Chapter 29: The Blacksmith and the Affectionate Priestess (2)

“…A little?”

My panicked words echo through the workshop.

Deidros’ eyes widen, and he grabs me by the shoulders.

“A little… Why is your answer so vague…?”

“It’s not like I can talk to every spirit… Only Master, ever since I touched the pendant…”

I mumbled, distracted by Deidros shaking my shoulder.


Deidros stops shaking his shoulder at my answer.


“Who is your master, I mean, who owns this pendant?”

“…Her name is Sierra.”

“Sierra… Sierra… Ah, you mean Purple Moon.
You were her disciple…”

Deidros paused, trying to remember Sierra’s name, and then muttered her nickname, Purple Moon.

[ Shame on you for calling me by that shameful nickname… ]

Sierra grumbled as she popped back out of the pendant.

Deidros checks Sierra’s form, then points to her and asks me.

“Do you happen to know what she’s saying now?”

[ Don’t tell him, apprentice! I don’t want to talk to him! ]

Sierra shouts in response to Deidros’ question then pauses for a moment, her head pounding.

“…Uh, she said not to tell you.”

“Ha, Miss Sierra must be shy, now that I think about it, I didn’t ask your name…”

“My name is Zetto.
I’m Ms.
Sierra’s first student, and…last student.”

I held out my hand to him, introducing myself.

“Zetto… I have many names, Deidros, Gregor, Yserval… but since you’ve come to me, Deidros will have to suffice, right?”

It was the kind of introduction that only a centuries-old dragon could make, one who had lived through the lives of so many people.

With that, I shook his hand.

“The last apprentice… yes, her coming here… her condition must have worsened after all.”

Deidros has lived a long life.
His memory must hold many characters… Sierra was once famous, so he remembered her and recited every detail.

[ … ]

When Deidros brought up the subject of Sierra’s illness, a shadow began to fall over her face.
She hated the disease that was the reason for her death.

“…But I think it’s a good thing we can talk about it.”

I responded to Deidros, but also comforted Sierra.

“She was so active and then just disappeared… I thought she was training in seclusion, but she was teaching a student.”

She did go into seclusion but when she came out; she met me and picked me up.”

“I didn’t think she’d have a disciple or anything, but she’s been hiding it…Hahaha, I guess that’s something to live for.”

Deidros muttered something along the lines of “interesting news,” and carried the materials to a corner of his workshop.

Pulling a fountain pen out of nowhere, he looks at me and opens his mouth.

“…Why you can speak to spirits is beyond me.
It’s not like you possess divine powers or have learned the art of command, is it?”

“Yeah, I don’t have a clue either…”

There was only one problem.
Even though I had the blindfold, I couldn’t bring myself to confess it to this dragon.

“Talking to spirits… Even the most divine of beings shouldn’t be able to do that.
Unless you’re one of those noble ‘saints’…”

“… Could a saint even talk to spirits?”

I asked, trying to pry information out of Deidros.

There was a certain amount of groundwork I’d already laid with Anthony and Emilia about the relationship between saints and spirits, and I needed to make sure I understood it.

“A saint… I haven’t met any recent saints… Gosh, I can’t remember who the last saint I met was…”

Deidros stares up at the ceiling of his quarters, recalling the library of countless books in his mind.

“…It was a long time ago, back in the days of Spectral Sword and other vile things.
I was making stuff up like crazy, too, because I was just a kid and it was so much fun to watch the world go to shit.”

Deidros has never been one for the good guys, but he’s grown up… or should I say, matured.
He seems to be living a relatively quiet life.

“One day, a saint came to me with her own knights in tow.
She walked straight up to me and slapped me across the cheek and said, ‘Isn’t it a pity that souls that are bound together can’t even leave the world?’ …I’m pretty sure she said that.”

Deidros continues to recite a story from his past.
It’s a story I’ve never heard before, even in the game, and it’s fascinating.

“The saint slapped my cheeks a few more times, and finally burst into tears.
I still feel the sting of the slap sometimes.
She had an uncharacteristically sharp hand.”

Deidros laughs as he recounts the story.
It’s as if he’s reliving the memory and feeling the emotions.

“I said to the sobbing saint, ‘Do you speak for these souls,’ and she said, ‘As soon as I came here, the cries of the souls pierced my ears.
Please stop…’”

A single tear slipped over the corner of Deidros’ upturned mouth but he was not crying.

“After that I didn’t make a Spectral Sword until she died….”

As I listened to him, I had a question.

“That… I know it’s not my question, but… if you had a story like that, why are you making it again?”

I ask, and Deidros wipes away the tear.

“Haha, I thought maybe one day she’d come back and slap me again….”

Deidros stopped reminiscing after that raucous laugh.
He shakes his head, and I see him scribbling on a piece of paper with his fountain pen.

Something about Deidros had changed since he told the story.
Maybe he was honoring her in some way.
Or maybe he was hoping for a miracle, for her to come back to life and visit him.

I couldn’t tell but I knew he had a story.

I always thought of Deidros as just a character, a mad dragon masquerading as an artist but I didn’t know the whole story either.

It seems that thanks to Deidros, I have gained enough information to know that the Saint can communicate with spirits.

“So… was it your idea to create a Spectral Sword?”

Deidros looked up from his notes and asked me.

Ever since I touched the pendant after Master left, I’ve been able to sense her spirit, and our conversations have been…”

I answered Deidros question moderately.
Sierra knew what was going on, but she didn’t say anything.

