Aincrad, 48th floor, Lindarth
There’s a quaint cottage near a quiet corner of the main settlement here. This cottage is characterized by a small moat around it and a unique water wheel operating near it.
This is a smith shop that’s actually quite famous within the industry. Normally, one wouldn’t see a lot of players coming in or out of it. But, high-level players appear from time to time because they know and/or experienced the skills of the blacksmith here.
Inside the shop, a girl with short pinkish hair hammered her latest piece of art with dedication. She had a very attractive figure despite sporting a very serious look. The molten metal she’s working on kept changing shape as she hammered it into the form she wanted.
Ding ding ding ding
The predictable hammering sound echoed throughout the smithery. Like the beautiful sound of an artist hard at work, one could easily see her skills just by listening to the sounds she’s emitting. A musician would get inspired by the beautiful tune here.
She hammered the hot slab of metal into a sharp blade. Slowly, the blade took the form of a well-forged piece of cold weapon.
The blacksmith girl’s eyes shone up when she looked at the result of her hard work. She continued hammering the blade to reduce the imperfections, sharpening it, and turning it into a better weapon. Without a doubt, once this sword is complete, it would definitely be a high-quality good.
Alas, it seems like the heavens played a prank on her. Just as she was about to finish her work, someone came knocking on her door and opened the door to her smithery without waiting for a response.
“Hey there, Lis!”
Due to this sudden interruption, the blacksmith inadvertently smashed the wrong side of the work-in-progress and the red-hot sword broke into two pieces.
Lisbeth was stunned by this. She stared dumbfoundedly at the pieces of a sword that could have been.
The house shook after she exploded like a tiny bomb. The shout made the culprit’s mind go blank for a second.
He calmed down and he looked at the blacksmith who emitted a heart-breaking shriek.
He saw Lisbeth holding her broken sword. With tears in her eyes, she looked like someone who just lost her parents. She’s absolutely stricken by grief, she’s just missing the characteristic trail of dried tears that would indicate someone who just bawled her eyes out.
He understood why she cried out loud. He froze up when he realized the implications of his actions.
When the pieces of metal in her hands shattered into data fragments, the two finally reacted. Lisbeth lowered her head as a dark aura started spreading around her. She lifted her head and she stared at the person who started all of this.
Lis turned into a demon as she declared Kirito her enemy. Kirito stepped back due to fright and his heart started racing.
Kirito somehow forced a smile out of his petrified face. He mechanically lifted his hand to greet her.
“I-I entered the shop and no one was around… I tried to call for you but you didn’t reply so I…”
Lis gnashed her teeth at Kirito. She ground her teeth audibly. Kirito feared few monsters but against an existence like her, he felt unsafe.
Lisbeth looked at the hammer in her hands, she wanted to cry but can’t for want of tears.
She planned for this forge since a long time ago, she made sure to temper the material well before she started forging this sword. She also closed up her shop and she turned off the shop entry notification which led to her downfall.
“Erm, about this, Lis…”
“You shut your mouth!”
Kirito swallowed his words. The adage, don’t start shit you can’t finish obviously didn’t cross his mind as he continued.
“Well, don’t get too hung up on it. I am guessing that piece of metal is probably not that rare so you wouldn’t be able to forge a good sword from it anyway.”
“What did you say?!”
Lis got enraged and she grabbed Kirito by his collar.
“Do you know the trouble I went through to get all of that ready? You want to lecture me on rarity?! I spent a fortune obtaining materials for that sword, it would have been a prized item in my inventory, how dare you say it’s mediocre!”
Lis is huffing inches away from Kirito’s face, a drop of cold sweat flowed down the side of his head and he continued retorting.
“I don’t if your sword is comparable to mine…”
Lis moved her eyes toward the black sword on Kirito’s back. It’s a balanced black sword with gray trims. The sword glimmered elegantly inside his sheath. Even in a sheathed state, it’s not hard to see that this blade is of an unusual origin.
The Black Sword, Elucidator!
It’s a dropped weapon that’s almost like a demonic sword when compared with other dropped weapons.
In terms of performance, this blade stood near the top of all the swords in SAO.
Lisbeth had a scary look but her frustration outgrew her anger. After getting to know Kirito, he would always come here and request her help to maintain and upgrade Elucidator. It looked underwhelming at first sight, but, she’s the only one who truly understood the capabilities and the potential of this sword.
Lisbeth is confident in her own abilities but she’s not sure if she can make another weapon that can rival the Elucidator. Although it pained her to admit it, her lump of metal isn’t as precious or rare as Kirito’s sword.
However, rarity is irrelevant to her present situation.
“Don’t get too smug with me!”
Lisbeth released Kirito and she yelled at him.
“I just don’t have enough high-grade materials. If I had them, I can easily make a sword on par or even better than the Elucidator!”
“Oh? Really, now?”
Kirito cast a doubtful look.
“If that’s the case…”
Kirito sighed and he put on his business face.
“Can you fulfill my request?”
Lis snorted and she turned her head the other way.
“My skill level is almost there, if there is no change in special modifiers or the likes, I can make it if I am supplied with the right materials!”
“That’s great to hear…”
Kirito released a sigh of relief. He smiled because he busted his ass to get on Lis’ good side, mostly through paying regular visits to her shop. He also benefited from this by obtaining the calling card of a skilled blacksmith like Lis.
“Okay, how can I help with getting the materials?”
“I need metals from the 55th floor…”
“The 55th floor, eh? Alright, got it.”
“Wait! Take me with you!”