Reincarnation of the Swordmaster Chapter 25

What They Believed (1)

“Yes, you were the problem.”

The doppelganger clenched his fist. Asher calmly walked towards him and drew his sword.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment.”

The doppelganger’s true identity was revealed. Surely, he would flee. That was the moment Asher had been waiting for.

It was his plan, and so far, it had been flawless.

“Damn humans. It’s all your fault.”

“Don’t blame humans, you monster.”

Asher gripped his sword tighter. The doppelganger chuckled darkly.

“You think you can kill me?”

The doppelganger’s physical abilities were inferior to those of Caron. And Asher had defeated someone like Caron.

However, the doppelganger could read human memories.

“Yes. I was curious, but it worked out well. Human, you knew about us.”

They were expelled when the Demon King was vanquished. That was the popular belief, and it was a story from fifty years ago. People had forgotten about them.

Yet a mere child under twenty knew about them. The doppelganger’s eyes widened.

“Show me your memories.”

Asher’s memories slowly flowed into the doppelganger’s mind. Asher watched him quietly as the doppelganger gasped.

“Unbelievable. I never knew humans could be worse than monsters.”

“Hmm.”

Before entering this body, no one had spared many words about Asher’s past. If the doppelganger was impressed, it must have been significant.

‘Must have been quite something.’

“…You.”

The doppelganger’s voice hardened as he read the memories.

“You, you, you! You!”

Finally understanding, the doppelganger stepped back in horror. Asher grabbed his head and smashed it into a tree, breaking it with a loud crash.

“Screaaaah!”

“I may have met you before. But since I’ve encountered countless of your kind, it’s only polite to greet you as always.”

Asher tightened his grip. The doppelganger’s eyes split.

“Nice to meet you again, doppelganger.”

***

“So what did he say?”

Reyka asked with a wrinkled face. Asher replied nonchalantly,

“I explained everything. You’re smart enough to understand, right?”

“…How on earth is anyone supposed to understand this?”

Reyka clutched her head.

“I’m going crazy.”

It hadn’t even been a day. Caron had suddenly said they needed to flee, then re-entered the castle, and soon after, Boros had brought them looking shabby.

The state of the castle was a mess. Soldiers groaned, and the office was partially destroyed. Reyka had urgently asked Asher, but his response was even more baffling.

“Let’s try to sort this out.”

“Go ahead.”

“…Borbalka was the doppelganger?”

“Yes.”

“And Boros drove him away.”

“Right. You got it all.”

“I don’t even know what I’m saying.”

Reyka gritted her teeth.

“The great hero, and now a doppelganger! But since when?”

“I don’t know.”

Asher wasn’t sure himself.

“And doppelgangers are monsters, right? Weren’t they all driven from this world?”

“That’s what I thought.”

But that wasn’t the case. Umpert and the doppelganger both had appeared suddenly.

‘The hero.’

He had defeated the Demon King. What could all this mean? Reyka slumped down with a pale face.

“I’m losing my mind.”

“Let’s discuss it with Boros.”

“Of course, we need to talk. What a mess this trip has become.”

Reyka’s hair was disheveled.

“Okay, I understand. But there’s one thing I’m curious about,”

Reyka pointed her finger while resting her head on her knee.

“Why is Caron like this?”

Caron sat slumped against the wall, motionless as if dead. Reyka muttered unhappily.

“Why is he half-dead?”

“I don’t know.”

Asher had heard the conversation with the doppelganger. He could guess, but that was it.

“It’s a problem he must solve himself.”

At that moment, someone knocked on the door. A pale-faced maid opened it.

“Is Reyka here?”

“Ah, yes.”

“The lord has summoned you. Would you come?”

“Alright.”

Reyka followed the maid who hesitated and glanced at Asher.

“Uh, Mr. Asher too… you might want to join…”

“Why?”

“Probably something to discuss.”

Asher followed Reyka’s lead.

“Let’s go.”

***

“I’m sorry.”

In the ruined office, Boros awaited in ragged appearance – concerning enough to worry Reyka.

“Are you alright?”

“Not really.”

Boros managed a bitter smile. Even as a noble, there were duties he had to perform. He glanced at Asher.

“You must have heard roughly from Mr. Asher.”

“..sir?”

It was odd for a noble to use respectful language to a commoner. Boros casually replied,

“Yes. Is there a problem?”

“No, not at all.”

Reyka shook her head.

“Yes, I heard.”

“I’m sorry. You’ve come all this way to see such an unpleasant sight.”

“What exactly happened?”

“My father was the doppelganger. That’s the end of it.”

“Since when…”

“About twenty years ago, I suspect. My father began to act strangely then.”

Boros muttered with self-mockery.

“For twenty years, I called something not my father, dad.”

Boros laughed alone. The dangerous atmosphere left Reyka silently closing her mouth. Boros eventually stopped laughing and continued with a sad face.

“I’m sorry, but the political marriage can’t continue.”

“Excuse me?”