“I had hoped it was just human madness, a vain desire to be stronger.
It’s called…’Love’…”


I asked, taken aback by Deidros’s casual mention of love.

“There are many kinds of love.
Isn’t it love when a pupil cherishes a master, and a master allows himself to be made into a Spectral Sword for his pupil? Am I misinterpreting this story?”


Listening to Deidros, I realize that’s the only thing anyone else could think of.

“Well, if it’s love, it’s love.”

I responded, thinking of Deidros’ romanticized artist’s temperament.

I figured a good story would make the Spectral Sword better.

Deidros nodded and moved on, but apparently the person next to me did not.

[ Hmph… Disciple… Even though it’s a lie, I’m a little embarrassed… ]

Sierra covers her face with her palm, twisting just one finger to look at me through the gap.

Her face is strangely red.

I don’t know why her face, which is nothing more than a soul, could be red.

“This, this… This is going to be a masterpiece.
I love this story.
The tender love between a disciple and a master.
Do you dare me to write this story, Zetto?”

Deidros finishes writing, spreads his arms from side to side in a theatrical gesture, and turns to me.

“If you make it good, I’ll probably like it.”

Anything goes in a masterpiece like this.
I’ll even open my warehouse to complete this masterpiece.”

Deidros said he would open his warehouse… the Gold Dragon’s warehouse… and he did.

‘I’m so lucky…?’

This was the kind of thing that would have happened in a game where the word “jackpot!” popped up in the middle of a weapon crafting session.

“Good for you, Master.”

Deidros knew I could communicate with spirits anyway, so I turned to Sierra.

“The more I look at it, the more I wonder.
This strange power that cannot be explained in words…The power of love.”

Deidros watched as I spoke to Sierra, and then he started speaking bullshit.

[ …That’s right, it’s the power of love, ,my first and last pupil, you’re starting to understand!]

Sierra had been so distracted by Deidros’ ramblings that she had actually believed the excuse I had made up and her focus blurred slightly as she spoke.

“Hah… so how long will this take?”

I asked Deidros as I cleaned up the mess.

“The Spectral Sword is special, so is the process of making it… but a week should be enough.”

Luckily, the Spectral Sword crafting time is exactly as it is in the game.

The Spectral Sword, as well as other specially crafted weapons, took a month at most.

I nodded to Deidros in affirmation and walked over to him, holding out the pouch of money in my hand.

“Five hundred gold.”

It was the cost of production although it wasn’t worth much to Deidros, who was overflowing with money.

“I’ll do my best to make sure you don’t regret coming to me.”

Deidros took the 500 gold I offered but he didn’t bother to check the amount.

Maybe he doesn’t want to work for free, after all, he’s creating a work of art.

It was time to part ways with Sierra.

“I’ll be back in time, Master.”

I bowed to Sierra.

[Don’t worry, I’m used to waiting, a week is nothing to me.]

Sierra’s stern voice echoed in my head as she crossed her arms proudly.
It was enough to make me trust her.

“I’ll see you in a week, then.
I’m more motivated than I’ve been in a long time, so maybe it’ll be faster.”

With Deidros’ words behind me, I walked out of the studio.

A week seems like a long time.

‘Finally, the Spectral Sword will be finished.’


The week flew by.
With only a few days left before the Labyrinth opened, the class was in full swing with training about the Labyrinth but for those of us who knew the Labyrinth’s system, it was boring.

Not much else happened during the week and I would occasionally eat rice with Gary.

Time passed, and I found myself back at Deidros’ mansion again.

The path to the mansion was the same as it had been the last time I’d visited, except now Sierra wasn’t floating next to me.

I knocked on the mansion’s door.
But this time, I heard footsteps stomping up to the door from a distance, and then the door burst open.

“You finally came!”

Deidros opened the door and greeted me with a beaming face.
I hadn’t seen him in a week, and he was very excited.

“…It’s been a while.”

I followed him into the house.

“Alas, I finished the Spectral Sword a day ago.
I swear… I’ve made many Spectral Swords in my life, but this is the best.”

Deidros raved in ecstasy.

‘It’s that well made…?’

I scratched my head as I walked after him.

“Well, you’d better see for yourself.
Oh, I know, you don’t really see… I guess you’d have to touch it.”

Deidros couldn’t contain his excitement.

And so we arrived at a door that was unusually fine for a mansion.

“This room is usually reserved for honored guests, but you are barely an honored guest to me.
I almost feel sorry for you.
Of course, you’re welcome to be there, but you’ll have to forgive me for being nervous.”

“Haha, I don’t mind.”

Deidros finished and opened the door.

The room was more luxuriously decorated than one would expect for a guest of honor.

Among the fine furnishings and beautiful paintings, there she was.

Sierra standing in this room was like a painting.  Her long, luscious auburn locks and mesmerizing violet eyes were still the same, but… Her attire had changed, as had the object that held her soul.

The reddish-colored clothing of the East suited her strangely, it was a little more elegant, perhaps but it was still revealing.

Her cleavage and shoulders were still clearly visible.

[ Disciple.


Sierra says in a shy voice, coming up to me and hugging me.

Deidros watches us, one corner of his mouth quivering in a smirk, and he shrugs his shoulders.

“Ha, a hug upon meeting…Can you even touch her?”

Despite what Deidros thinks, I can touch her.

Sierra hugged me so tightly that her overwhelmingly large, puffy breasts were completely pressing against me.

[ A week might have been a little… long… ]

I don’t know why but my breath caught in my throat.

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