Book 2: Chapter 183
Lukas pondered for a moment.
Originally, he had just wanted the blacksmiths here to make some equipment for him. That’s why he’d said it so bluntly without adding any specifics to his order.
He didn’t think the blacksmiths here would be able to create the weapons he wanted even if he wanted them to.
This wasn’t because he was looking down on their skills.
Instead, it was because the things he wanted were concepts that the blacksmiths would be unfamiliar with. Even if they had exceptional skills, it would be incredibly difficult for them to make custom equipment that they had never encountered before. In addition, the more skilled a blacksmith was, the more proud, and the more likely that they wouldn’t have any curiosity towards new concepts.
But Nekdu gave him a different feeling compared to the other blacksmiths.
He didn’t just mean her skills.
If it was her, then maybe…
With this thought, Lukas opened his mouth.
“Are you the best blacksmith in this smithy?”
Nekdu responded casually with a nod.
Rytol, who was still beside her, didn’t refute it. In fact, his expression didn’t even change.
This meant that at the very least, the best blacksmiths in the smithy recognised her as their better. Rytol’s reaction, or lack thereof, was the best proof of this.
“There is equipment that I would like to have made.”
“With the Ancient Dragon’s skull?”
“It’s not that, but…”
“Ah. Then that’s fine.”
Nekdu had a hopeful expression at first but waved her hand carelessly before Lukas could even finish speaking. Nevertheless, Lukas calmly finished what he had to say.
“It’s a weapon that no other blacksmith can make.”
“Ah. Really? What is it?”
Her expression became one of curiosity and anticipation.
A suspicious yet disappointed glint appeared in Nekdu’s eyes.
“You don’t seem to have any problems with your legs, or are you talking about something like a wooden club that you can use as a weapon?”
“…it’s a similar concept.”
After saying that, Lukas pointed to a piece of paper on the table.
“May I use that?”
“Sure. Go ahead.”
Then, he picked up the pen beside it and started sketching.
At first, Nekdu was only watching on indifferently, but the more the image gradually took shape, the more the look in her eyes changed.
After seeing the finished product, she couldn’t help but ask.
“A quarterstaff. It’s the weapon I would like you to make.”
She tilted her head to the side for a moment before finally opening her mouth.
“By any chance, have you ever worked in a smithy before?”
“…by the way, why do you always speak informally?”
Not because he was offended by the way she spoke, but because he was genuinely curious about the answer. Even Rytol, who seemed to be extremely proud, was still polite to customers, but Nekdu didn’t seem to care at all.
“It’s because I’m old enough to.”
“…how old are you?”
“I stopped counting after reaching 500.”
While Lukas became speechless for a while, Rytol, who had been standing quietly at the side, opened his mouth.
“You’re an outsider, so I guess it isn’t that surprising that you don’t know. Blue skins are renowned among Dragonmen for their longevity. Well, her case is a bit unique even for them, but…”
Of course, that wasn’t the reason why Lukas was speechless.
Nekdu hadn’t raised her head to look at him at all, instead, her eyes remained glued to the sketch Lukas had drawn.
Then, she pointed towards the top of the staff.
“There is a groove here. Do you intend to put something in it?”
Lukas nodded before taking the heart of the young Dragonling from his pocket. Of course, it didn’t actually have the shape of a heart. To put it into other terms, it was like a jewel that didn’t shine. This was because most of its vitality had been exhausted.
In all honesty, in its current state, it was already impossible to use it to make some kind of elixir. Or at least, that was the judgement Lukas reached.
Nevertheless, this heart was once a storage box that contained an enormous amount of energy. It could still play a similar role.
In other words, it was the perfect mana storage device.
“What main material do you think the body should be made of?”
“I think it would be best to use the tail of the Ancient Dragon’s young as the main material.”
“It would be very difficult.”
It was Rytol who said this.
He was also looking at the sketch with a baffled expression.
