The Zadark Kingdom’s North is a region that is constantly covered in ice and snow.
In the past, there was almost no one who lived in this land of extreme cold that had many blizzardy days. In this place, there were only those that adapted to it, or those who lived outside with a bit of inconvenience, and then a small portion of those with strange tastes.
The day that blacksmithing fire was first lit in this northern land was something that happened more than a hundred years ago.
The place that 「Altejio the Freezing」, who lived like a hermit, and Margaret had met, was also this land.
And then now──with 「the Light Burying Altejio」, who was the Northern General, and 「the first Blacksmith Margaret」 at the center, there were many Mazoku living in this Northern land.
Its severe environment, and the fact that people could not really draw near it was the same as before.
However, at present, it had become the important base where the production of the currency that circulated within the Zadark Kingdom was performed, and those affiliated with the Northern Army possessed strong pride in the fact that they sustained the base of the Zadark Kingdom’s monetary economy.
Even within the North that was like that, the Northern Army Headquarters was a most important domain.
Unlike the other headquarters that had a tendency to ostentatious with their existences, the Northern Army Headquarters did not make its location public. The ones that knew of it were only those concerned with the Northern Army, and then those concerned with the Demon King Army that were above a certain position.
The fact that the production of currency was performed there was one of the reasons why its location wasn’t officially announced, but the reason that was bigger than that was that the Northern Army Headquarters was underground.
Having continued to be the Zadark Kingdom’s greatest blacksmith even up until now, there were many that made smithing requests to her.
Due to there being various incidents in the past that happened due to that, Altejio became a bit overprotective, and built her workshop underground, but Margaret herself would go out here and there to search for blacksmithing materials, and was quite carefree.
That Margaret was currently immersed in the production of a single sword.
It was a sword for the Western General Sancreed’s use.
She had Sancreed test out countless prototypes and confirmed some things, but Sancreed had an abnormally high upper limit to how much magical power he was able to release. By nature, the Mazoku were much higher than mankind in regards to talent in handling magical power, but even among those Mazoku, he was a cut above the rest.
For example, the beloved sword of Altejio, who was also Margaret’s husband, the Light Burying Sword Auraal. The limit value for magical power that could be poured into it was extraordinarily high, and she had confidence that she completed a sword that would remain unyielding even if it was treated considerably roughly.
However, even so, she predicted that it probably couldn’t endure Sancreed’s magical power.
Normally, there were two directions that could be thought of for a sword that she should prepare for Sancreed. The first was a sword that could endure Sancreed’s magical power. The second was a sword that would transform magical power through a special ability, like the Light Burying Sword Auraal and Vermudol’s Magic Sword Bale Blade.
However, what Margaret aimed for was a third direction. A sword that had both of these properties.
Fortunately, having obtained various materials and reference data from Ykslaas’s group, Margaret’s production desire was at its peak.
If it were possible, she wanted to continue forging for a month or two without sleep or rest, but Altejio had prohibited that.
However, for Margaret, she wanted to have her conception take form as fast as possible.
Since she would end up continuing without sleep or rest to a certain extent once she started her smithing work anyways, she decided it would be best to strike while her feelings were still hot……, so Margaret tried to start her blacksmithing in the middle of the night.
But, it was there that she was discovered by Altejio and taken away, made to take a proper sleep, and even made to eat a balanced breakfast. Thanks to that, her current physical condition was perfect.
「Now then……Let’s do this!」
Opening the door to her workshop and shouting that out loud, Margaret then brought her leg that was about to enter inside to a complete stop.
This was something that anyone related to the Northern Army knew, but Margaret’s workshop was basically off limits to everyone. The only ones allowed to enter were Altejio, and those of the same rank or greater. Even so, Margaret had strongly asked that no one entered her workshop when she wasn’t there.
For that reason, there should be no one in the workshop right now, but.
Since Margaret was a blacksmith, it wasn’t like she specialized in sensing the presence of others.
However, as a blacksmith, she was able to at least get a grasp of her own workshop. That something as a blacksmith conveyed a feeling that something was out of place to Margaret.
Margaret thought “however……”.
This floor that Margaret’s workshop was on was basically unattended to, but this place was the Northern Army Headquarters. The security was solid to the point that it could be said that it couldn’t be any better, and the patrollers would occasionally come here as well.
Plus, there were also security soldiers stationed at the stairs used to come here. It shouldn’t be possible to deceive their eyes and trespass on this place.
