Reincarnation of Swordmaster
Chapter 13 – Enlightenment (1)
Translated by : betterdays
Proofread by : ch17175
Asher climbed the mountainside near the estate and off the premises of the territory. He took a deep breath, inhaling the fresh air of the forest. This was the place where he always wielded his sword by himself when he needed time to think on difficult things. It was his second home.
The fluctuating emotions in his heart gradually subsided and his breathing became steady. His worries and stressors washed away from the calmness brought to his mind from his surroundings.
If he were to hold a real iron sword, he could have done it at the training camp on the estate, but there was a reason why he came all the way out here. When he strengthened his muscles, his entire body became firm and elastic. His muscles expanded and then compressed beyond the normal limits as white energy coated itself around his body with a light sheen.
It was not normal, and if anyone could recognize the clear difference, He and possibly other swordmasters could tell immediately that it was not something brought forth by aura. He did not become able to summon what others defined as ‘aura’ but it was something similar yet different in its entirety.
Asher swung the wooden sword in his hands with the same amount of pressure he always would, though this time with the white energy surrounding his body. He swung the sword at the nearest tree lightly, and the tree exploded into tatters.
The tree could not withstand the huge and frightening force within Asher’s body and sword as it was completely decimated. It was as if a cannonball had been shot point blank and smashed the tree from the stump upwards as it fell. The leaves from the branches shook violently as the trunk fell with a thud.
Asher looked down at the fallen tree. It was quite a large tree. If one were to use this tree for firewood, it would last easily for a few days. It was a tree that would normally require him to chop down about a dozen times with an axe with his current body.
Yet, he hadn’t just knocked this tree down with a single blow. He had decimated it. It was clearly not a force that other humans could dare to reproduce.
‘What kind of power is this?’
Asher narrowed his eyes. In his previous life, he didn’t have this kind of power. Other swordmasters only awakened aura, which was something that could be transferred into weapons and could be sensed with killing intent. But strength that could transcend human limits, was something that had never arisen for these masters with the sword.
It was a power that he had never seen before and seemed that only he had. He swung the sword again. Asher swung the sword with all the force within his body at an opened up path.
Asher’s feet slid and rotated with his hips as the sword swung down with might. The air distorted it’s flow and a large power gushed out and destroyed the path. It was a single path but had been completely destroyed in the wake of his simple slash. It stretched onwards farther than his eyes could reach.
‘I really don’t know what it is.’
It was a type of strength that was unseen before. Yet it was also something that was incomparably different to aura in the sense that it was much more versatile… and stronger. Although Van Ester was his friend from his previous life, there was no way he could tell him what this power was, or even try to explain how he had reincarnated into this body.
But it didn’t mean he would ignore this power or dismiss it. If it was something that could save his life, he needed to know the cusp of its limitations and full strength.
‘Once I use it… It strains my muscles to an incomparable degree.’
Funny enough, it could be said that it was a force that transcended human limits much like aura did, but instead of it being something within one’s core like aura, it was the muscles that were strained to a burning degree. His muscles creaked whenever he used this strength. Even now, his entire body was screaming just by swinging three times.
Asher clicked his tongue and squeezed his body’s limits. He had just barely started to train his body for the past two months, and if anybody were to compare the progress he made in two months compared to any training program within the empire for knights, they would say his progress was ridiculously fast and almost inhuman. Yet… all it took was three swings for him to be completely exhausted and in a vulnerable state.
He knew the power was incredibly useful, but the consumption of his stamina was too dangerous and large. Asher closed his eyes and thought for a moment. To what extent could he withstand this transcendent strength with the body of his previous life?
“About ten times.”
That would be the limit of a completely trained human body. In addition, the stamina in his body was used up as well as his physical strength at any given time, so it was nothing he could think about using for an extended period of time. It could be a blow to completely turn the tide of a battle or finish one, but that was it. Only one blow could be used… maybe two if it was his life in danger, but any more than that and he would surely die in a battlefield.
