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A Blacksmith's Origin Story

When Devroux awoke the next morning, he found the same thing he had a few days prior. Bart and Lilina were already awake and out of the house, but this time, they hadn't left the property. Groggily, Devroux left the comfort of their house into the cold outdoors to find Lilina playing in the snow-covered yard; the door to the barn already opened wide. Before the mink continued on to peek into the workshop, he took a moment to admire Lilina in all her freedom. Most of the days she spent playing by herself, but she managed to look so fulfilled while doing it.

As Devroux whisked himself past her to move towards the barn, he saw her gaze fall on him momentarily, but she didn't react in the slightest. In comparison to her reactions when they had first met, it was definitely progress, making Devroux smile without verbally acknowledging it.

Once the mink reached the barn, he found Bart within sorting through the several dozens of failed attempts at making a dagger. It was nerve-wracking to see his teacher looking at the constant fails. It was hard to tell what the old man was thinking, but Devroux still managed to crack a smile when he realized that Bart was still giving faint nods towards the daggers done most correctly. It wasn't until he was done scouring the pile of attempts that he spoke.

"A lot of fails, as expected," he said. It stung, but Devroux understood the intent behind it. "Some of these are getting pretty close to success though, even if they're not totally quality works." As he said this, he held up the handful of knives he had retrieved, but even though he had made them, Devroux couldn't really spot the differences.

"It was hard, but I practiced just like you told me to. I've taken a liking to the job."

"That's good to hear!" Bart shouted. The man couldn't hide his interest in blacksmithing, so his excitement that someone else was starting to share the passion was unobstructed and powerful. "How long do you want to keep trying? You can stay here as long as you want! I'll teach you every day!"

The old man and Lilina had both been very hospitable. They had fed him and Bart had used so much of his material to try and teach Devroux how to blacksmith. In spite of all the effort that had been given to him, he hadn't been able to forge a successful knife yet. Even though he wanted to return their hospitality in kind with success, he didn't want to continue relying on them for everything until that time came to pass. The rest of the island didn't have a lot keeping him here, so once he left Bart's, he'd be leaving the island to find an island with nicer people.

"Actually," the mink began, his tone heavy. "I was planning on leaving Drum soon. Within the next couple of days."

"Ah..." Bart replied. It was filled with just as heavy emotion; sad that his apprentice would be leaving him so soon.

"I'll be practicing blacksmithing while I try to make a name for myself. Even if you hear my name for something else, you will also hear that I've made my own weapons." Devroux wanted to comfort the old man, but it wasn't just that. He was confident that he meant what he said. If there was any way to prove that he could be at the top, it would be to totally supply himself with the tools needed to reach the pinnacle.

Bart took it to heart, but his sadness hadn't dissipated. "At least make one more attempt. Reforge these failed knives and make one last, heartfelt attempt at making a successful dagger."

The request was simple. Compared to the last week of blacksmithing every day, making a single dagger was a simple task, even if it was doomed to end with another failure.

"But this time, fold it. Do it from start to finish, top to bottom. Make a full knife."

The bar had been successfully raised. He was going to fold the steel, which he hadn't been doing as per Bart's initial instruction. It made Devroux smile. Bart didn't want him to leave, but if he was going to, he was going to give him a full and proper test to make sure he was ready for the world of blacksmithing. There was nothing in the mink that could do anything but meet the challenge in kind.

Nodding, Devroux walked to the bench and picked up the knives that he could handle. None of them were sharpened, so it wasn't as dangerous as it could have been. He'd end up making multiple trips but would dump the majority of it into the furnace and leave the rest of it in the pile of scrap where it belonged.

The process of melting it all down went as it usually did. He waited, watching the glow and adding heat when it was, to his knowledge, required. Having done it every day for the last week, he was starting to get the hang of the best time to add heat to keep it consistent and to streamline the process, but the metal he created wasn't necessarily up to snuff with the likes of Bart. Not yet at least. He was growing confident in what he was doing, but as it was Bart's final test, he paid extra attention to every aspect of the work, trying his hardest to get timing and heat down to a uniform, consistent base.

When he was finished and after waiting long enough for it to become workable, Devroux began the process of actually forging the blade. Having to fold the steel, as per Bart's orders, meant that the process was going to be extended a great deal and his time spent in front of the forge was going to be increased. Hopefully, with the increased care he had taken while in front of the furnace, the steel he'd be able to create and the blade he'd be able to forge were far superior to the others he'd been able to make up until now.

When the lump of metal began to glow its signature bright red, Devroux removed it from the heat and carried it gingerly over to the anvil. The true test was now; to see if the metal that was created was too brittle or good enough to work with. With a hefty helping of hesitation, the mink picked up the hammer and smacked the steel for the first time to test its mettle. With the hollow clang of metal on metal on metal, the lump of steel held true, giving only slightly to the force of the strike.

