By the following day, Garfin restarted his work with renewed vigor. He returned to the workshop and met with the helpers. He was then informed of the arrival of the sheet of quicksilver. After he himself checked the sheet, he gave another set of orders to the dwarf helpers.
Garfin knew that the processing of the sheet metal isn’t anything complicated. Hence, him leaving the parts of the process to his helpers. He had the helpers cut the sheet with the help of the steel template. Afterward, he instructed them to use a rawhide covered mallet to beat the tube into shape. To arrive at the desired roundness and shape, the helpers needed to use the prepared mandrel.
[Now then.] Garfin slid his hand into his pocket. He then took out a crystal. After he confirmed that the workers are properly doing their job, he left the workshop.
Eagerly, he pumped his legs and headed towards a nearby cave. As he entered its mouth, the sound of hammers beating metal flooded into his ears. As he closed his eyes and listened carefully, his lips rose into a smile. He found the sound pleasant as he imagined himself hammering his previous works rigorously.
Then with a deep breath, he strode forward and headed deeper into the cave. Along the way, he glanced at the dwarfs working on their craft. Each had their own anvils and weapon to work on, but all of them had a glint of light burning within their eyes.
Later on, he reached the end of the cave. It was a large cavern with a block of crystal at a height of three meters standing at the center. The crystal flashed a glint as Garfin skirted around the edges of the cavern. Within the crystal, greenish roots extended throughout its body. It was called Ethereal Crystal.
The Ethereal Crystal was barricaded with an iron fence around it. And at the side of the fence themselves, a stone seat and table was prepared. Each table was separated in by a fixed distance of about two meters.
Soon, as he roamed his eyes looking for a seat, he found one empty at the opposite side of the entrance. Promptly, he took the seat and looked at his sides. Every single dwarf seemed busy. But all of them held a thick metallic thread that led towards the Ethereal Crystal.
In that place, called the Sanctuary of Earth, hierarchical positions are voided. Each dwarf present is considered equal. A craftsman to be respected. A craftsman who’ve reached a certain level in his craft. And only those who’ve reached that level is allowed to enter the Sanctuary of Earth. Be it human, dwarf, elf, enarf, or any other race, none is allowed to enter unless they were recognized by at least ten of the craftsmen who’ve been allowed to enter the sanctuary.
Even Amelia was once barred from entrance inside the sanctuary, and so she never saw what was inside. However, she was told what was like it inside. But deeper details weren’t given.
After another deep breath, Garfin said, [Time to start.]
Garfin then grabbed the metallic thread fixed near the fence. He pulled it taut and checked its condition. After that, with the crystal in his right hand, he chanted.
Oh Earth Mother, heed my call,
Let thy form shape a sphere,
A sphere that the burns like the sun,
A sun that thy hands reach,
A sun that twinkles that of stars,
A ball of heat and flames,
Flames that burn for eternity,
A flame the sears through all,
Manifest, Sun’s Seer.
Not long after, a ball of flame swirled in the empty space above the table. Unlike a Fireball that burned in a flickering red, the ball of flame was steady and burned in a searing white. Around it, the air shimmered and distorted sight.
Originally, a Sun’s Seer wouldn’t burn as brightly as what Garfin manifested. However, him having a second level affinity in fire boosted its effect.
In response to the seer’s presence, Garfin squinted and looked to his side. The seer is too dangerous for his eyes and the heat itself is aggravating. Taking the brunt of the seer, Garfin endured and manipulated it. He reduced its original size at the size of his head into a size of a child’s fist. At the same time, he decreased the output of the seer. Even so, the heat it produced and its brightness was at least forty times more powerful than an ordinary Fireball.
With no time to waste, he held the thread tightly and reached his right hand above the seer. Once he confirmed the position of his hand, he dropped the crystal. Partway, the crystal remained suspended. It was caught by a platform of mana, no, a platform of ether. The purest form of mana.
Then as quickly as he could, he brought out a piece of folded leather. Gently, he unfolded it and revealed a tiny shedding. He picked up the shedding and placed it beside the crystal suspended in mid-air. Then, while his face was turned away, he enveloped both the crystal and the shedding with layers and layers of ether. Once he was satisfied, he controlled the ether coming from the thread and brought the crystal into the center of the seer.