Moreover, in this world, it was not uncommon for humans to transcend their human limits. In that sense, it was not a very useful force compared to most in terms of efficiency, but it’s output of power was ridiculously incomparable.
But Asher laughed.
Even if he trained his body to his previous life’s limit so what? He would just focus even more and try to transcend his body’s limits. Even if it would take a long time, he was no slacker when it came to hard work and effort. He would alter his training to meet his goal of finding the pinnacle of swordsmanship. And this power was just the thing that might help him do so.
It wasn’t like he gained heavenly talent all of a sudden, but he had finally been granted a means. He no longer had to stay stagnant and in place any longer. He could finally reach new heights.
All that was left for him to do, was training his body to the limit.
It was late in the evening when Asher finally returned to the estate. He didn’t even bother to go back to his living quarters and just went right back to the training camp. To no surprise, Van Ester was there waiting for him.
“Where’s Reika?”, Asher asked.
“She’s already gone. She really does admire you, you know.”
“Have you been talking with her?”
“Yeah, it’s quite fun actually.”
“I don’t know why she’s like that.”, Asher grumbled.
Reika was talented. If she really did use all the means around her, she would most definitely become a swordmaster like Van Ester, he just couldn’t understand her still.
“What’s wrong with her admiring you?”
“You know well that I’m not talented.”
“Isn’t there any kind of law that says one can only admire the talented?”
Asher paused at Van Ester’s words. Van Ester smirked at Asher.
“A child will often respect their parents, a respectable king will often seek advice from a beggar. Sometimes even a swordmaster will be enlightened by a snoring dog on the side of the road. There is nothing that defines us to think the way we think..”
“You are just like him, he also had the same characteristics as you. He was too pessimistic about himself despite working harder than anyone else and following his sword stubbornly. The gift of swordsmanship is appreciating one’s talent? Don’t make me laugh, that doesn’t make a difference.”
He wanted to be a swordmaster, a true swordsman. He wanted to walk the path of those great ones before him who had found enlightenment at the pinnacle. But Asher had no talent. He couldn’t even make a step onto the road. But he was someone else’s target of admiration. Van Ester shook his head.
“I don’t know what happened to you, but you don’t have to push her away. Even if you do, that child’s respect for you will not change.”
Asher was silent. His head felt complicated. Van Ester spoke bitterly.
“Let’s stop talking about this. I told you a few hours ago that I have something for you.”
“Yes, but I’ve told you many times, I don’t have talent to receive any kind of lesson or the sorts.”
What a Swordmaster gave him wouldn’t mean much to someone talentless with the sword. That was an undeniable truth. It was the equivalent of putting pearl’s on a pig’s neck. Van Ester had talent, but Asher didn’t, so what was the point? Van Ester waved his hand.
“Don’t worry. Thanks to him, I know people like you down to the bone. I said one thing after the other, but nothing would stick due to a lack of so-called talent. That much is for sure. All you can learn is the imperial swordsmanship, and it’s highly doubtful that will change.”
The swordsmanship in the world today, was made by heroes of the past. Every swordsman and adventurer wanted to learn those styles of swordsmanship or magic and be like them.
But Asher wasn’t like that. He had no talent. Therefore, only ordinarily made swordsmanship by people that were not transcendent heroes could be trained. Van Ester grinned.
“Hey, you can’t just use swordsmanship, can you?”
“Well.. I can use the spear, dagger, shield… you know, this and that.”
Imperial swordsmanship was just to lay the groundwork. There was no mystery in it, since the footwork and style was minimalistic. Due to this, the swordsmanship could really be applied to other blade arts and weapons. That was why Asher was so versatile with his range of weapons.
“Of course. That’s your strength as a swordsman who trains in the imperial style of swordsmanship. The thing is, that kind of variety though is typically hard to bring out as a strength in battle since it’s not like you can just bring multiple weapons with you into battle.”
“So what are you trying to say?”
