The Runesmith

Chapter 448: Wiggle Your Finger.

Chapter 448: Wiggle Your Finger.

I would like to officially inform all my readers that I have started writing a new story called Heavy Metal [ A Monster Evolution LitRPG ] You can probably figure out what it's about from the title and hope you give it a try. If you like Runesmith, then I think that you will enjoy it as well. There aren't that many chapters out yet but I hope you all follow it for later and if you are inclined to, give a nice rating :D 

‘Great… The moment I try to leave, I’ll probably be attacked by a bunch of assassins or ambushed by a mercenary group. Then if I actually manage to get back in one piece, Lucienne will be all alone and something might happen to her… I’ve been trying to contact Robert for weeks already and even Lucille isn’t responding… Just great…’

Roland wandered through the Institute halls as he returned from the visit to the Headmistress's office. His mind was a whirlwind of worries and uncertainties. As he walked, he couldn't shake off the feeling of impending danger looming over them. Almost everything he had hoped to avoid during this trip had already happened and he wasn’t sure what to do about it.

‘I need to make the prototype first…’

While there was a lot on his mind, he couldn’t give too much attention to everything at once. His priority now was to focus on his research and develop the prototype for the prosthetic arm he had promised Bernir. With the materials he had gathered and the institute forge at his disposal, he could at least start working on that aspect of his plan.

‘As long as I’m in here, the nobles can’t get to me but can I trust that Headmistress not to sell me out?’

The encounter with the institute's most influential figure, Yavenna Arvandus, proved to be rather perplexing. It appeared that she didn't display much concern for the events occurring within the institute. On one hand, she seemed to prefer not being bothered but on the other hand, she did intervene to aid him when he was captured by Fortuna. She remained quite the enigma, but for some reason, Roland felt inclined to believe that she was on his side.

With these conflicting thoughts swirling in his mind, Roland finally arrived at the workshop he would be using for his prosthesis project. It was a spacious area filled with all manner of tools and equipment for crafting magical items. Other Runesmiths and apprentices bustled about making this a more novel experience as he would need to share his workspace with others.

Throughout the years, Roland had become accustomed to crafting his own tools and working within the confines of an enclosed space. Even Bernir, who collaborated with him, had his own separate workshop that was insulated. But now, in this shared environment, Roland had to adapt. Greeting the other Runesmiths and apprentices with a polite nod, Roland proceeded to set up his workspace. Fortunately, being a tier 3 class holder, he had already earned the trust and respect of the craftsmen in the workshop. They eagerly followed his instructions and even began to anticipate what new invention he would conjure up next. The runic puzzles he created for the mages had piqued their interest, and now, many onlookers were curious to see what he was working on.

‘I guess, I'm popular with older men… I want to go home…’

Despite his desire to depart, Roland knew he couldn't leave just yet. Before he could, a prototype needed to be made. There was a chance that once he returned, he wouldn't have access to any research materials. He might need to make trips to the library or seek advice from Arion or the other smiths in the workshop.

‘Now then, I want to imitate a hand, so first…’

He was making a prosthesis that would read the mana phantom and move on its own. This was his main goal, thus first he needed to get something that looked like a person’s arm. Luckily, this was a true forge and had some old golem parts that could be repurposed for this task. He had taken such an apparatus that looked like a basic human arm. It was made from a magical steel alloy similar to the ones that he had worked with in the past.

It was an empty shell without any runes and perfect for a prototype. Even though it was a fully-sized arm, it didn’t need to put runes on the entire structure. For the time being he decided to focus only on the index finger. If he could get it to wiggle then he would have all the data he needed to make it function for the entire arm.

‘Arion said that he would help me with the runic operating system once I’ve figured out how to interpret the mana phantoms but first let me try to attune it to regular mana.’

Research for such a thing already existed. Rune mages of the past created systems that interpreted mana hand spell usage that could be superimposed onto golemic limbs. It allowed them to use these robust metallic creations while using a basic spell that mimicked limb movement. Once this was created, he would just need to make it react to the mana phantom instead of spells that could only be created by mages.

With his plan set in motion, Roland began the intricate process of attuning the golemic arm to regular mana. He carefully inscribed a series of runes onto the arm, each one designed to interact with mana in a specific way. It was a delicate operation, requiring precision and finesse, but Roland was no stranger to such tasks.