After he confirmed that the crystal entered the seer, he closed his eyes. He focused his senses on the thread and imagined the presence of the crystal. Though it was subtle, Garfin’s experience allowed him to accurately pinpoint the condition of the crystal.
With the image of the crystal in mind, he manipulated the coat of ether, shaping the melted crystal into a mouthpiece. Using the same ether, he placed pressure into the crystal and compressed it into the desired size.
Supposedly, the crystal should’ve lost its original structure due to the intense heat and pressure. However, due to the coat of ether that barred it from direct contact with the seer, it’s structure wasn’t burned. At the same time, the ether changed the structure of the crystal into that of an infused crystal in the process.
Soon, the seer lost its shape and vanished. It left the crystal mouthpiece suspended in the air. But compared to its original bluish-green color, the crystal glowed in red.
After Garfin confirmed that the seer vanished, he turned his head and peeked. There he saw the condition of the mouthpiece. He flipped and rotated the mouthpiece repeatedly and inspected it for any form of deformity.
Hours passed and still, Garfin remained seated. He had exchanged his hand holding the thread and refused to release the crystal from the clutches of ether. He knew that immediately exposing the crystal that entered the crystal into the cold air of the cavern would only crack the crystal.
Just as ether barred direct contact from the seer, it also barred the crystal from open air. It didn’t allow a quick transfer of heat, hence the crystal cooling down on its own in an extremely slow manner. However, soon, the crystal lost its red glow and revealed its crystalline black body.
After a full day of maintaining the crystal inside ether, Garfin finally freed it.
[Finally...] he said with exhaustion painted all over his face.
Garfin returned to the workshop and sealed the mouthpiece inside a chest. Afterward, he took a full day of rest to regain his health and stamina.
When he returned to the workshop, the helpers had already finished refining the tube. However, its shape was still straight. In response to that, they fitted a cork at the rear end of the tube. Then, positioning it upright, they filled the tubing with soap solution. Afterward, it was sent to the elves for freezing.
When the tube passed through the hands of elves contracted with water spirits, it returned with the soap solution frozen.
With the help of the table with poles of metal jutting out of its surface, they bent the horn into shape. As they bent it, the frozen mixture crack inside. It served its purpose of acting as a counter force to prevent the tubing from crumpling inside.
Afterward, the tube was left in the open for the mixture to melt on its own.
The next day, the horn was further polished and the mouthpiece was attached. At that point on, Garfin’s job was done. The decorations for the horn will be decided after the testing. All that is left is for it to pass through Sylvar’s hands.
[This is amazing,] Sylvar said. He turned the completed horn around and marveled at its beauty. It had bluish silver shine similar to the other works of Garfin.
[Hmph,] Garfin grunted with crossed arms. [Nothing less to expect from me.]
[Sure, sure,] replied Sylvar with a smile. [In any case, it won’t be long before it’s finished. I’ll have the spirit enchantment done by tomorrow.]
Sylvar was filled with excitement. With hurried steps, he took the horn and proceeded to his home. Similar to that of the other elves, his lodge was dome-shaped. Nothing was far different from the other elves. Sylvar had always liked to line himself with his fellow elves. Even though he was a chief, he refused to bathe in luxury.
Unlike smithing, enchantment does not require numerous tools to create. However, enchantment on its own is a different field. And on its own, it has different levels of difficulty. And in the Tribe, elves are better at it than dwarfs.
As he barged into his own room, Sylvar placed the horn onto a wooden casing stuffed with white cloth.
Scratching his light-green hair, Sylvar said, [Which spirit do I place?]
He paced around his room and had stopped before a table with several drawers underneath.
[I’ll think about it later, I’ll have to work on the tube first.]
His eyes moved from one bottle to another that were sparsely placed on the table. As he found what he needed, he reached for it and brought it near the edge of the table. One was a bottle of ink, one contained a transparent liquid, and another bottle contained a greenish liquid.
