SYS (Novel) Chapter 360

C360 - New Bradamente (2)

"Then you should have said so from the beginning; it's unnecessarily surprising."

Murakan released Picon's collar. Picon cleared his throat, looking embarrassed.

[Now that I no longer have the old forge, I can't create the flames necessary to forge Bradamante myself. So I need the power of the Shadow Blade's Secret Sword Technique.]

"Do it quickly and quietly. Anyway, if you just open your mouth, it'll be a lie. Do you know how powerful Ozdock was?"

[I can guess more or less from the core, but...]

Picon looked at the core with greedy eyes.

Although the gleam in his eyes came from the idea of finishing Bradamante, a stranger might think Picon had some corrupt desire.

"Again, I didn't know what would have happened if I had trusted you and sent the kids alone. Ugh, thinking about it makes me annoyed again."

[Hahaha. Everyone, follow me. Let's finish the task right away!]

Picon sang a tune as he descended into the basement.

Murakan watched his back and shook his head in exasperation, while Jin shrugged.

"In his human days, he lacked self-respect to the point where he would just bark if someone visited him. He's that kind of guy. Honestly, I almost preferred that time; he's more peculiar as a God."

"Well, thanks to Mr. Picon, we started searching for Temar's Tomb. He's naughty, but fundamentally a good person."

"Heh, it's not thanks to that guy that we started looking for that tomb. It's thanks to Solderet."

Both followed Picon down to the basement.

There was a secret forge that Jin had built in the basement, much larger in scale than the house above.

Their gazes fixed on the enormous anvil in the center. Bradamante emitted flashes of light above it.

After obtaining it during his cadet days, Bradamante had become nothing less than Jin's alter ego.

'I've gone months without being able to wield it. I'm looking forward to it...'

Picon placed the core on top of Bradamante.

Then, as he had mentioned earlier, as if indicating that he didn't need to use it all, he skillfully carved around 30% of it with a scalpel. The relatively solid core was cut as smoothly as dough.

"Hey, hey, don't even think about keeping that piece."

[Do you think I'm a thief? I have no intention of doing that. Besides, I still don't have a Guardian Dragon. Jin, where are you going to use the remaining piece? Are you planning to use it to restore his heart?]

The inner core of a demon creature acted as a potent elixir for Dragons. Especially the inner core of demon creatures like Ozdock, it wasn't entirely impossible to reverse damage to a Dragon's heart.

However, Murakan chuckled softly.

"You really don't know much to say something like that. Baldie, a mere inner core like that can't do anything for my heart. If fixing a heart were that simple, the kid and I would have found demon creatures with inner cores a long time ago."

[Then?]

"There's a Dragon who needs this besides me. I'm going to feed it to him."

Caltor, the Thunder Dragon, Yulian's Guardian Dragon.

Jin intended to use the remaining inner core for him.

Tsk.

Picon clicked his tongue as if disappointed. He had a slight hope that if Jin gave him the remaining core, he could create other weapons.

Of course, Picon's desire was limited to the act of "craftsmanship" as a blacksmith, and he had little interest in personal gain from it.

"In the future, as I get news of demon creatures with inner cores, I'll continue to provide you with inner cores. Whenever you urgently need it, I'll support you, so don't be too disappointed."

When Jin read his mind and spoke, Picon smiled broadly.

[Really?]

"Yes. Now that I know the inner core is used in blacksmithing, I need to create weapons for my companions and my knights."

[Well, well. I guess becoming a God was a good choice. Well then, let's get to work.]

Picon said, hiding behind Jin.

[Unleash the flames onto Bradamante!]

"...Here?"

[What's the problem?]

"There won't be any basement left if I unleash my technique here."

[I'll help you with that, so don't worry. Just release it as soon as possible. Try to converge on Bradamante's blade as much as possible. However, if you feel that my power is interfering, don't push it away.]

"Understood."

Whoosh-!

When he drew upon his power, flames erupted. Simultaneously, the flames colored Jin's pupils, and mana and aura flowed through the runic marks engraved on his body.

The energy of a colossal flame, to the point that even Murakan shuddered, instantly filled the basement.

As skilled as Jin was, he couldn't fully concentrate such a massive flame into the small object that was Bradamante.

With a slight misstep, not only this basement but also the surroundings could catch fire.

In a moment of unease, Jin thought so.

Phewww-!

Among the flames, Picon conjured another "fire."

In the blacksmithing trade, not only iron and steel were necessary components. Fire was also an essential element, inseparable from blacksmithing. That's why the God of Smiths possessed the ability to manipulate flames.

Picon's fire blended with Jin's flames, helping Jin guide the flames onto Bradamante more smoothly.

[Hmm, it's still not enough!]

As Picon spoke, a blue flame surged amid the red ones. When Tess materialized, adding her breath, Picon burst into a satisfied laughter.