‘I guess, I should go to work but before that…’

Roland glanced around and could see many people looking in his direction. While he understood their curiosity about his work, he was reluctant to reveal his entire work process to others. This space was open and everyone had their own workstation but it was possible to hide himself with the use of spellcasting.

Thus, after pulling out a few runic batteries and placing it inside a specialized runic device, the space around him started to shift. The other runesmiths and their helpers started frowning as the area around Roland began to turn into a dark color, successfully concealing him from view. Satisfied with his new gained privacy, Roland returned his focus to his work on the golemic arm.

After arriving at the forge clad in his armor, Roland realized it was ill-suited for runesmithing work. The bulky gauntlets restricted his movement, and he was reluctant to further degrade the runic structures adorning it. This armor stood as his primary and sole true defense and should it fail, he would find himself severely handicapped.

To address this, he had prepared a lighter version specifically tailored for this work. While lacking the battle features of his main armor, this alternative provided everything he needed for crafting. It was made of fewer components and lacked anything below the waist. It prioritized mobility and functionality for his craft but also left him unprotected during his work. However, with the shroud of blackness around him, no one would be the wiser.

Typically, softening metals required heating them up inside a proper forge. However, with his current skill set, Roland had become a forge unto himself. It was a simple task for Roland to elevate the temperature surrounding the metal arm, allowing him to forcefully inject the runes directly into the metal without requiring a proper smithing hammer. Although this method consumed more mana than necessary, Roland no longer needed to concern himself with such limitations. His skills had ascended to a level beyond that of Master Runesmiths, who could only dream of achieving such control over metal.

All his worries seemed to fade away once he engrossed himself in work. He had spent multiple weeks absorbing knowledge and thinking about runic theory but deep inside, the process of crafting was what he truly enjoyed. What had begun as a means to an end gradually transformed into something akin to meditation for him. In the act of creation, his mind cleared, and he found a deeper sense of peace.

Hours passed by in a blur as Roland lost himself in his craft. The other Runesmiths and apprentices in the workshop had long since ceased their curious glances and returned to their own projects. They understood the need for focus and concentration when delving into the intricacies of runic crafting.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity of meticulous work, Roland stepped back to admire his creation. The once lifeless golemic arm now pulsed with magical energy, the runes he had inscribed glowed faintly in the dim light of the workshop. He cautiously extended his mana toward it and the apparatus reacted to his mana hand spell.

‘Even though it’s just a single digit, this should do.’

What would have previously taken him days or weeks of research and experimentation now could be accomplished in a few hours. The index finger that he had focused on was moving up and down in tandem with his mage hand spell. It read the input from his mana pattern correctly and reacted just as he expected. With this out of the way, he could move on to the hard part, making it react to his spiritual energy that took on the form of the mana phantoms.

From within his storage space, Roland retrieved all of his current research material, including a floating monster soul encased in a glass container. This soul served as the primary focus for the prototype. Roland hypothesized that if he could synchronize the movements of the finger-wiggling golem arm with his spiritual energy, it should, in theory, begin to react accordingly.

‘What is spirit energy and how do I use it?’

He gazed at the will-o'-wisp before him to get an idea of what he was dealing with. His eyes along with the visor in front of them started glowing as he activated his skills. Runic Eye of Truth along with his Eyes of Mana skill to get an idea of what he was working with. With both skills activated, he was presented with a peculiar sight containing runes that he had never seen before or knew how they functioned.

For a moment, Roland pondered the nature of this energy. Unlike mana, which was a tangible force that could be harnessed and manipulated through runes, spiritual energy seemed to exist on a more abstract level. It was deeply intertwined with the essence of living beings, serving as the foundation of their consciousness and vitality.

‘This is going to be more challenging than I thought but … the basis is there…’

First, he needed to understand the nature of spiritual energy more thoroughly. With the help of the many thick tomes that he had assembled, the task was doable. Roland delved into the study of spiritual energy and its interaction with magical constructs. He spent hours poring over ancient manuscripts and contemporary research papers, absorbing as much knowledge as he could.

As he delved deeper into his research, Roland began to grasp the intricacies of spiritual energy. Unlike mana, which flowed through the world in a tangible form, spiritual energy was more elusive, existing on a metaphysical plane. This was something akin to a separate realm and was not something that usually seeped into the real world by itself.

‘Maybe if I create a rift in space to access this metaphysical plane… but the mana usage will be astronomical, can I go around this process in some other way?’

