Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Volume 2 - Chapter 4 - Advancement


The rhythmic sound of metal slamming on metal rings in the air as dog-eared blacksmiths pound away at the ingots with their hammers into their anvils.


On another anvil, a thin, old, sinewy-looking, gray caninoid is holding a faintly glowing misshapen orb with a tong while he pounds away at it with a large hammer that looks oversized for him. Bell, Echo, Rick, Till and a bunch of caninoids that look to be apprentices stare at the man as he works. After reheating and hammering it a few times, the man puts his tools down into a bucket of water that went *CHHHAAAA* before turning to the group.

“Tis here be some fine mithril youf got. Mighty pure to ‘stand all that.”

“Wait, mithril?”
“What’s that?”

“Wha? Whippersnappers don’t know what mithril is? Why ya ma and pa be ashamed of ye.” The man goes on a long story about the origin, the first master to use it and how mithril works.

Mithril was considered trash when it was first discovered as it is not malleable while being absurdly light. The first master to use it accidentally mixed in the soon to be disposed mithril ores instead of silver ores while he was making electrum decorative ware, as it was in vogue at the time. After struggling with the resulting alloy, he managed to complete the luxury metal wares for the noble who ordered them. There was a commotion when the Chamberlain of the noble who inspected the goods accused the smith of fraud, a trial was put into place and held quickly. To demonstrate his point, the Chamberlain ordered one of the decorative vases to be smashed with a hammer to show the subpar craftsmanship and shoddy material. Properly made wares would yield and become dent from being struck while subpar wares would crack and flake. But to the surprise of everyone, the hammer sent the vase flying in the trial room, leaving not a single dent on it. The smith was released, with many a noble that wants to buy the inexplicably strong goods from him; the Chamberlain, having caused his lord to lose face and a potential golden goose, was exiled to some frontier village.

There were commotions about his goods, many a general wanted him to make armours and weapons for themselves due to the superior performance of mithril-based items. There were even kidnapping and ransom attempts to force him to reveal his secret formula. After getting kidnapped for the 6th time, he announced to the world how it was made to stop others from going after him. From then on, it was simply a matter of refining and working with the alloy. There was a rush to acquire all the mithril ores on the market, and even though they were considered trash, they were still extremely rare as they only appeared as secondary deposits and sometimes got accidentally mixed in during mining.

In term of density, its solid form is about 9 oram, which is about 2 g/cm^3. Its liquid state is exactly 100 oram, or 22.2 g/cm^3. This makes it slightly heavier than White Gold when it’s in liquid form and lighter than most wood when it’s in its solid form.

[T/N: Oram is probably a made up measurement since I can’t find any reference to it. It reads オラム, if there’s a better name than Oram, let me know. As for White Gold, White Gold (白金) is Platinum, but I’m keeping it as White Gold for wording reasons, actual white gold (ホワイトゴールド 白色金) will be named White-coloured Gold as per Japanese translation. In the RAW, the original density was 0.2g/cm^3 and 2.2 g/cm^3. There was either a typo or bad conversion, but the editor Ishman caught the error and we had to fiddle with the math a little. Using Platinum as the base, we worked backward to make the densities make sense.]

[Supplementary Edit: The wood in this case is referring to wood native to that as opposed to Earth.]

It behaves similarly to other molten metals when it’s in its liquid state, but has extremely high thermal resistance, extreme resilience and rapid cooling when it’s in its solid form. As such, most mithril goods today are usually mithril-alloys as opposed to pure mithril.

Bell reaches for her halberd that’s strapped to her back, inspecting it. Noticing that while it’s light, it’s still quite a bit heavier than the wooden ones she used in training. “Old man, if I were to give you more mithril like that chunk there, think you can make a proper weapon with it?”

“Shut it ye fool!” The old caninoid lambasts the disciple that accidentally dropped his own hammer onto his foot when he heard that offer. Turning back to Bell with a dangerous glint in his eyes, “where ye be getting the mithril?”

Bell looks to Till meaningfully before shaking their heads, well, except for Rick who still has a questioning expression on his face. Echo on the other hand is also interested as he leans over to inspect the unchanged misshapen orb sitting on the anvil.

“Sorry, can’t tell you.”

“Hmm…” The old caninoid shifts his nose left and right while he contemplates.

The catwoman moves her eyebrows up twice toward the little girl before making her move.

“Well, thanks for all your help, old man.” Bell walks over and reaches toward the orb sitting there.

