Chapter 38 of Re;Blade
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Chapter 37 – The Weapons
After he cleaned the last weapon, Baltasar took a step back to look at the work. A wild smile crossed his face. “We did it… we did it!”
The old man’s expression matched his voice; he was awestruck by the weapons.
Tetsuko couldn’t blame him; she was feeling the same. From her standing support, she was proud despite not striking the hammer once.
Even if the sword and the sets of arrowheads were only prototypes, they were strong.
Tetsuko sensed as the metal transformed and was molded as the blacksmith worked on it.
But will these weapons will be enough to fight the Worshipers?
It had been hard. Even with the folding technique, it was hard to increase the purity to a higher level and many prototypes had been lost.
Even if they had to start from zero many times, neither blacksmith felt discouraged. Every failure only made them talk more and more about how to overcome that.
After days, they had finally managed to create two types of weapons.
Even without touching the metal, Tetsuko could tell the prototypes much better than the regular weapon used in the fights so far.
It’s not pure living metal like me, but the level of purity is high enough. But being pure doesn’t mean anything if it can’t handle the flow of Celeste…
“We… need to check if it works,” the old blacksmith said after a long while admiring the work. He blinked a couple times with his good eye, almost as if forcing himself to wake from a trance.
Y-yes… Let me touch the metal, Tetsuko asked the man.
With great care, Baltasar took the sword from the standing support and drew her. He brought it down, but before he touched blade against the prototype, he stopped to admire the pure living metal sword again.
Even though it hadn’t been the first time, Tetsuko understood the man and said nothing.
Finally, the man lowered her metal body towards the sword they had forged.
Though it was made using part of the knowledge the Japanese blacksmith brought, that blade could cut with both edges.
The soldiers from this world have a hard time adapting to a katana in such a short time. Maybe in the future I can make a Japanese blade with a high level of pure living metal, she thought. But for now, we need to make a usable one.
The moment the metals touched, Tetsuko felt it; that blade was the closest thing to her in that world. She closed the eyes she didn’t have and made her energy flow into that sword.
Even though it wasn’t part of her, she could feel as her Celeste penetrated the other sword, coursing and filling the blade as if it was part of her own body. And then she felt as the sword reacted to it.
The prototype vibrated.
She risked making the flow faster.
The sword vibrated more but it wasn’t like the others Tetsuko had seen, which shattered in a few instants.
The core of the blade was stable. It reacted to the Celeste as well, but the vibration came from the edge.
Baltasar flashed a smile of wonder.
“The metal isn’t breaking… The folding technique was enough to keep a high level of purity while mixing with a less conductive metal!” he shouted and let out his hearty laugh. But at once he stopped and moved to the others prototypes. “How about the arrowheads?”
Though Tetsuko was interested in the blade, she was more interested in the arrows. She couldn’t stop smiling as she observed. It’s the strangest arrowheads I’ve had ever seen!
The arrowheads were made of two separated pieces. The outer parts were made just like the sword; high concentration of living metal with different concentrations of less conductive metal.
The inner pieces were the opposite. Most of it was hard metal and just a little bit of living metal, enough so the energy could flow to the outer piece.
The strangest part, however, wasn’t that. The inner piece had two sharp spikes like protuberances on each side. The outer piece had two cavities the exact same size.
According to Baltasar, they had to make it that way in order for the pieces stayed together no how much it vibrated.
Tetsuko didn’t believe it could hold. But then the elderly blacksmith showed her a new and amazing technique.
In order to make sure the pieces stayed together, they rapidly heated up the outer part and cooled down the inner. Then they connected it and quickly immerse on water. The result was amazing. The pieces were together as if they were one from the beginning.
At once Tetsuko knew it was an advance technique. With the living metal property of adapting to the temperature, they couldn’t make a mistake.
Baltasar confirmed he, his grandson, and a few other blacksmiths were the only ones who could do that without destroying the metal.
“Please, Tetsuko,” the grandmaster blacksmith asked her, standing as far as he could.
Just like with the swords, the old man touched Tetsuko against each arrowhead. She poured her energy, testing one by one.
The ones with a low concentration of living metal on the outer piece barely vibrated at all. And the one with the most exploded.
Baltasar sheathed Tetsuko and placed on her standing support and both blacksmiths became quiet as they considered the results.
“I’m not sure if the ones with less living metal can be used as a weapon. Even without the folding, it’s closer to what we already have,” Baltasar said.
I think so. But since I’ve sliced Worshipers’ flesh, I’m not so sure. A skilled warrior could make good use of it.
“Yes. But we need to think about mass producing for a whole army…” The old man seemed angry, but then became quiet as he stroke his beard. “The one with the highest concentration can be used too, depending on the shaft.”
You cannot be thinking of using a shaft made of folding technique and making something like an exploding arrow, are you?
Baltasar let out a hearty laugh. “That’s exactly what I was thinking! Even if it doesn’t kill them, it can be used somehow. It could cause–”
A lot of damage depending on how creative we can be, Tetsuko finished the thought.
“Yes… There’s a lot we can do, but to that…”
We need to test if they actually work first…
The old man nodded. He turned to the prototypes they had made, his eyes shining like a parent proud at their children.
In her head, Tetsuko smiled. I know that look… My old man always stared his finished swords like that.
When Baltasar finally looked away from the weapons, he shouted for the apprentices.
At once young men and women hurried up to enter the forge, almost pushing each other to be first before the grandmaster. They were the apprentices of the noble blacksmiths who refused to believe Tetsuko was made of pure living metal.
“Someone go call for Lady Cecilia and the others to the prison. The others bring those weapons on the table. And gather those shards,” he said in a cold voice, not even looking at them. They hurried to obey him. But when one of them reached out to Tetsuko, Baltasar got in the way. “Don’t touch her. I’ll take her.”
The blacksmith and Tetsuko waited for Cecilia, Alonso, Faela, and the four representatives of the noble houses.
“I take you finished the prototypes, Baltasar,” the young lady said in the same imposing voice she used at the meeting.
“Yes, my lady. And I’d like your permission to test them,” he said in a low voice, bowing to the girl.
Cecilia looked at the door. It was the farthest in the prison, the one that led to the lowest level. Though she tried to keep her face empty, her eyes betrayed her.
It’s hard for her, the soul in the sword thought. Behind that door is the man who killed her father…
During the few breaks they took to think, the blacksmith told Tetsuko. The man who had poisoned Diogo with the tainted blood was a soldier who had been turned into a Worshiper. Because they didn’t know about the blood back then, the man almost escaped but they had managed to capture him.
Even without concentrating, Tetsuko could feel the same dark and evil energy that came from those villagers. He’s stronger… much stronger than the villagers…
After a long time, Cecilia nodded.
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