35 – Goblins (5)

Reincarnation of the Swordmaster
Chapter 35 – Goblins (5)
Translated by : betterdays


* * * 

Asher could not understand. Why berate swordsmen who followed in the footsteps of heroes. Those heroes had paved the way for several generations to come and ascend to greater heights. Yet, the Head Goblin had called those people ‘fake’.

“I don’t understand.”

“It doesn’t matter in the end, it doesn’t change that they’re fake. The only thing that matters, is that you are not one of those fakes.”

The Head Goblin lifted the spear with a face full of excitement and expectation. It was quite odd to see a creature so hideous become so passionate about something.

“I opened my eyes to this world and was blessed with the capability of intellect. The first thing I noticed was this was a world full of lies and I despaired. Yet you… you, are worth it!”

“Hmm.”

Asher thought about it. What should he do? His often-used tactics did not work against this Goblin. Was there anything he could use against this goblin to defeat it? His normally cruse methods weren’t working. After a while, Asher stopped moving as he came to the answer.

“…Ha.”

Asher burst into laughter. Asher, who shook his head, pulled out a sword and grabbed it firmly.

“What an irony.”

He realized just what would work against this goblin, and it was the very thing that this goblin hated.

“Finally, I’m coming to the right decision.”

“Yes….?”

The Goblin was confused at Asher’s words as he noticed something was wrong. The answer was something so simple, yet something Asher had done for countless decades just to get to where he was right now with his terrible talent.

He never thought he would compete with someone like this with pure swordsmanship. It had been ages since he had done this in a formal duel.

“Keruuuuk!”

The Head Goblin swung the spear roughly.

***

The spear and the sword collide. There was no such thing as a movement beyond cognitive abilities for the two of them. They just moved their weapons purely to kill each other.

The Head Goblin stepped back and thrust the spear as Asher brought his sword down.

When Asher turned around and avoided the thrust, The Head Goblin took stance with the spear. The spear shot out violently, drawing an afterimage.

“Whoa,”

Asher breathed, dodging within the flurry of blows the Head Goblin threw at him. His minimalistic movements dodged everything by a hair’s breadth apart, making his way closer and closer towards the Head Goblin.

“You and I are the same.”

“KEEEE!”

The Head Goblin blocked the sword that approached it in a hurry. In the gap, Asher pulled a dagger out with the other hand, stabbing at the stomach of the Head Goblin. It didn’t quite reach its intended mark, but the dagger still hit nonetheless, as green blood flowed from the wound.

“But there’s one difference between us.”

Asher spoke as he swung the sword. The Head Goblin grit its teeth and blocked it. But gradually  it took a step back. Asher dug into that gap and stabbed the sword.

“Keruuuuuuk!”

A solid arc drew through the air with Asher’s blade as it struck the legs of the Head Goblin and blood spattered. There was one difference between the two of them.

The fact was that Asher was a better warrior in general as well as swordsman. Asher was not a talented one, but he was hard working so his swordsmanship wasn’t terrible. Yet, this simple change of mindset and adaptability was the key difference between the two.

Taking a short step closer, the Head Goblin thrust its spear out at Asher desperately. Asher simply parried it away as if it were futile and shot through the gap once more. The sword moved and a painful groan burst out from the Head Goblin’s mouth. Asher struck through the gap with a clenched fist that seemed to be covered in something white and struck the Head Goblin head-on.

There was a sound of a cannon being fired from this impact.

“Oh, my!”

The onlookers shouted in surprise at Asher’s brutal strength that almost seemed superhuman.

The Head Goblin soared through the air in a straight line as it crashed into a tree, shattering it to pieces. Seeing this, the other goblins around them all burst out in screams.

“Kee-Kee-Kee-Kee-Kee-KeeK!

“Kakakaka!”

Asher moved and went to the place where the Head Goblin had fallen; he was sprawled on the ground vomiting blood. He tried to lift himself up, but he kept falling down like a broken doll.

“Cough- I didn’t know you were hiding that.”

“I was trying to crush your chest, but you didn’t die.”

At the last minute, the Head Goblin twisted its body again. It was a really brilliant use of technique. The Head Goblin grinned.

“A great victory like this was. Winning in such a fashion with a feat like that, it seems I have a lot to learn from someone like you…”

The Head Goblin spoke in a toothy grin.

“May I at least congratulate you?”

Asher lifted the sword at the Head Goblin’s words to congratulate him as the Goblin’s hand was outstretched. This Goblin was pure danger. It was capable of intelligence and was capable as a fighter. He could not leave it alive.

