Chapter 21:

Chapter 17 – Stabbing with a Shield

Transmigration to the Otherworldly Heavens

- Gestures?

She said, clearly scared. It was hard to tell, but I think blood drained from her face.

- Yeah. Moving your fingers in a special way. I take it you do not know what spell components are?

Ridiculous. An otherworlders is teaching you about fundamentals of magic.

- No, Lynx.

- Well, they are parts of the spell. The main juice, the power is mana that resides in our bodies and environment. Components guide this power to do the task the mage wants to accomplish. For sorcerers the intent is the main and usually the only component. For wizards this intuition is not enough. They use verbal, gesture, diagram and material component. The last ones are very varied.

I made a small pause.

- As a rule of thumb the more components, the more effective the spell will be. Both in terms of power and how little mana would be consumed. I am pretty sure you already have a talent for a natural sorcerer. Utilizing components is not required for you, but would definitely strengthen your casting.

- I understand, master!

We walked in utter silence since then.

Next on our schedule was to actually get that very armaments from various merchants.

Since our money-making trip ended with us near the dungeon we would be able to find most of the shops nearby. All around the dungeon entrance there were shops catering to every need of an adventurer. That included various profession’s equipment.

First at alchemist I bought five minor healing potions as well as distilled spirits, alchemy glassware and some other reagents. I wanted to try to dabble in decolorizing that teeth resin to make it usable.

The establishment was more known as a place to pick up your potions at or sell harvested reagents to, than equipment supplier.

- Customer, please be careful carrying all that glass.

- Do not worry, I will not drop it.

- That is not what I meant. There is a lot of those glass eaters in town. Especially in the slums.

- Glass eaters?

- They are an ancient race and as their nickname suggests they like to eat glass. I heard in the eras long gone past they used to be great artisans rivaling the dwarves and elvenfolk. Nowadays they are more like peculiar beggars. If you are spotted carrying glass they will harass you.

- Thanks for the warning.

The warning was not that useful, as just the moment no one, but Elfin was looking, I sucked everything into storage.

Very convenient.

Next I needed to equip my slave.

I guess I could use Heaven’s Treasury, but I had realized the items stored there were very powerful and very expensive. At least according to Identify and Appraisal.

I decided to grant myself another “spell” for forging information about items – Forgery (at maximum level of 10 of course). I would see the level of generally available items in shops and set parameters accordingly.

<Throne System Notice: Administrator Lynx has gained a new fake spell: Forgery LVL 10>

It would do no good to get used to too powerful items and rely on them entirely.

I was, frankly, even considering downgrading my own equipment.

Still.. if I died it would be a hassle to self-resurrect, while Elfin dying would only be a minor hassle. That is in terms of Divinity usage for respective resurrections. I would still be sad for no logical reason.

I hope such situation never comes.

Death is a constant companion to every adventurer. I would not have guts to play an adventurer if I had no healing or rezzing magic. Just in case I have marked Elfin’s soul for immediate retrieval upon death and her mortal vessel, however damaged would be instantly Heaven-ported as well.

- How can I help you two scoundrels?

Gah! I got caught up in my thought.

We were already in one of the shops dealing with weaponry and armor.

- I want to arm her up.

- We do not sell artificial arms – answered a middle-aged man with face full of some kind of disease scars.

- What?

- Artificial arms. You know, since the lass only has one and all.

- Yeah. Very funny.

- Bully – added Elfin on her own.

Is this really supposed to be funny? A rare case of Velian humor?

- Still, I would like her to get a shield. She needs to have her lone hand free to cast magic.

- Caster with a shield?

- What is wrong with that?

- I mean..

- There is no laws against it.

- There are none indeed.

- So please show us what you have to offer.

This was basically a shop mostly specializing in all manner of shield. From small dinner plate to towering slabs of iron plating that no sane man would be able to even lift. It appeared that I was not mentally healthy as I managed to lift it without a problem. I had hastily put it back before anyone have noticed.

Please pay no attention to this humble adventurer.

I already had a shield for myself in my possession. On the other hand it seemed like my slave had a problem with picking a suitable one for herself.

- Buy whatever you think is useful for now. If it does not work out we will sell it back and buy something else.

If my words did not clarify it enough for her I would not know what other advice to give her.

It was at this time I have stumbled upon a really weird shield.

It had a spike attached on the bottom.

What were you supposed to do with it? Stab someone?

My guesses were confirmed by the shopkeeper.

It was called a spiked pavise.

Normally a spike or two would be added to the bottom of the larger tower shields to STABilize them by inserting into ground. Some shields would have a central spike or spikes attached to their front, facing enemies. Such arrangement would catch enemy weapon and add some lethality to a shield bash.

In the case of so called spiked pavise the lone spike was extending from the bottom, but was far too long to stab the ground with. The shield was also smaller and narrower so that it would not reach ground when held, unless you were a dwarf. There was a tubular indentation where user’s arm would slide into.

Apparently it was not a popular item, but one the shopkeeper really liked. He quickly donned it along a broom and showed couple basic moves.

It was as if the warrior would have equipped both a sword and dagger, while having the additional defense of a medium shield.

I liked it a lot and so did my half-elf.

We were quickly shot down.

- She cannot really use it with one hand, ya know? Her stump is not long enough to fasten it either.

Damn it. There was manly romance hidden in this type of shield.

