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Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The next day, when the sky was slightly brighter, the travelers woke up early, cooked some simple food, and washed themselves a little. After eating and drinking, they continued on their journey.
The situation that day was no different from the previous ones. They walked very smoothly along the way. In addition to gaining some common knowledge, Reif and the rest also learned some words.
It was the same on the third day, the fourth day, and the fifth day.
On the fifth night, they arrived in the Gold-panning Town.
There was a gold vein near the town, hence the name Gold-panning Town. Many pioneers had come from afar and wanted to find gold there to get rich overnight. However, in fact, the texture of the gold vein was very poor, so there wasn’t much gold produced at all—it was said that the reason was erosion from the negative energy. The three gemstone veins near the Pyroxene Town had also become poor in texture for the same reason.
The real pillar industries of Gold-panning Town were their copper and iron ores. Therefore, this town was often called ore town, because ordinary ores were its foundation.
Unlike gold and gems, copper and iron ores couldn’t be eroded by negative energy, and the two veins could even resist negative energy effectively. Therefore, houses in the ore town—well, the Gold-panning Town—often used the ores to build the foundations. Outside the town, there were large areas for traveling merchants to have a rest with foundations that had been built using the ores.
The leaders of Gold-panning Town were quite knowledgeable. They used their local advantage to acquire a large number of low-grade and middle-grade ores, then used them to pave the ground, centering on the town, and then paved around it, little by little.
This was a huge project that had been in operation for more than two decades. At that time, ores were buried underground in a range of two or three miles around the Gold-panning Town, which had definitely caused the bareness of the town. However, it also allowed the the Gold-panning Town to not worry about the tide on extreme new moon nights. With a distance of two or three miles, it was far enough to completely block the skeletons’ senses of living creatures. Moreover, even if they were going to attack the Gold-panning Town, they would become very weak in a short time when walking on foot without the support of negative energy. Therefore, when they arrived outside the town, even children would be able to kick them into pieces.
In the Four Towns in the Northwest, the Gold-panning Town was quite safe. Therefore, the population there was also quite large. In general, it was a little more prosperous and could be regarded as a hub in the northwestern area. With Rye Town in the south and Void Mask Land in the north, its location was very important.
It was said that a few decades before, the hub of the Four Towns in the Northwest had actually been the Pyroxene Town. However, now, the Pyroxene Town was dying. Without the efforts of Town Mayor Felix, the Pyroxene Town might have even declined forever, finally completely ruined.
Reif cared little for those things. As soon as he could take a day off, he wandered around the Gold-panning Town and naturally came to a blacksmith shop.
Copper and iron ores were cheap. However, if they were refined into copper and iron ingots, the prices were much higher. In further steps, if the copper ingots and iron ingots were made into metal tools, weapons, or armors, the prices could be much higher.
Under the principle of taking local materials according to local conditions, there were several blacksmith shops in the Gold-panning Town. The Old Wrought Iron Blacksmith Shop that he was visiting at that moment was one of the most famous ones.
The blacksmith shop hadn’t been called this name at first. A few years earlier, a dwarf adventurer called Wrought Iron had gone there and bought a poorly-operated blacksmith shop to start his own business. The dwarf had strong martial arts, as well as the technique of forging iron. The most amazing thing was that he had not been a powerful mage, but he had owned a precious magic furnace that could extract superior copper and iron. With excellent craftsmanship and superior materials, he could naturally create products of good quality.
When Reif came to visit, he happened to see the openness of the magic furnace. The furnace, its appearance like a huge ball, was slowly spinning on the shelf. Then a gap opened in it, from which the red melted copper poured and fell into the stone trough not far below. The hot melted copper contacted the slightly chilly air, and soon turned a bright purple-red color. Then the color became darker and darker, finally almost turning into black.
After the melted copper was poured out, the furnace continued to move on the shelf. When it was above another deep pit, the whole furnace opened completely, and the residue mixed with the melted copper waste was poured into it and piled up at the bottom of the deep pit.
A stout dwarf whose head only reached Reif’s chest was controlling the furnace. However, Reif dared to bet that the dwarf’s arms were bigger than his thighs! The dwarf was wearing a thick insulated suit that looked similar to the protective suit he used while working in the underground tunnel. He didn’t know if it was a similar product.
After dumping the melted copper and waste, the dwarf controlled the furnace to spin to the very end of the shelf. Then he took out a strange-shaped object that seemed to be a brush. He brushed the inner side at full tilt with sparks flying. After brushing and pouring, he dumped out some more waste.
At this point, the process of opening the furnace was over. After fixing the furnace, the dwarf clapped his hands, then walked over. He took the protective suit off his head smoothly, showing an energetic face. According to his appearance, he was likely in his thirties.
For a dwarf, an appearance in the thirties was nearly equal to an age of 70 or 80. Members of this long-lived race could often live to be 150 years old or even older, which was truly enviable.
“Hello, do you want to buy something? Or did you come purely to watch for fun?” the dwarf said with a smile on his face. He didn’t look as arrogant and stubborn as described in the legends.
Reif soon expressed he had only come to visit out of curiosity, because he had heard that this blacksmith shop was excellent. Just now, he had noticed the prices of the goods, but he was sure that he couldn’t afford them.
Well… In fact, it wasn’t really impossible for him to buy anything, but it wasn’t necessary. It was hard for him to save up money, so there was no need to waste it buying something he didn’t need.
The dwarf didn’t mind and said with a smile, “Then help yourself. As long as they don’t make trouble, I, Wrought Iron, don’t mind people visiting my workshop… ”
While saying that, he went to the counter and sat down. He took the herbal tea that the apprentice had already prepared and took a deep sip, showing a satisfied smile.
“A pity that it isn’t wine…” the dwarf called Wrought Iron sighed.
“Brother Palin said that you couldn’t drink alcohol during work hours,” the equally strong apprentice said.
“Hey! That kid is a bookworm. We dwarves only have strength after drinking!” Wrought Iron said with some dissatisfaction. “That kid… He was still a tiny boy that year, but now he has become a big man. In turn, he keeps me from drinking…
“In fact, ever since master has followed the advice of Brother Palin to not drink during work hours, your craftsmanship has risen, and no mistakes have occurred.”
The dwarf sighed helplessly. “Yes, so I had to listen to the kid. Well… Is reading really that useful? This is totally different from the traditions of us dwarves…”
“Traditions are not entirely correct,” a low, but refreshing voice said from the door. Reif turned his head and saw a young man of a similarly short stature. He was wearing a robe and carrying a wooden stick with an inlaid gem on the top, surrounding them with cold air. With a pair of glasses on his face, he looked well-educated.
Behind him, the adventurer who had been teaching Reif and others to read, as well as some other adventurers who had been teachers on other carriages, were following him with very respectful looks.
Reif was slightly surprised. His instincts told him that the young man was important.
When he was just about to ask, his temporary teacher those days had noticed him. He quickly ran up a few steps and introduced the man, “This is our teacher, the chief librarian of the Church of the Void Mask, Mr. Palin.”
After that, he said to Reif, lowering his voice, “A great scholar, and an outstanding mage.”
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