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on Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:43 pm

Today was really going to be his day off, that is what he had vowed, but as Aniz had learned before, things simply were not that easy. As he went downstairs, he could see another request written in the rough hand of Barras the Blacksmith. It looked like he needed help again at his forge, and eager enough to earn more brownie points with the talented inventor, he decided to take the request and head down to the Black Anvil. It wasn't an easy job, what he had to do the last time around, but he had fun. If his job today was something more or less the same, then Aniz was confident that he would be able to do a better job this time around. He never gave a relatively warm welcome to the members of the guild lazing about in the common area before heading out of the building, his destination, of course, being the Black Anvil where Barras worked. The location of the place was still well etched into Aniz's mind, so it wasn't long before he found himself outside the doors of the Black Anvil once again. It was still technically office hours so the Fairy Tail mage had no qualms about simply entering the establishment, and like last time, headed to observe the master craftsman at work.

When Barras had finished his work, he turned his attention to Aniz, ready to brief him as to what today's work would entail. "My assistant's arm is all patched up, and good as new," the man said, much to Aniz's relief. "What he was doing for you last time around, you'll be doing for him now. He's recently gotten back into action, so I'm afraid his hammering technique's been a little bit rusty," the blacksmith pointed to the counter where the assistant was sitting, looking somewhat frustrated. From simply observing the assistant's face, Aniz could probably guess what had transpired earlier; the assistant came back to work, fit and ready to start again only to find that the quality of his crafting had deteriorated. This is probably what led Barras to request a mage from the guild once again. The bond between master and apprentice must be strong, Aniz noted, since Barras did not seem at all hesitant to splurge money for his assistant's sake.

"Sounds good to me," was Aniz's indifferent reply.

The assistant handed him some gloves, as the pair prepared to get down to the nitty gritty of smith work. Using the tongs provided, Aniz grabbed some soft metal and placed it into the forge, waited an appropriate amount of time as instructed by Barras' apprentice before using the same tongs to take the soft meal and place it on the anvil for the assistant to hammer. The assistant did not seem particularly pleased with his own hammering, but Aniz could see that there was a big difference between the apprentice smith and him. Each swing was precise, the timing between swings was unusually consistent, and it was a routine that could, for the lack of a better, mesmerize a person, like it was doing to Aniz. Eventually, the hammering stopped much to the mage's confusion until he realized that the metal was no longer hot. He needed to put it back into the forge. "My apologies," Aniz murmured, knowing full well that the short delay that he had just caused might be able to put the apprentice blacksmith completely off his focus. Instead of reacting angrily though, the assistant smith simply nodded.

Using the tongs once again, Aniz pinched the piece of soft metal and allowed it to heat over the forge before placing it back on the anvil for the assistant to hammer. The apprentice, who had decided to put the hammer down and take a breather, suddenly breathed in, grabbed the hammer and began to work away once again on the metal. Aniz could not help but think that this job was abnormally appropriate for this apprentice; as long as there was metal on the anvil, it seemed as though his first instinct was to hammer at a rhythmic pace. After what seemed like a few seconds at most, the metal had begun to cool, and once again, Aniz was called into action. He had decided by now that taking off the clothes in between shifts was pointless, and thus made a conscious effort to keep them on no matter how high the forge's temperature rose. In this way, he would be able to prevent unnecessary delays also. He grabbed the tongs, heated the metal before placing it back on the anvil, internally pleased with his newfound speed at this. If he ever got injured and could no longer be an active mage, he could always ask Barras for a job.

"Normally, the metal would be flat by now," the assistant said in a bored tone. The ever perceptive Aniz was able to deduce the pain behind those words though. "The boss says it'll come back after I practice a bit more, but I'm not sure," he added, after a brief silence. He picked up the hammer and began to beat down on the metal again, this time, frustration was the moving force behind every swing.

The Fairy Tail mage decided to say something to motivate the man, clearly, he was worried about never managing to reach the same level he had been at before the injury. At the very least, Aniz did not think that this was true. "It'll definitely come back. Don't doubt yourself," he said, knowing full well that it was not a line that was particularly encouraging or motivating, but still, Aniz wasn't the kind of person who was good at that kind of thing anyway. The assistant seemed to take after his master too, giving no sign that he had heard Aniz's attempts at encouragement besides a slight grin that had appeared on his features. From that moment on, the assistant seemed to work as though he had never been injured, something which seemed to greatly please Barras at the end of the day; the man was smiling when he handed Aniz his payment.

"I might need to call you again one of these days," the blacksmith had said.

1063 WC

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