====[The Forge, The Hearth, and The Steel Sword]====
====[The Hephaestus Home – Emiya]====
I could feel the sweat trickle down my forehead as I brought down the hammer on the piece of steel.
I repeated the action several times, keeping my strength in check, to make sure that neither the steel nor the hammer or tong would break from my grip. Each strike was made with precision, making sure that the compression of the steel was as even as possible.
The second I felt a difference in the feel of hitting the steel and hearing the slight change in the sound as the two pieces of metal hit, I immediately raised the steel from the anvil and plunged one of its ends into the raging flames of the hearth.
Feeling the heat buildup as I held the tongs with my bare hands.
The sound of the burning coal was oddly comforting, as was the feel of the hammer in my hands.
Feeling the temperature was about right, I withdrew the steel from the hearth and placed it back to the anvil.
I resumed my hammering and ever so slowly but surely, the true shape of the sword was appearing, as I hammered it down flat, removing any unevenness in the thickness of the steel and the ridges that formed when it had been drawn out.
With the power I exerted and the speed at which I worked, the process had been quick.
Though inexperienced in the ways of the hammer, I knew steel far better than anyone. Steel made up the entirety of my soul and every manner of steel had been held by these hands.
I knew steel like no other.
Finally satisfied, I checked the steel once more, looking for even the smallest ridge or uneven thickness.
It only took a second and I knew that the blade had been shaped perfectly.
This time, I placed the entire length of the steel on the hearth for it to heat. I moved the coal around, making sure that the heat was evenly distributed.
The process was quite long.
Once the steel glowed red, I took a cursory glance, checking it in its entirety.
After having checked, I nod to myself before quelled the flames of the hearth but allowed the embers to remain. The hearth and the steel would slowly cool, softening the blade and releasing the stress inside it, to ready it for grinding later.
"Two weeks… was it? Honestly, I've seen fast learners before but not quite like this."
I heard an amused voice and suddenly, I was reminded that there were others in the room.
It was a woman with wavy red hair. She had a slender build and wore an attire consisted of a white long sleeved shirt, dark blue gloves that covered the length of her arm, brown leather booths with heels, and a noticeable eyepatch covering her right eye.
It was an outfit that doubled as her casual attire and her work clothes.
Her crimson eyes looked at the piece of steel that was resting on the hearth and let out a small smile.
"Outstanding work, the thickness of the piece is completely even, the tang's corners were perfectly rounded, and the shape is well defined. Honestly, I'd doubt this was the first time you've ever done this if I didn't know better."
"I know my way around steel."
"Indeed. Seeing this piece of work, I'd say you're really good with steel as you say you are."
She turned my way and gave a mirthful laugh. She then broke into a grin and started patting my head.
I was… slightly uncomfortable with the action.
"Ah… sorry, I got ahead of myself a bit there."
She removed her hand from my head and gave a sheepish smile as she rubbed the back of her neck.
"Hmmm… well, you've done well. Once the steel cools, we'll continue with the next step."
"Understood. Shall I prepare dinner in the meantime?"
Her face brightened up as I mentioned making dinner.
I never did quite understand why she and other people seemed so fond of my cooking. I was well aware I possessed skill in the culinary arts but never to the extent that they seem to praise me for.
"Yes please, I'll—"
Before Hephaestus could finish, a bang on the door sounded before another girl came charging in.
"Emiya-kun! It's already exactly six o'clock! Dinner is fast approaching!"
"Hestia, if you break that door, there won't be a dinner. Understood?"
Hephaestus let out a sigh as she scolded the new arrival.
Hestia, in stark comparison to Hephaestus, was smaller in height and wore a white one-piece mini dress that was daringly open at the chest area. What made her outfit unique, was the ribbon that somehow held her chest, further emphasizing its already impressive mass.
"W-wait, Hephaestus, isn't that just a tad bit cruel for a punishment?! Regardless of my position, I still have my rights as a goddess!"
"That may have been true before but we're currently in the human world. Goddess or not, someone that doesn't have a single valis to their name has no right to demand anything."
"W-wha—E-emiya-kun, you wouldn't deprive me of dinner would you?!"
Hestia's blue eyes were then directed at me, pleading, her black hair done up in twin-tails slightly swaying as she was trembling from the prospect of not receiving any food.
This was a goddess who was no doubt a picture of beauty, one that would make most normal human beings swoon and obey her every whim just due to those pleading eyes.
"Time to cook then. Hephaestus, I'll prepare the ingredients. Tell me if I need to reduce the servings within the next half hour."
Unfortunately, I was neither normal nor was I sure I was even human at the moment, so it was an utterly wasted action on me.
I simply took off the apron and hung it on the nearby rack and placed the protective goggles inside the cabinet then promptly passes by a depressed Hestia who was trying to slow me down by grabbing on the back of my leather coat and red scarf.
