Reincarnation of the Swordmaster Chapter 36

The sword moves, slicing through the air and sharply twisting to strike. Turning his body, he sweeps broadly to the side, finishing a series of movements before regaining his stance. The Imperial Swordsmanship he always wielded unfolds at his fingertips, so precise that one could learn it perfectly just by following his movements without formal training.

“Will Haiban return soon?”

There was much to discuss. Whether he knew of the Demon King’s uprising, if he was aware of the anomalies with the goblins, and the current status of the hero, among many other things. There were numerous issues to be informed about.

He probably can’t come right away. There are a few days to spare.

Even while musing, Asher continues to perform the engraved movements all over his body, suddenly he halts.

He draws his spear, gripping it with both hands and lowers his stance far more than usual, almost touching the ground with his knees.

Then he steps forward. Dust billows out as the spear pierces through the air, speeding up until it leaves afterimages.

Shriek!

A forceful sound splits the air, and the afterimages fan out into dozens. He was replicating the movements of the goblin he had faced.

“Huh.”

The spear stops. Apart from a slight soreness in his muscles, there were no major issues.

“I wonder if I can make use of this.”

Since the goblin had focused more on techniques than swordsmanship, Asher could utilize the spear techniques just as well. It’s probably the same for the goblin.

Creating afterimages for pure speed. It was a method he had never considered before. It could come in handy, but first, he had to engrave it into his body through repetition. After several attempts, Asher stops his movements.

“This is interesting.”

A smile spread across Asher’s face. He had never had the talent to learn swordsmanship and had not learned anyone else’s techniques before.

But now, he was displaying someone else’s technique in his hands, even if it was just a trick. This unfamiliar sensation was extremely delightful, and the joy of displaying an unknown sword technique was indescribable.

He wanted to continue, but it was nearly time. Asher sheathed his sword as Caron walked into the training ground with a rigid expression.

“Hello.”

“……”

“Are you not going to greet me?”

“…Greetings.”

Caron uttered with a trembling voice as Asher nodded.

“Alright.”

Caron’s face contorted.

***

A noble knight had shown respect to a commoner, and there was a reason for it.

“Take the sword.”

“…Yes.”

With a crumpled face, Caron took the sword.

“It’s hard to say.”

After things had settled down a bit, Caron asked Asher for a favor—to spar with him once a day.

Of course, Asher refused. Like with Raika, he had nothing to learn from Caron. So he set a condition.

“From now on, address me with respect.”

Caron was a knight, not someone who was used to paying respects to commoners. Naturally, he was expected to refuse, but surprisingly, he agreed.

“You are a disciple of the Swordmaster Haiban. Showing respect is not shameful. Moreover.”

Caron said seriously.

“Sparrying with you is worth it.”

“Then come.”

Asher beckoned, and Caron rushed at him with a short kiai. His hands moved, and his sword traced a path. Fast and dazzling swordsmanship.

Clang.

And it’s blocked. The dozens of changing movements were easily broken by light hand movements. Caron tries to correct his collapsed posture, but Asher’s foot moves, and with a dull impact sound, Caron grits his teeth.

Caron thrusts his sword aiming for the neck, but Asher narrowly dodges by tilting his body.

A sword once drawn must be retracted. Asher closes in as Caron pulls back his arm, striking at the neck.

“Ugh!”

“Not bad. But it’s not overwhelming talent.”

“I’ve never heard that I lack talent before.”

“It’s always relative.”

Caron coughed out and gripped his sword again.

An hour passed. Caron sat down, breathing hard. He looked at Asher with awe.

“I’ve traveled the world and seen many people. There were very few who were superior to me… but you trample me with just the Imperial Swordsmanship.”

Caron had also trained in the swordsmanship of heroes, capable of showing otherworldly movements. However, against Asher’s Imperial Swordsmanship, it was utterly powerless.

Asher casually replied.

“Your talent is strictly within the human realm.”

Caron possessed top-level talent among ordinary people. Compared to others, he would stand out anywhere.

But that’s just it. Not like the monstrous talents like Raika.

“With your kind of talent, Imperial Swordsmanship alone is enough. Maybe not for someone of Raika’s level.”

“The lady… is a monster.”

“The world is wide, and all those called heroes in the past were like that.”

“You are.”

Caron started to speak but then shut his mouth.

“It’s meaningless.”

“Good to know. That’s it for today’s spar. Now.”

Asher gestured backwards.

“Take care of them.”

“Again today?”

Caron gave a wry smile. Outside the training ground’s door, some kids, around ten years old, were watching them with bright eyes.

***

Asher had fought and defeated a goblin. All the villagers had witnessed his feat.

That’s why a few kids started following him around. Caron walked to the door. The kids flinched but did not run away.

“This isn’t the place for…

“What are you doing?”

“Just, just watching.”

“There’s nothing here worth watching. Go back.”

