Chapter 65:

Chapter 65 – The Association of Blacksmiths

Crystal Evolution

The next day, Kieran got up early to go to the blacksmiths association built near the cultivator academy of Ozryn to give any students wanting to study blacksmithing quick access after their class.

The association of blacksmiths was created by the Aegis Alliance to recruit, train and exchange with blacksmiths from all walks of life.

Each city in the alliance has a blacksmith association with numerous facilities that can accommodate thousands of blacksmiths.

Since the creation of the Aegis Alliance, the top leaders have decided to do everything to train geniuses in all possible fields directly or indirectly related to crystal essence. Thanks to this decision, each person could receive training related to the job they wanted in any city.

The only difference between each city was the level of the teachers. Like cultivation, all crystal essence related professions were divided by the same ranks.

Once arriving close to the blacksmiths association, Kieran could feel the temperature rising. Pushing open the front door, he felt a wave of hot air on his face.

He moved to the front desk, where a woman in her twenties was standing there with a look of surprise, her eyes fixed on the flame and the floating stone behind him.

"Hello, are you here for an order or a registration?" asked the woman, regaining her composure.

"Registration," replied Kieran.

"Please sign these documents."


A notification appeared on his aurora collar, displaying the documents in front of him. He read all the rules and conditions for joining the blacksmiths association before signing the documents and sending them back to the woman.

"Welcome, Mr. Arvost. You have indicated that you are new to blacksmithing. Would you like to train with one of our veteran blacksmiths?"

"No, thank you, I would like to rent a private forge room."

The woman looked surprised for a moment before resuming her professional demeanor.

"We have several types of forge for rent. The cheapest will cost 500 nova for one week."

"I'll take the one at 500 nova then."

He paid for the transaction and received authorization to access the forge room.

"Your forge room is number 127. You will find it in the east wing."

"Ok, thank you."

Following the instructions of the woman at the reception, he quickly arrived in front of a door bearing the number 127 on it. After using his authorization, the door opened.

The room was not very big. There were several self-service tools hanging on the wall, an oven, an anvil, and a stone workbench.

"What do I do now?" asked Kieran.

"We'll start with the basics. Special forging techniques require a lot of control or an amount of crystal essence that you don't currently have. Successfully forging an artifact will require a lot of effort and learning some forging techniques. We will begin by improving your control over your crystal essence. Over the next month, you will perform the same exercise with various metals until you become accustomed to their characteristics. Take out a piece of spiritual iron and the spiritual iron hammer you bought from Starlight Industry," replied Runihoril.

He pulled out a cold round piece of metal with small blue lines on it from his aurora collar and a metal hammer weighing about ten kilos.

Spiritual Iron was a metal formed from iron ore exposed to concentrations of crystal essence. This kind of metal was most often used by beginners in blacksmithing to start learning.

It was not a particularly rare metal. The only advantage of this metal was that it was possible to make strong weapons or armor that could withstand peak stage Iron rank attacks.

"Good. Put the Spiritual Iron on the workbench, strengthen the hammer with your crystal essence, and strike it a thousand times."

"I have to hit it a thousand times?"

Kieran looked at Runihoril with an astonished face, but he said no more words. He just stared at him with his golden eyes, waiting for him to begin.



A golden blue color appeared on the hammer in his hand as he swung it on the metal in the middle of the workbench.





*klang! klang! klang!*

The hammer was constantly banging against the piece of metal, and with each strike, the count in Kieran's mind increased.

As he swung the hammer for the 20th time, the Spiritual Iron suddenly broke.

"What happened?!"

Surprised by the metal that had broken into several pieces, he could not help but turn to his Master.

"You used too much crystal essence in your strikes, which ended up causing a disruption in the internal flow of the Spiritual Iron, resulting in its destruction. Start over from the beginning," explained Runihoril.

"Yes, Master."

*klang! klang! klang!*

After hammering the piece of metal for the hundredth time, Kieran's body began to heat up as a trace of sweat appeared on his body. The hammer wasn't very heavy, nor was even the physical effort he had to put in hard, but the control he had to apply to his crystal essence with each strike made his fights with the training dummy feel like a walk in the park compared to that.

As he swung the hammer for the 120th time, the Spiritual Iron shattered again, forcing him to start all over again.

'Shit! I need to control my crystal essence better!'

He gritted his teeth, pulling a new piece of Spiritual Iron from his aurora collar. Runihoril's eyes shine when he sees him give his all to succeed in the training he had given him. It wasn't just to improve Kieran's control over his crystal essence that he wanted to spend the next month repeating this process on different metals.

What kind of blacksmith doesn't possess unwavering patience? Some would take months just to forge a single weapon, and if Kieran couldn't even endure that mere month, there was no point in teaching him blacksmithing.

*Klang! Klang! Klang!*

Three hours later, his body was drenched in sweat as he continued to hammer the piece of metal relentlessly.



The sound of an explosion echoed through the room as another piece of Spiritual Iron was shattered into pieces again.

"Huff... Huff... Fuck!!!"

Kieran was breathing heavily. He couldn't help but swear when he saw the piece of metal shatter under his blow.

