Chapter XVIII
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Arun watched intently as Thomases blows struck the metal. The sword gently danced around the flame with sparks of joy, directed directed with ginger yet powerful actions by the hammer.
 
Thomas was the best blacksmith in town. He was one of the last ones as well. Blacksmithing was already a niche job in the Technological age, the rising of the melee weapons during the cultivation age helped but they were still suffocated by the forgers. Blacksmithing required little to no ki and that's why it was known as ' lesser forging '.
 
Forged swords tended to be faster and be more durable. That wasn't true in Thomases case though. His blades were known to be sturdy and sharp. Couple that with his low prices and it wasn't hard to understand why he was one of Xu enterprises largest weapon provider. Though it was merely a collaboration since he wasn't working directly for them.
 
Arun could only smirk imagining Williams pleads to be avenged getting promptly shot down by its elders. They wouldn't risk the contract with Thomas get broken because of the third child's precious ' heirlooms '.
 
Thomas made sure that Arun followed his moves. After they visited multiple doctors and none of them had answers for his condition he made his desire to take the child as a disciple known. It wasn't a bad deal for neither of them. Arun would learn a craft which would bring him food on the table and Thomas would gain a talented youngling with fire in his eyes to pass his age-long inheritance.
 
" Dear, are you done? " Margery's voice sounded in the brief moment of silence when Thomas was inspecting his creation. " Dinners ready. "
 
" Nearly dear, we'll be there shortly " Thomas responded than stuck the blade into the hot oil, tempering it. A small sizzle could be heard as the blade was enveloped in the flame that started burning on top of the oil. After a few seconds Thomas pulled the blade and inspected it. No watps, no deformations and the blade was sturdy. Perfect.
 
" Just don't hold Arun there for long, kids his age need to eat plenty and often. "
 
Two weeks have already passed since the horrendous events. As pretty much everyone insisted on it, Arun had moved in with his friends family, at least for the duration of the summer break.
 
With the blade tempering finished, it was time for dinner. The food present on table smelled and looked marvelous. His foster family was well off financially and could afford a variety of ingredients, which Margery knew exactly how to use. Delighted by the explosion of flavour behind every bite Arun was surprised when his spoon hit the empty bowl. He finished a whole plate in mere minutes.
 
" Seconds? " Margery asked with a smile on her face, happy that the boy enjoyed the food.
 
" As much as I'd like to say yes, I'll have to stop here. I am already full. " Arun responded with reticence. " Thank you for the food! " he followed by sitting up.
 
" Arun, wait! " Bohdi spoke before Arun could head to his room " Me and some of my friends are going to play some football, come with us! "
 
" I'm sorry Bohdi, I am a bit busy now... maybe later... "
 
" It's always maybe later. " Bohdi muttered, a bit annoyed.
 
Arun heard his little comment but he could only grimace. Bohdi was right after all, he didn't spend a lot of time playing with his friends in the past weeks. He was indeed busy, he had to achieve a lot in this summer break, but truth be told he also wasn't really kin on... playing anymore. It was almost like his playful side died that day. While Eileen seemed to understand his feelings Bohdi was having a hard time acclimatizing to his new antics.
 
Still, Arun made a mental note to go play with his friend one of these days. But not now, now he was indeed busy for he finally felt like he was nearing a breakthrough.
 
He made his ways upstairs to his room. Luckily his foster family house had a room in which guests would sleep so it was easy to accommodate him. Opening the door a small room was revealed. Besides the single sized bed with its adjacent counter there was a small couch, currently occupied by a familiar face. Paradox was gathered up and lazily napping. Its body would have formed a perfect circle if not for one of its paws resting outside it. Looking closer the paw was a different color from the rest of the body, the formerly severed limb now reconstructed with the help of Tomas.
 
" How a metal puppet can sleep it's beyond me. " Arun said throwing a curious gaze at the creature. He created it yet there were so many things that eluded him about Paradox. While he found the answer to some, they raised just as many questions. Alas, as his grandfather used to say, everything had its time, and now wasn't the time to ponder about his creation.
 
No, now was the time to fix his ki pool. He sat on his bed and crossed his legs. Than he concentrated. Not on what was going on around him, nor inside him. He concentrated on ignoring everything. He closed his eyes, he held his breath, restrained his sense of touch and he plugged his ears. All this for the abyss he seeks is whiteout senses.
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