“That’s quite cold of you….”

“Let me ask you a question. Where did you come from?”

These goblins had suddenly emerged from within the Empire. This wasn’t the first time this had happened. Asher remembered the same happening 50 years ago as well.

“Asking questions, there’s no reason for me to answer them, but… I think this is the rights of the winner so I will naturally answer. I was from a fair different kind of place than this one.”

“Another place? That’s vague.”

“Somewhere that didn’t make sense to me. There was a door to this world and when I stepped through the door, the orders came to my mind. I had to kill and slaughter the humans. It’s an order that’s still going off in my head.”

“An order….”

It was the same as when the Devil had appeared. Suddenly, monsters had appeared out of thin air. They turned hostile towards the humans and relentlessly attacked them without rhyme or reason.
(T/N : In the past, author-nim used Demon Lord but occasionally swapped between Devil and Demon Lord. I think ‘Devil’ suits better.)

It wasn’t a good situation. It was likely in other places across the Empire, ferocious and hostile monsters were emerging and attacking the humans. It was highly likely to be the Devil’s work.

“The Devil.”

The predator of humanity.

Lord of the Demons.

The grim word lingered in Asher’s mouth.

‘Did he show up again?’

However, Asher recalled that day. The Devil should have been sealed away far beyond the Realm of mortals. That seal wouldn’t be undone for at least another 1,000 years.

But what were the chances of it appearing suddenly within only 50 years of being sealed.

‘Nothing’s certain at this point.’

There could be some type of foreign entity or entirely separate race that opened portals to other realms and brought forth monsters from them with the order to kill humans.

Asher slowly approached the Head Goblin.

“You must have so many questions for me.”

“…”

Despite the crisis, The Head Goblin’s face was bright. His face was that of a pleased warrior.

“It was a good experience. Defeat sometimes brings something more than victory. To be defeated by a man who walks the same path as me and not some fake one, is a great learning experience. And with it, I know the way forwards from here.”

“The dead cannot walk any kind of path.”

“Keruk Keruk, You can’t kill me and you know that”

“…you despise humans, yet you’re so similar to them.”

Asher clicked his tongue. The Head Goblin grinned.

“You have so much to gain from me in terms of information. I won’t be the one to die here, and I can even make it easier for you here. However, I’ve already accomplished one of my goals here today.”

The head Goblin’s strange choice of words made Asher feel wary. The Head Goblin then opened his mouth to speak.

“Go back! Go back and wait for your master’s return!”

“Kee-Kee-Kee-Kee-Kee-KeeK!”

“Kakakaka!”

As soon as Head Goblin’s words finished, the other goblins suddenly turned tail and ran. Some of the territory’s warriors ran after them, but couldn’t find them as they had all run in different directions.

“I am a Lord who cares about his men.”

“…Alright we’ll take you with us.”

The Goblin lifted himself back up at Asher’s words. Asher then turned to Lord Halvark and nudged him with his shoulder.

“m’Lord.”

“Ah… Ah!”

Lord Halvark, who was watching everything in a daze, came to his senses and beckoned his soldiers to grab the Goblin and take it with them. The Head Goblin did not resist as the warriors tied him up, but rather spoke.

“As a loser, I have to respect the rights of the winner. I need to see what a human prison is like anyways.”

The Head Goblin walked proudly into the village. He was so confident in his gait, that it was hard to see who was truly the winner and loser in the situation.

“…won.”

But in the end, it was the humans and the territory that had won this battle. In wasn’t certain who first said it, but it picked up momentum quickly and the people shouted it in waves of joy.

“Victory!”

“We protected the territory!” 

“Long live, Lord Halvark!”

People hugged each other and shed tears. Asher, who was wrapping his head with a bandage, put the sword back in it’s sheath.

They had won for now, but Asher didn’t get complacent. It was time to acknowledge they had survived and was worth it to let the territory bask in their victory,

***

“We won!”

The warriors of the territory shouted in excitement. They had defended their territory properly, they had survived and won. They were the ones to live and they made it known they did not take their victory for granted.

“It’s the victory of the Empire!” 

The excitement soon died down though on the battlefield. They were realizing that victory did come at a cost. Although the number of goblins was smaller in number than they had thought, it did not mean that they came out unscathed. There were several dead bodies on the battlefield and many more that were crippled or injured.

“I have a headache.”