Naturally, Lukas was aware of this as well. It was common for staves to be made of wood. Metal could also be used at times. However, it was extremely unconventional for the tail of a living organism to be used as the main ingredient.
As Rytol had said, it would be an incredibly difficult task. That was why he hadn’t intended to mention it at first.
If he hadn’t met Nekdu, Lukas would not have brought it up at all.
His eyes remained on the blue-haired woman. Her forehead was wrinkled and it seemed that she was deeply contemplating something.
“Give me that.”
She took the pen out of Lukas’ hand as if she was stealing it.
Then she began to draw over his sketch.
“The tail would be too weak to support it on its own… It would need metal to hold it firmly, and I’m sure you’d prefer a softer material for the grip. Something like rubber maybe. And with this overall shape and appearance, the audience probably wouldn’t look at it even if you were standing in the center of the arena.”
Rytol turned to Lukas with a sigh.
“You can go now.”
“It seems that she has already started working on it.”
“How long do you think it’ll take?”
“If it’s short, then within the week. If it’s long… it could be two or even three months.”
Rytol couldn’t help but shake his head when he saw Lukas’ expression.
“It’s your fault for getting her so interested. Whether that was a mistake or a good deed will only be known once the finished product makes its appearance.”
“Now is your last chance to stop it. It seems that she hasn’t become completely immersed in her own world yet, so you might be able to bring her back to her senses.”
Lukas turned to look at Nekdu for a moment.
Unlike her low mutterings, her eyes were shining brightly as though they were filled with starlight.
He knew people like this.
People who were deeply immersed in their own worlds, and who didn’t really care about anything unless it was something that interested them, like Nekdu, were usually those who became extremely successful in their chosen fields and were often called geniuses.
“It’s fine. I’ll be waiting for the results.”
This time, Rytol was the one to look surprised.
Nekdu’s skills could only be described as amazing, but even among the blacksmiths who were known for their quirks, she was fickle and had a bad temper, so she rarely had customers.
She was a woman who had kicked away a customer after a month of hard work and acquiring materials while saying that she’d lost interest. No matter how amazing her skills were, it wasn’t very surprising that she wasn’t very popular.
Nevertheless, it was clear that Lukas had become interested in Nekdu.
“It seems that you’re a weirdo too.”
“I will find out how long it’ll take. Come back in a week.”
“Thank you… Is it fine if I ask one more question?”
“What is it?”
“Where can I find a refiner with excellent skills?”
Rytol tilted his head to the side.
“You’re looking for a strange person. Why do you want to find a refiner?”
“I was wondering how to make use of the Ancient Dragon’s heart.”
“I knew you brought that frozen heart to be stored for a reason. So it’s because you believe those bullshit rumors too.”
“The rumors that say that highly skilled refiners can transform the hearts of Ancient Dragons into elixirs…”
“Is that not true? It’s something I read about in a book.”
“If everything in books were true, wouldn’t this world be a fairy tale?”
This caused Lukas to fall silent for a while. Rytol continued.
“Those rumors are just myths. The Ancient Dragon’s heart is useless.”
“It’s not a myth.”
The one who spoke was Nekdu, who seemed to have temporarily awoken from her concentrated state. Her eyes were still locked onto the sketch, but she had an annoyed expression on her face.
“It’s not bullshit. There are refiners who can do that.”
“Do you know any refiners?”
“Yes. But I don’t know where they are now.”
Then, before Lukas could ask any more questions, she continued.
“That’s all I know. I’m only telling you that because you showed me something interesting, so I decided to tell you something interesting.”
Lukas wanted to get more clues, but it seemed that Nekdu wouldn’t answer any more of his questions. This time, her attention was completely focused on the sketch to the point that she had even begun to lean over the table.
From her back, he could see her clear desire to not continue the conversation.
Therefore, Lukas had no choice but to leave the smithy.
‘At least I can obtain a weapon.’
The staff which didn’t exist in the Heavenly Realm, would be a valuable tool that would drastically improve his fighting strength.
So for now, he should be satisfied with this result.