thank you very much!~"
"I should be the one thanking you for letting me participate in such an interesting project. However, let me ask a few things first."
"Please go ahead."
"Firstly, is this weapon... a parasite?"
Kisuke shook his head, "It is easy to see it that way since you haven't seen everything yet, but instead of parasitism, it's a symbiosis."
Hephaestus nodded, "And another thing, where is this weapon attached? In the flesh... Or..."
Without hesitation, Kisuke answered, "In the soul."
Hephaestus' eye became sharp when she heard this, "Do you know what this means?"
Nodding, Kisuke replied, "Yes, I was also warned by Loki-sama."
"...And she let you go?" Hephaestus asked in surprise.
The Goddess of Forge could only sigh after hearing his answer, 'Whatever... I'm going to see through this project... If something goes wrong, I should be able to do something about it.'
Standing up, Hephaestus prepared to leave, "Thank you for having me."
Hephaestus nodded, "To work on this, I first have to work on my schedule and duties. I can't abandon everything else for this. I'll be heading back now and start arranging and delegating my duties."
Kisuke also stood up and led her to the exit, "I see. Should I expect your arrival in a few days?"
"Most probably, after the Monster Philia."
"Understood. I'll prepare everything we need before you arrive. And I would like it if we could keep this a secret to everyone else."
"Got it. Give my regards to Hestia. I'll be going now."
Smiling, Kisuke bid her farewell, "Please take care."
Once Hephaestus disappeared from his sight, Kisuke heaved a large sigh, 'This time, it went as I expected. It's a lot easier to talk to an artisan.'
Turning around, Kisuke closed his shop for the day and went back to their underground base to prepare all the things he would need, 'Leveling up, finding a way back, and creating Sacred Gears for everyone... It seems that my schedule is packed lately...'
Despite that, Kisuke would never take away the time allocated to having fun with his girls.
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