The next person to fall under the weight of responsibility was none other than Lord Halvark. He groaned as he rubbed his temples. He was buried under mountains of paperwork. Even if he refused to eat or sleep for a week and just work on the paperwork, he wouldn’t be able to finish.

“Tsk-”

He was troubled with all of the smaller details and larger ones. Repairs for their broken walls, treatment of the injured, compensation for the families of the dead. All of them were troubles that would seriously expend the territory’s finances and make the budget grow thin. Lord Halvark was reading through a paper as suddenly a knock came upon his door and someone walked inside.

“Are you tackling the paperwork again today?”

“Oh, Asher. Welcome.”

Lord Halvark’s expression lit up like a man who had found a light within the darkness. Asher burst into laughter at the clearly visible expression from the Lord.

“You must have had a hard time. Where’s my portion of the work?”

“I left it there. Thank you very much for your help. You’ve made things a lot faster.”

“It’s a responsibility I should bear for the territory. It’s only natural that I, a member of the estate, can help you.”

Asher sat down. His pile of work was not as much as Lord Halvark’s, but quite a lot of documents were piled up in front of him. With the first page in hand, he began to go through them with skillful hand gestures. Lord Halvark looked at Asher dumbfoundedly. He had expected Asher to have to learn a bit since he was sure it was his first time dealing with this kind of paperwork, but it seemed to be the exact opposite.

“I didn’t know you had experience with filing paperwork.”

Asher nonchalantly just handed over his documents that he had finished.

‘It was the most common thing to do for me, back then.’

He was the former captain of the Imperial Guard. It was only natural for him to understand how to efficiently go through paperwork and legislation. He was someone that managed and oversaw parts of the security within the Empire. Compared to back then, this was child’s play. There were times where he had been surrounded in a warehouse with nothing but paperwork.

Over time, a lot of the documents had been getting processed and Lord Halvark spoke up with a hesitant voice.

“That goblin.”

“You mean the goblin in prison?”

“Yeah, I respected your opinion and put it in prison instead of killing it…  But the atmosphere of the territory might turn sour.”

That Goblin was the leader of the monsters who attacked them. No wonder the villagers wanted to kill it and rid it’s existence from their village.

“I had already expected that to a certain extent. But we can’t kill him. As someone that needs to take all of humanity into account, we need information.”

“I have nothing to say if you put it like that.”

It was Asher who defeated Goblin. Charon and Reika were forced to look like children in front of it, yet Asher one-sidedly beat it down. In fact, he saved the village alone, so if Asher insisted on something, the people had no choice but to follow.

“The change in atmosphere is inevitable.”

“Didn’t you speak to the Empire? We’re just locking it up for a while.”

“Oh, yes, the Empire has called to send someone in to interrogate it.”

“That’s pretty fast.”

It hadn’t even been two days and the territory had already got an answer. Lord Halvark spoke, inking his feather pen.

“It’s an urgent situation in the Empire. Rumor has it that there are quite a few villages and even some territories that have collapsed under attacks from the monsters.”

“It’s going to be hard to respond to everything at once.”

There were more monsters that had appeared all around the Empire. Their territory could be said to have been extremely fortunate to have someone like Asher, Charon and Reika. That was why Lord Halvark had no choice but to honestly see Asher in a completely new light.

“All I have to say is thank you.”

“It was something I naturally would do to protect my home.”

“No, besides that. Your help with Luke. He must have changed because you gave him some kind of advice.”

Luke was visiting each of those affected by the incident and offering words of compensation and encouragement. People expressed their joy and were even slightly reluctant from Luke’s sudden change in behavior, but it was apparent that Luke was serious and starting to seriously mature as a Young Lord.

“That kind of combat prowess and mature personality. It’s no wonder than Van Ester took you in as his disciple.”

Lord Halvark felt incredibly comfortable with Asher now.

Asher felt like laughing. If Van Ester knew everything that Asher was putting on his name, it would be quite the sight to see.

It wasn’t that the townspeople and Lord Halvark were stupid people, it was just the prestige of a swordmaster was worth that much,

Before the two of them knew it, the pile of documents had been completed. After finishing the last document, Lord Halvark thanked Asher once more..

“Good job. Thank you very much.”

“Of course.”

Asher stepped outside of the estate and went towards the town. Everyone that passed by him, no longer had any gazes that were different than admiration or pure respect. There were no hostile gazes to be seen anywhere.

Asher passed through the town and arrived at the secluded area in the forest that he had always used in the past. He took out the sword and started to swing.



Chapter 35 – 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.

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