While Michael enjoyed the soothing embrace of the hot spring, Arlen proceeded to present the artifact to the elders in a lavishly adorned grand hall. The hall was an architectural masterpiece, with graceful arches and columns adorned with intricate elven patterns. Crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling, casting a gentle, enchanting glow over the room. The floor was made of polished marble that reflected the light like a mirror.

Seated around a round table at the center of the hall were several elders, distinguished by their age and attire. They wore robes adorned with gems and diamonds, symbols of their high status within House Silverbrook. At the head of the table sat Galathor Silverbrook, the golden-haired elf who led the family. His chair was taller than the others, signifying his elevated position.

When Arlen entered the grand hall, his voice carried a tone of surprise, still not entirely believing that the Blacksmith Guild had managed to complete the artifact so quickly.

"My Lord, the artifact is ready," Arlen announced, his voice tinged with amazement at the guild's unexpected efficiency.

Upon hearing this, the elders displayed various degrees of surprise. However, Galathor Silverbrook remained composed and unruffled.

"Have you witnessed its functionality?" he inquired calmly, his eyes fixed on Arlen. His authority in the family was unmistakable.

"Yes, my lord," Arlen confirmed.

"About time," a silver-haired elf among the elders muttered, her patience evidently worn thin.

"Does it function according to the descriptions in the parchments? The Blacksmith Guild has provided us with numerous excuses," another elder questioned, skepticism in his voice.

"I have personally witnessed its capabilities, Elder Elowen," Arlen another elder questioned, skepticism in his voice.

"I have personally witnessed its capabilities, Elder Elowen," Arlen replied firmly.

"Then it is high time we present it to him," Lord Galathor declared, his voice commanding. He had little patience for details and sought results rather than being bogged down in details.

"Arlen, come with me," Galathor instructed, rising from his ornate throne. He then turned his gaze to the gathered elders.

"Strengthen the security. They will stop at nothing to reclaim the artifact," Galathor cautioned, and the elders nodded in unanimous agreement.

With that, Galathor signaled Arlen to follow him, and they departed the grand hall together.

Unknown to both Arlen and Galathor, Michael was meticulously observing their every move through the Spyder's feed. As he watched, the two elves progressed through the elegantly decorated corridors, finally coming to a stop before a striking portrait of a silver-haired man.

Galathor reverently placed his hand on the portrait.

"Vivinias." softly uttered the word. In response, the man in the portrait's eyes gleamed with life. The portrait then shifted open, revealing a hidden passageway. With the secret revealed, Arlen and Galathor proceeded down the passage, and the portrait seamlessly closed behind them.

The pathway they walked through was brightly lit, creating an ethereal ambiance. Arlen marveled at the secret hall, despite having seen it several times before. The hall's ceiling was enchanted to display dark rain clouds, and the walls appeared perpetually wet as if enduring a heavy downpour. Even the air in the hall felt damp and cool.

"Stay back," Galathor instructed calmly once they reached the center of the hall. He then took an elegant dagger and cut his palm, letting droplets of blood fall onto the ground. Upon contact, the blood sizzled like hot oil, and the clouds above rumbled ominously.

Arlen stood silently, clutching the artifact in his hand, as the room seemed to close in on them. The mounting pressure made it almost suffocating, but he maintained his composure. Suddenly, one of the clouds floated closer to Arlen and Galathor, gradually expanding until it appeared gigantic. The two elves seemed puny in its presence.

As Michael observed this breathtaking display, a face began to form within the cloud.

"Lord Rainar," both Galathor and Arlen immediately knelt in a show of profound respect before the imposing visage, revealing that they were in the presence of none other than the God of Rain, Rainar.

As Rainar manifested in the form of a face within the cloud, heavy rain cascaded down upon them, rejuvenating Arlen and Galathor. The downpour infused them with a surge of revitalizing energy, making Arlen feel stronger and more powerful. His worries seemed to wash away with the cleansing rain.

"Lord Rainar, I have completed the task you assigned to me. The artifact is ready," Galathor reported with utmost respect.

"Good news. My patience was wearing thin," Rainar responded, his voice resonating like thunderclouds—powerful and commanding.

"Show me how it works," Rainar ordered, prompting Arlen and Galathor to rise to their feet. Galathor retrieved Kranar's crystal from his space ring and handed it over to Arlen.

Arlen, having observed Michael's actions closely, duplicated them. He placed the crackling blue crystal atop the artifact, which promptly began to absorb the lightning energy. Rainar's ethereal face watched with unwavering patience as the artifact devoured the energy.

Once the deep blue crystal had completely lost its glow, Arlen pressed the button, and a formidable, thick bolt of lightning surged from the artifact. The hall's atmospheric clouds seamlessly absorbed the lightning bolt, leaving no trace of its existence.

"I am impressed, Galathor," Rainar commended, his face showing no emotion but a subtle undercurrent of delight in his voice.

"This artifact will render Kranar's angels and his power obsolete. The downfall of his domain is imminent," Rainar declared with a chilling tone.

"We are honored to serve you, Lord Rainar," Galathor replied with unwavering loyalty.

"Kranar's worshippers are in Goldspire, searching for this artifact. What of the blacksmiths who forged it?" Rainar inquired, his penetrating gaze focused on the two elves.

