Reincarnation of the Swordmaster
Chapter 15 – Assassin (2)
Translated by : betterdays
Proofread by : ch17175
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“The long-awaited request has come.”
The assassin entered the abandoned building and opened his mouth. Then darkness surrounded him, spread out and encapsulated the space around him.
“That’s right, he’s a fool. He didn’t even need any kind of stimulation or coercion to make the decision. He came on me on his own.”
[Thanks to him, I think the purpose of coming here will be solved much quicker.]
The man frowned slightly. He looked around and shook his finger.
“Are you sure I had to come out this far? There’s only one kid. Isn’t one or two of my kids enough?”
[It’s the student of a Swordmaster. I think there’s enough reason to move forward with the plan.]
“But it’s just a little boy. It’s a child with no talent and he’s only learned one swordsmanship which is only imperial swordsmanship.”
In the assassin’s view, he felt the guild’s reaction was overactive. He didn’t think there was a good reason for him to even come here in the first place.
[But the kid is dangerous nonetheless. You cannot forget the past. When our organization first appeared in the world, the one who brought us to the brink of extinction was also a master of imperial swordsmanship. We must remain vigilant with this order. If this boy turns out to be much more skilled and grows, we cannot let the past repeat itself.]
“The man wasn’t that skilled back then though. And he wasn’t alone, if he was, he would have never been able to do what he did back then. “
The assassin spoke as if he were protesting against the order, finding it troublesome. He was young. That’s why he didn’t know exactly what had happened in the past. Above all, he was confident he could assassinate some meager kid who had no talent, and didn’t even have the swordmaster to protect him on the estate!
“Imperial swordsmanship is for the weak.”
The assassin spoke with confidence.
“He’s going to fall by my hand. I am the successor to the great martyr. I’m not so weak as to be defeated by Imperial Swordsmanship from a child.”
“I always feel this way.”
Reika murmured with a disappointed face and rough scars across her arms.
“Why can’t I beat you?”
She had always felt confident with herself. She had talent and she was starting to finally recognize it herself. She was learning the swordsmanship of one of the great heroes in the past and was making good use of it. However, against Asher, she had not won a single victory.
“I can’t even give you a proper would!”
“It may not be a proper strike, but you’ve still been able to scratch me and reach me with your sword. It’s more surprising to me that you’ve come this far in such a short amount of time.”
Asher couldn’t believe Reika had hurt him after only half a year of learning properly. He had seen monstrous talents in the past, but even with talent alone they could not harm him since they relied purely on their talent. Reika was adapting with talent much higher than those he had seen in the past, and was even applying proper tactics for battle! She was not someone that could be placed in comparison to even swordmasters of the past in terms of her learning curve.
“It’s still too soon for you to try and beat me.”
Swordsmanship is absolute and higher-level styles of swordsmanship were bound to overcome another, but no matter how talented one was, it took time to get to the threshold and defeat others of higher mastery. In the first place, a person with transcendent talent would have to devote their life to achieve such a feat over Asher. No matter how talented they were, it would take such time to defeat Asher, who might have not been talented with the sword, but had extreme experience in several life and death battles.
Above all, Asher had not just defeated talented individuals, he had killed and slain many monsters and demons in his past life across the several battlefields he had endured. He had even sparred against swordmasters. He was not someone that would go down to such a child. At least not yet.
It was also the same case for any child, but it seemed Reika was threatening that belief with her growth.
“Also, you’re so difficult to deal with since you can change your weapon whenever you want to!”
Asher tapped on the wrist brace. At the same time, the spear in his hand disappeared. It was very satisfying. He was still getting used to it, but he was already proficient with almost all of his new movements and attack patterns he could pull off with it. It was incredible for Asher, as he felt that this was the start to a whole new set of limitations that couldn’t be measured for himself.
“It’s about time to finish up anyways.”
“Oh, It’s already time?”
The sun was sinking beyond the horizon. Reika waved her hand and nodded that it was getting late.
“I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Don’t be too impatient, you have plenty of time to get stronger.”
When Reika left, Asher was the only one left at the training area. Asher, who was standing for a while, picked up a sword and began to swing.