Devroux breathed his first sigh of relief for the day. Working up until then was just about timing and heat management but hitting it with the hammer was the actual test of whether or not the work was worth it. Now that it had survived, it was a relief, but it also meant that the brunt of the work was now ahead of him. Folding the steel and merging it was a long, painstaking process by the sound of it, but the only way to get through it was to begin.

Luckily, Devroux wasn't in any rush to leave Bart's home, because the process of folding the steel ended up taking the next two days to do it until he managed to spot the quiet nod of Bart. Mid-way through the third day of working with the same piece of steel, his folding had come to a point where Bart nodded and Devroux was able to hold off. After drawing and folding the steel so many times he lost count, he was able to inspect the work that he had put into it.

There were few creases in the steel that meant the folding process wasn't completely finished, but for the most part it all looked relatively uniform. The rest of it would be finished while he was hammering out the rest of the product, so he brought the lump of steel and began reheating it to a point where he could start drawing it into a dagger.

"Patience is very important," Bart said, speaking up for the first time that day. "Taking care to pay attention and be patient with the steel affords a better product. The same way a baker bakes with love."

Devroux nodded, choosing not to reply, but rather taking the advice and putting it to real use while making the blade. He brought the now heated piece of steel back to the anvil and began hammering it into shape. The rest of the day was taken but come nightfall he had created a dagger that fit the measurements he was given almost perfectly. Proudly, he held the knife up for Bart to inspect.

"That's not finished yet. You can't give an unsharpened product to a customer."

As a swordsman, Devroux was familiar with the sharpening process. As the weapon was now, sharpening the blade was far from possible. Using a larger grit whetstone that Bart had, he began shaving the blade into a proper shape, giving it character in comparison to the rough estimate he had given it while hammering it into shape. After giving it the shape it needed he could gradually change the grit of the whetstones and sharpen it until it was ready to hand over. Gliding the knife against the whetstones was calming, and partially why Devroux had taken a liking to weapons to begin with. It was pleasantly ironic that he'd take up a craft in which he'd also be using them.

After a week and a half of learning how to craft daggers, half of which was crafting the same knife, he was finally complete and ready to hand the knife over to Bart. Devroux admired the weapon, carefully inspected the edges to make sure they were as straight as they could be, and then reluctantly handed the several days' worth of work over to Bart for him to also inspect. The old man silently rolled it around in his hand, checking the weight and looking at all the different edges.

"It's rough," he said with his eyes still on the dagger. "It's rough, but for a first official make, it's well done." The old man laughed, holding the blade up to let the shined metal reflect the light. "I don't want to see you go so soon, but you've met my expectations for the task. You pass. Though I would urge you to wait until morning at the very least before you head off."

Devroux looked out through the barn door, realizing that night had fallen once again. Now that he was done with the work, the stress and fatigue all came rushing back to him, forcing him to accept how sore his muscles were and how much stamina he'd spent crafting a knife from dusk 'til dawn each day.

"You know what," he replied. "I'll take that offer."

With another laugh from Bart, the two headed inside for the night.

Words: 1,865
Gear: Yoru || Twin Kiridashi || Baby Den Den Mushi

17[Flashback][GV] A Blacksmith's Origin Story - Page 2 Empty Re: [Flashback][GV] A Blacksmith's Origin Story on Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:18 pm




A Blacksmith's Origin Story

Devroux took the night to rest up for leaving the island the next day. However, rather than taking off the next morning at sunrise as Bart had expected he would, the mink took his time to spend one last day with Bart and Lilina on different terms, preferring to travel at night. Rather than spending his last day in the workshop, Devroux chose to spend the day getting to know Lilina a little bit better. She wasn't as scared of him as she had been at their first meeting, so as long as he played it slowly, he could earn her trust.

Devroux took Lilina outside to play in the snow while Bart went to work in the shop like he normally did. After having taken up so much of Bart's time for the last week, he felt guilty and wanted to give Lilina some attention as well. She spent her life living alone with her father and needed a friend. In spite of her first reactions to him, she did welcome the idea of having someone to play with.

The two of them spent the day running around outside, building snowmen and having snowball fights, and overall just acting like children. With Lilina being the only one watching him, Devroux didn't have to hide anything and could freely act upon his childish instinct to play in the snow, since it was something new to him coming from Zou and he had wanted to try it the entire time he'd been on Drum. Lilina met the energy her mink friend brought in kind, staying active and excited throughout the day.

It was only during dinner that night when she suddenly dropped. The fatigue from the day finally reached her and she wasn't able to finish her meal before dozing off. Bart gave Devroux a smile and a silent "thank you" before he got up and carried Lilina upstairs to her room. After tucking her in, the old man came back to finish his meal and send off his apprentice.