It might be possible if Transfer Magic was used, but to transfer on intuition within this disorderly workshop was nothing more than a suicidal act.
In other words, it was impossible for anyone to enter it.
At the end of her thoughts, Margaret stepped into the workshop.
Firing Illumination Magic into the dim workshop, she illuminated the room.
Within the brightly illuminated workshop, there really wasn’t the figure of a person.
「……Phew, so it was my imagination.」
Patting down on her chest in relief, Margaret renewed her feelings.
Surely that feeling that something was out of place was just her imagination.
Thinking that way, Margaret took a hammer into her hand──And it was there that she noticed the identity of that out of place feeling and turned around.
At the spot where materials were piled up, there was some armor.
No, the fact that armor was around was not unusual. There were times where she would pick that sort of stuff up as well.
However, that one was different.
She had never picked up armor that seemed to grow blades out from all over its body like that before.
Above all else, she had a feeling that she had seen that somewhere before.
Reeling through her memories……Margaret realized its identity.
Margaret quickly returned the hammer she had in her hand to its original spot, and took up a different hammer.
Holding a brusque hammer that was larger than herself, Margaret carefully took some distance from that armor.
It shouldn’t be in a place like this.
There was no way that which had already died should exist here.
However, if that really were the case.
At the end of Margaret’s gaze as she slowly moved back towards the workshop’s entrance, that armor moved with a clank.
「……Tsk, that Staff Demon bastard. What “it’ll be fine if you just act like armor if you need to”. It was totally obvious, wasn’t it.」
「Nn? Ahh, kukuku. I’ll be intruding.」
With clear hostility, Margaret glared at that thing that suddenly changed its tone and started to put on airs.
「Sword Demon……! You, you were alive!?」
The armor──The Sword Demon came to a complete stop at Margaret’s words.
「What’re you say……No, I don’t know what it is you are saying. This should be the first meeting between you and I though?」
「Yeah, I don’t know why you know my name but……Have we met somewhere before?」
Seeing that it seemed the Sword Demon had completely forgotten her, a silent rage welled up within Margaret.
「……Are you saying that you’ve forgotten me?」
「I don’t know you.」
「You’ve forgotten me……Margaret?」
「How obstinate. I don’t know who you are.」
Hearing that, Margaret felt like she was going to go into a rage, but she immediately calmed herself down.
Well, it might have been something that couldn’t be helped. Since what had happened between Margaret and the Sword Demon was probably something that was an everyday occurrence for the Sword Demon.
He probably didn’t have a fragment of a memory of the legendary era of the past and having kidnapped Margaret, who was famous as a blacksmith since those times, to use her as a tribute to the previous Demon King Gramfia.
If he didn’t remember, then that was fine as well. That was already a matter of the past.
「……What did you come here for?」
「Fumu. Do you want to know, girl.」
WIthout noticing Margaret get annoyed by his tone that was putting on airs, the Sword Demon put out the thing that he had in his hand.
「That’s……! A fragment of Gramfia’s horn!? Hey, give that back!」
「Nope. Now then, with this, I’ve achieved my objective but……」
After swallowing Gramfia’s horn into the space within the armor, the Sword Demon glared at Margaret.
「Are you, the owner of this workshop?」
「So what if I am?」
「……This is just while I’m at it, but you might be good as a present. I suppose I’ll take you along as well.」
Those words overlapped with Margaret’s memories of the past.
That time as well, the Sword Demon said something similar and tried to take Margaret away.
At that time, Margaret was powerless. Having forgotten to even scream in fear, she was an existence even lower than a child.
「Do you think, you can do that?」
However, it was different now. This place wasn’t the cave that she was living in at that time.
And then, Margaret was also different from that time.
Hitting the floor with the large hammer she held in her hands, Margaret glared at the Sword Demon from the front.
「If you are expecting help, then it’s pointless. Something called a Silencing Barrier has been put up here. No matter how much you shout, your voice won’t reach anyone.」
「Ara, is that so.」
In response to the Sword Demon’s words that resembled a threat, Margaret replied with a sneer.
「Then that means that I won’t be able to let Aー-chan hear your death agony, doesn’t it. That’s too bad.」
Taking a stance where she held the hammer in her hands aloft, Margaret made a declaration.
「How dare you do that to me in the past. This time, it’s my turn to make you cry.」