Reincarnation of the Swordmaster Chapter 20

Things forgotten by Humanity (2)

“I don’t want to.”

Rayka firmly refused with a hardened expression. Leberok sighed.

“Rayka, you are now fifteen. It’s time you could be married.”

It was rather late actually. The fact that no political marriages had taken place given her lack of significant power up to age fifteen was proof of how much she was cherished.

“I don’t want to get married yet.”

“I know how you feel. That’s why you’ve refused others’ political strategies.”

But this time, even Leberok had no choice.

“But you know what kind of place this strategy involves.”

“…”

Rayka bit her lip silently. Leberok spoke in a sad but firm tone.

“Just meet him. He might be a good person. Then you can think about refusing or whatever.”

“…Okay.”

Rayka left the room. Her steps plodding, she soon found herself at the training grounds. The sound of swinging swords rang out.

“Hello, Asher.”

“You’re late today.”

“And you’re the same as always.”

“The training must go on.”

Ashan wiped off his sweat. Rayka gripped her sword gloomily.

“I took up the sword because I hate this, and yet this is what it has come to.”

“Because of the political marriage?”

“Yes.”

The village was generally in a gloomy mood. It was because of the proposal that had come to Rayka a few days ago. And from such a place as Iyrack’s domain that it was absolutely impossible to refuse.

No matter how nicely you packaged it, a political marriage meant being sold off. Rayka was well-liked within her own domain, so the mood was understandably somber.

“From a fairly powerful place, I guess?”

It had not been disclosed exactly where. Iyrack’s domain had its connections, and they could refuse similar or slightly superior matches, but this was an exception.

“Yes. You would know. The Count of Bellaturia. That’s the place.”

“…Bellaturia?”

Asher stopped swinging his sword.

“Really?”

“So, it’s not a fake? Ahhh…”

Rayka grabbed her head and sat down in despair.

“Why does a hero involve us in such political strategies… We’re just a rural domain, they’d gain nothing by forging ties with us…”

The house of Bellaturia. Asher knew it too.

Because it was once inhabited by one of the past heroes.

‘That guy’s involved in politics?’

Asher frowned. The lord of Bellaturia, Balvarka Bellaturia.

He wasn’t very impressive—his power was less than a peasant’s, and he wasn’t very smart.

Yet, he was called a hero because Balvarka was a perfect paragon.

“The lord’s coming to you?”

“No, his son. Even if, the lord is fifty, after all.”

Rayka shuddered at the thought.

“I’d rather run away than marry such a man.”

‘Strange.’

Balvarka always talked about it. He would let his son marry whom he wanted.

Nearly impossible for someone born a noble, but Balvarka had made it a reality, and that’s why he was called a hero.

Suddenly, an assassin’s words came to mind.

‘Most of the heroes disappeared twenty years ago.’

“…The lord of Bellaturia is Balvarka?”

“Yes.”

“He disappeared?”

“Well? Never. Oh. About twenty years ago he did go missing for about a week. The lord vanished without a word, causing quite a stir at the time.”

Asher closed his eyes. Missing twenty years ago.

“So what happens now?”

“What does what now? We’ll visit that domain soon, talk things over, schedule a time. That’s how it’ll happen. There’s no other reason to refuse.”

Rayka, the daughter of nobles, was destined to face this eventually. She grimly smiled.

“There’s nothing I can do.”

Her smile contained resignation—a noble’s daughter born to privilege must also accept her duties.

“My teacher but I’ll be leaving soon. Take care.”

If sold in marriage, possibly never to be seen again. Rayka waved with a bittersweet expression.

“It was fun while it lasted.”

“Then for one last time.”

Asher picked up his sword. Rayka stared blankly then burst into laughter.

“Really? Until the very end?”

She laughed and grasped her sword.

“Yes. I might not be able to hold a sword again, so let’s have one last go.”

She charged at Asher with determined eyes.

***

After a round of sparring, Rayka lay gasping on the floor of the training ground when Venesia appeared.

“Poor my child.”

She tearfully caressed Rayka. Seeing Venesia more distressed than the departing Rayka was enough to make Rayka console her.

“Don’t worry, Mother. He’ll be a good person.”

“But still…”

“Mother, you had a political marriage too but you live well. You knew my father before that. But I haven’t even seen his face.”

“He comes from a family called heroes, what could go wrong? Connecting with them can only be good for us.”

It took nearly an hour of reassurance before Venesia calmed down. Her gaze then turned to Asher.

“Asher. I have a request.”

“Please, tell me.”

“Rayka will probably visit their domain in a few days to pay respects. Would you go with her and look after her?”

“Would it be my place to?”

“Yes. You need someone to talk to in a strange place. She won’t be alone, but you’re her closest friend.”

“Understood.”

With no grounds for refusal, Asher agreed.

‘Maybe I should meet him too.’

Balvarka Bellaturia.

A hero of the past.

And one of his close friends.

***

“This is uncomfortable.”

In the carriage heading to the Bellaturia domain, Rayka muttered with a blank expression.

“You two are too quiet.”

“I’m sorry, miss.”

“I’m not exactly talkative, am I?”

“My point.”

In the carriage were Rayka, Asher, and Karan, a knight from their domain. Rayka clicked her tongue.

“Why on earth did you pick these people?”

