Reincarnation of the Swordmaster Chapter 4

Reincarnation (3)

“Twenty years.”

The void that spanned from his death to today. What could it mean? Simply put, one could say he was revived twenty years later. Since reincarnation was unprecedented, any method would hardly be surprising.

Therefore, he doubted. If he had a purpose such as revenge, he would have simply rejoiced in his reincarnation without much question and strived to achieve what he couldn’t in his previous life.

But he had no grand purpose. His life had been satisfying, with no regrets. For him, reincarnation wasn’t a stroke of luck, but an unknown event.

“…Your expression is really serious. Are you okay?”

Reika hesitated before asking. When he touched his mouth, it was stiff.

‘I thought I had managed my emotions, but perhaps not.’

Asher smiled faintly.

“It’s just that my memories are a bit confusing. I’m fine now.”

“That’s good to hear. Anything else you want to ask?”

“Yes. Ah, there are two things left. Your family name is Halvarck, correct?”

“That’s right.”

She nodded. It was the same surname as the lord who had ruled over their lands since his childhood. Knowing this brought him a strange sense of relief.

“And… how did the second generation pass away?”

“He went to conquer the west and got caught up in a battle.”

“Is that so…”

Asher muttered, feeling troubled. The child he had seen grow up and taught, known as the Iron-blooded Emperor, was just a friend’s son to him.

“It’s okay now.”

“If you’re tired, rest. I’ll talk today.”

“No, as an employee, I need to fulfill my duties. Then I’ll keep our deal. Miss.”

Raphenia’s swordsmanship.

It was a technique created by Raphenia, who had been a master in the north, and was popular among female warriors due to her being one of the few female heroes. However, very few had trained it to the point of practical use.

People thought it was a matter of talent, and that wasn’t entirely wrong. Swordsmanship was about exceeding human limits. There’s no room for anything but talent in that.

But there was another reason. And it wasn’t a problem with the students.

“It would be better if you slow down your movements by about two actions.”

“Slow, slower? It already seems slow enough.”

“That’s the problem with that sword technique. Try it once.”

“Alright.”

She obediently held her sword, which curled like a snake. It was slower than before, but the shaking was less.

“…It really works? What! This isn’t in any book!”

“The creator set that as the normal speed because their physical speed was different from normal people.”

“How did you know?”

“Well…”

It was the very issue the creator used to grumble about whenever they drank. He couldn’t mention that. Instead, he just smiled and let it go.

Reika hugged him tightly, grinning.

“Thank you, Asher!”

“Uh, yeah.”

The scent of her soft perfume wafted through the air. Their bodies brushed against each other, and his heart raced.

‘…The mind may be old, but the body is still youthful.’

It was too much stimulation for his young body. Asher pushed her away.

“Just keep doing it like that. Ninety-nine out of a hundred who are taught this won’t even grasp half of it… but you have talent.”

His body lacked talent, but he had an eye for it. He had taught thousands through the years.

“And you?”

“I have no talent.”

He had tried Raphenia’s swordsmanship, but gave up within a day. A sword that moved like a snake? He just couldn’t get the hang of it.

Ultimately, the only technique he mastered was the Empire swordsmanship. A basic technique, his growth had stopped in his youth. While he could improve his quick thinking through experience, the swordsmanship itself remained unchanged.

‘No. Perhaps it’s different now.’

He was born anew in a new body. Talent was something ingrained in the physique.

Suddenly, his heart raced.

He thought he had nothing left to learn, but now he saw potential. He wanted to swing his sword immediately, his body itching to move.

‘But first, the basics.’

He needed to nurture his body. With this frail body, he couldn’t achieve anything substantial. From the beginning, once more.

He swung the sword. Reika stared at him blankly.

“I’ve been feeling this since earlier… Are you really Asher?”

“Who else would I be?”

“Your swordsmanship is too refined.”

Asher let out a sigh of admiration. She could read even that much, huh? Given her talent and The calluses on her hands suggested she had been training consistently since childhood. It was plausible.

“It’s just Empire swordsmanship. Nothing more than a self-defense technique.”

“Well, that’s true. Oh! What time is it?”

“It seems we’ve already missed lunchtime.”

“Oh! I had an appointment! See you later, Asher!”

Reika rushed out. Asher watched her with a smile. What a darling child. Seeing such young ones sometimes made him regret. If he had a child, if he had a complete family and wife, might he have had a different life?

“Hmm.”

He gripped his sword. No need for further thought. He was an unchanging being. The air split.

***

Asher grasped the wooden stick. Stepping back, he raised it above and then twisted his wrist as he brought it down. Pulling his retreated foot forward, he bent it widely.

Whoosh!

The wind split, and the leaves trembled violently. A slight smile crossed his face as he felt the soreness in his arms.

‘Is this the basics now?’