“We can always ask the elders at Feia or maybe the royal blacksmith in Sardon~”


The old man grabs Bell by the wrist in a flash with a death grip, Rick quickly draws two daggers into his hands while Till opens her palm and glares at the blacksmith. Echo looks nervously in all directions at the sudden development as the disciples start fidgeting. “Who said I won’t do it?”

“Who say you would even succeed?” Bell replies in a calm voice as she shifts her gaze from the orb to the man grabbing her wrist.


The old blacksmith laughs as he lets go of the felinoid’s limb, nodding his head as he does so.
“Ye be right, ye be right! Ye saw right through me didn’ ya? What smith woun’d want to work wit mithril, especially it tis pure?! I woun need a propa forge though…”

“Oooohhh, I think I can do that, the king owes me~”
“Oh right, totally forgot about that!”
“Wait, he does…? Oh right! He does!”

Echo, the blacksmith and his disciples all turn to stare at the girl with dumbfounded expressions. They all know how she’s like the adopted granddaughter of Alfina and that she’s somewhat special, but they are now questioning their own sanity that such a little girl can bend the ear of a king.

* * * * *

*OOOooooooooo* *suka*

A tall, lanky, buff, hairy humanoid rushes at an old man standing next to the pile of bodies with a roar, with the pile consisting of its comrades. The creature swings its massive club as soon as he gets into range.

*sa goin goin goin goin goin goin goin goin goin goin*

The old man quickly moves, yet he’s remaining in the same spot. The creature tries to block the seemingly unmoving man, that’s 2 heads shorter and significantly smaller than it, unsuccessfully; each time it tries to block, it gets hit somewhere totally unexpected. Small, sharp, powerful blows land all over the creature, unable to resist or even make a squeak, it simply falls on its knees before toppling over onto the pile with a *zuzoooo daaaa*.

“How do you like Second Phantasia, Master Zhong?” A lanky looking elf questions the elderly man with steam coming off of his clothing. A few other people of varying appearances are lined up further back.

“Hmph! This certainly feels amazing… but what do I get out of it? I can just use this like everyone else.”

“I mean no offense, but what weapons are you weakest at?”


“How about western swords?”

The old man nods his head in acknowledgement. The elf swings his right hand up and holds up his index and middle finger. The people in the back start a commotion until a youth comes running while carrying a longsword as someone’s lifeless body is laid onto the ground.

“Here, master.” The youth presents the sword to the old man before backing away.

The old master swings the sword clumsily, as would be expected of a novice.

“Give us a moment, practice swinging the sword to your heart’s content.”

The old man’s form improves quite a bit as he practices various slashes and thrusts. But it’s obvious that he would lose to anyone that knows how to wield the same sword. After a few moments, the lifeless body that was laying on the ground gets up and gives the elf a thumb up.

“Excuse me, Master Zhong. Please use your sword against another one of these trolls. Use it as long as you can, feel free to abandon it when you feel you are in danger, but hold out as long as possible.”


The old man grunts dismissively as the elf readies his arrow and stares into the various caves.


He releases an arrow that flies into one of the caves.


A troll comes out screaming, spots the old man and rushes toward him. The master readies the sword in front of him and starts shuffling his legs. His face scowls as his body makes minor adjustments on its own, he gives the elf a quick glance who simply nods with a smile.


The creature swings its massive club at the old man, knocking the longsword away to his side. Unexpectedly, the master’s body tilts to the side, following the sword. In one smooth motion, the sword dips toward the ground before sweeping upward, slashing the troll in the torso. The old man reveals a smirk on his face as he puts his body into awkward positions before shuffling into place, parrying, counter-attacking and later proactively attacking. The troll went from being in the offensive, swinging with its massive club to push the old man aside, to being completely defensive, unable to even swing its club, after a dozen exchanges. The old man squints his eyes before quickly moving within the same spot as before.

“sa gokin gokin gokin gokin gokin gokin gokin*

The sounds of bones breaking fills the air, the creature couldn’t even react as it falls unconscious from the sudden pain.

*zuzo* *daaa*

The troll falls next to the pile, and unlike the other trolls that were defeated, the limbs of this troll are all bent out of shape in unnatural angles.

“How does it feel, old master? Our program will allow you to access the compensation settings, correcting your basic forms as you go along. Of course, the program will only correct the your strike, your stance, your movement and so forth. It will not teach the reason behind the form or how to use it effectively. Neither will it teach you which forms to string together to perform unique techniques from that school. This means that the reasoning and the teaching behind each school’s respective art will not be known by outside practitioners. This way, different martial artists can further advance their own art by analyzing the forms from other schools without stealing each others’ secrets.” The elf looks down at the just-defeated troll and then the pile of trolls next to it. “I mean, I’m almost certain there’s no longsword technique within the Shadowless School, and yet…” The elf shifts his gaze back onto the troll that’s laying on the ground like a broken doll.