“Well, it’s simple. If you can use multiple weapons, you definitely should.”
Van Ester then, threw something. When Asher caught the item and checked it, he saw that it was a black-colored armament that was equippable on the wrist. The material was made of a sturdy iron.
“A wrist guard?”
“Try it on.”
Asher was wondering exactly what was so special about, but decided to first attach the armament on both arms like Van Ester had told him. Except for the somewhat heavy weight, there was no real problem in his movement.
“So, you gave me this to train with? I think I’ll need more weight than this in order to do that.”
“No, it’s much more interesting than that. Put some strength into your arms and imagine a weapon of any choice.”
“What’s the point of…”
Asher closed his eyes and tightened and flexed his arm muscles regardless.
He thought of a weapon, then more specifically a dagger.
At that moment, a dagger popped out of the wrist brace and flew in the air.
Asher hurriedly snapped his wrist and grabbed the falling dagger. He then blankly lowered his hand that caught the dagger. Van Ester chuckled.
“Fortunately, I was able to get pretty much anything that you would need stored inside. I didn’t think of anything weird when I put them in though.”
“…what is this?”
“What do you think? It’s going to be fun to see you use it. We made it for him. But he died before it was successfully crafted.”
Asher looked at the dagger in his hand. It was double-edged and had luxurious red and gold patterns engraved onto it. The thing was not just for show though, as it was sharp and deadly as it was beautiful.
“Is it magic?”
“Yes, spatial magic.”
Van Ester replied with a smile. He nodded his chin.
“If you want to put it back in, just imagine putting it back in. Then tada- it’ll go right in.”
Asher closed his eyes and formulated the thought as instructed to him. At the same time, the dagger quickly disappeared. Asher frowned.
“It’s your first time using it, and you’re already good at it. I’ve had a pretty hard time adjusting.”
“…is it an armory of weapons stored in here?”
“Well, what do you think? It’s gonna be useful, right?”
Asher did not answer and reimagined a sword. At the same time, the sword popped out on the wrist brace. Asher caught the sword in the air.
“For now, almost every type of weapon should be stored. Oh, you can’t put anything other than the weapons a soldier would use. It’s hard to make a space without that kind of restriction, even if that would be useful.”
It wasn’t alright. The sword disappeared when Asher thought of putting it in. It was no exaggeration to say that the speed of appearance was fast, and the speed of disappearance was immediate. He groaned.
If he used it well, he would have incredible efficiency in practice and in battle, for someone like him, it was an understatement to say it was useful. There would be no opponent who wouldn’t be surprised if Asher swapped weapons mid-battle.
To him, it was a great gift. But, it wasn’t practical to anybody in the entire Empire.
“Why did you make such a grand and useless thing?”
The majority of swordsmanship styles were useless, in fact to master a weapon was no easy task, hence why there were only 10 swordmasters in the entirety of the Empire. Mastering more than one weapon was unprecedented and impossible.
It was surely a meaningful gift to anyone who received such a thing, but the recipient of the gift would also be confused as to why they received it.
Eventually, Van Ester spoke up
“Asher, most will surely have no use for such an item. Anybody can see that…. But it’ll definitely be useful to you won’t it? Are you obsessed with the form of a weapon when it comes to battle?”
He had no talent. He could barely survive by using the weapon available to him. He only chose the sword since it was the easiest to handle, but he was not held or bound strictly to the form of a weapon.
He was said to walk the path of the sword, but that was just one thing. If anything Asher, was someone who used all weapons possible and was headed towards a much higher plane than a simple swordmaster, if only he had the talent though.
“Yes, you are different from us. That’s why we made it in the first place, but it was made for him originally.”
“… Were you two close?”
Asher was frankly embarrassed. He considered him close to Van Ester, but he didn’t ever show much emotion towards him. Not only that, but it was also true for all of the heroes, too.
