Sword. Jensen. What could be as out of place as those two together. Jensen had a hard time hiding his dissatisfied expression when he saw swordsmen. To the point that if there was one thing that could never be here, it would be a sword.
'Why in God's name would this be here…?'
"Baan! Are you almost done?"
"Uh, y, yeah, almost done!"
Upon hearing Jensen's voice, Baan quickly hid the box underneath the floor boards and calmed himself down. He had the feeling he saw something that he shouldn't have.
'Forget. Forget about it.'
If Jensen didn't tell me about it first, he probably had a good reason not to. Baan was old enough to recognize that.
Just that the recognition wasn't as big as it needed to be to hold back his curiosity.
That day, Baan kept his eyes open waiting until Jensen was asleep. Thoughts led to more thoughts.
'Why was there a sword there?'
'Is it even master's sword?'
Flurries of questions came up. But, at the end of all those questions, there was only thing left. Embarrassing, but it was the feeling of want.
'… I want to hold it."
A moment ago, Baan couldn't even hold the sword because Baan was afraid of Jensen finding out. But it was the first sword Baan has ever had the chance to meet. It didn't matter what type it was, Baan didn't have to give up the chance to wield it.
Baan focused on Jensen's snoring, and slowly sneaked along. As soon as he was in the storage, he pulled out the sword.
Before, he was too flustered to notice. The blade was rusted all over to the point it wouldn't be useful as a blade. But this was good enough. When has he ever held a sword.
A sword is a sword. If the blade was well kept, it would have been better, but this was enough. Baan carefully extended his hand. And as he held the sword, he was startled enough to be embarrassed by his earlier carefulness.
"…what in the world."
[You Have Recognized the Sword]
[Guardian Attribute, 'Sword's Voice' Operational.]
[You Are Holding the Sword of 'The Swordsman With A Decent Downswing']
Owner: Jensen (1 star)
Memory Preservation Level: Low
Note: Made by an ordinary blacksmith from L'yun Huh. As it has been abandoned for a long time and rusted, it may be hard to recall the old owner's vestige.
[Your Current Swordsmanship level is 0 Stars. Memory Recall Adjusted to Very Low.]
Baan has never thought of himself as someone special ever since becoming older. He was not particularly handsome, big, or smart. The only things he was good as was climbing the mountain and digging up medicinal herbs and will be the same in the future.
So the situation now was certainly unexpected.
Baan kept glancing over the blinking alarm at the edge of his vision. He was surprised to know it was Jensen's sword, but it wasn't as surprising as this situation now…
"Swordsmanship level 0 Stars huh…"
No idea what 'star' means, but the number being low couldn't be a good thing. Probably means bad enough to not even warrant one point.
It was not out of the ordinary to receive zero stars considering he's never held a decent sword. But even so, it was lamentable. He has swung around tree branches rather fiercely but felt as though that was a nonsensical proposition.
Baan noticed there was nobody around and raised the sword. From a while ago, he couldn't resist the feeling of wanting to swing the sword.
The blinking messages weren't the only thing. 'Memory Recall'. At a glimpse, it was an unfamiliar word, but he could probably guess what it meant.
The sword swept through the air. The arc gliding through was sloppy as always. But past the sloppy arc, strings of memories spewed forth into his body.
It was something he has never felt before. When he swung the sword, he was not alone. He swung as Baan… and as Jensen.
From one swing, he could fathom what the problems were in his swing as though he has swung twice.
Soon, Baan realized Jensen's title was 'With A Decent Downswing'. He took a deep breath and took a downswing position.
His breathe abruptly stopped. By just taking a downswing position, he would feel something different was tickling him inside.
So how would it be when he swung down.
[Reproducing the Traits of the Owner.]
[Memory Recall Temporarily Increased!]
After the swing down, Baan had no words. It was a moment of ecstasy. The typical swings or lunges couldn't compare to this moment. If the swing or lunge from before was two separate swings… this felt like three, no five simultaneous ones. That kind of feeling.
