Cacten, a city that was abundant with a special metal was attacked by monsters a few years ago. The city was erased from the map, and the remaining 13% of the population was scattered throughout the continent.
Midnight and Sun were victims of the incident. They were not present at the time of the attack, knowing only a few days later.
"What will I do with it now?" Elliot asked himself as he walked around the market.
After their talk, Midnight and Sun parted ways with the boy. They were going to shop groceries for the guild while Elliot was looking for items he needed. Now that his goal in getting to Cacten wasn't possible, he needed another blacksmith that knows how to work with this metal.
But where? He thought.
As far as he know, he doesn't even know where the blacksmiths were. The only thing he knew was that unlike the produce and food market, the blacksmiths did not stay on the same street to establish their shops. That way, the competition was less fierce.
A touch in his arm made Elliot turn around. He was about to tackle the man, but he saw that it was only an old man. He was wearing a cloak that was puffed, covering his whole body apart from his face.
"Young sir," he said. "Why do you have a Valorium with you?"
"A what?" Elliot asked.
The old man shook his head and dragged the boy inside an old shack. Elliot was surprised that the inside was much different from what it looks like outside. There were weapons, armors, and magic items inside.
Unlike the plump merchant's shop, this one looked classier and the items were more alluring.
"Excuse me sir, but what do you mean?" Elliot asked again.
The old man didn't respond to his questions. Instead, he used Scan on Elliot and glared at the bag.
"What is that in your bag?" he asked. "I see something extraordinary inside it."
Elliot scrunched his forehead, "What do you mean?"
"You have a rare metal with you – a Valorium. Where did you get it?" The old man walked towards Elliot and narrowed his eyes.
"M-My mother gave it to me. She said to bring it to Cacten–"
"Port City in the East?" the old man cut him off. Elliot nodded, to which made the old man grin. "My name is Francoise. I am the greatest Blacksmith in the Cacten Port in the East."
"What do you intend to do with me?" Elliot asked.
"To you? Nothing. To that Valorium, I will forge the greatest sword this continent has ever seen!" Francoise said with enthusiasm. "And you boy will become its master."
"How can I trust you?" It wasn't that Francoise wasn't trustworthy, Elliot was just looking out for his mother's heirloom. His mother could be a citizen of the ruined city and this piece of metal was the only thing she held on. "For all I know, you could be a thief."
Francoise pursed his lips in deep thought. A few seconds later, his lips quirked up into a grin and he started to collect pieces from his display.
"No wrong Adventurer would enter this old-looking shop of mine," Francoise said and looked at the boy. "I made it look old and rotten on purpose. That way, I will have less conceited Adventurers. Those who think that they are high and mighty just because they have Consoles and that damned voice inside their heads."
Elliot was surprised that he could understand where Francoise was coming from. He was a baker at a bakery before. He crafted bread from his blood and sweat. It's hard for him to see his craft getting spoiled or being toyed with. In a way, Elliot knew how important Francoise's items to him.
With that, he gave the old man the part of the metal frame. Francoise's eyes glimmered in delight after getting to hold the metal.
"Scan," Francoise commanded and grinned. "Just as I thought! This has Dragon Obsidian embedded to it."
Elliot's eyebrows met after hearing the stone. Dragon Obsidians were the hardest minerals to be formed. It requires the power of dragons from the four Primordial affinities, earth, water, wind, and fire.
It had been said that an earth dragon's precious rock would be melted by the fire dragon's bright flames. It would be then cooled with the water dragon's fresh stream and would be dried by the wind dragon's breeze.
"I can forge the greatest sword in man's history with this," Francoise said. He placed the metal on a velvet box and proceeded to collect items from his shop. "Now, I thank you for letting me forge a one-of-a-kind weapon. Take these."
Elliot looked at what Francoise gave him. It was a set of equipment that didn't look as cheap as the ones in the other merchant's store.
Looking closely, he was surprised when messages appeared on his console.
<< Crimson Phantom Armor Set >>
(Place on a flat surface to see attributes.)
"But I don't have Scan yet," Elliot asked himself. Francoise saw this and laughed after seeing the young boy's expression.
"Kid, you don't become an Adventurer overnight," the old man said. "You will receive an Adventurer's ability one by one, day by day. Right now, you're at the Second Stage."
Francoise nodded, "Yes. There are three stages of becoming an Adventurer. First Stage, you gain the Guide and Console and a bit boost in your physical stats, at Second Stage you gain the Item Inspector, and finally, the Third Stage will give you a Monster Inspector."
Elliot was in awe by the information. He placed the set that Francoise gave him just as he was instructed by the Console.
<< Crimson Phantom Top >>
- Strength: +1,250
- Speed: +2,150
- Defense: +925
- Magic: +3,500
"This is so cool!" Elliot cheered. "And this is only the top? I couldn't imagine how strong the whole set is."
"You know who to thank," Francoise snickered and shook his head after seeing the bright smile in the boy's face.
"Thank you, Gramps!"
"Whatever." Francoise excused himself and went to his work area. He left Elliot to indulge himself with his newfound items. For his age, Francoise couldn't believe that a Valorium still existed. He knew that anytime soon, he will pass away.
It even had such valuable addition to it, the Dragon Obsidian. He was smiling and thanking the gods for giving him such opportunity.
Elliot gave Francoise the last chance that he could forge a weapon out of the metal from his hometown. At least, one last time, he would be reminded of the town he grew up in. Words cannot express how grateful he was, so he settled it with premium items.
<< Crimson Phantom Trousers >>
<< Crimson Phantom Boots >>
After inspecting his new items, Elliot headed inside one of the booths. He changed the basic clothing that made him look like a regular citizen and put his new set on.
"I look awesome!" Elliot cheered after seeing himself in the mirror.
The Crimson Phantom Top was a half armor. It gives the user more speed and magic than strength and defense. Underneath the thin but sturdy iron-gray chest plate was a crimson dress suit. The shoulder plates were also iron and had intricate detailing that trailed down to the chest plate.
The trousers only had a pair of iron-gray kneepads that did not hinder the movement of its user. It was designed to follow the direction of the joint but not disturb the motion.
His boots were made from the skin of a deadly giant lagoon crocodile. Since the beast had an air attribute, it was thick but light, making Elliot feel like he was light as a feather. The air attribute added additional speed and agility to it.
"Young man?" Francoise called out. "We have a problem."