The child turned his head quickly. Another child poked him in the back.

“Hey, this is your chance. Speak up.”

“But…”

The children whispered among themselves, but even Asher, who was standing far away, could hear them. Soon, one of the children made up his mind and approached Asher promptly.

“Sir, Sir Asher.”

“What?”

“Please take me as your disciple!”

The child bowed his head. Asher looked down at the child with a grim expression.

“What do you want to be taken as?”

“A disciple!”

“Disciple of what?”

“Of the sword, of course!”

The child clenched his fist firmly.

“I want to be strong like you, Sir Asher!”

“Like me….”

Asher murmured with a complicated expression.

“That shouldn’t be your goal.”

“Why not! I heard that you defeated a goblin! You’re strong!”

“It’s different.”

His strength was an accumulation over time. It wasn’t a strength that matched his age.

“Ask Karon instead. He’s strong.”

“I don’t want to! He’s weaker than you!”

Although Karon’s face crumpled miserably at the child’s words, he couldn’t refute because it was true. All he could do was bear it inwardly.

‘If he becomes a soldier later, I’ll make him train twice as hard.’

Regardless of what Karon thought, the child was full of enthusiasm and seemed unlikely to give up easily.

However, Asher no longer intended to accept disciples.

“Let me ask you one thing, child. What style of swordsmanship do you wish to learn?”

“I want to learn the swordsmanship of Lord Hyban!”

The child answered with sparkling eyes. Asher responded calmly.

“Then you should definitely go to Karon.”

“Why, why?”

“Do you think you can learn the Imperial Sword Technique?”

“The Imperial Sword Technique?”

The child replied hesitantly. Of course, he wasn’t interested. Like others, he wanted to show off his skills with flashy swordplay. The child had come to Asher because he was the strongest, not to learn the Imperial Sword Technique.

Asher coldly dismissed the child.

“Then go.”

The abruptness made the child falter.

“You will eventually be disappointed with me and leave.”

Dejected, the child trudged back to his friends. Karon approached quietly.

“You are harsh. You accepted the young lady.”

“She was already following her own path. I am not a teacher, merely an advisor.”

He was a captain of the guard. Many had asked to be his disciples, and he had accepted them.

And most of them had left. For one reason; they differed from what they expected.

“I’m tired of it now.”

People built expectations and then were disappointed. He was not normally a man of shifting moods, but after hundreds of repetitions, even he felt worn out.

‘Only one followed me.’

He must be in his forties by now. Since he retired, there had been no contact, so he had no way of knowing if he was alive or dead.

‘He must be alive, cunning as he was.’

***

A week later, Raika got up from her sickbed and the first place she went was to the training ground.

“Already?”

“Hello?”

As Raika warmed up, she greeted Asher, who furrowed his brow slightly.

“You should rest more.”

“It’s okay. It’s okay. Didn’t you also train immediately after that fight? You’re one to talk.”

“…….”

Indeed, he wasn’t one to talk. Asher swung his sword silently. Watching him, Raika suddenly spoke.

“Oh. Did you hear? They’ve decided who from the Empire is coming.”

“It’s Hyban, isn’t it?”

“Even though it’s your teacher, you don’t use honorifics… No? It’s someone else.”

“Someone else?”

Asher stopped his sword and frowned. They said they’d tell him everything next time, and now they’re not coming.

“So who is it?”

Raika chuckled awkwardly at his chiding question.

“The captain of the guard.”

“…What?”

“The captain of the guard is coming. Don’t ask why; I don’t know either. Father is also puzzled.”

“I’m puzzled too.”

The captain of the guard, someone who filled the role he had served for many years. He wasn’t sure how to react.

“It’s odd, right? There’s no reason for someone in such a position to be interested in coming to a rural estate like this.”

“Did you get the name?”

He assumed it wouldn’t be someone he knew. When he retired, he chose his successor, but that successor was also quite old by now. By this time, he should be retired too, watching his grandchildren grow up.

Asher steadied his heart; after all, the person he knew had died. It would be a completely new person, he thought. But that assumption was shattered by Raika’s words.

“The captain of the guard is famous, you know. Don’t you remember? Ah, right. You lost your memory. Anyway, it’s not a human.”

“…Not human?”

“Yeah. An elf. A high elf, actually.”

Could it be?

Asher closed his eyes.

It couldn’t be. High elves were rare, but there was only one elf he could think of who could be a captain, and surely it couldn’t be that child.

“…What’s the name?”

“It’s complicated. Ah! Arueina Varsilis. It must be that. …Why that face?”

“No. Nothing.”

Asher groaned. Why that child?

He had never married, but he had taken in quite a few foster sons and daughters. He enjoyed teaching them, finding joy in small ways.

Arueina Varsilis. The last high elf of the Black Forest. She was one of the foster daughters he had raised.



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