"Lord Rainar, the blacksmith who brought us the artifact didn't mention anything about Kranar's worshippers. In fact, he's currently relaxing in our hot spring," Arlen responded, explaining the situation to Rainar.

"You are wise to keep him within your compound. Order him to forge more of these artifacts, hundreds of them. Provide them with anything they require," Rainar commanded Galathor and Arlen.

"That will be done, Lord Rainar," Galathor assured.

"Send your men to protect them from Kranar's assassins. Once they've completed the artifacts, eliminate all the blacksmiths who possess knowledge of this endeavor," Rainar issued a chilling and ruthless directive, revealing his darker side.

"Consider it done, Lord Rainar," Galathor responded resolutely, while Arlen, though unwilling, dared not show any emotion or question a god's command. He felt conflicted about having to eliminate the blacksmiths, especially Rurik, whom he considered a friend. Yet, he knew he had no power to defy a god's will.

"Do not fail me, Galathor," Rainar's firm voice resonated through the hall before his face in the cloud vanished. The rain ceased, and the hall's atmosphere returned to normal.

Galathor and Arlen returned to the grand hall, only to find it empty. The elders had apparently dispersed after their meeting with Rainar.

"See to Lord Rainar's order," Galathor instructed Arlen as they stood in the empty hall.

Arlen hesitated for a moment before voicing his concern. "Is it wise to kill all the blacksmiths?"

In response, Galathor swiftly slapped Arlen across the face and spoke in a cold, unwavering tone. "Do not question our god's will."

Arlen's face reddened, and he bowed apologetically. "Forgive me, my lord."

Galathor continued, "You will see to it that the blacksmiths forge hundreds of artifacts. Keep them safe until they complete their work, and be vigilant for Kranar's assassins. You should personally ensure the blacksmiths stay alive and complete the artifacts."

"Yes, my lord," Arlen nodded in acknowledgment, understanding the gravity of their duty and the consequences of failure.

As Arlen entered the hot springs area, he spotted the blacksmith, John, and his peculiar pet, the three-headed serpent, luxuriating in the soothing waters. Michael was reclined, eyes closed, seemingly lost in relaxation. Arlen wondered if he had dozed off.

With a subtle clap, Arlen summoned one of the elven girls who tended to the hotspring. She approached him with an air of grace and respect, her attire revealing her shoulders and arms.

"My lord, how may I be of service?" the elven girl inquired, her voice soft and respectful.

Arlen nodded at Michael. "Bring the blacksmith to my room," he instructed, his tone carrying a sense of urgency.

The elven girl acknowledged the command with a curtsey and made her way toward Michael, her bare feet making no sound on the polished stone tiles. Arlen, satisfied with the instructions given, exited the hot springs area and headed toward his room. Meanwhile, the elven girl approached Michael, ready to relay Arlen's request.

Eventually, Michael arrived at Arlen's room, a spacious and elegant chamber adorned with elven craftsmanship. The walls were adorned with intricate carvings, and soft, ambient lighting gave the room a warm and inviting atmosphere. A large, ornate wooden table sat at the center, behind which Arlen was seated.

"Sit," Arlen gestured to a chair on the other side of the table, inviting Michael to take a seat before him. Michael complied, sitting down and maintaining an air of respectfulness.

Without delay, Michael settled into the plush chair opposite Arlen. He regarded the elf with a mixture of curiosity and feigned surprise as Arlen began to speak.

"I've decided to order the Blacksmith Guild to forge a hundred more of those artifacts," Arlen declared, his eyes locked onto Michael's.

Michael widened his eyes, pretending to be taken aback. "A hundred more? That's a substantial order," he replied, trying to sound incredulous.

Arlen nodded firmly. "Indeed, it is. House Silverbrook will provide everything your guild needs and pay whatever price you ask. We need these artifacts urgently, and your guild has proven its expertise."

Michael kept up the act and decided to utilize the opportunity.

Michael continued to push his point while maintaining his facade of respectfulness. "Other than the required metals and resources, the guild would need to invest an extensive amount of time to fulfill your order. Rurik allowed me to speak on his behalf, but we both understand that taking on this task would hinder us from completing other commitments to our clients. Furthermore, the Divine Tower auction is swiftly approaching, and we're already dealing with a significant backlog of orders," he emphasized.

"How much you need?" Arlen, aware that whatever amount they paid the blacksmiths, it would ultimately be recoverable over the blacksmiths' lifeless bodies, didn't bother to negotiate. Michael, fully aware of this, seized the opportunity.

"Five million," Michael stated with unwavering confidence.

Arlen, despite everything, was stunned to hear such an outrageous price. He couldn't help but growl, "Five million? Brat, are you pulling my legs?"

To this, Michael simply smiled and replied calmly, "Like I said, Lord Arlen, I'll forge anything you want as long as the pay is good. This is my price, and thus the guild's price. This is the best offer I could give you."

Inside his mind, Arlen fumed at the audacity of the demand. "Maybe you deserve to die, you greedy bastard," he thought.

"Deal, but I want to personally see you and the blacksmiths solely working on our project. That means I'll be watching over you every damn second," Arlen growled.