His muscles began to form the framework. This was significant progress for a week, though still far from his past body built over decades of training.

“Phew.”

It was about time to start working. Asher looked at the cut log.

He placed the log on the base and swung the axe downward. With a crack, the log split apart. He brought another log, struck down again. This was the work assigned to him as an employee.

“Such a waste of time.”

His working hours were ten hours a day. While not long compared to other employees, it still consumed nearly half of his day. There wasn’t enough time left for physical training, which was his grievance.

“When I was on guard duty, I could train even while working.”

After all, the job itself demanded it. That’s partly why he took up the guard job. Splitting wood wasn’t entirely devoid of training potential, but it was insufficient. It wasn’t satisfying enough for him.

“Ugh.”

He intended to take it easy, but it was still regrettable.

He split the logs, tossed aside the split pieces, and placed a new log on the base.

Over the week, he had come to understand how his body ended up here.

Asher was told that he wasn’t originally employed but was a child abandoned in front of the lord’s manor. The lady of the manor, unable to bear children and suffering from it, had brought Asher into the manor after seeing him.

Even after she had a first son and a daughter a year, three years later, the lady still cherished Asher. Although he could not be legally adopted due to concerns over inheritance complications, he was treated nearly as well. Thus, he still resided in this mansion despite various misdeeds.

It was because of these misdeeds he had to work as a laborer, yet the treatment he received was substantial. Though it was affection developed from raising him, it was significant for someone who was merely an employee and not an adopted son.

Good people, all of them.

Crack!

He swung the small lumberjack axe, splitting the log down to the stump. Asher grimaced and pulled his arm back.

Crackling.

“There’s something odd.”

This body was weak. It was merely at the basic level, though it could split a log, it lacked the power to smash through the stump entirely.

However, the axe contained more power than that. He furrowed his brow and flailed his arms, but it felt off.

“So much I don’t know.”

He reached for another log but realized he had just split the last one. He would have to cut more from the forest. Axe in his waistband, he stepped out the door.

As soon as he entered the village, he felt the scornful eyes on him. Asher crossed the center calmly. His skin had thickened with age. Still, he remained a cherished child of the lord. No one would harm him directly.

“Trash is passing by!”

Or maybe not. He turned around at the voice behind him. Rather young than not; a boy, hardly sixteen, flanked by chuckling men, snickered at him. His flashy clothes looked more vulgar than dignified.

Asher bowed politely.

“Greetings, Master Luke.”

***

The lord’s eldest son. The heir to the title. Essentially, he wielded absolute power. And like others, he was disliked, although he himself didn’t seem much favored either.

Luke jabbed, “It’s hardly good seeing trash in the morning. Don’t you understand that? These commoner kinds, just never get it right.”

Residents slightly grimaced at his words, but Luke didn’t see it. He was a typical old-time noble, blind faith in his lineage and overestimating his worth.

Asher nodded.

“That’s unfortunate. My apologies.”

“Really, father too. I don’t understand why he’d keep such a person around.”

“I am grateful for his generous favor.”

Asher bowed deeper, making himself smaller and saying what the other wanted to hear. He had plenty of experience with such types; occasionally they would beat him up and throw him into jail if they were annoyed enough. Those were the days.

But now, he was just an employee. He would leave soon and saw no need for strife. He bowed his head.

Luke’s face lit up with a smile that quickly twisted into a mischievous smirk.

“Listen, Trash. I’ve heard rumours lately. You’ve changed. Wielding a sword. What are you planning? To cut me down? A noble like me?”

“Surely not.”

“Nonsense! If not that, then why practice swordsmanship? I, as a noble, cannot stand such sights!”

It was a stretch, a forced complaint. The surrounding villagers knew it but couldn’t comment against the lord’s son. This so-called noble lifted his hand.

“But I am merciful, so I’ll give you a chance. If you beat these two, I won’t care what you do in the future. If you’ve learned swordsmanship, that should be feasible, right?”

The two chuckling men drew knives. Both were adults. Asher, not yet of age, clearly stood no chance. He raised both arms.

“Master, I have no intention of fighting…”

“Hehe, Master. We can kill him, right? Like always, you’ll handle the cleanup.”

“Kill him!”

Their language was brutal. One man strode forward with a knife. As it swung down, screams erupted around.

‘I didn’t want this.’

Asher clicked his tongue and grabbed the hatchet. He clashed the hatchet with the sword, twisted his wrist, and deflected the blade. The stupid-eyed man was smacked in the adam’s apple with the hatchet’s handle.

“Ugh! Ugh!”

“Crazy!”

The man clutched his throat, rolling on the ground. The other, laughing before, rushed over swinging his sword. Asher twisted the hatchet blade, smacked under the man’s diaphragm, forcing a gagging sound as the man retched.

“Ugh!”

“What, what the—”

Luke recoiled in shock.

They were shocked.

Were these young men always this frail?



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