‘Why is it so big?’
Grid was surprised due to Pangea’s scale.
‘I thought it would be a small village because it’s a starter village.’
It was the reverse. Pangea was large enough to be called a city. He couldn’t see an end to the wall, no matter how he turned his gaze. It seemed much bigger than Reidan, the second largest city in Eternal, with the population even being higher. Reidan was lacking in people, while everywhere in Pangea was crowded with people.
‘The lord here must have it good...’
He would be earning a lot from all the taxes the citizens were paying. Desert cities, fortified cities, etc. Grid only owned cities that didn’t possess a lot of money, making him feel envious.
Grid was constantly observing the area when he noticed something.
'There’s a lot of ethnic variety?’
Grid thought of the East Continent as Oriental. He imagined an Oriental style of living where the people had black hair and black eyes. However, while there were many inhabitants of Pangea who seemed Oriental, others were reminiscent of Westerners and Middle Easterners. The same was true for the architecture lining the streets. Some buildings looked like they came from the Joseon Dynasty of Korea, others looked like cathedrals from Medieval Europe, while mansions in the Middle East were also present.
“Wow. This is very...”
He thought he should eat jjamppong for lunch today. He was somewhat disappointed since he was hoping for the mysterious old Oriental mood.
‘But this might be an advantage. If a player of another nationality comes, they won’t stand out.’
Pangea was just the starter village. This must be an arrangement for players visiting from the West Continent for the first time.
‘A city or kingdom with the Oriental atmosphere I imagined probably exists somewhere.’
Grid’s reasoning was appropriate. The East Continent was known to be far larger than the West Continent. Grid lingered for a few hours in Pangea. He observed the shops and streets full of people in order to understand their rules, sentiments, and culture. It was an effort to adapt.
He didn’t move without thinking like the old days. It wasn’t irritating if he thought about it as meaningful behavior.
‘There isn’t anything special. It’s the same for the people. I should head to a smithy now.’
Grid determined that he had looked at Pangea enough and was filled with a new curiosity. He was curious as to how the blacksmiths of the continent worked and what type of battle gear they produced. He wanted to study it. Grid didn’t forget his duty as a legendary blacksmith.
"Esteemed elder, excuse me. Can I ask a question?”
Grid called out to a fat old man passing by.
“Where is the smithy?”
The elder NPC called Pao Woo looked over at Grid and asked.
“Is this your first time in Pangea?”
"Yes, I came from far away.”
He didn’t say he was from the West Continent. Their perception towards the West Continent was still unknown, so he had to be as careful as possible. It was very smart of Grid.
"Ahh, I see. There should be one or two smithies over there...”
Pao Woo explained it based on the central square.
“There is the White Hammer smithy on the east road, the Black Anvil smithy on the west road, the Red Tongs smithy on the south road, and the Blue Flames smithy on the north road. They are the most famous smithies in Pangea. If you visit one of them, you will surely be able to buy something that suits you.”
“Are there many blacksmiths working there?”
"A moderate amount. At least 100.”
The goods produced in a smithy weren’t just battle gear. There were also a variety of items needed for everyday life, such as kitchen knives, hammers, farming equipment, etc. Therefore, the production demands for blacksmiths in cities with a large population were much higher. The West Continent set a limit on the number of smithies in each territory in order to keep the local lord in check.
He politely said goodbye to the kind old man and moved to the White Hammer smithy. He chose it because it was the closest one, a mere five minutes away.
[You have entered the White Hammer smithy.]
[The blacksmiths of the East Continent have a different viewpoint from those of the West Continent. The effect of Pagma’s Descendant won’t work.]
Originally, Grid was favored by intermediate level blacksmiths and worshipped by advanced level blacksmiths whenever he visited a smithy. Excellent blacksmiths knew that Grid was a better blacksmith than them just by looking at his body and hands. But not the blacksmiths of the East Continent.
Grid was disappointed. Was it because he wouldn’t be treated well? No, it wasn’t because of such petty reasons. It was because he thought the skills of the East Continent blacksmiths wouldn’t meet his expectations.
‘Their lack of a discerning eye means they lack ability.’
He might not be able to learn any blacksmithing from the East Continent.
‘I should focus on levelling up and new titles acquisition as planned.’
Grid was about to leave the smithy when he suddenly stopped.
The sound of the hammer striking iron was so clear? Grid doubted his ears and changed the direction of his footsteps. Then he stared inside the smithy with a spellbound look. There...
