Chapter 437: Chapter 437
The deeper they went inside the forge, the hotter the heatwave became.
Su-hyeun thought that it really had been a long time since he felt this level of temperature. After acquiring the G.o.dhood of fire through the divine Flame, most fires came across as not even lukewarm to him.
Even the flames found in h.e.l.l wouldn’t be this hot; after all, h.e.l.l was supposed to be the place that imprisoned and punished regular beings, not G.o.ds, but what about this place? Not even G.o.ds would find it easy to just waltz in and stay.
“It’s rather toasty in here,” he thought. Even someone who possessed the G.o.dhood of fire as Su-hyeun found this place just a bit hotter than usual.
Surprisingly, the one under most distress turned out to be Hades. “This place still remains as unpleasant as always,” he said.
Apollo, a G.o.d who possessed the highest-tier G.o.dhood related to fire, didn’t even shed a single sweat, but his uncle Hades had to rouse up a considerable amount of his own strength to withstand the high temperature. Thanks to his strength, he managed to prevent himself from being cooked alive, but even then, his pride as the G.o.d in charge of h.e.l.l was in danger of being trampled on.
“But Honorable Uncle, I’ve already recommended you to wait outside.”
“Do not even bring that up. What do you expect me to do outside all by myself?” Hades replied with some irritation when Hephaestus addressed him. It seemed that not even G.o.ds could do something about their moods souring rapidly when they were subjected to intense heat.
They reached the end of a long corridor that led to the workshop. Beyond it was a huge open s.p.a.ce, its ceiling easily reaching dozens of meters.
The interior of this open s.p.a.ce was heated up at the moment; the temperature here was so high that all the walls were radiating in crimson. With things like this, it would be no different than walking straight into a furnace.
Su-hyeun asked, “Is this where you do your work?”
“Normally, yes. However, I don’t particularly care about locations. For a master craftsman, this is all I need, after all,” Hephaestus replied while picking up a hammer resting next to the entrance.
This hammer was emitting a somewhat warm and gentle golden light—it was none other than the very hammer Hephaestus personally used.
“Does that hammer have some kind of special power?” Su-hyeun asked while inquisitively staring at the hammer that Hephaestus held up with so much pride.
But the G.o.d of Blacksmithing resolutely shook his head, “No, not really. I do not discriminate on my equipment choices. Even if it’s not this hammer, others will do just fine.”
“Which means your hammer is not really a special treasure or anything like that, unlike the items used by the other G.o.ds, in other words.”
When Su-hyeun said that, Hephaestus’ expression crumpled ever so slightly.
He seemed to have taken offense that his hammer had been compared to the items of the other G.o.ds and underestimated on top of that. “Correction. I’m the only one that does not find this treasure tempting to behold, but that’s only because this hammer contains my experiences and memories.”
“Your experiences and memories, you say?”
“This hammer is crafted from these three items—adamantium, Soul Stone, and Reinforcement Stone—and it contains all my experience and memories of the items I have crafted up until now.”
While saying that, he used his hammer to lightly pound on a s.h.i.+eld that seemed to have been discarded. “A hammer like this? It’s not hard to make one, sure, but my experiences and memories permeating this hammer are truly irreplaceable. Priceless. So, is it still not special, in that case?”
“Not at all,” Su-hyeun grinned. “That is indeed really amazing.”
A hammer permeating with Hephaestus’ experience and memories—now that was a much better function to have than other the so-called special abilities when crafting various items.
Of course, such functions were not really useful to the owner of the hammer, Hephaestus. However, if another blacksmith were to use this hammer, then that individual would get to absorb some techniques and skills belonging to the G.o.d of Blacksmithing himself.
Hephaestus was the smith responsible for crafting the Thunder Glove, so to think that a hammer would let you acquire such a blacksmith’s technique and knowledge, now that was truly a heavenly treasure, alright.
