Reincarnation of the Swordmaster
Chapter 10 – Swordmaster (2)
Translated by : betterdays
Proofread by : ch17175
In the Empire, there was a tacit law that nobility should never bow to anybody but the Emperor himself. He was known as the Sun of the Empire and the nobility should only ever bow to this man alone.
But… Here was Lord Halvark, bowing to the man known as ‘Van Ester’. However, nobody would be surprised to see such a sight.
This man was a swordmaster. The amount of swordmasters within the Empire counted no more than 10. They had mastered the way of the sword and were pivotal existences to maintaining the current peace and wellbeing of the Empire. They deserved respect beyond their titles and rank.
Charon looked up at Van Ester with clear admiration in his eyes.
High Count, Van Ester. He had been a swordmaster long before Charon was even born and was the known Family Head to the Ester Family.
“How come you’re here….?”
“Hmm? Oh, I don’t know since it’s been about 20 years.”
Van Ester nudged his head to point to Lord Halvark when he was asked by Charon.
“I was his guardian for a while due to his father.”
Charon looked at Lord Halvark with a confused and shocked face. He had never heard such a thing before in all his time serving as a knight for the Halvark Family. Lord Halvark just laughed bitterly.
“Because I didn’t have a need to say around saying such a thing. Being his guardian didn’t mean it was such a close-knit relationship. It was just that I came to check up on him, since it’s been 20 years and all.”
“Your father’s friend…”, Charon muttered as he looked at Lord Halvark.
“You’ll never know who his father was even if I told you. He wasn’t that famous. Only people like myself know, and people like yourself wouldn’t even know he existed.”
Van Ester’s face looked bitter when he spoke the words. Lord Halvark lowered his head in sadness as if he had guessed why Van Ester was truly here.
“I’m sorry for your loss.”, Van Ester smiled bitterly at Lord Halvark.
“Huh? No. It’s alright. It’s already been 20 years since he died. And you would have visited the funeral had you not been undergoing missions for the Emperor. But…”
Lord Halvark frowned. There was a separate reason why he didn’t talk about his relationship with Van Ester.
“Where the hell have you been? You suddenly disappeared twenty years ago, so I thought you were dead.”
A few months after the funeral, Van Ester disappeared. There were rumors circulating in the Segan Empire that he went to find a place to die, or to find a new place to practice and train with the sword, but Van Ester did not appear anywhere else and completely fell off the map. And so… he was gradually forgotten.
“I needed time to myself.”
“…for twenty years?”
“Yeah, I’ve been all the way to the edge of the continent, and I’ve traveled all over the world. I didn’t find out everything I wanted to see, though. But, my God. The world is a mess.”
Van Ester laughed in vain. The laughter was so bitter and depressing that even Lord Halvark could tell that Van Ester was still mourning the loss of his friend, Lord Halvark’s father. Van Ester’s eyes then shone, as he carefully opened his mouth.
“Let’s just say that’s the end of that story, but why don’t you just finish what you were talking about. A boy that has been practicing the sword for 2 months beat him?”
Charon replied solemnly. Van Ester suddenly grinned.
“Tell me the details.”
The story was over. Van Ester slightly smiled as his eyes shone with excitement and wonder. He slowly opened his mouth.
“Oh, my God.”
The corners of his mouth were slightly curved upwards. His voice had completely changed from the solemn tone earlier, to one of pure curiosity, admiration and wonder.
“Yet, I have a headache about it….”
Lord Halvark clenched his forehead with annoyance. Van Ester laughed with joy.
“But it’s actually an interesting story. Did you say your name was Charon?”
Charon replied, holding a close attention to whatever Van Ester’s next words may be. Van Ester did not stop his laughter and continued.
“You’re strong. It would be hard to even fight you unless one was a first-rate swordsman. But you couldn’t use your hands properly against this child? A kid who hasn’t even practiced the sword for more than two months? Oh, boy, let me ask you a question.”
Van Ester pushed his face closer towards Charon’s. His deep black eyes approached Charon who was nervously fidgeting with his fingers.
“What did you feel when you fought with the child?”
Charon was silent.
Asher was strong, Though Charon did not want to admit it at first, he did know Asher was good with the sword. But the strength he faced in the ‘spar’ was something completely different than what he saw from the sides when he spectated him. The swordsmanship Asher practiced was only the imperial swordsmanship, but it was disciplined to the limit, and whenever Charon showed a gap, Asher did not miss it and struck like a vicious snake. It was if…
“It was like seeing a trained veteran.”
