LWTG (Novel) Chapter 79

                         

C79

Klang! Klang—!

Loud, deafening sounds of hammering echoed.

A hand wielding a heavy hammer repeatedly swung it against a piece of metal. That same hand then put down the hammer and picked up a smaller hammer.

Klang—!

The smaller hammer was then used to repeat the same task.

Finally, Hephaestus stopped hammering, putting the only partially formed chunk of metal back into the furnace before taking a break.

“Phew—”

Hanging inside the workshop, the towel that Hephaestus grabbed to wipe the sweat off his forehead was hot and dry.

He felt hot and was having a hard time breathing. It had been four days since he’d been holed up in his workshop.

‘Am I pushing myself too far?’

There was a mountain of commissions he had to complete.

The commissioned items were all defensive gear. Armor, shields, or accessories with special skills.

They were all items void of any lethality.

“My hands are starting to itch.”

Hephaestus thought back to the enormous stack of minerals in his inventory.

Just off the top of his head, he could envision a number of items with over half of them being weapons. However, he was no longer making swords or spears.

The only exception was the sword he had made for his savior.

Step—

“Hmm?”

He heard footsteps coming down to his workshop.

Hephaestus, who was taking a break, got up from his seat.

“So he’s here.”

There was only one person he knew who entered his workshop without knocking. Not to mention he was contacted recently through the player kit that they were stopping by.

‘It’s finished…’ Hephaestus thought while silently looking at the gauntlet cooling in the water, ‘But I wonder if he’ll be able to handle it.’

YuWon had fought against a Ranker at the start of the 1st Floor. There was no doubting his power, and by now he might actually have obtained power that rivaled Rankers.

But that didn’t change anything because this wasn’t about if he was strong or weak. It was about if he was ‘qualified’ or not.

“Are you here?” the visitor asked.

Hephaestus asked back, “Aren’t you supposed to ask that before you just enter?”

When he saw YuWon’s face, Hephaestus had to try and act nonchalant to hide how happy he was to see him.

As YuWon reached the bottom of the stairs, Hephaestus got up from his seat and saw that there was someone else behind YuWon.

“Who’s that?” Hephaestus asked.

“Oh, this is—”

YuWon stopped mid-introduction, seeing that Hephaestus’s face had frozen up.

Hephaestus was staring at Hargaan’s blonde hair.

Blonde hair wasn’t all that uncommon, but shimmering, golden blonde hair was.

YuWon couldn’t avoid Hephaestus’s question. But right as he was going to answer…

“My name’s Hargaan,” Hargaan stepped forward and introduced himself.

Hephaestus wore a look of disapproval. It was clear that he knew who Hargaan was.

“So you’re father’s son,” Hephaestus said.

“Can’t you just call me your little brother?”

“I think the fight between our siblings is a bit too intense for me to be so amicable.”

Hephaestus turned his gaze to his hammer as he asked, “So, are you here to catch me as well?”

“N-No. Of course not. Not to mention I lack the ability to do so,” Hargaan quickly denied while waving his hands in front of him.

His job might have been blacksmithing, but the man was still a Ranker. And he was no half-assed Ranker but a Ranker who climbed the Tower thousands of years ago.

Hargaan might have been a player who was famed in the lower floors, but there was no way he could hold a candle to Hephaestus.

“Then why are you here?” Hephaestus asked.

“I wanted to personally meet you.”

“Me? Why?”

“Because I can’t trust Olympus.”

Hephaestus’s eyes widened after hearing Hargaan’s answer. One of Zeus’s sons had said that they couldn’t trust Olympus.

“Since I was born, I was told that you… my big brother was a criminal. Then my friend told me that he had saved you.”

YuWon had opened Hargaan’s eyes. He had showed him that Olympus, which Hargaan thought was his entire world, wasn’t perfect.

That was when Hargaan resolved himself that he would believe what he saw with his own eyes over what he was simply told.

“I wanted to see and judge for myself. Find out for myself who big brother Hephaestus really is.”

“Hmm…” Hephaestus scratched his chin, staring at Hargaan.

He saw radiant, beautiful golden hair, eyes full of confidence, and irises that were the same color as his hair.

‘He looks similar,’ Hephaestus thought.

He could see in Hargaan’s face the face of Olympus’s King, the man he used to respect the most.

Rumors traveled fast. Even Hephaestus, who cared very little about what was going on in the world, had heard Hargaan’s name a few times because he was becoming more famous than your average Ranker.

Hargaan had inherited more of Zeus’s genes than anyone else.

“So. What do you think?” Hephaestus asked.

Hargaan responded, “I can’t really figure out much from only seeing your face…”

His eyes then darted around the interior of the workshop, and the only things he could see were armor, shields, helmets, and the like.

In a short instance, Hargaan learned a lot from looking around the workshop.

“It seems that you don’t make weapons,” Hargaan remarked.

“…”

“That wasn’t always the case, right? I know of countless weapons in Olympus that you’ve made.”

“It wasn’t,” Hephaestus said while looking over at the sword on YuWon’s waist.

It was the most recent weapon he had crafted, and he had felt so elated when making it.

“How long has it been since you stopped making weapons?”

Hargaan’s question made Hephaestus close his eyes.

The sudden stop to the conversation made the silence feel much longer than it was, but Hargaan didn’t pressure Hephaestus to answer quickly.

Various expressions came and left Hephaestus’s face. He only answered after he managed to wipe the pain from his face.

“It was after the Gigantomachy.”