[Yes, that's it!]

For a considerable amount of time, Jin poured flames until both mana and aura were on the verge of exhaustion.

Jin had already lowered the sword and was catching his breath, but the spiraling flames were still directed towards Bradamante. Thanks to the fused inner core, Bradamante gleamed with a golden hue.

[Good work. Rest a bit, and I'll finish it soon.]

Tak!

Suddenly, a dimensional portal opened in front of Picon.

What emerged from it was a hammer much larger than a regular weapon.

Picon lifted the enormous hammer and began pounding vigorously.

Clang, clang! The sound of the colossal hammer striking Bradamante resonated and echoed.

Suddenly, Jin felt his strength leaving him and fell asleep.

-----------

September 4, 1799.

A whole day had passed since the forging began.

"Are you done? It took you all day. You said it would take a little longer, and it's another lie, but well... You've done a good job."

Murakan spoke with his usual roughness, but he added the words "good job" almost too quietly to hear.

Picon's face, who had finished the work, twitched.

Given that he had tirelessly wielded the enormous hammer without a single moment of rest, it was natural.

However, despite his worn-out appearance, Picon's eyes shone with a sense of accomplishment.

"Kid, you seem pretty tired, huh? Falling asleep so suddenly. Was the fight with Ozdock tougher than I thought?"

Jin shook his head.

"I don't think that's it; I'm not sure. Not even when I unleashed the flames was I this tired."

"Maybe you should take some medicine."

Although Jin had fallen asleep suddenly, for now, he wanted to touch the finished Bradamante.

Picon's hand, offering Bradamante to Jin, was noticeably trembling.

[Hehehe, it's the best sword after Barisada....]

When Jin wielded the sword, he could still feel residual warmth.

Even before swinging it, he noticed the difference. It had become something far superior to what he had used before.

[What do you think?]

"I don't know if swords can change like this."

[The activation phrase is "Open Armor." I've paired the activation phrase with the Myulta Rune you possess.]

Open Armor.

Just like with the Myulta Rune, as soon as he uttered the activation phrase within, the armor formed immediately. Shadow Energy emitted by Bradamante enveloped his entire body.

Hooong...!

In less than a second, armor had formed over his body. It had an elegant design overall, but instead of gleaming like steel armor, it radiated with the unique nature of Shadow Energy.

In the armor Bradamante formed, there were no seams or gaps.

Despite that, there was no hindrance to moving the joints.

Jin couldn't even feel its weight; the armor was glossy black and utterly flawless. It exuded a presence that could undoubtedly be called a masterpiece made by the God of Smiths.

And the grandly fluttering cape was quite impressive.

[I've added the cape with your future dignity in mind. Of course, it's not without function... It specializes in repelling magic. Most importantly, the cape can detach, making it very useful in situations where you need to protect others. Do you like it?]

"Yes, thank you for your hard work, Mr. Picon."

[Hahaha, seeing you make that expression is quite rare. If you also check its offensive capabilities, you might be speechless]

As he said this, as soon as he infused Shadow Energy, Jin lifted the corners of his lips.

'Different...!'

When he infused Shadow Energy into Bradamante, compared to before, Jin felt a very distinct sensation. Just by infusing Shadow Energy, he felt a surge of power akin to when he used a sword technique.

[Originally, I couldn't further improve the offensive side, but you know, your Phoenix. Thanks to Tess's fire, the weapon suddenly gained a new power I didn't even know about. I suppose we'd call it 'Pressure,' maybe?]

Within the darkened blade, a faint blue aura circulated.

It was the aura of the blue flames. This power held the essence of pressure, the result of Tess infusing a portion of the Ruler of the Flame World's power permanently into the sword while forging it.

'Ah, so that's why I fell asleep.'

After the battle with Ozdock and unleashing the flames, it was indeed draining for Jin.

His sudden drowsiness was because Tess used Jin's mana to interfere with this world to its limits.

It was for the purpose of infusing Pressure into the sword he would wield as her contractor.

Tess hoped that Jin could utilize this ability, regardless of the situation. Even when his mana was depleted, or perhaps, he couldn't summon Tess for some reason, he could still use Pressure.

Although Tess had tremendous authority as the Ruler of the Flame World, a common blacksmith wouldn't be able to do this when creating ordinary weapons.

It was only possible because a God of Smiths like Picon forged the Bradamante Sword.

However, it was not without limitations.

'Is the dimensional portal leading to the Flame World not opening...?'

He had tried to summon Tess to convey his gratitude, but even after completing the summoning spell, the dimensional portal didn't open.

Only the blue flames, used to open dimensional portals in the air, flickered.

Could it be because of the power of the blue flames imbued in the sword?

Through Bradamante, Jin could feel Tess's "will."

To manifest herself again in the human world, Tess needed time to recover.

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