Reincarnation of the Swordmaster Chapter 10

Swordmaster (2)

The nobility are the king’s retainers. Hence, they should not bow their heads to anyone except the king. It was an unspoken rule.

Yet, Leberock bowed his head to Haiban. No one present at the scene was shocked or surprised by this.

Swordmaster. The great realm of the sword. Across the vast empire, there were not more than ten such extraordinary individuals. They were deserving of respect beyond ranks and classes.

“How could this be…”

Caron looked up at Haiban with eyes full of admiration.

Haiban Eiester. A Swordmaster even before Caron was born, from a prestigious family renowned for their swordsmanship. The founder and master of the Eiester family.

“How come you are here…”

“Hm? Ah, it’s been twenty years, so you might not know.”

Upon Caron’s question, Haiban tilted his head towards Leberock.

“I was this man’s father’s guardian.”

“What?”

Caron looked at Leberock with a shocked expression. He had never heard such a thing before. Leberock gave a wry smile.

“There was no need to mention it. Being a guardian wasn’t such a significant relationship. It was just because my father was close friends with Lord Haiban.”

“Your father’s friend was…”

“You wouldn’t know him even if I told you. He wasn’t very famous. Only guys like me know about him, regular folks wouldn’t even be aware of his existence.”

There was something bittersweet about Haiban’s expression as he spoke. Leberock bowed his head as if guessing something.

“You must be very saddened.”

“Huh? No. It’s been twenty years ago. You went to the funeral too, right?”

“Although he was a friend of my father, I didn’t have much of a connection with him. It’s incomparable to the loss you experienced, Lord Haiban. But…”

Leberock frowned. The main reason he hadn’t talked about his relationship with Haiban was different.

“Where had you been? Twenty years ago you suddenly disappeared, I truly thought you had passed away.”

A few months after the funeral, Haiban vanished. There were rumors that he had sensed his time coming and sought a place to die or went in search of a new realm of swordsmanship, but Haiban never appeared. Gradually, he was forgotten.

“I had things to find out.”

“For twenty years?”

“Yes. I’ve been to the ends of the continent and traveled beyond the horizons of the world. Still, I didn’t find everything. Oh, how the world has become.”

Haiban laughed hollowly, a desolation evident in his laughter. As he was about to speak carefully, a sparkle appeared in Haiban’s eyes.

“But let that be, let’s continue our earlier conversation. A child who trained for two months beat that boy?”

“Yes…”

Caron replied hesitantly. Haiban grinned.

“Tell me more about it.”

***

“Hmm.”

The story was over. Haiban nodded slightly with a light smile.

“Well, now.”

His lips curved, his voice spreading with apparent enjoyment.

“That’s quite interesting.”

“My head hurts though.”

Leberock massaged his forehead. Haiban chuckled.

“But it is an interesting story, was it Caron?”

“Yes!”

Caron straightened up eagerly at Haiban’s response, who did not erase his smile as he continued to speak.

“You are strong. It would be tough for even those called first-rate to stand against you. And yet, to be defeated without properly fighting back, by a child less than twenty who barely trained for two months? Kid, let me ask you.”

Haiban leaned forward, his black eyes closing in on Caron.

“What did you feel fighting that child?”

“……”

Caron fell silent.

Asher was indeed strong, but his strength was different from anything he had seen before. His swordsmanship was of the imperial style, pushed to its limits, never missing a beat like a snake striking at revealed weaknesses. It was almost like…

“Watching an experienced veteran.”

“Veteran, you say. A child of such young age a veteran.”

As Haiban’s lips curled up, a killing intent enveloped them. Leberock stepped back, Caron paled, drawing his sword.

“It’s not directed at you, so don’t worry.”

“Yes…”

Leberock swallowed. If it wasn’t directed at them, then it was obviously meant for that child. He couldn’t know the reason behind Haiban’s murderous intent.

“We should meet him first.”

“You intend to meet him?”

“Yes. Ah, but I should meet your daughter first. With that kind of talent, it would be enjoyable to teach her.”

“That’s…!”

Caron, without realizing, shouted out loud. The teachings of a Swordmaster for Leika, whose talent was exceptional but unbeknownst to be that significant, surprised him. Haiban nodded.

“Show me to her.”

***

“Phew. Refreshing.”

Leika shook the water droplets from her hair, smiling broadly. Nothing was as refreshing as a bath after training. Lately, she had been in high spirits as Asher’s training became increasingly smoother.

After meeting her mother, Asher had restrained from direct physical actions, though his words still mercilessly stabbed at the heart. But what of it? If it’s not painful, it’s endurable. She wasn’t so weak as to crumble from just words.

‘I think I’m doing well too.’

She fondled her arm, pleased. Although she hadn’t gained much muscle, it had been a month. She could feel herself getting stronger.

‘I can now last about a minute!’

It might appear meager to others, but for her, it was significant progress. As she was walking lightly through the hallway, Luke approached from the opposite end.

“Brother. Hello.”

Leika waved nonchalantly. She wasn’t particularly interested in Luke. Despite being her brother, she didn’t like his personality, and he was to inherit the estate.

