Blacksmith of the Apocalypse-Chapter 989. The Great Return

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---Thres ---

“Governor, you have to come quick! There is an airship aiming for Thres!” Bercy, one of the former experiments informed him. Curious what the commotion was about, Adam got up and walked out on the street.

He took a deep breath, enjoying the fresh and clean air that had filled Thres after Minas Mar delivered on the promise. Although the tree was not big enough to cover the whole city, it fit snuggly under their barrier and protected the part they had and intended to restore.

Throw the crown of the tree, he really spotted a flying ship. It was a small and sleek design. He had seen similar vehicles in the Mur empire. These ships were built for speed, not distance, so it was quite curious how such a model had found its way to Thres.

“Sire, they are going to crash into our barrier. Should we open it?” Bercy asked hesitatingly. They didn’t know who the visitors were, but would they really let them ram and burn into their barrier? However, just in this moment, Adam noticed a slight change in the ship's flight path.

“that won’t be necessary. They are landing, although rather sloppily,” the artificial druid calmed his friend. Soon his words were proven true, as the others also noticed the ship getting slower as it got closer and making a slight dip to the ground.

A graceful swerve more and the ship crashed into the ground in front of the barrier without even a semblance of lowering their speed. It was a respectable crash landing that created quite the crate in the ruined cityscape outside. It was hard to believe there were any survivors, however-

“Fuck! Hubert! You should have checked the fuel beforehand!” a female voice cursed as the bent door was kicked out of its frame. A familiar woman stepped out, while the destroyed door was still flying through the ruins.

“I don’t know whether you noticed, but we weren’t really in a situation where I could have leisurely made a maintenance check before starting!” a man defended himself as he was brought outside. The old-looking man was covered in scars and carried in the arm of a burly dude.

“Now, now, let’s all calm down. Although this was frightening, it’s not like any of us was hurt,” a third person, wearing ragged robes followed them outside. The woman clicked with her tongue before she turned to Adam and the others standing on the city wall.𝒻𝑟ℯℯ𝓌ℯ𝒷𝑛𝘰𝘷ℯ𝘭.𝘤𝘰𝘮freew(e)bnovel.(c)om

“Hey Adam, I’m back! I brought some settlers if you want them!” she said and pointed at the ship, where more and more people exited, roughly 20.

“Lydia! That was quite the entrance,” Adam exclaimed with a laugh.

“Right, thanks to someone choosing the wrong escape vehicle,” she said with a side glance at the man being carried.

“We were in a hurry! I'm sorry, okay?”

“You are lucky we just barely made it all the way to Thres.”

“Hello, you must be Adam? I'm Ray, a member of Minas Mar like Lydia. The man over there is called Hubert. Nice to meet you,” Ray used the chance while they were bickering, to introduce himself and Hubert.

“Likewise. I reckon you guys fled from something or someone?” Adam finally asked after watching the spectacle for a moment.

“Stuff happened,” Lydia answered that question with a sigh.

“How about you all come in first and we talk in detail about what happened and what to do with these people,” he said, nodding at the group Lydia introduced as potential immigrants.

---Minas Mar---

While Leana started refining their requirements for the tournament with their people and Python, Seth was free to return to his workshop. Or rather, he entered the alchemy labs. Since leveling up past craftsman was a chore, he wanted to bring his basic skills there first before he started the hard path on either of them.

It was a little lonely, knowing that Fin and Mina would be there when he would return to his quarters since they were in Little Gamma helping with the organization of the Pythian games. Seth understood, that Leana wanted people she trusted there, to help organize especially the security.

Despite the bad news from Chrona, the princess was still doing her best and Seth decided to do the same. This was how he threw himself into the study of alchemy.

“I told you to simply follow the recipes I prepared!” Alison scolded him again.

After throwing himself into the study of Alchemy he ran into a thick wall. Thing were going well and he understood the recipes Alison prepared, so he thought he might also be able to come up with his own recipes. He quickly suffered defeat. It became quite obvious that he lacked talent in potion crafting and it was best to just follow working recipes, which was hard enough with recipes fit for a journeyman when he was still an adept.

“Sorry, I will stop it from now on.” He answered embarrassed after his experiment filled the laboratory with dark, smelly smoke once again. “Until my level is higher,” he added in his mind. Although his will to level up his <Alchemy> was originally with the thought of creating legendary materials or potions later on, Seth found another goal he could reach with the skill.

Improving his <Spirit Smithy>.

What he thought of was adding an alchemy station and an acid shelf for demonic rune etching. Over the past weeks, especially after getting closer to Sivri, Seth had most confirmed his suspicions, even without making Sivri direct say it.

Sivri, Cerberus, the Golem Forge, and the Soul Refinery were quite different from the other perks of his skill. They could not only work autonomously but also match his own skill level. At this point, Seth felt quite confident in his guess, that Forgebrand had split off parts of his very own soul to inhabit these crafting stations and Cerberus.

However, the only way he could have really ascertained this was dying. He still remembered that he met his predecessor in the brief time after his first and only death in a dungeon, since then he only became more careful, missing the chance to meet Forgebrand again.

As for Sivri, he was pretty sure she was someone close to the dwarven master at the time, though he didn't have any clear guess as to what exactly their relationship was and what Forgebrand had done, though the blacksmith's already had his doubt before the first time Sivri refused to talk about Forgebrand.

There was a clear shift in Forgebrand's behavior. This was something Seth knew from his visit to Chrona's treasury where he met Ceres and another ego item, that were able to tell him a little about the dwarf. Adding everything together, Seth guessed that it had to do with the splitting of parts of his own soul. But maybe he had gone even further and patched up these holes with foreign souls.

His skin crawled when he thought of that possibility. It wasn't that he didn't think about fusing souls into his own to become stronger, but he was far from desperate enough to do something so obviously stupid. What could have been Forgebrand reason? Of course, as an avid reader, Seth smelled the drama and he was convinced it had something to do with Sivri. But it was actually none of his business, so he didn't interrogate her on it.

The important point was, that he didn't need to use parts of his own soul, to make autonomous crafting stations. Sivri was the proof of that. Matching his skill level seemed like a natural restriction of the <Spirit Smithy> itself. All he needed was the skill level and the fitting soul for the crafting station. Seth already had a soul in mind

His goals set, he focused on following Alison's recipes, although he failed almost 50% despite his high specs. A twitch, a drop too much and the potion turned a disturbing purple color. He had failed, but it wasn't his fault this time. His communication orb had vibrated in the crucial moment.

“Mary? Why do you call?” Seth asked with a wistful look at the failed potion.

“We finally got a message from Lydia and Ray. They arrived in Thres and they found McCarthy,”

“Where in the world did they find McCarthy?”

“I'm sure they would want to tell you themselves. Come to the embassy, we are doing a group call in the meeting room.”

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