I drew my finger reverently across the glittering runes engraved into the blade’s glittering surface. Dark and gorgeous lights played across the sword, glittering and flashing against its razor edge, hiding within the darkness of each rune, hand-carved using a diamond-tipped scalpel with small scratches building into full letters.
The steel itself glittered a dark silvery-blue, glistening in serpentine patterns that run down its length, showing the countless folds used in forging the weapon.
The hilt was part of the blade’s tang, crafted so that it would not break until the weapon itself did. The handle, made of fragrant sandalwood, was wrapped in rayskin so that it would never lose its grip. The pommel was unadorned, a simple pointed metal cap, weighted with lead so as to balance the weapon perfectly.
Magic was part of the blade, as true as the fire and the effort that went into it. Arcanium was the metal of choice, and I had poured my magic through the steel a thousand times before the blade was finished.
“I have no words,” I replied. My voice was hoarse from long misuse. For the months that it had taken to complete, we had not spoken but three words between us, so engrossed had we been in the work.
“Some weapons,” my master said, wiping his brow tiredly. “Some weapons are masterpieces. When you make one, you feel as if your soul had gone into it.”
I nodded. “I can’t say… I don’t know how to say thank you.”
“No. Thank you. I’ve had you as my apprentice for… let’s see… seven years now?” he said. “You’ve brought a light into my life that I haven’t had since… well since Adel died.”
“Thank you. For taking me in and training me.”
“Well now you’re a proper journeyman blacksmith.” He clasped my hand in his, and I noted, like I had the first time I had met him, the incredible strength in his leathery palm, despite his age. “Good luck.”
I nodded again. I wouldn’t be leaving for a few more days, but we had never been hesitant to say our goodbyes. We had always been pragmatic about such things.
The sword still glittered on the table. I recalled the old myths, of the blacksmith who had sold his soul to the devil to forge a perfect blade. Yet I knew better.
One does not sell one’s soul for a sword.
One forges one’s soul into a sword.