After he confirmed that he took the right bottles, he pulled the small drawer near the top. There he took two thin brushes. After closing the drawer, he grabbed the bottles and took a seat on a stool near the wooden casing.
First, he placed the bottles on a nearby low table. He then removed the cork on the bottle of ink and dipped the brush. Then, with his other arm, he grabbed the horn and started painting it. While his brush slid gently on the surface of the horn, Sylvar wore a serious expression.
Make no mistake.
Gradually, the horn was painted in black. The ink left a space for block-like veins that ran from the mouthpiece down to the horn’s opening.
Sylvar, while holding the horn from its opening and mouthpiece, have waited for the ink to dry. After several minutes of holding the horn in place, he sealed the bottle of ink and rested the brush on the low table. Then he removed the cork of the greenish liquid and dipped the unused brush. This time, Sylvar painted the spaces left open by the ink. It didn’t take him much time before he finished covering all the spaces left by the ink.
Then again, Sylvar waited for it to dry. Once it did, he removed the cork of the transparent liquid and dipped a cloth inside. He rubbed onto the horn and removed the excess ink. The greenish paint remained and wasn’t removed with the ink.
After he was done removing the excess ink, he marveled at the horn.
[I’ve decided,] he said with a wide smile. [Wind and Water spirits. That’s what I’ll use.]
He placed the horn back to the wooden casing. Then, he approached the table with the bottles in hand. He promptly returned them to where they were placed. Afterward, he crouched and then pulled on the lowest drawer. Inside were crystals colored like gems. They were all neatly arranged in rows in accordance with their color. Within those crystals, a tiny light erratically moved. They were sealed spirits. The color of the crystal depicted what element it belonged to.
With a nod, Sylvar reached for a green and a blue crystal. After that, he closed the drawer and returned to the horn. [Now then, time to transfer the spirits.]
On the day after, Sylvar met with Garfin. In his arms was the finished prototype of the horn. Although it was a prototype, the quality is far from average.
[This is it?] Garfin asked as he received the horn from Sylvar. He took a quick look at the body of the horn. [Hrmm… Coming from both of us it sure is beautiful.] A smile flashed across his face.
[Well, we gave it our utmost efforts,] Sylvar replied.
[Should we try it now?] Garfin was increasingly excited at the prototype relic they made.
[I’d like to do that, but it might be disastrous to use it here.] Sylvar was the same, but he kept a cool head and reminded Garfin.
It didn’t take long for them to decide. They had Enarfs fly them to the east. Soon, they landed in a clearing where it was unusually rocky. At the distance, there was a small pond that wasn’t there from when Garfin and Sylvar remembered. But since they can’t be bothered, they dismissed the thought and had tried to use the horn.
Garfin held the horn in his hands took a deep breath. He then placed the mouthpiece into his lips and blew it while at the same time, pouring mana into the crystal.
Soon, a loud and long sound was emitted from the horn. It was like a cry of an ox. As it sounded, the block-like veins pulsed a tinge of white. After a while, Garfin stopped, and along with Sylvar, they observed their surroundings.
[Did it work?] Sylvar asked.
[No, it definitely worked. I can feel it.]
[Nothing is happening,] Sylvar said as he turned his sight from left to right. [Why not try it again?]
[Maybe, well, here I go.]
Then again, the sound reverberated in the surroundings. But since no signs were visible, Garfin blew it for the third time.
[Haah… Maybe it’s a failure...] Sylvar sulked.
[You call my work a failure?!] Garfin snapped.
[It didn’t work.]
[My works have never fai-]
Garfin was interrupted by a thunderous roar. Above them, lighting ran across the dark clump of clouds that started amassing into a single large cloud. At the same time, the wind howled and jolted the trees. Then, in the distance, wind whirled and formed a tempest.
[This is bad!] Sylvar shouted.
[It’s your fault! You told me to blow it twice!] Garfin blamed.
[You blew it thrice! I only told you to blow it another time!]
Their exchange was drowned by the lighting that flashed overhead.
[A-anyway, let’s head back,] Sylvar said.
In the face of disaster, both Garfin and Sylvar are comrades.