Roland mulled over various possibilities, weighing the pros and cons of each approach. Creating rifts and using dimensional magic was one such possibility but considering that his Eyes of Mana skill could pick up the energy signature without such a drastic measure, there had to be another way.

From one of the ancient spiritualist tomes he received from Fortuna, there was a certain passage. It described a technique used by ancient mages to bridge the gap between the physical and metaphysical realms. It involved the creation of a conduit that allowed spiritual energy to flow into the physical world in a more controlled manner.

‘A conduit, hm… I don’t really need for it to flow into the material realm, I just need to be able to read the movement but…’

A rift, a conduit, or perhaps something that brought the two together. Considering that mana phantoms could be seen through skills it was possible. Perhaps by creating a temporary conduit or rift to measure the initial spiritual energy from a person's soul and attuning it to the prosthesis, he could achieve the desired effect. He would need to form a somewhat permanent connection between the physical and metaphysical.

With this idea in mind, Roland set to work on designing a rune array that would serve as the conduit between the physical and metaphysical realms. In theory, he just needed to grasp the spiritual energy pattern through this conduit for only a second. Once this was done, it would be feasible to establish a permanent connection to the soul which then could be interpreted through the runes in a similar way as his ‘Eyes of Mana’ skill was doing it.

Now that he had a thesis that he could work with, it was time to put it to paper. Creating a schematic for the runic structure wouldn’t be easy and impossible for anyone who wasn’t at least a Master Runesmith. It was something that he needed to do alone but once complete, Arion would probably be able to assist him in fashioning the control program for the limb movement. He just needed to fashion the runic array that perceived the mana phantoms and once that was completed, the rest would be much simpler.

Every line, every curve, and every rune component placement had to be precise to ensure the success of his endeavor. He poured over the parchment, his mind fully focused on the task at hand, as he sketched out the blueprint. The days moved by quickly but no one dared to interrupt him and his sister was busy with her advancement class in the training area. Both of them were hard at work and before long, their efforts would yield something grand.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity of labor, Roland stepped back to admire his handiwork. The schematic before him depicted a complex web of interlocking runes, each one carefully positioned to form the spiritual conduit. With the help of his debugging skill, it was perfected quickly and it was a testament to how far Roland had come.

You have gained a new title: Rune Savant

‘Hm? Well, that was unexpected…’

Roland had devolved into a research frenzy and was unaware of how many days he had taken to achieve this breakthrough. The completion of this process granted him an unexpected reward.

Rune Savant


This title is bestowed upon only the most distinguished runic scholars and pioneers in runic research. 

There were no bonuses listed but he knew that it would probably allow him a better class choice down the line. From the description, it seemed that he had created something that had previously not existed in the runic world. Considering that he had not heard about runic prosthesis existing before, it was something no one had ever truly made and he was a pioneer.

‘There is no time to celebrate but if I received this title, then this rune has to work!’

Once the theory was out of the way, he needed to inscribe everything onto the golemic arm, a process that could also misfire. Roland took a deep breath and focused his mana into his fingertips. Carefully, he began inscribing the intricate rune components onto the surface of the golemic arm. Each stroke had to be precise, each rune placement had to be exact. One wrong move could potentially render all his efforts futile.

He wasn’t sure if it was thanks to the new title but his mind felt a lot clearer than before. Even though he was tired and sleep-deprived, the runecrafting process went by smoothly. At this point, the process should have been mentally exhausting and tedious, but he was not faltering.

Finally, after what felt like an eternity of meticulous work, Roland stepped back to admire his creation. The once lifeless golemic arm now pulsed with magical energy, the intricate runes glowed brightly in the dim light of the workshop. It was a sight to behold, a true testament to his skills as a Runesmith.

“Now… for the moment of truth… wiggle your finger.”

As Roland uttered those words, he extended his hand towards the newly inscribed runes on the golemic device. His heart raced with anticipation as he awaited the response. For a moment, nothing happened, and Roland felt a surge of anxiety grip him. But then, slowly and steadily, the index finger of the golemic arm began to move.

It was a small motion, almost unnoticeable at first, but it was there. The finger twitched, responding to Roland's manaless input. Without the use of a mana spell and only charged by a runic battery, it was reacting to his finger movement. A smile crept onto his face as he watched the success of his creation unfold before him, he had been successful and Bernir would soon have his arm.

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