“What is the meaning behind your odious smile? In any case, just follow me,” said Hephaestus, who then abruptly turned around to lead the way.
Numerous pieces of equipment were practically left discarded, unclaimed, in the deeper part of the workshop. Even at a casual glance, several of the equipment seemed to be high-quality goods crafted from rare and valuable material like adamantium.
Su-hyeun casually picked up a sword discarded on the floor and gripped it tightly to see for himself. The sensation of st.u.r.diness and sharpness of its blade was transmitted to his fingertips; a blade of this caliber, even if it wasn’t comparable to Balmung, would still be worthy of being referred to as a ma.s.s-produced copy of Balmung.
If Kim Dae-ho had produced this nameless sword, then people would have called it a masterpiece.
“You seem oddly interested in a failure.” However, Hephaestus casually called such a sword a failure, not even bothering to attach a proper name to it. Instead, he strode over to a display cradle standing over there and then yanked off the black cloth draped over it. “This is the item you should be taking a look at instead.”
Once the thick black cloth was pulled off, a set of crimson armor revealed itself underneath. Its material was slightly see-through, although the transparency was on the murkier side. Obviously, this armor was not made of metal.
For some reason, Su-hyeun picked up a familiar aura from it. Hoping to figure out why, he cautiously reached out to the armor. He glanced at Hephaestus, and the latter simply nodded and said nothing else, indicating his permission.
After confirming that nod, Su-hyeun’s hand reached out all the way to the crimson armor, and the moment he touched its surface…
The armor transformed into a bizarre shape and then traveled up his arm like some kind of viscous liquid and wrapped around his torso.
The “liquid” then seeped under his clothing and armor underneath. Although it was barely visible to the naked eyes, he could still feel it on his skin that this “thing” had hardened like real armor under his clothes now.
A pair of messages came to him just then as well.
[You have acquired “Kali’s Armor.”]
[All rewards have been paid out.]
The delayed reward payout arrived. However, Su-hyeun had already antic.i.p.ated something like this would happen the moment he detected Kali’s aura. The reason why the reward had to be delayed was probably to give Hephaestus sufficient time to craft the armor.
“Having said that, to think that he’d complete something like this in one day,” he marveled inwardly.
The time flow differed from one dimension to another. Even if that was the case, though, it should still be terribly difficult to use Kali’s blood to craft a set of armor of this caliber in such a short time.
“As I thought, the owner of that armor was you,” Hephaestus’ hardened expression softened as a content grin appeared on his face. “Kali’s blood responds to the one responsible for shedding it in the first place. Of course, there aren’t all that many ent.i.ties capable of making Kali bleed, and more importantly, there is only one G.o.d who recently killed her, too.”
“But why are you—?”
“Father requested me. He said that I must craft a set of armor using Kali’s blood.”
“When you say father, you mean Zeus?”
“How do you know that?” Hephaestus asked puzzled while glancing at Apollo and Hades.
The other G.o.ds merely shook their heads to indicate that they hadn’t told Su-hyeun about it. Hephaestus s.h.i.+fted his gaze back to Su-hyeun, allowing the latter to explain himself.
“The tales of Olympus are quite well-known in the world I originally come from. Of course, those stories are not accepted as actual history. They lean a lot closer to works of fiction.”
“Tales of Olympus, you say?”
“Yes. Someone once told me that even tales about me are talked about in other worlds as legends as well.”
“Is that so?”
“It sounds like someone went around talking about us again.”
“It was probably that fool, Hermes. He really likes to run his mouth wherever he goes.”
Hephaestus, Hades, and Apollo all nodded in understanding.
Su-hyeun didn’t know what kind of G.o.d Hermes was, but one thing was for sure—he must have been a big fan of going around spreading all sorts of stories and rumors.
“In any case, Zeus was the one who asked Hephaestus to craft the 200th floor’s trial reward,” he thought.
That was a rather valuable piece of information related to the Tower of Trials.
