Reincarnation of the Swordmaster Chapter 2

Reincarnation (1)

The corridor came into view. Holding a branch in one hand, I looked around. The walls were adorned with elaborate patterns, and vases were placed on tables scattered about. Looking down at the floor, I saw bricks neatly arranged in rows.

I grimaced. It felt awkward. Nothing seemed real; the sensations were muddled, like an illusion.

I walked on, moving through the corridor and out to the entrance of the building.

A girl in her mid-teens appeared before the boy.

“Hello, Asher.”

“……”

He just stared at the girl silently. Her red hair and small nose were cute, but she would likely be called beautiful in just a few more years.

She was dressed in comfortable clothes, a sword hanging at her waist, sweat beading on her forehead, possibly from training just moments before.

It was a face I had never seen before. My senses still seemed to float in thin air. The girl looked at the boy with an ambiguous expression.

“Woke up late? Are you neglecting your duties now?”

“……”

He didn’t respond. The girl clicked her tongue. Sympathy flickered in her golden eyes.

“Whatever. Just do as you wish. It’s for your parents to deal with anyway.”

She walked back inside. He gazed after her, murmuring softly.

“Asher.”

The girl had called him Asher.

‘That’s my name.’

It felt strange. My head throbbed. I looked reflexively at the branch in my hand, and the headache ebbed.

“……”

Asher stepped forward, walking out of the mansion and onto the road.

Once again, the scenery mixed together. It was a somewhat tidy setting. Various people hustled through the streets, including a man selling fruit and children playing tag.

A bakery lady with a kindly smile handed out bread to shabby children, and an old man, leaning on a rocking chair, watched the kids with a contented gaze.

Familiar yet awkward surroundings. Asher moved slowly, blending into the backdrop. People occasionally clicked their tongues at him, but he ignored them and kept walking.

He soon reached the entrance to his estate.

“What’s this, Asher? What brings you here?”

The guard at the gate frowned, his disdain unabashed. Asher spoke.

“I want to go to the back mountain.”

“You’re late. You were barely tolerable before, but today is particularly bad. Remember, Asher. The lord protects you, not because he favors you, but because no one else does.”

The man spoke sternly.

“The lady shows interest in you out of mere curiosity and pity. Don’t be mistaken.”

“……”

Asher remained silent. There was nothing to say. The gates opened.

He climbed towards the nearby mountain. The memories were fading, but his soul seemed to know the way, his steps unhesitating.

After a while, he stopped at a clearing midway up the mountain.

“Whew.”

He leaned against a tree, his eyes carrying a touch of nostalgia.

This had always been his training ground. For over ten years, this spot was more home to him than his actual home. There were no signs of recent training. The clearing he had made was gone, only densely packed trees remained, barely enough space to wield a sword.

Nothing matched his memories, but his body accepted it. The air felt unchanged, and the distinct smell of the grass lightened his heart.

“Hmm.”

He steadied his breath and picked up a wooden stick. Its roughness was palpable in his grip. With a swing down.

Whoo.

The air compressed, rough against his hand, a slight grimace crossing his face from the pain. But he shook it off, refining his movement with the sword further.

Imperial Swordsmanship.

A technique emblematic of the empire, available to every citizen. The emperor who ruled the continent fifty years ago was a devout follower of martial arts. Hence, he created a systematic and solid swordsmanship widely distributed among the populace, marking the start of ‘The Era of Knights.’

The sword swung smoothly through the air—clearly the pinnacle of control, a technique even the most accomplished would admire. Yet it was limited in scope.

The power of Imperial Swordsmanship lay in its simplicity. It was balanced, without sharp flaws or explosive features.

Ordinary and plain, at times it was even called the ‘Marketplace Swordsmanship.’

Now the sword moved more aggressively, carving large patterns in the space.

He widens his stance, securing his distance. He had practiced the Imperial Sword Technique all his life, from the age of ten until just before his death. Among the names he was called, there was the nickname ‘Imperial Sword Technique,’ as if he was the sword technique itself. Occasionally, some would click their tongues and remark that the Imperial Sword Technique had clear limits and suggested he should practice other sword techniques. He agreed with them, but he still practiced the Imperial Sword Technique. It wasn’t out of petty pride or arrogance.

“It’s just that my talent is lacking.”

He slowly moves his arms, drawing a perfect circle without distortion. The wind follows his sword, causing leaves and grass to move in response. It wasn’t that he hadn’t learned other sword skills. There had been plenty of opportunities, especially since he held the position of captain of the guard. However, he quit all of them in less than a month. It wasn’t a lack of effort; he simply lacked the talent.

He turns his body. The formed air currents do not dissipate but begin to wrap around him. The grass slowly leans outward.

Sword techniques are skills to surpass human limits. There was no room for anything beyond talent in that. He lacked the talent to train with other swords. The Imperial Sword Technique was incredibly simple, which made it the only technique he could master. That’s why he trained in it.

The wind violently shakes the leaves. The circle that began turning soon showed a consistent shape, and a small storm formed around him, reaching its climax.

Whoosh.

The air condenses. Leaves fall and grasses are pushed back. He opens his eyes and lets out a hollow laugh.

“What is this…”

Even when an unknown girl gave him a look of sympathy, when familiar yet different people appeared in familiar scenes, and when a guard looked at him with contempt, the world felt distant until he swung his sword, and it all came clearly into focus.

And that sensation informed him of the truth.

This is reality.

“What could it be?”

A hand is visible. More a boy’s soft and tender hand than a youth’s. The palm barely had any calluses; perhaps it had not seen hard work. Even the light sway he had just performed had left it red and strained.

Weak.

He had never stopped training since he was ten. His body had no useless fat, and his muscles were impenetrable to needles. In comparison, this body was far too fragile.

“…I need to understand the situation.”

He closes his eyes. He wields his sword in the forest to realize his reality, returning to the place he originally was. Along the way back, he felt occasional glances but had no leisure to care about them.

“I am dead.”

His life had come to an end. Thinking about it, he had lived quite long. He had surpassed eighty, longer than most. His friends, who teased him about dying young, had died before him. But that wasn’t what mattered now.

“And yet, I am alive.”

Laughter escapes him. Is this the afterlife? Is living anew in a new world what follows death?

“That can’t be right.”

Though much has changed, this place was where he had lived as a child. It was hard to believe, but the conclusion was one:

Reincarnation. Living life anew. But why.

“I desire nothing.”

Suddenly, he recalls a fairy tale he saw in his childhood. A young man with many regrets died and was brought back to life. The young man took it as an opportunity to resolve all his regrets. But that wasn’t him. He had no lingering attachments to his life.

“I didn’t live a life passionate enough to leave regrets.”

Others might deny it, but that was his belief. He had spent his lifetime swinging his sword. Even though he hadn’t reached the pinnacle, he was content.

“No.”

He had reached the realm. The light of the aura, the pure white color, the brilliant potential that the sword harbored.

Swordmaster.

He had devoted decades to the sword and finally arrived.

“Ha, hahaha…”

A satisfied laugh escapes. Tears well up in his eyes.

“I thought I had let go, but it seems it still remains…”

There might be questions about why the aura was white, but for now, he simply wants to rejoice in that fact. After chewing over his emotions for a moment, he looks at the wooden stick.

It was a present from his younger sister on his tenth birthday. Reflecting on it, this stick had turned his life upside down.

“……”

Why he had been revived, he doesn’t know. Perhaps someone intended to use him for their purposes, or perhaps it was a trick of the gods.

But it doesn’t matter. There was only one thing for him to do.

He picked up the sword.



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