“Is it nighttime already?”
It had been three hours. It became dark before he knew it. Asher wiped off his copious amounts of sweat and headed to the bathhouse.
As Asher headed to the bathhouse, he ran into Luke on his way there.
“Good morning, Young Master.”, Asher spoke respectfully.
Luke stared at him silently. Luke opened his mouth as Asher tried to pass him into the dressing room in the bathouse.
Asher turned around at the odd word choice of Luke and looked at Luke’s stiff expression.
“Tomorrow, Go to the address written here at midnight.”
“It’s an order. Do you, as the employee refused to obey my order?”
Asher accepted the letter from Luke’s outstretched hands. Asher smiled lightly as he read over the contents of the letter. It was a secluded alleyway which seemed to be in the slums. It was rather obvious what this meant.
“Okay, I shall do so, Young Master.”
“Make sure you go. If you don’t, I will surely have you kicked out.”
Luke spouted roughly and strode past Asher, bumping his shoulder. Asher looked briefly behind him once Luke left, and then went into the bathroom.
“Hey Asher, how are you doing? Are you ready to start training?”
“Luke gave me an order today I can’t.”
“He asked it as a favor.”
“…Luke, asked you for a favor?”
Reika gave Asher a strange look. That’s how ridiculous it sounded to have Luke ask for Asher for a favor.
“What exactly did he ask you to do?”
“He just wanted me to stop by somewhere. It’s no big deal.”
“Really? It doesn’t look weird to you at all?”
“Eh, no way.”
Asher waved his hands to show that it wasn’t that concerning to him, at Reika’s worried expression.
“…I hope nothing goes wrong. It sounds fishy seeing that it’s coming from Luke…”
“I’m an employee of the estate right now. I have to follow orders that are given by the master or young master no matter what. Plus I already have an idea of what it’s about.”
“Yes, that’s why I’m training alone today.”
“Do you have to go, though? I’m still worried.”
“I have to.”
It was time. Asher stepped outside the estate and walked down the streets of the territory. He could feel the odd gazes of the townspeople as he walked through the streets.
Ignoring it, Asher took a turn and stood in front of the alley that Luke had mentioned in the letter.
Asher walked to the “delivery spot” and he saw an engraved pattern of a cross that was covered up with dust. Asher took his hand and wiped down the dusted floor and the pattern became clearer to him. It was the shape of a circular cross pattern that he recognized from the past.
“…Oh, my God.”
Someone had called him here through Luke, and it turned out to be these guys.
‘Should I back off?’
No, no. These guys were persistent and disgusting as weeds. In that case he needed to take them out from the roots.
Asher slowly went deeper into the alley.
Asher could feel the gazes of several hidden assassins lurking in the shadows. The assassins seemed to think they hid their presence well, but it seemed like this assassin was overconfident in his skills and incredibly immature. As Asher walked for a few more minutes, he saw the end of the alley nearing him.
“Why don’t you come out?”
Darkness enveloped the space around him. Several assassins dressed in black walked from the corners of the dark alley.
‘Fourteen. That’s a lot.’
“Ah I see, what do I owe the pleasure of meeting with the Motorola Assassins?”
All of the assassins flinched for a moment. Then one person amongst them made a clap, gathering their attention. A singular man wearing a black robe came up, clapping his hands.
“Oh, I didn’t expect you to know who we are.”
“Who else bearing the emblem of that cross, can be other than the Motorola Assassins Guild?”
Their organization was smashed decades ago, but it seemed he and the others had failed to destroy their roots, seeing them here now. Despite nearly destroying them in the past, it still didn’t bode well with Asher to be seeing them here and now.
The man in the robe grinned.
“Even if your teacher is a Swordmaster, you’re saying that you, the student of a swordmaster, know of us? What an endearing teacher of yours …hahah!”
“I didn’t hear about your guild from him. This is my own information. I can’t believe you were stupid enough to send me a note to meet in an alley. Isn’t it too obvious? It was so obvious I was thinking it might even be real, since assassins aren’t usually that stupid.”
“…you’re more talkative than I thought.”
“Is that so?”