He had no talent and there was no value for untalented people in the Empire. That’s what Asher thought, and was thus how he acted. But Van Ester’s expression was awkward. Asher saw this and had never seen such a reaction out of Van Ester in all their time together.
“Well, I thought we were close, but… I don’t think he felt the same. I always kept myself at a distance from him. But… yes I truly did consider him my friend.”
Van Ester murmured with a longing face.
“He didn’t complain. He accepted that he had no talent, but he also never gave up. He just walked his own path calmly. He was that kind of person, so how could one possibly hate that?”
Van Ester had the wrong impression of him. It was sad, since Asher did not walk his own path calmly. It hurt every time he was given such stares or words of contempt. It hurt when others shoved him down and called him trash. But he hid his emotions deep within him and never acted out.
It was sudden but it was sad. Asher sighed lightly. Ever since he had reincarnated, his emotions felt more out of control than before. Asher reached out his hand and a spear appeared on the palm of his hand.
“Then let’s practice.”
“How’s your wrist?”
“I just need a little time, but I’ll get used to it.”
Asher made a posture. Van Ester grinned and held the sword.
Then they kicked the ground with their feet, rushing at each other.
A week had passed since then. During that time, Asher fought with Van Ester without skipping a day. Thanks to that, he felt fully adapted to the use of his new tool.
However, his relationship with Reika felt awkward to him now. Reika viewed as a teacher and her goal still, but Asher felt perplexed with how to deal with her.
Asher could not possibly understand her, and she did not understand why he felt such a way around her. If neither of them approached each other on the topic, nothing would change.
After some time, eventually the convoy from the Empire came.
“The Knight Commander of the Imperial Order meets the Great Swordmaster, High Count, Van Ester.”
The Knight Commander kneeled down in front of the carriage and dozens of soldiers behind him followed suit. Reika was amazed at the sight and her jaw dropped in awe.
“You’re here after all. What a bother.”
“The Emperor wishes to seek an audience with you, esteemed Swordmaster. Please come back to the capital with us.”
Van Ester frowned. Firstly he did not want to go back to the Empire in the first place even if it was his home. However, there was no justification to refuse if the Emperor himself ordered it.
‘But. Is it time?’
However, Van Ester was also thinking of going to the capital at least once, so it wouldn’t be bad. He nodded his head.
“Thank you, Master of the Great Sword.”
“You haven’t changed in these past twenty years. I thought the captain of the imperial guard would come by the way.”
“Because he’s busy doing other things.”
“I was wondering who succeeded him. We’ll see who when we get to the Empire.”
Van Ester moved on. He stood in front of Lord Halvark and waved.
“It was nice to see you after a long time. Make sure you don’t die too early before we see each other again.”
“Ah, and you child. You are…”
Van Ester’s eyes naturally turned to Reika. Luke next to him didn’t even get so much as a glance from Van Ester. Luke clenched his fist at the attitude of being openly ignored and humiliated like so. His body trembled with anger and his gaze contained sheer contempt at Van Ester, but Van Ester didn’t care.
“You’ll see one day what it means to become a swordmaster. I don’t know what path you’ll take to get there though.”
Reika nodded quietly. And then, Van Ester looked at Asher. He sported a playful smile at Asher.
“Okay, what about my two disciples?”
The driver, who was in denial at the words, hurriedly raised his head. The soldiers behind them were the same. Feeling the shock in it, Asher sighed.
“I said I wouldn’t be your disciple.”
“But you’ve learned this and that. I even gave you a gift. Let’s just say you’re my temporary disciple.”
“I didn’t ask you for such a thing though….”
“Just accept it. The gift is not bad, is it?”
“…. I guess.”
It was true he did receive a lot of help from Van Ester. And it seemed Van Ester was trying to hint at something.
“What do you want from me?”
Van Ester flinched at the words. His eyes sank, but only for a second. He smirked and whispered in Asher’s ear.
Asher nodded gently. Van Ester then, turned round and stepped forwards.
“That’s the end of the story for today. It’s getting late already, so we’ll leave tomorrow. Go and get somerest.”