- What if she would not use a sword?

- How will she attack?

- With magic?

- But the only hand will be holding the shield.

- I think if we modify the bit here..

After I explained the idea to the shopkeeper he nodded with approval.

- Magicians wielding shields are unheard of, but it could really work out. Maybe even the trend will catch on. How does 8 large silvers sound for the spiked Pavise and its modification?

I managed to haggle it down to 7 large silvers. It was worth 10 Elfins. On that note if I had opportunity to recruit then more Elfin’s for a price of a shield..

A very dirty and sweaty dwarf was called from the backroom. The only neat thing about him was his plaited beard. I wonder how a blacksmith would be able to keep such a perfect beard with all the sparks flying.

Shopkeeper told him about the job.

- Please come back in an hour or two. Also, please pay half of the price upfront.

We paid and left.

I have also marked a few suitable arm protectors, but picking one should wait until we had chosen armor.

Next we visited Helmet Heaven, a most wicked and blasphemous den of helmet merchantry.

I tried to pick a metal helmet, but it was clearly too cumbersome for a lithe elf. Maybe when she would graduate from the state of malnourishment..

We decided on hard leather cap. It was not the best model, but one that was relatively light and fit for long elven ears.

Just in case we bought a pair of cheap daggers with scabbards for emergencies.

Next we bought standard miscellaneous items for adventurers like:

A tent, rope, long wooden pole, flint and tinder, shovel, several torches, crowbar, heavy blankets, lanterns and oil to fill them, some cooking utensils (including an entire iron roast), basic spices, bedrolls.. and a whole lot of other things.

I almost caught myself in the moment and tried to buy horses. Few days into the future I would realize that I will not even use most of the camping supplies. I can teleport to any point on Thrope freely adventure for a day and come home for supper. Not to mention neither me nor Elfin ever rode a horse.

We bought both heavy boots for her and light shoes for both of us for traversing the city streets. Immediately after she changed her cheap ones I have come to understand the need for yet another pair of shoes for home use. The streets were simply that dirty.

Standard leather armor with a small metal heart protector was our choice of armor. This kind of equipment is a must for every isekais protagonist apparently. No one ever would use heavy armor or chainmail. I wonder why? Was there a hidden manly romance in heart protectors?

Of course in the end it was my cute companion using it and not me.

I wanted to also get some spare clothes but at this point the shield must be ready for pick up. We marched straight back there and picked a suitable and very spiky arm protector.

Meanwhile the shopkeeper was beaming as he made some last adjustments and polished the surface of the spiked pavise.

Noticing it did not have a custom name yet, I quickly set it as FLEMDER Mk1. A short abbreviation for Flame Throwing Enabled Multi-Purpose Defender.

- I think such a fine craft deserves a proper name – I muttered aloud.

- Our Master Dwarf rarely names his creations.

Elfin took the shield and tried to strap it onto her arm.

- Let’s check, just in case. Identify!

While I was playing a fool with the shopkeeper, my half-elf bit the leather strap and tried to tighten it. I could not bear to watch it.

- If you need help, it is quite okay to ask.

I waited for a while for her answer, but she was still trying hard. Trying to lose her teeth that is, which I subsequently informed her of:

- You will lose your front teeth if you continue to do that.

Her eye glossed over. She was clearly frustrated and on the verge of crying. I trotted over and gently pulled the strap from her mouth. I fastened it quickly. With two hands it was not that hard to do.

- Sometimes we need to swallow our pride and ask others for help when it is truly necessary.

It was weird talking about pride with a slaveborn. Maybe it was more of a sense of duty thing? Not wanting to disappoint or provoke ire? Well.. I was not very prideful myself, after all I did not go on solo adventure, but b(r)ought a companion. Despite my current hidden job of being the God of all Thrope.

- I just wanted to be useful for master.

She sniffled.

- Is it not too tight? You are very useful to me.

- I am just a bother to master. I cannot do anything. Master will sell me. Please do not sell me.

- Oh come on. Hug me.

This was awkward to do in front of strangers and with only one arm to hug. Still it was so nice I actually exclaimed “So nice!”.

I felt her cheek touching mine growing hot.

I whispered:

- Do not say you are useless. You give a mean hug. Even me, a declared anti-hugger, likes them. You know what? You really should consider yourself my party member. A companion and not only a slave. Even if you turn out to be weak in fights I would not abandon you. Though you should trust my judgement that you are bound for greatness. Believe in me, who believes in you.

She murmured something inaudible in response as I patted her back and head.

As we disconnected I have noticed her entire face turned deeper shade of brown-red. Was this the legendary Blush skill?

- Mizz, is shield to yer liken? – asked the craftsman dwarf, unable to feel the atmosphere.

- Ah, yes.

She moved the shield experimentally a few times. When she finished her amateurish set of moves I asked her to raise her arm.

The “outlet” of the shield run alongside the spike.

I imagined she could open a wound on a monster’s skin with the spike and then sear and roast the flesh inside with magical fire. I was not sure whether such strategy would be viable as searing the wound would initially stop the bleeding. Her flames were already powerful when untrained so hopefully it would work.

Her hand held onto a fastened hard leather strap shaped like letter Y. This would make her fingers nimble and most magical gestures viable.

- Are you happy?

- Yes, Lynx.

- With the shield, I mean..

She giggled, but did not answer. I paid the remaining and we left the store.