“A veteran. A child with the looks and build of a boy, but the instincts and swordsmanship of an old man.”
At the same time that Van Ester raised the corners of his mouth and spoke, suddenly his aura gushed out spread around him in excitement. Lord Halvark stepped back and Charon held the sword with a pale-white face. Van Ester waved his hand apologetically.
“Oh, It’s not for you, so don’t worry.”
Lord Halvark swallowed his saliva. Wasn’t the target obvious if it was not directed at them? He didn’t know why Van Ester was going to kill the child.
“I’ll have to meet him somehow, we’ll need to make up an excuse for me to be here.”
“Are you going to try and meet him?”
“Yep. Oh, and I’ll see your daughter before that. If she’s really that talented, she’ll enjoy being taught by me.”
Charon shouted without realizing it. A Swordmaster’s direct teaching. Charon knew Reika was talented, but he didn’t know she was that talented. Van Ester then clapped his hands.
“Wow. So refreshing.”
Reika smiled as she shook off the drops of water in her hair. Nothing was as refreshing as a bath after training. She had been in a good mood lately. It was because Asher’s training became more comfortable for her.
After meeting with her mother, Venicia, Asher had been refraining from directly violent and arduous spars. He still stabbed her in the heart with his words, but so what if he did? As long as it didn’t hurt her or degrade her. She wasn’t weak enough to fall apart over harsh, but constructive criticism.
‘I think I’m improving, too.’
She patted her arm with delight. It had already been a month since she had started training and she had gained a little muscle. She realized that she was getting stronger.
‘I can hold on for a minute now!’
It may seem shabby to others, but it was a great improvement for her. It was the moment she walked lightly down the hall. Her eldest brother Luke, was walking from the other side.
Reika waved nonchalantly. She wasn’t interested in Luke at all. She didn’t like her brother’s personality, and when he would become the owner of the estate, she decided that she would leave. She wasn’t going to be under such an ignorant and arrogant idiot anyway. Luke crumpled his face at her.
“…did you play with him again?”
“It’s not playing. It’s training.”
“Pft, what training?”
Luke jeered. He didn’t like Reika being around with Asher.
“Is it now called training when men and women frolic around together? That’s great then!”
“Think as you please.”
Reika ignored him and continued to walk away. She was too lazy to talk to him. Luke’s face contorted in disgust with her attitude.
“Well, there’s no way he’s talented in that humble thing. He must be great with throwing a stick around by now since he’s been doing such a stupid little thing for months now. That’s the only way for commoners to think they can wield a sword.”
Reika stopped walking. She frowned. She could ignore it as always, but she didn’t like something this time from Luke’s words.
“…Asher is talented with the sword.”
“Ha, you’re defending that lowly bug. You’ve really gone crazy now.”
Reika spat out sharply. Asher was her teacher. She could have ignored it if Luke was cursing her, but she couldn’t stand someone so disgusting and vile cursing Asher. Luke’s corners of his mouth curled up even more as if he had caught onto a weakness of Reika’s.
“Get a hold of yourself. My sister, you’re an aristocrat, and he’s a commoner. The noble are the only ones who have the right to give to others. You should never learn or take teachings from a dirty commoner. You’re degrading our nobility.”
“I said shut up.”
Reika picked up a wooden sword. Luke opened his arms and burst into laughter at her attitude.
“Ha! You’re gonna hit me? Me, the eldest son and heir to the lordship? Okay. Hit me. Let’s see what happens!”
Reika bit her lips. Luke was the successor. If she hurts his body, even the daughter of the Lord could not avoid punishment. but…
“…I guess I’ll do as you please.”
Reika approached Luke. Luke stepped backwards suddenly, his false bravado completely gone, and a pale white face to replace it.
“You…you! If you hit me, Things won’t end nicely!”
“Oh you just told me to hit you and now you want me to stop?”
Reika laughed and held the sword. To hell with her future as a bride to some fat and oily noble with a personality like her brother’s. Luke fell on the floor. As she was about to try and strike the sword, a voice rang out.
“The eldest daughter is trying to hit the eldest son. Now this is a rare sight.”
Reika looked away in a hurry.
Luke exclaimed, “Oh, my god Father!”
An old man was smiling and looking at them speaking the words, and Lord Halvark was pressing his forehead as if he was utterly annoyed with something right behind him.
“What a fun and exciting family.”