Asher mumbled casually. It seemed this would be his first fight with this body. His mind wouldn’t falter under the pressure, but the body might be different. He couldn’t expect the best, due to the body’s influences.
“Well seeing you come and act so brazenly around us, it makes sense you’re so arrogant.”, the man spoke in a haughty tone.
“It doesn’t matter, since this will be your grave.”
Asher murmured at the man’s words. The assassins’ darkness then spread out with a mass of killing intent. It would be a massive oppressing force to anybody. A swarming sensation of murder and death surrounded Asher.
At that moment, one of the assassins jumped out of the dark and shot forward, aiming at Asher’s back. As soon as he tried to stab the dagger, Asher turned around. He swung his hand in a curved manner around the assassin’s outstretched arm. Asher immediately broke the frightened assassin’s wrist and grabbed the falling dagger. Taking the dagger, Asher brought his hand gripping the dagger in a diagonal swing, going so fast that it looked like a flash, slitting the assassin’s throat immediately.
With the flowing movement, they couldn’t even figure out what happened.
“The demons and assassins from the shadows were pushed back to the edge of the world years ago. What’s funny is, if you can’t get permission from your master, you ugly rats can’t even step out into the public. That’s probably natural, since you’d be swept away helplessly like ant’s in the face of a storm if you did.”
The man’s face hardened for a moment. Asher pulled out the dagger from the assassin’s neck. Blood splashed on Asher’s face and dyed his eyes and hair a bloodthirsty red.
“Who are you really..? And how do you know our secrets!”
“That’s not what matters. I’m just your assisination target for today. That just means there’s one thing left to do.”
Asher took out the sword from his spatial subpocket.
(T/N : working with this term instead of wrist brace since it’s much easier, directly referencing the spatial magic embedded within it.)
Van Ester was walking down a colorful hallway. Gold decorations and embroidery hung everywhere on the walls and ceiling. The extravagant decorations caught the eye of Van Ester and other past guests. The colorful patterns clearly announced the identity of the person who owned the palace.
The ruler, the great sun, that ruled atop, any and all persons within the entire empire.
When Van Ester opened the door, he could see a middle-aged man sitting in a chair by a table inside the room. Van Ester grinned and sat down with a chair.
“Long time no see, Van Ester, son of the Empire, master of the sword.”
“It’s been more than 20 years.”
The man looked at Van Ester with zero emotion as he said so. Van Ester was the same. Neither truly respected each other for their positions at all.
“I didn’t expect you to be emperor. I thought you were brilliant, but I thought you’d be kicked out of the succession race early on.”
“Well, I just killed them all. So naturally, it just became mine.”
The man replied with tired eyes as he touched the crown above his head.
Van Ester smiled bitterly at the stoic eyes of the current emperor. It was depressing to see a once, brilliant and bright child, crushed by the weight of reality.
“Isn’t it good to be alive these days? You want some candy?” (T/N : Van Ester 10/10 savage moments)
“Ah, still showing no courtesy or respect for costumes to the royal family from even before and now.”
“I am a man who walks on the path of the sword. That means I am a man who deviates from the customs and bullshit of discrimination by race, creed or color… As long as it has to do with my and my sword, I could care less.
“I know. I just checked how long you’ve been gone. Twenty years of absence is enough time to forget your duties for a little, and have your vacation.”
“Twenty years… yes. The Empire seems to have changed quite a bit.”
“I don’t think there’s much change.”
“Well, isn’t there the change of the Imperial Guard Captain?”
“Ahhhh, you’re right.”
The Emperor nodded his chin at Van Ester’s words. Van Ester just laughed, as if he was having fun.
“Not to mention anything else, that child alone, is sufficiently amazing to fill the shoes of the old captain. I didn’t think the current imperial guard captain was so talented, despite being so young.”
“Well the Empire is the stronghold in the world, things like race, creed, religion, have nothing to do with competence and loyalty. It doesn’t matter if the guard was an elf or an Orc. If they’re loyal and reliable, then it’s only obvious they can reach that position.”
“I know. It’s just funny, how you can say that when it’s not something that’s necessarily true with humans, as we’re discriminatory by nature…. Also what about the opinion of the kid who received the position? Are they sure they want it?”