[T/N: This part drove us both the T/Ler and ED INSANE. English lacks many technical martial arts terms, even thesaurus didn't help. Special moves sound stupid, I bashed my brain for "unique techniques", gahhhhh, hope it doesn't appear like this again, or at least use wuxia terminology damn you!]

“Will everyone get access to this program?”

“Yes, to a certain extent, all the masters and up to 3 of their disciples will have the unrestricted version of the program specially installed into their avatars. The rest of the users will have to work their way up slowly. We will also open a dojo in all major user-locations where instructors chosen by you and other masters can run classes and recruit prospective students to teach the proper way of using the arts from the respective school.”

The old man shows a cunning expression, “that’s devilish of you, give everyone a taste by correcting the forms, but not the how to or reason for the forms. Making everyone that wants to know more about it to seek the original source, excellent, excellent.” The old man cups his jaw with one hand before rubbing his index finger along his jawline for a few moments. “Alright, give me an arsenal of every weapon type that have a master contributing to it and I’ll accept it.”

The elf smiles broadly before bowing deeply at his waist.

* * * * *

*da da da*

ARGHHHHHH, SO ANNOYING! The continuous noise and hammering is going to drive me crazy!

I tried going hunting and swimming for many days, but the sound is everywhere. Only the wet prey seems unaffected, but I can’t sleep like this!

*waku waku*

I leap in the air before shaking myself dry, clenching the wet prey in my mouth.


Putting it on the ground, I devour the still moving prey as I have my meal.

Sleep, Sleep, Sleep, Sleep.

A sudden thought enters my mind - my sleep deprived mind stumbling upon a possibility I never thought of. Why don’t I sleep in my fake sleep?

I rush back home, cleaning myself at the entrance to the first room.

*waku waku*

Giving myself another shake, I run onto the bed that’s in the back room. Brother hasn’t been using it lately, so I might as well use it. I jump onto the bed, circle the center of the bed a bit before laying down. I close my eyes like last time, colours swirls by, like whenever I dive into the water, greeting me.

*za za*

The colours give way to the darkness. I can hear the soft sound of wind blowing, rustling the trees and grass.

I open my eyes and look around. I’m in a room again, looking up, I see a different wooden floor from last time. I get up from my spot, I notice I’m on something soft wrapped in cloth, I give a quick sniff and I recognize the scent of the man and the girl from before right away. Dragging the bundled cloth, I put it where the sunlight is pouring in from the window. I circle the cloth to get comfortable before laying back down on it, taking a nap.


  1. That elf is from the company and not affiliated with the group of four, right?

    1. I think the elf was the one that was complaining in V2C2, or related to them.

  2. did someone turn off the light???why its hard to understand...so much i, you, and he, she and elf??

    1. Please clarify, I don't know what you are refer to. Cause it's different perspectives, the ***** signifies an ending to the current scene.

    2. It's meant to be like that. First part is about the main group working on making new equipment. Second part is introducing someone that will be what I think as the typical group of similar players that are mostly used as a comic relief (think Geomchis from Legendary Moonlight Sculptor). The third is another character...I won't spoil but they've been introduced already.

  3. Is the mithril the thing they got from cooling the lava in the Barghest dungeon? Or if it's a spoiler and will be revealed soon anyways then never mind.

  4. I think it is exactly that. Till did get awfully occupied with it after all.

  5. Thanks for the chapter!
    Didn't think the fox would choose to escape into the VR world just to try to sleep, lol.

  6. Okay, maybe it will be a repost but here are my thoughts:
    first : thanks again !
    then : platinium density is at 25 , and most woods density are between 0.3 and 0.8, rarely over 1.
    so having mithril at 2 while being lighter than most woods, is strange.
    I think it means that it should be 9 oram and 500 oram : 0.4 gram/cm^3 in solid (ligther than most woods, especially hard-woods) and 22gram/cm^3 in liquid form ?
    however a change in density of 50 is huge ... I expect it would lead to huge dilatation when changing from liquid to solid... and huge shape changing...
    however, a change from 9 to 100 is already huge for real life... so I expect that the change in density is a specific mechanism from EC world, using a change in the "mana in physical form"... maybe absorbing "mana from heat" in order to increase density ???

    1. The best comment I can give at the moment is, no comment :)


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