Chapter 59: The Underground
Morning, Ironhammer Street.
The name of this street was clearly at odds with the general Norlandic style, but there was a reason why the street was named as such.
The moment Joshua stepped into this street, the number of human pages was much lesser than in other parts of Norland.
While the number of dwarfs with hammers or axes were far more noticeable as the sounds of bellow forges rang out from the smithies lining the street.
The heat released by the dwarven furnaces had raised the temperature of the entire street considerably.
"Aren't you sleepy waking up so early?"
Ciri followed behind Joshua as she yawned. She had stayed up late again last night. After completing part of the original art, she had got the first manuscript of "Leon: The Demon".
"This is the norm for a programmer."
Joshua usually stayed up late at least three days a week, after coming to this world, and gaining the Chaos Demon's physical abilities, he could go on for a week without sleep.
"Program… What is that? Ah, forget it… That old dwarf from yesterday is here."
Ciri had long given up on trying to understand Joshua's bizarre vocabulary and instead pointed towards Frostaxe who came out of the crowd of dwarfs in the distance.
The height of humans standing in a sea of dwarfs was particularly conspicuous, and Frostaxe caught sight of Joshua and Ciri at the very first moment.
"You two have sturdier backbones than those lousy slouches!"
After Frostaxe made his way to Joshua, he extended his hand and gave the latter an enthusiastic handshake, and Joshua responded in kind.
Dwarven hands were at least twice the size of a normal human hand, and the callus on their skin was as thick as a layer of armor.
The moment Joshua held Frostaxe's hand, he could feel many gazes in the streets suddenly focused on it, most of them, humans.
Frostaxe was the famous Great Elder of the Frostaxe Clan, and his clan was one of the most powerful clans in Norland. Thus it was unsurprising of Frostaxe's status among dwarvenkind.
Yet for a new face like Joshua to make the dwarven elder come all the way to welcome him himself, should Joshua be flattered?
"Frostaxe, aren't the dwarfs in your smithy busy with their craft?"
Joshua looked at the smithy Frostaxe had walked out from. It was one of the largest smithies on the street, and from the sound of clanging metal, there were at least over a dozen dwarfs hard at work.
"Bah, only some effort during the day, by noon they'll be as good as dead. Let's go beneath and talk!"
Frostaxe seemed to firmly believe in the maxim that ‘the children of his clan must not be praised'.
Joshua did not say much and followed the elder dwarf with Ciri in tow into the smithy.
The moment he stepped into the smithy, the temperature immediately went from spring straight into the peak of summer in an instant. Norland, on the other hand, had just welcomed winter.
Ciri tugged her clothes in discomfort. This temperature was not something she could bear as her mage robe had heat preserving features on it.
Joshua cast a spell from the magic system under the ‘Vengert the God of Flowing Waters and Healing' called ‘Frost' and lowered the temperature in a small area, making Ciri feel much better.
After that, Joshua looked at the Smithee, and noticed a meter long flaming red lizard by each of the furnaces, as their flames became the source of fire for the furnaces.
This was probably a type of magical beast. There were many magical beasts in this world, and perhaps when Joshua has the time in the future, he could film something like ‘Animal Planet', or just outright calling it ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."
But now, he was focused on the business before him.
Frostaxe brought Joshua deep into the smithy, and the temperature around the area had dropped considerably. Upon seeing the flight of stairs leading underground, Joshua finally understood what Frostaxe meant by ‘go beneath'.
"Don't fall behind."
Frostaxe went down the stairs as Joshua and Ciri followed closely behind as they took careful steps on the slippery stairs. After three minutes later, the underground city ruled by the dwarfs hidden beneath Norland was now before his eyes.
"Welcome to Blackrock Citadel!"
Frostaxe proudly introduced Joshua to the name of the city.
The entire city was built into the rocks, and the upper rock crust was embedded with luminous crystals in them, just like the stars at night.
Frostaxe took Joshua directly to a shop not too far from the entrance, and this place was completely different from the dwarven smithy above ground.
All sorts of originium crystals were stored within glass display cabinets, giving Joshua a feeling that he had stepped into a jewelry store.
"Pick one of the raw crystals. Don't worry about the polishing part, I'll handle it. But before we talk about price, I want to ask you something first."
Frostaxe had already pondered the matter for a whole night now, wondering what did the oval gemstone in white, blue, purple, and orange that was inlaid in the middle of the cards meant.
"You mean to say that in the official version you mentioned that everyone would have all of the cards from the get-go?"
"Of course not. Every account will have a set of the basic deck at first. But the rarer and more powerful cards need to be collected through card pack purchases. Also, trying to get a rare card requires some degree of luck. For example, Gorehowl, the weapon you used earlier is one of the Epic level cards." Joshua said.
Frostaxe finally understood the real gameplay of the game at that very moment, it was card draws.
No wonder there were no levels on those difficult-to-use cards. They were all given free in the beginning! Frostaxe admitted that some of them were useful, but Gorehowl was something he definitely wants!
"Name your price! Using the crystals here in exchange."
Frostaxe's impatient nature had not allowed him to wait any longer, and he was never a believer of a vague thing such as luck.
What was worse was that Frostaxe was infamous for his notoriously bad luck among the dwarfs. Everyone he opens a mine he would end up finding nothing good. So when the dwarfs opened up a new mine, he would consciously stand far, far away.
Joshua looked at the various raw originium crystals in the displays, and the prices marked on all of them were in the thousands of gold coins.
Using thousands of gold coins in exchange for a bunch of data? It may not be worth it in Joshua's eyes, but for Frostaxe, it was well worth it.
All of the raw crystals there were all the same in Frostaxe's eyes, as they were only sold to humans and bore no importance to him at all.
That was the most terrifying part of e-commerce as countless people are willing to spend money to buy a few packets of data that could be coded very quickly, and they would find joy in that.