Chapter 35 - Just apprentices

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Though Tetsuko disliked the idea of letting strangers handle her metal body, her joy of being back in a forge was bigger.

This is the best forge I've ever seen! Even better than my own when I was a human, she thought, her blacksmith soul stirring as she looked in every direction. As expected to the region known for mining. They have the most advanced tools...

Unlike her forge, this was cleaned and organized. There wasn't a single speck of dust or sot. A low rectangular white table was in the middle so the blacksmith could do their work. The tools were displayed on the wall almost like a prize. Tetsuko could see the marks of use on each and every one of them.

Ah... if I had hands, I could make the best sword in the world here...

For a moment, the sadness and envy overtook her. I can't cry for what's gone...

I need to pay attention to their skills and tools. Even if I can't use it for me, I can learn skills from this foreign world.

After Alonso had placed her on the table, blacksmiths sent from the four noble families and Cecilia stood as close as they could to have a better view. There were a few apprentices at the back, tiptoeing to get a glimpse from Tetsuko

"This is unbelievable!" one of the blacksmiths starting at her said, her eyes shining.

"It's not the first time I see a pure living metal sword, but..."

"How can anyone handle?" another blacksmith finished the sentence, not hiding his wonder.

"It can't be 100% pure. It must have some other metal to avoid the vibration," one of the women blacksmith in the room spoke.

"I agree," someone else said and the others murmured.

"Perhaps there's a metal alloy made with living metal at the core..."

"I have tried that. It doesn't work. Even if the rest resists the vibration, the core doesn't."

Despite coming from nobles, Tetsuko could tell all of the people here lived by the forge. I can tell by their hands and muscles. They've been hammering metal ever since they could... They're just like me...

Even though she knew that, the soul in the sword could tell none of the blacksmiths here were the best.

They're good. Better than good. But no one here has the skill to handle me. They still think I'm not made of pure metal...

Tetsuko wasn't familiarized with the metal they spoke of. But she knew her metal body. She had sensed every inch of her and knew she was made of only one metal. From the tip to the handle, she was pure.

"Talking won't get us anywhere. Let's inspect the sword," one of the oldest blacksmiths said.

Gulping, he sweated as he reached out for Tetsuko's handle.

Despite their lack of capability to recognize or admit she was made of pure living metal, she didn't do anything as he lifted her to look from every side.

At least those here respect me as a blacksmith respect a weapon. Not like those idiots who just wanted to take me from the stone.

When the man finished analyzing the sword, he passed to the blacksmith by his side. His face betrayed his inner thoughts; he couldn't believe what he had seen.

It took a long time. Each one took their time inspecting Tetsuko. After everyone had had their look, the last one rested the blade on the support on the table.

The silence in the forge was strange and heavy as the men and women looked at each other.

No one wanted to be the first to admit.

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