Su-hyeun got his hands on his reward from the 200th floor a little early by coincidentally choosing to seek out Hephaestus himself. Learning about Zeus as the requester of the reward item was indeed an unexpected windfall.
“The armor is not fully completed yet since I was pressed for time. However, it should still be quite useful in its current state,” said Hephaestus.
“Wait, it’s not completed yet, even though it’s like this already?”
“Correct. It has been enjoyable to use Kali’s blood to craft a set of armor, but on one hand, it is rather unfortunate. If I had another 50 years or so, I could have completed it,” Hephaestus pursed his lips in disappointment.
At least when it came to things like this, the G.o.d of Blacksmithing definitely resembled Kim Dae-ho’s personality. They both displayed unparalleled fervor and dedication for crafting equipment as proud blacksmiths.
“Fifty years…No, that’s too long,” Su-hyeun thought. Honestly speaking, he would have loved to get his hands on the “completed” item as his trial reward. However, the time frame of 50 years was simply unfeasible to him. He couldn’t afford to wait that long.
But then again…
“That’s actually great.”
Su-hyeun was actually happy about this turn of events. Fifty years of additional crafting time, plus Hephaestus’ greed as a blacksmith—thanks to those two things, it became easier for Su-hyeun to bring up a certain topic that he had been wondering about how to get the ball rolling.
“Would you like to have a wager with me?”
“Yes. At stake will be this crimson armor and that hammer,” Su-hyeun pointed at the hammer in Hephaestus’ hand.
The first ones to react to what he said were Apollo and Hades. Expressions of intrigue appeared on their faces as they alternated their gazes between Su-hyeun and Hephaestus.
A short bout of silence visited the workshop.
“I’m certain that I saw Hephaestus’ Hammer as an item that can be bought with enough points. Meaning, it’s seen as a regular purchasable product,” Su-hyeun thought. To confirm this, he tested the waters regarding the hammer with Hephaestus earlier.
Once in a while, you would find blacksmiths who held much affection toward their favored equipment. In cases like that, they would treasure their tools as much as their lives.
Fortunately enough, Hephaestus didn’t belong to that camp. He was more obsessed with crafting new items regardless of the equipment or methods employed, just like Kim Dae-ho.
“However, how will we even compete?” Hephaestus asked.
“It really doesn’t matter as long as it’s not a wager on finding out who makes the better item or something like that.”
“But that doesn’t mean a blacksmith like me can fight against someone like you who is strong enough to kill Kali.”
Su-hyeun and Hephaestus specialized in different professions: one was a warrior, while the other was a blacksmith.
Since their specialties were so different, finding a fair-enough event to compete in proved to be c.u.mbersome, and so, as they silently pondered on the kind of event to compete in.
“Apollo—!” A thunderous roar suddenly exploded from outside the workshop. “Are you in there—?”
That voice caused the entire workshop to rumble and shake. Various equipment on their cradles came loose and clattered to the floor messily, and even the hotly boiling air inside the forge visibly wavered as well.
However, the voice wasn’t simply loud.
“I can sense a dense combative desire,” Su-hyeun silently observed.
Indeed, the voice of the unknown man contained a heavy amount of fighting aura. The emotion permeating the voice strongly indicated that he wanted to fight someone.
Whoever he was, he was strong. Just his voice alone was enough to impart that knowledge.
“Ares, that stinking punk,” Hephaestus muttered in irritation as he witnessed his workshop being shaken around.
That loud yelling caused the interior of the workshop, which Hephaestus had arranged to suit his particular taste, to become a messy pandemonium in an instant.
But his scowl didn’t last for long; a smirk suddenly replaced his frown as if he had come up with an interesting idea just now, “We were discussing the potential event for our wager, weren’t we?”
“Sorry?” Su-hyeun suddenly sensed a slightly foreboding premonition.
Hephaestus began walking toward the exit of the workshop while saying the following words, “I’ve made up my mind. Come with me..”