『 The time limit to produce an item is 8 hours! Blacksmiths, please only use the production method and materials you were given! 』
The National Competition’s 17th day.
The blacksmith production game began. Originally, this was a minor event. But after Grid announced his intention to participate, the situation reversed. It attracted attention comparable to the team events. The blacksmiths participating in the event felt gratitude towards Grid.
‘Thanks to Grid, our value has been raised.’
‘Thank you for sacrificing yourself for us!’
What if the people watching around the world saw the brilliant work of the advanced blacksmiths that made an item better than a legendary blacksmith? The blacksmith’s reputation would surely soar into the sky. Each item they produced would become a premium and the value would skyrocket.
The eyes of the blacksmiths heated up as they planned to make Grid a sacrifice. Most of them believed themselves to be ‘craftsman,’ so they were very proud and didn’t feel any fear towards Grid. Grid relied on his class, while they had technique.
On the other hand, Grid was looking at the production method and materials common to all participants.
[Production Method: Longsword]
Rating: Normal ~ Legendary
An ordinary longsword.
A distinct disadvantage it that anyone can use it easily and comfortably.
User Restriction: Level 300 or higher. Intermedia Sword Mastery level 7. 1,500 strength.
The making of the longsword was plain and simple, without anything special. It was good that it was simple. Grid had produced thousands of longswords, so he could make it with his eyes closed. However, Grid wasn’t careless. The element that had a greatest effect on the result of an item was luck!
What would happen if he carefully made a longsword? There was a possibility that the result would be a normal sword due to his bad luck. Grid had experienced this thousands of times already!
‘It would be different if I could change the production method.’
Grid had accumulated experience and knowledge by making thousands of items. He used that experience and knowledge to change the production method. Grid’s true skill that no one else could do was minimizing the disadvantages of a production method with his own interpretation and highlighting the advantages.
But this time, the rule was to follow the production method. Therefore, Grid couldn’t show off this skill. He was shaking with nerves.
‘This is the organizer’s manipulation...’
It was clear that the rule was made to purely control him. Due to that, the legendary blacksmith had to feel tension against blacksmiths who hadn’t even reached the ranks of a craftsman. The world was unfair.
"Hahh, shi...these evil people. Does it make sense to give a legendary blacksmith a penalty every time?”
Grid barely suppressed his urge to curse. A boy came near him as fire started burning in the furnace. It was a pleasant looking boy with a bright smile.
His ID was Steng. He was 2nd on the blacksmith rankings.
"Grid, it’s been a long time!”
It was already 2 years. When Irene had just been appointed as rule of Winston, Grid participated in the auction at the lord’s castle and briefly met Steng.
"I was so surprised when I learned later that you were a legendary blacksmith! It’s a truly delightful and glorious memory!”
"I remember... Are you still training under the NPC?”
Steng was a very bright boy. His positive energy was overflowing, making Grid like him. Steng shook his head at Grid’s question.
“I have been independent since last year and now I’m operating a smithy alone.”
“You’re running a smithy alone?”
“Yes! I direct the production and circulation of items so that I can provide consumers with quality items at a reasonable price. I’m also making a higher profit!”
It wasn’t going through an auction house or merchants, so there was less of a burden from sale commissions.
‘Is this good?’
Running a smithy was pleasurable in many ways for a blacksmith. If Grid hadn’t joined up with the Tzedakah Guild, he might be running a smithy now.
"Do you make a lot of money?”
He estimated that Steng was around 18 years old. Based on the fact that he was British, he might already have a license.
'With these looks and driving a supercar, he can change lovers every week...!’
Grid had a bias towards good looking people, making him feel envious. Steng scratched his head and shrugged.
“Hehet... I can support my grandmother and my sister on behalf of my deceased parents. I’m always happy and thankful for this fact.”
Somehow, Grid felt like he hadn’t grown up yet. As soon as he made a fortune and cleared his debts, Grid bough a 800 million won car! He coughed while the temperature of the furnace reached the ideal level. Steng watched Grid pouring in iron ore and clapped with admiration.
“Amazing! Your ability to adjust the fire is spectacular!”
Apart from Grid, the other blacksmiths hadn’t been able to start smelting iron ore yet. Adjusting the furnace to the desired temperature was simple and easy for him.
‘I think your skills are much worse than mine.’
Grid clicked his tongue. Steng and the other blacksmiths weren’t able to handle the fire as well as Panmir, the 1st ranked blacksmith who talked highly at the press conference. Panmir was so sloppy that he couldn’t be compared to Khan!