“That’s what he wanted. He could have been given a much better position with his accumulated merits, but he was obsessed with the position, being the captain of the Imperial Guards.”
“I suppose that makes sense.”
Van Ester stroked his chin. He seemed to be pondering for a while, and then soon grinned.
“It would be fun to meet that kid.”
“Enough about that. I heard you were on the outskirts of some territory in the empire. Why did you come back there?”
The emperor did not even know the name of the Halvark estate. It was close to the capital, but it really was a small estate with nothing valuable and small in population. It was not worth the Emperor’s knowledge.
“Yes, I saw an interesting boy out there. But what’s so important about it? Do you want to meet this boy?”
Van Ester couldn’t wait. He found this current Emperor, bearing the Inak household name, a very interesting child as well. He looked just like the previous Emperor, but Van Ester did not know much about him, and wanted to use this as an excuse to see how the Emperor would act.
The emperor leaned his back as if he was not interested in Van Ester’s silly shenanigans. He gave up everything he had just to succeed as the emperor, he couldn’t afford to be interested in such silly little meandering jokes. Even if it was a swordmaster talking to him.
If a swordmaster simply said it was fun, then it at least wasn’t anything threatening to him. Therefore, he would just rather press onto more difficult topics.
“Let’s stop chatting and get to the point.”
He did not appreciate such irrelevant stories. Suddenly the Emperor sat up in his chair and his eyes glistened. His gaze locked with Van Ester’s and the eyes of a tired child crushed by reality were no longer present. A cold and heartless ruler, who would do anything for his empire replaced his tired visage.
“The things you said… they must be true.”
Van Ester nodded. The emperor gave a dry smile.
“The great hero had done a great job of cleaning up the remnants of the Demons around the world. I can’t believe he completely left his country and people to do such a thing and not even return.”
“I don’t want you to curse him too much. He must have had a hard time.”, Van Ester spoke in a calming voice.
“But this is the result. The cracks in the fissure were eventually re-opened, and the darkness reappeared. As a result, even you’re being chased right now.”
“Don’t worry. I’m not weak enough to die from silly things like that. My first priority is to find a new hero. However, if I do, I wish the Empire would cooperate with him.”
The emperor touched the crown. An emotionless voice rang out.
“No, there will be no support.”
At that moment, Van Ester’s face was distorted. At the same time, a crushing and heavy pressure swept through the room, emanating from Van Ester. The knights behind the emperor didn’t even have the willpower to pull out the sword from this pressure, but the emperor’s face, which received the full brunt of the force, did not change a single bit.
“You must be kidding. You know what’s going on right now and how dire the situation is.”
“This Emperor can’t joke with you sadly, High Count Van Ester.”
Van Ester gripped the sword. The guards tried to move out and surround him, but they couldn’t even lift a finger because they were suppressed by the intangible pressure that was building more and more. The emperor calmly opened his mouth, although the atmosphere seemed to burst at any moment.
“That’s not the only problem. Funnily enough, I actually can’t afford to do so.”
Van Ester slowly relaxed his strength at the sight of the emperor’s tired face that had reappeared as if he found the whole situation a nuance. The suppressed groans burst everywhere.
“The majority of our Empire’s heroes disappeared more than two decades ago. We weren’t able to say anything… Naturally it brought chaos to the world.”
“Wait… because I was the first to leave… Don’t tell me the others left as well!?”
“You didn’t realize? You must have been truly hiding in the corners of the continent to not be able to realize that.”
Van Ester was silent at the emperor’s words. The emperor waved his hand. The guards’ movements relaxed and their images disappeared. The space around the two distorted and the Emperor released a magic spell. There were only the two of them within this secluded space.
“Not all the heroes have left, so it was still somewhat peaceful on the outside looking in, from the civilians perspective that is. Ian the Brave was one of them. But now… they’ve become the problem.”
“…what….do you mean….?”
“It’s not just that the heroes of the past have died. Some are no longer… how do you say it? They no longer wish to bear goodwill towards humanity.”
The Emperor spoke calmly as he dropped the heavy words.
Chapter 15 – Fin