Marquis Valentino had a frustrating day last month.
At first, he was convinced that the Master Blacksmith of Dmitry, Hendrick, made Blaze. No one else in the northeast could ever make such a sword. So, as soon as he got the bid for the auction, he sent someone to Dmitry, but he found out his guess was wrong.
“I haven’t put a sword on the auction house lately.”
If Hendrick made Blaze, it would be a masterpiece of a lifetime. Hendrick was excluded from the list because he would have known about his art being sold at an auction house.
From then on, Marquis Valentino’s obsession began, and he used all of his connections and financial resources to visit all of the artisans in the Cairo Kingdom in order to find out who owned Blaze.
“No one in Cairo can make a sword like this.”
“A sword that accepts mana. Without a doubt, it is a skill that cannot be found even if you search the entire continent.”
The answers that came back made it harder to find the owner. In reality, he had no reason to find out who owned Blaze.
It was greed that stemmed from pure curiosity, and he thought that once he found the owner, he would be happy as a collector.
Was that why? As time went on, his frustration kept growing. The sword was made in Cairo, but the identity of the person couldn’t be discovered.
And Lucas completely erased all his tracks. He simply guessed Hendrick made it because Dmitry was the best blacksmith, but there were no clues.
But just a few days ago…
Marquis Valentino heard good news from his subordinate.
“I heard from someone who met Dmitry’s Master Blacksmith a few days ago. He said that he saw a blade similar to Blaze in the collection. I am not sure if it was a sword made by the same person, but the sword there, which Hendrick boasted about, showed the ability to absorb mana like Blaze. Marquis, what do we do?”
The same ability as Blaze. The justification was enough for him, so he got up, dressed, and got into a carriage.
“To Dmitry right now!”
A few days after that, Marquis Valentino appeared in Dmitry.
Dmitry’s Master Blacksmith. Hendrick wasn’t an easy person to meet. However, if it was someone like Marquis Valentino, then even Hendrick would move.
“What did you come here for?”
It was a modest office. It was not a place he would normally visit, but he couldn’t help it because of his purpose.
Hendrick was on the opposite side.
Marquis Valentino said,
“I will get straight to the point. A month ago, at the Adelian Auction House, I won the bid for a sword called Blaze. As you might know, I am a collector, and unlike Master Hendrick, I didn’t deal with metal all my life, but I think I have an eye to see how valuable it is. Blaze is a treasure, and seeing the sword that perfectly accepts mana, I was convinced that the craftsman who made it was the best in Cairo.”
He gave a signal. Then the knight who was waiting behind him came to present something wrapped in a cloth.
“This is Blaze.”
Inside the cloth was a sword.
Hendrick was surprised when he saw it.
‘As I thought.’
It wasn’t the kind of sword he would admire. He was aware of the sword in the first place, but he was surprised that it was in the hands of Marquis Valentino.
It was as Marquis Valentino had expected. He lived as a collector and met many artisans in his life, and he was sure that no one in Cairo could make such a sword other than Hendrick.
To be honest, he doubted Hendrick’s ability too, but he still hasn’t ruled him out yet.
Hendrick was shocked. Hendrick had some clues about this sword.
“So you realize the value of this sword. A few days ago, I heard from my subordinate that there is a sword similar to this in your collection. That is the purpose of my visit here. By any chance, can you show me the sword?”
His voice was a bit excited. If the report weren’t wrong, Marquis Valentino would finally get the right answer—the owner of the sword.
Or did he know the owner of the sword?
Hendrick’s sword was proof of something.
Hendrick was troubled.
Marquis Valentino. He heard rumors about this man. It was his first time meeting him in person, but he knew about the avid collector because he often bought items from Dmitry’s blacksmith.
He was a person who could be called a VVIP when making transactions. Some described him as an avid collector, but no artisan thought badly of him.
‘He is famous for giving valuable things and also giving good treatment.’N♡vεlB¡n: Unleashing Imagination, One Read at a Time.
The competition among collectors could turn evil. He never used evil tricks or methods to take the possessions he wanted, but he was devoted to the makers. And Hendrick could tell from how he was being treated.
If Hendrick were to sell his treasured possessions to anyone, Marquis Valentino would be a suitable buyer for them.
And he meant that because…
‘This person recognizes the value of a sword.’
Actually, Hendrick had been waiting for this moment. He wanted to show off the gift he received, and finally, someone who recognized its value arrived.
