Reincarnation of the Swordmaster Chapter 48

“…That makes sense.”

“So how was it?”

“What? Oh.”

Leika realized the meaning behind the question and ruffled her hair.

“You… What.”

“Speak so I can understand.”

“Huh. My head hurts. I passed the test, anyway.”

“Of course, you would.”

Asher picked up a piece of bread. At his response, Leika scowled.

“So what now?”

“Speak so I can understand, I said.”

“Huh.”

Leika took a deep breath and slowly began to speak.

“I fought a knight. A fairly well-known and skilled one.”

“And?”

“…He was really weak. Weaker than anyone I’ve seen.”

Leika’s skeptical gaze turned towards Asher.

“You said I had no talent.”

“That’s right.”

“You’re joking. I won’t be fooled by your lies anymore. You’re much stronger than him, what’s all this?”

“I’ve told you over and over, Leika. I have no talent for swordsmanship.”

The heroic swordsmanship. That brilliant and grand realm of swordsmanship was something Asher could not even step into.

“But even without talent, just with the imperial sword techniques, I can beat the mediocre ones.”

Decades of stubbornness had made that possible.

Leika tilted her head.

“Karlon doesn’t seem mediocre to me.”

“It’s all relative. So, what do you think?”

“Hah.”

Leika flopped down onto the bed.

“I’m not sure.”

She had witnessed the standards of the world for the first time.

“Just that much and he’s a famed knight?”

“You have talent.”

Asher spoke calmly.

“Among the swordsmen active now, I’d say there’s no one stronger than you.”

Leika’s current strength was unmatched, heroes aside.

“I’ll make you feel it.”

“It’s kind of disappointing, yet I feel proud too. It’s complicated. Damn. Why did I even come to the academy?”

“I told you. There’s nothing to learn. Are you going to leave now?”

“No.”

Leika shook her head.

“Still, meeting various people helps. I’m in a slump, so I need a change.”

“That’s not a bad idea. Where did Karlon go?”

“He said he was meeting someone he knows and disappeared two days ago. He’s probably fine.”

“Really?”

Perhaps it was related to something from the past. It wasn’t something to worry about.

[Oh. Oh. Oh.]

The silent sword burst out in admiration.

[Quite a good posture. Usable?]

“Who.”

[That little kid you called Leika. For her age, she’s reached a quite advanced stage.]

“Asher, who are you talking to?”

“…Can’t you hear?”

“There’s no one else here, what are you talking about?”

[Didn’t I tell you? If you’re not a Swordmaster, you wouldn’t understand.]

“……”

‘Strange.’

The sword had said Leika was usable and advanced for her age. Leika had the potential to be a hero, a Swordmaster.

And yet, was that all it had to say?

Moreover, he who was not a Swordmaster in his past life could hear the sword’s words. The current Leika was clearly at a higher level than he was then, yet unable to hear the sword.

“Ah well. I should continue reading.”

Leika pulled out a book and placed it on the blanket. Asher frowned as he saw the book.

“What is that ridiculous book?”

It was at least five or six times thicker than a typical book. It obviously wasn’t meant to be read.

“This?”

Leika fluttered the pages.

“A book containing the history of the academy.”

“History of what?”

“That’s everything. It covers all previous generations, changes in the academy, resignations of deans, and such. It’s pretty interesting, actually.”

“…Let me see.”

“Here.”

Leika handed him the book. It felt more like a bludgeon than a book. Asher flipped to the first page and chuckled as he saw the author’s name.

“…They actually made it.”

“Huh? What?”

“Personal story.”

In a past life, during his time at the academy, a junior had said they should create a book documenting everything about us.

He had dismissed it as nonsense, but the junior didn’t give up on the idea until he graduated. He had lost touch afterwards, but who would have thought they really made it?

As he flipped through the pages, his cohort appeared. Reading further, it detailed the personalities and characteristics of the members of the academy at that time, packed with more information than he knew.

“This part is from the person who made it. Makes sense why it’s the most thorough.”

“That figures.”

Asher continued to flip through the pages until he paused.

His name from his past life was written there. He read through the content briefly and laughed.

“Crazy guy.”

“What’s with you? Did a familiar name come up?”

“Something like that.”

Asher closed the book. He never thought he’d be seen in such a way. It was somehow delightful.

‘Not everything was noted after all.’

[…Academy?]

The sword muttered again.

[That’s the swordsmanship academy, right?]

“Right.”

[I, I, want to go there. Take me.]

The sword voiced eagerly.

[I want to see what the kids are like these days.]

“I don’t mind.”

“Talking to yourself again…”

Leika mumbled unconcernedly as Asher stood up.

“I’ll swing by the academy.”

“How long this time?”

“Not too long. I’ll be back today.”

“Don’t lie this time. Take care. I’ll just read this.”

Leika took the book and lay on the bed to read.

Asher left the lodging and headed to the academy, the sword babbling excitedly to itself.

[I wonder how much it has changed. It probably won’t be like the old days, but seeing that kid or you, it must be worth something, right?]

“How was it back then?”

