Reincarnation of the Swordmaster
Chapter 22 – The Hero (3)
Translated by : betterdays
Proofread by : ch17175
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“There’s nothing you can do about it.”
The Belturia Estate was the estate that belonged to a Count. The size of the land and weight of the title, was not comparable to that of the Halvark estate since it was a smaller nobility.
If Balbaca had been as gentle as before, it wouldn’t have been a big deal to refuse the marriage proposal. The Balbaca of the past was a good and gentle man.
But now, Asher didn’t think it would end like this so abruptly.
“It’s not bad for you either, is it? If you accept the deal and proposal, I can help you increase the Halvark territory’s earnings with my name.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
Charon grated his teeth.
“Both myself and my Lord, did not wish for this marriage to happen.”
“It would be good for the territory though.”
“Do you see Lord Halvark as a man who desires political power?”
“That’s not it.”
From generation to generation, the Halvark’s had less desire than other noble households and were satisfied with what they had. Luke was a bit of an exception to this, but Lord Halvark remained unchanged to the tradition.
“The Lord is content with his estate and political standing. He would never sell his daughter to gain power.”
Charon crumpled his face.
“First of all, she doesn’t even want to marry. She wants to walk the path of the sword. Not the path of a housewife.”
“Bah, Is she even talented?”
“Talented is not even close enough to describe her potential as a swordsman…”
Charon spoke with fury hidden in his eyes, yet also admiration of Reika’s great work ethic and talent. With enough time, he was sure she could become one of them. A Swordmaster of the Empire.
Charon was a talented swordsman himself, and he knew it. Therefore, he could definitely know just how amazing Reika’s future could be if she continued to walk the path of the sword.
“I can’t believe you can’t even notice how talented she is.”
Charon clenched his fist as he held back his curses at Lord Balbaca.
However, even though he was angry, nothing changed. For the next few days, Balbaca continued to approach Reika and try to court her.
Although Boros stopped him, Balbaca was the owner of the estate. There was no way he would listen to his son and face embarrassment like that. Reika’s expression darkened day by day, and Charon’s face continued to swell red with rage.
In that situation, Asher headed to the village below the castle. He had something to buy. The more he walked around in the village, the more miserable townsfolk he could see with his own two eyes.
It was a stark difference. The townspeople’s expressions that he remembered compared to the ones now, were completely different. Not only that, but the difference between the luxurious estate of the Belturia Family, compared to the miserable looking town that was pretty much in rags, was saddening to see.
As Asher examined the differences in his head, eventually, someone stopped him in his path.
“Give me your money.”
The owner of the voice was a boy who didn’t even look older than ten. The boy was holding a knife and trembling as his frightened expression didn’t match his words.
“I’m going to stab you if you don’t.”
Asher looked at the poor and dirty boy. The boy faltered as if he was under pressure from Asher’s indifferent eyes, but he clenched his teeth and stood his ground. The boy tightened his grip on the knife.
Boros grabbed the boy’s arm with a gloomy face. The boy was startled and let go of the knife.
“This is our family’s guest that is currently visiting the estate. I have a duty to protect him.”
Boros took some coins from his pockets and put them in the boy’s hand.
“This should be enough for you to buy some medicine for your sister. Go.”
“Th-…Th-thank you Master….”
The boy nodded his head and ran away. Boros smiled bitterly at Asher.
“That’s not how it always was. Did you say your name was Asher?”
“I’m sorry. I’ve shown you a terrible situation.”
Asher was an employee of the Halvark Estate and Boros was a nobleman, but he was respectful and courteous to Asher.
“You should apologize to someone else, not me.”
“You mean… Miss Reika, don’t you.”
Lord Balbaca wanted his own son’s fiance. Even the most vicious and arrogant aristocrats did not do things like that.
Boros dropped his head without saying a word. Asher opened his mouth gently.
“As long as I am the owner of the Belturia Nobility, it does not matter if you are poor, rich, talented, or talentless. If you are loyal to me, I will trust in you from the bottom of my heart.”
an unexpected remark came out of Asher’s mouth, and Boros’ mouth shook as his eyes trembled for a moment.
“How could you say something like that….”