“Oh, well… yes, sir.”
The Knight commander panicked as he looked between Van Ester and Asher, but then bowed his head politely and gathered the rest of the soldiers to get situated for the night.
Later that night, Asher opened his eyes silently. The Halvark territory was quiet. It was natural because it was time for most people to be sleeping.
He lifted himself up and attached the wrist brace as he stepped out. He was heading towards the training ground. When he got there, Van Ester was waiting for him.
“Are you finally here?”
“I’m here because you called me. What’s the matter?”
“We won’t see each other for a long time after this. I’m only your ‘temporary disciple’. You two should have a good time in the capital.”
Van Ester spoke playfully, but Asher remained silent. Van Ester’s face sank slowly. He spoke emotionally.
“I tried to kill you before I met you.”
Asher nodded. The feeling Asher felt when Van Ester first saw him, was a murderous intent.
“But I didn’t. The moment I saw you, I knew you were different from what I was worried about. Of course, that awkwardness hasn’t changed, but… But you’re definitely human.”
Van Ester knew that Asher was hiding something. His movements, his swordsmanship, his battle experience and values. None of it befit the nature of a teenager.
But he didn’t pry. Not only that, but he had given Asher a lot of things, like sparring practice, a wrist brace he had prepared for his old friend amongst others. He just had one small request.
“What do I want from you? Nothing much. It’s a confirmation of sorts from this old man….Don’t you think it’s funny?”
Van Ester laughed. It was a smile that looked somewhat empty.
“You and he were talented as a warrior on the battlefield. He survived with only one technique his entire life. But he was not talented with the sword, or so they said. Does that make sense to you?”
“Because swordsmanship is made to transcend the human limits.”
There was only one other way to transcend human limits, other than swordsmanship. Van Ester laughed bitterly.
“Yeah, that’s funny. Swordsmanship is made to transcend the human limits! I traveled far and wide for the past 20 years and there were many things that I had seen.”
Haivan laughed loudly. A vain laugh echoed through the training camp.
“Through those 20 years, I was looking for something. It was to find contradictions to our common sense as humans and find new possibilities in this new world. I wanted to find those exceptions. Those anomalies. That’s why I’m even more interested in you. Thanks to you, I got a sense of what I was looking for.”
Van Ester’s enthusiastic eyes turned to Asher. The emotions contained in it, could make even those who had courage tremble, but Asher calmly looked at Van Ester and opened his mouth.
“What were they then.”
“You’re curious as to what else I found?”
Asher suddenly heard the low growl of an animal. Something moved abruptly in the darkness around them. Asher’s senses heightened to the limits as he narrowed his eyes.
The beast laughed almost mockingly. Spreading his senses, Asher looked at Van Ester with a confused face. Asher knew what it was. But it was impossible. However, Van Ester also was calm and continued to talk.
“This is what I have found from my twenty-year journey…. They’re trying to stop us from digging up secrets again, and they’re coming after us.”
The beast that fed on human shadows from the abyss of hell.
“Oh, I didn’t expect you to know what this thing was.”
“…they should have been eradicated to the last one by the heroes.”
There was a Hero who killed the Devil who had invaded the continent. At the same time, the darkness in the world was driven back. Thus, came the era of peace. That was the truth known to the world, and the history Asher had gone through himself.
“…It’s all a lie.”
Van Ester spoke with a grave tone.
Chapter 13 – Fin
T/N : Yooooo who’s been waiting for it? We got our sense of direction here finally! Not only that, but…. who else been waiting for the patreon for advance chapters? Well I hate to say it, but it took a while to setup due to the nature of these incredibly long chapters.
Though…. I do love reading it as I tl since like the story’s pretty good in my opinion. The only thing I can say is that the average wordcount of these chapters is much longer than any other novel I’ve tled. But, author is incredible in terms of foreign webnovels.
Here’s your guys’ patreon link! I’ll also link it in the homepage :