“The marriage was arranged by my father. But, it wasn’t my real father; it was the doppelganger.”

Boros was not mad enough to proceed with a monster’s arrangement.

“Ah…”

“For that reason, I deeply apologize.”

“No.”

Reyka’s face brightened. She had not wanted the arranged marriage either.

There was no good news. There was just one troubling point.

“Why would the doppelganger seek political strategy?”

“That part is also a mystery to us. It’s odd to resort to politics now after all these years of isolating ourselves from the outside world.”

Asher listened in silence.

“So, what do you plan to do now?”

“We need to open up again. And we plan to send someone to the empire to report that monsters have appeared. And that my father… was an impostor.”

Reyka asked cautiously,

“Are you planning to announce it?”

The great hero had been a doppelganger for twenty years. The repercussions of revealing this to the empire would be enormous. It could shake the entire domain. The legitimacy of their lineage would be questioned.

Other nobles might have concealed such matters, but Boros nodded.

“Of course. This matter might not only concern our domain.”

“…Ah.”

“I would normally offer to send you off, but… I don’t think we can afford such courtesies right now. I apologize.”

“No, I wouldn’t expect such things given the circumstances.”

The Belaturia domain was on the verge of collapse. Boros had to pour his all into mending it. Reyka stood up.

“May I have a word with Asher?”

“With Asher?”

“Yes.”

“…Okay.”

Reyka left without much hesitation.

Now, only Asher and Boros were left in the room.

“First, I must thank you, Asher.”

Breaking the silence, Boros spoke respectfully to a commoner, a courtesy befitting Asher’s value.

“You helped us uncover the doppelganger.”

Boros had not noticed the doppelganger for twenty years. Without Asher, he might never have realized.

In that context, Asher managed not only to notice but also to reveal the doppelganger’s true identity. It was not an exaggeration to call him the savior of the domain.

However, complex emotions filled Boros’s eyes as he looked at Asher.

“The decisive moment was when you mentioned the past incident.”

A past event when Boros followed Balbaca and met heroes.

Boros had remembered it incorrectly, and the doppelganger had read those incorrect memories.

Asher then pointed out the distortion in those memories.

“You knew about the past, a time I couldn’t even remember properly, even though you are younger than me.”

Then, it was a private gathering among close friends, not known to others not involved.

“Who are you, really?”

Tension filled the room.

***

It was a piercing question. And one Asher had anticipated.

His answer was predetermined.

“Goodness…”

Hearing Asher’s explanation, Boros exclaimed,

“You were a disciple of Highvan!”

“Yes. He knew the world was becoming strange and shared his concerns with me.”

“Indeed, Highvan… But this is unexpected. He shared such personal matters with you.”

“That indicates how much the world has changed.”

“You’re right about that.”

Boros grimaced.

“If Asher is Highvan’s disciple, then that explains everything.”

Of course, it was a lie. Highvan had never spoken to Asher about that incident.

The reason Asher knew was because he had been present.

However, it was easier to deflect this way. Being burned at the stake as a minion of the devil was the best-case scenario if he claimed to be reincarnated.

The disciple of the Swordmaster. Proficiency in extensive knowledge was generally unquestioned with that title.

‘Since I’ve accepted the role of disciple, I might as well use it.’

It would be a headache for Highvan to find out, but that was a problem for later. Boros seemed to accept this, closing his eyes.

“I understand. I apologize for my unwarranted suspicion.”

“No, your suspicion was correct. What are your plans now?”

“…….”

Boros silently looked out the window at the town. Watching the moving villagers, he clenched his fist with determination.

“I am no longer just an heir, but a lord.”

With the impersonating doppelganger gone, Boros naturally became the ruler of Belaturia.

“As a lord, I must take care of them.”

Boros rose from his seat.

“Once again, I sincerely thank you.”

Noblemen should not kneel to anyone but the emperor. That was an unspoken rule of the empire. But now, Boros, a nobleman, knelt before Asher, a commoner.

“For you are the savior of Belaturia. Our domain will forever speak your name and praise you.”

Boros spoke with unwavering conviction.

“You are the hero of our domain, Asher.”

To a great hero, the emperor’s authority meant nothing. Asher shook his head.

“I am not a hero.”

“No. You are indeed worthy. No matter what anyone says, in our domain, you are a hero greater than any. Even if Highvan himself were here, his achievements would be eclipsed by yours.”

“…….”

Asher felt the praise was excessive, but Boros obviously did not.

“Whatever you desire, as long as it is within my power, I will make it happen.”

“Then, one thing.”

It wasn’t originally his intent. Yet, as the world was twisted, he had to keep a watchful eye.

“You mentioned having an information network.”

“Yes. It’s not large, but I maintain it personally.”

“That network.”

Asher spoke softly.

“Could you lend it to me?”

“The information network?”

Boros tilted his head slightly in confusion.

“Why would you need it?”

“It’s for personal use.”

“Yes. It is no longer necessary for me… I understand.”

Boros nodded.

“I shall lend it to you.”



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