Chapter 12: The fat aristocrat is turned away

A sign with the words “Grand Workshop” hung over the entrance.

Upon entering, it was a small but well-organized shop.

The store was mostly bare earth, with sword samples and small blades displayed on the walls.
From the back, the sound of metal being hammered echoed forth, as if iron was currently being forged.

“Oh, welcome!”

A boy carrying firewood noticed the two and approached them after laying down the wood.

“How can I help you?”

“We’re looking for sword maintenance and light armor.”

“Is the maintenance for decorative purposes?”

The boy’s gaze towards Mitrof was sharp, suggesting that he noticed that he was a noble.

“No, we’re going into the labyrinth—we need practical equipment.”

“I see… then let me call the master—please wait a moment.”

The boy went into the back of the shop.

After waiting for a while, the boy returned with a man who was about Mitrof’s height.

The man had a plump figure just like Mitrof, but his body was thick and wide, consisting of muscles forged through daily forging work, rather than just being fat.

Standing in front of him, Mitrof felt a sense of oppression, as if he were facing a wall.

The man before him was a dwarf.
His beard and eyebrows were bushy, and his sharp gaze looked at Mitrof from under thick eyelids.

“… Let me see.”

With a nod, the man motioned for Mitrof to show him his sword.

Mitrof drew his rapier from his waist and handed it to the man.

The man held the scabbard tightly with his plump and thick hands and drew the sword with precise movements.

“A thrusting sword—it’s heavy for personal use.
You’re not fighting a duel, but lurking in a labyrinth, right?”

Mitrof nodded.

The man entrusted the scabbard to the boy and examined the blade of the rapier.

“You’re using good iron—it’s clearly a sword for slaying monsters.”

“I didn’t know that.”

“Hey, don’t you even know about the sword that you’re using as your weapon?”

“It was a gift—the person who taught me how to use the sword was probably an adventurer.”

The man was the one who had taught Mitrof the basics of swordsmanship when he was young.
Mitrof never asked about the man’s background, but the rapier that he left as a farewell gift when he left the mansion didn’t seem to be a nobleman’s sword.

“If you have to classify it, it’s a heavy thrusting sword—it’s a rapier for personal use, made sturdy—that’s the kind of sword suitable for fighting humanoid monsters.”

The master put the sword back into its scabbard and turned to Mitrof.

“There are no nicks, warps, or looseness.
It’s a good sword.
You can cut or thrust through the small fries around here without any problem.
Bring it back when my work is done.”

With no further attention paid to Mitrof, the master returned to the forge in the back.

“Wow, he’s really unfriendly.”

“I’m sorry.
The master is like a grumpy person in human form, but he really is a top-class craftsman!”

The boy proudly said it with a wry smile.

“Dwarves are naturally like that—they talk eloquently about iron but have no interest in others.”

Grace’ tone was indifferent.

“I’ve heard that elves and dwarves don’t get along—is that really true?”

“We just don’t fit each other—we are forest and water people; they are iron and fire people—it’s just not compatible.”

“I see.” Mitrof nodded as he returned the sword to his waist.

Looking around the store, Grace asked the boy, “I’m looking for something like a small shield or gauntlet—do you know where I might find one?”

“In that case, I recommend Meln Workshop across the street—they make really good armor! —oh, but…” the boy hesitated.

“But what?”

“The shop owner is a bit difficult.”

The boy showed a troubled smile.

“It seems that all craftsmen are difficult to deal with.”

Grace sighed.

Mitrof said goodbye to the boy and left the store, saying he would go check out Meln Workshop

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