Thankfully, Hephaestus came to my rescue by grabbing Hestia on the head and raising her up in the air.
With barely enough effort.
It was an impressive show of strength.
"We need to talk about your behavior recently."
"W-w-waaait, Emiya-kun, don't abandon meeee!"
In one last desperate attempt to escape her fate, Hestia looked me in the eye and tearfully begged me to release her from the threatening hands of Hephaestus.
I stared for a few seconds and locked eyes with Hestia. Hestia immediately brightened while she was struggling from the strong grip on her head.
Was the clear message her eyes were clearly conveying. Seeing it rude to not reply to such an earnest plea from a goddess, I made sure to give a reply.
Despair overcame her face and shortly, resignation finally set in.
I ignored it, wished her well, turned my back, closed the door, and proceeded to the kitchen.
The goddess would later gripe about my betrayal during dinner while eating like it was her very last meal.
Her attitude that night was rather familiar, something I've felt like I've experienced before.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make the connection.
After all, I didn't have most of my memories.
====[The Forge, The Hearth, and The Steel Sword]====
====[East Orario – Emiya]====
I walked around the city and took in the sights.
Despite having spent half a year here, I still hadn't had the chance to see the entirety of the city.
Orario, well known as the Labyrinth City, known for the dungeon that it contained within its walls. The fifty floor tall tower, named Babel, stood in the very middle could be seen from any angle, it was both imposing and grand in appearance.
It was also the only thing keeping the monsters that once ravaged this world from doing so again.
Apparently the tower itself was a work of the gods and goddesses who had lent their aid to the humans in order to oppose the threat presented by the monsters.
That idea was still difficult to digest for me for whatever reason.
Gods and goddesses, being benevolent and willingly coexisting with humans… somehow I couldn't so easily believe in that idea. I felt like such beings of power would much rather enjoy the show than actually lend genuine aid.
However, despite my doubts, after having lived and coexist with two goddesses in the past six months, I came to the understanding that such beings of power did indeed genuinely want to help the mortals.
For such a world to exist was a wonder in and of itself. A world of fantasy where gods and the humans coexist, and every manner of fantastic being could be seen.
From elves, dwarfs, cat people, and gods, it was likely that every prominent non-human race could be found in this unbelievably large city. It was essentially a country in terms of scale.
"… The area should be near here, according to Hestia."
I walked to the eastern part of the city to reach a certain location. The place I stayed at, Hephaestus' home, was in the western area, so it had taken me half an hour to just reach the destination by walking.
A familiar soft and reserved voice grabbed my attention.
"Ais Wallenstein. It seems you've returned, did the rapier hold up well?"
"Ah… yes, it held up quite well. Thank you for the recommendation."
Ais Wallenstein, an adventurer from the Loki Familia, a well-known group composed of the most well renowned adventurers in the city of Orario.
She had long golden hair paired with golden eyes. She was taciturn and seemed to have some trouble expressing herself in most times, though that was likely due to her strict adherence to her training as an adventurer at the expense of social capabilities.
She was lightly armored, justified with her focus on speed and flexibility instead of endurance.
She used a one-handed sword named [Desperate], a truly special sword even among the veritable armory of weapons that he'd had the pleasure of seeing within the Hephaestus Familia. It was a blade worthy of being wielded by some hero in an epic, though upkeep for the blade was severe.
It was during a chance encounter four month ago regarding said upkeep of the sword was when they had met. She was needed in a raid conducted by the Loki Familia but the Goibinu Familia, the ones responsible for crafting the blade, had encountered a problem and couldn't provide her with her weapon in time for the raid.
During the time, I had only rediscovered my ability to craft weapons from what I recall was called [prana]. I had provided her with a rapier, one whose quality was given the seal of approval by Hephaestus and the main reason she had started training me in the art of sword forging.
Ais Wallenstein came back from the raid safely, rapier in hand, expressed her gratitude and a sizeable monetary compensation (that Hestia accepted before I could comment), and since then we've been on speaking terms.
"Emiya-san, I've heard that you've began formal training under Hephaestus-sama?"
We kept walking as Wallenstein asked her question.
"Yes. I plan on learning from her. I don't actually have a set goal at the moment, so I thought it was best to focus on what I could do best."
"Ah… your memory has still not returned yet."
"A few flashes, nothing concrete."
My lack of memory was actually rather well known among people who knew me. The gods, as I've found out, tended to talk about anything and everything they find even remotely interesting.
With my unique appearance and circumstances, it seems I was the talk between gods during one banquet. Though both Hestia and Hephaestus intended to keep quiet, rumors were already circulating within the god community and they had no choice but to sate their curiosity by revealing the truth.
Considering how I've seen gods could get, I had no qualms with what they did.
It ultimate prevented an even more annoying development from happening.
"I see… so Emiya-san intends to be a dedicated blacksmith instead of an adventurer?"
"I haven't exactly decided on that yet."
