12 – Swordmaster (4)

Reincarnation of the Swordmaster
Chapter 12 – Swordmaster (4)
Translated by : betterdays
Proofread by : ch17175

“Oh, this is a good sword.”

Van Ester touched the sword on the rack with admiration. He was now looking around at weapons in the armory of the estate. He murmured satisfactorily,

“This is much more practical than most standard longswords. Is it because the period of peace has put smithies on the decline? Some of the places I had visited on the way over here, had smithies where they didn’t even see that some of their swords on display were rusted.”

“Because it was my father’s will to always have good swords left nearby….”

“This one’s good enough. It’ll be good enough to hang in there I guess..”

“What do you mean, ‘hang in there’?”

“Don’t ask me when you already know, just make sure to keep these in good condition and take care of them.”

“Even if you say so…”

Lord Halvark replied, scratching his nose. Van Ester took a sword and spun it around. Feeling the balanced weight, he nodded his head with a satisfactory look.

“Okay. I’ll take this one today.”

“Are you still doing that every day?”

“Yes.”

“I… I don’t know what their decision will be…”

Lord Halvark sighed. It had already been two weeks since High Count Van Ester had started staying at the estate. All he had done so far, was mess around and train with Asher and Reika. Even if it was messing around, it was a bit extreme for the two poor kids, Lark Halvark thought.

“I know she’s talented. But I don’t know if she’s really got what it takes to become a swordmaster. That’s a statement that doesn’t get thrown around easily.”

“Of course she’s worth it; she can definitely become a swordmaster if she puts the work in. Her talent is otherworldly even when compared to some of the other swordmasters I’ve met. But she’s not who I’m interested in.”

“Is it Asher?”

Lord Halvark frowned. It was hard for him to understand.

“The troublesome child.”

The Asher that Lord Halvark hadn’t paid attention to, had changed so much. The fact that Asher even picked up a sword, even if it was for one day would be a miracle. But he had been swinging the sword with dedication for over 2 months now, and even Lord Halvark could guess just how high-leveled Asher’s swordsmanship was.

The boy, who was the epitome of trash itself, suddenly reached the ‘threshold’ with the sword. Above all, his attitude had incredibly dramatic changes compared to what it used to be like. (1)

If previous Asher saw him with hostility and distrust, he now showed goodwill and affection towards Lord Halvark. It was the same gaze that his father gave him when he was young, so it felt all the more uncomfortable for Lord Halvark to face him. Van Ester stroked his chin.

“Yes, you’ve told me the story about that child, and I’ve been thinking about it. Human beings don’t change very easily.”

‘So you tried to kill him.’

The small murmur from Van Ester, made Lord Halvark step backwards reflexively. Van Ester waved his hand.

“But it wasn’t what I thought it could be, so don’t worry. Whatever it is, he’s definitely a human. Such swordsmanship cannot be carried out by those ‘outsiders’.”

“…what exactly have you been doing for the past 20 years?”

asked Lord Halvark, swallowing his saliva. Van Ester gave him an empty and bitter smile.

“I saw the world go on in more ways than you can imagine.”

***

“I hate him.”

Reika murmured with a sulky face. Asher, who was moving slowly, sighed and relaxed his muscles.

“What’s wrong with you again? Those with the title of a swordmaster, deserve to be called masters with the sword. Shouldn’t you show some respect?”

“You don’t look at him with respect, do you?”, Reika shot back,

“Well.”

Because Asher had already reached the realm of the swordmaster in his last life. Well, did he reach it? He didn’t know anymore.

Asher laughed bitterly.

“Anyway, there’s nothing bad about him. There’s a lot to learn from such a person.”

“But you are my teacher.”

“I’m not even a proper teacher, don’t you know? Ask High Count Van Ester to accept you as his disciple. He’ll probably teach you.”

It was impossible for even a swordmaster to not recognize Reika’s monstrous talent with the sword.. Van Ester must be interested in her. But, he was still showing interest in Asher, which could be said to be a complete anomaly, but that interest would disappear soon.

Reika bit her lips.

“…You’re the one I’m aiming for.”

“What?”

Asher’s body stopped moving. Reika’s expression was completely serious.

“I want to be like you.”

Her eyes contained a hint of envy and admiration. But they also contained respect. Asher slowly opened his mouth.

“…it’s no use to aim for me.”

“How come?”

“Because you and I are completely different.”

That was the undeniable truth. Reika had talent, and Asher didn’t. Talent was absolute. The day when the gap would decrease between them would surely come one day. But, Reika scratched the ground roughly with her toe in a circle.

“It has nothing to do with that. It’s just what I want to be.”

She looked at Asher with burning eyes. Asher shook his head.

“You shouldn’t try to copy me….”

“It’s not like that.”

Asher paused. Reika’s words contained a strong will. She continued, biting her lips.

“You are my teacher. Whatever the decision to be made is, it’s my choice. It doesn’t matter if it has to do with talent. I respect the person you are and that’s why I want you as my teacher.”

Asher’s sword skills, and his attitude towards the sword.

Both those two things were something absolute in Asher’s very being. Reika saw that and couldn’t help but admire those traits and want to become the same.