[It was the golden age of swords. I was active on the front lines, and there were about three Swordmasters. It was indeed a glorious era…]

Just then, someone bumped into Asher. A small child fell down and looked up at him blankly.

“B-brother?”

“Garren?”

The disciple from the bottom, Garren, lay sprawled with a half-dead expression.

Gerran hurriedly got up and grasped the hem of Asher’s clothes.

“Please, help me.”

***

“So.”

After entering a nearby alley, Asher leaned against the wall. Gerran bit his lip anxiously.

“Are you asking me for help?”

“Yes! I can’t get near because of the guards! Don’t you have something on the guards? I think you could break through.”

Gerran had gone to the location specified in the letter to meet his master, but it was guarded by the guards. He grumbled that it was a dangerous place and they wouldn’t let him in, no matter what he said.

“Why are they blocking me from meeting my own master? He can hardly move properly with his old body.”

A worry that couldn’t be hidden was evident in his complaining tone. Gerran chewed his fingernail and looked at Asher with anxious eyes.

“You said you know my master. Can you help…?”

“……”

Asher closed his eyes without a word. Gerran was worried about his master, but he knew. The guards were stopping Gerran because of that very master.

Why, though? His mind was all over the place. Various thoughts passed through his mind as he opened his eyes.

“Alright.”

[What about the academy?]

“That’s for later.”

That was the only unknown. He had to find it himself. Gerran’s expression brightened.

“Thank you!”

“Let’s go.”

“Yes!”

Gerran rushed ahead, followed by Asher.

***

[Academyyyyy.]

“Stop whining.”

Asher frowned.

“Why are you acting like this when you’re so grown?”

[Stay locked up until you lose your memories and see if your personality changes or not.]

“It’s just this once and then we can go.”

[I’d like to see it soon… but I have no choice. However, this is curious in its own way.]

The sword murmured as if it had seen an interesting animal.

[I sense something familiar from this boy’s wrist. Who is it?]

“Heir of Power.”

Asher briefly explained. Upon hearing the explanation, the sword began speaking with interest.

[Indeed. The one meant to gather darkness and seal it. Though the name is different, such beings have existed before.]

“Before.”

To the sword, the past might be way before even the empire was founded. Asher was aware that the power succession was ancient, but he hadn’t realized it went back so far.

[Such poor souls. Is this boy the heir? Such a pity to be burdened at a young age.]

“‘Pity,’ I don’t see it. Even with the succession, he lived quite happily.”

[Happy? Really?]

“Yes. It’s a position of recognition, after all.”

[Huh. How the worlds turn.]

The sword muttered in despair, feeling a contrast between generations. Meanwhile, they continued downward into the underground of the capital, different from the sewers. Guards were stationed there.

“Please, open the way! My master is here!”

“That’s exactly why you can’t! Go back home. We’ll bring your master.”

“How can I trust you!”

“This little one… Captain, what should we do about him?”

“Just deal with it. He’s been nothing but trouble anyway… Wait. Asher, sir?”

“Good to see you again.”

The appearing captain was an acquaintance, the ash-grey elf Areina muttering ambiguously.

“Asher, what brings you here…”

“This boy asked for help.”

“That’s why! Please, open it!”

“Well.”

Areina frowned, troubled. She began speaking in a firm tone.

“As much as I respect you, Asher, we can’t just freely open this place. We still haven’t fully assessed the situation. We can’t allow entry yet.”

“That need not worry you. I have a rough idea of what the problem is.”

“Yes? Ah… You heard from Haiban, I assume.”

Areina looked slightly surprised and then nodded in understanding.

‘Quite convenient.’

Without needing more words, she guessed that Haiban must have informed him, sparing her the headache.

“Then you understand. Please step back. This place is dangerous.”

“I’m well aware of the dangers myself. But keeping us blocked doesn’t serve any purpose.”

“……”

Areina bit her lip. Hoping for a possibility, Asher asked,

“Do you have no leeway?”

“…Yes.”

Areina replied with a somber face. The issue was immediate under the capital, yet unable to be resolved.

“Step aside, please.”

“What? But…”

“I can take care of myself, to say the least. Besides, something needs to happen with this boy here.”

“What? What are you talking about…”

Areina noticed a mark engraved on Gerran’s wrist.

“Could it be.”

“That’s right.”

“What do you mean?”

Asher didn’t answer Gerran’s question. He’d find out soon enough. Areina pondered for a while then spoke up.

“…Still, it’s impossible. Perhaps it’s better if you see for yourself.”

Areina moved and Asher followed her into the tunnel. The tunnel ended, revealing a large area filled only with darkness.

[Dark magic is heavily present. Is this truly the dwelling of the master below?]

“We repel intruders with this intense darkness. No one who has entered has returned so far.”

“……”

As thick as a veil obstructing human sight, the darkness deepened, obscuring everything. The sword murmured,

[Could the master below be a demon?]

“No.”

[Hm. That’s strange.]

“Very dangerous.”

This situation was more serious than he had anticipated. He had seen something similar before.

It was none other than a gateway to the demon world. A fissure through which demons and beasts burst forth.

A remnant of the Demon King’s invasion that had once infiltrated the world, now unfolded directly beneath the capital.



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