The strings of memories that spewed forward felt like it was permeating his nerves.
An electrifying feeling, he would never think to feel reached out to him through the weight of the sword. Not just because it was a real sword. The hand-stained remains. Those remains were being reproduced by his very hands.
It wasn't a perfect downswing. The original owner's downswing, and even Baan's. But the downswing of now was fundamentally different from the one he practiced with a tree branch.
For now, he could feel what part of his downswing was wrong.
The memories of a man who has made thousands of mistakes were telling him what was wrong. To Baan even the mistakes were of delight.
In the end, Baan would not be able to let go of the sword until the moon fell.
After Baan acquired the sword, he snuck out of the house every moment he had and immersed himself in training. He knew he would be caught if he did it too often, but he could not overcome the attraction of training.
Baan's downswing became better than the downswing of yesterday, and better now than before. He slowly learned how not to 'fail' his downswing. He had no clue what it would be like to succeed at a downswing.
But the arc he drew, as the strength distribution in his muscled achieved a better balance, he was ecstatic past the point of muscle pain.
Of course, the questions haven't disappeared. As he felt closer to the perfect downswing, as he became more used to it, Baan couldn't let go of the riddle.
'Why did master give up his sword?'
Baan tried to recall the memory of Jensen in the sword. A man who gave his all with stupid honestly into the downswing. The man who begged the question 'how?'. Even Baan who didn't know a thing about swordsmanship knew Jensen's skill wasn't world-shaking but… it felt all the more extraordinary because of it. Jensen was a man who would never give up despite his slow progress.
It was something Baan couldn't ask. And now, he had something he had to take care of.
"…what? What did you just say?"
"Let me borrow your sword. Just for a moment."
"Are you nuts? You're asking a guard to let you borrow his sword?"
Dolby glared at Baan as though he was crazy. He had a big ego ever since they were children. Dolby shook his head and said.
"Hey. Forget about your fantasies and just make medicine. A sword looks out of place with you."
"Just let me touch it for even a second. I'll buy us some beer."
"B, Beer? … n, no! A sword is part of a swordsman's body."
For someone who had the worse skill out of everyone on the training grounds. Dolby took on an austere impression and stepped back. It was understandable. Guards have their own rules.
But Baan couldn't give up. Handling his sword was an important matter.
He had to know if reading the sword was just for that one ghost-ridden sword… or if it was something innate. He had to know so he could choose his path for the future.
From what he's seen until now, it's probable that it's his own innate skill, but isn't it always better to be sure? He was the type to double-check.
It was inevitable. Baan pulled out his hidden trick.
"You have some trouble doing it with Yuri right?
"…H, how do you know?"
"Do you think in a town as small as this I wouldn't know? I'll make you the 'Potion of Man'. How about it. Still no?"
"P, Potion of Man?"
Dolby's eyes turned round. Baan smiled. Yep. He's not a man if he lets this pass. Jensen always said such potions were beneath the Apothecary's dignity and class, but who gives a damn about dignity in a situation like this.
"You'll be able to knock Yuri out to the point where she can't even whine. I just want to hold your sword for a second. Still no? Then I might as well ask someone else."
"H-Hey! W-Wait. Who said no? Just, let me think about it for a sec."
"I won't give you much time."
"… You're just going to hold it for a moment, right?"
Dolby hesitated as he pulled out his sword. Baan nodded and quickly took the sword. Baan had a blank stare for a moment as he held the sword. Dolby nervously quipped.
"Hey hand it back already."
"Baan? Hey Baan!"
"… Hey, Dolby."
Baan said monotonously. His smile twisted from excitement and passion.
"I, want to be a swordsman."
"What? What are you going on about?"
"I'm going to be a swordsman."
[You Are Holding the Sword of 'An Amateur Swordsman With No Distinction']
It was the moment of conviction for Baan.
He was going to be a swordsman.
Not any old swordsman, but a special swordsman.
0 Likes Like 0 Comments × Your comment has been posted! Your comment has been updated! Cancel