“The lord himself decided.”

“I get that. But why the two of you?”

Karan had once challenged Asher to a duel and had been defeated without even being able to put up a fight.

There was. The relationship between the two couldn’t even be called satisfactory in jest. And to send Asher and Caron together? It seemed nothing short of malicious.

“It must have been on purpose.”

“What meaning is there for me to come here?”

“There’s no one who acts without meaning. It just appears so to others.”

The lord disliked Asher. Even though Highvane had accepted him as a disciple, he still regarded him with suspicion even half a year later.

Lebrocq was a cautious man. And such people needed certainty.

“I hope you find out what you want.”

At Asher’s words, Caron flinched momentarily. His gaze towards Asher darkened even more.

“Ugh.”

Rayka trembled as if she couldn’t stand it anymore.

“I’ll just go out for some air.”

She fled from the carriage.

The carriage stopped.

Caron was still staring daggers at Asher, his mouth shut tight.

“You.”

His eyes full of hostility.

“Who are you?”

“Asher.”

“Nonsense.”

Caron dismissed it outright. He gripped the handle of his sword.

“I don’t know who you are. But if you plan to harm the domain or the lady, I won’t stand by.”

His eyes, filled with deep guard and distrust, fixed on Asher. Asher responded briefly.

“You, against me?”

Caron had already been defeated by Asher once. However, Caron’s face remained defiant as he gripped the handle tightly.

“A knight’s role is to dedicate his life to his lord.”

Caron was prepared to sacrifice his life.

“Remember this. I do not trust you.”

“Think what you want.”

Asher responded indifferently, but internally he was slightly surprised.

‘He still suspects me?’

He understood the lord’s suspicion, but he did not expect Caron to feel the same. Caron was a loyal knight and swordsman. Even after being personally accepted as a disciple by the Swordmaster, the suspicious looks were unexpected.

‘This makes me curious.’

Who Asher was before reincarnation. It wasn’t normal to be treated as just a troublemaker of the domain; it seemed more like they were seeing a traitor.

“Why the grim faces again?”

Rayka muttered disapprovingly as she re-entered the carriage and looked at Asher and Caron. No one answered her.

“…Let’s just go.”

Rayka slumped down, resigned.

***

Two days had passed since the carriage left. Rayka, seeming bored, flicked her foot towards Caron.

“How much longer till we arrive?”

“We have entered the Count’s territory… it should be about two more days.”

“Not too far, then?”

They had set out two days ago, and with two days left, it took only four days in total.

“Why haven’t there been exchanges when it’s so close?”

“Neither side saw much benefit in it. The hero’s domain is not that large.”

The domains of Iyrack or Bellaturia were content with their current states. With no demanding goods from each other, there was no reason to connect.

“Besides, twenty years ago, Bellaturia ceased all external relations.”

“Why?”

“That, we do not know. It still remains unknown. There’s nobody to communicate with, so we also don’t know how Bellaturia has changed over these twenty years. That’s why this political move was unexpected.”

A domain that had been quiet for twenty years suddenly discussed politics. It was bound to be strange. Rayka clicked her tongue.

“This gives me a headache. But good to know before we arrive. Caron, I have something to ask.”

“Please ask anything.”

Caron was ready to answer.

“I heard Lord Balvarka was called a hero. But why?”

Balvarka was a hero not known for slaying a dragon or defeating a demon king. Nor had he accomplished any great feat.

Thus, very few knew why Balvarka was hailed as hero. There was but one reason.

“Lord Balvarka was an upright noble.”

“That’s it?”

“Yes.”

“Anyone could be called a hero then.”

Rayka scoffed. To be called a hero usually required significant achievements. Merely being kind didn’t qualify someone as a hero. However, Caron shook his head.

“Lord Balvarka was a truly virtuous man, almost like a saint.”

Born as the promising heir of a count’s family, he could have lived a life of nobility, but chose instead to travel around the world witnessing its harsh realities. Returning to his domain, Balvarka resolved to care for all frail and vulnerable people.

And he implemented his will.

“He generously granted land to all who came seeking, and collected only enough taxes to sustain the domain. He himself lived a life akin to a commoner.”

As a son of a count, he cared for people, distributing his wealth to homeless refugees, and sending those who wished for education to academies.

He dismantled his manor and sold all luxury items, using the proceeds to help the needy.

“Bellaturia was a domain without a lord’s castle. The lord himself farmed, eating from the crops he harvested.”

“Really?”

Rayka shook her head in disbelief.

“A noble doing that?”

Although the distinction between nobles and commoners had softened recently, decades ago, there was an absolute gap between them. Thus, Balvarka was considered an exceptional noble.

“That’s why he was called a hero. Hearing of his reputation, thieves and miscreants came. But all were reformed by Lord Balvarka.”

“Is that so?”

Rayka’s expression brightened slightly. Such a virtuous man might make the political maneuver not so bad. Caron smiled faintly.

“That land was without thieves or murderers. It was not quite a paradise on earth, but everyone lived a satisfied life.”

Thump!

“Hehe!”

As Caron finished speaking, the carriage stopped. The driver called out to him in a hurried tone.

“Sir Knight! It’s robbers!”

“…Robbers?”

Caron’s face twisted. Rayka spoke hesitantly.

“I thought there were no robbers?”



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