As soon as Kallen got off the leviathan, he felt as if something changed in the atmosphere. It felt a lot colder and darker too.
"Strange..." He could keep the thought of something being wrong out of his head. But as it was already in the middle of the night where beasts are most active, he immediately fled the region. Instead of returning right back to Vi City, he recalled another village not much far away from here. He also guessed that the villagers who fled the Ironwood Village.
"I should go there later, or now?" Kallen was unsure about going to that village to see if Kali and the others arrived. And after thinking a little he decided to head to the city first and find some time to visit later, with a few gifts in hand.
The trip back to Vi city was easier than expected and by the middle of the day, Kallen had set his foot in the city gate.
For some reason, the city seemed a lot more empty than the usual, with few people walking on the streets. As soon as passed by the Wripel Garden in the upper city, his eyes spotted a figure watching him from the corner.
As soon as this figure saw he's been seen, it turned around and dashed towards the Obsidian Pavilion.
Kallen raised his guard, but soon calmed down when seeing the place the person was running to. Before he even got to the pavilion, Erin passed by the cultivators as she ran towards him while gasping for air.
"Kal, it's bad! This morning, the spies I sent to observe the Ji family found out their mansion was empty. Other than some furniture, everything else was gone. The mayor sent a few men to the mansion, but all they found was a huge hole. Connecting to an underground passage in their ancestral hall."
"Last night, an army of Body Refinement Magi has been detected by the Mayor's guards. It must be those from the force backing the Ji family." As he followed Erin back to the pavilion, she explained to him what happened since the morning. Which made him a lot more anxious. From the information Erin gave him, those guards were all killed by some kind of arcane arts. The mayor said it was the same kind that used by the Arcane Union of the West.
He had no previous knowledge about the Arcane Union, only that it belonged to the western federation's twelve big factions.
Over there in the west he heard most people would be called magi. As they shared a different nature from most Cultivators.
The Magi preferred to put their focus on the miraculous Vital Power or Arcane Force as they like to call. An then use it to perform many spells and incantations. An art that is nothing like the martial arts the cultivators like to practice. With all the focus they put in studying the Vital power, their own physical body is a lot weaker than the latter.
And while the Cultivators had stronger bodies, and powerful techniques with the same amount of potential. Their use of vital power was limited, thus making the practice longer when comparing to the former.
"Oh, but you shouldn't worry. The Sacred Soul Sect has been contacted and will be arriving at any moment."
The moment he heard the Sacred Soul Sect had sent people over made some tension in his heart. Putting his hand on his coat pocket, he pulled a piece of paper out of the space stone. "Erin, take this list and bring every item in it to my forging room."
Receiving the list, Erin read through the paper . "Umbra Stone, Red Grave Iron, Soft Ore, Flaming Dust and Moon Silver. Wait, Moon Silver and Red Grave Iron are incompatible. Moon Silver has an icy cold property that causes conflict when forging it together with Red Grave Iron, are you sure?"
"Yes, and I will need your help with the Runic formation." Saying that, he ran towards the Forging Chambers and left Erin behind holding the paper.
She was frozen for a second before heading towards the storage. As she approached the storage, a thin old man keeping guard bowed his head to her as a sign of respect before opening the door.
Kallen stored all the forging tools he had in the room when he noticed her presence. "Miss Erin, can you please bring the materials over here."
"Huh? Ah yes."
"Now let me start." Picking the Umbra Stone, Moon Silver and the pink Soft Ore bar with a jelly-like texture. He first covered the all the three in a strange yellow powder as he brought them to the fire.
The Entire chamber was scorching hot due to the intense orange flames. The first to melt wasn't the Soft Ore, but the Umbra Stone. This jet black piece of rock had all its impurities melt under the flame.
Soon, he mashed the three all together into a perfect black-silver mask. Soon after finishing the first product, he picked the red grave ore. Put it on the furnace before taking out a bit of Blood Ocean Ignium to melt over it. Soon the two metals had fused into a dark crimson crystal.
Leaving piece of Red Grave Crystal getting warmer on the furnace. He picked a bigger Heavy Hammer on the desk and brought the crystal to a large anvil.
"Now it is time to shape the crystal. Senior Sister Erin, please step back a little."
Differently from the mask that was more fragile and couldn't be dealt with using all his strength. Kallen rose the right hand holding the
Heavy Hammer before striking on the crimson crystal.
The repeated strikes send out a "ding ding" sound as the heated crystal slowly curves.
By moving his ear and closing his eyes, he put all his focus in order to detect any change on the surface of the crystal.
This alloy of Red grave ore and blood ocean ignium is truly difficult to forge. His initial plan was to turn this crystalized form of the ore into a complete sword without wasting any of it.
Erin watched as Kallen furiously pounded the crystal with his heavy hammer. His eyes completely focused and without any impurity. As if there was nothing more in this world other than him and the crystal.
With wide open eyes, she observed that other than the clumsy movements of his that showed his inexperience. She believed the sword was going to turn out fine.
"It's done. Senior Sister Erin, tell me how it is." Now holding the finished product, he passed the sword and mask over to his senior sister to inspect.
"This Mask's craftsmanship is not bad and its overall quality barely a high grade. As for this sword, wow! You achieved it, an extraordinary-grade artifact in only three months. Are you sure that you haven't learnt blacksmithing before?
"Wait, I can see the technique used on this is a bit unpolished. Well, I guess it makes sense if we are talking about a beginner like you. If it is about quality, it should barely be counted as a high grade like the former. But the material was able to compensate for the unpolished forging technique. Thus making this sword reach such a high grade. I'm just wondering what in the world you added to it?"
"...." Kallen didn't reveal anything as he acknowledged Erin's ability. As she was able to distinguish the quality of the sword given by the material that was too good and not him. The dust he used to cover the metals before putting them on the furnace was also a more advanced means of blacksmithing. One that would make it easier to craft good things even with shitty materials.
As for the blood Ocean Ignium, even the Leviathan only had praises for such a rare metal. Which was more than enough to be certain of its high quality.
Before, Erin was worried that the Ji family's alliance with this unknown faction could bring trouble to the city. But given normal circumstances, Kallen was a much more mysterious person. With powers beyond understanding. He is so young, but something about his gaze was filled with too much depth for a youth his age that made her wonder about his past.
Kallen, on the other side, wasn't surprised by how the sword turned out to be as he had some expectation already. He knew that other than physical strength he had nothing to compare to a cultivator. Even more so in the later stages where he would be like a bug before a giant.
And when the men from the Sacred Soul Sect arrive he can learn more about Ali's situation. As he didn't think she was thrown in that soul refining artifact so soon.
'Before attacking the sect, I must first look for more information. By the time Levi awakes, I must be able to make artifacts and I must save Ali as well.'