Reika continued to speak hurriedly,

“So please don’t belittle yourself. I don’t know about anyone else, but I respect you. So please….”

The response didn’t come and silence lingered. Asher looked at Reika with a complicated face. He was nothing. That;s what he thought. But why was she, who was now aware of her monstrous talent, looking at him with such a look of admiration and determination?

‘I don’t know.’

He had lived a long life, but he had never encountered something like this before.

The door opened. Van Ester came in with a spear on his shoulder. He then looked over the atmosphere between the two kids for a moment, and laughed.

“What? Is it a lover’s quarrel?”

“No.”

Asher lifted the sword. This was what happened to those who had a weak mindset, he thought.

Then Asher rushed at Van Ester.

***

Asher had no intention of becoming the disciple of Van Ester. So Van Ester gave up on his nagging for now, and decided to ask Asher if he wanted to spar.

There was nothing wrong with that. He said he would also train and spar with Reika, but the difference in basic skills was too big for the two of them to compete. If Asher didn’t start to learn how to move his body properly, He would become incredibly rusty. Asher naturally agreed since having a swordmaster as a sparring opponent was the best he could possibly ask for, and one he agreed, he and Van Ester had been sparring every single day.

The sword moved.

Asher measured the gap in the space between them by bumping his tip of the sword and counting the seconds Van Ester took to launch a full offensive. At that moment, Van Ester’s spear fell in a flash. Asher deflected, avoided, and strok back all in one sequence. Van Ester turned the sword around and waved his arm in a whip-like motion.

Avoiding by a fingernail’s length apart, Asher dodged with complete minimalistic fluidity in his movements, and continued to maintain an unbelievable center of gravity whilst doing so. Van Ester admired the awareness of space that Asher had for a while.

“Oh, my God, you’re even better than me when it comes to pure mechanics and battle instinct.”

“That’s all I have.”

Asher swung his sword roughly like a wolf’s paw. At that moment, Van Ester shook his wrist. The spear started to bend in a curve, seemingly in slow motion. Then, it’s image blurred and an afterimage was all that was left. Asher hurried to defend himself.

Boom!

With a thunderous collision, Asher’s body bounced up from the ground and groaned painfully. Van Ester tilted his head.

“But… you’re incredibly untalented with swordsmanship. It’s inexplicably weird no matter how much I look at it.”

“That’s because you’re right. I’m not talented.”

Asher rose up, holding his throbbing wrist. As a warrior, his battle sense was almost unparalleled. But in the realm of swordsmanship, he was incredibly unfortunate, having not been blessed with an ounce of talent.

He was hopeful at first with this new body when he reincarnated, and he tried other forms of swordsmanship just in case, but the result was completely the same as his past life. Van Ester twirled the spear.

“Is this all you have for me today?”

“I can’t even swing a sword with this wrist.”

“Okay, I’m warmed up. So get ready.”

Van Ester approached with a sly smile, that was unique to those of old age.

“What was the deal with the atmosphere earlier? A lover’s quarrel? Well. You two are pretty close. What do you think of her?”

“It’s not like that.”

Asher clicked his tongue. Van Ester had become such a mischievous man throughout old age. Asher missed the past Van Ester that was rather serious and tight-lipped.

“Why. You’re young, so you must be interested in that way. She’s cute and fresh.”

“Not at all.”

Reika was cute even objectively. Maybe in three or four years, she would be as beautiful as a royal princess.

But the age difference was far too big. Even if his body was young, his mind was old, so naturally he felt like he was looking at his granddaughter. So he didn’t pay attention to Van Ester’s incessant nonsense.

“A woodcutter? So what the hell was that job even for in the first place if you were this proficient with the sword?”

“There’s not much of a reason really.”

Asher avoided answering the question. He needed some kind of job to fill his time at the estate and cover his shifts. Not only that, it was perfect for muscle training.

“…you look just like him.”

“Who are you talking about…?”

“There was a man I knew once, a man just like you and had mastered the Imperial Swordsmanship. He had been known to have no talent, a defeatist attitude, and was completely pessimistic.”

Asher couldn’t agree with Van Ester. He wasn’t pessimistic, he just spoke the cold, hard truth.

Van Ester smiled bitterly and spoke.

“Thinking for oneself is each individual’s own freedom. None of us thought he was talented either. But now… I don’t even know what talent is anymore.”

At the last words Van Ester mentioned, Asher looked at him in surprise. In the past, Van Ester had completely believed in the widely-known concept of talent. He knew he was talented, and he never once took it for granted. He thoroughly treated it as a blessing and matched it with hard work. Thus, whenever Asher had spoken to him in his previous life, Van Ester would always talk about how he wanted to match his talent with Asher’s hardcore work ethic and devotion to the sword.

Asher couldn’t believe Van Ester was saying this.

‘What happened to him in these past 20 years?’

Asher had known him for more than 50 years, and one’s values did not change easily, especially as one became older. Thus, Asher couldn’t understand just what had happened to Van Ester.

“So I have a proposal for you.”

Van Ester grinned and shook the speartip. The spear rode it’s course smoothly like a water current in a stream.

