Talima’s agriculture had been completely mechanized. A variety of machines such as artificial elementals and golems took over the entire process of turning over the fields, planting seeds, and harvesting them. It wasn’t a system created because the dwarves were lazy. Rather, it was the opposite. The dwarves entrusted livelihood-related areas such as agriculture to machines so they could be faithful to their main job.
It was obvious just by looking at the industrial situation. The dwarves had unparalleled technology, but they only focused on their craftsmans.h.i.+p. At the same time, they produced five or more artificial elementals and golems, and hundreds of weapons every week. This showed that their working hours were unmatched.
In fact, the people who visited Talima always said they were a restless race. The dwarves were real workaholics who used an anvil as a table, only had a short break for meals, and used the rest of their time on labor. However, they went on strike today. Every one of them stopped working and ran to the streets to surround Pelot’s smithy. Even the festivities to celebrate the liberation of the empress’ soul was finished in 30 minutes. The person who captivated the workaholics was Grid.
The meal served during the dwarves’ break… Grid swallowed the bread soaked in water in one second and concentrated on hammering. The flames in his furnace were never extinguished. The smelting was delicate and the quenching exquisite. His hammering reached the peak as he continued to create new works. It was a work that imitated Grid’s hand itself. At first glance, it seemed to belong to a humanoid golem, but it was different. The final form of Grid’s work was originally designed to be his hand.
In order to increase his rapport with his work, Grid followed Pelot’s advice about how manual work was the best and carefully created two G.o.d Hands per day. He would’ve insisted on manual work even if he hadn’t received Pelot’s advice. The G.o.d Hands required representing dozens of joints and it was extremely difficult to produce the G.o.d Hands. It couldn’t be made properly when entrusted to auto production.
“s.h.i.+t!” Grid swore harshly as he was concentrating. It was the first time he did so in ages. He had made a total of 10 G.o.d Hands and not a single ego appeared, so he had to be annoyed. He wanted to throw his hammer, but he couldn’t do it because he was a blacksmith deep to his bones.
‘Isn’t this too much? Isn’t it normal for an ego to appear at least once?’
Advanced Ego Item Making said there was a ‘certain probability’ of producing an ego. A ‘certain probability’ meant approximately 10-30%. Of course, if someone was unlucky then it would be less than 10%. However, on average, it was 20%. Now Grid suffered the worst situation. All 10 items failed. The five day struggle was completely meaningless. There couldn’t be such nonsense.
‘I wouldn’t have been mentally exhausted like this if I had failed when making weapons or armor.’
There were no big problems if there wasn’t an ego in his armor and weapons. The equipment used by Grid currently weren’t ego items. Based on the value of the items alone, the ego was only a secondary effect. However, the G.o.d Hands were different. The G.o.d Hands that couldn’t move on their own were just hand models and had no value. Even if it was legendary rated, what was the worth if it was just a strange decoration?
‘These d.a.m.n S.A jerks…’
This was a skill he had just learned. Rather than increasing his chances of success using his privileges, it was more like lowering his chances of success.
‘I’ll let you see how effective it is. Tsk.’
Empress Maribel foolishly drank a gla.s.s of poisonous wine from a strange guest she invited to her love room and bid farewell to the world. He was honestly relieved when he freed her soul, that had lived a long life. However, he missed her after only five days.
Of course, this didn’t mean he regretted it. The soul of the empress would only be an epic rating if he had to measure the level of the ego. She had the characteristic of being absolutely obedient to her master, but her calculating ability decreased a lot because she became an idiot after getting hurt. Complex commands couldn’t be executed immediately, and Grid could only control four G.o.d Hands.
The ego making technique that would replace the empress’ soul was clearly of more value. It was just that Grid’s bad luck acted as a variable.
Grid’s sigh deepened. He never had a single success while making 10 G.o.d Hands. The worst situation that ever happened dealt him a big blow. He wanted to log out and stay away from the game for a few days. He would eventually overcome his frustration even if he made 100 G.o.d Hands and failed. It was just unpleasant that he had to overcome it in the first place.
‘If it is going to be like this, it will be more efficient to infuse an ego that does specific actions.’
Grid couldn’t control his anger and finally sat down while covering his face. The dwarves watched him and sighed with regret. Even the best blacksmith who created such great minerals and beautiful works had to face trials… The dwarves’ eyes were dark because they felt the road was still long and rough. They sympathized with Grid’s frustration.
“Still, isn’t his luck too bad?”
“I agree. He made 10 works, but couldn’t succeed with the rapport even once…”
Grid had the advanced ego making technique. It was a skill that could only be acquired by dwarf craftsmen who acc.u.mulated hundreds of years of training. The dwarf craftsmen gained an average of three egos every time they made 10 weapons. The chances of failing 10 times in a row were so rare that it only occurred once every few years.
