Editor: Thor’s Stone
Following the map I got from the castle, I managed to arrive at the workshop after a thirty-minute walk. It wasn’t as noisy as a blacksmith’s workshop and specialized in delicately made articles.
“Good day. Is the master in?”
“Ah. Master! There’s a guest lookin’ fer ya.”
“A guest lookin’ fer me? Does that mean–”
A rugged-looking large man stepped out from the back of the workshop. This man seems to be the master of this particular workshop.
“Good day. I came here to–”
“It’s about the design of your leader’s coat of arms, right!? Hurry and bring it out!”
“……Ah, here it is.”
“The heck is this!? This is gonna be yer coat of arms? Oi, you didn’t make a mistake, right? Is this really the baron’s coat of arms design?”
“Yes, there’s no mistake.”
“This thing’s amazin’. It’s my first time seein’ such a bizarre design. I already thought the Dragon Slayer should be one unusual fellow, but he’s more unusual than I expected. Your leader’s one heck of a guy huh.”
Ah, it looks like they’ve completely mistaken me for an attendant. Should I correct them? I might need to ask them to do something for me in the future again, so I guess I better do so.
“It’s nice to meet you. By the way, my name is Alan, the Clan leader of Shining Star.”
The workshop master, who was busy checking out my drawing, suddenly froze up.
“……Ya mean you’re–? I mean, is it really you, sir?”
“Please excuse my rudeness!”
The four craftsmen, including the workshop master, all kneeled on the spot.
“Ah, there’s no need to do that, gentlemen. I’m still not a noble after all, and I’m not good with things being all formal.”
“……Does that mean you forgive us, sir?”
“Of course. Leave the formal stuff for when I’ve become a noble. Right now, I’m just a mere adventurer.”
“I see. Don’t mind if I do then. What the heck? That really scared me. I didn’t think the famed Dragon Slayer would be so young. Why didn’t ya bring any escorts with ya?”
“Like I said, I’m not a noble yet, and it’s not like my comrades aren’t busy.”
“No, ya really need an escort, I tell ya! ……Well, I guess yer the Dragon Slayer after all. Maybe ya really don’t need em? My name’s Cruz by the way. It’s nice to meet ya.”
“Likewise. Sorry about the strange design. It’s a crest that’s been passed down my family for generations.”
“Nah. It certainly is strange fer an emblem design, but it looks well thought out dependin’ on how ya look at it. Sorry fer sayin’ it’s weird.”
“It’s fine. It’s true that it’s peculiar after all. I don’t really mind.”
“Oops. Standin’ around here is no good. Sorry, but I’d like to start workin’ on it straight away. I’d have to deliver it to the castle in four days after all.”
“Um, what about the fee for making the coat of arms?”
“Ya don’t need to worry about that fer now. I already received a deposit from the castle. They’d pay the remainin’ balance after I’ve delivered it to the castle.”
Whoah. So the castle was paying for the cost of producing the coat of arms huh. I’m surprised. I completely thought we’d have to shoulder the fee ourselves.
“Would you mind showing me around your workshop for a bit? I promise I won’t get in the way.”
“Sure ya can. I ain’t gonna be able ta keep ya company later on, but I don’t mind ya lookin’ around.”
I followed the workshop master inside the building as he headed for the studio. There, I saw a wide variety of tools and materials used for craftsmanship lying around.
“This is what we use fer makin’ coats of arms.”
What the master showed me was what appeared to be a mithril board. They probably carved boards like this in order to produce coats of arms for their clients.
“By the way, how do you process mithril boards? I’ve been told they’re very hard and tough.”
“Yeah. But the ones we use here are unbaked mithril. It’s the baked mithril that’s really hard. These are a lot easier ta work with.”
I see. Apparently, mithril hardens exponentially when baked in high temperatures. But carving boards like this should still be pretty tough work.
“Now then, I have ta finish carvin’ this pattern before the day ends.”
The master placed the pattern I drew on top of the mithril board and began transferring it by hitting the lines with a tool that resembled a sharp ice pick, one prick at a time.
I see. So this is how they would copy the pattern huh. It looks like their work requires a considerable amount of effort and skill.
“If it’s alright, shall I draw the pattern for you?”
“Nn? Whaddya mean?”
“If it’s alright with you, I’ll be the one to transfer the pattern onto the board.”
“……Can ya really do somethin’ like that?”
“Please let me try.”
“Well, it’s yer coat of arms anyway. Do what ya want.”
(Nanom, display the imperial insignia pattern I used last night over the board.)
I took the icepick from the workshop master and started hitting the board with it. It’s harder than drawing stuff with a pen since you had to put a lot more effort into it, but it was still fairly simple to trace the lines that were displayed in red.
It looks like the trick is to make sure your wrist is steady while applying only a certain amount of force to draw the pattern on the board. Hm. It wasn’t so different from drawing on paper after all. I was able to finish copying down the whole pattern in about ten minutes.
“Well, how is it? Did I manage to do an acceptable job?”
The workshop master put the paper with the pattern I drew last night on top of the mithril board again to check if it really was the same as the one I carved on the board directly.
“……There ain’t even a single deviation. Just how’d you do that?”
“I’m really good at drawing stuff.”
“Really good, ya say……? No, I guess this just means the Dragon Slayer really ain’t ordinary huh. Honestly, I thought that bit with slayin’ a dragon was just a big fat lie, but now I’m convinced.”
“Haha, is that so? Thank you then.”
“You’ve got one hell of a knack fer craftsmanship even though yer about ta become a noble. It’s a bit of a waste, really. If ya give up on bein’ an aristocrat, I’d hire ya in a heartbeat. I’ll pay ya however much ya want.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
I stayed to observe how the workshop master works on the coat of arms for a while, but since it was bad to disturb him for too long, I finally decided to leave the workshop and return to the inn.
After I got back, I went to check up on Elna and the others who were probably still training in the courtyard.
“Ah, Alan, what good timing. I want to practice the technique I learned from Selena, so please accompany me for a spar. I’d like to test my moves out on an able-bodied man after all. You’d be fine even if I used the techniques on you, right, Alan?”
“……Okay, sure. Which techniques did you girls teach her anyway?”
I tried to confirm it with Selena and Sharon, but they quickly turned away when I asked. Afterward, Elna grinned teasingly. Oh boy. I have a really bad feeling about this.
“That’s a secret. It’s fine if you just avoid it, right?”
“No, even I won’t be able to react at once if I don’t know what’s coming……”
“Here I go!”
Elna rushed in without even letting me finish.
Man, I really had a hard time back there. Sharon and Selena taught her all the techniques that were normally forbidden in usual sparring sessions. They all aimed at vulnerable areas of the human body without restraint after all. If I wasn’t her opponent, Elna would have landed all her moves and subjected the one on the receiving end to a world of hurt.
Some of the other Clan members watched our practice match. But after seeing Elna’s unrestrained attacks, they all scattered about like frightened puppies. It looks like they really wanted to avoid getting picked as her next sparring partner.
Elna was really enthusiastic about the upcoming rescue mission, and she continued to train until evening without even having lunch.
Elna’s aptitude for combat arts wasn’t bad at all. She was able to improve her skills to a point that would allow her to employ some of the moves she learned in actual combat already, just after a day of training.
“I finally managed to get a good grasp of the techniques. Alan, please accompany me for training every day until the rescue mission.”
“……Alright, I understand.”