Ttang! Ttang! Ttang!
10 blacksmiths were working around a large furnace in the center. Someone was sitting in front of the anvil hammering, another person was cooling hot iron, while someone else was constantly working the bellows. Grid was impressed as he instantly grasped their skills.
‘They are blacksmiths who have reached the advanced level of the Blacksmithing skill.’
The reason why the blacksmiths of the East Continent didn’t recognize Grid’s greatness. It wasn’t because they were ‘incompetent,’ but because they were different. The techniques of the Eastern blacksmiths were different than those of the blacksmiths on the West Continent.
‘No, it’s ahead.’
In particular, the forging techniques were excellent. They stacked layers of metal together and repeated the process. It was a method that required tremendous physical strength, patience, and delicacy. But the common blacksmiths of the West Continent avoided this task. They chose the easy method most of the time.
‘This is clearly a superior professional mindset. Is it a phenomenon caused by the high competition rate of having so many blacksmiths?’
Grid felt a strong sense of curiosity as he looked at their equipment.
‘When forging iron, they use an iron hammer. When forging mithril, they use a mithril hammer...’
It was to increase the efficiency of forging while paying attention not to conflict with the nature of the metal. It was an idea that Legendary Blacksmith Grid had never thought of.
‘What is that liquid that’s released into the water used for quenching?’
There was quite a lot he could learn from here. It happened when Grid was closely observing the work of the blacksmiths.
"Do you want to learn blacksmithing from us?”
Someone came up to Grid. He had dark skin and thick lips like someone from Africa. The muscles around his neck were so developed that they were as thick as Grid’s thigh muscles. His name was White. (TL: The spelling of this is more romanized to sound like white in English. Meanwhile, the name of the White sister is the actual Korean for White, which is spoken in a different way.)
He misunderstood Grid as trying to become a blacksmith and said with a gentle expression.
"Well, it’s wonderful that you want to learn, as long as you are prepared to work. But I have many people like you come here every day. I can’t accept just anyone. If you want to learn our techniques, you must first prove that you are qualified.”
"No, I just want to briefly tour...”
Grid couldn’t finish his words. White randomly handed him an axe and a notification window popped up.
[A quest has been created.]
White, the owner of the White Hammer smithy wants to test you.
Bring back two 100 year old White Trees at the forest in the north of Pangea.
Quest Clear Conditions: Cut down two 100 year old White Trees.
Quest Clear Rewards: 12% experience. Get a job as an apprentice at the White Hammer smithy.
Quest Failure Condition: None.
‘No, is this a joke? It’s outrageous.’
Grid’s eyes narrowed. A level 317 user was expected to chop firewood? The reward was also to get a job as an apprentice blacksmith. He never imagined that in this world, there would be someone crazy enough to try and make a legendary blacksmith as an apprentice.
‘Certainly, there are things I can learn. But it isn’t big enough to spend a lot of time here.’
The level of his techniques were far ahead of them. He could learn a variety of ideas here, not technical matters. It wasn’t worth investing time in this quest.
‘In the first place, isn’t this a quest for beginners on the East Continent?’
Grid was about to refuse when he was surprised by something. When he cleared the quest, he would get 12% of his experience?
Based on a level 317 users, it was a amount that he would acquire from defeating 500 lower vampires. He could get a huge amount of experience just for cutting down two trees. He honestly couldn’t believe it, but the system didn’t lie! Grid’s eyes shone like lanterns as he confirmed again.
"Really? I just need to cut down two trees?”
“Yes.” White nodded.
Grid smiled widely.
“Then I will go!”
This was paradise!
‘The East Continent is the best!’
Grid recalled his beginner days as he ran towards the forest carrying the axe. He faded into the distance as he looked at the quest information on the map. White looked after him before someone asked him.
"Do you really think he can cut down a 100 year old White Tree?”
A 100 year old White Tree was as hard as iron and as fierce as an active volcano. A famous woodcutter couldn’t even cause a nick in it and a mighty shaman couldn’t suppress the fire. It wasn’t called the Daoism Tree for nothing. A perfect flame could be produced if it was used as firewood, but that was impossible. It was common sense for anyone who dreamt of becoming a blacksmith. But the black-eyed young man didn’t have that common sense. It was certain that he didn’t study anything about blacksmithing.
“There are a lot of rabble coming in recent years.” White shook his head and returned to his spot. He shouted at his men. “Hey you! Focus more! We have to win this year’s competition!”