"Rest for ten minutes to recover your crystal essence and start again."


It was the first time Kieran realized that his Master could be truly ruthless with him.


In a training room at the Ozryn Academy.

"Kieran won't come back to class?" Thomas asked Ryan.

"No, he told me there's nothing the teachers can teach him that he can't learn on his own. He'll try to come back occasionally, but it's just so he doesn't get kicked out of the academy," replied Ryan.

"This guy. What is his cultivation level now?"

"I didn't ask him, but after two months through the rift, he's probably already at the Bronze rank. Especially with the cultivation techniques he sent us, there's no way he couldn't buy the evolutionary catalysts for his breakthrough."

"You're right. This technique is crazy. When he sent it to me, I checked its price on the aurora net, and it cost 5 million nova! I tried to give it back to him, but he hasn't accepted any of my calls since."

"Don't worry about that, he's an idiot, but if he offered it to you, he can afford it."

"You're right."

As the two were chatting, Teacher Marsk entered the training room, catching the students' attention.

"Come closer. As you already know, today, our academy received a guest. Your class and class 3-3 will be led for the next few hours by Aurelius Riz, a member of the Thundershields guild. In a moment you will be going to training room 17, please behave with our guest as you would with any other teacher. If you have no questions, you can leave now."

Ryan and Thomas followed the rest of the class to Practice Room 17. A few meters behind them, Cassandra had her eyes fixed on Ryan's back with a smile.

"Hey, Ryan!"

Ryan turned around at her call to see Cassandra approaching him.

"What do you want, Cassandra?"

"I heard your brother came back to the city. Didn't he come to class?"

'How does she know?' thought Ryan while frowning.

"It's not your business."

"Ahh, that's too bad. I've been waiting all this time to give him a surprise today. It's no big deal. I'll give it to you instead."

"What are you talking about?"

Cassandra smiled as she walked away from them without saying another word.

"What is she thinking?"

Soon their whole class arrived in the training room, which already had many students from class 3-3 who had arrived before them.

All the students surrounded a man in his thirties who had an imposing stature with black hair and eyes.

"I see everyone is here, fine. For those who don't know me, my name is Aurelius Riz, and I will be in charge of your classes during this period."

Aurelius' powerful voice ran through the entire training room when he suddenly looked up into the air before him. The next moment he searched the room for a figure, his eyes falling on Cassandra.

"Since I don't know your current level, I will pair you with one student from each class for a little practice."

Quickly each student from class 3-4 was paired with one from class 3-3, Ryan found himself against a student who was a little taller than him named Devan.

"Ryan Arvost, early stage rank Iron," said Ryan.

"Do you think this is normal training?"

A slight smile formed on Devan's face as Ryan frowned.

"What do you say?"

"Begin!" shouted Aurelius, his voice reaching all students in the room.

Devan thrust his arms forward as lightning snakes passed through them, the lightning snakes meeting in front of his hands, transforming into an axe made of lightning.

Holding his axe in both hands, he raised it over his shoulder, his foot slamming into the ground as he rushed at Ryan.

Three layers of barrier formed in front of Ryan when the axe was only a few centimeters from him.

He quickly stepped back when the first and second layers were shattered in an instant, the third barely able to slow the attack allowing him to dodge.

"You... You're not an Iron rank."

With a smile, Devan threw himself at Ryan again, the axe in his hands slamming down on him.

A barrier formed on Ryan's left side, growing rapidly until it slammed into his body which knocked him aside, allowing him to dodge the axe that shattered the barrier as if it never existed.

As his barrier pushed him back, Ryan lifted his index finger up, and a small barrier formed under Devan's chin, slamming into his head and pushing it back slightly, the barrier breaking at the same time.

"Tch, to say that I got hit by a loser like you," said Devan.

Tightening his grip on his axe, Devan rushed towards him again. A small barrier formed in front of his feet, but he didn't care and broke it in his path.

Swinging his axe forward, three barriers formed around him.

One of the barriers appeared under his hands before pushing them upwards, another formed in the path of his arms, slowing his movement, and the last appeared behind his head, causing his upper body to fall forward slightly.

Devan felt his body sway and stepped his right foot forward to regain balance while adjusting his axe, which was getting closer to Ryan. His eyes were dark. He couldn't believe that an ant would dare to resist him so much.

Three barriers formed again in front of the axe as Ryan prepared to dodge the attack. Devan dropped his axe and spun his body sideways to dodge the barriers. Clenching his hand into a fist, he punched Ryan in the stomach, causing him to vomit and collapse to the floor.


Ryan's mouth was wide open, trying to draw in the air his lungs were desperate for. A choking sound came from his throat as he held his stomach, trying to resist the pain that was invading his body.

Devan crushed Ryan's head with his foot before rubbing it in his face.

"You trash! Ptu!"

Spitting on Ryan, the smile that had vanished from his face returned again.

Ryan tried to speak, but a kick in the stomach stopped him.

"Don't even try to give up. It's no use. I told you, this isn't training."

Close to them, Cassandra watched the whole scene with a smile on her face.

"This is what you get for trying to go against me with your brother, trash!"

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