* * *

* * *

YuWon stepped outside and waited for Hargaan and Hephaestus’s talk to end.

The two conversed for a long time.

Gigantomachy. After that word was uttered, Hargaan’s heart started beating rapidly.

“The weapons I made pierced the hearts of the Giants.”

The Giants were one of the races that ruled the Tower, achieving that position through their natural strength and large physique.

Hephaestus continued “They viewed Olympus as allies.”

He then shook his head and mumbled, “No. They saw us as friends, or both actually.”

Hephaestus raised his head and stared into Hargaan’s eyes.

“Others might point fingers at them for being hideous, but we shouldn’t have done so. Olympus only got to where they are thanks to the Giants.”

“Such a thing happened?” Hargaan asked.

“This is a story that kids nowadays don’t really know. You might know if you’re an old Ranker, but young ones have probably only heard the inaccurate retelling.”

Hephaestus pulled out the ‘back in my day’ card. As a Ranker who was thousands of years old, there was much that he knew.

“Anyway, when the Giants started getting ostracized, Olympus declared war against them.”

Hargaan’s brow furrowed as he asked, “What was the reason?”

“It was political. Others weren’t viewing them very kindly, but also by taking care of them, Olympus could take full control of the floors they shared with them.”

“They did that for such a petty reason?”

“I’m glad.”

“Excuse me?”

“You might think it’s petty, but most people don’t see it that way,” Hephaestus mumbled, “including our father.”

“…”

“And the war that we waged against the Giants was the Gigantomachy. It involved Asgardian Giants, Olympian Giants, and Rankers from various guilds who wanted the rights we were fighting over. The war continued to get bigger, and the weapons I made ended up taking the lives of my friends.”

YuWon, who had been eavesdropping, lowered his head.

This was the second time he had heard this story, and because Hephaestus was even closer to YuWon back then, Hephaestus had shown his vulnerability. Hephaestus had let out massive sobs while he told YuWon about the past.

YuWon was certain that Hephaestus was feeling just as torn up right now as back then, but Hephaestus was probably holding back his tears as hard as he could to save face.

“They were sacrificed for Olympus to increase their influence and to wash off the dishonor that Olympus was once an ally of the Giants,” he said. “And was that when… When I stopped doing anything for Olympus and also when I stopped making weapons.”

Grit—

Instead of crying, Hephaestus clenched his teeth and showed anger.

“But then a few decades ago, they suddenly asked me to make weapons again.”

Hargaan caught on quickly.

“Are they…?”

“There are still Giants left.”

“So will the Gigantomachy be happening again?”

“They’re probably still only in the planning stage, but it’s highly likely,” he couldn’t deny the possibility.

Hephaestus was the greatest blacksmith in the Tower. The weapons he made made a bigger impact the larger the war was.

There was a reason why some people say that Hephaestus was one of the people that made Olympus into what it was today.

As such, preparing for the next Gigantomachy was a possible reason why Olympus was hellbent on capturing Hephaestus.

“It’s your choice which side you want to believe. It’s entirely possible that I’m lying,” Hephaestus said while getting up. He didn’t have much more to say. “I am going to fight against Olympus.”

It was time. YuWon got up from his seat and reentered the room.

Hephaestus looked over at YuWon and said, “I know that you didn’t come here just to introduce him to me.”

“Yes.”

“The stuff’s in the storage over there,” he said while pointing to the basement storage of the workshop. “Follow me.”

* * *

Hargaan didn’t follow them and instead stayed inside the workshop.

He had a lot to think about.

On the surface, he might have seemed like a carefree, loose cannon, but he was actually quite thoughtful.

‘I’m sure he needs some time to process this,’ YuWon thought.

YuWon was aware that Hargaan didn’t blindly trust Olympus. Just take what happened on the 1st Floor as an example. That wasn’t something where one could say that Olympus were the good guys.

However, the Gigantomachy was a whole different problem.

‘If he accepts ahjussi’s words as the truth, Olympus will no longer be the good guys to him.’

For Hargaan, the pillar that he had relied on his entire life would be shaken, so it would likely take him quite a bit of time to make a decision.

While leading the way, Hephaestus said, “He seems like a good kid.”

It was rare for him to compliment anyone.

“I could tell why you brought him.”

“Really?”

“Are you going to continue traveling with him?”

It appeared that Hephaestus thought Hargaan was a part of YuWon’s team.

YuWon didn’t answer right away as he was still thinking about it.

“You think way too much,” Hephaestus grumbled.

“I don’t think you’re in any position to be telling me that, ahjussi.”

“What? Me?”

“I know you don’t fully trust him yet.”

“He’s still at an age where he can be swayed easily. Since there’s no way to tell which direction he’ll go towards, I have no choice but to continue observing.”

“Is age the only reason?”

“Of course not, or else I wouldn’t be able to trust you either.”

Thunk—

Creak, creeeeak—

Multiple layers of chains were undone, and a thick steel door was opened.

“I did end up making it, but a bit of a troublesome thing ended up getting created,” Hephaestus said while undoing a sealing chain.

As soon as the door was opened, black-colored mana started to slowly flow out, giving YuWon the chills.

“I already named it,” Hephaestus said, having disliked the name YuWon had given his sword.

Opening the doors wide, Hephaestus introduced his new masterpiece, “This is Kyneē.*”

Note: Kyneē is the Greek name for the Helm of Invisibility, which up till now, I have been translating as Helm of Invisibility. It shall be referred to as Kyneē from now on due to a reason that will be revealed in the .


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