A chance. Anticipation had already risen within him, but he tried to maintain a calm voice without displaying too many expressions on his face.
“Please wait a moment. I will show you the sword.”
At those words, Marquis Valentino’s face brightened as if he had conquered the world.
He laid down the sword.
Its smooth form caught Marquis Valentino’s eyes, and he checked it in excitement.
‘I am sure. It was made by the same person who made Blaze.’
He hadn’t checked its abilities yet. He still had a few things to check, even on items like this.
Hendrick’s sword looked a lot like Blaze, and the way the light shone splendidly on the blade of the sword made his heart feel cold.
Now, he was sure of it. Even without infusing mana into the sword, he was convinced that this was made by the same person.
“The name of the sword is Salamander. As Marquis Valentino seems to be aware, Salamander and Blaze were created by the same person. To be precise, Salamander was the first result, and Blaze came after that.”
At that moment, Marquis Valentino raised his head. Rather than the fact that the same person worked on both swords, the remark about Salamander being the first was etched in his mind.
‘That is the first one?’
His mouth went dry.
The first and second. There was a huge difference. Even though Blaze was a great sword, collectors always put a lot of importance on the first.
The reason was simple. The second would lose value once the third and fourth were made, but the fact that it was the first result made it more valuable.
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His heart raced.
The desire he held was so strong.
‘I really want it.’
Marquis Valentino had one iron rule. If the item was founded by a master craftsman, never disregard it. He didn’t make the blunder of coveting the craftsman’s items and instead took possession of items that the craftsman could make.
Hendrick could be the person who made the sword. Knowing that what he was about to say would be disrespectful, Marquis Valentino had no choice but to speak carefully.
“I am being very careful here, but could you probably sell this sword to me? If you sell it, I will pay a fair price for it.”
“I apologize, but this is not for sale. This is a gift, and I think Marquis Valentino will fully understand my feelings about not wanting to sell this item as a collector yourself.”
“… a gift?”
His expression changed. He showed disappointment at the refusal and was shocked to hear that it was a gift.
‘Hendrick didn’t make this sword. If he got this as a gift, then he must know the identity of the person who made it.
He was sure. If he couldn’t buy the sword, he at least wanted to find the true owner.
“Then, may I ask who made the sword?”
Marquis Valentino’s question was what Hendrick was waiting for. From the moment he witnessed Roman making the sword, Hendrick had this unknown itch to let the world know that Dmitry’s firstborn son was a great craftsman.
And the right person appeared on time. Marquis Valentino appeared to be the best person to do that.
“Marquis Valentino. Who do you think made this sword in Dmitry?”
“… Not Baron Romero?”
Hendrick shocked Marquis Valentino, who longed to know the truth.
“The eldest son of the Dmitry family, Roman Dmitry, is the person who created the two swords.”
He was speechless. Is this what it’s like to be shocked? Marquis Valentino felt so lost by what he heard that he couldn’t say anything for a while.
‘Roman Dmitry made Salamander and Blaze?’
It was so shocking.
The two swords and the artistic work.
He could understand if it was the work of people like Baron Romero and Hendrick, who had spent their entire lives in the forge, but he couldn’t accept that it was the work of Roman, who was in his mid-20s.
But it was evident in his work. There are various types of geniuses in the world, but at least in the realm of artisans who create things, experience and effort are required.
This made no sense. How could someone in his mid-20s make such perfect work?
‘Roman Dmitry is a genius swordsman. And rumor has it that he defeated Butler, a ranker in the Hector Kingdom, Cairo’s greatest genius, and probably a greater swordsman in the future. And if this is true…’
He clenched his fist. He thought about it. The youngest ranker in the continent. The mere ‘result’ deserves high praise, but the title of ‘craftsman’ is a modifier.
This…. this is terrific.
From the result of the work to the story it had, his heart raced, and he wanted to move quickly.
‘Everyone’s work has an important story. If the person who made the sword were simply an unknown craftsman, it would only be a result, but if it were made by Hendrick, it could be called exclusive. But what if, unexpectedly, the best swordsman makes it? People will give these swords special meaning, and people will want to buy both of them, as they are extremely rare.’
Blaze. It was more than a treasure. People said the winning bid was too high, but when he realized its true value, it felt like a penny.
His eyes blazed as he fell in love.
Roman Dmitry. He wanted to meet him. He wondered how the best swordsman created the best sword.
He jumped up.
“I think I will have to meet Roman Dmitry in person.”
After one month of this unrequited love, it was finally time to meet him in person.