Meanwhile, Grid experienced this in just five days.
The dwarves clicking their tongues were excited. They retreated to the side as a black-haired dwarf opened the door to Pelot’s smithy. A transcendent—it was the dwarf’s strongest warrior, Antrino.
“I heard the news. It is unfortunate. Why don’t you try changing your mood?”
“Changing my mood?”
“Would you like to go to the Elliter Mine? Learn magic engineering skills? I’ll guide you.”
“Is it okay?”
“I said it before that it doesn’t matter if an outsider visits the Elliter Mine. The problem is the att.i.tude of the magicians. Fortunately, they seem to welcome your visit.”
The reason it took five days to gain permission was because the magic engineering school ignored King Charles’ edict. They could stay in their studios for 10 days to a month once they started working, and they finally checked the edict sent five days ago.
“Hmm…” Grid didn’t stand up. Antrino thought Grid would be happy, so he was a bit disappointed when the reaction was lukewarm. However, he could understand Grid’s att.i.tude. “Thank you, but I can’t right now. I can’t leave here until I make an ego.”
“I hope you’ll be successful this time.” Antrino sat down on one side of the smithy. Then he pulled out his favorite axe and started to sharpen it with a whetstone. The craftsmans.h.i.+p of the axe was excellent. It was much better than a decent human blacksmith. It was as expected for the dwarves.
‘Okay, let’s try it again.’
Grid values relations.h.i.+ps. He was excited and thrilled every time he made new friends. Grid’s anger had softened slightly thanks to Antrino. He collected the 10 G.o.d Hands he had made so far. They would be used as materials for a new G.o.d Hand after being melted in the furnace.
This was when the blacksmiths outside went wild.
“Wait! Wait a moment!”
“Overgeared King! Show mercy to us!”
Grid was bewildered when the dwarves clung to the door and shouted. Mercy? He c.o.c.ked his head at the dwarves’ shout.
“Those works! Don’t discard them. Please sell them to us!”
“This…?” A miscellaneous item that wasn’t cla.s.sified as equipment—Grid pointed to the 10 G.o.d Hands that couldn’t be used without egos and the dwarves nodded. Grid thought it was absurd. “Why do you want this? Are you going to use it as a decoration?”
“Of course! It is a work that mimics the hand of the legendary blacksmith acknowledged by G.o.d Hexetiia. Of course it should decorate the middle of the smithy to be wors.h.i.+pped like a G.o.d!”
“I intend to pray to that hand every day! I intend to hand it down through my family so please sell it to me!”
Grid and Pagma had different advantages. Pagma wasn’t a legendary blacksmith yet when he visited Talima. Meanwhile, Grid was already a mature legend. Even the old dwarves who weren’t interested in Pagma’s works were forced to be fascinated with Grid’s works.
Moreover, it was a work that was modeled after Grid’s own hands. It was a work that all art collectors in the world would covet. What collector wouldn’t covet a delicate and perfectly reproduced work of the legendary blacksmith’s hand? It was uncommon for there to be a work that combined this degree of artistry and workmans.h.i.+p.
Grid felt better once he realized the value of the G.o.d Hands due to the dwarves. He was a bit comforted when he realized he hadn’t only suffered damage in the last five days.
“Make your offers.”
The auction began. Grid was hoping it would be a money maker, only to doubt his ears.
“I want to exchange it with an artificial spirit!”
“Just one? What person is like this? I will offer three artificial elementals! It took me 124 years to complete these three, but I think it is worth it!”
“I will offer five iron golems!”
Grid had heard about it from Ke ong—creating artificial elementals required great effort, a long time, and a lot of money. However, the probability of the artificial spirit failing was more than 70%. He said it would be absolutely impossible to ma.s.s-produce artificial elementals with the power of only one or two dwarves.
Now the number of dwarves surrounding Grid was in the thousands. A moment ago, Grid had felt like he had fallen into h.e.l.l. Now it was like he was swimming through the clouds.
‘I feel good!’
It was the time. Grid instinctively resumed work as the dwarves shouted. His enthusiasm burned like the fire in the furnace, and his movements were perfect enough for dwarf craftsmen to use as textbooks.
Talima’s time stopped. The dwarves remained in place until Grid finished, and the entire city was locked in silence. It was around the time when blue moonlight was falling on the smithy…
“Beautiful…” A wide smile was on Antrino’s face as he sat and watched Grid like an old monk.
[The item has been completed.]
[The finished item has a very intense soul.]
–Master,I was impressed by your unwavering willpower.You won’t be frustrated by any trials in front of you.In any despair, I will eliminate your enemies, and guard your side.
Grid’s face was filled with joy as he got the result he finally wanted. However, it was only for a moment. His expression quickly disappeared, and his face stiffened. He saw a result that exceeded his expectations, and was so surprised that he stopped thinking for a moment.
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