The first few months in Orario was essentially me attempting to understand everything from scratch and recovering enough physically to even function normally.
"It's something to consider. Lefiya would also agree."
Lefiya Viridis, another member of the Loki familia that I had happened to help a few days after having met Wallenstein for the first time.
Thinking back on it, that event seemed to be the start of Wallenstein willingly engaging in conversation whenever she encountered me.
We both kept walking in a comfortable silence after her last comment. Wallenstein was someone that tended not to speak unless necessary and I was similar in that regards.
We kept the silence until we reached the [Hostess of Fertility], a pub frequented by many adventurers, a hangout for the Loki Familia as well.
"Emiya-san, will you be entering as well?"
"No, I've got other plans for today."
"I see… I'll be going on ahead then."
Wallenstein turned after saying her goodbye and started to approach the door.
I called her name right before she entered, after having glanced and momentarily focused on her armor.
"Have your equipment checked. It's a lot more damaged than it seems."
Her eyes widened for a moment before she responded.
With a decisive nod and not even a single ounce doubt being shed on my words, she bowed and entered the pub.
I then proceeded to walk to the location that Hestia had talked about.
====[The Forge, The Hearth, and The Steel Sword]====
====[The Abandoned Church – Emiya]====
I entered the desolate building. The so called abandoned church was supposedly where Hestia had found me one day, sleeping on the altar, wearing strange clothes.
On the outside, the building itself seems to have been faring well, but the inside was another story.
The inside was filled without enough dust that the slightest movement would kick up a storm. The walls were deteriorated and worn, in very real danger of actually collapsing.
There were furniture, benches and the aforementioned altar inside, but it was all in pieces that were blown away in various direction, as if something had crashed in the area with great impact.
It was likely that I was responsible for the random bit of destruction, though how I've come to do such a thing wasn't really something I could readily answer.
I walked around inside, trying to see if any bit of memory would somehow return by exploring the area.
Unfortunately, there was nothing. Unlike the first time I've seen the swords of the Hephaestus Familia that evoked emotions from me, nothing in the church was able to do the same.
The only thing I found was a large mirror in the corner.
I approached it and took a look at myself.
I had spiky snow-white hair and dull grey eyes. My skin was dark, and combined with my other features made me look rather different and unique even in a city with animal-eared people and gods.
I had slim build and stood five foot and five inches tall.
Seeing my own image in the mirror, I couldn't help but think…
That the image was both familiar yet incorrect at the same time.
Every time I stretched out my arm, I always felt like I should be able to reach further.
Every time I took step, I felt like I should be able to step farther.
Even when I talk to someone like Hephaestus, I felt like I should be angling my head down slightly while conversion, as if I should be taller than I should be.
It had been these thoughts and conceptions that had made moving about difficult when I had first awoken, the fact that my body was severely weak didn't help either.
"This is pointless…"
I shook my head and let out a sigh. The trip and walk to the church had been a waste of time, seeing as I couldn't grasp anything more of my former identity.
I began walking out of the building, however, when I passed by the altar, for a moment, just for a passing moment, I felt like I saw the image of a girl with long and wavy brown hair, straight cut bangs, and gently brown eyes, looking at me with a gentle smile.
I turned my head and word, no, a name was about to roll of my tongue. A torrent of emotion welled up inside me and I had to compose myself.
It was only after a full minute before I could recall the full name.
I completed the name. Repeating it mentally to myself to commit it to memory.
The name resounded in my head, and just like the first time I've seen a sword, I felt a strange mix of emotion. The name was important, something I should never forget, yet for some reason I could feel a mix of irritation, frustration, and helplessness.
It was a memory.
A memory of a girl with who looked at him with teary yet happy eyes.
They were words that were spoken by a voice so soft and gentle, yet held so much strength and conviction.
They were words that made him grimace without fail.
"Happiness… really now, exactly what were you thinking."
I still couldn't truly remember.
However, I understood one thing.
It was the fact that the one that sent him here was an idiot.
An idiot that cared about me too much for her own good.
====[The Forge, The Hearth, and The Steel Sword]====
So the 5th entry to the DanmachixFate world. Huzzah.
To clarify, this is the Playable Archer from Fate/Extra, so technically, he's [No Name] instead of actual Emiya. So the character tag technically isn't correct but also correct at the same time.
Just a few things:
Why bother with Amnesia you ask?
It makes sense given the intended setting of how Archer got into Danmachi. Well, its logical at least. In my perspective. ahaha~
Why Extra Archer?
Far less cynical than Archer EMIYA classic, easier to fit into the story due to certain things. His outfits in CCC also help, especially his [Wrought Iron] costume. There are other reasons than that of course.
Why not Shirou?
I rather prefer writing Emiya in general, always have. I find his history, personality, and outlook, generally more interesting to write and play off on other things.
Anyway, thanks for reading!
Leave a review if you've got the time.