‘This is the first ranked blacksmith.’
It was a disgrace to be nervous about dealing with someone with such low techniques. Grid shook his head and started to concentrate on smelting the iron ore. The impurities in the melted iron ore were filtered out, the orange molten iron emerging from the furnace was brilliant and beautiful.
The eyes of the blacksmiths watching Grid widened.
‘How can he draw out molten iron with such high purity?’
‘The power of his class!’
The blacksmiths admired and denied it. The reason for Grid’s excellent smelting skill wasn’t his experience and techniques, but a skill of his class. However, Steng thought differently as he watched from beside Grid.
'This is Grid’s pure talent!’
Grid’s movements were of the highest quality. Steng was 2nd on the blacksmith rankings, meaning he could recognize that such movements weren’t possible by relying on the auto production system.
‘Grid is also doing manual labor!’
Steng’s enthusiasm grew. The legendary blacksmith was showing his true abilities, stimulating Steng. He wanted to do his best to compete with Grid and grow more from this experience.
“Grid! I look forward to going against you!”
“In any case, it’s a game of luck.”
Steng smiled cheerfully and also finished smelting his iron ore. Grid felt surprised by the skill that was different from Panmir and other blacksmiths, causing him to tremble as he once again felt the absurdity of the world.
‘This kid... A person who isn’t a legendary blacksmith has such talent!?’
It was also important to have innate talent. Life was also about talent.
‘How comfortable would I be if I had a talent?’
As he recalled his past, Grid started hammering like crazy.
Steng, who was making a frame for the sword shape prior to forging, was surprised. It was because Grid didn’t put the molten iron into the frame. Rather, he chilled it in water and started hammering at it on the anvil.
‘Going ahead with forging without the shape?’
Pouring the molten iron into the frame was important for the shape. No, it was an essential process. For a longsword like they were making now, the frame was required to balance the shape of the blade. Yet Grid omitted that process! He just held it with tongs and started hammering at it.
‘What? Surely he hasn’t given up on the game?’
Steng lost concentration because of his agitation. He couldn’t focus on the quality of his forging as he stared at Grid. It was because the shape wasn’t made by the frame. Rather, the shape was gradually appearing under Grid’s fingertips.
Grid’s skill transcended common sense. It was more amazing than any NPC Steng had met during his quests. Steng could indirectly guess how many items Grid had made in the meantime.
‘People have misunderstood!’
Was it that easy to be the best in a field? It was impossible to be the best simply by luck. Thus, Steng couldn’t understand or recognize the prejudice of those who dismissed Grid’s abilities as luck simply because he was a legendary blacksmith. And he was sure of it at this moment.
To reach this place, Grid had been working harder than anyone else! As Stein was feeling thrilled, Grid reheated the steel that was in the shape of a blade and kept forging. This was repeated a few times, increasing the strength of the steel. It was also done three times faster than ordinary blacksmiths.
‘Amazing...! You’re really amazing!’
Steng was convinced.
"Grid, you are a genius who also puts effort in! I respect you!”
Grid scoffed because it was one of the silliest things he had heard. Grid didn’t know. From the moment he overcame his lacking talent, he had already crossed the wall of mediocrity.
"Isn’t this surprisingly interesting?”
8 hours of making items. People thought it would be boring. Nobody imagined it would be fine to watch blacksmiths hammering in front of a fire for 8 hours. But the situation was different. Despite producing the same items with the same ingredients, the blacksmiths showed different methods of working and it was great to see them working up a sweat in front of hot flames.
The commentator’s witty comments during the work also made it not boring. They sat with friends, family, or lovers and 8 hours passed in a flash.
『 The participants have started to complete their items! 』
『 Ohh...! Look at that glistening sword! Amazing! 』
The swords that the 23 blacksmiths made got a close-up in turn. The basic appearance was the same, but each sword was slightly different.
『 Hey! The 1st ranked Panmir and 2nd ranked Steng have made unique rated swords! The other blacksmiths also made epic rated or rare rated swords with added options... Eh? 』
The information of the swords were disclosed to the audience and viewers. The MC who entered the stadium and checked the longswords was confused.
『L-Legendary blacksmith Grid was the only one who made a normal rated sword...? 』
The viewers doubted their ears as the camera zoomed in on Grid. Whether he knew it or not.
Grid’s expression distorted and he eventually couldn’t resist cursing.
The world was in turmoil.