A thick and recognizable voice.
I turned my head to find Goonto standing there.
I had been thinking about including Goonto into the Church of the Sun attack team since he is one of the strongest among the people I have built a friendship with. He is probably as strong as Kaicher, the Warrior of Light. If he figures out the secrets of sword mastery, he might even become stronger than Kaicher.
There are also a large group of people who follow Goonto. All of them are strong warriors.
If I can borrow their strength, it will not be very difficult to attack the headquarters of the Church of the Sun.
But there is a problem.
They are dwarves.
They are not likely to help out in human affairs, even if we have become friends. They will definitely not want to be in a team with humans other than me as well.
But it wasn’t like I could just use the dwarves as mercenaries.
The dwarves consider being a, ‘mercenary,’ as selling their body. They find it to be extremely shameful. That is why the term, ‘mercenary,’ holds a very negative connotation with them.
Unless I have an offer that Goonto cannot resist, unfortunately, using the dwarves would be like trying to eat a cake in a photo.
It still did not change the fact that I was happy to see him.
“Goonto. Nice to see you again. I heard you went to clear some Demon Caves. Everything go well?”
“Of course. Chubach-nim’s Solar Blade has made monster hunting much easier.”
Goonto proudly pointed at Chubach’s Solar Blade that was on his back.
But can you use the solar blade like that? It is one of the dwarves’ treasures. I still remember how carefully he was treating it when I first handed it to him.
Yet he is using it for hunting monsters now?
Well, a sword really has no purpose if you don’t use it. That solar blade is also super strong, such that it won’t even get a scratch after smashing a boulder.
But his completely different treatment of it was so weird.
“Do you like your twin blades?”
Like them? I’m sure it will be extremely difficult to find a better set no matter how hard I try to look for one.
I was also able to fortify it.
‘Hmm? Fortification? Solar blade?’
Thinking about that suddenly gave me an idea. It was an idea that would allow me to use Goonto’s strength.
Dwarves are an extremely prideful race.
That is why they will break a contract no matter the price if you use words like, ‘mercenary,’ that they find to be shameful.
However, if you use the right words, words that makes them proud, a contract can easily happen.
If I use the ability I have in addition to that, he probably won’t reject my request.
Goonto had an odd expression after seeing my expression.
“What is going on? Is there an issue with the twin blades that I made for you?”
“No, no problem at all. The stats are a bit different than before, but no problems.”
“Stats have changed? That’s not possible. Let me take a look.”
Goonto was in disbelief as he reached out his hand.
I just silently handed him both blades.
Goonto checked the information of the blades before his eyes opened wide.
“Why did it become like this? Why are the two blades different? Did one of them lose some stats? ……Ah! It was fortified!”
He finally seemed to have looked at the name of the blades. One blade was fortified successfully while I have not attempted to fortify the other one just yet.
Using the Jewel of Fortification makes me so tired that I am unable to defend myself properly. That was why I pushed the fortification off until I went somewhere safe.
Goonto looked at me once again.
“You really are not a normal human. You managed to successfully use a Jewel of Fortification and raise it by 18% at that!”
“I did struggle quite a bit to make it happen.”
Goonto’s expression suddenly changed. It seemed like he wanted to say something, but that it was hard to spit it out. His mouth just opened and closed.
I could already tell what Goonto wanted. There was only one thing Goonto would want in this situation.
But I was not the first to bring it up. I planned on using it to trade for Goonto’s services.
Although, I didn’t know if it would work.
Goonto finally managed to spit it out.
“I have a request.”
“A request? What is it?”
I asked like I had no idea what he would ask.
“Can you fortify the solar blade for me?”
Just like I expected.
I’m sure it wouldn’t end at just the solar blade. He will probably bring all of the strong weapons in the Dwarf Village and ask me to fortify them.
Of course, I am unable to fortify all of them. There is a limit to my mental strength. No matter how hard I work, my limit right now is two to three fortifications in a day.
I strategically pretended to decline.
“Sigh, no. Do you know how exhausting it is to use the Jewel of Fortification? I was completely exhausted after fortifying the one blade that I spent the whole day like a corpse.”
“I will pay you handsomely. How much do you want?”
“I already have a ton of money.”
“Then I will give you jewels.”
“I can buy plenty of jewels with my money.”
Goonto started to list a lot of different options.
Some of them were very tempting, since one offer was to make cutlasses that were even stronger than Goonto’s Twin Blades.
But what I wanted was something bigger.
Of course, there was no way Goonto could read my mind. It should be about time for him to ask what I want since I’ve rejected everything.
“Just what is it you want?”
Ah, just the question I had been waiting to hear.
I put my hand on my chin and pretended to think. Then I snapped my fingers like I suddenly came up with an idea.
“Can you and your dwarf friends help me out with something? It is something impossible to complete with my level of strength.”
His response was positive. The fact that I praised his strength made him interested.
“Something that is impossible with your level of strength? What is it?”
“There are some really evil villains. I want to punish them.”
“Villains? Human villains?”
“Of course. They have a lot of followers, but I can’t use the military to take them down. It is something that needs to be completed stealthily.”
Goonto caressed his chin, as if he was thinking things over.
“If you help me, I will stay in the Dwarf Village for a couple days and fortify five weapons. In return, five dwarves, including you, have to help me out.”
“It is not a decision I can make on my own. We will need to ask for the Great Patriarch-nim’s opinion.”