"Thank you," he said, now able to verbalize it without a sleeping child in the room. "It breaks my heart not being able to give her that kind of attention. With every fiber of my soul, I honestly thank you."

Devroux simply nodded. He had spent time with Lilina after having the same sentiments, and it was the least he could do after having spent so much time with them. Bart had been hospitable, teaching Devroux how to blacksmith, offering him a place to live, and even feeding him for the duration of his stay; so taking care of Lilina for a day and tiring her out was the least he could do to pay both of them back.

"Well," he began, "I'm sad to see you go, but I wish you the best while you're gone."

"I'll be able to make the tools that keep me safe. You've taught a man to fish," Devroux said, giving the old man a genuine smile.

"You made me a blade, so I'm going to pay you for it. It's how business works."

"Ah ha," Devroux said, throwing his hands up to stop Bart before he could move. "That'd be how it works if you hadn't supplied all the materials. The blade is from me to you, marking all that I've learned."

"At least take a trade. You put in all this effort, I'd be sad to see you leave without something to protect yourself."

Devroux hesitated for a moment. Although his time on Drum was brief, he had learned things that would stick with him for life. And if it meant receiving something material to remember Bart and Lilina by, he couldn't deny that he wanted it. With a sigh, he replied.

"Fine. But only because we're friends. This isn't business."

"Agreed," Bart said, getting up from the table once more. The old man walked out of the room momentarily, only returning once he had retrieved a large axe. It was one that Devroux knew well, as it was the one that Bart kept strapped to his back at all times. "This is a family heirloom. I want you to protect yourself with it, but I want it back one day."

Devroux smiled, knowing that it was just so he'd have a reason to come back, but he graciously accepted anyway. If it meant a return, he would.

After they exchanged weapons, they talked for a little while before walking outside. Bart gave the mink a hug before waving him off as Devroux took to the sky, heading away from Bart and Lilina for the foreseeable future. Yet, strapped to his back was Bart's axe, the only reason he'd have to return to a town that had been so hostile to him.

Words: 799
Gear: Yoru || Twin Kiridashi || Baby Den Den Mushi

18[Flashback][GV] A Blacksmith's Origin Story - Page 2 Empty Re: [Flashback][GV] A Blacksmith's Origin Story on Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:39 pm




A Blacksmith's Origin Story

As Devroux took to the skies and left Bart growing smaller in the distance behind him, he very quickly began to regret the decision to take flight but stopping now would risk looking lame in front of someone who should still be able to see him. He'd fly to the nearest town before landing and ride a seatrain until he was on a warmer island that allowed him to spread his wings freely. Still, even as the cold nipped at the bare skin of his wings, he enjoyed the feeling of flight for the few moments he was in the air.

The first town he came to was the town that he had originally landed at. Most of the buildings were dark, but conveniently enough, the places that he had visited were still open. The clothing store where he had purchased his jacket from was still probably cleaning up for the next day, and inns never really close. Which meant, there were people he could say goodbye to before getting on the seatrain that had yet to arrive.

The streets were only dimly lit by a few street lanterns, but otherwise there were few people still roaming around at this time of night in the cold. Devroux was able to land in front of the inn without being spotted, entering into the building that was mostly quiet. Anyone who had checked in were probably tucked snugly into their rooms already, leaving only the innkeeper at the counter, with her back currently turned towards the door as he walked in.

The bat mink moved forward swiftly, descending on the intentionally ignorant innkeeper. She had been blatantly ignoring the sound of the door as he entered, now losing her head to the slick swing of his axe. She hadn't turned to see the attack and wasn't able to scream, meaning the only sound in the building was the thump of her head hitting the floor and the bell of the door closing behind the mink as he fled the scene.

Moving out the door he quickly took to the skies once more, descending only a few moments later onto the shop down the street. The shopkeep was still inside rifling through his inventory when the bat mink burst through the front window, cleaving the man behind the counter with the axe in one fell swoop. Rather than taking his head clean off, the axe dug deeply into his shoulder, letting him bleed out within moments as soon as it was pulled away.

Pulling the jacket up around his face as he moved out the window, any onlookers would have only seen the pair of webbed wings briefly before the dark-furred mink took to the dark skies, out of sight in mere moments. Back to back he has slaughtered both of the individuals that had pissed him off the most and took the skies as high as he could stand to limit the amount of people that would see him, even on the already barren streets.

Luckily, the seatrain arrived to the station just as he got there. He dropped his jacket in the trash can, tightly folded his wings up around his body, and got onto the closest train car. Within a few minutes, the seatrain departed and he was gone from Drum. At least for now.


Words: 555
Gear: Yoru || Twin Kiridashi || Baby Den Den Mushi

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