“That’s what Balbaca often said back in the day.”
Those were the words Balbaca of the past, the one known as a hero, had once said to his people. It gave Asher goosebumps how genuine Balbaca was whenever he said those words.
“However, I think things are a little different right now.”, Asher continued.
Boros smiled bitterly without saying a word. Asher continued his steps, approaching the castle, and turned back around as if he had forgotten something.
“Mr. Boros, may I ask you a favor?”
“Yes, please ask.”
“I need something, but strangely they don’t sell it here. Even though it’s not that hard to get, I was wondering if you could save me some?”
“What are you talking about?”
Asher told Boros of the goods he needed. Boros tilted his head curiously.
“What are they for?”
“I need it for something personal.”
“Hmm… it’s not that big of a deal to get those for you. I see. I think I can arrange it for you by tomorrow.”
Asher gave Boros a slight bow, and began to return to the castle.
“Balbaca, the once hero, who covets women and despises the common people….”
Asher mumbled as he walked around the castle’s garden. In the past, everyone used to laugh at him for being a trash and a scum, but now there are no words that fit the current Balbaca than the words once described when talking about Asher before his reincarnation.
Asher touched the blue rose petals that were blooming beautifully in the garden. These roses were a rare breed, and had to be cultivated carefully. They had the same weight and value as jewelry in the Empire. It was a symbol of wealth that adorned the gardens of arrogant and greedy nobles.
The garden was full of these aforementioned blue roses. Asher tightened his hand and crushed the rose in his hands without hesitating.
“Who are you?”
“….My name is Asher.”
Asher replied. Before he knew it, Balbaca was staring at Asher with a very confused expression.
“What’s going on here?”
“You don’t remember. I saw your Lordship with Miss Reika and Knight Charon by my side.”
“What? Oh, yeah! Are you a servant of the Halvark family?”
Asher nodded, but it was not exactly a courteous look that he gave Balbaca.
“Do you know me?”
asked Balbaca. With a confident and arrogant expression.
“I know Balbaca Belturia. The one that was a hero of the past.”
“Yes, I am a hero. I am a great man. It would be an honor for your family to be associated with me like that.”
Balbacca continued with an insidious smile plastered across his face.
“Go tell your Lord for me. The great Balbaca wants Reika Halvark as his concubine. It would be better for her to marry me than my ugly son.”
“You’re a complete snob for a hero.”, Asher said without batting an eye or changing his indifferent look that he gave Balbaca.
“Heroes are always like that.”
“Hm… then, may I ask you a question?”
Asher asked in a subdued voice that hinted with slight mockery, but Balbaca didn’t pick up on it.
“On my way here, I saw bandits fleeing the Belturia estate. There were even some children and women among them. I would like to know what happened.”
“Yes, they ran away from my city. I sent a search party, but they couldn’t find any traces of those bandits you speak of.”
“Why did they run away?”
“They said that they wouldn’t live in my city. Rude fucking peasants.”
Balbaca clicked his tongue with a distorted face.
“It’s always the commoners ridiculous stupidity that makes them run away from the nobility. They know that if I catch them, I’ll mutilate them and kill them on the spot.”
“Is that so?”
Asher let out a laugh.
‘I may be nothing but a retired Captain of the Imperial Guard, but I know better than anyone that this man is not Balbaca, let alone a true noble of the Empire.’
Asher recalled his memories from the past, and looked at Balbaca with an unusual grin.
“May I ask you one last question?”
The indifferent eyes turned towards Balbaca.
“What is your name?”
“What nonsense are you talking about you stupid servant?”
Balbaca smiled in vain.
“I am Balbaca Belturia. The master of the Belaturia estate and a great hero.”
There was no hesitation in the words spoken.
“Balbaca Belturia. I see.”
Asher mockingly spoke. He lifted himself up.
“Let me tell you something interesting then ‘Mr. Balbaca Belturia’.”
Charon hit the table with a red face. Fragments of wood shattered and flew everywhere.
“You can’t do this Lady Reika! How can Balbaca do this?!”
Balbaca was becoming more and more blatant as time went by. Boros, who had already been the target of the political marriage at first, had long been placed as a backseat driver.