I had to go meet with the Great Patriarch Bangart anyways since I successfully fortified a weapon.
“Then let’s go to the village.”
I headed to the Dwarf Village with Goonto and immediately went to look for Great Patriarch Bangart to explain my situation.
Once I offered to fortify weapons as compensation, even Bangart seemed interested.
“Who are the villains that you wish to punish?”
This information had to remain a secret.
However, it should be fine to tell the dwarves about it. There were no routes for the information to go out since they hate humans anyway.
Furthermore, as long as I get their promise to keep the secret, their identity as a prideful race will prevent them from sharing the information.
“The Church of the Sun.”
“It sounds like a name I’ve heard before. However, it is up to the temple to decide whether us dwarves will get involved in human affairs. Wait here. I will go ask the bishop-nim about it.”
It sure is complicated.
However, it did not take long for Bangart to return. He came back in less than an hour.
I felt like it was successful the moment I saw Bangart. His expression was very bright.
“The temple has given us permission.”
“Great! But, please keep it a secret. The Church of the Sun’s minions may cause chaos on the continent if this information is leaked.”
“I give you my word. Human, you must keep your promise as well.”
“I understand. Oh, and please give me the next quest.”
Bangart smacked his head as if he had forgotten about it. I then heard a voice in my head.
I checked my skill window as soon as I heard the quest completion message.
[Jewel Alchemy: Intermediate level 7, 98%]
‘I was right!’
It instantly jumped to the edge of intermediate level 8. I should be able to raise it that 2% by combining around 100 Jewels of Creation.
Bangart continued with the next quest while I was doing that. I soon heard a voice in my head confirming the quest.
Raising my friendliness with the fairies by 100 increased my skill from intermediate level 7 to the edge of intermediate level 8.
So, what would happen with 300?
Then Jewel Alchemy should easily jump to the advanced level.
But the quest was going to be difficult.
‘Combine two jewels without losing any of the stored fairy’s power.’
Which means, I need to take two jewels with creation indexes of 30 and create a Jewel of Creation with a creation index of 60.
A lot of the fairy’s power was being lost right now. If I was to use two jewels with creation indexes of 30 right now, I would probably end up with no more than a creation index of 50.
It will be a long battle.
However, there was nothing I can do about it. I wasn’t a god who could fast forward time or anything.
I’m sure I’ll eventually see the end if I take it one step at a time.
Then shall I get started?
I looked toward Great Patriarch Bangart and smiled brightly.
“Now please bring the equipment to be fortified. Ah! You will naturally supply the Jewels of Fortification, right?”
One week later.
‘Ow, so difficult.’
I finally finished fortifying the fifth equipment.
It took longer than I expected. It was because I had to combine the Jewels of Fortification before using it on the equipment.
Combining Jewels of Fortification to increase their fortification index.
Shouldn’t I do my best if I was going to fortify things anyways? That was why, on average, I combined three Jewels of Fortification to create fortification indexes of at least 18%. One even had a 19% fortification index.
I also fortified all of my equipment as well. Well, ‘all of my equipment,’ was really only the Shadow Fox’s Armor Set and the other cutlass.
Anyways, I successfully fortified all seven pieces of equipment with a success rate of 100%.
I thought it was smart to do the fortification after increasing my Jewel Alchemy to almost intermediate level 8.
I also had an unexpected gain in the process.
One was my experience level for Jewel Alchemy.
The Jewel Alchemy skill experience went up quickly with every successful fortification. Jewel Alchemy had already reached intermediate level 8.
I thought I would need to combine at least 100 jewels to get there.
Experience really seems to increase proportionally with the more difficult tasks.
The other gain was that the amount of mental strength required to fortify went down. The first day, I felt like I was not at 100% even after resting a full day, but by the time I fortified the seventh piece of equipment, I was fine after taking a good nap.
Anyways, I was now done with everything I needed to do.
Now it was Goonto’s turn to keep his promise.
“It needs to be the strongest dwarves.”
“My friends are all the best of the best.”
“I’m sure they are. Would the Dwarf of Steel carry around weak dwarves? I’m sure I’ll get to see what the abilities of the best dwarves are soon enough.”
I lightly riled Goonto up.
I’m sure that it worked. Dwarves are just as prideful about their strength as a warrior as they are of the blacksmith occupation.
He will create a team with the best of the best in order to make sure he does not show a human like me any weakness. In that case, even just the five of them will add a significant amount of strength to my team.
“Should we leave with you now?”
He really had a rushed personality, like most dwarves. Goonto seemed ready to go, and it looked like he already knew which four dwarves he would take with him.
But it was not the right time just yet.
“I need to gather some more people.”
“Are you saying that it is not enough with us?”
Goonto seems to be thinking too lightly about this situation. The Church of the Sun was a group that even the Ameri Kingdom, the overlords of the continent, felt threatened by.
“Can you defeat 10,000 humans with just five dwarves?”
“What? 10,000 humans? They have that many people?”
“They probably have more.”
It was not a joke. But the number of minions should not matter to really strong warriors.
“Gather at the Batoru Kingdom’s Avanguarde Volcanus Temple in exactly two months.”
“Two months. Got it. Dwarves keep our promises.”
“Then see you in Avanguarde.”
I said goodbye to the dwarves and jumped into the portal.
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Translator : Miraclerifle
Proofreader :Borderline Masochist