“I won’t ask you to be my disciple anymore. I already know now that you have nothing left to learn. Instead, I’ll give you one thing.”

“It depends on what you intend to give me.”

“I originally made it for a friend who looked like you. They already died and I’ve never tested it, but I’m sure it’ll be useful to you.”

“In that case, I shall accept it.”

Asher nodded. He wasn’t surprised that Van Ester made it for him in his previous life. At that time, there was a bet among his acquaintances about who could somehow teach him something new with his poor talent. There was no winner.

Well Van Ester was probably not going to try and teach him swordsmanship. But, it didn’t really matter. If there was anything new for him to learn, there was no reason to refuse. Van Ester murmured something though at the end that was barely audible.

“You both look alike…. Hm.. the Ghost of Swords”

“Sorry?”

“Nothing, I’ll be here for another week anyway. So  I can’t spend more time than that.”

Van Ester chuckled. It was a smile of craziness and joy.

“Is that so?”

Asher got up. Van Ester asked when he saw him leaving the door.

“Where are you going?”

“Outside for a while.”

“You’re gonna be training anyway, right? Why would you want to go out there if you can do it here?”

“It’s because it’s something I can’t show to others.”

Especially for Van Ester. It could be different if he showed it to him since he might understand if anything, but the anxiety factor was still greater than their friendship. Van Ester nodded roughly as if he understood he shouldn’t pry any further.

“Bye, I’m getting ready.”

Asher closed the door. He lowered his hand. He had been training at the estate for only two months now, but he had already started to develop calluses, and he couldn’t find any soft parts on his hands.

Asher clenched his fist. After training his dexterity with his hands, the only thing left to train was the body. He moved himself and left the grounds of the estate. As Asher walked along the road, he felt several gazes land on him.

Suspicion, hostility, and even some rare curiosity. But the emotions in the gazes settling on him were mostly negative. The gazes of the townspeople varied, however none of them dared to get close to him after they had seen what he did to those two grown men that Luke had been ordering around.

Above all, Asher had changed a lot since the reincarnation. Normally people would not hesitate to call him names or scoff at him. But Asher’s matured facial expression showed a sense of indifference along with a hidden sense of tension that could strike to anybody that harmed him. Thus, the townspeople did not try to incite a reaction out of him.

When Asher got to the gate, the guard saw him and his facial expression hardened. The day when Asher had first reincarnated, this very guard had looked at Asher with eyes of scorn and contempt.

“What do you want…?”

“I wish to go outside.”

“…yes.”

The door opened as the guard looked up at the spire and gestured. Asher didn’t bother with the guard and moved forwards outside the walls of the territory.

“…Is the rumor true?”, the guard suddenly opened his mouth.

“What rumor are you talking about?”

“The rumor around town is that you’ve become the student of a swordmaster.”

Did the rumors of Van Ester trying to recruit him as a disciple spread? Asher looked at the guard indifferently and studied the guard’s face. There was jealousy in the guard’s eyes and was clenchin his teeth.

“…you’re a piece of crap anyways. Good luck, being the student of Swordmaster. Do you know how lucky you are?”

Asher’s eyes sank at the answer. He murmured in a melancholic tone of voice.

“Is it luck?”

‘it is you lot who are the talented ones.’

Comparing his talent to anybody could make an average joe look like a stellar student.

If such a person was to say he was lucky, they were the ones better off knowing they didn’t pursue anything with their lazy attitudes. He may have had no talent with the sword but Asher wasn’t as dimwitted to acknowledge how much time he had put in with the sword regardless of that fact.

But it still didn’t make sense to be jealous of him. This put Asher in a foul mood.

Asher’s emotions started to fluctuate and the air sunk heavily while a leering and ominous killing intent leaked out of the atmosphere around him. The guard’s face turned pale as he tried to raise his spear quickly. Asher then realized what was happening and shook his head to calm down.

‘It’s been a while since I’ve felt like this.’

Except for his childhood, Asher’s emotions had never fluctuated this erratically. But, even as old and composed as he was in his mind, he was still a warrior that had walked several battlefields. And when someone like him, let out their killing intent, it could be dangerous.

‘Is it because of what Reika had said?’

She said that she admired him. She said that he was her goal. She, probably the most talented individual he had met across his two lives, admired him, who had abysmal talent.

‘I don’t understand it.’

He moved slowly down the dirt road away from the territory.



Chapter 12 – Fin

Published by betterdays

Just a KR to EN translator trying to get these series published/completed. I have a patreon for Possessing Nothing setup right now. Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon and Reincarnation of the Swordmaster will hopefully have a patreon at a later date.

10 thoughts on “12 – Swordmaster (4)

  1. He talks about the age difference, but what about the fact she is his granddaughter? Unless the son was adopted wouldn’t that be the first big hurdle for any romance between the two?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. He reminds my of the early Lee Sugmin, with how overly aware there are about how talentless they are or think they are.
    I don’t mind and it gives room for emotional growth, but with Possessing nothing it turned down alot of people, just wondering if this will happen again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope not. The novel turned hard work and training into a cliche cheat. His actual cheat items seem reasonable in comparison. And along the way author ruined his personality.

      Liked by 1 person

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