“…please say any more.”
Van Ester spoke in a cheerful and jovial manner while Lard Halvark looked fatigued. Reika flinched at the sight as her behavior ended in failure luckily before something terrible happened, but it was not something that could just be overlooked. Luke pointed his finger at Reika, sticking behind Lord Halvark like a leech.
“Father! Reika dared to beat your successor, ME! Hurry up and scold…”
Luke, who was shouting in crisis, suddenly stopped shouting and shut up on the spot. The old man Reika first caught a glimpse of and that was standing next to her father, was staring at him. Luke was unconsciously discouraged by the penetrating and stern gaze.
“You’re not even worth being seen as a successor in my eyes.”
Luke’s body trembled at the heartless words. He tried to point at the man and jeer at him, but Lord Halvark hurriedly blocked him before Luke did anything more idiotic than he already had done. The old man walked toward Reika without even caring about Luke.
“Oh, hello there little miss?”
Reika stepped back without realizing it.
She could tell from his appearance that he was not an ordinary old man. Perfectly straight, jet-black hair, beard, and a muscular build that didn’t fit his age. There couldn’t possibly be any kind of normal old man like that. In addition, her father was hiding Luke who was about to jeer at him like he was trying to protect him.
Above all, Reika’s instincts were screaming at her at that moment. The old man in front of her was dangerous. Her senses continued to scream and yell at her to run away, and the grip in her sword unconsciously strengthened.
The old man looked at her in admiration.
“Huh. That’s more than I was expecting. I’ve never seen a kid quite like you before.”
The old man reached out with a smile. His hands suddenly shot out in a fluid motion toward the neck of Reika.
Reika held her sword reflexively and followed her screaming instincts. She lowered her posture and slashed at the stretched out wrist, giving the old man a look of surprise as he quickly dodged it with ease.
The old man smiled. At the same time, the tip of Reika’s sword turned flexible and wound around in a curved trajectory like a snake. It was a way for her to strike back, avoiding any possible strikes from the man’s palms.
The old man shot his hands forwards ignoring her sword completely and once again dodging with ease, grabbed her wrist in admiration and twisted it. Reika dropped the sword, holding back the pain.
The old man kicked the sword on the floor away from her. Reika quickly thought about her options in that split-second. What did Asher tell her to do at a time like this?
‘Oh. I remember now.’
She pulled herself back towards the man in reverse, doing the opposite of trying to run away and tucked her other hand in a palm strike, aiming for his chin. When the old man put his arm in between and blocked it, she immediately dropped her body, rolled away and grabbed the sword that was on the ground.
Somersaulting back onto her feet, she kicked off the ground and struck at the man’s achilles tendon. A dull sound rang out.
Reika groaned. It was hard. It wasn’t the feeling of a sword and flesh hitting against each other. It was like the feeling of punching iron with a bare fist.
“…this is ridiculous.”
The old man mumbled, his arm clasped. What he just did to Reika was one of his bad habits.
Whenever he saw a fairly talented youth, he would pressure them and see their reaction. But so far, not one of these ‘talented’ youth had endured his first gesture.
But Reika not only withstood his first gesture…. She didn’t get flustered unlike the many other youth he had tested with this little game, but actually counterattacked with incredible split-second decision making. It was a possible counterattack because he hadn’t expected it and dropped his guard naturally since it was a child, but… to have his gaps exploited? By a child? One of whom he had expected nothing better than the average so-called ‘talent’.
“Who are you?”
The old man pushed his face towards Reika with curiosity. Reika murmured with a pale face.
“I am Reika Halvark, but….”
“Not those superficial things. Well, I already could tell who you were with that sword strike.”
The girl in front of him was strong. It was unbelievable, This was a talent he had never come across in all his years as a swordmaster. If she continued with great teaching and this unparalleled talent… she could completely surpass the maker of the swordsmanship she was using.
And… the mysterious boy that had piqued his interest, was the self-proclaimed teacher of such a child.
“Oi Halvark, this kid’s teacher is him, right?”
Van Ester grabbed the sword. There was no need to even ask about the location. He took a quick step and kicked off the ground, covering an incredibly long distance with just that one step and arrived at the training area. Holding the door knob at the entrance, he smiled lightly.
His hand was shaking with anticipation and excitement for the first time in over twenty years.
The door opened… and he saw a boy wielding a sword diligently inside the training area.
Van Ester’s eyes opened wide.
Chapter 10 – Fin