And today, Balbaca even called Reika to his room separately. Charon grabbed the sword.
“I can’t stand this!”
“Then what can you even do?”
Asher clicked his tongue at Charon, who was about to run to Balbaca’s room right away.
“Are you going to start a feudal war with the Belturia estate? Lord Halvark would be very pleased with you if you do I’m assuming.”, Asher mocked at Charon.
“Then are you going to stay still as well?!”
Charon shouted and drew the sword.
“I am a loyal knight to Lord Halvark. I can’t watch his daughter being played around with by an old man!”
“Oh, how loyal.”
Asher continued to mock Charon and try to get him to think rationally. Charon first called Balbaca a great hero when they were traveling there, and now he was calling him an old man. The visible change of heart made Asher laugh.
“There are no more heroes of the past.”, Asher spoke bluntly.
Charon clenched his teeth and walked to the door. The moment he tried to open it roughly, the door opened on the other side.
Balbaca’s son, Boros came in with a gloomy face. He glanced at Charon.
“Are you going to my father’s room?”
Charon looked down at Boros with contempt.
“There’s nothing to be spoken by a successor who can’t even keep his fiance away from his old man.”
“It’s not me who wanted the engagement in the first place.”
“That’s what I’m talking about!”
Charon’s muscles swelled up. Boros murmured again.
“It’s an engagement that no one wanted except for my father.”
Charon suddenly paused. Boros came inside.
“You don’t have to worry, Mr. Charon. My father is a weak drinker. He won’t even be able to tell the difference between Reika and some maid or prostitute. She will be safe as long as he’s drunk.”
Boros glanced away at Asher. Charon opened his mouth in embarrassment.
“Oh, how can you be so sure then?”
“Well, maybe it’s because I distrust that man is even my father as well.”
Boros touched the ornaments on the wall in a melancholic way.
“I run an information organization that my father does not know about.”
Charon asked again with a surprised expression. It was a common perception that information organizations were the work of low-class people. Charon looked in disbelief at Boros, the heir to the Count, who had suddenly said he ran one of these organizations.
“I used to like that kind of trade when I was learning my academics when I was younger. But that’s not the only reason. My lord, my father has cut off all interactions with the outside world and for me to get news from the outside, I had to run such an organization to find out anything going on outside the territory.”
“He blocked the exchange of information himself for the past 20 years? That was Balbaca’s decision?”
Boros said with a bitter face.
“There’s been no information coming out from us for the past 20 years, our entire territory has been living like this in isolation.”
“Why would you ask that?”
Boros looked at Charon.
“You said you had met my father before. Do you think my Lord is the same as he was back then?”
Boros spoke, without using the term ‘father’, and instead put emphasis on ‘Lord’.
Charon couldn’t answer. Boros replied alone.
“No, Lord Balbaca is not a hero now. He’s been a different person for over 20 years now.”
Asher listened quietly to their conversation. Boros looked out the window at the houses outside.
“Look at the village. People are starving to death, they are homeless and cold, and my father only wants more jewelry. He just overworks people and raises taxes on them for no just reason.”
Boros clenched his fist.
“My father is as I said, nothing but a simple monster.”
“But people are still grasping onto the false hope in their minds. That the great Lord, the hero of the past, will come back to his senses one day.”
Boros laughed at his own words.
“What a vain hope.”
“How can a great hero….”
Boros smiled bitterly.
“There’s something my father has always said since I was born. ‘Son, I will put my name and soul and make an Oath. An Oath that will allow you to marry the one you love’.”
It was practically impossible for a noble-born child to marry the one they loved. But Balbaca was called a hero because he practiced such ideals and even wanted to let his son have his own freedom from his title as a Count.
“I believed that once. However, my father changed and became strange, but I still believed it at that time.”
Balbaca was a hero that swore at the risk of his own soul burning in the form of an Oath. It could not be a lie. Boros thought so as well.
“Five years prior to the 20 years of isolation, He got to know a woman from outside. She wasn’t a noble, but she was a good natured woman he and I both thought. She was the kind of woman that everyone would love. My father brought her to the estate and showed her around.”
Boros spoke calmly.
“But…. The next day, she was dead.”
Chapter 22 – Fin
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