And she would leave. She never expected to see him again anyway. As Luke frowned upon seeing her.

“…Did you go out with that guy again?”

“Playing? It’s training.”

“Training, my foot.”

Luke sneered. He didn’t like Reyka being with Asher.

“Is clinging together with a man part of training? That’s impressive.”

“Think whatever you want.”

Reyka ignored him and walked away. She couldn’t be bothered to talk. At her attitude, Luke twisted his lips.

“Indeed. That lowlife couldn’t possibly have talent. Must be pretty good as a man if you’ve stuck with him for months. To use such a trash, that’s the way it has to be.”

Reyka stopped in her tracks. Her face scrunched up. Usually she would ignore it, but something about this didn’t sit right with her.

“…Asher has talent.”

“Ha. Defending that lowlife? You must be out of your mind.”

“Shut up.”

Reyka snapped sharply. He was still her teacher. She could overlook being insulted herself, but she couldn’t stand by when Asher was insulted. Luke’s smirk grew even cockier.

“Come to your senses. My sister. You’re nobility, and he’s a commoner. Nobles are meant to give, not learn from commoners. You’re lowering the dignity of nobility.”

“Shut it.”

Reyka grabbed her wooden sword. At her stance, Luke unfolded his arms and laughed.

“Ha! You’re going to hit me? Me, the heir and eldest son of a lord? Go ahead. You know what will happen!”

Reyka bit her lip. Luke was the heir. If she injured him, even as the lord’s daughter, she wouldn’t escape punishment. But.

“Do whatever.”

Reyka approached Luke. His decision made Luke step back. His face turned white as he screamed.

“You, you! If you hit me, it won’t end nicely.”

“When did you tell me to hit you, and now you’re asking me to stop?”

Reyka laughed scornfully as she raised her sword. What happened next was not her concern. Luke fell to the ground. As she was about to strike with her sword, a voice rang out.

“The eldest daughter hitting the eldest son. What a rare sight.”

Reyka quickly turned her gaze. Luke shouted with relief.

“Father!”

An old man was grinning as he watched them, and behind him, Leberoke was massaging his forehead with a troubled look.

Reyka groaned.

***

“Quite the interesting family, isn’t it?”

“…Please don’t speak of it.”

Leberoke glared at Reyka. She flinched. It was a close call, but it wasn’t something that could just be overlooked. Luke clung to Leberoke, pointing at Reyka.

“Father! She dared to strike your heir. Quickly, scold her…”

His voice trailed off as he saw an unfamiliar old man gazing at him. The penetrating stare made him lose his nerve.

“Not even worth watching.”

With those emotionless words, Luke shivered. He wanted to retort but Leberoke hurriedly stopped him. The old man, unbothered by Luke’s antics, walked towards Reyka.

“Ah, hello?”

Reyka involuntarily stepped back.

This wasn’t your ordinary old man. The impeccable black hair, beard, and muscles. Such an old man shouldn’t exist. Besides, her father was keeping his distance too.

More than anything, her instincts screamed. The old man in front of her was dangerous. Run away, her senses urged, and Reyka gripped her sword tighter.

The old man marveled.

“Ah, you’re better than I heard. Seeing you for the first time, child.”

Smiling slyly, he reached out his hand towards Reyka’s neck, his movement fluid like water.

Reyka instinctively raised her sword and a scream erupted behind her. She lowered her stance and struck at the wrist reaching for her, and then slammed into the old man’s sternum.

The old man laughed and waved his hand. As his sword slithered like a snake, ready to strike, she thought it alive, dodging and aiming for the sternum.

“You’re impressive.”

The old man exclaimed, grabbing and twisting her wrist. Reyka grimaced in pain and let go of her sword.

“Argh!”

The old man threw the sword on the ground. Reyka rolled her head, remembering what Asher had taught her. What would he do in this situation? Ah. She remembered.

She moved closer to the old man in a reversal, maneuvering her wrist towards his chin. When he inserted his arm to block, she quickly withdrew her hand, grabbing the falling sword.

As she crawled on the ground, she smashed the old man’s Achilles tendon. A dull sound echoed.

“…Huh?”

Reyka groaned. It felt solid. Not like flesh meeting sword, but more like striking iron.

“…This makes no sense.”

The old man muttered as he massaged his arm. Attacking and testing the reactions of promising youths was one of his habits. Yet no one until now had endured his initial move.

But Reyka had. Not only had she withstood, but retaliated. It was a counter only made possible because he allowed it, but it was an unthinkable event.

“Who are you?”

The old man leaned in. Reyka, pale-faced, murmured.

“I’m Reyka Halvark.”

“Not that superficial part. But it seems you don’t know yourself.”

The girl in front of him was strong. A talent like this—if given time, she could rival the master of the fighting style she displayed.

And such a child claims him as her teacher.

“Leberoke. This child’s teacher is that boy?”

“Yes, but…”

“Good.”

Hyban gripped the sword tightly. There was no need to ask for a location. He strode towards the training ground. As he touched the doorknob, he smiled faintly.

Thunk.

The door opened. Inside the training hall, a boy was swinging his sword.

Hyban’s eyes widened.



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